The winner of the Scottish Book Trust Bookbug Hero Award 2020 was Myra Mains, Senior Library Assistant for Young People’s Services for Inverclyde Libraries.
Myra was one of the first in her community to complete Bookbug training back in 2011, and since then has been programming and delivering sessions, mentoring and supporting other staff to do likewise and creating partnerships with other groups in the community. Myra has helped to deliver, support and provide the mentoring that enabled 6,053 Bookbug Sessions and Rhymetimes to happen in Inverclyde, benefiting 184,073 children and parents!
Myra is truly the smiling face of Inverclyde libraries and goes above and beyond in delivering Bookbug through partnerships with third sector organisations and local community groups to ensure Bookbug Sessions are inclusive and accessible to all. Her passion for outreach work has given families affected by a range of vulnerabilities including poor mental health and addictions, a way out of social isolation and provided a comfortable, safe environment within the library forming positive and nurturing relationships. Myra has brought creativity, passion, energy and compassion to the way she engages with children and families. She truly is a Bookbug Hero!
Catriona Wallace, Head of Early Years at Scottish Book Trust, said:
Myra is a thoroughly deserving winner of the inaugural Bookbug Hero Award. She has been instrumental in providing a nurturing and safe environment to bring together children and families from right across local communities in Inverclyde. It is clear that her colleagues and the families she supports think the world of her. Thank you Myra for being a wonderful champion for Bookbug, and sharing the power of stories, songs and rhymes in everything you do.
Scottish Book Trust would also like to highly commend the following nominees.
Kirstie Burns, Volunteer Bookbug Session Leader, Renfrewshire
When Kirstie isn’t working as a biomedical scientist or looking after her children, she devotes her time to deliver Bookbug Sessions in her local library, which are clearly adored by all the families who attend. Kirstie’s passion and enthusiasm for Bookbug has encouraged family bonding and created a love of stories, songs and rhymes for all the children who attend. She is a real ambassador for Bookbug and for libraries.
Ishbel Campbell, Volunteer Gaelic Bookbug Session Leader, Tiree, Argyll & Bute
Ishbel has changed the lives of families on the island of Tiree through the delivery of Gaelic Bookbug Sessions in her spare time. Ishbel has brought families out of social isolation to engage with each other and create new friendships while enabling children to experience a new language through the use of stories, songs and rhymes. Ishbel also identified a benefit to bringing the elderly and children together in her intergenerational Bookbug Sessions where she has created a whole community bonding experience.
Jodie Reeser, Family Support & Kinship Team Manager, Social Work, East Ayrshire
Jodie has been instrumental in instilling the Bookbug ethos into the whole Children & Families team in her social work department in East Ayrshire. Jodie’s enthusiastic and positive approach has encouraged parents in the most difficult of circumstances to engage in stories, songs and rhymes with their children in a fun and nurturing manner. The importance of this quality time, whether it allows families to stay together or not, cannot be underestimated.
Scottish Book Trust would like to thank Walker Books(this 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, Cassandra Clare, Lucy Cousins, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, Anthony Browne, Patrick Ness, 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. The Walker Books Group enjoys a unique ownership structure which includes employees from around the world and more than 150 long-term authors and illustrators. Walker is the world’s leading wholly independent publisher of English-language children’s books.