Chair of Judges 2015

I qualified as a librarian in 1997 after teaching for four years. My first post as a children’s librarian was with Midlothian council in 2005. I drove the children’s mobile library to all the primary schools and seeing the magic that this held for children convinced me that this was the right profession for me. I enjoyed the challenge of helping each one of them choose a book, and loved hearing how they enjoyed it on my next visit.

Since 2009 I have been Senior Librarian – Young People’s Service for East Lothian Council, where I am responsible for the children and young people’s portfolio for the public libraries, as well as the services to schools.

The highlight of my career so far was being a Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judge in 2008 and 2009. To say it was rewarding is an understatement! I feel incredibly proud and excited to be chair and I am looking forward to working with this year’s judges.


Humber & N Yorks

I have been working for Doncaster Library service for just short of nine years now. I began as a relief Library assistant before working full time at a branch, I then moved into the Schools Library Service before moving out to become a Library Supervisor, and I’m now back in the Schools Library Service working for Doncaster’s Literacy Team. So I’ve changed role a few times now!

I joined the CILIP YLG after attending a day school in Huddersfield and meeting a former judge, it sounded like a perfect way for me to meet like-minded people and gain experience.

My wife and I have just had a baby so I’m enjoying plenty of time reading the Greenaway books to her!


South East

I graduated from Loughborough University having gained a Library and Information Studies degree in 2002. From there, I worked in a secondary school learning centre, prior to a variety of roles at Nottinghamshire Libraries before arriving at Wokingham Borough Libraries, where I now work as a Reader Development Officer for Young People and Families. I work with all age ranges across 10 libraries including; organising and running rhymetimes and storytimes for the under 5’s, leading school visits with primary school children, organising author visits with schools, chatterbooks reading groups, teen reading and writing groups, workshops with parents and more. Being creative and inventive with books and sharing stories is at the heart of all of this and knowing what authors, series and genres to read and recommend to children and adults alike is essential.

In 2007 I joined the committee for the South East branch of YLG, undertaking the roles of secretary, vice-chair, chair and now CKG Judge. It has been an inspirational experience to be on this committee.  I have provided training courses on relevant topics and organised the south east Carnegie and Kate Greenaway training days for other South East based libraries. 

My passion is for promoting and experiencing the magic of children’s literature, which I have been doing for the past 9 years. It’s fantastic to have had the opportunity to meet so many enthusiastic authors, illustrators, publishers and librarians who, through their creativity, bring the joy of reading and stories to children.  A love of stories has always been a huge part of my life and I am privileged to read books as part of my job. Having an excuse to read even more books can never be a bad thing!

I am looking forward to my first year as Carnegie Kate Greenaway Judge.


Northern Ireland

I have always been a keen reader, and was a pupil library assistant during my school years, so becoming a school librarian was perhaps always my destiny! Following a stint as a bookseller at Aberystwyth University after I finished my undergraduate degree, I completed an MSc Econ in Library and Information Studies there and have been the librarian at Campbell College, a boys’ school in Belfast, for five and a half years. I feel very fortunate to have a job I love; it is a great privilege to be able to help develop a love of books and reading in the young people I work with.

I am hugely excited to and honoured to be part of an award that has such enduring appeal. This is my second year as a member of the judging panel, and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us!



I started working in Libraries as a student in 1995 running holiday activities for children young adults, I graduated from the Cape Technikon in Cape Town with a degree in Library & Information Science in 2008 and have worked mostly a Children’s Librarian since then.

In 2003 I invaded the UK and, although I started working as a reference librarian, slid sideways into working with teens and found that I enjoyed it more than ref. work. Since then I have worked in a variety of libraries around London with teenagers. I run the Teen Librarian website which offers book reviews & information aimed at people interested in working with young people in libraries. I am currently a School Librarian working in South East London and am involved with the YLG London Committee.



My career in libraries began quite accidentally when I accepted a Saturday Assistant’s post to help pay the bills while studying for my MA in American Literature. What a revelation! I soon cast aside any other career plans I had been forming and began working in libraries full time. I have since worked for public libraries in Doncaster, Manchester, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Pickering Public Libraries in Ontario, Canada. I also worked briefly as a School Librarian in a Yorkshire comprehensive.

I am currently employed as a Community Librarian for Denbighshire Libraries and was recently awarded Chartered status via pathway 2. My role is very varied and no two days are the same! Children’s stock purchasing for the county is one area of my responsibility, as is the programming of community reading groups in the libraries that I manage. I have been running Carnegie / Greenaway shadowing groups for around 9 years now and cannot describe how excited and privileged I feel to be a member of the CILIP Carnegie/Greenaway panel of judges this year. It has been an ambition of mine for a very long time.



I am greatly looking forward to my second year as a CKG judge, and not only because it means more excuses to curl up and read in front of the fire! I have been working in school libraries for 4 years now, and I am enjoying it more each year. I am Librarian at Cambourne Village College and I live on a narrowboat – nothing beats reading a potential Carnegie winner from the roof, overlooking the river!



I love books, I love stories and I love libraries. Though never intending to become a librarian, my life has led me to a place full of wonderful words, stupendous stories and endless possibilities, where serendipity plays its part in helping you find what you might not even have known you wanted. Please note: librarians are Tweedledee to serendipity’s Tweedledum.

As a wee person I wasn’t too hot at the old reading thing. Loving stories, I would persuade as many folk as possible to read to me but I just couldn’t seem to turn the peculiar hieroglyphics on the page into words and sentences. Luckily for me I had a fabulous teacher, Mr. Oakley, who with great patience spent his break times coaxing some basic literacy out of me, eventually helping to flip the magic switch that turned shapes into words and released the stories from the page. Between him, my family and the best children’s librarian in London I became a devoted reader and I believe it was my experiences of these people who cared, who loved words and loved stories that made me the person I am. Anyone who tries to tell me libraries are dull silent places peopled by bespectacled ogres in twin sets and tweed will find I have no choice but to lock them in the children’s section with a toddlers’ song and rhyme session in one corner, a preschool storytime in the other and Julia Donaldson performing the Gruffalo to primary school pupils in the centre. Oh, and don’t forget the teens hanging out on the mezzanine playing on the Xbox and flicking through the graphic novels!

For the past decade I have been working with children and the young in various guises involving the promotion of books and reading to children of all ages, coordinating children’s and young people’s book festivals and delivering activities that involve a lot of glitter. I currently work for arts and heritage, developing children’s heritage visits in our library heritage centres and museum and also working on projects to introduce young people to authors, illustrators and poets. I love the diversity of my job which can involve anything from Blue Peter-style workshops with wee ones to working with comic book artists in secondary schools, as well as designing learning programmes and working with my team to develop storytimes.

Before my career in libraries I completed an MA in History of Art at Glasgow University, an MSc in Information & Library Studies at the University of Strathclyde and, somewhere in between, became virtuoso at pouring the perfect pint in various hostelries.

Away from libraries I love going to gigs and festivals, visiting galleries and museums, eating, flying my kite and lazing in the bath with a negroni and a good book.


North East

For the last 8 years I have been lucky enough to work within learning and community engagement in the Cultural Sector. This has included roles in libraries, museums, galleries and the heritage sector. My current role as the Children & Young Person's Librarian at Stockton-on-Tees Library Service is diverse, exciting and has provided me with the fantastic opportunity of being a judge in this prestigious award. As part of my role I co-ordinate the children's and young people’s events and activities across the borough, this includes national, regional and local projects. This also includes the annual Stockton Children's Book of the Year for children aged from 9 to 11 where librarians short list 5 books and then work with local schools for children to vote for the winner as well as meeting the authors. One of my favourite parts of my role is being able to provide children and young people with the opportunity to meet authors and illustrators, to listen to their questions and see them inspired and enthused by the experience that will be become a lifelong memory. It is always an enjoyable and enlightening experience to talk to children and young people about the books they love and hate, to hear the debates they have and explore their ideas with them.

For me reading has been a passion since I was a child I love to escape into a book, to stay up late or miss my bus stop as I can’t put a good book down as I need to finish that page, chapter or the whole thing. So I can’t wait to start reading for these awards!


West Midlands

After qualifying I originally worked for the NHS as a librarian specifically with training medical staff in using research databases and evaluating evidence to inform best practice. I then moved to a secondary school as the Library Manager, where I set up a new library and created many reading initiatives; including their first CKG shadowing group and an after school reading club. Next I became the Advisory Librarian with Coventry SLS and began working mainly with Primary Schools. I stayed in this role for many years and was involved in the creation of the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards, the evolution of the Year 6 library Quiz and the running of the West Midlands heat and 2 UK Finals of the Kid’s Lit Quiz. In this role I was heavily involved in many reading promotion activities, including author events, Book Bouts and the Literally Coventry Book Festival. I am now the Manager of Coventry SLS and my work in giving the children of Coventry many opportunities to enjoy reading continues.

I have been a children’s librarian for 12 years and I love children’s literature and read constantly! I use this book knowledge to recommend books to schools and run a termly reading update service for both our Primary and Secondary schools. I co-wrote a new version of Riveting Reads for age 9-13 (published July 2013) and I am a book reviewer for the School Librarian.


North West

My big confession is that as a child I never really read, certainly not children’s books, I only got into them in my 20’s. Like many converts I then became passionate about them.

I first worked as a Children’s Librarian in Knowsley from 1993 to 1998, covering both Public and School’s Library Services. I then had four years with Halton to broaden my library experience. It was there I realised that I preferred working with children, as there is no bigger buzz than the feedback they provide when they are introduced to new books and authors.

I started working as Children’s Librarian in Cumbria in July 2002. This was something of a baptism of fire as it was the first day of the summer holiday and the library where I was based was having an Open Day for children to launch the Summer Reading Challenge. Although my role has changed over the year, I now also deputise for the Area Library Manager, my first love is still promoting books and reading to children.


East Midlands

I have ten years’ experience of working with children and young people, first teaching English in the Secondary School, then as a Librarian. I am a Chartered Librarian and a qualified mentor with an MA Library and Information Management. During my MA I focused on children’s picture books in my ground breaking dissertation.

I have worked in a huge variety of public libraries large and small throughout my career, including an arts and humanities library, local studies library and many different public libraries as well as a dedicated education library serving Leicestershire Schools. In my job being a bookworm for children’s books is not a guilty pleasure as it gives me the chance to share the best children’s books with parents, teachers and children as well as recording my children’s book review show on local radio.

I am part of the Membership and Awards committee for the UK Literacy Association, judging a variety of literacy teaching and education awards. I am the Secretary for the East Midlands Youth Libraries Group, organising training days, meetings and CKG choices days for the committee and beyond.

The thing I particularly love about my job is the opportunity I can give to children and young people to really feel a passion for books and reading that comes from being involved with their library. I have been lucky enough to work with children and young people who have volunteered for or become involved in the Summer Reading Challenge and to organise children’s events that get everyone reading. The most rewarding aspect is to see their involvement with the library grow and help them to flourish as readers and advocates for reading.


South West

After spending 10 rather unrewarding years working in Guernsey’s finance industry, a tour of the local public library in 2002 changed my life. I was the only person on the tour and ended up chatting to the Chief Librarian about a career in Librarianship. Three months later I started in the Schools’ Library Service as a Liaison Officer, working as a trainee peripatetic librarian in Guernsey’s schools. I also began a distance learning Masters degree in Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University which I completed in 2006. In August 2005 I became the Children’s Librarian at the Guille-Allès Public Library, and have been there ever since. I honestly cannot think of a job I would rather do (apart from professional tennis player, a dream I gave up on around the age of 10). Talking to children and young people about books, encouraging them to try something new, hearing them say ‘Yessss’ when they find the book they are looking for, all contribute to a very rich, rewarding career. Being a Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judge is really the icing on the cake; a huge honour and something I have wanted to do for some time.

The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards CILIP YLG Carnegie UK Trust Renaissance Learning ALCS