Library Assistant Recognised With National Award

A St Helens Senior Library Assistant has been recognised by the UK’s largest children’s reading charity for her unique method of delivering Read and Rhyme Time sessions to young children in the borough.

Paula Keaton, who is based at Rainhill Library on View Road, was among four other public library staff from across the country, shortlisted from a group of 300, to be nominated for a BookTrust Award.

Paula, whose Read and Rhyme Time sessions attract an average of 40 families a week, was put forward for an award by those families for her approach to using various formats to make sure parents and children are constantly engaged and having fun.

Although Paula didn’t win the overall prize, BookTrust felt that she should at least be commended as a runner-up and awarded her a special certificate as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations.

Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust said: “BookTrust is proud to recognise Paula as the runner up for our Bookstart 25 year Awards. We had to honour Paula, as her unwavering support and empathetic nature goes such a long way – especially for children who are less outgoing.

“We are delighted to know that we have library staff like Paula championing our message and doing all they can to get kids reading and enjoying sharing stories.”

Passing on her congratulations, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Library and Leisure Services, Councillor Sue Murphy, said: “Paula deserves a tremendous amount of praise for her contribution in helping the borough’s young people to read at a young age through her fun yet educational Read and Rhyme Time sessions.

“The uptake of families attending these events speaks volumes, and I’d encourage even more parents and guardians in the Rainhill area to join in the fun by bringing their young children along to one of Paula’s sessions.”

Paula’s Read and Rhyme Time sessions take place every Friday morning at 10:30am in Rainhill Library.

BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. They work to inspire a love of reading in children because they know that reading can transform lives. Each year BookTrust reaches 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading. Every parent receives a BookTrust book in their baby’s first year.

Books are delivered via health, library, schools and early year’s practitioners, and are supported with guidance, advice and resources to encourage the reading habit.

Reading for pleasure has a dramatic impact on educational outcomes, wellbeing and social mobility, and is also a huge pleasure in itself. BookTrust is committed to starting children on their reading journey will support them throughout.

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Main photo – Paula Keaton pictured with her Bookstart 25th Anniversary Awards certificate.


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