Falkirk librarian who inspires receives top Scottish Book Trust award

A Falkirk librarian who has been described as ‘inspirational’ has received a top award.

By Jill Buchanan
Monday, 4th May 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 7:46 am

Yvonne Manning, principle librarian of children’s services for Falkirk Council has been given the Learning Professional Award 2020 by the Scottish Book Trust.

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, has announced today that Yvonne Manning, Principle Librarian of Children’s Services for Falkirk Council, has been recognised with the Learning Professional Award 2020.

Yvonne manages the Learning Resource service which supports schools in the area to develop a reading for pleasure culture: by providing a wide-range of cross-curricular resources, storytelling, support maintaining school library stock, reader development sessions and training for teachers to improve their knowledge of books and the positive impact of reading.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Librarian Yvonne Manning at last year's RED Book Awards in Falkirk Town Hall

Thanks to this, many teachers in Falkirk have been supported to ensure they can get the right book to the right child.

Through her work, Yvonne has also supported parents and families to develop skills to promote reading at home. She is also the Bookbug Coordinator for Falkirk.Yvonne was nominated for the award by her colleagues – Donna Green and Jacqueline Craig at Falkirk Council – who have described her as an “inspiration to all who work with her”.

Yvonne’s passion and hard work has encouraged countless children across Falkirk to read for pleasure, which has also had a significant impact on every educational establishment in the Falkirk Council area.

She is well know to all young people who attend the council’s annual RED Book Awards, not least for her vibrant and often zany red costumes.

She also models Bookbug gifting events for nurseries and trains staff and parents on storytelling. Yvonne has been successful in working with pupils who normally do not engage with any type of reading.

And for students who struggle with traditional learning, Yvonne has been known to develop alternative curriculums by creating personalised reading resources. As a result, she has helped pupils to overcome barriers to literacy and learning, which were preventing their educational progress. Marc Lambert, CEO at Scottish Book Trust, said: “Congratulations to Yvonne Manning on receiving this year’s Learning Professional Award. Thanks to her efforts, reading for pleasure is an established culture within schools and libraries across Falkirk.

“The support and knowledge she provides to staff is invaluable, and it is clear her magical storytelling captures imaginations across generations. Our thanks to Browns Books for Students for making this award possible.”Yvonne said: “I was (and still am) completely thrilled and overwhelmed to hear that I had been chosen for the Learning Professional Award. It means so much to me that my colleagues took the time to send in the nomination and I am humbled that the judging panel thought I deserved this award, when there are so many amazing professionals out there who make a real difference in their work.

“I am passionate about literacy, especially the power of reading for enjoyment and storytelling, and to be given this recognition by the inspirational and wonderful Scottish Book Trust is something quite magical.”Claire Smith, Sales Manager for Browns Books for Students, said: “Learning Professional Award winner, Yvonne Manning, has worked relentlessly to provide library services for children of all ages across Falkirk. Without the effort, dedication and passion for books that Yvonne has, the young people of Falkirk would not be able to benefit from all of the amazing work she has done and for that, they should be eternally grateful.”Despite cuts to the Falkirk Library service, resulting in Yvonne’s team being reduced to one full time and one part time member, Yvonne has ensured that schools and professionals in the authority continue to receive the same high level of service as before. As former Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIPS) President, Yvonne is a well-respected member of her sector, trusted to lead the Children’s Services of the library through difficult times.Yvonne also applies for grants and funding to support developments for the Falkirk Library service. She recently supported the purchase of literature to support practitioners studying Froebel in Childhood Practice. She also worked closely with Early Years Pedagogues to ensure the lending library resources support practitioners to deliver learning which best meets every individuals needs, adhering to guidance and current thinking.Donna Green, Early Years Pedagogue at Falkirk Council, said: “Yvonne goes above and beyond. She will dress up as a book characters, read stories and really shares her passion for books and reading with our youngest learners, families and staff. Yvonne’s enthusiasm inspires others and I feel she really needs to be recognised for her commitment.” Jacqueline Craig, Early Years Pedagogue at Falkirk Council, said: “Yvonne works tirelessly with practitioners across Falkirk to support a reading for pleasure culture. She is endlessly imaginative and creative in finding ways to bring books to life. She has been especially effective in supporting those who work in our most disadvantaged areas. Yvonne uses all her experience to find ways to connect with parents and families, to break down barriers around reading.” The Learning Professional Award, now in its fourth year, recognises a teacher or librarian who has had a powerful impact on the reading culture of young people and adults in their community. In partnership with Browns Books for Students, Yvonne Manning will receive £500 worth of books to help her continue her outstanding work.