My name is Ayub Khan, Vice President of CILIP, the UK Library and Information Association.
CILIP is proud to be the longest-established Chartered Institute for Information Professionals, with a heritage that goes back 120 years uniting, representing and developing the sector.
We take our mandate from our Royal Charter, which gives us the responsibility to:
“Unite all persons engaged or interested in information science and libraries and information services”
We want to ensure that we are using our unique position and influence to champion equalities, diversity and inclusion across the whole of the Information Profession.
Since last year, CILIP has been working to deliver an ambitious Action Plan called Securing the Future.
This Action Plan was produced through an open, participatory campaign and includes comments, suggestions and contributions from more than 500 librarians and information professionals.
One of the key expectations set out in this Action Plan is that CILIP should “champion equality and diversity” across all areas of our work, including membership, professional support and advocacy.
In 2014-15, CILIP and the Archives and Records Association collaborated with Edinburgh Napier University to commission the first-ever comprehensive mapping of the UK information workforce.
This mapping revealed the scale of the workforce for the first time. We have around 89,000 information professionals in the UK, with a highly qualified and highly skilled workforce.
However, it also provided evidence which revealed some profound challenges in our sector around diversity, equalities and inclusion.
The estimated UK workforce is around 87,000 people, of whom approximately 70,000 are ‘librarians’.
Librarians remain the largest information professional group, followed by archivists and information managers.
The evidence showed that we have an older workforce than other professions, with approximately 45% of the current information professional workforce due to reach retirement age (assuming retirement at 70) during the next 10-15 years.
These figures belie some interesting details. The majority of our workforce enters the profession as a second career between the ages of 25 and 35. It is more common to ‘move sideways’ into librarianship from other roles than it is to come up through Library & Information schools.
We also have a significantly higher proportion than the average of people who stay in the same role or position for 20-25 years.
The Workforce Mapping also revealed the extent of our sector’s gender pay gap. Although there are variations between different parts of the sector, the evidence shows that while 80% of our workforce is made up of women, they only hold half (47%) of senior leadership roles.
The Workforce Mapping revealed a worrying lack of ethnic diversity across the sector. While 88% of the UK workforce self-identify as white, or profession is 97% white. This means that as a workforce we are not yet fully representative of the communities we serve.
The workforce mapping also highlighted some other issues which CILIP is still working through. For example, we found a particularly high incidence of people with anxiety or mental health issues and a significant proportion of the sector with caring responsibilities. We also found a high academic barrier to entry – with approximately 60% of librarians and information professionals holding postgraduate qualifications.
As a Charity and UK organisation, CILIP is obviously responsible for compliance with the 2010 Equalities Act, which sets out our responsibilities to avoid discrimination on the basis of the protected characteristics (age, disability, gender, marriage, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation).
There is also a less well-known set of responsibilities that are specific to trade associations (Clause 57) which mean that we must actively target and avoid discrimination against people entering or developing within the profession on the basis of the protected characteristics.
Interestingly, these same provisions extend to volunteers working in libraries as well as to paid professional library staff.
Diversity is embedded right at the heart of our ethics as a profession. The first principles of the CILIP Code of Ethics is “Concern for the public good in all professional matters, including respect for diversity within society, and the promoting of equal opportunities and human rights.”
CILIP is currently running an Ethics Review, led by the Chair of our Ethics Committee, Dawn Finch. The feedback received about the role of ethics in equalities and diversity is instructive:
18 of the free text responses related to equality, with concerns being raised about, for example, disabled access to library and information services, racism, including receiving an accusation of institutional racism based on texts held in a library, ageist remarks from a colleague, and sexism directed at both men and women.
One commenter on diversity said, ““Large libraries recruit and promote too much from within their organizations, reducing opportunities for talented new staff to come from outside, ultimately damaging the service provided to users”.
CILIP’s aim is to transform the way we think about equalities, diversity and inclusion so that they move from being something we talk about to a set of values which define us and which we see as fundamental to our success as an organisation.
We want to deliver real, lasting and meaningful change, which is why this year we have launched our Equalities and Diversity Action Plan
The Equalities and Diversity Action Plan is designed to move us on from talking about these issues to delivering real action to change them.
We have set 4 priorities which will inform all of our work over the next 4 years:
Looking at how we make CILIP itself an organisation which reflects and celebrates diversity in our staff, Board and volunteers Taking action to ensure that our membership is open, inclusive, diverse and representative Following this up with action to target diversity across our profession, across all protected characteristics, but with a specific initial focus on age, income equality and ethnicity Celebrating diversity in our sector, whether through services, books or activities which promote engagement with diverse audiences Supporting the development of our sector to ensure that the services we provide contribute to the wider agenda of social justice, change and equality – including, for example, promoting literacy and encouraging people to engage with diverse books.
We are very aware of the risk of trying to ‘do everything’ – we know that we live in an unequal society – but we can and are resolved to take action around the things over which we have direct influence.
We’ve already made good inroads to the actions in our Action Plan, including conducting equalities impact assessments on all new and current work, ensuring that all staff receive induction and training in diversity and inclusion and looking at our existing hiring and recruitment practices.
We have received funding from the Arts Council England to run a joint leadership development programme with the Society of Chief Librarians, and as part of this, we are looking at ways to support more women in pursuing leadership roles. We have also worked through our editorial policies for the new CILIP magazine Information Professional and our policies around sector awards.
To ensure that this remains an ongoing commitment, we have built Equalities and Diversity into our Performance Management Framework, which means we will have regular data on how we’re doing.
So I was asked to talk a little bit about the Carnegie Greenaway Diversity Review in the context of CILIP’s Diversity and Equalities work.
The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are amongst the highest-profile and most visible areas of CILIP’s work. They are led by the CILIP Youth Libraries Group with support from the CILIP Team and overseen by a dedicated volunteer Working Party and Judging Panel. This year saw a landmark as we celebrated the 80th Year of the Carnegie Medal – celebrating the very best in children’s literature – and the 60th Anniversary of the Kate Greenaway Medal, celebrating the wonderful work of illustrators.
In 2016, we introduced the Amnesty CILIP Honour – an unique collaboration between CILIP, YLG and Amnesty International.
Each year two special commendations, the Amnesty CILIP Honour, are awarded to the author and illustrator of two books; one from each shortlist, that most distinctively illuminates, communicates, or celebrates our personal rights and freedoms.
Previous winners of the Amnesty CILIP Honour have included There’s a Bear on my Chair by Ross Collins and Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley and Zana Fraillon’s wonderful book The Bone Sparrow.
The development of the Amnesty CILIP Honour was not without controversy – shortly after it was announced, CILIP was contacted by several faith groups expressing concern at the alignment of librarians with Amnesty’s wider campaigns.
But then suddenly in February this year, the judges, Working Party and CILIP found ourselves confronted with a real challenge when the Carnegie Medal longlist was published. Because it didn’t include any Black Asian and Minority Ethnic authors, we found ourselves accused of failing to reflect diverse viewpoints and narratives.
To set this in context, in 2016, of all of the books published in the UK, fewer than 100 were by British authors of a non-white background. Of the 100 Bestsellers of 2016, just one was by a British writer from an ethnic minority background. The Carnegie Greenaway Awards are by no means alone in having faced these accusations but the YLG, the Working Party and CILIP are all aware that we have a responsibility as librarians to be aware of and avoid intrinsic bias and to promote and celebrate diversity.
So we took the view with YLG that this was an opportunity to promote positive change by championing equality, diversity, inclusion and participation. To do this, we jointly announced an independent Carnegie Greenaway Diversity Review, Chaired by Margaret Casely-Hayford.
Margaret is a retired lawyer. She was formerly on the Board of NHS England and is currently Chair of Action Aid. When she accepted the role as chair, she said: “It is so important for young people growing up that they are genuinely included in the world around them. Stories and pictures are the oldest way in which we record and represent our environment and our place in it. Which is why I am so pleased to be working with CILIP to ensure the UK’s oldest and most prestigious awards for outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people are the best possible champions of inclusion, participation, diversity and equality.”
This is the timetable for the review itself. We have held the first two workshops and are currently working with the team to bring these together into an interim report. During the New Year 2018 CILIP will carry out a fully open consultation in which we proactively go out and encourage as many diverse viewpoints as possible.
All of this feedback will be reviewed and analysed and used with a set of Focus Groups, the Working Party and judges to finalise a report and list of recommendations for CILIP to consider, with changes to be implemented in time for the 2019 Awards cycle.
It is still very early days in this review – the 2018 Awards process is underway, so any recommendations for the future development of the Awards have to go forward to 2019. However, after two very productive workshops which featured contributions from a wide range of authors, diversity champions and librarians, there are some broad themes we can start to explore.
Firstly – it has become clear through the workshops that there are already a lot of elements of the Carnegie Greenaway Awards process which do explicitly emphasise and celebrate diversity and equalities, but very few people know about them. This has prompted us to reflect on the transparency of the process, but also on how we could do more within CILIP to ensure people are informed.
Secondly – there seems to be an emerging consensus that we can do more to celebrate the diversity and representation that is present in the longlist, shortlist and history of winning books. When the initial row first broke out, several librarians wrote blog posts exploring the representation of diverse identities in the books themselves, although we do want to ensure that this diversity carries through to the authors too.
Thirdly – a lot of people have commented on the idea of making the awards more open and participatory but many of the suggestions are things which already happen in the awards process.
And finally, everyone involved would like to see greater diversity across the workforce, which is where the Carnegie Greenaway Diversity Review really crosses over with CILIPS Equalities and Diversity Plan.
To ensure that our commitment to Equalities and Diversity is led from the top, the CILIP Board has now published a formal Declaration on Equalities and Diversity, committing CILIP and ourselves as Trustees and members of the Presidential Team to take visible action to champion diversity.
For example, CILIP Trustees Alison Wheeler and Naomi Korn featured in the recent CILIP campaign on the Pledge for Parity – aiming to overcome and get rid of income inequality and the gender pay gap.
We are excited about the possibility of becoming an organisation which really champions diversity and we hope to be able to work with all of you to ensure that we do.
Championing Equalities and Diversity in the Information and Library Sector
Championing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
in the Information & Library sector
Ayub Khan, Vice President, CILIP
More info: https://www.cilip.org.uk/research/topics/equalities/equalities-diversity-action-plan
“The objects of the Institute shall be to
work for the benefit of the public to
promote education and knowledge
through the establishment and
development of libraries and
information services and to advance
CILIP Royal Charter 1898
CILIP Constitutional Documents (amended 2014)
To put library and information
skills and professional values at
the heart of a democratic, equal
and prosperous society
Securing the Future, CILIP Action Plan 2016-2020
The first ever comprehensive
mapping of the UK information
(library, archive, records,
information & knowledge
CILIP/ARA Workforce Mapping Project (2014-15)
Libraries Archives Records Information
Estimated UK Workforce of 87,000 people
An older workforce
In the next 10-15 years, approx.
45% of our workforce will reach
A clear gender pay gap
The library & information
workforce is 79% female and
But 47% of top earners are men
Lack of ethnic diversity
97% of the library and
information workforce self-
identify as white
(Compared to 88% in the overall
Equalities Act 2010
Includes a specific section on
‘trade associations’ and their
responsibilities in respect of the
CILIP Membership Pack 2017
All CILIP members agree to abide by a Code of Professional Ethics
when they join
Principle 1: “Concern for the public good in all professional
matters, including respect for diversity within society, and the
promoting of equal opportunities and human rights.”
CILIP wants to achieve real, meaningful and lasting change, ensuring
that our profession reflects and celebrates the diversity of identities in
the communities we serve
What we’re doing
1. Carried out Equalities Impact Assessments on all new and current work
2. Induction and training for all CILIP staff, Trustees and Presidential Team
3. Embedded Diversity into the Public Libraries Skills Strategy
4. Exploring Women into Leadership programme (ACE funded)
5. Built Diversity & Equalities into Editorial Policy for our magazine
6. Incorporating Diversity & Equalities into plans for sector Awards
• Awards Strategy workshop with stakeholders to review purpose of awards
& workshop the difference we can make
• Awards Diversity Review begins
• CILIP’s Equality & Diversity Action Plan publishedSummer ‘17
• Terms of Reference for the Review agreedSept ‘17
• Diversity Workshop with stakeholders with lived experience of the issuesOct ’17
•Workshop synthesis and drafting of interim report
•Work begins to scope and design broad consultation /surveyNov ’17
• Interim scoping report publishedDec ’17
• Open consultationJan-Apr ’18
•Survey & consultation analysis
•Focus groups to test & consult on findings and refine recommendationsMay- July’18
• Full report published - Strategy and recommendations from Diversity
Review report start to come into effect for 2019 Medals onwardsSept ’18
Key findings so far
1. Much of what people want to see in terms of improved diversity &
representation are already built into the judging process and criteria, but
aren’t sufficiently well-known
2. There is a real opportunity for the Carnegie Kate Greenaway medals to be
more visible in celebrating diversity, equalities and representation
3. Where people are looking for greater and more inclusive participation,
this is often already part of the Awards – for example, the Shadowing
4. There is an opportunity to ensure that structural diversity and
representation are addressed, but this has to happen in the context of
CILIP’s wider ambitions to diversify the workforce
CILIP Board Declaration on
Equalities & Diversity
“We believe that all members of our
society should have equitable and
ready access to knowledge,
information, data and works of
imagination appropriate to their
needs, wants and aspirations. In
particular we are committed to the
aims set out in our Equalities and
Diversity Action Plan.”
CILIP Membership Pack 2017
Ayub Khan, Vice President, CILIP