CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year 2019

Our 2018 winner Shelagh Toonen. Photo: Charlie Sherry

We can now reveal that the following three people are on the shortlist for Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year 2019, sponsored by Bolinda. The winner will be announced at the CILIPS Conference dinner on June 3rd.

Fiona Laing, Official Publications Curator in Collections and Research, National Library of Scotland

Fiona’s role is to ensure that the National Library holds a comprehensive collection of publications from not just the Westminster Parliament, Scottish Parliament and the devolved assemblies but their respective government departments and agencies, as well as some intergovernmental bodies, either in print or in digital format.

In the past year she has delivered the Scottish School Examination Papers Digitisation project which has seen a full collection of examination papers from 1888 to the current day made available online. Fiona worked tirelessly to get this project off the ground. It was successfully delivered in 2018 to widespread acclaim, not only for the digitisation of the papers but also the engaging launch events.

Fiona has also overseen the development of a new website for Scottish Working Forum on Official Publications (SWOP) as well as being the Chair of the group, organising meetings, posting on the website and being active on social media. Via the network Fiona also promotes official publications and libraries, extending the network wider, through talks, visits and collaborative partnerships. Fiona’s expertise in Official Publications and work with NLS / SWOP, led to her being asked to become Vice -Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Publications (SCOOP). She is now actively engaged in trying to widen the membership and has introduced live video link technology to enable wider participation in meetings.

Fiona has also been visiting ‘Collaborative Partner’ organisations facilitating Legal Deposit of website content (and some printed items) directly with NLS. This has resulted in over 8,000 items which might otherwise have been lost to the NLS.

Martina McChrystal, Director of Library Services, University of Glasgow Library

Martina was asked by the Scottish Government and COSLA to lead a School Library National Advisory Group to create the first National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland. This was a major piece of work and involved consultation with many stakeholders. In particular, Martina was committed to hearing from school pupils themselves about the importance of these services to them and hundreds of Scottish pupils helped to shape the strategy.

Martina led this work with sensitivity and thoughtfulness, and a strategy has been created which has garnered wide support from schools, library staff, local government and national government. She was commended for her leadership in developing the strategy by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister. This work was all carried out on top of Martina’s extremely busy role at the University.

Calum Smith, School Librarian, Larbert High School

As an experienced School Librarian of 30 years, Calum Smith has demonstrated an incredible commitment to the pupils, staff and wide-ranging learning responsibilities at Larbert High School. In his 6 years at the school, he has been at the heart of a significant revitalisation in the library providing many opportunities for young people to develop their reading across the school cluster. In addition to organising numerous author visits and workshops, Calum has established a number of popular niche clubs such as Manga Club and STEM Book Group and has created capacity for leadership through the Library Committee – a board of pupils who help to manage the library and proudly promote reading throughout the school.

Continuously aspiring to engage pupils with reading in new and inventive ways, Calum is remarkably active on social media sharing outstanding practice and connecting with the local community by promoting innovative literary initiatives. He recently hosted a series of whole school assemblies promoting a reading culture and is also a trained teacher skillfully developing and delivering creative vocabulary lessons for S1-3 whilst promoting information, evaluation and search & retrieval skills. Proactively concerned with pupil health and wellbeing, he has recently qualified as a Seasons for Growth Companion delivering the programme in the school. The library has developed into a vibrant, ever-evolving learning hub and one that our pupils unanimously appreciate; Calum is at the heart of this transformation and provides pupils with inexhaustible opportunities to engage with reading and learning on a daily basis.

In addition to our shortlist we had an extremely strong list of nominees that you can read about here.

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