Highlights from the Bookbug Annual Conference 2013

Bookbug Annual Conference
Category: Bookbug

On 14 March 2013, the Bookbug Annual conference brought together 140 delegates from all areas of Scotland. The theme of the conference was Bookbug for All.  The keynote speakers of the day focused on celebrating the Bookbug programme and encouraging inclusive practice; these are some of the highlights from what the speakers had to say:

Stuart Robb, from the Scottish Government Early Years Division, spoke about the government’s continued commitment to supporting the early years and ensuring that every child across Scotland has a love of books and reading. This is all part of the plan to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.

Suzanne Zeedyk (pictured top) gave us a light-hearted approach to some serious issues. She talked about the role of laughter in helping to develop stronger relationships and foster positive development in families. Suzanne showed this clip of a parent singing to their child and the child’s response singing back! You can watch more of Suzanne's 'Connected Baby' clips here.

Verna Wilkins from Tamarind Books spoke about diversity in picture books. She highlighted the need for all children to see themselves reflected in picture books. She charmed us with wit and humour as she recounted her story of writing children’s books and finding her feet in the publishing industry. Tamarind Books is now integrated into Random House Children’ Publishers UK and still very much strives to promote diversity across picture books so that all children can see themselves in the picture.

Bookbug Co-ordinators get into the spirit of singing
This year, Bookbug has embarked on a special project to engage families who may not be attending Bookbug at their local library. The Assertive Outreach programme piloted this year in 8 local authorities across Scotland and Assertive Outreach Manager Heather Stirton gave the delegates an overview of the success of the first year. Guest speaker Emma Richardson from the Star Project in Paisley then talked about how their organisation uses Bookbug to help support families and the visually noticeable impact it has had for families.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine any day about Bookbug without singing. The conference came to a close with a Bookbug Session lead by Paul Kane. It was quite possibly the biggest Bookbug Session without children present! It was lovely to see 140 adults singing, rhyming and reading along.

The Bookbug Annual Conference was a big success. Our speakers, our exhibitors and our delegates all came together to ensure that we strive to build a culture where every family across Scotland is supported and included and every child across Scotland develops a lifelong love of books and reading.

You can see some more photographs from the conference on the Bookbug Facebook page

Tracy Lowe

Tracy Lowe is the Senior Early Years Trainer at Scottish Book Trust.