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Booking is now open for our one-day symposium on Personalised Libraries in Higher Education which will take place at Homerton College, Cambridge between 10am and 4pm on Tuesday 22nd March 2011. The delegate fee is £75. Lunch and refreshments are included.


You will receive an email confirming your booking within 48 hours. If you do not receive an email in this time please contact Sarah Burton who will be happy to assist you. All booking and event enquiries should also be emailed to Sarah.


The symposium, this blog (and the forthcoming Ashgate book) have arisen out of observation of a conscious move on the part of many librarians in Higher Education to provide personalised and highly-tailored library services in order to meet higher user expectations and to regain lost information territory.

Put simply, as St Clair observed (1), it is a move from ‘just-in-case’ librarianship to ‘just for you’ librarianship. It is a paradigm shift that prompted myself and Elizabeth Tilley to write an article for CILIP Update on a personalised or ’boutique’ approach (2), an approach we plan to unpack and explore further here and at the symposium.

Over the next few months we plan to add details of professional articles and blogposts here so that this blog might become a useful resource on this topic.

Andy Priestner

1. St Clair, G., Staffing the special library, In: A. Scammell (ed.), Handbook of Information Management, 8th ed, Aslib-IMI, London, 2001, pp. 43-71.
2. Priestner, A. and E. Tilley, Boutique Libraries at your service, Library and Information Update. CILIP, July 2010 (online only edition).

The symposium is being organised by Andy Priestner and Elizabeth Tilley who will also be editing a book on the subject of ‘Personalised Library Services in HE’ to be published by Ashgate.

Andy Priestner
Andy has worked in academic libraries since 1995. After 12 years at Oxford University he ‘switched sides’ in 2007 to become Head Librarian at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School where he has made radical changes to resource provision and service levels. The School’s library service is now fully integrated with the curriculum and Andy teaches information skills on all programmes.  He is a keen user of social media and headed up the Cambridge 23 Things Programme in 2010. From 2006-10 Andy was Chair of the national Business Librarians Association during which time he instituted many successful changes to the association. He is still an active member of this body and its European equivalent.

Elizabeth Tilley 
Elizabeth has worked in small, specialist academic libraries since 1997. As well as learning to tackle all aspects of librarianship, her first career as a trained teacher has helped to inform much of her work in libraries. Her first post as librarian was in the Unviersity of Cambridge’s Earth Sciences Library where she was responsible for developing a tailored skills programme for undergraduates, and making significant changes to the library space by adopting the Information Commons concepts. Currently working at Cambridge’s English Faculty Library, she has spent three years working out what it is that English students and faculty need and want and has made many changes to the library service – policies, look and feel, teaching, and use of space – in order to tailor the service appropriately. Elizabeth has been professionally active at both national and international levels via CILIP.

Presenters confirmed thus far include:

  • Angela Cutts (Education Faculty Librarian, University of Cambridge)
  • Chris Powis (Deputy Director (Academic Services), University of Northampton)
  • Andy Priestner (Information & Library Services Manager, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)
  • Dr Jane Secker (Learning Technology Librarian, LSE)
  • Emma Thompson (Liaison Librarian – Management, University of Liverpool)
  • Elizabeth Tilley (English Faculty Librarian, University of Cambridge)
  • Tim Wales (Associate Director (E-Strategy), Library Services at Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Meg Westbury (Information & Library Projects Officer, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)

We are still looking to fill a few presenting slots. If you have a relevant case study or project please contact Andy Priestner with the details.

The symposium will consist of a lively mix of presenters, workshops and discussion with a view to full exploring theory and practice within HE when it comes to highly tailored and personalised library services. For this reason we are expecting an active and engaged contribution from delegates.

The symposium will take place on Tuesday 22nd March at Homerton College, Cambridge.

Homerton College is just five minutes from the city’s mainline railway station and ten minutes from junction 11 of the M11 motorway which links Cambridge to London Stansted and Heathrow airports. For those using Satnav, the postcode is CB2 8PH. The College offers on site parking for 230 cars.

We will be using the Paston Brown theatre (pictured below).