CILIP Ireland LAI Annual Joint Conference 2024: Building for the Future

16th May 2024 | Helen Symington

I was delighted to be able to attended the CILIP Ireland Library Association Ireland Annual Joint Conference 2024: Building for the Future on the 24 and 25th April in Canal Court Hotel and Spa, Newry. There were a fantastic number of attendees from across Ireland and across library sectors. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to so many different librarians about their libraries, current concerns, and plans and hopes for the future. 

The presenters gave me a lot to think about covering topics from future library users, AI, migration, decolonising collections and reading aloud in neonatal units. One question that really struck me was regarding how libraries might create a sense of community on their websites for their readers.

AI featured heavily, as has become normal. I felt the most compelling argument from all talks that featured AI was for libraries to take a leading role in how AI is used and developed. As information management specialists, libraries are perfectly placed to help people learn to adapt to AI as we have adapted to other new forms of technology.

The University of Ulster talked us through how their new campus promoted them reevaluate their workflows and processes to meet their students where they rather than retaining old processes and workflows that no longer served the service. Cilip urged public libraries to also consider who future library users are, their needs and wants, then work towards meeting those needs.

And finally, I was delighted to be able to join in on the tour of Newry public library. Located in the centre of Newry, the library holds general collections, work spaces, a beautiful children’s library, historical collections and more. It was well worth the visit.


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