CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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CILIPS in 2019 – Year in Review

Category: Blog

Conference delegate holds up two CILIPS Tote bags

We have had a really exciting and busy year and as it draws to a close we wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on 2019 and to look ahead to 2020. Each year we aim to do work in different areas such as advocating for the profession, providing support for our members, and running different events and initiatives to support the development of the library and information workforce in Scotland. Read on to find out more about some of the work that we have been up to this year.


We have been continuing to respond to consultations and proposals to make changes to library service provision across Scotland. This year, we have written to a number of different councils including Aberdeen City Council, CultureNL, and most recently to Inverclyde Council. These open letters allow us to advocate for libraries and outline to Councils the vast amount of evidence demonstrating why libraries are essential. You can read all of our consultation responses here. As far as we know, no public libraries have closed in Scotland this year which is great. However, we also know that there have been other more hidden cuts to staffing, opening hours, and resources and we will continue to advocate for proper funding of libraries into 2020.

""This year, we took to social media during Libraries Week to run #Library5 on Twitter which asked libraries and library/information professionals to share news about and pictures of their library service around a daily theme. This was a hugely positive campaign and our Twitter feed was jam-packed with posts celebrating libraries, their resources, and staff. Everything that was shared highlighted the amazing work that happens every day in libraries. We have compiled our favourite Tweets from each day on our website so you can relive the week whenever you want.

During Libraries Week we also worked with three library campaigners to bring you blogs on Campaigning for Libraries. These include lots of tips and advice for anybody who is looking to start advocating for libraries.

Lastly, we updated the advocacy pages on our website. These now include an up-to-date evidence bank with information that can be used to advocate for libraries. Also available are guides on submitting Freedom of Information Requests, starting a petition, using the IFLA Library Map of the World, and on how to access the latest research from the library and information field. We hope this advocacy hub will be useful for anybody working to demonstrate the value of libraries. We will be continually adding to these pages – if you have been doing any work that you think should appear in them then please get in touch, we are always keen to gather evidence and case studies.

Workforce Development and Events

A large part of our role is to support our members and the wider workforce in Scotland. To this end, 2019 saw us running and supporting a number of events.

We ran a professional registration event in April and another of these is scheduled for March next year. These are for people who are undertaking Certification, Chartership or Fellowship and look at building portfolios, the role of the mentor, and an overview from a CILIP Assessor.

Fiona Laing

Fiona Laing wins the Library and Information Professional of the year 2019 award at our Conference in June. Photo by Charlie Sherry.

Additionally, we have run a number of events that focus on developing skills and knowledge. For example, we have welcomed Ned Potter to Scotland twice to deliver Better Social Media for Libraries workshops. These have been really successful, with attendees developing a skill now crucial for many roles. We also ran a Career Evening for New Professionals in partnership with West Branch in November. This event brought together students and people in the early stage of their career to hear from people working in different library and information sectors. Plenty of advice was shared on issues such as looking for jobs and key skills to develop for different areas of the profession.

Our sold-out Conference in June was another opportunity for those attending to network and engage in CPD. This event featured talks on key issues currently affecting the sector such as health literacy, the national strategy for public libraries, libraries and the work they do to end loneliness, GDPR, and Open Access and Plan S. Some of the highlights were the inspiring keynote speech from Jane Cowell, CEO of Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service in Australia, who spoke about innovation in public libraries and crowning Fiona Laing as Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year. Our 2019 President Yvonne Manning did a brilliant job of leading the 2 days under her theme of Courage, Laughter and Innovation.

Delegates listening to a talk at CILIPS Autumn Gathering

CILIPS Autumn Gathering at Perth Theatre, 23rd October 2019. Photo by Craig Stephen Photography

Similarly, our Autumn Gathering in October was a sell-out and a very positive day, covering issues such as Coworking Hubs in Scottish public libraries, Additional Support Needs Reading Groups, Kindness in libraries, and the health and wellbeing joint action plan between libraries, health and social care, and the ALLIANCE. We also had great keynotes from Joseph Coelho on his Library Marathon, Dr Sarah Morton on using evidence to demonstrate your value, and Cartherine Stihler OBE on how Open Knowledge informs democracy.

As well as running our own conferences and events, we also supported others. For example, we were on the advisory group for the EBLIP Conference which was held at the University of Strathclyde in June and also suppported the running of this event. We have also been part of the RIVAL Network events, with Head of CILIPS, Sean McNamara, delivering a talk on workforce mapping at the second of these. We supported the 2019 Aye Write! Festival through offering discounts to members and awarding some free tickets and we have been on the Advisory Group for the 2020 Festival. We have some exciting news about this coming up early next year so stay tuned for that…

We thoroughly enjoyed running and being part of these events and slides from a number of them are available on our SlideShare account. Make sure you keep up with the Events page on our website to see what’s happening in 2020.

Lastly in the area of workforce development, one of our favourite things to do is to visit the students who will soon be newly qualified library and information workers. We were delighted to have the opportunity to visit the University of Strathclyde twice this year and also to visit Robert Gordon University to meet Information and Library Studies students and talk to them about CILIP and CILIPS. We also ran an information stand at a careers event at the University of Glasgow.

Partnerships and other activity


We ran #Carnegie100 in partnership with CUKT and SLIC.

We are always working closely with other organisations such as the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), Scottish Book Trust (SBT), Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT), and Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS). This means we can support each other’s work and also deliver joint initiatives. For example, in partnership with CUKT and SLIC, this year we were able to deliver #Carnegie100 in August to commemorate 100 years since the death of philanthropist and library benefactor Andrew Carnegie. We posted a series of blogs about Carnegie and libraries past and present to mark the anniversary and to celebrate the importance of libraries. It was great to see people engaging with these blogs and having conversations about libraries and Carnegie himself.

We also continue to work in partnership with our colleagues at CILIP and this year we signed a new Service Level Agreement which will enable both ourselves and CILIP to strengthen support for library and information professionals in Scotland. We work together to deliver value for CILIP members living and working in Scotland and are always sharing plans and best practice, keeping one another updated about developments in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Read the full Service Level Agreement here.

In 2019 we have also continued to grow the two blogs that we run on our website: Meet Our Members and New Voices. Meet Our Members gives us the opportunity to showcase the many different roles library and information professionals find themselves in and the excellent work going on across Scotland. New Voices is a relatively new space for students and early career professionals where they can write about their experiences and share advice. If you would like to write a post for either of these blogs then we would love to hear from you! You can contact us here or email


Each year we have 4 Trustee Board meetings and 2 meetings of the CILIPS Council. These are an opportunity to catch up on what has been happening, go over current and future work for CILIPS, and discuss issues relevant to the library and information profession. You can view the Minutes from these meetings here. At the Council Meetings, representatives from each of the CILIPS Branches and Special Interest Groups also have the opportunity to share their activities and we love hearing about everything they have been up to. There is always lots happening and we would encourage everybody to have a look at the Branches and SIG pages to see how you can get more involved.

Yvonne Manning

Our brilliant 2019 President Yvonne Manning. Photo by Charlie Sherry.

This year, 3 Trustees were coming to the end of their term and so 2019 saw us holding an election for the Trustee Board and for the position of Vice-President. Yvonne Manning, 2019 President, will continue on the Board as Immediate Past President and we are excited that current Vice-President Martina McChrystal will take up the role of President next year. We are also delighted to welcome to the Board Cleo Jones who will serve as Vice-President for 2020, as well as returning Trustee Heather Marshall and new Trustees Scott Simpson and Agnes Guyon. Current Trustee Richard Aird will also continue on in the role of Treasurer. Stepping down from the Board on 31st December will be Kirsten McCormick, Penny Robertson, Ewan Scott and Immediate Past-President Margaret Menzies. We thank all of them for their years of outstanding commitment to the governance of CILIPS during a period of much change.

There are a great bunch of very committed and passionate people on our Trustee board and working across the Scottish Branches and SIGS. We would like to thank all of them, past and present, for their continuing hard work and for all that they have done for CILIPS.

What’s next?

The year has flown by and we can’t believe it is almost time to shut up the CILIPS office for the Christmas break. At our final Trustee Board in November, we confirmed the Annual Delivery Plan for 2020 where you can see everything that we have planned. This includes the return of our Annual Conference in June which we are in the process of planning now, as well as lots of other exciting projects and events such as working with a placement student from the University of Strathclyde for a few months, continuing to work with partners and respond to consultations to advocate for the profession, developing a Students and New Professionals Community, and delivering training and professional registration events to support the workforce in Scotland.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about CILIPS in 2019 and that you are looking forward to the year ahead as much as we are. We want to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy, fun-filled festive period and all the very best for 2020!

See you in the new year,


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