CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Emerging Leaders – Resource Collection

CILIP Scotland are championing the Emerging Leaders of our incredible sector: celebrating the diverse talents they bring to Scotland’s libraries and the dynamic ways in which they are shaping the future of information and knowledge. A key part of this commitment was our exciting Emerging Leaders event (recording above) which took place on Thursday 20th October 2022 – part of our online Autumn Gathering series.

Below, we have gathered together a collection of helpful career resources – if you have any questions or would like to suggest something else you’d love to see as part of this page, please get in touch at

Collection last updated January 2024.

Starting Out and Stepping Up

  • CILIPS Students & New Professionals have compiled this comprehensive list of helpful websites, webinars and much more to help newcomers from any career path to develop their understanding of our profession, including where current vacancies can be found.
  • The CILIPS Online Learning webspace contains many webinar recordings to support your career. Check out Jade Koekoe’s ‘Being Online as a Library Professional Today’ from our 2021 Annual Conference, ‘Hosting Successful Online Training’ with Katie Edwards from NHS Education for Scotland, Ania Matuszewska’s ‘Information Professionals Can Wear Many Hats’ Employability Workshop and many more.
  • Interested in what life would be like in another area of our sector? The CILIPS ‘Meet our Members’ blog is the perfect place to connect with some stars of our profession and discover more about what different library and information roles entail. New submissions always welcome!
  • The CILIP Careers Hub is a terrific toolkit, whatever professional stage you are at or aspire to. Here are just a few of our favourite resources:
    • CVs – do you know the difference between a reverse chronological and a skills based CV, or why it is often worth tweaking your language to include key words from the job description you’re applying for? This article is just what you need to shine from the very first step. Remember too that every level of Professional Registration includes an annotated CV, so if you’re undertaking Certification, Chartership or Fellowship, you’re already off to a fantastic start!
    • Interviews – defining and differentiating between competency based and strengths based interviews, with specific tips for interviews taking place online, this succinct yet informative article is a must-read for all library professionals preparing for the interview process. It includes everything from tips on research you can do beforehand (looking at you, LinkedIn) to ideas for questions you might wish to ask your interviewers if invited to do so.
    • Job Roles – in such a diverse and dynamic sector, there are unexpected opportunities on offer across libraries, archives, knowledge and information management, and data science – click to find vital information about the amazing array of roles that are out there.
  • Leading for Resilience, Dialogue, Inclusion and Innovation… Commissioned by Libraries Connected in partnership with CILIP, CLOA and LGA, the Leading Libraries Series covers four leadership capabilities for collaborative and distributed leadership practice. Discover their extensive open access learning modules here.
  • Eager to evaluate and evidence your professional impact? Head to the Libraries Week website for clear, constructive guidance about evaluating and building your evidence base that is relevant to any and all library activities.

Application Advice – Three Top Tips from CILIPS

  • Haute Couture – even if you’re not a fashion fan, be sure to always tailor your application covering letter and CV to the role you are applying for. Not only is it a much more respectful and professional strategy, but as CILIP point out in their CV advice, employers with high numbers of applicants may use tracking systems to filter through initial applications, prioritising those that include keywords from the job description. Either way, demonstrating (show, don’t just tell!) that you meet their requirements is the surest path to success. And if that sounds daunting…
  • As Ania Matuszewska highlighted in her fantastic employability session, library and information professionals often sell ourselves short when it comes to showcasing our many, varied skills. If you’re new to the profession or looking to pivot to a new area of the sector, you may not always have direct experience of a competency in your current role – but what about voluntary work, past positions or perhaps even in your personal life? Being a member of a CILIPS committee shows skills in leadership, strategic planning, social media management and event organisation (to name but four!).
  • We say it often because it’s true: Professional Registration is the single best step you can take to develop your skills and show commitment to your career. Discover more about the process, read CILIPS Membership Officer Kirsten’s blog post about the power of professional registration and watch CILIPS SNPC’s inspiring and illuminating event: All About Professional Registration. In May 2023, our Professional Registration Support Officers Gill Black and Elena Focardi also led the fantastic session below, delving deep into everything you ever wanted to know about the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base:

Opportunities for All

  • ‘If we have an image of a leader being a really assertive older man, then that is probably what you are going to get. We should aspire to seeing leaders who can also be humble, be unsure, ask questions, be empathetic. If we don’t, then we aren’t going to make it a space for diverse leaders, not just women, but from all backgrounds. If we don’t broaden our image of what a leader is then we make it hard for people in terms of authenticity and being allowed to be yourself. Why would someone want to become a leader if they can’t be authentic?’ For International Women’s Day 2023, National Librarian of Scotland and 2022 CILIPS President Amina Shah spoke to Information Professional about ‘Leadership, community and the power of storytelling’. Enjoy her full interview here on watch Amina’s wonderful #WINspiration session (more below).
  • Did you know that 74% of CILIPS members are women but only 51% of those in Chief Executive roles? CILIPS’s #WINspiration – Feminism for Libraries and Librarians evolving resource collection includes links, articles, webinars and more that aim to smash the glass ceiling and ensure that women in LIS can achieve professional goals on their own terms. You’ll find Fair Share of Women LeadersWomen into Leadership and our very own #WINspiration event series.
  • Working with CILIP and other partners, the CILIP BME Network supports the advancement of minoritized ethnic professionals in the workforce: helping to address the under-representation of people of colour within LIS as identified in the CILIP/ARA Workforce Mapping data (2015). Discover more about the Network here and browse the CILIPS Anti-Racism resource collection for links to organisations like BEMISthe Anti-Racist Educatorthe Free Black University and more who are working to ensure that our sector becomes an actively anti-racist space with genuine equality of opportunity.
  • The CILIP Disability Network officially launched on 22nd July 2021, providing support and a platform for library, knowledge and information workers with experience of disability. For more information about them and organisations dedicated to eradicating the barriers that disabled people too often face in career progression, please visit CILIPS’s Accessibility and Neurodiversity resource collection.
  • ‘In order to “make it”, it appears we should work long hours, fiercely compete, perform near-impossible, sometimes painful and often stressful tasks, and strive for perfection… We need to stop and ask whether this needs to radically change.’ Is there an alternative to simply perpetuating the damaging work cultures of days gone by? Does the drive to get ahead force us to act at the expense of our hearts? We’re grateful to CILIPS President Amina Shah for highlighting this paradigm-shifting article by Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leeds. Are we brave enough to let love for what we do and the communities we work within play a part in our professional lives?
  • ‘Being a librarian or information professional means becoming an expert not just in the material, but in the communities that created, gave rise to and that will ultimately use that material. It means understanding and adjusting for the power dynamics that have prioritised some voices over others, and the impact that this has had on the bodies of knowledge in our care.’ In this thought-provoking blog post, CILIP CEO Nick Poole shares his take on a concept first highlighted by Julia Glassman, Meredith Farkas and others: ‘an antiracist, responsive, and values-driven practice… focused on learning and reflection, collaboration and solidarity, valuing all kinds of contributions, and supporting staff as whole people’. Can so-called “slow librarianship” reunite our libraries with ‘their primary role as places of meaning, connection and learning’ rather than the ‘places of process and transaction’ that short-sighted decision makers often seem to expect?

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