5 April 2013 Last updated at 9:17, 16/07/2013
I gained a Library and Information Science degree at Granada University, Spain, following which I spent three years working as a public librarian in sunny Tenerife, Canary Islands. In 1999 I moved to London, gained my CILIP Chartership in 2002 and have been an active and committed CILIP member ever since.
After a brief period working as a volunteer in Canning House Library to gain some work experience in the UK, I got a job as a project cataloguer at the London School of Economics Library, the major international library of the social sciences. In 2001 I moved to Library Services, University College London (UCL), London's leading multidisciplinary university. I left UCL at the end of July 2010 and, after a short period in the commercial sector in the City of London, I became Branches Relationship Manager at the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians, where I provided advice, training and support to a large network of volunteers working in thirty Branches across the UK. In May 2012 I joined the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, a global professional body that “exists to support the science, art and Practice of building services engineering”. In my role as International and Regions Manager I am the point of contact for international members throughout the world, and provide coordination and support for the branches network which operate both in the UK and internationally.
A registered CILIP mentor, currently working towards my CILIP Fellowship, I am passionate about CPD and professional activism. In 2002 I got involved with the Career Development Group (CDG) London & South East Divisions committee, where I served until my retirement in 2011. At national level, I was CDG Honorary International Officer (2004-07), moved to the presidential team in 2008, became President in 2009 and served as Past President in 2010. During this time I pioneered the concept of new professionals and organised the first New Professionals Conferences in the UK (2009, 2010) creating an enabling environment to make CILIP more inclusive, ensure fairer representation and unearth new leaders. I also developed the CDG activists network organising Activists Training Days, and worked towards growing CDG membership and a sound, transparent governance system by implementing clear election procedures, a more democratic decision making system and a new financial model, and represented CDG at CILIP Policy Forum (2009, 2010).
Before being elected to CILIP Council, I also served two full three-year terms on the International Library and Information Group (ILIG) committee, during which I organised ILIG Informals and an International Conference on Advocacy (2011), was the ILIG representative to the CILIP Umbrella Conference (2011) and coordinated international LIS visit from colleagues from a number of different countries.
During my time at CDG and ILIG I have also served on several CILIP Task & Finish (T&F) Groups. These include CILIP's Political Manifesto, CILIP's first ever political manifesto for the library and information profession, sent to all political parties before the UK general election which I co-wrote and promoted; CILIP/LIANZA Reciprocal Qualifications T&F Group, where I researched LIANZA’s professional qualification requirements for maintenance and development of skills and knowledge, mapped those to CILIP’s requirements and created a comparative table which informed the T&F Group report to CILIP Council; the Equalities Audit T&F Group where I contributed to the design and evaluation of an equalities questionnaire sent to all CILIP activists and to the recommendations to CILIP Council on institutional policy to encourage wider participation and make the Institute more inclusive; and the CILIP International Activities T&F Group where I helped review CILIP’s international budget and activities for 2011 in order to make recommendations to Council in advance of the 2012 budget.
I was the recipient of CILIP’s IFLA First Timer Award in 2004 and have actively participated on IFLA Annual Congresses ever since, developing my wider professional interests; these include advocacy for libraries, access to information as a human right, women empowerment though education, and diversity and equality issues within the profession. I translate these passions into my work as Education Advisor for the African Prisons Project, a small charity which works to bring dignity and hope to men, women and children in Africa; as Convener of IFLA Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group, which I founded in 2007, and as committee member (ex-officio) of IFLA Management of Library Associations Section (2007-)
In my spare time I like travelling, going to shows, cooking and sampling dishes from around the world, and throwing tapas parties for friends at my home in North London.