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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 inventor of the Dewey Decimal system used in library classification, Melvil Dewey; the poet, novelist and librarian Philip Larkin, novelist Dame Catherine Cookson and children’s illustrator and author Shirley Hughes.



Nominations for this year's Honorary Fellowships for 2018 are now open.  The closing date is 5pm on 7th September.

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 becuase of their role as an information professional.
  • A person who is an 'unsung hero' who has perhaps supported others in a ways that has 'gone the extra mile'.

2017 Honorary Fellowships

At CILIP's AGM on the 12th October Honorary Fellowships were awarded to:

Joy Court - Carnegie Greenaway Award Chair, Children’s librarian and children's literature expert

Martin Hayes - local studies librarian for West Sussex County 

Chris Riddell - triple Kate Greenaway Medal winning illustrator, political cartoonist and former Children’s Laureate

Stephan Roman - former Regional Director of South Asia for the British Council

Sheila Webber - Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield’s Information School and influential information professional

Dr Carla Hayden, 14th Librarian of Congress


Guidance note for Honorary Fellowships

Honorary Fellowship nomination form


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