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Announcing the winner: Bookbug Hero Award 2023

We are delighted to announce the recipient of the 2023 Bookbug Hero Award is Janice Middleton, Library Supervisor, Argyll and Bute Council.


Janice is an integral part of the island community and has gone above and beyond to reach out and introduce new families to Bookbug on the Isle of Bute. She takes every opportunity to promote the benefits of Bookbug and fully appreciates the difference that stories, songs and rhymes can make to families with young children.

Janice regularly tours the island making short Bookbug videos that are shown on the library social media. So wide is her reach that visiting families from the USA and Canada have come into the library and attended her Bookbug Sessions. An inspiring team leader, Janice has been mentoring library colleagues on the islands of Bute and Tiree to giving them the confidence to return to delivering their own Bookbug Sessions post-Covid. Janice goes out of her way to welcome new families from Syria and Ukraine to the Island and the library, running special welcome Bookbug sessions and ordering in book stock in their home language. She runs regular storytelling sessions in the library with adults with learning difficulties and autism, creating craft activities for them in association with the books. Janice is an undeniable Bookbug Hero! 

On winning the award, Janice said:

'I was speechless when I was told I'd won the Bookbug Hero Award. I'm truly honoured, though the truth is the award is all thanks to everyone who attends our Bookbug Sessions at Live Argyll Rothesay Library and all who watch our small videos online. It's amazing that Bookbug and I have traveled so far, without stepping on a plane. '

Highly commended

Audrey Conlin, Childrens' Librarian, Strathaven Library, South Lanarkshire

Audrey has been a well-loved member of the Strathaven library rural community for over 26 years. Audrey creates a welcoming and fun atmosphere in her Bookbug Sessions and provides a programme of activities for families in the library throughout the year. Audrey is a true ambassador of the Bookbug programme. 

Duncan MacNeil, Gaelic Development Officer, Argyll and Bute

Duncan has been delivering Gaelic Bookbug Sessions for over 8 years introducing children and their parents to the Gaelic language. Many of the children, inspired by a general interest in the language, have gone onto attend Gaelic Medium schools. Duncan's passion for Gaelic and Bookbug shines through in his sessions. 

Allison Keys, Health Care Support Worker, Speech and Language Team, NHS Lanarkshire 

Allison uses Bookbug to enrich the lives of families she supports in the Speech and Language Therapy department, giving parents the confidence to use books and songs to develop speech, language and communication skills with their children. Allison's positive and friendly approach helps families of children who need additional support and struggle with larger groups to engage in Bookbug activities and increase their children's love of stories and rhymes.  

Aimie Neilson, Early Years Practitioner, Kirkstyle ELC, South Lanarkshire 

Aimie has embraced Bookbug within the Early Learning Centre ensuring that every child has the opportunity to engage with books. Aimie promotes literacy across the community and encourages parents to read with their children and establish a bedtime routine with a story, song and rhyme. As a result parents have reported that their children ask for books and stories more and their vocabulary has improved.

About Walker Books

Scottish Book Trust would like to thank Walker Books(this link will open in a new window), who kindly sponsor the Bookbug Hero Award.

Home to books for all ages, Walker Books publishes many award-winning authors, illustrators, and literary franchises including Anthony Horowitz, Angie Thomas, Cassandra Clare, Lucy Cousins, Anthony Browne, Patrick Ness, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, We'e Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, and Where's Wally? by Martin Handford. Walker Books is part of the vibrant international Walker Books Group that includes Walker Books Australia; Candlewick Press in America and its new division, Walker Books US; and Walker Productions.