Our Common Values Briefing

10.50 – Thursday 6th July

Sustaining our common values: the pressures at play and to come

The presentation provides an overview of some of the key challenges the profession is facing and will continue to face in the modern era that confront our ethical values. With myriad challenges including protecting privacy and freedom of access to information, and the growing use of volunteers and philanthropy in service delivery, the profession will increasingly face calls to clearly address what it stands for in some key policy areas. The presentation will consider the nature of these challenges, and consider some of the potential solutions.

David McMenemy, Lecturer and Course Director, University of Strathclyde

David is a Lecturer in Information Science, and course Director for the MSc in Information and Library Studies at the University of Strathclyde.

His research interests encompass issues around information law and ethics, including intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression, freedom of access to information, and the philosophy of information. He has also extensively researched around public library policy and development in the UK.

Global commitments, local applications: Libraries and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Libraries have long been dedicated to giving access to information as a means of empowerment, fulfilment and progress. They have also long sought to use their reach, skills, and passion to find new ways to support their communities. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, agreed in 2015 and applicable to all UN Member States, offer a unique tool to frame and communicate the value of libraries’ work, and achieve the recognition they deserve.

Stephen Wyber, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, IFLA

Stephen is Manager, Policy and Advocacy at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), where he oversees work to promote library interests in international for a, as well as to support national associations in their own work. He previously worked within IFLA on issues around copyright and access to knowledge, and before that spent seven years at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office working on a variety of economic and social topics. He is a graduate of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the College of Europe.


Human Rights 

The right to seek, receive, and impart information is the basic enabling right which helps towards realising all other rights – civil and political, as well as economic, social, and cultural rights. Those who enable the realisation of the right to seek information – publishers, writers, library professionals – have an important task in protecting the right of others. An exploration of the human rights framework and its applicability to the right of free expression and information will follow.

Salil Tripathi, Senior Adviser, Global Issues Institute for Human Rights and Business

Salil is a writer and policy adviser with experience in researching corporate activities in diverse environments and applying international standards to identify human rights abuses and working with all sectors and stakeholders to build accountability and advocate positive change.

Salil was at Amnesty International (1999-2005) where he conducted research missions to Nigeria and Bosnia, and developed policies and thinking on complicity, privatisation, and corruption. He represented AI in the forming of the Global Compact, the Kimberley Process, and the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights. At International Alert (2006-2008) he worked on projects in Colombia and was part of the team that developed the Red Flags Initiative. He is also an award-winning journalist and author of three works of non-fiction, and chairs PEN International’s Writers-in-Prison Committee. Salil graduated with Masters in Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and holds Bachelor of Commerce degree from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in India.

Session Chair: Martyn Wade, CILIP Trustee

Martyn started as a Trainee Librarian in the County Reference Library in Northumberland and worked for a number of authorities until he was appointed as Head of Libraries, Information and Learning in Glasgow City Council in 1999.

In 2002 he was the first public librarian to be appointed as National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland, a role which provides him with a clear understanding of academic and research libraries. Throughout his career he has focused on developing accessible, innovative services aimed at meeting the needs of users, citizens and society.

In 2010 he was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Department of Information Studies, University of Aberystwyth, and in 2011 Honorary Professor at Robert Gordon University. He is a Trustee of several charities and experienced in strategic, finance and governance issues.