Dudley Library Manager, Sharon Whitehouse, is a finalist in the Library or Librarian of the Year category for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Industry Awards for 2022. The awards celebrate the hard work and talent of any person, group or organisation who has championed the broad genre of romantic fiction in a positive way.

Sharon has been a librarian working for Dudley Libraries at various libraries in the borough for 37 years. Currently, she is the Library Manager for Dudley and Gornal libraries. She loves her role and is passionate about the library service, ensuring all library customers have an excellent library experience. She particularly enjoys organising library events and has arranged numerous author talks, ghost story evenings, local theatre performances, and recently divination and palm reading evenings. In Sharon’s free time she enjoys gardening, visiting National Trust properties and gardens, and reading romantic novels and watching romantic films!

She commented, ‘I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the RNA Library or Librarian of the Year award. It is the first time in a long career that I have been recognised for my work and it means a great deal to me. Dudley Libraries strives to promote the work of romantic fiction authors, which is hugely popular with our customers, and we are always happy to welcome authors of romantic fiction into our libraries to talk to our customers, who are thrilled to meet their favourite authors face to face.’

Laura James, the RNA Industry Awards organiser, added, ‘I congratulate each and every finalist and thank them and the industry for the unwavering love they show writers and readers of romantic fiction.’

The awards have been held for the past eight years and are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. The finalists are nominated by the full and probationary membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, with a panel of independent judges selecting the shortlists.

The award categories are: The Romantic Bookseller of the Year, Inclusion Award, Indie Champion of the Year, Library or Librarian of the Year, Indie Editor of the Year, Cover Designer of the Year, Narrator of the Year, Media Star of the Year, Agent of the Year, and Publisher and / or Editor of the Year.

The winners of the ten awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Friday 11th November 2022 at 6.30pm.

Sharon writes: ‘I was a complete bookworm as a child and the local library was my second home where I spent many happy hours choosing Enid Blyton and Elinor M Brent-Dyer stories. When it came to deciding on a career, I knew that I wanted to train to become a librarian so that I could share my love of reading with other people and enthuse everyone to escape their daily lives for a while with a magical story.’

This year’s awards are sponsored by ProWritingAid, a manuscript editing software programme with in-app video learning for writers.

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