For he’s a jolly good fellow!

Image of the CILIP AGM where Chris got fellowship

Last week I was really delighted to hear the news that Chris had received the highest honour in the library and information profession in the form of honorary fellowship of CILIP. He’s not one to boast, but it really is a tribute to all the work he does in copyright education to support librarians. So here’s a big shout out to Chris and I’ll let him tell you a bit more about it in his own words…..

I was extremely surprised, but very pleased to have been recently awarded honorary fellowship of CILIP, the library and information Association. This is the highest award that CILIP make for those who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to support the values at the heart of professional librarianship. Other honorary fellows this year were author Bernadine Evaristo, journalist and campaigner Carole Cadwalldr, and accomplished information professionals Dr Carolynn Rankin, Caroline Roche and Dr Sian King (full bios are on the CILIP news page).

I accepted my award at the online CILIP AGM on 26 October and reflected on the recognition I was receiving form my “outstanding contribution to copyright education and its impact on the library and information profession”. There was something of a common thread amongst all honorary fellows who spoke, which was how awkward it felt to be accepting such superlatives for having been lucky enough to find jobs we all enjoyed doing.

I began by musing whether or not I would describe myself as a ‘librarian’ and that even though I don’t have a library qualification or direct experience of working in many aspects of librarianship, the fact that I’d been working for libraries since 2009 suggests that by this stage I probably am. When prompted by Alan Brine who presented me with my award as to whether I felt part of the library and information profession I answered absolutely without any hesitation [just as well – this is what the fellowship is all about – Ed].

I then spoke about how my background working in the music industry had given me a certain understanding of copyright, which changed significantly when I first started working in libraries. This was all brought into focus when I first started working with Jane on copyright literacy and developing insights and interventions on copyright education. But it was specifically the information literacy community and the CILIP Information Literacy Group which helped me find a context and a meaning to the work I am now involved in. That copyright was more than simply a set of rules to be followed, but part of an ongoing conversation about how people and communities find and share information.

I would like to thank everyone at CILIP for being so welcoming, all the other honorary fellows for their well-deserved awards, Alan for responding to my slightly rambling acceptance speech so graciously and Ruth Mallalieu and Anne-Lise Harding for their role in putting me forward for consideration. And of course I have to thanks Jane for continuing to inspire me in the work that we do. Now that I have life membership of CILIP I will do my best to support and promote the library profession to the best of my ability. It really is a great sector to work in.

So there you have it! He’s fast catching up on me with the number of letters after his name, but I’ve yet to twist his arm to start that PhD (yet!)

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