Developing the Workforce Briefing

15.40 – Wednesday 5th July


Home grown: Engaging new LIS professionals to advance the profession

Our new library and information science (LIS) professionals are the future of the profession and they’re a passionate bunch. This presentation will highlight the importance of engaging new LIS professionals in conversation to continue building our body of professional knowledge, as well as identify potential issues associated with new LIS professional involvement. The presenter will share experiences and observations from being actively involved in the profession; take a look at the literature to identify issues with new LIS professionals’ participation, and describe opportunities currently provided to new and early career LIS professionals in Australia.


Alisa Howlett, Chairperson, New Generation Advisory Committee, Australian Library and Information Association

Alisa is an information professional with experience in a variety of contexts, including special libraries, government record keeping and academic libraries. She is the Coordinator of Evidence-Based Practice at the University of Southern Queensland, and a member of the Library and Information Science Research Australia (LISRA) research team. Alisa actively contributes to the LIS community through her writing and speaking and as chairperson for the ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee. Alisa has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and received her Master of Information Technology (Library and Information Science) in 2013.

Introducing the Public Library Skills Strategy

The Public Library Skills Strategy (PLSS) has been jointly developed by CILIP and Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) to help guide and support the learning and development needs of the Public Library workforce in England. The strategy focuses on the skills needed to create a future for Public Libraries as Digital, Creative & Cultural Centres of Excellence – a thriving network of innovative civic spaces (virtual and physical) offering freely-accessible services that support reading & literacy, develop skills, foster creativity, promote health & wellbeing and provide a platform for community participation.

Mandy Powell, Assistant Director Workforce Development, CILIP

Mandy is on secondment from her post as Head of CILIP Cymru Wales for a year, focusing on workforce development including the development of the Public Library Skills Strategy, leading to a uk wide skills strategy.

Mandy has worked for CILIP for 9 years, in various roles, including policy development, before working for CILIP Mandy’s background was in public libraries, specialising in Reader Development and Audience Development roles and before that front line roles. Areas of special interest are political advocacy and cpd.

Empowering staff to implement new ideas

There are lots of library staff with brilliant ideas, but that isn’t always enough. How do you get yours heard and accepted? We thought it might be fun to use John Boyd’s OODA loop (observe, orient, design, act) as a framework, to put your idea to the test with a mini pitching session.

We hope to reach staff who wouldn’t normally propose new ideas and give them a way to prepare for tough questions. Our aim is to  promote more open communication where all library staff are confident sharing and implementing their ideas

Sue Lawson, LibraryCamper and Librarian, LibraryCamp
Between 2011 and 2015, Sue co-organised four annual Librarycamp unconferences designed to encourage participants to pitch and share ways to improve library services. Since 2007 Sue has established innovative digital library programmes in Manchester Libraries. She works in the Business and IP Centre and looks after the library social media channels.

Richard Veevers, Co-founder, LibraryCamp
Richard is an unconference evangelist. Between 20011 and 2015, and whilst working as a library assistant, he organised four annual Librarycamp unconferences. Crowdfunded and independent the events motivated hundreds of participants to pitch and share ideas to improve library services. He has worked as a public library assistant for the past 15 years.

Session Chair: Kate Arnold, CILIP President

Kate has over 25 years’ experience of providing and managing the delivery of specialist information and research services (both virtual and library based) to a wide variety of users. She started off in media libraries (BBC and a national newspaper), then moved to NHS Direct to run public facing health information services both on the phone and online.

She continued to work in the health information sector when she managed Cancer Research UK’s information services (telephone helpline, website and forum) to people affected by cancer. Following redundancy Kate has worked on a number of fixed term contracts managing information services in the voluntary sector (National Children’s Bureau and Macmillan Cancer Support) and academic sector (Royal Holloway, University of London).

Having worked across a variety of sectors Kate is keen to highlight the importance and value of library and information services and the skills that librarians bring to their communities and workplaces.

Throughout her career Kate has been committed to continuing professional development and has gained a great deal from active involvement in a number of professional associations: including CILIP (serving on Workplace Libraries Committee in 1990s), Association of UK Media Librarians (serving as secretary in 1990s) and most recently Special Libraries Association (the other SLA) where she served as the first non-North American President in 2014.

Becoming CILIP President provides an opportunity to emphasise the value of professional involvement.