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

We are delighted and honoured to have ….

Alistair 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.

Neil MacInnes – Strategic Lead, Libraries, Galleries & Culture, 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 McCredie – Brand Licensing Consultant

Lucy specialise in advising and supporting those in the heritage and charity sector develop licensing programmes but also have experience across the board of the brand licensing industry. For the past four years Lucy has been Licensing Consultant to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home where I built the brand licensing and publishing programmes from scratch

Lisa Roberts – Client Manager: 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.

Scott Simpson – Projects & Systems Manager, East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited.

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

Sue 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.

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.