Fife Cultural Trust – Pauline Smeaton

Pauline Smeaton shortlisted for Best Arts Champion - Local Authority or Cultural Trust Worker in 2020 Hearts for the Arts Awards.


Pauline’s passion for literacy and creativity is well recognised within the communities she serves. She has dedicated her 28-year library career to engaging young people in the wonder of books and reading for pleasure. Pauline has 30 schools and 7 libraries within her remit, and her active promotion of libraries and literacy – from babies through to teenagers – has created a much-valued reading ethos. 

Pauline has often been a part of the children’s lives from when they were babies through to adulthood. Everyone knows Pauline and the great work she does! Pauline’s dedication is so well recognised that she recently received the Citizen of the Year Award 2019 from the children and families of Ladybank Primary School. She endeavours to encourage and develop a reading culture and a love for stories, ultimately enriching the lives and opportunities of the young People in North East Fife. 

Pauline continues to do everything in her power to ensure every child in North East Fife has access to the library service in some way. In addition, she has worked very hard to establish and maintain strong relationships with all 30 of her schools, to ensure they have access to our services even when there may be no physical library presence within the communities. This includes Bookbug sessions, accommodating trips to the library, story times, providing access to author events and participating in the annual Big Book Brain Quiz and P.7 Book Awards. Her dedication to providing literary opportunities has resulted in a well-established reading culture which is highly valued within the community.

Pauline is a valued and dedicated employee, who exudes passion and enthusiasm in everything she does. In an area of Fife hit hardest by library closures over the years, Pauline has ensured that the presence of the Library Service and promotion of literacy remains within these affected areas.

What the judges said:

‘Pauline is my personal winner out of this long-list. The main reasons being:
Her work in libraries is so significantly needed, and has been for the past decade really, and  she has been succeeding in keeping libraries and literature in people’s lives, which is no mean feat.

Libraries have suffered in a more extreme way than the arts as a whole and, whilst further suffering for other art forms might sadly be just around the corner, Pauline Smeaton’s work deserves exposure. Her activity is also very focussed on schools and on children. Arts in education may continue to suffer over the coming years, but the way in which Pauline ensures access to books will be a sure-fire way of ensuring the education, literacy, freedom and independence of young people in her local area.’

Photo credit: ONFife (Fife Cultural Trust)