• 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.

Barbara Allan

Barbara AllanBiography

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.


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?


Josie Fraser


Josie Fraser is a Social and Educational Technologist who has worked across education sectors, with governments, commercial service providers and not for profit organisations, developing innovative and effective practice in the use of technology to support learning and teaching. She has long promoted the use of social technologies and networks within education, including convening the International Edubloggers Awards for several years. She has worked on behalf of Childnet International for both Labour and Conservative Governments to deliver UK cyberbullying guidance. Her work developing digital literacy for educators and educational institution has been recognised internationally. Her pioneering work in relation to copyright and open educational resources saw Leicester City Council become the first local government in Europe to provide permission to school staff to openly licence their learning materials, alongside copyright and OER support and training.

Since 2015 she has served as a board member of Wikimedia UK, a charity dedicated to supporting access to knowledge for all, promoting engagement with Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, Wiki Data, and the Wikimedia Commons.


The Library is Open: Librarians and Information Professionals as Open Practitioners

Libraries as spaces and librarians and information professionals play a critical role in ensuring access to knowledge and information, and supporting meaningfully access that information. As such, they are on the front line of open education.

Josie Fraser, an educational technologist who has worked with schools, colleges, universities and government in relation to organisational and staff development, will look at why open education is a key component of information literacy. Her keynote will explore what open educational practice is, and look at how libraries and information professionals are leading the way.

Drawing on her experience of working with educators to support their understanding and use of open educational resources, she will look at the difference that an explicit incorporation of open education can make to learners and professional practice. Understanding and engaging with open education can help librarians and info professionals better support the information literacy of ‘info civilians’ and organisational aspirations with respect to making innovative and effective use of technologies.

At a time when keeping the library open is becoming more and more difficult, Josie will argue that understanding open practice represents a necessity for everyone concerned with information literacy education.


Alan Carbery

Alan CarberyBiography

Alan Carbery is the Associate Library Director in Champlain College in Vermont, USA, and is responsible for all instructional outreach initiatives through the library, as well as the College’s award-winning, blended program of information literacy instruction. This program reaches every single undergraduate student seven times throughout their undergraduate studies. Prior to moving to the US, Alan worked in a number of academic and special libraries in Ireland.

Alan’s work has focused on information literacy instruction through problem and inquiry-based learning. He’s developed a longitudinal model of meaningful, rubric-based assessment of student learning in information literacy. He’s concerned with reflective practice; how librarians identify and develop as teachers, taking a strengths-based approach to leadership, and most recently in how critical pedagogy and social justice influence our profession.

Alan is currently assisting towards the publication of a forthcoming whitepaper on Global Perspectives on information literacy with ACRL’s Student Learning & Information Literacy committee. He also serves on the editorial board of College & Research Libraries. Alan is the Chair-elect/Vice-Chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee. During his term as chair in 2017 and 2018, he will lead ACRL’s initiatives in promoting ACRL’s forthcoming action-oriented research agenda with OCLC on library contributions to student learning and success.

Alan’s main pastime is taking far too many photos of beautiful Vermont scenery.


Authentic information literacy in a post-truth era

What does it mean to be information literate in a time when post-truth, alternative facts and fake news are all part of our vernacular? What role should the teaching librarian play in addressing issues of information in a post-Brexit, Trumpian time? Why have we found ourselves at this crossroad?

This keynote explores an approach to information literacy that deals in concepts of social justice, informed citizenship and active and critical participation in society as an alternative to tried-and-tested library-centric models of instruction. This philosophy transcends academic librarianship - often the bastion of information literacy, and places the learner as a citizen, instead of student. This keynote advocates for a critical, real-world, authentic approach to information literacy instruction that leaves behind traditional methods of library and research instruction.

Librarians are seeing recent global political events as a heightened call to action. What impact does this have for the actual library classroom? How does this fit pragmatically into the work of instruction librarians? How can we contribute towards reasoned and informed citizenship? This keynote offers that perhaps our role is not in fostering information literacy, per se, but curiosity and healthy scepticism.


Present @ LILAC

LILAC is great opportunity for our fellow professionals to present their ideas, share best practice and show case new thinking in our sector. If you have an idea then we'd love to hear about it. We have many options for the types of sessions you might run from a symposium to a workshop. Visit our Call for papers page to find out how to apply.

Book your place

Places at this year's conference are likely to be in demand more than ever before. Each year our conference grows increasingly popular and this year promises to be no different. Don't miss out and book your place now for this year's conference.
We look forward to seeing you there!

LILAC on Twitter

follow us @LILAC_conf

RT @infolitgroup: We've got 2 vacancies on the ILG team! Could you be our new Health Sector Representative or Member Service Officer? https…

22 Jul

RT @infolitgroup: The latest in our series of Meet the @infolitgroup Committee blog posts - @JInfoLit Editor-in-Chief Emma Coonan: https:/…

22 Jul

My week on Twitter 🎉: 1 New Follower, 1 New Following. See yours with https://t.co/t25inG2UaC

21 Jul

You can also find LILAC on

Parent Body

  • Information Literacy Group


  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals
  • Journal of Information Literacy

Our Sponsors