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CILIP Ireland committee members


Alex McIlroy - Chair

I am the User Services Librarian in both the Medical and Healthcare Library, and the Biomedical Library, Queen's University Belfast.

I graduated from University College Dublin with a Masters in Library and Information Studies in 2001 and started my early library career as a library assistant in the school library of Wellington College Belfast. I moved from the school sector to the voluntary sector by taking up a position as Information Officer in Age Concern NI. I then jumped to the government sector by working as the assistant librarian in the departmental library of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. I stayed there for 3 years and took the opportunity to start the chartership process.

In 2006, I moved to the academic sector by taking up a subject librarian position in the Medical and Healthcare Library, Queen's University Belfast, before moving to my current position within the same library in 2010. I was awarded chartership of CILIP in 2007 and am currently going through the revalidation process.

I was divisional secretary for the Career Development Group (Northern Ireland) for many years and initially joined the CILIP Ireland committee as an academic representative for Queen's University. In 2016, I took on the role of Candidate Support Officer, and in late 2016 was elected to take on the Vice-Chair position. I moved into the role of Chair at the beginning of 2020.

As a CILIP Ireland committee member and Chair I look forward to representing you all, and meeting you at some of our events, listening to your issues and what is happening in your workplace, and understanding the challenges you face.

Seána McAuley - Vice-Chair

Seána McAuley is a Librarian at Allen & Overy LLP.

My career in libraries began in Trinity College Library, Dublin, where I spent a year in the Inter library loans department. Following my stint at Trinity I moved across town to University College Dublin where I completed my Masters in Library and Information Studies.

Over the years I have worked in the academic, public, and voluntary and community sectors and am currently working as a Librarian in a multi-national law firm based in Belfast. Throughout my career I have been involved in various professional bodies and have been a committee member of CILIP’s Career Development Group Northern Ireland division, a committee member of the Association of Information Managers NI, and a member of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL).

I have been lucky to have met and worked with some really inspiring librarians who have pushed me to take on opportunities which were entirely out of my comfort zone. I enjoy the sharing of knowledge and experience that comes from connecting with librarians and information professionals working in different sectors to my own. I very much look forward to expanding this through my involvement with CILIP Ireland.

Gerardine Blee - CILIP Ireland Relationship Manager

I am the Relationship Manager for CILIP Ireland. I graduated with an Information and Library Studies Degree from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2004. Since then I have worked in a diverse range of job roles spanning the academic, government and voluntary sectors. I gained chartered membership of CILIP in 2010 and recently revalidated. I commenced my role with CILIP Ireland in 2015.

It is my aim to represent and support all members of CILIP who live or work in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. I firmly believe CILIP Ireland can act as strong united voice of the Library, Information and Knowledge Management community advocating on behalf of all our members. I am working to increase visibility and build influence among key decision makers in Government at the Northern Ireland Assembly. By producing briefings, responses and policy statements we are contributing to National Policy Development.

It is one of my key aims to develop a strong sense of community amongst members in this region. I work closely with the CILIP Ireland Committee to organise events including conferences and training opportunities. These events are aimed at providing support for members in continuing their professional development. I welcome any suggestions for future events, please contact me by email at

I am also working to build value with employers by supporting CILIP members to enhance their professional skills and standards. Finally, I encourage you to get involved and I look forward to meeting you at upcoming events.

Vacant - Secretary

Louise Wasson - Social Media Officer

I am currently an academic librarian at Queen’s University Belfast providing research support to AFBI users in the Veterinary Sciences Division. Customer engagement across user groups is also a significant part of this role. After completing a PhD in Medieval Studies I gained experience in various library sectors (public, academic, special collections and archives and healthcare), and completed my library qualification with the University of Sheffield iSchool. As current CILIP Ireland Social Media Officer, I enjoy the chance to interact with diverse audiences, attend CILIP Ireland events and keep up-to-date with all things library! CILIP membership has provided me with welcome support at various stages and I would highly recommend becoming a member as a route to learning from peers and colleagues at all professional levels.

*Louise is currently on maternity leave and the role of Social Media Officer is being covered by Cath Skipper

Ross McDonald - Treasurer

I am currently Library and Information Services Manager at Belfast Metropolitan College and treasurer on the CILIP Ireland Committee.

I began my career in public libraries as a part-time library assistant in 1999 and have also worked in legal and school libraries prior to commencing my current post. I qualified as a Librarian from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2004 and am currently undertaking Chartership. The best job I’ve ever had was a temporary posting in a mobile library on the Ards Peninsula.

I am passionate about the role that libraries have in our society and joined the CILIP Ireland committee to help develop and promote the information sector to our members and wider afield. I have a particular interest in school and further education college libraries. Outside of work I enjoy baking, hill walking, photography and try to find the time to read as much as possible.

Vacant - Candidate Support Officer

Eilish McLaughlin - New Professionals and Student Liaison Officer

I'm part of the Bibliographic services team at Queens University's McClay library. I'm a library assistant and mostly manage Readings Online. I really enjoy being exposed to the range of materials studied at the University across different departments and subjects. I started with Queens in September 2019 in their borrower services team before moving to my current role at the start of 2020.

Prior to working at Queens, I worked in the library of Shrewsbury International School in Bangkok and before that I was a Graduate Trainee at the University of Bradford's J.B Priestley library.

I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2017 with an MA in History of Art and English Literature and I'm currently working towards my masters in Library and Information Management at Ulster University. I'm grateful for the chance to represent the views of new professionals and Library and Information Management students through CILIP.

Eimear Evans - North-South Liaison Officer

I am Faculty Library for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Queen’s University Belfast. I graduated with a Masters in Library and Information Studies from University College Dublin in 2011, following a library studentship at the National Library of Ireland. I worked as a Library Assistant with Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board), and then with All Hallows (a college of DCU), before moving to Belfast for a Library Assistant post in the McClay Library at Queen’s. I have worked in a variety of roles at the McClay including Subject Librarian and Institutional Repository Officer, to my present day post as Faculty Librarian.

I have been North South Liaison Officer with CILIP Ireland since 2018. I aim to strengthen our collaboration with the Library Association of Ireland by sitting on the North South Liaison Committee, and through involvement in the Annual Joint Conference. I am also on the editorial panel of An Leabharlann (The Irish Library).

*Eimear is currently on maternity leave and the role of North-South Liaison Officer is being covered by Claire Milliken

Claire McCartan - Activities Officer

I have worked for the last 15 years in various Library roles in Queen’s University Belfast and am currently based across two sites: The Biomedical Library and the Medical Library. My experience is primarily in academic libraries with a short foray into the school library world when I worked for almost two years in Saint Louise’s Comprehensive College, Belfast. I began my library career in a voluntary role as Librarian for the College Theological Society in TCD, I then spent a year working as a graduate trainee in the Berkeley Library, TCD and have also worked in the library at Saint Mary’s University College, Belfast.

I completed my library qualification in Ulster University in June 2019 and was delighted to be jointly awarded the Allen & Overy Award for Best Overall Performance in the Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Management. I am a member of various professional library organisations, as well as Media Literacy Ireland, and have an avid interest in all things library related. I am looking forward to my new role on the CILIP Ireland committee and to connecting with like-minded souls as we share knowledge and experience through collaborative events.

Cath Skipper - Ordinary Member

Cath Skipper is a School Librarian at Campbell College, Belfast. I have always been a keen reader, and was a pupil library assistant during my school years, so becoming a school librarian was perhaps always my destiny! Following a stint as a bookseller at Aberystwyth University after I finished my undergraduate degree, I completed an MSc Econ in Library and Information Studies there and have been the librarian at Campbell College, Belfast since 2009. I feel very fortunate to have a job I love; it is a great privilege to be able to help the young people I work with develop their love of reading and become information literate citizens.

I have been a member of CILIP since 2008, and am a member of the ILG, YLG and SLG special interest groups, and was a member of the judging panel on the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards in 2014 and 2015. I am also the Secretary for the Northern Ireland branch of the School Library Association in Northern Ireland. I am a keen advocate of school libraries and librarians, and I am looking forward to working with the CILIP Ireland committee to help further promote the value of our sector.

Claire Milliken - Ordinary Member

My career in libraries began in Northumbria University, Newcastle, where I spent a year working in the Circulation department. I enjoyed this so much I enrolled to study for a Masters in Library and Information Studies at the university. I undertook this part-time so that I could continue to work in Library and Learning Services. This practical experience very much informed my learning.

I graduated at the end of 2008 and joined the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2009. This work is extremely varied. While I initially worked in the Electronic Services team, I am now embedded the Research Service. In this role, I use my transferable information management skills to respond to research enquiries from Members of the Legislative Assembly, their staff and the secretariat in an impartial, objective, timely and non-partisan manner.

Throughout my career I have been involved in various professional bodies and have served as Secretary to the CILIP Ireland committee. Through this engagement I have met and worked with some really inspiring information and library professionals from a variety of sectors.

Julie Reid - Ordinary Member

I have worked in public libraries since 1995. My first job as a temporary part time library assistant in East Belfast sparked a love for libraries and what they do for local communities. I have had various roles in libraries including frontline, training and development, marketing and management. Until recently I had responsibility for the delivery of the Health service priority across Libraries NI. My current role is as Deputy Head of Services for Libraries NI, a position I took up in January 2020.

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