Conference Subtitle

  • Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Who are our keynote speakers? Find out who is speaking at this year's conference and read their biographies and abstracts.

Ruth Carlyle

Ruth Carlyle

Making an impact beyond the library and information services

This presentation focuses on the theme of influencing change (at all levels) within higher education institutions (HEIs). The greater our influence then the more likely it is that information literacy will be higher up the agenda of HEIs. In this presentation, I will explore questions such as:

  • Why is it important for all library and information professionals to make an impact beyond the library?
  • What strategies can we use to influence university leaders so that we have a meaningful voice in institutional change and transformation?
  • How can we facilitate the development and implementation of information literacy policies and practices across the institution?
  • How can we influence the university managers and leaders of the future?

Based on my experiences as dean and pro vice chancellor, as well as current research into project management in library and information services, I will explore these questions with reference to large-scale strategic institution-wide programmes and projects, as well as smaller ones.

Universities are made up of different tribes and territories, and sometimes library and information workers reach of influence does not go far enough. How can we extend our reach so that we can make a bigger impact on students and staff in our institution? Understanding the decision making habits of university leaders and the criteria they use when deciding priorities will help us to influence them. A framework for understanding these behaviours will be briefly explored.

Many universities have invested in large scale projects, e.g. transformation of the curriculum, in order to enhance the student experience and their future employability. Large scale projects often involve the use of project management tools and techniques, such as PRINCE2 and Agile, and there are benefits in understanding these methodologies as this enables us to influence the project and its outcomes.

In terms of small scale projects, there are many excellent information literacy projects that showcase innovative and effective practices in universities and colleges across the world. However, the influence or reach of these projects is sometimes small, e.g. within a department or a group of enthusiastic librarians and academics. How can we make a step change so that these projects have an even bigger impact either across the sector or institution?

How can we influence the university managers and leaders of the future so that they take on board the importance of information and digital literacies, and embed it in their practices throughout their whole university career? If this is our goal then what impact do we have on: early career academics as they develop their research and teaching practices; experienced practitioners who are involved in their first steps into management; as well as new or experienced senior leaders?

Finally, what are the implications of these ideas for the ways in which we organise ourselves and also the professional development of library and information workers?


Barbara is an independent consultant and current projects include: completing a book titled No-Nonsense Guide to Project Management for Library and Information Professionals for Facet Publishing; assessment of HEA Principal Fellowship applications; business school accreditations; and delivering workshops on themes such as supporting student learning, developing blended learning, and internationalisation in business schools.

Barbara’s experience is in further and higher education, and particularly business schools where she focused on enhancing learning and teaching, the student experience, and the internationalization and employability agendas. Her qualifications include a doctorate in education on the topic of e-mentoring and women into leadership. Earlier in her career, she worked as a librarian and information professional, and managed workplace and academic libraries.

Previous publications with Facet Publishing include: Blended Learning (2007), Supporting Research Students (2009), The No-Nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013), and Emerging Strategies for Supporting Student Learning (2016). In 2015/16 Barbara developed an online learning resource, Teaching Large Groups, for CILIP. Barbara is a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the HEA, and a Member of CILIP.

Sandeep Mahal

Sandeep Mahal

Love Literacy, Love Libraries

Nottingham is a UNESCO City of Literature with a massive literacy deficit, but in the face of unparalleled political crisis and continuing austerity, they continue to make the best possible case for investment in libraries and literacy. Sandeep’s keynote will cover the city’s vision for a new central library, new approaches to literacy learning, and her work towards achieving the city of literature’s mission: building a better world withwords.

She will stress that enjoying reading and writing is not a frothy extra to literacy skills, but a vital aspect of what it means to be literate. Supporting this with research that
shows that enjoyment drives attainment and is uniquely potent in powering social mobility: children who are read to from an early age start school with thousands more words than their peers, whether or not a teenager loves to read is a clear indicator of his or her later economic success. She will advocate that promoting the enjoyment of reading and writing can change society and transform lives, and public libraries have a very big role to play in that.


As Director for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Sandeep is responsible for leading the company artistically and strategically and working with the highly skilled and dedicated team to make a difference to Nottingham's arts and literature community.

Sandeep started her career in public libraries in Sandwell, (an area widely known as the inspiration for Tolkein’s grim region of Mordor), before moving to The Reading Agency, where she led a powerful partnership consortium transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network.

She has staged all kinds of author events with Zadie Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Adele Parks and Neil Gaiman. Most recently she was Director of The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC.

Sandeep is a trustee of Spread the Word and a Literary Consultant at Slam Films where she works with Slam’s creative team on all literary acquisitions. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious fellowship from the Clore Cultural Institute. She is judging this year’s Costa Prize First Novel Award, having previously judged the British Book Industry Awards and the Fiction Uncovered Prize.

Allison Littlejohn

Allison Littlejohn

[Un]intended consequences of educational change: The need to focus on literacy development

Universities in the UK aim to drive social mobility by providing access to learning and teaching in ways that disrupt and democratise the status quo. These transformations are being driven forward largely through forms of open and personalised learning informed by AI and analytics. Information literacy is an important element in enabling this change and libraries are critical change partners. At the same time UK universities have been under pressure to contribute to the economy and to operate in an increasingly competitive commercial environment. The increasing commercialisation of higher education raises fundamental questions about the place of universities in society and undermines the ability of universities to improve social mobility and to ensure all students are equipped with the critical literacies needed to prepare them for their future. In this keynote, I will analyse these tensions, arguing that many new approaches to teaching in higher education tend to focus on supporting students to pass exams, rather than to learn critical skills and knowledge. Because of this tension, many education innovations benefit students who already are advantaged, rather than
acting as an equaliser. Evolving approaches to learning tend to be designed for those who already have well-developed literacies, rather than opening access for all. AI and analytics are underpinned by assumptions and metrics that embed the status quo, rather than fuelling social mobility. This analysis is based on research with Nina Hood, outlined in our recent book published by Springer: 'Reconceptualising Learning in the Digital Age: the [un]democtratising power of MOOCs.

Libraries are already playing an important part in redressing the balance between preparing students for their future lives and increasing profitability. I am looking forward to discussing these important, systemic issues with LILAC colleagues.


Professor Allison Littlejohn is the Dean (Learning & Teaching) of the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow. She is an advocate for the role of libraries in Technology Enhanced Education and a follower of the LILAC activities.

Allison has held research Chairs at three UK Universities, The Open University, Glasgow Caledonian University and Dundee University and academic positions at the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Highlands and Islands and Northern Colorado in the US. She directs a programme of research in Professional and Digital Learning at the Open University. In this programme her research with professional
organisations and multinational companies spans the Finance, Education, Health and Energy sectors. She has been Principal Investigator or Senior Scientist on over 40 research projects funded by a range of organisations and was Senior Researcher in Knowledge Innovation & Development for Royal Dutch Shell 2008-10. Allison has published over 200 academic articles, including five books and is regularly invited as a keynote speaker.

Speaker 4

Speaker 4

Abstract title's

The network suffered an outage on Friday due to what has been described as a "technical incident related to its ground infrastructure".123

Engineers worked around the clock over the weekend but there is no update yet on when the service will resume.

The problem means all receivers, such as the latest smartphone models, will not be picking up any useable timing or positional information.

These devices will be relying instead on the data coming from the American Global Positioning System (GPS).

And depending on the sat-nav chip they have installed, cell phones and other devices might also be making connections with the Russian (Glonass) and Chinese (Beidou) networks.


What is Galileo?

  • A project of the European Commission and the European Space Agency
  • 24 satellites constitute a full system but it will also have spares in orbit
  • 24 spacecraft are in orbit today; two more will launch next year
  • Original budget was €3bn but will now cost more than three times that
  • Works alongside the US GPS, Chinese Beidou and Russian Glonass systems
  • Promises eventual real-time positioning down to a metre or less

Claire Packham

Claire Packham


isn't life great being a librarian


claire works in a library

Present @ LILAC

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