I successfully applied for and am very grateful that I gained a place at the CILIP Conference 2017 funded by Libraries Unlimited. It was great to network and collaborate with people who work in such a range of library and information roles and to listen to inspirational speakers. The core of Librarian of Congress Dr Carla Hayden’s session was that accessibility and engagement should be the driving force behind your library whether inner city or Library of Congress. Professor Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford, stressed that information is power, that the rapidly changing digital world is changing access to information and the importance of the role of library staff in supporting digital engagement and information literacy. Neil Macinnes, Strategic Lead – Libraries, Galleries and Culture, Manchester, again stressed accessibility and engagement and that the library should be the city’s living room, a flexible space and a trusted place for people to meet, learn, share and explore. I am refining my notes and resulting ideas and devising a plan to increase accessibility, engagement and digital support at my community library.
The Arup Future of Libraries Briefing was probably the workshop that had the most impact on me. The findings of the report will definitely be part of my planning for the future. When it came to group work and choosing the trend we thought most important to discuss we all agreed to choose access and affordability, even though my group came from very different libraries including a digital only library. The ideas we came up with to improve access and affordability I will adapt and use in my library.
The Impact and Evaluation workshop concentrated on identifying your stakeholder priorities and delighting your stakeholders. The hints and tips from the presentation and the ideas which evolved when working in pairs or groups sessions will inform my stakeholder engagement and planning. The Health and Wellbeing seminar explained the background to the new direction of the way NHS doctors work with patients and the increasing support role libraries will have with online information and provision of the Reading Well Books on Prescription. This information I will cascade to staff and give them time to explore the different trusted websites. The Literacy and Learning seminar explored the engagement of parents/carers in increasing literacy in children including Booktrust. The copyright workshop involved lots of thought provoking scenarios to work on in groups.
The conference was a great experience that I would highly recommend. I have developed my skills and knowledge, formed lots of ideas to pursue for my own library and service, made lots of new contacts and have come away enthused by this inspiring event.