This year’s agenda explores the future we seek to build, with a headline theme of intellectual freedom, and sessions considering the sustainable development of the sector.

Intellectual freedom

Opening keynote: Daniel Gorman, Director, English Pen

Daniel Gorman, Director at English Pen – one of the oldest human rights organisations championing the freedom to write, and the freedom to read around the world – heralds our headline of theme of intellectual freedom in his opening address.

Panel discussion | Intellectual freedom in the age of post-neutrality

A panel discussion exploring the move from neutrality to what has been called “post-neutrality” and what this means for the management of controversial content and activities in our sector, including implications for library ethics relating to freedom of access to information. Chair: David McMenemy, Senior Lecturer in Information Studies, University of Glasgow
Speaker: Prof. Louise Cooke, emeritus Professor of Information and Knowledge Management at Loughborough University
Speaker: Asif Khan, Director, Scottish Poetry Library
Speaker: Martyn Wade, Chair, CILIP Policy Committee

Digital rights of the child

A session exploring children’s rights in the digital environment and how we, as a sector, can support children’s activity in the full digital ecosystem, including digital literacy, safety and support, informed and conscious use and use of data. Chair: Tabitha Witherick, CEO, ASCEL
Speaker: Frances Lingard, Project Worker, National Programmes/AI, Children’s Parliament

Inclusive Collections

A session sharing insights from Anti Racist Library Collections in Wales. This Welsh Government funded project is an opportunity to recognise the spending power of libraries which continuously invest in sustainable and re-usable cultural assets. This project delivers against the Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan’s Funding goal by ensuring public libraries use this spending power to embed anti-racist practice and to facilitate equality of access and outcomes. Speaker: Amy Staniforth, Anti Racist Library Collections, CILIP Wales

Knowledge and information management

KM&IM Knowledge Cafe | What makes a great knowledge management leader?

Chairs: Hélène Russell MBA, Author, Trainer and Consultant in Knowledge Management, Hank Malik, Knowledge Management Lead Partner, Nuclear Waste Services

KM&IM | ROI and lessons learned

Speaker: Hank Malik, Knowledge Management Lead Partner, Nuclear Waste Services

KM&IM Careers | Moving sectors within KM

Chair: Hélène Russell MBA, Author, Trainer and Consultant in Knowledge Management

Top-of-mind issues

Transformative Agreements

Transformative agreements have attempted to cut a swathe through the challenges the HE sector face in providing digital content for students. Featuring speakers from across the HE and publishing sectors, this session will explore whether transformative agreements’ have thus far delivered on their objectives; considering the impact they have on researchers’ practice, the publisher response and their long-term sustainability. Chair: Beth Montague Hellen, Head of Library & Information Services, The Francis Crick Institute
Speaker: Jack Macdonald, Director, Library Sales, Cambridge University Press

Collections go green: Accrediting sustainable library design

In this session, Kirsty Shankland will present the latest methodologies and accreditations the architecture and design sector is employing to help libraries meet the climate emergency. Through three illustrative examples – the recently-opened Library and Study Centre at St John’s College, Oxford, the future Spencer Building at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (2024), and the award-winning Lambeth Palace Library and Archive in London – Kirsty will showcase how world-class libraries and collections are ensuring their long-term sustainability and communicating measurable performance for stakeholders, audiences, and supporters alike. Speaker: Kirsty Shankland, Associate Architect, Wright & Wright

The role of libraries in health and wellbeing

A session exploring the role of the librarian in pointing service users towards authoritative health information. Featuring Dr Vishaal Virani, Head of YouTube Health, the panel will consider the relationship between health and digital literacy, and explore the work that Big Tech platforms, in partnership with clinicians and content creators, are doing to increase access and awareness of authoritative information online. Chair: Debbie Hicks, Creative Director, Read Well Campaign, The Reading Agency
Speaker: Dr Vishaal Virani, Head of Youtube Health


Two-part workshop | Library futures: improve your futures literacy and practice using scenarios

Futures Literacy is an essential skill for everyone: understanding trends, using scenarios and thinking about the future as multiple possibilities. That’s why CILIP commissioned Future Libraries: Come rain or shine; a two-part initiative that will challenge and engage Librarians and library leaders to reimagine libraries in a world of climate change, population shift and digital advancement. The Future Libraries project is comprised of ‘Come rain or shine: Preparing public libraries for the future in an age of uncertainty’ and ‘Future Libraries Toolkit’ that contains the practical framework for your library to scan the horizon for strategic and agile thinking. This two-part workshop is delivered by the creators of Future Libraries and provides an introduction to futures literacy. The first session explains the concept of futures literacy followed by a practical exercise to create your own scenarios. The second session is a practical exercise using scenarios to test how resilient your own library service is to uncertainty. Please note that delegates may attend one or both parts of the workshop (each session works as a standalone training in its own right). Speaker: Ben Lee, Director, Shared Intelligence

Getting match-fit for a senior leadership role

Looking to take your next steps into a senior leadership role? With insights from key senior leaders who’ve been on their own leadership journey, this session will explore all elements of personal, professional, knowledge, skills and experience development to take that next step, add value and thrive. Speaker: Regina Everitt, Assistant Chief Operating Officer/Director of Library and Learning Services, University of East London

The entrepreneurial leader

In our 2023 Conference, keynote speaker Masud Khokhar called on colleagues to look to start-up approaches to entrepreneurship to help innovate within our sector. As a direct response to this call to action, we are delighted to announce this session on the entrepreneurial leader. Featuring start-up consultancy Founder Tom Penford and Zak Mensah, CEO of Birmingham Musuems Trust, this session will explore approaches to innovation within even the most established of sectors and organisations, and will consider how we can think outside of the box to diversify income streams. Speaker: Tom Penford, Founder, Untitled Concept
Speaker: Zak Mensah, Co-CEO, Birmingham Museums Trust

Hilton Birmingham Metropole
The NEC Birmingham
Pendigo Way
B40 1PP

The Hilton Metropole has excellent transport links – located just off the M42,  two miles away from Birmingham Airport BHX and a 15 minute walk from Birmingham International train station.

Conference packages are available to include Wednesday night accommodation at the hotel. The hotel is recently refurbished and has fantastic amenities, including an indoor pool and fitness centre.