Spotlight On: Sharron Brown
'Spotlight On' gives you the chance to learn more about the work of Bookbug Co-ordinators, publishers and illustrators connected to the Bookbug programme.This month, Sharron Brown, Bookbug Co-ordinator for Fife, answers some questions about her role.
Tell us about who you are and what you do in your area
As well as being the Bookbug Co-ordinator for Fife, I am also Young People’s Services Officer for Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath and Glenrothes area libraries.
I qualified as a Chartered Librarian in 2006 and in that time I have worked in various library sectors. My interest in promoting reading and literacy initiatives to children and young people really began when I was a school librarian in Edinburgh. Along with the Bookbug Co-ordinator role, I also spend my working day ensuring that the stock in libraries is of a high standard and developing ways to make the library an exciting place to be.
I really enjoy working with children and young people. It always makes me smile to see the enthusiasm, excitement and laughter a child can get out of a book or a visit to the library.
What is the highlight of your job?
The main highlight of my job would be when I get to work with children and young people, whether this is leading a Bookbug session or talking to a school group. A really rewarding aspect of leading Bookbug Sessions is the pure enjoyment that you can see on a child’s face. Often, when they see the lycra coming out they just cannot contain their excitement because they know exactly what is coming next; songs, rhymes and fun!
It is also great to be involved with a programme like Bookbug. Although it is packaged as pure enjoyment to children, the long term rewards and benefits to the child can be so much more significant.
What is your favourite aspect of the Bookbug programme?
I think my favourite aspect about the Bookbug programme is that it has the potential to make such a difference in a child’s life. Through play, stories and songs you are developing a child’s social skills, relationships, speech and language as well as their emotional and physical wellbeing.
To me, the Bookbug programme means a way of helping children get a really good start in life and fostering a love of reading and books from a very early age.
Are there any Early Years issues you feel passionate about?
I think it would have to be the importance of children being read to from an early age and the advantages that this can bring throughout their life, as various studies have shown. I love the idea that reading to a child can not only help them academically and socially, but moreover it can give them the choice to become an independent reader later in life purely for enjoyment.
All of this can be achieved despite the parents' own reading ability and any other social disadvantages that may or may not be a potential barrier to the child growing up to lead a fulfilling life.
What’s next for the Bookbug programme in your area?
I hope it goes from strength to strength with more sessions being offered, continued good attendance and even more confident and well trained session leaders that enjoy and value the good work they are doing. It would be great to also reach out to families and children that otherwise would not get the opportunity to take part in sessions and reap the benefits that it brings.