Two women from Dundee have been recognised with an award from the Scottish Book Trust.
Elaine Hallyburton and Moira Foster have been given the Learning Professional Award, which recognises people who have a strong impact on young persons’ reading culture.
Elaine works as a section manager for the children’s library and information services at Leisure and Culture Dundee, and Moira is an education support officer in the Children and Families Service.
The two women, who have worked together for ten years, unknowingly nominated each other for the award.
Peggy Hughes, Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, called the Dundee duo a “power couple”, saying: “Elaine Hallyburton and Moira Foster work tirelessly to deliver programmes for the benefit and pleasure and of Dundee’s young people.
“They are quite simply an inspirational pair – the best collaborators, reliable and fun and completely trusted by their communities and the teachers and librarians they serve.”
Between Moira and Elaine, hundreds of books have been gifted to children and young carers in deprived areas in the city through The Dundee Wishing Tree, in partnership with Waterstones.
They succeeded in securing School Library Improvement funding for a new festival for secondary schools, The Two Moons Festival, aiming to link literacy with health and wellbeing.
A variety of book events ran across different venues in Dundee for eight weeks in 2019.
The festival was well-received by pupils, staff and authors, and a recent project worked with young people transitioning from P7 to S1.
The Learning Professional Award, now in its fifth year, recognises a teacher or librarian who has had a powerful impact on the reading culture of young people and adults in their community.
Elaine Hallyburton said: “I am absolutely delighted to win the Learning Professional Award, and I am so happy to be sharing it with my lovely colleague and friend, Moira Foster.”
Moira added: “I desperately wanted Elaine to win! To discover we had nominated each other was such a surprise but oddly typical.
“We are such a solid team and great friends. Elaine winning would have been marvellous, winning together is just lovely and we can’t stop grinning!”
Marc Lambert, CEO at Scottish Book Trust, said: “Congratulations to both Elaine and Moira, our first double winners for the Learning Professional Award.
“It is clear from the many colleagues who nominated them that Elaine and Moira are well-respected, and their commitment to establishing reading cultures across schools and libraries in Dundee has inspired many.
“Their strong partnership has had a positive impact on the lives of young people, teachers and librarians, and at Scottish Book Trust we are pleased to recognise their hard work over the last ten years.”