Solihull librarian shortlisted for prestigious national award


Solihull Heritage and Local Studies librarian Tracey Williams has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award which celebrates the achievements of library workers.

The Libraries Connected Awards recognise individuals or teams that have had an exceptional impact on their library service, library users or their local communities. The Awards are organised by Libraries Connected, the independent charity representing public library services across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies.

Well known in Solihull for her local history expertise, Tracey has been shortlisted in the Culture and Creativity category for her work in setting up a Young Archaeologists Club (YAC) in November 2021 after working with archaeologists on the HS2 site in Coleshill.  By working with YAC, Tracey has brought local history and heritage to a younger generation in an innovative way, hoping to inspire children to seek careers in local history and archaeology.

The shortlisted nominations will now be considered by an expert panel of judges including celebrated crime writer Priscilla Masters and children’s author Cathy Cassidy. They will be joined by judges from Arts Council England, The Reading Agency, BBC Arts and library app developer OverDrive, creator of the Libby and Sora reading apps. The winners will be announced in June at a ceremony during the Libraries Connected annual seminar in Bedfordshire.

The Awards are sponsored by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, and creator of the award-winning library reading app, Libby.

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Leisure, Cllr Diane Howell, said:

“Congratulations to Tracey for making the shortlist in this prestigious national award. Tracey has spearheaded all sorts of local history initiatives from her regular local history blogs to work on an historical virtual fly through of Solihull’s High Street with a local resident so it comes as no surprise to me that she would seek to nurture young people’s interest in archaeology too. I wish her well and will be keeping everything crossed for a win.”

Isobel Hunter MBE, chief executive of Libraries Connected, said:

“Congratulations to everybody who made the shortlist this year in a very competitive field. The Libraries Connected Awards put the spotlight on some of the amazing staff that make the libraries sector so vibrant and inspiring. It’s so important that we recognise the incredible achievements of library workers who show such dedication, creativity and innovation every day.”

Nick Forster, regional manager at OverDrive, said:

“On behalf of the OverDrive team I want to congratulate all the shortlisted nominees. It’s important to recognise the achievements of library services and their staff because their work is so essential to our communities throughout the country. We’re excited to sponsor the Awards again and are looking forward to the ceremony later this year.”