Beeslack High School librarian books herself a national award

Deena Wren, librarian at Beeslack Community High School, with her Learning Professional Award, at the Scottish Book Trust Awards. Photo by Alasdair Watson Photography.
Deena Wren, librarian at Beeslack Community High School, with her Learning Professional Award, at the Scottish Book Trust Awards. Photo by Alasdair Watson Photography.

A high school librarian was last week recognised for her work, picking up the ‘Learning Professional Award’ at the Scottish Book Trust Awards.

Deena Wren, librarian at Beeslack Community High School, was given the award in recognition of more than 10 years of service promoting reading for pleasure.

Deena sits on the senior management team at Beeslack Community High School. She started a ‘Read for the Future Programme’ across the school, which involves pupils keeping a reading journal.

Deena also ensures that teachers in the school are involved, so that reading is modelled around the school.

Celebrations for National Poetry Day, World Book Day and Harry Potter Day are used to remind both pupils and staff to share a love of reading.

Deena said: “I’m so honoured, as a school librarian, to receive this accolade and truly humbled that so many of my colleagues and students had taken the time to put me forward. This really means a great deal to me.

“I learnt, very young, the power and pleasure of reading and it has been my passion ever since. Readers like me know that finding the ‘right’ book can change lives and it has been my privilege throughout the years to try to help young people to discover theirs.”

As the library is also used as a teaching space, Deena is often included in lessons, promoting collaborative working across the curriculum.

Deena was nominated for the award by her colleague, English teacher Karen Atherton. Karen said: “As a librarian, Deena goes above and beyond her role. She inspires a love of reading with her personal knowledge of books and through her amazing ‘Read for the Future’ programme.

“In addition, Deena has produced and delivered wonderful literacy classes that children remember even years later.

“The sheer popularity of reading in the school speaks for itself: the library is packed all the time.

“Every pupil has been supported by Deena – she’s the beating heart of the school.”

Deena also organises author visits, including from Theresa Breslin, who also picked up an award last week. Using Theresa’s novel Whispers of the Past, Deena put together a slideshow to showcase the pupils’ work, including images, videos and creative writing.

The Scottish Book Trust Awards took place at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, with guests including authors, teaching professionals, and representatives from publishing, libraries, the Scottish Government and BBC Scotland Learning.