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CILIP East Midlands

Carol Brooks - Chair

Passionate about professional development Carol has 40 years of experience in training and development through working in local authorities, the Territorial Army and CILIP. Having been an operational manager for over 30 years she also worked as a learning & Development Officer before retiring to running her own coaching and development company, Chrysalis Development.

Carol co-ordinated the CILIP Mentor Support Network for over 10 years and led the development of the Mentor Training and Fellowship workshops. She has supported many people through CILIP qualifications as well as undertaking her own portfolio for fellowship. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2007 for her contribution to CPD.

Jenny Mackay - Secretary

As a law graduate of Nottingham Trent University Jenny took a job as an Information Assistant at the Boots Library, where she discovered a passion for the library profession. Jenny remained at NTU whilst she undertook the ILM MA at Loughborough University which she completed in 2010. Jenny has worked as a Senior Information Assistant at the University of Nottingham's Jubilee campus in both the Business Library and the Djanogly Learning Resource Centre, supporting teaching and academic research through the production of training materials, delivering inductions, information literacy sessions, as well as collection management responsibilities. The project work she has been involved in to date includes the implementation of the online reading list management system, TALIS Aspire. Jenny currently work for the University of Nottingham’s Collections Team, which is responsible for collection management and development of resources required for teaching and research with a particular focus on the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences.

Helen Drakard - Treasurer

Helen Drakard has worked at Libraries Connected as Membership Engagement Manager since May 2018 where she provides a link between Libraries Connected strategic team and the organisation's members, keeping members up to date with the work of Libraries Connected and organising activities and events such as the annual seminar.

Helen has a BA Hons Degree in Conservation and Restoration from De Montfort University and an MA in Information and Library Management from Loughborough University. She began her library career at Lincoln Central Library as a Relief Library Assistant in 1996, since then she has held a variety of roles in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire library services including Customer Liaison Officer, Library Development Worker and Locality Librarian before joining The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) as Executive Officer in 2014.

Helen has been a chartered member of CILIP since 2013 and is an active member of the CILIP East Midlands Members Network where she held the voluntary position of Candidate Support Officer for the for several years before recently taking on the role of Treasurer.

Emily Warren – News Letter and Media Editor

Emily is a Development Librarian for Digital Library Services at Leicestershire County Council. Emily has worked for LCC for six years and has worked in a number of roles across Libraries, Museums and the Creative Industries. Her role as a Development Librarian involves developing the library digital offer including collections, digital inclusion activity and the service’s online presence. She graduated from Loughborough University in 2016 with an Information and Library Management Master’s degree and is committed to developing user-friendly digital library services. In addition to her role as Development Librarian Emily is currently managing a Leicestershire County Council project to catalogue works of art in Leicestershire schools and has previous experience working as a Liaison Librarian at De Montfort University.

James Kearney - News Letter and Media Editor

James is responsible for the East Midlands regional network’s communications, namely the newsletter and social media presence.

After graduating with a First from Durham University in 2018, James now works as a teacher at a Secondary School in Lincolnshire, whilst also working in a Prison Library on Saturdays. He is currently working on a study of the role of school libraries in supporting the English curriculum in schools. James previously worked in a number of public libraries in County Durham. 

When James is not writing his next essay, shelving library books, or experimenting with web2.0, he enjoys walking, cycling, creative writing and, of course, reading! His favourite writers include Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Jennings.

James is keen to work with the regional network to strengthen the effectiveness of our communications, and is eagerly anticipating contributions to the regular newsletter!


Anoma Gunewardena – Web Editor

Anoma is passionate about providing support for learning to all types of library users in Academic library sector. She has been working at University of Nottingham libraries as a Library Advisor in Customer Services, Inter-library Loans and Resource Acquisitions.

Anoma started her career as an Information Officer at the library of Industrial Development Board of Sri Lanka which supports Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs. However she became interested in natural rubber (one of main export crops in Sri Lanka) and worked as a Research Scientist in Sri Lanka, Japan and the UK for more than 20 years. She has worked as a doctoral and post-doctoral researcher in the area of natural rubber and poly vinyl chloride at Loughborough University since 1994.

Anoma changed her discipline back to information and Library Management by gaining an MA in ILM from Loughborough University in 2011. Anoma also possess a BSc and an MSc from Sri Lanka and a PhD in Rubber Technology from Loughborough University.

Susie Crowley – Committee Member

Susie Crowley is a Chartered Local Studies Librarian, based at Chesterfield Library. Her wider role includes Local Studies across Derbyshire as well as staff training, managing Family History IT volunteers and supporting customers with IT access and Universal Credit applications.

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