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Aspire Award

The Aspire Award ran from 2011 until 2018. Funded by donations, it gave members at the start of their career a bursary to attend the UK’s leading event for information professionals - the CILIP Conference.

The winner of the 2018 award is Hannah Smith.

About the Aspire Award

The CILIP Aspire Award helps new professionals with their professional development. The winner receives a bursary to attend the annual CILIP Conference.

The bursary paid for the conference fee, travel from within the UK and accommodation.

Conference keynote speakers for the 2018 CILIP conference included  Penny Young, House of Commons Librarian, Sally Walker, Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of the Year 2017 and John Chrastka and Patrick Sweeney from EveryLibrary

Who can enter

Please note that entries for the 2018 award have now closed.

The award is for CILIP members who have recently joined the profession. Enter if you:

Are a member of CILIP
Have joined the profession in the past five years
Have registered for Chartership, intend to Charter in the next two years, or have Chartered in the past year
Can write a blog post about your experiences at the Conference



Identification of an ambition or overall aim that attendance at the conference will help realise
Evidence of existing or planned contributions to CILIP or the library and information profession
Demonstration of your support for Bob McKee’s core conviction that the role of libraries is a means to a fairer and more prosperous society

What the bursary includes

A full delegate place at CILIP's 2018 Conference (4 and 5 July, Brighton)
The full delegate place includes the drinks reception on 5 July
Reasonable travel expenses from within the UK
3* hotel accommodation for a maximum of two nights

More about the award

The award was created in memory of CILIP’s Chief Executive Bob McKee, who died in August 2010, by CILIP and IFLA with the support of Bob's family and Liz Jolly.

The Award will support Bob's passionate interests – developing new professionals and strengthening international relationships.

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