Scottish Book Trust, Bookbug

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Programme name Country Date of information
Bookbug Scotland 01 July 2019
Question Answer
About the Organisation  
Organisation name Scottish Book Trust
Organisation address Sandeman House, Trunk’s Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
Goal/objective Inspire a love of reading and writing across Scotland
Contact Person Catriona Wallace
Position of Contact Person Head of Early Years
Contact email  
Contact Telephone Number  
Organisation website
Organisation type Charity
How many staff does your organisation employ? Around 50
About the Programme  
Basic details  
Programme name Bookbug
Country/Province/City where the programme takes place Across all 32 local authorities in Scotland
Year started 2009 (previous to this we were part of Book Trust UK)
Programme goal/objective Encourage and support families to share books, talk, sing and cuddle with their children from birth.
Funding sources Scottish Government. Creative Scotland. A couple of other specific funding streams e.g. Bord na Gaidhlig
Geographic coverage All 32 Scottish local authorities
Are you involved in any other comparable networks? Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – we administrate their programme which provides a book per month to every Looked After and adopted child in Scotland.
Purpose of the programme  
Not for profit? Not for profit
Religious or political purpose? None
Local consistency of model  
Is your programme model consistent across your geographic area, or are there regional differences? Consistent: Our programme is consistent in that Bookbug Bags are gifted to all children in Scotland and Bookbug Sessions take place in all 32 local authorities. There are however, regional differences in the ways this happens (eg. distribution of Baby and Toddler bags can be through NHS or through libraries; some areas have Bookbug Steering Groups, others don’t; also a lot of variation in the amount of time local Bookbug Co-ordinators have to devote to Bookbug etc)
Book Packs  
What are the contents of your gifting pack? Bookbug Baby Bag. 3 board books, Calendar, Music CD, Postcard linking to our Song & rhyme library.
Bookbug Toddler Bag. 3 books (mixture of board and picture), Drawing pad and crayons, Song & rhyme booklet, Height Chart, Music CD, Postcard linking to our Song & rhyme library.
Bookbug Explorer Bag. 3 picture books, Activity Book and coloured pencils, Postcards, Parent Leaflet, Postcard linking to our Song & rhyme library.
Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag. 3 picture books (shortlisted for Bookbug Picture Book Prize). Activity Book and colouring pencils, Whiteboard and magnetic numbers.
Gaelic Bookbug Bags. There are Gaelic versions of each of the Bookbug Bags which include Gaelic translations of the books and accompanying leaflet in Gaelic.
Scottish Government Baby Box. We also include 2 board books in the Scottish Government’s Baby Box scheme which goes out to families before their babies are born.
Is your programme offered free of charge to all families? Yes
Partnerships and Delivery  
What are your primary ‘points of contact’ with the population you serve? Library, Community centre, Health clinic (specifically health visitors), School, Nurseries
Who gifts/hands-out your pack to families?   healthcare workers (usually health visitors, also neonatal staff), librarians, nursery school staff, volunteers, Primary 1 teachers
Please list your other programme partnerships. – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. We administrate their programme which gifts a book per month to every Looked After and adopted child in Scotland.
– Play@Home (NHS Health Scotland). We cross-promote (eg messages in our Baby Calendar) and sit on their Play Leads meeting.
– Play Talk Read bus. We provide training for their staff and give them resources for their buses.
– Libraries Early Years Strategy Group. We have representation on this group and they feed into developments in the Bookbug programme.
– SiMBA (Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal). We provided books for their memory boxes which are given to families who lose a baby during pregnancy.
If your programme uses volunteers, please give some more details. We don’t directly use volunteers but some local authorities use volunteers to partially run aspect of the Bookbug programme (eg. run or support Bookbug Sessions)
Is the programme universal or targeted? Both. We are universal in that the bags go out to everyone and the Sessions are open to all. However, we also have an Outreach programme which targets families who need more support. We mainly do this through our Bookbug for the Home programme which trains professionals and volunteers who work 1/1 with families (eg. social workers, family support workers)
How many children does your programme serve a year? 240,000 children receive Bookbug Bags every year.
At what age/gifting period do children receive your programme. Prenatal (through the Baby Box), Birth -6 months (Baby Bag gifted between 3-5 weeks); 12 – 24 months (Toddler Bag gifted between 12-14 months); 2-4 years (Explorer Bag gifted to 3 year olds at nursery); 5 year olds gifted P1 Family Bag
Diversity provision  
Does your program include provisions or resources for children with special needs? Yes, we have a supply of tactile books for children with ASN. These can be requested. We also have resources on our website with advice on sharing books, songs and rhymes with children with different needs.  
What language populations does your programme serve? English, Gaelic. We also have Bookbug information leaflets translated into the top 9 community languages in Scotland (Arabic, Bengali, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, Polish, Romanian). We are in the process of updating these.
Evaluation and research  
Have you conducted programme evaluation or research (including longitudinal)? If yes, has this evaluation/research been published?  Impact Study of Bookbug Bags and Sessions published in 2017. Details on our website here . Evaluation of our Outreach programme available here
Further information or comments  
Please give us any further information that would be helpful for understanding your programme In January 2019 we launched the Bookbug App which includes songs and rhymes as well as a Bookbug Session finder. In the first few months achieved over 11,000 downloads, and over 280,000 songs and rhymes were listened to. We will be developing the app further this year.   We have also been doing quite a bit of work antenatally and have produced an album of music for parents to listen to before their baby is born. We are evaluating this at the moment.


Videos and Powerpoints

25 March 2021 – Additional Needs

Kirsty Sinclair: Scottish Book Trust, Bookbug, Scotland

Nov 2019 – Best practice quality bookgifting

Catriona Wallace: Scottish Book Trust –  ‘Quality Bookgifting: a recent impact study and learning what works’

July 2020 – Targeting the hard to reach

Catriona Wallace and Celia Richards: Scottish Book Trust, Scotland – Bookbug for the Home: Bookbug isn’t just a literacy programme, Bookbug builds families