Saturday 20 December 2014

Bodleian K B Chen China Centre Library Visit

Helen Matthews very kindly wrote up the recent CILIPTV visit to the the Bodleian K B Chen China Centre Library, which appears below- bonus points for being so prompt, especially at this time of year, Helen!:

On 17th December a group of librarians and information specialists visited the Bodleian K B Chen China Centre Library, located in the grounds of St Hugh’s College (one of the colleges of the University of Oxford). The library is inside the Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building having moved from the Institute for Chinese Studies. The £21m building was funded by a number of benefactors, most notably the Hong Kong philanthropist, Mr Dickson Poon CBE (from whom the building derives its name), who donated £10m. The library is named after the late Mr K B Chen, recognising the gift from his son, Mr Henry Chen, to the college.

Joshua Seufert, the Chinese Studies Librarian, provided the tour of the library and China Centre Building. The Centre is built on what used to be tennis courts. The library is in the basement of the building but has plenty of natural light pouring in as it looks across a garden area that has been lowered from ground floor level, which the building wraps around. The building caters for those with disabilities with wide doorways for easy access and a lift, which the spiral staircase wraps around. Within the building you find images of the Chinese coin and the fleur de lys, the latter of which forms part of the College’s crest. Doors with the Chinese coin on lead to the China Centre areas whilst the doors with fleur de lys on lead you towards college areas.

The building brings together various people and departments of the University involved with Chinese studies into one place, rather than having them scattered around the city. We went into one of the lecture theatres which seats 100 people but can be split in half for two lectures to take place at the same time with fewer people. Some of the Bodleian Library’s Chinese special collections have been reproduced to display on the walls of the Centre, including the Selden map of China, bringing the library out to the rest of the building.

The library is one of the Bodleian Libraries, which offers benefits like being part of the Printing, Copying and Scanning (PCAS) service and offering the opportunity to order material from the Book Storage Facility in Swindon to the library. In fact, the library has seen an increase in library users including members of St Hugh’s College and St Antony’s College who are ordering material from the Book Storage Facility to the library because of its convenient location to them. There is a room dedicated to this material where library users can collect the material they ordered and read it in the library.

The library has 6 carrels, which can be used by readers for more quiet and private study. With these carrels they can book cabinets in which they can keep personal belongings. As well as space for private study there is a group study room with a projector and speakers for people to use as a meeting place.

The library has a special classification system for its material called Harvard-Yenching devised by Alfred Kaiming Chiu for the Harvard-Yenching Institute. Although the classification system has been phased out, the China Centre Library, and a few other libraries, use and update the classification system. New material, however, is being classified using the Library of Congress.

We were particularly intrigued by the library’s journal display, a case which had a panel for each journal title which was lifted to reveal past issues behind it inside a cubby hole. Before moving into the new library, 50m of journals were disposed of as well as 200m of material that had to be disposed of due to last minute ceiling height reductions, which means a loss of shelf space. Joshua explained that the new library has more space for library users to work at, which the previous library did not, which has meant a slight reduction in shelf space.

The tour was followed by a Q&A session as an opportunity for us to find out further information. The visit to the K B Chen China Centre Library was insightful with an great tour guide. It is excellent that the library has been included in the development of the brand new building and the amalgamation of various departments within the University in order to best provide for students and academics of Chinese studies.

Friday 5 December 2014

A day in the life of a librarian: Nora Khayi, St Hugh’s College Library, University of Oxford

This month's posting in the "day in the life" series is from Nora- our fantastic Secretary for CILIP in Thames Valley, and who is also Publicity Officer, for the South East Member Network- so a very busy lady indeed! Here is her account of a typical day:

I am the Librarian at St Hugh’s College Library in Oxford: The Howard Piper Library. The College has about 700 students (undergraduates and graduates) and is situated in beautiful grounds in north Oxford. The view from my office window looks out on our renowned garden and always surprises me by its splendour.

The Howard Piper Library is one of biggest college libraries in Oxford. This is notably due to its historical heritage: founded in 1886, the College was for woman only and, as they were not allowed into the central library until the early 1920s, Women's College libraries tend to have been built up larger collections to respond to that issue. St Hugh’s has about 80,000 books held mainly on open access. We also do have a small Special Collection with such wonders as a 1st edition of Hobbe’s Leviathan. I am responsible for the management and development of the collection as well as for providing information, resources and services to members of the College. Managing the library collection includes managing risks, opportunities, challenges and value of the collection. So let me talk you through a typical day in the library…

I arrive in College between 8:30 and 9:00 and the first thing I do is to have a coffee while checking my emails. The Senior Library Assistant goes through the morning daily tasks and there are always unexpected tasks for me such as emailing our students regarding food in the library, or our security alarm. Going through my emails I respond to queries from students and Fellows, as well as dealing with emails regarding overdue books, meetings, or training. At any time, I like walking around the library – students then have the opportunity to catch me and ask questions, or just have a chat, and I have the opportunity to remind them that no cans of coke or other liquids as well as no chocolate bars are allowed in the library.

This morning I have a meeting with the management team of College. The team constitutes Head of Departments in College in a roundtable where we discuss particular topics, events of the week and share good practices. This usually could take up quite a bit of time depending on what is happening in College. There are also a lot of emails that are circulated from this team which requires time.
One of my primary tasks is acquisition of new and relevant materials for the students. We do not specialise in any subject and I work very closely with our College Fellows who in the best scenarios are very willing and proactive at providing reading lists and emailing me every time there is a new publication of a relevant book in their subject.

I also liaise with subject librarians in the different faculties to obtain new reading lists. I spend a fair amount of my time liaising with academics and librarians and ordering books. Moreover, we also have a book suggestion form that students use to recommend books from their core course reading lists. This is rather popular among our students and on a daily basis I look into their recommendations and correspond with them. If their request is successful, I’ll order the book and let them know.

Most days, I’ll have a small pile of books that the Senior Library Assistant leaves on my desk which requires cataloguing, I also have regular meetings with the team, the archivist, the bursar, and I write policies and proposals for our library committee to discuss and approve. While term is going ever so fast, I am thinking ahead and planning projects for the vacation periods – the most recent ones have been to write an in-house classification scheme for our English section to follow the curriculum and to reclassify over 7000 books over the summer. All of this is happening while we cover the enquiries of students walking into the office because they couldn't find a book, or who need a book from the stack, or can’t find an article, or just need a stapler!

At some point in the day I have lunch, probably sat next to one of our Fellows, where discussion on the library continues, and as a result, books will be bought, Fellows will come to the library to look at their section, reading lists will be sent…or in some cases a discussion goes on and nothing will happen. I have to say that I feel very lucky at St Hugh’s, Fellows really value and appreciate the Library and are ready to get involved.

While I am writing this note, I’m looking through the office door, the lobby area is full of students working away, my emails have grown since the last time I checked and I have a pile of books on my desk waiting for me…the day is not over yet

Monday 24 November 2014

Ruth Jenkins: Switching Sector- HE to NHS

The evening saw a very interesting talk from our speaker, Ruth Jenkins- who moved from the University of Reading Library to the healthcare sector. Based at Prospect Park Hospital in a mental health library, she works in a small team, providing information and library services to NHS staff. Ruth very kindly gave permission to make these photos available, so that those reading this report can gain some context of the library she is based in.

Interior of Library
Ruth stated that the NHS healthcare librarians were all extremely supportive, and she recommended anyone in a similar career move to subscribe to relevant mailing lists, as this has been very useful to her.

Ruth spoke about how many of the staff who utilise the service are often not in the hospital, but our in the community, so much of her work is remote. The Library provides current awareness bulletins of new research, in over 70 topics including bibliotherapy, therapy for eating disorders and also electro-convulsive therapy.

Much of her work focuses on assisting with literature searches, processing Inter-Library loan requests and in staff training. One thing she has had to do is become much more aware of the importance of planning her search, as the research evidence is often a key part of diagnosis and treatment, as can be seen from the diagram below:

The role of the Library in combination with patient assessment and clinical expertise
Ruth often conducts and assists with literature searches- not a task for the squeamish! Her previous role at University of Reading Library involved liaison with the Education and History departments, which was a full time fixed term post for 3 years- after some time in the role, she saw the vacancy at Prospect Park and thought she’d give it a go. Ruth recommends that those considering switching sector ensure that they identify their transferable skills during their application, and that they do their research prior to interview. She made sure that she had a few questions to ask the interviewers too, so they could see that she had thought about her application.

Ruth found the organisational culture to be the biggest difference between the university library and the NHS. At the University she was seen more as a teacher, whereas there are very sharply defined roles in the NHS. However, at Prospect, she is more likely to be directly incorporated into groups and work closely alongside healthcare professionals. The library is smaller at Prospect, so she gets more variety in her work, and the spread is different. Ruth does more 1-2-1 sessions, whereas at the University, she was more likely to see groups. She is invited to meetings more at the NHS. Due to the fact that many staff work in the community, much of her work at Prospect is done online via the Internet. This does however, mirror the spread of online learning in the higher education sector. Another important difference was that there was less autonomy in the NHS than in the University library.

Ruth identified several similarities between the two roles that she has worked in, which sided her successful transition. These were the need for good information skills, the need to develop user search skills, being embedded into a team or department and the different levels of experience that users have with research.

Ruth’s top tips for those considering a sectoral switch:

  • 1- Identify your transferable skills
  • 2- Read up on the subject you wish to support, and be aware of the library/information issues
  • 3- Go for it! You won’t get the role if you don’t apply!

Exterior of Prospect Park Hospital
Personally, as someone that has only ever worked in one sector, I found the session very informative and also reassuring that should I need to change sectors, that this would be potentially possible. I think we sometimes forget as a profession that we have many skills that are of huge value across sectors and even across professional boundaries. Many of those I spoke to that evening felt invigorated and inspired to consider career moves that they might previously have shied from. Food for thought.

Friday 19 September 2014

A day in the life of a librarian: Anna Richards, University of Reading

A version of this post was first published on the LISNPN ( website

Following on from Vicky's 'day in the life' post here is the experience of another liaison librarian, this time at the University of Reading. Unfortunately I kept forgetting to write down exactly what I was doing on one set day so my post is more like a description of typical tasks I may do from one day to the next.

My job title is Trainee Liaison Librarian and there are three of us at Reading. These posts aim to give you a range of experiences within an academic library and to support you through Chartership, giving you a solid start within the profession. My liaison responsibilities include Classics and Philosophy and I also work with Library User Services (LUS), which handles registration and circulation of stock.

A typical day starts with an hours' stint on the Ground Floor Information Desk with my LUS hat on. My role here is to be the first port of call for any questions about using the Library, to handle any new registrations, and to help with any account queries. I often also complete my other daily LUS tasks whilst on the Information Desk which are to help with SCONUL Access and External Borrower registrations and to answer emails that come through to the general library email account.

I then may move on to ordering new items, particularly at the beginning and end of terms as we get new reading lists through. Most of the reading list checking is done by other members of staff but I decide how many new copies of an item we need and place the order with the Acquisitions department. It's been very interesting for me to learn the different ways my subjects use Library resources and research material – Classics is much more book heavy than Philosophy, for example. As well as ordering new items from reading lists I also liaise with the departments regarding new journal subscriptions and new e-resources, as well as any other orders they may have.

At the moment I am planning and preparing for some teaching sessions I have coming up and this is another big part of my liaison role. As a liaison librarian you have to prepare and present teaching sessions of varying sizes, from lectures to small group workshops. At first it can be quite daunting but there's a lot of support in the Library and I find it very rewarding to know I'm helping students in their studies. You are also expected to volunteer to help with general Library sessions, such as the Inductions for first years or Endnote training sessions. Personally I prefer smaller workshops as I feel that you are better able to teach students how to use Library resources effectively, but it's a good challenge to think of how to make lectures more engaging. I've recently completed the University's Academic Practice Programme, which is primarily aimed at new academics. This gave me a good grounding in teaching practice and made me really think about new ways of teaching students.

As well as having liaison and LUS roles I am the Shelving Supervisor for the Arts and Humanities floor and the supervisor of the students who work in the Library as part of our shelving operations. As the Shelving Supervisor I have regular meetings with my shelving team to discuss any issues that I or they may have noticed or to discuss any changes we might want to make to our processes. The Library has recently undergone refurbishment so this was a busy time for shelving moves! The students who work in the Library also help with our shelving operations and as their supervisor I am in charge of recruitment and training as well as creating their weekly rota. This has been a challenging but very rewarding role.

Other activities I may have include staffing the Information Desk on the Arts and Humanities floor, updating the Library website for LUS or for the Arts and Humanities team, holding drop-in sessions in Classics and Philosophy, subject cataloguing of new books in my subjects, creating the termly newsletter for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, attending meetings in my departments or within the Library and, of course, sending and answering many emails!

So the role of a Trainee Liaison Librarian here at the University of Reading is very varied but that allows you to experience many different aspects of working in an academic library and gives you a wide range of skills and experience to draw on. It has definitely been a very rewarding experience.

Anna Richards

Friday 8 August 2014

A day in the life of a librarian… Vicky Bird, SOAS

This is the first in a series of posts that will examine the work that librarians in a variety of fields, and at different levels, undertake in the course of a typical day.

Victoria Bird, Politics, Economics, Finance and Management Subject Librarian, SOAS Library. Friday 4th July

I work for the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, in London, which has about 8000 students, roughly 50-50 split between Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. I support about one fifth of the total students. My work is varied- no day is the same, but that's one of the things I really like about it. Sometimes I get to help the students with their research enquiries, sometimes I am selecting stock for addition to the Library. CILIP have an outline of the kind of thing that Subject Librarians do on their website. SOAS is a really special place to work: we have students studying the most fascinating topics and I feel very privileged to work here. The day I selected to write about was 4 July 2014:

Delays on the train mean that I get in about 10am- when I am supposed to be starting work at 9.30am! Commuting from Reading to London is something I never thought that I would do and can be very trying, but these delays are thankfully fairly rare, and SOAS is a unique place to work, which makes up for the aggravation caused by signalling problems. I won’t be able to make up the time today, but arrange with my line manager that I will stay later on Monday. First stop is the kettle: after that start, I need some tea!

I begin my day proper by sorting out some access questions for a research assistant who is hoping to obtain access one of our databases. Like all libraries, we are tied by our licencing restrictions, which can cause problems for this type of user. This enquiry came in yesterday and has necessitated speaking to a range of people within both the library and the department to resolve, as our access arrangements have changed recently. I reply with the relevant information on steps that are needed to gain access to the database.

I then tackle the range of emails that have built up, which doesn’t take long. One is from a departmental colleague, who is responding to my email about arranging information skills training for her students next academic year. This is one of my favourite bits of the job, and one I want to develop further in concert with the department, so the email is very welcome. We arrange to meet when we both return from leave for a coffee and to plan!

I email my colleagues in our E-services team to suggest that we should consider moving DataStream bookings online, using Google Calendar- something we already utilise for personal diary management. At the moment, we rely on a paper booking system, which is awkward when I’m trying to book sessions away from the enquiry desk. We agree that I will create a prototype and then see what happens over the summer.

Next up is my annual reports. All subject librarians at SOAS Library have to produce an annual synopsis of their activities over the year- including such topics as book acquisition, training sessions given and so on. I scurry the last few points down and then submit them. My lovely departmental administrator came through with exactly the information I needed!

Between 11am-12pm, I am on the enquiry desk, covering for a colleague who is doing my usual slot later on in the day in exchange. It’s fairly quiet on the desk, so in between enquiries, I examine the content of a few eBook packages as I have some money in the finance fund I’m hoping to use for this. Some of the titles in packages are usually less relevant here at SOAS, due to our specialised focus on the Asia, Middle East and Africa regions, but eBooks are increasingly popular with our students and staff, many of whom have to complete fieldwork abroad- or may just live a long way away.

After my desk duty, I return to my office and Kobir, a colleague who is working on the implementation of VuFind (our new discovery layer) comes to talk to me about our plans for user testing. We’re also getting a new Library Management System- called Kuali Ole- so it’s exciting times for us and I’m pleased to be able to contribute to this project.

There is just enough time before lunch to write the website introduction for our new database, GTA China, which we’ve just acquired. This database looks at stock market data for companies in China, and is really very in-depth and detailed. Our colleagues in Finance and Management will make good use of it in their research, and a Master’s student is already utilising it for their dissertation. I’m looking forward to learning more about this resource.

After lunch, I deal with my book requests. We welcome book purchase suggestions from library users, and I have two today. We already hold one, but I place an order for the other title- letting both requesters know my decisions via email. It’s important to double check these forms to ensure that we are making the best use of our funds, as sometimes items are available nearby and may not fall into our Collections Development Policy. It also helps me to keep in touch with what fields our researchers are moving into. A timely and measured response is vital, so that researchers know what is going on and are not held up in their work.

I then turn to working on the VuFind testing documents. I have to draft a consent form and also draft a test document for those taking part to record their impressions of the new system- together with identifying any problems, in addition to the (hoped-for!) positive feedback. I send a speculative email to a member of the university’s Ethics Committee asking if they will be willing to look at this to ensure that we conform to the guidance for such projects.

Then, it’s time to hop on a bus to my Pilates lesson, having just joined a new gym (as a result of commuting and lots of very nice treats brought in by colleagues, I’ve got a little rotund over the two years I’ve worked here). I’m currently trying out all of the various courses, and this is the first time I’ve done Pilates. I find it a soothing antidote to the chaos of the morning, which eases me into the weekend. Thankfully, for once, the commute home is smoother, and I use the time to relax with – what else – a good book.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Visiting Oxford Brookes’ new library

This blog post was kindly written by Helen Matthews, Assistant Librarian (Periodicals) Nuffield College Library. She is also responsible for the rather fab photos. You can contact Helen via Twitter @helen_281.

Wednesday 2nd July saw an eager group arrive at Oxford Brookes University’s new library in Headington. The library opened in February 2014 and is located inside the university’s new John Henry building. Taking up 6,500m², the library holds a dominant place on campus. We were led to the library’s large staff room for tea and (delicious) cakes whilst we were given an introduction by Helen Workman (Director of Learning Resources & University Librarian).

We learnt that plans for the new building started as far back as 2007 when architects were appointed. The library’s brief for their place in the new building was:

  • to be an inspirational space for study, learning, and research
  • for it to be easy for users to access information
  • to facilitate improvement of library services
  • to be IT enabled
  • to be easy to navigate
  • to have a range of working spaces
  • to have self-service machines

The creation of the new library wasn’t without its issues. Because of neighbours living next door to the campus, the building lost a floor but gained a basement in return. The building was supposed to be ready to open in September 2013 in time for the new academic year but eventually opened in February. Opening in term-time meant that the old library had to be closed on a Friday as material was moved to the new library. Impressively, this was achieved in four days and the new library opened the following Wednesday.

Once we had finished devouring cake, the group was split into two and we were given tours by Jan Haynes (Head of Service Development and Delivery) and Dave Nolan (Head of Buildings Development). The immediate impression was of a large, light, airy, and open space with an atrium, called the Forum, which the library wraps around. Heading up to the fourth floor offers an excellent view of the Forum on the ground floor where there is a café and casual seating area. Here people were working independently and in groups, and using their laptops whilst consuming their purchases from the café.

The library houses 300,000 books, a collection that was weeded before being moved from the old library, and has 1,000 study spaces. There are student presentation rooms and group work spaces where the furniture is moveable to adapt to peoples’ needs. There are also coaching areas for taster sessions, a help zone for one-to-one assistance, training rooms, carrel-type desks for more independent study, a special collections reading room (which is still under construction), and an assistive technology suite. During the planning period, focus groups were held to find out what people wanted from the library space, which included testing furniture, as well as a wider consultation that included everybody in the university.

Although the library is complete (except for the special collections reading room), staff are still reviewing and making amendments. Because the space is so open and (some) of the furniture is moveable, they are able to change the layout of working spaces and adapt them to what people need. Similarly, the different noise zones are monitored and considered for change.

Visiting Oxford Brookes’ new library gave a sense of what a modern library should be. Returning to the library’s brief, they have been successful in creating an inspirational space. The architecture itself lends to this with the suspended lecture theatre and pink windows that bathe corridors in a soft light. The library has excellent facilities that meet the needs of the modern student and makes their experience rewarding. Attention to detail, like the frosted windows with microscopic cellular images, is a subtle touch that makes you feel like you are in a place that has been carefully constructed with the users’ in mind through every step of the building’s creation. Although signage is being revised and working areas monitored with the potential for change, this simply shows how library staff seek to continually improve the users’ experience and meet their requirements.

We were interested to learn that the library is open to anybody with no restrictions on who can walk in and consult its material, which helps to fulfil the library’s aim to provide easy access to information. Head counts reveal that use of the library is increasing, which shows that libraries are able to adapt to the modern world and that people still appreciate them.

This was an excellent trip with informative tour guides and I would encourage people to visit this new library.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Changes in Copyright Law 4th June 2014

This month's report is by Marion Harris

This month’s speakers were Emily Stannard and Ross Connell from the University of Reading. They gave us an update on changes in Copyright and Licensing law following the 2011 Hargreaves Review, and the potential implications for library and information services. The event was well-attended as this is clearly a topic of considerable concern and interest for professionals at the moment.

Copyright exceptions

Emily Stannard (Risk Management and Business Continuity Officer @copyrightgirl) began the session by outlining the copyright statutory instruments which came into force in June 2014 as a result of the Hargreaves Review. The main points of interest for library and information services were as follows:

Library privilege

There are now far more extensive guidelines about the copyright exceptions which are allowed for libraries and archives.

  • Librarians can now copy all kinds of works for non-commercial research or private study, subject to fair dealing.
  • It is now permissible to copy works such as monographs for inter-library loan purposes, providing that the receiving library is non-profit and that the copyright holder has been consulted if they can be reasonably found.
  • It is permissible to make resources such as digitised works available via dedicated PC terminals (provided users cannot print or save the work to USB)

Preservation copying

Legislation changes in this area provide very welcome news for archivists and special collections librarians.

  • The preservation copying exception now applies to all copyrighted material, not just literary and dramatic works.
  • It is now permissible to create multiple preservation copies, provided that a replacement cannot be reasonably be purchased and that the copies become part of the library/archive’s permanent collection (e.g. non-loanable).
  • This change will be especially useful for film archives, as it will now be possible to convert older footage into more modern formats.


Greater flexibility has now been added to the copyright exceptions for people with disabilities.

  • Following the Marrakesh Treaty, a wider range of disabilities are now covered, such as hearing impairments and dyslexia.
  • Accessibly copies can now be made of any material regardless of contract, providing that an alternative is not reasonably available for purchase and the user is not charged more than the cost of production.
  • Libraries nonetheless are required to notify the copyright holder or collective rights organisation that they have created an accessible copy.

Illustration for instruction

Legislation in this area has been clarified, and essentially can be seen as a legalisation of what many teachers were already doing.
  • Copyrighted material can be used in instruction, subject to fair dealing, providing that it is for non-commercial purposes and that the copyright holder is acknowledged ©
  • An interesting section is Exception 35, which allows for broadcasts to be put in Virtual Learning Environments (unless subject to an ERA license).

Other legislative changes which may occur in future

At present there are no copyright exceptions for personal use (e.g. ripping CDs to an iPod), or for quotation and parody purposes, due to pressure from copyright holders. It is hoped that legislation for these issues may come into force in October 2014.


Ross Connell (Copyright licensing co-ordinator) then gave an update on the current situation regarding licensing. In contrast to copyright exceptions, licensing allows institution such as libraries to obtain affirmative legal permission to copy materials by paying for a license.
The Hargreaves Review was very favourable toward the concept of licensing, and made several recommendations. Extended legislation about Collective Licensing schemes and the use of Orphan Works is currently in draft. If accepted, the likely changes will be:
  • Collecting societies will apply to the Secretary of State for the right to grant licenses for a particular type of work (e.g. dramatic works), providing they represent a significant number of affected rights holders.
  • Collective licensing schemes could become opt-out, rather than opt-in as at present.
  • For orphan works, providing a diligent search for the rights holder has been carried out, libraries will apply to the Intellectual Property Office for an orphan licence.
  • Orphan licenses will be issues for a fixed term of up to 7 years, subject to the payment of a fee which will be held on trust for the rights holder if they are later located.

Wednesday 30 April 2014

Report of CILIPTV AGM / Professional Registration Event 2 April 2014

On the evening of 2nd April 2014, the good folks of Library-land (Thames Valley side) gathered to find out more about the changes to CILIP's Professional Registration Event, and also to experience the wonders of our Annual General Meeting. Mainly involving cake.

AGM report

The first order of business was the AGM, the key points of which are outlined below. The minutes of the last year's meeting were approved. The Chair reported the financial status of the committee, which is fairly healthy. One of the events coordinators reported the various events organised by the committee. These events were well attended. The number of attendees was stable throughout the year with on average 15-20 attendees. Crucially, the event coordinator indicated that the committee is always welcome to receive members’ suggestions and input for future events: so please send in your suggestions!

The social media coordinator reported that the committee’s social media platforms continue to grow steadily. The social media coordinator aims to develop the blog in the following year and encourages any guest posts on future events. A great idea that came out of the AGM was to host guest writers contributing posts on a day in the life of their library. Always keen to bolster contribution, please do contact me if you'd like to do this- or any other guest post: remember you can use this in your portfolio as proof of professional engagement!

The Chair presented the new CILIP TV Committee for 2014, a list of which can be found on the CILIP website. It should be noted that we are a friendly lot, and always happy to accept new recruits!

The Chair spoke about the New Regional Network, the new name for CILIP Branches.  As for 1st April, the Regional Network will be a merger of the regional branches with the CDG groups. The Chair invited everyone to check the CILIP website for more information. The Chair also stated that two roles (candidate support office and communications coordinator) need to be filed in the South East region and invite anyone interested to join to get in touch.

Elizabeth Schlackman, our outgoing Chair was then presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers (see picture) by the new Chair as a thank you for all of her hard work over the time she has served on the committee. It has been a real pleasure to work with Elizabeth- I have had the privilege of working with her on committee and professionally and have seen first-hand her commitment and passion for the profession. I am sure that we all wish her the best of luck as she returns to America.

We then had a brief break to allow everyone to refuel with tea, coffee, and the all-important cake. 

A word on the Governance Review

We then welcomed the President of CILIP, Barbara Band, who was quick to stress that CILIP had learnt lessons from the failed re-branding exercise, and feel that they must make the effort to become more transparent and effective- at one point 70 people sat on the Council, which seems slightly unwieldy.

Phil Bradley has led a review board for two years, and the results are now the hope is that the structure of CILIP will be more streamlined and efficient, whilst still maintaining the legal framework required by CILIP's status as a charity.

More details of the Governance Review can be found on the CILIP website, and I would recommend all CILIP members should spend the time reviewing this- especially as your views are currently being sought on the proposals. Consultation is ongoing until July 2014, then there will be a vote on the proposals at the AGM in September.

The main aim seems to be to produce streamlined committees. The Policy Committee is to be given higher priority, and there will be an increased chance to progress to higher level within CILIP from the grassroot's activism which is so valuable. CILIP should become a more open organisation, which is member-driven: which is what people have been calling for, and it seems like CILIP have listened to it's members- so this seems positive.

Professional Registration

We then welcomed Lesley Kumiega to discuss the changes to the professional qualifications. In theory, you will not now need to be a graduate under the new framework of professional qualifications. Clearer assessment criteria (a relief for all those who remember previous guidance!) was also announced.

The new Professional Knowledge and Skills Base will be crucial to success: it can be used as a tool to help identify gaps and used as the PDPP.

Members will be expected to revalidate every year, which has been a concern for me, but I was reassured that this will be simpler- consisting of only 20 hours of CPD, 250 words with no supporting evidence, logged on the new CILIP VLE and that it would be free: so now I am completely convinced (given I do well over 20 hours of CPD and already have a log of sorts...). Check back next year to see if I've got around to it...

I was also comforted that those who have Chartered and Revalidated under the new system so far have done OK. The whole aim now seems to have moved toward supporting people in their continual development. Although, it was stressed that the standards of Chartership- the gold standard- is already set and will not be relaxed.

More information on the changes is on the CILIP website, so again, I would strongly recommend that you check this out.

The meeting closed with offerings of yet more cake! A lot of important changes are in process at present, so this has been a huge post- hopefully it has covered the main issues and given you some idea of what is going on.