Raising awareness of books for the under-fives and the benefits and joy that can be found from sharing stories with children in this age group will be top of the agenda in Lancashire County Council's libraries during April and May.
The project, which started in 2011, is an early years book award called The Lancashire Share a Story Awards and participating venues include Lancaster, Morecambe, Garstang and other local libraries.
Libraries in every district of the county can choose to focus on one of three categories of books: Books for Babies; for Toddlers; and for Pre-school children.
"The Lancashire Share a Story Awards is a hugely important initiative," says Jillian Connolly, Lancashire County Council's reading and learning manager for children and families. "Talking and reading to children from an early age plays a vital role in their development, particularly when it comes to developing their communication and language skills.
"Stories and rhymes are a great way to help this development along and it also acts as a wonderful bonding opportunity.
"There are four books shortlisted for each category. Parents, grandparents, carers, nurseries and reception classes are encouraged to take part, read the four titles with their child and vote for their favourite one.
"The books chosen all have an interactive element to them, which makes them good for reading aloud and sharing."
The participating libraries will be promoting the awards in their branches and communities and will be organising special events to link in with the project.
Libraries will all be holding a celebratory event in the week beginning 3rd June, after the county winners have been announced.
• More information on the Share a Story Awards initiative is available online at www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries
Baby Category Branches
Toddler Category Branches
Pre-School Category Branches