Libraries change lives and HMP Edinburgh: Speaker Profiles
Libraries Change Lives – Improving Outcomes for Offenders
Councillor Deidre Brock
Deidre Brock is Convenor of the Culture and Leisure Committee for the City of Edinburgh Council and SNP
Councillor for the Leith Walk ward. Originally from Australia, after gaining a BA in English she trained as an
actor at the WAAPA in Perth and worked in Sydney for many years. Prior to the 2007 election, Councillor
Brock worked for three years at the Scottish Parliament as parliamentary assistant to Rob Gibson MSP.
Deidre sits on the boards of the Festival City Theatres Trust, Edinburgh Leisure, the Centre for the Moving
Image, Creative Edinburgh, Edinburgh Film Focus, the RSNO, and is also Convenor of the Jean F Watson
Marc Lambert – CEO, Scottish Book Trust
Marc Lambert was born in 1964 and grew up in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland. After gaining
an MA Hons degree in History from Edinburgh University, he worked for Waterstone and Co. as a main
fiction buyer, then for Penguin Books in Italy and the UK. After four years of writing about and
interpreting contemporary art at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, he joined The Edinburgh
International Book Festival, becoming the Assistant Director. In 2002 he was appointed CEO of Scottish
Book Trust, Scotland’s national agency for the promotion of reading and writing. See
www.scottishbooktrust.com He was a Trustee of the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, is a board
member of the music and education charity Music at the Brewhouse, and is an advisor to the MA in
creative writing at Napier University.
As an editor Marc’s work has included two volumes of poems, essays and translations by Alastair Reid Inside
Out and Outside In (2008), an overview of contemporary Scottish writing Discovering Scottish Literature
(2008), The Spirit of Jura, featuring work by Will Self, John Burnside, Liz Lochhead and others (2009), Voyage
of Intent: Sonnets and Essays from the Scottish Parliament by James Robertson (2005) and The Girl in Red
and Other Poems by Vicki Feaver (2003). He reviews regularly for The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.
Nigel Ironside, Governor HM Prison Edinburgh
Nigel Ironside joined the Scottish Prison Service in 2002 as a direct entrant and was the Deputy Governor at
HMP Edinburgh before taking charge as Governor at HMP Dumfries in 2005. He became the Assistant Director
of Prisons at SPS Headquarters in 2007 before taking up role as Governor in Charge of HM Prison Edinburgh in
Nigel is a graduate of Kingston University where he received a BA (Honours) in Business Studies and he is also
a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He served a total of eight years as an Army Officer
leaving with the rank of Captain from the 1st
Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment). On leaving the
Army he joined the private sector where he worked for Scottish Telecom as a project manager, before taking
over both sales and general management roles in their mobile telecoms subsidiaries.
He is married with two children and lives in Perthshire and his passions include mountain bike riding, rugby
and fine traditional ale.
Kate King, Prison Library Officer at HMP Edinburgh.
Kate manages the Prison Library and supports and trains prisoners to work there.
Kate started working in Libraries as a Library Assistant with East Lothian Council at the age of 19 and soon
went on to manage a Community Library. When her son Cameron was born she trained as a Youth Worker
and worked on social inclusion projects where she set up a Woman’s Support Group and worked with children
excluded from school. In 2003 she joined Edinburgh City Libraries as a Bookstart Project Worker based in
Sighthill Library, before moving to take over the role of Prison Library Officer.
Career Highlights: include working in New York as part of the Tartan Day Celebrations in 2007, winning the
Sunday Mail Great Scot Awards as part of the Sighthill Library Team and also holding a Bookstart Rhymetime
where the then Prime Minister's wife (Sarah Brown) attended and brought her children along to meet Kate
and the parents of Rhymetime at Sighthill Library, whilst not forgetting she has recently won the Libraries
Change Lives Award for her work in the Prison Library
Kate is passionate about reading and books and supporting people no matter what their background to
engage with their Library.
Andrew McTaggart - Library Development Officer
Andrew has worked for Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services for just over 10 years. He began his
career in libraries as a Part Time Library Assistant at Blackhall library before gaining a full-time position at
Sighthill Library in 2002 where he developed his 'love for libraries' going to gain the Msc in Library and
Information Studies at Robert Gordon University. He, along with colleagues, partners and the Community,
continued to develop a service at Sighthill that went on to win various local and national awards, such as:
'Libraries Change Lives' 2006, 'Public Servants of the Year' 2007. He is currently the Library Development
Officer for South West Neighbourhood.
Councillor Harry McGuigan – Community Well Being and Safety.
As an Elected Member to both Motherwell District and North Lanarkshire Councils, Cllr McGuigan has held
positions of responsibility and leadership ranging across Economic Development, Education, European Affairs,
Housing and Social Work. He played a prominent role in the Lanarkshire regeneration initiatives following the
closure of Ravenscraig and other steel plants in North Lanarkshire, and, as Leader, in the setting up of the
new North Lanarkshire Council.
A Maths and Physics teacher by profession, he is motivated by the desire to enable young people to achieve
their potential and established the Motherwell Education/Industry Compact initiative as an exemplar of the
two sectors working in a complementary way to improve opportunities for our young people. He also served
on the Board of the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration.
He played a leadership role in discussions culminating in the establishment of Community Justice Authorities
and takes an active interest in their progress and effectiveness, and related Criminal Justice matters.
He is the COSLA spokesperson for the Community Wellbeing and Safety Executive group.
Professor Fergus McNeill – Criminology & Social Work
Fergus McNeill is Professor of Criminology & Social Work at the University of Glasgow. Prior to becoming an
academic in 1998, Fergus worked for a number of years in residential drug rehabilitation and as a criminal
justice social worker. He teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology, social work and
Fergus’s main interests lie in the fields of sentencing, community sanctions, ex-offender reintegration and
youth justice. Most of his recent research projects and publications have explored cultures and practices of
punishment (particularly in the community) and the implications of criminological evidence (particularly about
desistance from crime) for the reform and development of these cultures and practices.
His previous books include 'Reducing Reoffending: Social Work and Community Justice in Scotland' (with Bill
Whyte, published by Willan, 2007) and ‘Youth Offending and Youth Justice’ (with Monica Barry, published by
Jessica Kingsley, 2009). His new book, (co-editing with Peter Raynor and Chris Trotter) is a major international
collection on ‘Offender Supervision: New Directions in Theory, Research and Practice’ which is due for
publication by Willan/Routledge in October 2010.
Fergus was co-founder (in 2007) of the ESC’s Working Group on Community Sanctions, which he now co-
chairs with Prof. Kristel Beyens of VUB.
Simon Parker – Senior Community Librarian
Simon Parker has worked for Leicester Libraries since 1988. He has worked for the service as a Library
Assistant, Senior Library Assistant and was appointed to the post of Senior Community Librarian: Developing
Communities in January 2005. He was the project officer on two projects working with asylum seekers and
refugees – Welcome to Your Library and Refugees into Libraries. Currently his role is Senior Community
Librarian: Engaging Communities. As part of his role he co-edits a community news agency in Leicester and is a
mentor for young reporters who produced the first young people’s newspaper in the UK. Simon became a
judge for the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award in 2008.
Paul McCloskey – Quality and Development Manager, Customer Service
Paul began his library career in 1982 as Lending and Special Services Librarian at Leighton Buzzard Library and
Since moving to Edinburgh he has managed library services in various communities across the city, including
social inclusion partnership areas such as Sighthill and Craigmillar.
He currently has responsibility for Central Library, Direct Services and customer services in his role as
Development and Quality Manager - Customer Services.
From his library school days in Aberystwyth he has developed a continuing interest in the potential for
libraries to reach out to and make a difference for people who need extra support.