As a toddler Clare Hemsworth loved books so much she would correct her mum if she missed a word while reading her daughter a story.
And the youngster’s favourite trips with her dad would be to the local library.
Clare has gone on to forge a career working in libraries and has been so successful she has just won a top national award.
The 38-year-old schools library support co-ordinator with Renfrewshire Leisure has won the 2020 Library and Information Professional of the Year Award.
The award is made by CILIPS – Scotland’s Library and Information Professionals – and is sponsored audio digital publishers, Bolinda.
Clare has worked with Renfrewshire Libraries for the past seven years and as well as being the support co-ordinator for all school libraries, she is the school librarian at Castlehead High.
“I’m really honoured to have won this award,” she said.
“I was amazed to even be shortlisted and absolutely astounded that I won given the amazing work being done by the other librarians shortlisted across Scotland.
“I’m so pleased that the judging panel were able to see how much I love school libraries and a little bit of what we’ve been able to achieve in Renfrewshire.”
Clare has worked with Renfrewshire Libraries for seven years and was nominated for the award by the organisation’s Children and Families Development Co-ordinator, Andrew Givan.
Clare, who wins a trophy and £500 towards paying for professional development courses, continued: “I love libraries and I’ll do anything I can to make them more vibrant and accessible places to young people.
“I love it when a pupil comes into one of our school libraries and you can see how excited they are about asking for a new book they’ve heard about and want to read.”
Clare added: “I’ve enjoyed reading books since I was a young girl and my mum, Mary tells me that when she was reading me a story from a book, I would correct her if she skipped a word.
“And when I was growing up I loved going to the library with my late dad, Paul. That was our thing – going to the library together. I’ve loved books and libraries for as long as I can remember.”
Announcing that Clare had won the award, CILIPS praised her excellent work within the school library sector and for her commitment to the profession.
In particular, the judging committee commended Clare for the following:
- The leading role she has taken in developing an innovative and forward-looking school library service in Renfrewshire including using new and creative technologies to engage young people
- Her engagement with the school library sector such as bidding for School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) funding to deliver new projects, knowledge sharing through delivering presentations at conferences, and speaking to Information and Library Studies students about school librarianship
- Her support for young people for example her work with the school libraries attainment team to ensure pupils are engaging with reading and libraries and her collaborative work with the University of West of Scotland Library to support the transition of senior pupils into higher education
- The active role she takes in the wider profession for example through undertaking Chartership and Revalidation and also being a CILIPS mentor to support others through the Professional Registration process
Joyce Higgins, Digital Library and Development Manager said: “We all so pleased for Clare winning such a prestigious award. There’s no doubting her commitment and enthusiasm to libraries and the schools libraries in particular.
“Clare, along with the other staff in our libraries, provide an excellent service to the public.”