Farnsfield Library

Published 30th June 2023

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The winners from the 2021-23 Inspire Awards were unveiled last night at Inspire’s outstanding awards evening held at Mansfield Central Library. The bi-annual event, which recognises the individuals, teams, partners and organisations who have made a significant impact through their work with Inspire, once again celebrated the talent and dedication of staff through its people categories, and the innovative partner projects which have taken place across libraries and Inspire venues over the last two years. 

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The response to this year's Inspire Awards has been overwhelming, attracting just under 250 nominee submissions from members of the public, learners, and colleagues across Inspire. The shortlist for this year included key partners such as Miner2Major, a five-year landscape partnership scheme supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Imperial War Museums and Inspire Youth Arts. The latter were recognised for their involvement with ‘The Mother of Tension’ project, a contemporary dance-theatre performance themed on conflict and war. Additionally, Inspire’s LAND/NG project also made it into the shortlist, a public art commission and short film led by curators and producers Kate Stoddart, Jo Wheeler and artist Hetain Patel centered on Bassetlaw’s Mayflower story. Among the thirteen award categories, the winners include:

Adult Learner of the Year: Isabel O’Brien

Inspiration to Me: Louise Spence

Creativity and Innovation: The Mother of Tension

Customer Service Excellence: Becky Ross

Innovative Partnership: Miner2Major

Inspired to Create: LAND/NG

Inspiring Reading: Michelle Dunstan (I Am A Reader project)

New Starter of the Year: Alex McDaid

Tutor of the Year: Donna Dunn

Unsung Hero: Callum Winterton

Volunteer of the Year: Peter Otter

Young Person Greatest Learning Journey: Alicia Smith

Chief Executive Award: 'Immersion', Light Night 2021 & 2022, and Andy Dawson


Inspire’s Education Library Service team were also present on the night to announce the winners of its InspiREAD 2023 awards programme for children’s books and authors. Just under 800 young readers, school pupils and members of the public voted over the last two months for their favourite Picture Book, Shorter Novel and Longer Novel of the year from a shortlist selected by the ELS team, with an aim to encourage children and families to read for pleasure. The winners included ‘I Did See a Mammoth’ by Alex Willmore, ‘Grimwood’ by Nadia Shireen and ‘Sleepover Takeover’ by Simon James Green, whose outstanding stories captivated the imaginations of younger readers. 

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