CLIS Annual Conference 2017


What Future for the Library and Information Professions?

From 10:30 until 16:45

Carrs Lane Church Centre

Carrs Lane, Birmingham, B4 7SX

£30 (£25 for unwaged)

Graham Hedges / Email: [email protected]

Members of Christians in Library and Information Services will be holding their  Annual Conference on Saturday 8 April 2017 in the Bertha Wright Room, Carrs Lane Church Centre, Carrs Lane,  Birmingham, B4 7SX,  from 10.30. a.m. – 4.45. p.m.


The  guest speaker in the  morning session will  be Maggie Barfield, the Product Developer for  Guardians of Ancora, Scripture Union’s interactive computer game  designed to introduce Bible stories to technically aware young people.  

Maggie’s talk is to be entitled Journey to Ancora and will explain how Scripture Union developed the game out of a conviction that children were being lost to the Church and no longer “doing” the Bible.  A way needed to be found to relate to them  and research among UK parents, teachers and leaders suggested that  children should be met where they are: on-line and mostly gaming.

          As stated, Maggie Barfield is the Product Developer for Guardians of Ancora, a compelling and unique digital environment for children, with faith formation and Bible engagement at its heart.  With twenty years at Scripture Union, applying theological training and practical experience to all areas of publishing (curriculum, devotional, print and digital books and periodicals) Maggie is relishing the adventure of creating an innovative and immersive place-and-space where children can meet God through the Bible and prayer.


The afternoon session will include a presentation on The Future of the Library and Information Professions and the speakers will include Karen Hans (school librarian), Michael Gale (Librarian, The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham),  Susan Bates (Patent Analyst, Shell International), and Paula Renouf (Director of the  Speaking Volumes library scheme).  

          The afternoon will consider the future prospects both for traditional library and non-traditional information services.   We will be looking at the possible future development of electronic books and also hearing about recent developments in the  Christian Book Promotion Trust’s Speaking Volumes scheme which now offers 100% funding for collections of Christian books to be placed in libraries of all kinds.

These are all vital questions in these days of library closures, cutbacks, budget reductions and redundancies, and it is important that we discuss them and, hopefully, introduce a positive Christian perspective into the current debates.

We  want to hear your views on the future of our professions, so please come along with your own ideas and be prepared to contribute.


The conference programme will include our annual general meeting for 2017, beginning at 11.20. a.m.

          Nominations for the executive committee, and motions to be discussed at the meeting, should be in the hands of the Secretary not later than Saturday 4 March  2017.

Nominations are invited for the following executive committee positions:   Secretary, Treasurer, Overseas Secretary, Webmaster, Library Assistance Manager, Recruitment Secretary, and Members Without Portfolio (two positions).

Each nomination needs to be supported in writing by a proposer and seconder and we also require written confirmation from the candidate that he or she is willing to serve.

Candidates are planning to stand for election or re-election to some of these positions but we are always pleased to hear from other members who are interested in serving on the committee, or who would like more information about what might be involved.


The booking fee for the Conference, including lunch and refreshments, is £30.00 with a reduced rate of £25.00 for unwaged delegates. Non-members are welcome.   This year CLIS is inviting students to attend the Conference free of charge and   offering travel bursaries of up to £50.00 to enable two students to attend the conference.

          Please make these arrangements known to any library and information students known to you.

Cheques should be made payable to Christians in Library and Information Services. OR you can pay using PayPal (see below)


As usual the CLIS Conference will provide opportunities for Christian fellowship, networking, worship, and stimulating discussion.

          The Church at Carrs Lane is situated in the centre of Birmingham and just a few minutes walk from Birmingham New Street station.   It is likely to prove accessible to those coming by car or coach.  The venue is likely to be especially convenient for delegates from our Midlands, Northern, London, Eastern and Western regions.

          There has been a worshipping community at Carrs Lane since 1748.  From 1832 Carrs Lane belonged to the newly formed Congregational Union, which became part of the United Reformed Church.   The current building is the fourth to be built on the site and was completed in 1970.

Notable past ministers have included John Angell James, founding father of the Congregational Union and the Evangelical Alliance.

Since November 2011 the Church has had the status of a Methodist and United Reformed Church local ecumenical project with Christians from both backgrounds forming part of the congregation.

Travelling directions will be sent to all conference delegates nearer the time.

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