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Honorary Fellowship

Honorary Fellowship

Honorary Fellowship has been awarded by CILIP and its predecessor the Library Association since 1896. It is the highest recognition given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the library and information world.

Recipients of the title join a roll call of important figures including: Three time former Prime Minster Rt. Hon Stanley Baldwin, Scottish philanthropist and library founder Andrew Carnegie, the poet, novelist and librarian Philip Larkin, novelist Dame Catherine Cookson and children’s illustrator and author Shirley Hughes.



Honorary Fellowship is the highest recognition that CILIP can give to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the library and information world.

It can sometimes be awarded to members of the profession as a reflection of the respect and regard of their colleagues for a particularly important contribution over a long period of time.

It is also the means by which CILIP can recognise those people who are not in the information profession but have supported and contributed to its development and profile.

Honorary Fellows do not have to be CILIP members but must have some kind of relationship or link to the profession.

Further information for the criteria of Honorary Fellowships can be found below, with the nomination form and a guidance note at the end of the page.

Award criteria

Nominations for Honorary Fellows have to demonstrate at least one or more of the following:

  • That their work or activity has raised the profile of the information profession in some way.
  • That their work or activity has had a significant and positive impact on the profession.
  • That they have made a difference to the world of libraries, information and knowledge through their work or activities.

Nominees could include:

  • A person with a long history of outstanding leadership in the profession who has recognition in society and has raised the profile of information professionals.
  • A person who has campaigned or supported campaigns in line with CILIP's charitable objections to improve society by making better practice or services.
  • A person who has made an outstanding contribution to change in society because of their role as an information professional.
  • A person who is an 'unsung hero' who has perhaps supported others in ways that have 'gone the extra mile'.

Call for 2019 Nominations

We are calling for nominations for this year’s awards, to be presented at the CILIP AGM on 17th October. Nominations are now open and will close on 30th September. Please find below the nomination form and this years’ guidance information. Should you have any questions regarding Honorary Fellowships then please contact Ayca Ilcen on


2019 Nominations form

Guidance note for Honorary Fellowships

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