Rochdale Council librarian Irene Peachy is celebrating again after officially receiving her award for decades of promoting reading to youngsters.

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Irene received the national ‘BookStart Baby Gifting’ gong at a packed Heywood Library.

Irene celebrates her award

The beautifully-crafted award was formally handed over to Irene by Sharon Palmer-Johnston of BookStart and the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ian Duckworth.

Dozens of parents and their young children were also present to witness the specially convened ceremony.  It is the latest chapter in Irene’s 40 year career helping children develop a love of books and reading.

She has dedicated her life to sharing books, songs and rhymes with thousands of babies and pre-schoolers across the borough of Rochdale and beyond.

Councillor Janet Emsley, council cabinet member for libraries, said: “It was lovely to see Irene officially receive her well-deserved reward.She is so popular with children and their parents and does an amazing job to promote a love of reading to children. The council is lucky to have Irene and long may she continue to be the face of storytelling across the borough’s 17 libraries.”

Diana Gerald, chief executive of BookTrust, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to present Irene with the Baby Gifting Partner Award. Irene has worked tirelessly in Rochdale and her Bookstart sessions are incredibly popular. BookTrust is privileged to recognise Irene’s hard work, dedication and enthusiasm to Bookstart and making the stories, rhymes and songs fun and engaging.”
Irene said: “It was so humbling to be presented with the award and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces watch it being presented. I have loved every minute of my time in Rochdale and I am hoping to carry on for a few more years yet.”

For more information about this story, please contact Rochdale Borough Council’s media team on 01706 926002 or


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