Annual CBI Award

The yearly conference also includes the presentation of the annual CBI award. This award is made to an individual or organisation in recognition of an outstanding contribution to children’s books. The recipient is nominated by the members of Children’s Books Ireland in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the reading lives of children in Ireland. In 2017 this award was given to Eason bookseller and children’s buyer David O’Callaghan, presented by Eoin Colfer.

Previous recipients of this award include: lecturer and co-founder of TCD’s mPhil in Popular Literature Amanda Piesse, author and Dun Laoghaire Writer in Residence Sarah Webb, Jane O’Hanlon of Poetry Ireland, author, frmer Laureate na nÓg and publisher Siobhán Parkinson, children’s books journalist and enthusiast Robert Dunbar, retired teacher Irene Barber, Fighting Words, retired teacher Liz Morris, publisher and author Colmán Ó’Raghallaigh and retired librarian Rosemary Hetherington.




CBI Award Winners (Former Summer School Award for Services to Children’s Literature)



1992    Mary Carroll

School librarian in Holy Faith School, Glasnevin, Dublin and activist with the Irish Association of School Librarians

1994    Eilís Dillon

Author, chair of the board of The Irish Children’s Book Trust and chair of the Irish Children’s Book Trust

1996    Rena Dardis, Carolyn Swift and Tony Hickey

Publisher, authors and founders of one of the first publishing houses for children in Ireland, The Children’s Press, Dublin

1998    Pat Donlon

Former librarian of the National Library of Ireland, children’s literature advocate and a founder member of the  Children’s Literature Association of Ireland

2000    Robert Dunbar

Lecturer in English at the Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin, a founder member of The Children’s Literature Association of Ireland, and commentator on children’s books

2002    Valerie Coghlan

Lecturer in children’s literature, librarian, founder member of various children’s literature organisations.

2004    Liz Morris

Primary school teacher, editor and facilitator for children’s book activities

2006    AWARD OF THE DECADE: Michael O’Brien

Publisher at The O’Brien Press, Dublin, founder member of iBbY Ireland and Children’s Books Ireland


Lecturer in English at the Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin, a founder member of The Children’s Literature Association and commentator on children’s books

2007    Clodagh Corcoran

Former children’s books bookseller, founder member of The Irish Children’s Books Trust

2008    Celia Keenan

Lecturer in English at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, established the first Masters  degree in Children’s Literature in Ireland

2009    Rosemary Hetherington

Librarian with Dublin City Libraries with special responsibility for children’s books

2010    Irene Barber

Primary School Teacher, facilitator for children’s book activities

2011    Fighting Words

Creative writing centre for young people established by Roddy Doyle and Seán Love

2012    Colmán Ó Raghallaigh

Publisher with Cló Mhaigh Eo, teacher

2013    Siobhán Parkinson

Author, inaugural Laureate na nÓg 2010-12, publisher with Little Island Books

2014    Jane O’Hanlon

Education officer with Poetry Ireland, teacher

2015    Sarah Webb

Author, children’s book event programmer, bookseller

2016    Amanda Piesse

Senior Lecturer in English, Trinity College Dublin, co-established an MPhil in Children’s Literature in TCD

2017    David O’Callaghan

Easons bookseller, children’s and young adults book buyer and programmer of Deptcon