Confirmed EDGE Speakers 


Gillian Docherty OBE – The Datalab, Edinburgh

Gillian Docherty is chief executive of The Data Lab, an innovation centre with a mission is to help Scotland maximise value from data and lead the world to a data-powered future. The Data Lab believes Scotland can lead the world to a future where data powers scientific progress, economic prosperity and social good. The Data Lab helps accelerate the journey to impact by fuelling innovation through collaboration, building skills and growing talent, and strengthening Scotland’s thriving data science community.   The Data Lab acts as a catalyst, using our expertise, network, funding and platforms to change how Scotland, and the world, innovates with data. Gillian is passionate about the opportunity for using Data to drive economic and social benefits. Gillian was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 for Services to Information Technology and Business. Formerly of IBM, Gillian is a visiting professor at Robert Gordon University, a TED speaker and was named Digital Leader 2018 for the UK.  Gillian was named CEO of the year at the Digital Technology Awards 2017 and was also in the UK’s top ten most influential people in data according to DataIQ.  Gillian is on the Board of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of Beyonder Involve Charity and an Industry advisor to Previse.  Gillian has a degree in Computing Science from the University of Glasgow, an Honorary Doctorate from Robert Gordon University and is married with a daughter.

Sue Williamson – The Arts Council, England

Sue is the Director for Libraries for Arts Council England. A professional librarian, she has many years’ experience in a variety of roles in public libraries, her previous role being Head of Library Services for St. Helens Borough Council.  A vocal and enthusiastic advocate for public libraries and the benefits and possibilities of their role at the heart of the community, Sue has seen at first hand the positive results of programming cultural and creative events and activities in Libraries.  Sue is relishing the opportunity to shape the role of Arts Council England as the Development Agency for Libraries, building and brokering partnerships at home and abroad. Sue loves all things cultural and is a voracious reader of popular fiction and is thankful on a daily basis that she is lucky enough to be paid to indulge her enthusiasms.

Angela Hursh – Super Library Marketing, Cincinnati & Hamilton County

Angela Hursh was an Emmy-award winning television news producer in Cincinnati, Ohio in the United States. But, after 19 years in that business, she felt the desire to do something to help her community. That’s when she landed her dream job in the Marketing Department of a large public library in Cincinnati, where she leads a team of six people who create all the external marketing content for that library. She is an advocate of collection marketing for libraries and specializes in targeted email messaging, but also drives strategy for the content team’s efforts in print, video, social, and content marketing. She runs SuperLibraryMarketing.com, where she shares tips for library marketing for libraries around the world and has a YouTube channel where she shares quick weekly tips with library marketers. She speaks to libraries across the U.S. about marketing. This will be her first speaking engagement abroad.

Donatas Kubilius – Nacional Library of Lithuania

During this year’s General Conference of IFLA, organization that unites the world’s libraries, the poster of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania was selected as the Best IFLA Poster 2019. The poster introduces the creative space at the National Library. When presenting activities of the National Library’s creative space Pats sau (Do-It-Yourself), the administrator of the space Donatas Kubilius also spoke about shifts in the users’ perception of the traditional library during the digital era, the way how traditional library activities are transforming into new services and what practice is applied to strengthen the community of the users of innovative library services.

Jason Tutin – Leeds

Jason has worked in digital leadership roles in Leeds Libraries for over ten years.  He is currently leading the city’s “100% Digital Leeds” digital inclusion programme.  100% Digital Leeds is increasing the digital confidence, capacity and connectivity of organisations across Leeds with the biggest tablet lending scheme in the country, grant funding opportunities, Digital Champions training and extending free Wi-Fi.  Jason and his team are working with communities to remove barriers to digital inclusion and improve outcomes for everyone:  www.digitalinclusionleeds.com

Vickery Bowles –  City Librarian, Toronto

Vickery Bowles is the City Librarian at Toronto Public Library (TPL), which delivers services through a network of 100 branches and online channels. Vickery has worked in a number of leadership positions, spearheading service development to support capacity building, civic engagement, economic development and social cohesion. She is working to advance TPL’s strategic plan and its digital strategies that support new service models, digital literacy, the customer experience, e-learning, staff development and innovation.

Vickery is the Board Chair for the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) based in Washington, D.C., a member of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) and the Toronto Region Board of Trade Smart Cities Working Group.

Alex Kittow, Chief Executive, Libraries Unlimited, Devon

Alex Kittow is responsible for leading the charity to engage with over 35,000 individuals per year including 4,500 volunteers across the multi-site charity. He worked on a variety of major health and wellbeing projects, positioning the Trust as a ‘Healthy Living Centre’ and enabling the delivery of two long term mental health contracts, plus major health improvement projects for Bristol City Council and NHS England. Most recently he has led the charity to develop one of the UK’s largest community-led housing projects.Alex has been in his current role for nine years, where he has played a pivotal role in increasing the traded income, securing and delivering a number of contracts and grant-funded projects. Under Alex’s leadership, the combined annual turnover across all the charity’s assets has increased to over £40million which includes many start-up businesses, social enterprises and charities delivering services to the local community. This has enabled a significant increase in the positive impact the organisation has on its beneficiaries, as well as growing its financial reserves and improving the governance structure.

Scott Simpson, Head of Libraries & Information Services, East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited 

Scott Simpson is Head of Library & Information Services at East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure. Scott has always had a passion for libraries and in particular the new and innovative use of technology within them. He began his career at East Renfrewshire in 1997 as Systems Librarian where he oversaw the introduction and implementation of the council’s first library management system. The introduction of public internet access in libraries came shortly after and Scott supported this. Scott’s remit has increased over time beyond libraries to other areas of the culture and leisure sector. In recent years Scott oversaw the implementation of the Eastwood Theatre box office system, has an ongoing role in the development of the Trusts leisure management system and was a project manager involved in the redevelopment of the Barrhead Foundry – a co-located sports centre / library / community hub.  Scott is a keen champion of virtual reality in libraries and sees a huge number of possibilities for how it can be used with groups and individuals. Although still at the early stages of the project the team at East Renfrewshire are discovering new and innovative things to do with it almost every day! Scott is here today to share some of those ideas with you.

Paul Martin – Systems Development & Support Officer – East Renfrewshire Culture & Leisure Limited

Paul Martin is Systems Development & Support Officer with East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure. Paul started at East Renfrewshire in 2012 as Digital Development Assistant introducing new workshops on iPads, tablets and smartphones for library users. The role soon expanded and Paul as Digital Champion has since been responsible for introducing Public WiFi and 3D printing to the libraries, and delivering the Training in New Technologies programme to library staff. In his current role, Paul manages and develops the library management system, the public access network and self-service systems across East Renfrewshire libraries. In addition, Paul continues to develop new and innovative digital programmes for library users such as coding clubs and virtual reality sessions.



Our own Perth and Kinross Libraries – on Makerspaces