Top award for two Glasgow Librarians
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Top award for two Glasgow Librarians

Two Glasgow Life Principal Librarians have been awarded the prestigious title of Librarian of the Year 2017 by the Publishers’ Publicity Circle (PPC).  

Margaret Houston and Dawn Vallance, based in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library, scooped the accolade at the recent Publishers’ Publicity Circle awards (13th February) in London, in recognition of their dedication to bringing authors to the people of Glasgow, through high profile events including Book Week Scotland, Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge, World Book Day and the ever popular Wee Write! festival.

Margaret Houston, said: “It has been my great privilege to welcome thousands of young people into the city’s libraries to share their love of great books and inspiring characters. We’ve been fortunate enough to bring Children’s Laureates, global bestselling authors, poets and household names to Glasgow’s libraries to share their stories and experiences and everyone has fired the imaginations of their audiences. 

“In the coming 10 days we are doing it all again with two Wee Write! family days and another very popular Wee Write! schools programme and I am looking forward to seeing what this year’s great line up will deliver.”

Dawn Vallance, added: "I am delighted to receive this award for working on campaigns with the UK's top publishers, helping to create opportunities for people to enjoy the positive affect that reading can have, regardless of age, socio or economic background. 

“It has been an absolute privilege to work with so many talented authors, and be able to help showcase their work for the people of Glasgow, and I look forward to continuing to support the people of this city to find the joy in books.”

Margaret Houston, who was also crowned PPC Librarian of the Year 2015, has been a key programmer of children’s and adult author events and selector of children’s collections across Glasgow’s 33 public libraries for more than 38 years. 

Integral to bringing high profile names such as Elaine C Smith and Chae Strathie to Glasgow Libraries literary events including, Book Week Scotland, Tesco Summer Bank Reading Challenge and Wee Write! , which comes to the city on 25th February and 4th March, Margaret works closely with authors and storytellers to create life changing opportunities for children across Glasgow to discover the magical world of books. 

Dawn, who joined Glasgow Libraries in 2014, has supported a number of high profile reading and literacy events citywide including an innovative range of community library events for Book Week Scotland and National Reading Groups Day as well as increasing community engagement with Aye Write!..

Recognised for her relationship with publishers and authors, and for bringing high profile authors such as Peter May to Glasgow, Dawn’s knowledge of customer interests has also been instrumental in supporting book group development, informing the libraries book collections and creating opportunities for author engagement citywide.

Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Margaret and Dawn are dedicated to ensuring that the people of Glasgow, both young and old are able to enjoy and benefit from the joy of reading and literacy. 

“Bringing authors to our city, through a range of community and festival activities, has created opportunities for all of our citizens to engage with reading on their own level, helping to break down the barriers to participation and create a city of book lovers. 

“This award is a tribute to their passion and commitment to public service and I’m delighted that they have both been recognised with this great honour.”

Katherine Patrick, chair of the Publishers’ Publicity Circle, said: “More so than ever libraries, and especially librarians, play a vital role in the success of authors and their books. Dawn and Margaret are no exception and were the unanimous winners of Librarian of the Year at this year’s Annual PPC Awards.  

“From author events to school engagement and online activity they have encouraged and inspired the Glasgow community to read and adore books. Their unwavering support of publicists and writers with their winning combination of passion for literature, positivity, professionalism and incredible organisation made them stand out winners. Their award is truly deserved.”

Wee Write! Scotland’s only major book festival dedicated to children and young people, takes place on 25th February and 4th March at the Mitchell Library. To find out more, and to book tickets, please visit: 

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