A Yorkshireman born and bred, I came to library work late in life. I spent nearly 25 years in the transport industry - working across the sector, at almost every level, from driver’s mate to managing director and proprietor. My last position was as a Passenger operations Manager for Wallace Arnold (Coaches) Ltd.
I joined Kirklees Libraries in 2004 to drive mobile libraries. Since then, I have held several posts, including Operations Manager for Mobile & Home Service Libraries, Customer Service Manager at Huddersfield Central Library and Customer Service Manager (Projects) for the whole service. I am currently the Manager of Dewsbury Library. I have not completely abandoned my transport roots – in addition to my ‘day job,’ I am still on-call for our Winter Service Team, (driving a gritter/snow-plough.)
I joined CILIP's Branch & Mobile Libraries Group in 2007. I took part in the Advisory Panel on Community Libraries and I have presented and published individually and jointly on Partnership Working and Managing Occupational Road Risk. I have been referred to as both ‘a bit of an expert’ and ‘a bit of an anorak,’ on the subject of Mobile Library Operations and, to be honest, either epithet could be appropriate! I have served on this Committee since the creation of the Public & Mobile Libraries Group and I am the publisher of the group journal, ACCESS.
Jacquie Widdowson - Co-Chair
I started my library career in a busy London public library service. I took up the role of Darwen Librarian, for the Blackburn and Darwen Library Service, in 2016. My professional interests include digital platforms, events programming and marketing, social media and youth services.
I have been a member of CILIP since 2010, was a YLG London committee member for two years and have been a PMLG (formerly PLG) committee member since early 2012.
I gained my Librarian qualification at City University, London, where I was awarded a distinction in Information Management in the Cultural Sector MSc. I was awarded my MCLIP Chartership in January 2015.
In my spare time I am somewhat of an adventurer; I love travelling and trying new things. Most recently, I have been enjoying hawking, indoor sky-diving, segway rally, fire cooking, survival skills training, canyoning, kayaking, climbing and mountain walking.
Saran Pope - Honorary Secretary (& Journal Editor)
I started working for Caerphilly Library Service as a Supply Library Assistant in 2007 and haven’t looked back since! I am currently working as a Community Librarian after completing my MSc Econ in Information and Library Studies via distance learning with Aberystwyth University. I completed Chartership in 2017 and I am currently Hon. Secretary of CILIP PMLG committee. I have a wide range of professional interests including reader development and digital services. I enjoy the variety of opportunities on offer in the public library service. In one day I can go from attending project meetings to leading a class of children around a library dressed as the cat in the hat! My job is never boring and I've learned to expect the unexpected!
Julia Shepherd - Events Officer
I have worked in public libraries since 2000, for both Central Bedfordshire Council and Buckinghamshire County Council.
I joined the Cilip Branch & Mobile Libraries (BMLG) Committee in 2008 and, since the merger with PLG, have become a part of the Public & Mobile Libraries Group (PMLG) committee.
In my spare time I am the Principal clarinet player in my local concert band and also like playing my many other musical instruments. I enjoy LeRoc dancing and have had my own poetry book published.
Julie McKirdy - Honorary Treasurer
38 years working in a very busy branch library in Sandwell, West Midlands and my volunteering work within the local community has helped me to establish Thimblemill library as the arts and cultural hub, which it is today. I am actively involved with local groups in the community; I'm school governor to 2 local primary schools, secretary to a local conservation group, events officer to a local park, board director to a local community centre and board member to West Midlands police service.
I was awarded the prestigious BEM, (British Empire Medal) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2015. I thought nothing could top this supreme award, but in September 2016, I was doubly honoured to be declared Public Library Champion of the Year.
In my spare time I like to travel, love finding hard to reach places, driving and the open roads to somewhere new; music, dancing, theatre and meals out all help me to unwind.
Samantha Lockett - Committee Member (& Journal Editor)
I have been a Library Assistant at Holmes Chapel Library in Cheshire East for four and a half years. During this time, I have put my love of children’s and Young Adult fiction to good use, running a lively teenage book club and staging a variety of children’s events. Working with young people is my favourite part of the job. So much so, that I volunteered to coordinate the young volunteer scheme for the Summer Reading Challenge. Two years on, 15 young people have dedicated their summers to inspiring children to read – a lovely sight to behold!
I am currently studying for my MA in Information and Library Studies via distance learning. I completed Certification (ACLIP) in 2017 and recently enrolled for Chartership (MCLIP).
Outside of work, I am often to be found at the mercy of my Demon Cats, Mattie and Margo. To escape, I love to walk my dog Gisborne through the Cheshire countryside.
Aude Charillon - LACA Representative for Public Libraries
I am currently working as Library and Information Officer at Newcastle Libraries. Part of my time is spent within the Business & IP Centre Newcastle, managing the business collections and answering customer enquiries. I am also certified by the UK Intellectual Property Office to provide information regarding patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. Another part of my time is spent on expanding the digital and learning offers at Newcastle Libraries; especially relating to more advanced digital skills - coding, using online tools for creative remix of content, protecting one's privacy online, etc. I am a keen believer that libraries have a role to play in the open movement. I am part of the team pushing the open data agenda and linked activities at Newcastle Libraries. I have been a member of the CILIP North East Member Network committee for several years. I joined the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance as the public libraries representative in October 2016.