CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Reflection on the Autumn Gathering

Category: Blog

The following is a guest blog about the Autumn Gathering from Jan Robertson, City of Glasgow College. 

It was a fantastic experience to attend the CILIPs Autumn gathering this year.  Whilst the programme itself was fairly captivating some of the best stuff always happens in the informal.  The unstructured.  The chit chats.  The observations and snatched words over the stalls and buffet plates. (The realisation on that Elspeth Scott and I had a shared experience of Golspie Library!)

As someone with a particular interest in campaigning and advocacy, in terms of( particularly) libraries and our Public Services it was inspiring again to hear of methods for  influencing decision-makers in a Talk given by Douglas White  (Head of Advocacy Carnegie UK Trust)and Duncan Wright(School Librarian and organiser of Save Scotland’s School Libraries  Group.)  There was quite a sense within the room that indeed we are in the midst of a battle to maintain and take forward a campaign to grow an active lively and relevant Profession – enablers for information sourcing and retrieval.

The current cultural position with its vast array of information – authentic and otherwise was caricatured rather well by Alastair Brian of Ferret Scotland as he shared some of his tactics for unearthing the true/sort of true/fake and sort of fake news stories.

On a more serious and moving note it was a privilege to share the intimate and moving stories and personal histories of those from Buckie.  Professor Peter Reid and Caroline Hood, in painstaking detail explained some of the methods and findings from their Local History project using photos in informal groups and on social media in elucidating responses and creating local memory.

Joe Wilson, with great enthusiasm shared his experiences and future hopes for OER within a Scottish context as well as on the worldwide stage.  With  a firm interest in the position of Further Education it was exciting to hear of the work still to be done, post regionalisation within FE in taking forward OER and the future opportunities that await.

Liz McGettigan offered such a warm welcome and upbeat conclusion to the Gathering, setting the whole experience in a very positive and affirming note for the Library & Information Movement 2017.

Personally, I left feeling more energised and focussed and encouraged by those around me and for the Profession.