Bookbug Sessions Launch in Glasgow

Category: Press Releases

Bookbug Sessions have begun in libraries across Glasgow in partnership with Glasgow Life, following a family event at Library at The Bridge, Easterhouse on Sunday (29 July).

The Bookbug Sessions, part of Scottish Book Trust’s early years programme, are inclusive and welcoming, free, fun-filled story, song and rhyme events for babies to four-year-olds and their families.

Thousands of parents and children across Scotland attend sessions every year and, from today, they will be available in 23 libraries in Glasgow. Bookbug Sessions will be run in all of the city’s 33 libraries by March 2019.

Special Bookbug Sessions will also be held in the Family Zone area at the European Championships in Glasgow, giving families the chance to drop in and experience the fun for themselves.

Bookbug is delivered by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, and is funded by the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative.

The Bookbug programme encourages mums, dads and carers to sing and share stories with their children from birth. It gives every child in Scotland four free bags of books in their first 5 years, gifting over 700,000 books every year, of which around 18,000 bags are received by families in Glasgow each year. Bookbug sessions are run regularly in libraries, shopping centres and other community venues throughout Scotland, and attracted audiences of over half a million parents and children in 2017-18.

Sharing songs, rhymes and stories with children has many positive benefits. It supports speech, language and brain development, as well as social and emotional skills. Bookbug Sessions also provide an opportunity for parents and care-givers to meet others, and build confidence in singing and storytelling with their child at home.

A recent Bookbug evaluation found that parents made good friends through the programme, and those whose second language is English found Bookbug Sessions were a great way to integrate themselves into the local community¹.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Sharing songs and rhymes with babies and young children is a really lovely way to spend time together. It’s a simple and effective way for children and parents to bond and also has many well-documented therapeutic benefits, from helping parent and child to relax, to encouraging all kinds of developmental progress.

“We are delighted Bookbug Sessions are now running in Glasgow where more families will have the opportunity to take part in these wonderful free events. Look out for information in your local library to find out where your nearest session is.”


Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Here in Glasgow thousands of children aged 0-4 enjoy the benefits of library membership and I’m delighted that we will now be offering Bookbug sessions in Glasgow Libraries to help them explore the wonder of books, stories and songs.

“We know that parents might not always have time to visit their local library but with 15 sessions already up and running and more planned, including twilight and Saturday sessions, I hope that Bookbug will offer plenty of opportunities for families across Glasgow to come along and enjoy learning and playing together.”

Emma Campbell, Youth Music Initiative Manager said: “Bookbug sessions are a brilliant way for families to learn new songs and rhymes together, putting music and stories at the heart of children’s early development. We’re thrilled to support Bookbug in Glasgow and across Scotland through Youth Music Initiative funding. We’re looking forward to seeing even more families enjoying the benefits of this fantastic programme following the launch of the Glasgow sessions.”

Glasgow’s new Bookbug sessions will replace the popular Bounce & Rhyme activities for 0-2 year olds in the city’s libraries, extending the offer to the city’s 0-4 year olds.

The introduction of Bookbug complements a number of services already offered to pre-5s and their parents throughout the city’s libraries including Toddlers Tales, breast feeding support groups and multiple birth groups. A number of partner-funded Bounce & Rhyme sessions will also continue to be offered at selected libraries.

To find your nearest Bookbug session, or to explore what else is on offer for pre-5s in your local Glasgow Library, please visit



Notes to Editors

¹ Bookbug evaluation conducted by the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.

For media enquiries please contact Keara Donnachie, PR Officer at Scottish Book Trust, on or 0131 524 0184.


Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.   @scottishbktrust



The Bookbug programme is managed by Scottish Book Trust and run in partnership with libraries, health professionals and nurseries. The programme benefits from sponsorship from children’s publishers and central funding from the Scottish Government through a grant from the Children and Families Directorate. Bookbug also receives support from Local Authorities, Library Services and Health Boards through the provision of local staff time and logistics solutions.

Bookbug Sessions are run by local libraries and community groups. Over 23,000 Bookbug Sessions happen across Scotland every year. These are free, fun-filled story and rhyme sessions for babies to four-year-olds, attended by thousands of parents and children a year. Details of local Bookbug Sessions can be found here.

Bookbug’s targeted outreach programme, Bookbug for the Home, trains Early Years practitioners to give support to families on a one-to-one basis. Since 2012, Bookbug for the Home has helped over 14,000 families, encouraging parents to do more talking, book sharing and singing with their children.

Scottish Book Trust also supports the delivery of Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Scotland (free books delivered monthly to every Looked After Child aged 0-5).



Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit  Follow us @creativescots and


Glasgow Life

Glasgow Life is a charity owned by Glasgow City Council which delivers services to both citizens and visitors to the city, providing opportunities through culture, sport and learning. Last year, more than 18 million attendances were recorded at venues, events and festivals – up more than one third since 2007. Nearly 3,000 staff and 2,200 volunteers deliver services across 160 Glasgow Life venues.

Glasgow Life has responsibility for:

  • Managing nine award-winning civic museums, including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Riverside Museum and the Burrell Collection as well as the Kelvin Hall;
  • The Glasgow Club – Scotland’s largest health and fitness network – including landmarks such as the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre;
  • The Mitchell Library, 32 Community Libraries and 29 school libraries as well as community facilities across the city and a significant learning programme;
  • Programming world-class music in venues such as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, incredible art and exhibitions at Tramway and a number of cultural events, such as Celtic Connections, the Mela, the World Pipe Band Championships and the Merchant City Festival, among others;
  • Leading partners in the delivery of Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023; positioning the city as a vibrant, first-choice destination for leisure and business tourists;
  • Managing the city’s destination marketing and implementing the award-winning PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand;
  • Managing Glasgow’s Convention Bureau, which attracts more than 500 conferences to the city each year.