Speakers Announced – This year’s line up, so far!

We are delighted and honoured to have ….

Alan GardnerAlan Gardner - The Autistic Gardener of Channel 4 fame, with a representative from the National Autistic Society

Award-winning gardener. Alan designers gardens. He is a gardener. He also has Aspergers Syndrome.  He is the creator of 40 RHS show gardens, winning numerous awards at Chelsea, Hampton Court and two gold medals at Tatton Park.  His unique designs embody inspiration from his other passions – architecture, conceptual art and the wider landscape around him.  Alan’s first series, “The Autistic Gardener” is on Channel 4.  It sees Alan leading a team of novice trainees, all of whom are on the autistic spectrum, to create some truly sensational garden spaces.  The programme combines his skills as a garden designer with his infectiously enthusiastic presenting style and his gift for mentoring and inspiring his gang of trainees.  Alan feels for those of us unlucky enough to reside on the “neurotypical” end of the spectrum, but is confident that if we work hard and put our minds to it, there is hope for us too… Alan lives in Sutton Coldfield with his family. Photograph credited to sldigital.co.uk

Daniel-CadeyDaniel CadeyAutism Access Development Manager, National Autistic Society

Despite more than 1 in 100 people in the UK being autistic, many still struggle to access the spaces and amenities that others take for granted. Daniel is leading on the development of the National Autistic Society’s Access Award, which seeks to champion services that have made adjustments to make it easier for autistic people to visit them whilst embedding good practice across the UK.“

Jason-Tutin-photoJason Tutin - Digital & Learning Development Manager, Leeds Library & Information Service

Jason has worked in digital leadership roles in Leeds Library and Information Service for over ten years.  In his current role as Digital and Learning Development Manager, he leads on the innovative development of digital strategies and learning programmes across Leeds libraries.  Jason and his team explore new ways that libraries can use digital technologies to benefit individuals and communities.

Martyn-EvansMartyn EvansBA (hons) MA (econ) FRSA, Chief Executive, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust

The Carnegie UK Trust is an independent, endowed charitable trust incorporated by a Royal Charter. The Trust is one of over twenty foundations established by Andrew Carnegie. There are over 650 Carnegie libraries in the UK and Ireland and 2800 worldwide. Martyn has recently been the chair of the Expert Group on Welfare and Constitutional Change (2014), Northern Ireland Roundtable on Wellbeing (2015), and National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland (2015) and the Fairer Fife Commission (2015). He was Director of the Scottish Consumer Council (SCC) from 1998–2008 – a consumer policy and research body. Martyn was a visiting Professor of Law at the University of Strathclyde from 1995-2001.  He was Vice-Chair of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and Chair of its Audit Committee. He was Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice Scotland for five years prior to taking up his post with SCC. Director of Shelter (Scottish Campaign for Homeless People) from 1987-1992.

ErikErik Boekesteijn  -  Founder and Director of Doklab, Netherlands

Erik’s work has always been about libraries. First in the music department ( discOtake ), then in DOK, the library concept center in Delft, the Netherlands in the marketing and communication department. Later he set up the innovation department with Jaap van de Geer and now he is the co-founder and director of Doklab. Doklab is a private company with the mission to connect people to collections. Doklab does this through consultancy, concept- and product development for libraries, museums and archives. Erik speaks at conferences all over the world on the use of library spaces and services and Doklab’s Extreme Library Makeover program.  Shanachie Media is a production company that Erik set up with his friend and colleague Jaap van de Geer that provides information and inspiration for libraries worldwide through world wide travels in the ShanachieTours and through a weekly internet library talk show This Week in Libraries. In 2009 Erik received the honorary title of Mover and Shaker by Library Journal in 2009 and has been chosen as Best Librarian in the Netherlands 2015.

Jan-HolmquistJan Holmquist - Assistant Library Director of Guldborgsund Public Library, Denmark, and Library Journal Mover & Shaker 2014

Jan and his team in Guldborgsund developed the first 23 Mobile Things program, which was later translated to the global online learning program #23mobilethings leading the way for English versions in the USA, Singapore and the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, as well as versions in German, Russian and Norwegian. The library as a learning hub in the community is one of Jan’s core beliefs. The modern library supports learning on all levels. Jan believes that the best library is created by being globally inspired and by transforming the inspiration into acting locally in the community. Recently Jan has been working with development and research of library strategy both at Guldborgsund Public Library and as part of his Masters studies at Copenhagen Business School. Previously Jan has been working with gamification and libraries. In this project a mobile game was developed aiming to take the library outside the building and making the literary history of the community visible in the city.

Other work includes the crowd-funding projects ‘Buy India a Library’ and ‘Help This Week in Libraries’ in the global online library community, and he is a proud member of the cross-European library advocacy group Library Avengers. He is also a member of the board of Biblioteksvagten.dk, the Danish ask online service.

You can read more at janholmquist.net and follow Jan on Twitter: @janholmquist

Gavin-OattesGavin OattesDirector, Tree of Knowledge

With a background in primary school teaching and a successful career in stand-up comedy Gavin is now regarded as one of the most talented and sought after speakers in the UK, regularly delivering keynote speeches at conferences and exhibitions around the world. He’s our longest serving member of the team and in 2012 Gavin won ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’. He was of course just happy to still be considered young!

Louise-Macdonald-OBELouise Macdonald OBE - Chief Executive, Young Scot

Louise Macdonald OBE is Chief Executive of Young Scot, the multi-award-winning youth information and citizenship charity. Working in partnership across all sectors, Young Scot aims to support young people aged 11-26 to make informed decisions and choices, and connect them to their communities – contributing to Scotland’s ambition of being the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. She has been CEO for seven years, and prior to that had a varied career in the public sector, including specialising in youth volunteering and community enterprises. Louise is a former board member of the Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO); Vice Chair of the 2020 Climate Group;  a committee member of the IoD in Scotland and a Board member of the Scottish Parliament Scotland’s Futures Forum. She was also a member of the advisory board for the recently published national strategy for libraries in Scotland.

Steve-O-ConnorSteve O’Connor - Adjunct Professor at the Charles Sturt University School of Information Studies & Library Management Editor

Steve is a seasoned international speaker, workshop presenter, editor, writer, consultant and, of course, librarian.  He wrote the book on scenario planning for libraries and other organizations (Imagining Your Library’s Future Chandos which is now also being published in the Chinese language by the National Library of China). His latest book is titled Library Management in disruptive times (published by Facet). He is a long standing journal editor (Library Management), the author of over 70 articles and a frequent presenter at international library and information management conferences. Most recently, he has been working on a feasibility study for advanced leadership at Charles Sturt University where he is an Adjunct Professor. Steve’s passion is to foster creative and dynamic imaginative communities that deliver positive and measureable results for their Library’s customers. Understanding that there are many paths to the Future is crucial for choosing well and to dealing, in an engaged fashion, with change management.


Liz-Connect-publishedLiz McGettigan BA MCILIP ACMI FRSA – Director of Digital Library Experiences

Liz holds the digital future of libraries in the palm of her hand!

Liz is Director of Digital Library Cultural Experiences at SOLUS UK and one of Scotland’s Top Tech 100 for 2015, driving the digital agenda in Scotland – putting libraries, information and innovative technology on the map.  Prior to this role Liz was Head of Libraries and Information Service for the City of Edinburgh where she led the team to deliver Edinburgh’s first fully-online council service, social media suite and 24/7 interactive portals and apps. Passionate about delivering on Scotland’s potential as a truly digital nation Liz also initiated Edinburgh’s innovative digital participation project. Vice President of the UK Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, in Scotland. Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, Senior Member of the Society of IT Managers and a former Member of the Institute of Informatics and Digital Innovation Advisory Board at Edinburgh Napier University. Liz is an award-winning Digital Library and Information Specialist and a leader in the future library and transformation movement. Liz is recognized for integrating technology, people, social and business strategies into effective new business models.

Liz is passionate about the future and potential of libraries, nominated for 5 Connect awards, Public Sector Digital Award and Best UK Library Service 2013 she has presented on her work around the world from Australia, US, Singapore and Buenos Aires to Paris and Amsterdam.

Councillor Richard Lewis - Convener for Culture & Sport

Born in Sydney, Richard grew up in both Edinburgh and Australia. After attending James Gillespie’s High School, he completed a BA (Hons) in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford and a Masters at Edinburgh University before working in Mannheim, Germany for some time. He has since worked as a freelance musician and conductor in Austria, Hungary, Australia, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland. He has been a member of the SNP for 18 years and has served as vice-convenor of Marchmont branch. He first stood for the party in the council 2007 election. His primary areas of council interest are education and the arts and particularly the importance of maintaining and expanding upon Edinburgh’s reputation as a leading artistic, cultural and educational centre. Richard has a Hungarian partner Eszter and two young children.

john-scallyJohn Scally National Librarian and Chief Executive, National Library of Scotland

Dr Scally started his career at the National Library of Scotland in 1993 as a curator in the British Antiquarian Division and left the Library as Deputy Head of Rare Books in 2003. Dr Scally moved to the University of Edinburgh to take up the post of Director of University Collections and during his time at the University progressed to the post of Director of Library and University Collections. Dr Scally returned to the National Library of Scotland in September 2014 as National Librarian and Chief Executive.

Dr Scally holds a BA (Hons) in English and Modern History from the University of Strathclyde, a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge and a Diploma in Information and Library Studies from Aberystwyth University.

Iain-RobertsonIain RobertsonPolicy Officer, Digital, Scottish Libraries & Information Council

Iain has worked in public libraries for over 30 years, the first 20 in customer facing roles.  With the computerisation of library systems and the development of the Peoples Network at the turn of this century, he recognised the impact that this new technology could have. Keen to understand more, he attended evening classes when other commitments allowed, eventually gaining a BSc in Computer Networking with Distinction in 2013.  During this period he moved from the ‘front lines’ to join the IT and Systems team in South Lanarkshire Libraries.  He is currently seconded to SLIC as Digital Officer, following an earlier secondment in 2014/15 as their WiFi Project Officer. He confesses that he is less interested about how the technology works, and more about the positive impact it can have on libraries and their communities.

Karen O Brien - Library Development Officer, Collections, Edinburgh City Libraries

Karen has worked with Edinburgh Libraries for 14 years.  In her current role she is responsible for the collections of Edinburgh Libraries including the physical illustrations and photographic resources.  Part of her role is to find ways to improve access and use whilst ensuring the preservation of heritage material.  For this project she is exploiting one of the e-services provided by Edinburgh Libraries’ Digital and Information Team.