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Bookbug stories and rhymes sessions run by High Life Highland libraries short-listed for Scottish Library and Information Council award after going online during coronavirus crisis lockdown

By Gregor White

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High Life Highland’s libraries have been shortlisted for an award by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

The SLIC Award celebrates the commitment and creativity of Scotland’s library services and shortlisted High Life Highland for its work moving Bookbug sessions – stories and rhymes for young children – online during lockdown.

High Life Highland’s principal libraries manager Julie Corcoran said: “We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award and I’d like to thank the hard-working and creative people that work in our libraries that so impressed the judging panel.

“We know the significant role that Bookbug plays within family life and when we could no longer run the sessions in person, we put them online.

“It’s been a tough time for libraries over the last 18 months with enforced closures by the Coronavirus pandemic, but we know people’s love for books as we saw over two million people utilise our online service.”

So popular is Bookbug, sessions have been held at local music festivals, refugee events, and one member of staff learnt Makaton signing to make Bookbug available to those with hearing impairments.

The SLIC Award attracted interest from public libraries, Higher and Further Education Libraries, libraries in the health sector and special interest libraries.

SLIC chairman Ian Ruthven said: “What characterises all these nominations, particularly those shortlisted, are the willingness of library teams to find solutions, to put their communities first, and to throw themselves at a challenge.

“So many of the nominations describe a range of initiatives and it was particularly welcome to see how many form the basis of future, enhanced library services.

“It has been hard to select only a few services as a shortlist but we believe these exemplify the amazing commitment and creativity of Scotland’s library services. We congratulate all those who were nominated for their inspiring entries.”

The six library services shortlisted are: East Lothian, Falkirk Community Trust Libraries, Glasgow Libraries and IP Centre Glasgow, Inverclyde and Shetland.

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