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CILIPS Autumn ReGathering 2021

Lydia Ayame Hiraide addressing #CILIPSAutumn21 delegates

Almost two years since our last in-person event, we returned to the Dundee Apex Hotel for a one day Autumn ReGathering on Tuesday 26th October 2021.

The aim of this event was to bring people back together, share innovative work and highlight the ways in which library and information professionals from all sectors are essential to a changing world and today’s rapidly evolving circumstances. Audio recordings will be available very soon – in the meantime, browse our collection of speakers’ slides and relive the full Autumn ReGathering programme here, which featured an exciting array of topics and themes (find a few of our highlights below).

You can find further insights into #CILIPSAutumn21 in this brilliant blog written by Adeline Tournier and Sarah Docherty, Information Assistants at City of Glasgow College Libraries. Thank you for joining us Adeline and Sarah! Over in Social Informatics research at Edinburgh Napier University, Dr Bruce Ryan and Rachel Salzano have also kindly shared their thoughtful reflections on the ReGathering, with particular focus on AI and the Information Professional’ and ‘Climate Action, Inequalities and Knowledge’ . Click here to enjoy their insights!

The Autumn ReGathering programme logo, with white text in front of an autumnal Scottish mountain scene

Morning dawned in Dundee and the CILIP Scotland team of staff and volunteers prepared to ReGather together at our first in-person event for two years… travelling from every corner of Scotland, we think our delegates and speakers were as excited as us! Following a warm welcome from CILIPS President Cleo Jonesour first session of the day was delivered by Dr Jane SeckerMedia and Information Literacy – our biggest challenge and greatest opportunity? Jane treated our lucky ReGathering attendees to the first-look at the CILIP Information Literacy Group’s new Media and Information Literacy Framework, featuring five key aspirations for people living in an information society (to read this pioneering framework in full, please click here). Next up, we were delighted to hear from Dr Dina Martzoukou, Emma Grey and Niall MacDonald on ‘Maddie is Online’: inspiring librarians in every sector with this creative chance to engage children in digital literacy.

After a well-deserved coffee and cake break – including some time to meet our amazing sponsors and exhibitors – we heard from Lydia Ayame Hiraide and Sophie Robinson: highlighting all that libraries can continue to do to support sustainability, as well as how climate action intersects with gender inequality and other societal disparities that libraries are dedicated to challenging. From eco-friendly newspaper pencils to free seeds to spread some positivity, we hope that the complimentary conference bags also played their part! Next up, our in-person audience went on a virtual journey with East Renfrewshire Libraries thanks to Scott Simpson, Lynsey Ng and Margaret Fox, discovering how libraries can combine innovation with social impact. After that very real VR workout, Lynsey had definitely earned her hotel lunch!

But before the break, a drumroll was in order, as President Cleo Jones announced Scotland’s Library & Information Professional of the Year… Alison McAllister! Selected from an inspirational list of exceptionally talented professionals, Alison was commended by our award judges for her commitment to innovation and leadership, particularly during the difficult circumstances of lockdown. President Cleo also awarded Honorary Memberships to three remarkable professionals who have gone over and above to enhance our sector: Anne Louise Anglim, Dr Diane Pennington and former CILIPS President Martina McChrystal. Congratulations all!

CILIPS President Cleo Jones with our three honorary members: Anne Louise Anglim, Dr Diane Pennington and Martina McChrystal

With plenty to celebrate, it was time for a (terrifically tasty) lunch, before delegates returned for another fascinating session: Ania Matuszewska‘s Information Professionals Can Wear Many Hats! This inspiring interactive session encouraged delegates to think outside the box, using the CILIP PKSB to capture and communicate their diverse skillsets with pride. And speaking of a skilled workforce, we were soon joined by three rising stars of the profession: Dr Laura Gormley from Glasgow Kelvin College (who completed a placement with CILIPS earlier this year), and Chloe Elder and Elizabeth Carney, Chair and Events Coordinator of the Students & New Professionals CommunityLaura reflected on her fascinating research findings while Chloe and Elizabeth introduced their essential work as a community – if you’d like to play a part yourself, the role of SNPC social media officer is open!

After making space for another quick break – of course, keeping our fashionable collection of masks on – spectacular school librarian Stephen Leitch delivered an upbeat, uplifting session in which he highlighted the tools and techniques that he found indispensable during lockdown. Special thanks to Stephen for sharing some of his props with delegates (and shoutout to Oinkie, who made an incredibly popular personal appearance!). Last but certainly not least, we enjoyed a future-facing session with Dr Andrew Cox on AI and the Information Professional. His timely, thought-provoking reflections on AI included a discussion of differing definitions as well as key areas of current debate, with librarians and information professionals at the heart of this rapidly-expanding area. And with that, it was time to say adieu from #CILIPSAutumn21. We are so glad that our delegates enjoyed the experience: feeling inspiredsafe and connected to our incredible professional community.

Stephen Leitch addressing #CILIPSAutumn21 delegates

We would also like to express our sincere thanks to the sponsors and exhibitors who supported our Autumn ReGathering: sharing their expertise with delegates and helping us to showcase the innovative impact of library and information professionals in Scotland and beyond. For more information on our 2021 Autumn ReGathering Sponsors and Exhibitors, please click here.

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