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

We are delighted and honoured to have ….

Councillor Austin Hart – Bio coming soon…






alistairgaw2Alistair Gaw – Acting Executive Director of Communities and Families

Alistair qualified as a social worker at the University of Edinburgh in 1988 and began his career in Strathclyde Region. He has post-qualifying awards in practice teaching and child protection and has an MBA from Napier University Business School.  Alistair is currently acting as Executive Director for Communities and Families at the City of Edinburgh Council. His responsibilities include children’s social work, schools, early years and community learning and development. He has worked for four local authorities holding specialist posts in children and families and criminal justice social work. Alistair was a member of the Social Work Services Inspectorate and worked on care standards, the regulation of care, adoption policy and the national review of child protection. As Head of Workforce and Finance in the Scottish Executive he was responsible for workforce development across the social care sector. He was Depute Chief Inspector at SWIA, responsible for local authority social work and criminal justice inspections and has led serious case reviews. Alistair was Head of Children and Families and Criminal Justice Social Work in Fife Council for 4 years before joining the City of Edinburgh Council as Head of Children’s Services in September 2011. In recent years he has been active in the work of Social Work Scotland and CELSIS. Alistair is the immediate past President of Social Work Scotland.

martyn-wallaceMartyn Wallace – Chief Digital Officer, Scottish Local Government.

Martyn is in charge of the Scottish Local Government Digital Office who’s responsibilities include being the centre of excellence in data, technology and digital and collaborating with the councils to help them with their own transformation whilst ensuring they are creating top class digital services for citizens. Initial aims are around organisation and setting out more standard approaches across local government in Scotland in regards to planning and implementation. Martyn and his team work with regional level collaborations as well as work with such partners  as Scottish Government, Scotland Excel, SEEMiS, NHS NSS, Improvement Service and SOCITM. Previous to this role Martyn worked as a Digital Consultant at Capita’s Secure Digital Solutions directorate but most notably in his career to date was hit position of Head of Digital Sales for Enterprise at Telefonica O2 UK where he was responsible for taking the full brand new innovative Telefonica Digital Portfolio to market in the UK whilst helping clients transform their business to be more digital centric in their approach. Previous to Telefonica, Martyn has worked at companies including Blackberry, Compaq and Computacenter Martyn has featured twice in the Holyrood Tech 100 (2013 and he kicked off the 2016 chart) plus was also voted as “one to watch” in regards to being the potentially “Biggest Digital Disruptor in Scotland” by the Scotsman in October 2016

Neil-McInnesNeil MacInnes – Strategic Lead, Libraries, Galleries & Culture, Manchester & President, Society of Chief Librarians.

Neil is Strategic Lead – Libraries, Galleries and Culture. He is responsible for 22 libraries in the city including the recently transformed Central Library and HMP Manchester’s prison library as well as the County Record Office and City Archives. Neil is also the President of Society of Chief Librarians

lucy-mccredieLucy McCredie – Brand Licensing Consultant

Lucy is a Brand Licensing Consultant who specialises in supporting not- for- profit organisations in the creation and delivery of brand licensing programmes. With a background in Fundraising, she has been in the brand licensing industry for 18 years and developed programmes at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, The Science Museum, National Railway Museum and more recently for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home where she created a full programme from scratch. Lucy also widened her knowledge of the sector when she worked for 3 years at FremantleMedia Enterprises on their licensing programme including brands as varied as The X Factor, DangerMouse and QI.  She currently undertakes freelance assignments and has recently acted as an adviser to Help for Heroes and supported agency MetrostarMedia at their stand at Brand Licensing Europe in October 2016.

lisa-robertsLisa Roberts –  Head of Culture & Leisure, Peterborough City Council.

With 15-years’ experience and a background working in local government, the private and charity sectors across a range of disciplines. Lisa brings a strong business mind to any transformational change agenda and have an excellent track record of delivery with the skills of an experience strategic manager with a significant track record of delivering complex programmes, projects and events at National and European levels, working in and across cultural, leisure and commercial services. Lisa’s experience is further enhanced by skills in transformational change programmes, stakeholder engagement, performance management, strategic business planning and policy development, community development and solution-focused delivery.

scott1Scott Simpson – Libraries & Information Services Manager, East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited.

With a degree in Librarianship & Information Studies from Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology, and a post graduate diploma in Information Technology from the University of Paisley even back in the pre-Windows days of computing Scott could see how much of an influence on libraries that information technology would be. After a brief but eye-opening temporary job in Ferguslie Park library in Renfrewshire Scott joined Bell College of Technology as assistant librarian responsible for government publications. Not quite as dull as it sounds he  was also responsible for managing a small network based in the college library which led to his first job with East Renfrewshire Council. Initially as Systems Librarian where he implemented the councils first library management system, through a number of different roles and remits Scott retained the IT element throughout his career at East Renfrewshire while widening his remit to include sports & leisure systems, theatre box office systems as well as libraries. Leading on major projects such as the Barrhead Foundry development led finally to his current role. Appointed Library & Information Services Manager for the East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Trust in the autumn of 2016 Scott is looking forward to leading the library service through times to come. Scott is the current portfolio holder for libraries in VOCAL and works on the Digital Inclusion strategic aim of the national public libraries strategy.

anthony-hopkinsAnthony Hopkins – Head of Library, Heritage & Adult Education Service Community & Housing Department, Merton Council.

Anthony Hopkins is the Head of Library, Heritage and Adult Education Services for the London Borough of Merton. He has over 18 years of experience working in public libraries and is the current President of the Association of London Chief Librarians (ALCL) and an executive member of the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL). The London Borough of Merton is renowned for having the most cost efficient library service in London whilst achieving some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction and usage.  Anthony is an experienced consultant and has worked on transformation programmes for other councils in England. He has also led LGA peer reviews and has recently led a successful transformation of Merton’s Adult Education Service to a new commissioning model. He is also a strategic lead for the London Libraries Consortium (LLC) and has led pan-London initiatives on behalf of the Greater London Authority (GLA) such as ‘Love Libraries Love Volunteering’ and is a contributor to the work of the Libraries Taskforce.

David-Fletcher – Bio coming soon…






sue-wilkinsonSue Wilkinson – Chief Executive, The Reading Agency.

Sue Wilkinson is Chief Executive of The Reading Agency, a registered charity and Arts Council England NPO. The Reading Agency’s reading for pleasure and for health and well being programmes are developed and delivered with library partners and run across the whole of the UK. The Reading Agency’s mission is to inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their love of reading with others and celebrate the difference being able to read well makes to all our lives. Last year 1.6 million people were involved in our programmes. Sue joined The Reading Agency in 2014 prior to doing so she was Director of Government and Academic Liaison at Elsevier and Director of Policy at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. She is a trained teacher and has worked in the broader cultural sector for all her career.


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.

Catharina Rinzema, Project Manager Reading & Writing Foundation, the Netherlands.

Catharina Rinzema is passionate about library empowerment, literacy and social innovation. She works for the Reading & Writing Foundation, which is a 100- strong team working to prevent and reduce illiteracy in the Netherlands and Europe-wide. It is founded by H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands who serves as UNESCO’s Special Envoy on Literacy for Development. Catharina is responsible for the development of international projects and campaigns both within the framework of the Reading & Writing Foundation, UNESCO’s Global Alliance on Literacy and the PublicLibraries2020 team (powered by the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation). When not working she loves to dive into books, the ocean, politics and philosophy.


annie-maugerAnnie MaugerCIH, Executive Director for Scotland

Annie has been the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Executive Director for Scotland and the devolved nations for since February 2015.
After twelve years in local authorities in Scotland, she became Head of Libraries and Heritage for the City of York and then CEO of MLA Yorkshire until 2008. She then worked as a consultant to charities and local authorities and as CEO of a charity for asylum seekers and refugees, until appointed as the CEO of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals where she stayed until January 2015.
Based in Edinburgh, Annie leads the team in Scotland to support and engage with members and stakeholders but also across the devolved nations and the Republic of Ireland in delivering member services and providing advocacy and policy engagement with four different governments and as part of the CIH Executive team.
The CIH has 18000 members across the UK working in all kinds of roles, mostly in social housing for associations and local authorities. Housing is a devolved matter and devolution has created very different policy environments in each nation. Annie spends a lot of time informing and lobbying government about the need for more social and affordable homes and the impacts of UK wide policy such as welfare reform.
Annie is from Jersey, Channel Islands. She is delighted to have returned to Scotland and to Edinburgh, which definitely feels like home.

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.

margaret-bellMargaret Bell, Operational Manager, Libraries NI

Margaret Bell has worked as an Operational Manager for Libraries NI since it was formed in 2009 and has over 30 years’ experience working in the Public Library sector.
The area that Margaret is responsible for is a largely rural area with an approximate population of 400,000 and a network of 23 Libraries, 5 mobiles and 2 home call vehicles.
Margaret is responsible for managing the Libraries NI mobile library service strategy for the fleet of 16 mobile libraries and is a member of the Libraries NI /Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs working group and has an interest in promoting library services to rural communities.
Margaret has been involved in many library development projects, most recently the new Lisnaskea Library, a £1.6 million capital build programme. Margaret leads the Libraries NI strategic approach to people with dementia, identifying barriers to use and overseeing the implementation of an action plan.

David EddyPrincipal Library Manager, Sefton Council

David left his beloved Cornwall to study English Literature at London University and has gradually headed north ever since. After working as a bookseller for Prospero’s Books he studied for an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes. During this time he promoted dictionaries for Oxford University Press, read manuscripts for literary scouts, and learnt to gate-crash publishing parties. Eventually David took on the role professionally, starting with PFD (now United Agents) before joining Blake Friedmann as Rights Manager. He survived several tours of Frankfurt Book Fair and then moved to Liverpool. David joined Sefton’s Library Service as manager for Stock and Reader Development. Following a major service review in 2013 he is now one of three Principal Library Managers who share responsibility for all aspects of service delivery. He is currently working on secondment to Sefton Council’s Framework for Change programme. This is David’s first visit to Scotland and he is delighted to have made it over the border at last!

Pamela Tulloch,  Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Library and Information Council

As CEO of the Scottish Library and Information Council, Pamela is responsible for providing independent advice to the Scottish Government on Library and Information Services across Scotland. The Scottish Library and Information Council leads on the implementation of the Scotland’s first National Strategy for Public Libraries – Ambition and Opportunity (2015-2020), supports the FE and HE sector, NHS information service, and a number of special interest libraries. Previous experience includes working with Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and Dundee City Council. Pamela currently sits on the British Library Advisory Board, Carnegie UK Trust Library Lab Advisory Group, University of Strathclyde’s Information Science Industrial Board, First Minister’s Reading Challenge Advisory Group and other library and information related alliances.

Sarah Hassan, Assistant Head of Service, Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.

I have worked in public libraries for over 30 years and have always loved being part of re-inventing what they are about and what they do.  I did my library training at Loughborough and  have worked in Yorkshire, Dorset, Luton and Norfolk – managing rural libraries, team working in a central library, training and developing staff, managing projects and in the last few years having strategic responsibilities and being on the management team in Norfolk. I have been part of the Healthy Libraries team in Norfolk – planning our approach with Public Health partners and the staff development to back it up.  I really believe in libraries as places where truly amazing things can happen to people and where we can find all the things that make our lives better – health info. being just one of them.  I have only ever been to Edinburgh once on a day trip so am delighted to have the opportunity to visit again properly.