Steel and Butler join Reading Agency

Steel and Butler join Reading Agency

The Reading Agency has appointed former librarian Louisa Steel as head of engagement (adults) and Hayley Butler as head of marketing . 

The charity said the new appointments will support The Reading Agency's mission to ensure everyone across the UK is reading their way to a better life.

Steel (pictured left) joins The Reading Agency in February from Essex Libraries, and brings with her a wealth of experience of the library sector and reader development. As a chartered librarian for nearly 30 years, she has strong skills and a breadth and depth of direct experience of the impact of The Reading Agency’s work, said the charity. Her most recent role has been as customer partner, outreach and engagement lead with responsibility for library services to adults. Before that she spent three years as reader development and access manager, ensuring library services reach under-represented groups and managed the library provision at HMP/YOI Chelmsford. She has also spent five years as an adviser to the Essex Book Festival Board.

Reading Agency trustee Subnum Hariff said: "We’re delighted with the appointment of Louisa Steel. As a passionate and experienced librarian delivering innovative services to the vulnerable and hard to reach, I believe Louisa will bring a wealth of insight and new approaches to The Reading Agency's work."

Steel added: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take on this role at The Reading Agency. As a librarian, books and reading have always been an integral part of my life, and I’m passionate about the power of reading and the positive impact it can have on people’s lives. My recent experience of the prison library sector has only reinforced my views and I have seen first-hand how lives can be changed through improved literacy and reading for pleasure.”

Butler, who has spent the last six years working as head of marketing and communications at War Arts, joined The Reading agency last month. She has worked in a variety of sectors including recruitment, events, arts and culture. 

She said: "I believe that reading is fundamental, transformational and that everyone deserves the opportunity to be empowered and inspired by reading. I am going to work with the team to take The Reading Agency’s brand to the next level, amplifying the great work that is happening and creating opportunities for The Reading Agency to impact even more people across the UK."

Miki Lentin, trustee of The Reading Agency, said: "The Reading Agency plays a critical role in inspiring people to read to a better life. As the charity broadens its programmes to encourage more people to engage with its offer, I am delighted that it has appointed Hayley Butler as the new head of marketing and communications. Hayley comes with a wealth of experience, but more importantly brings an eagerness and enthusiasm to the task of ensuring that The Reading Agency’s communications and marketing creates greater impact."