• 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.

Sandeep Mahal


As Director for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Sandeep is responsible for leading the company artistically and strategically and working with the highly skilled and dedicated team to make a difference to Nottingham's arts and literature community.

Sandeep started her career in public libraries in Sandwell, (an area widely known as the inspiration for Tolkein’s grim region of Mordor), before moving to The Reading Agency, where she led a powerful partnership consortium transforming the way UK publishers collaborated with the UK public library network.

She has staged all kinds of author events with Zadie Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Adele Parks and Neil Gaiman. Most recently she was Director of The Space – a commissioning agency supporting greater digital access to the arts, co-funded by Arts Council England and the BBC.

Sandeep is a trustee of Spread the Word and a Literary Consultant at Slam Films where she works with Slam’s creative team on all literary acquisitions. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious fellowship from the Clore Cultural Institute.

She is judging this year’s Costa Prize First Novel Award, having previously judged the British Book Industry Awards and the Fiction Uncovered Prize.


Ruth Carlyle


Ruth Carlyle is a health librarian and a health promotion specialist. She has spent most of her career in the voluntary sector, setting up, delivering and advising on health information services. In her first professional post, she set up the information service for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and initiated the contacts that created the International MND/ALS Association. Ruth oversaw both information and professional education programmes at the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the National Eczema Society; then led on the development of local cancer information and support services across the UK with Macmillan Cancer Support. Whilst she was working at Macmillan, the cancer information service network expanded from 37 services to over 200 local services, mostly in partnership with the NHS.

She joined Health Education England in April 2017 as Head of Library & Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning across the Midlands and the East of England. In this role, she is one of four regional librarians for the NHS in England. Ruth is also the lead nationally for NHS libraries in England on patient and public information, with a focus on health literacy

Ruth is policy lead for the Health Libraries Group and her PhD is on the politics of public involvement in the NHS. She is currently writing a book on the role of health literacy in libraries across sectors.


Allison Littlejohn


Professor Allison Littlejohn is Academic Director for Digital Innovation at The Open University, UK and Chair of Learning Technology. She is an advocate for the role of libraries in Technology Enhanced Education and a follower of the LILAC activities.

Allison has held research Chairs at three UK Universities, The Open University, Glasgow Caledonian University and Dundee University and academic positions at the Universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, Highlands and Islands and Northern Colorado in the US. She directs a programme of research in Professional and Digital Learning at the Open University. In this programme her research with professional organisations and multinational companies spans the Finance, Education, Health and Energy sectors. She has been Principal Investigator or Senior Scientist on over 40 research projects funded by a range of organisations and was Senior Researcher in Knowledge Innovation & Development for Royal Dutch Shell 2008-10. Allison has published over 200 academic articles, including five books and is regularly invited as a keynote speaker.

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!

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