Change of date for next SWOP meeting


To avoid clashing with planned strike action, the date of the next SWOP meeting has been changed to Wednesday 21st March 2018, 1.30-4pm. It will now take place in the Fairlie Meeting Room on the 2nd floor of Dundee University Main Library.

If you haven’t done so already, please register your intention to attend via Eventbrite.

For those who’ve already registered, you don’t need to do anything… unless the date no longer suits you. I which case, please drop me a note and I can make the necessary adjustments.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.


Visit to the Bank of England Library


Bank of England 

I was lucky enough to be able to join the CILIP Government Information Group visit to the Bank of England library and archive during a trip to London in November. The first thing that you notice when visiting the Bank of England, aside from the stringent security on entering the building, is the exquisite tiled floor in the entrance hall. This was recently renovated as ladies’ high heels were found to be damaging the tiles, and it’s very striking when you enter. The building was purpose-built as the Bank but the interior was rebuilt in the 1920s to create more space as the institution grew; it now reaches so deep underground you can feel vibrations from the tube every few minutes.

 The library is open 24 hours a day for Bank staff, and is staffed during office hours. The collection has been weeded recently as much of it had become out of date, but the library holds a complete run of The Economist dating back to the 1850s. Most other journals are kept for about 5 years. We viewed some of the special collection highlights, including books on forgery, engravings, the story of the Bank nun (so-called because she kept returning to the bank after her brother, a former employee, was hanged for forgery, and is said to haunt the area), a collection of newspaper clippings relating to the banking crisis of 1857, and economic reports from the Reichsbank detailing the state of the German economy immediately after the Second World War. To me one of the most interesting items of those on display was a photographic record of the Bank’s architecture, the preface of which is critical of the rebuild. Further editions of this book had the harsh preface removed. 

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Speed networking event 25th January, Edinburgh

We are delighted to announce that the  Scottish Law Librarian Group  and SWOP  are holding a joint Speed Networking event  on Thursday 25th January in the SSC Library.

Registration is from 4.00pm and the event starts at 4.30.

We hope that you can join us.

To reserve your place please  contact  Christine MacLeod  before the 17th January with the following details.




Membership of SWOP: Yes/No

Member of SLLG: Yes/No

The format is : 4/5 tables, 5/6 topics for discussion, 4-8 people at each table, 6-8 minutes of discussion for each subject (depending on numbers). Attendees are split between “stayers” and “movers”. At the end of each discussion the “movers” move to the next table. We then have  a good mix of people and opinions at each table. There is a scribe at each table and the output of the discussions will be compiled and circulated shortly after the event.

This formal part will last about 45 minutes, and is followed by an hour of informal chat, nibbles and refreshments.




Join us at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow 23rd Nov. 1.30pm for SWOP AGM

Our Annual General Meeting is more than just a meeting. We use the opportunity to meet in different locations and hear about a variety of projects to stimulate discussion, create CPD and training opportunities.

This year is no exception and we are delighted to be holding the 2017 AGM at the

National Library of Scotland Kelvin Hall, Glasgow on the 23rd November at 1.30 pm.

The event will begin with a behind the scenes tour by Ruth Washbrook, Head of the Moving Image Archive. This will give the opportunity to see the preservation and digitisation processes for film donations as well as some of the Government information films held in the collection.

Refreshments will be provided.

We are really delighted to have Helen Costello back with us to talk a little about her new role in the Scottish Parliament and reflect on her professional journey thus far.

Finally, Eilidh MacGlone – National Library of Scotland Web Archivist will demonstrate the new UK Web Archive public interface and how best to use this for research

This will be followed by the SWOP AGM – Agenda and papers will be sent out in advance of the meeting.

For catering purposes it is important to reserve your place on Eventbrite.

Why not join us in the café at Kelvin Hall from 12 noon for an informal catch up with colleagues over coffee or lunch.  (Please note that lunch is NOT unfortunately provided by SWOP).


Visit to National Library of Scotland’s Map Collections 20th Oct 2.30pm

CILIP’s Government Information Group has organised a visit to the National Library of Scotland  Map Library on the 20th Oct. maps-of-scotland

The National Library of Scotland Map Library is one of the ten largest map collections in the World, holding around 2 million maps, as well as atlases, gazetteers, and a growing collection of digital map datasets. This visit will include a talk describing the main highlights of the map collections, their users, and the growing ways the content is delivered online through, as well as a brief tour to view maps themselves and storage facilities. Chris Fleet is Map Curator at the Library, where he has worked since 1994, with particular responsibilities for digital mapping.

This visit is open to SWOP members and their colleagues

Reserve your place here

Royal Botanic Garden’s Library , Edinburgh – Government Information Group visit

Report on the visit by Sarah Louise McDonald, Sherrif Court Librarian

On the 7th of July GIG group members visited the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Library, Scotland’s national collection of botanical and horticultural literature. Scottish Working Forum for Official Publications (SWOP) and Edinburgh Libraries Information Services Agency (ELISA) members were also invited to attend.

The main entrance to the Library and Archive can be accessed via the main entrance off Inverleith Row, though my colleagues and I took a brief stroll through the gardens before meeting Lorna Mitchell, the Head of the Library and Archives, in the Herbarium foyer which set the scene nicely!

The collection houses around 4,200 journal titles and 70,000 books, the earliest of which dates from 1485 and is a record of herbal medicinal plants which belonged to the Regius Keeper. Books were bought at this time by the Botanical Society of Edinburgh but treated like personal possessions so it was common for them to be sold off to supplement members’ incomes. After the establishment of the library in 1873 they were bought, returned or donated to form part of the early collection. It was only in 1964 when the library moved to their current building that the accessions were all housed together, though even now some treasures may be hidden away in offices!

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“More pure thought less word search”

There was  a good turn out for our SWOP meeting at the Supreme Courts yesterday.  We were delighted to welcome Alison Young from the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to the meeting as well as Kelly, Sarah Louise and Rebecaa from the  library service for the Scottish Courts.

supreme courts

Attendees enjoyed a tour of the Courts’ buildings which included the original cells, now used for storage and the ‘piano store’ which as well as a piano housed a coffin!

Jennie Findlay, Scottish Courts Services Library Manager, was our guest chair and introduced Lord Carloway, Lord President of the Court of Session.


His speech reflected on the fact that the Scots Legal System is based upon principle and not precedent  and whilst databases certainly aid research they must be used with caution and not replace research of core works and texts by legal greats. He has kindly made his speech availablefor those unable to attend yesterday.

SWOP Forum Talk – 19 June 2017

The minutes and reports from the meeting that followed will be available shortly.

The main work of the group is sharing our expertise and knowledge across  many diverse areas of information work and digital literacy with a focus on government information.  If you have any ideas or projects that you would like the group to take forward or work with us on please contact the   SWOP Chair.



Visit to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 7th July 2017 3pm

The CILIP Government Information Group have arranged a visit to RBG on the 7th July 2017 3pm-4.30.

This visit is open to all SWOP colleagues.

The Library at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) houses Scotland’s national reference collection of botanical and horticultural resources with more than 70,000 books, the earliest of which date from the 15th century. During this visit, attendees will have the opportunity to view some of the treasures from the Library and Archive collections, many of which have never been on public exhibition.

The visit will last for 90 minutes and will include tea and coffee on arrival.

Please reserve your place here 

SWOP Tour of HM General Register House (NRS) 30th May 2017, 3pm


GRH Exteriors

SWOP members are invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of HM General Register House (GRH), one of the oldest custom built archive buildings in the world which is still in continuous use. It is one of the six buildings which are home to the National Records of Scotland.

Opened in 1789, GRH today plays a crucial role as a centre for public access and engagement to our collections,  as well as continuing to serve as a physical repository for many of our records.

Tour participants will gain insight into the fascinating history and architecture of this iconic building, come to understand how it functions as a modern research hub, and, last but not least, have the chance to explore and view selected records from our celebrated collections which span over eight centuries.

The tour will begin at 3pm, and should conclude no later than 4:30 (including time to view original records). Places are limited to 15 members. Please apply for a place via eventbrite

Our public café, which is located in New Register House directly adjacent to General Register, will be open from 9:00 to 16:00, should members require lunch or refreshments before the tour.

General Register House address is 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY A location map is available on our website.


Scotland Works

Scotland Works is.. coming to Glasgow

Scotland Works, a new exhibition designed to support Scotland’s industrial, commercial and public sectors in running safe and efficient businesses and organisations, is taking place at the SEC, Glasgow on 3 – 4 May 2017.

Set to become an annual fixture, Scotland Works, which incorporates the established Health & Safety Scotland, will also consist of five additional events – Facilities Scotland, Fire Safety Scotland, Safer Logistics Scotland, Cleaning Scotland and Maintenance Scotland.

Visitors will include senior managers, decision makers and purchase influencers from across Scotland’s industrial, commercial and public sectors.

Scotland Works will be made up of an exhibition of 400 market leaders showcasing the latest products and services, plus six theatres each hosting panel debates and delivering a compelling range of presentations from leading industry experts covering best practise advice, policy and legislation, making Scotland Works a diary date must for professionals across a wide range of industries.

Scotland Works offers free entry to registered guests. Opening hours are 9 – 4pm. For exhibitor enquiries and for more information about visiting the show visit or contact or 01342 14300.

CILIP Government Information Group e-bulletin

GIG e-Bulletin March 2017

GKIM Conference

Preparations are now well underway for the annual Government KIM Conference being held at the BEIS Conference Centre in London on 30th March 2017.

The agenda has been designed to include a mix of short presentations on key KIM topics and opportunities to network and discuss experience and best practice with KIM colleagues from other Government organisations.  There will be presentations on the new General Data Protection Regulations, the cross-government Records Management project and copyright. There will be breakout sessions exploring what it means to work in one of the key KIM roles in government.

In addition, the GIG Awards for 2016 are being presented at the conference – with the winners of the Annual Award, a team from the National Library of Scotland, talking about the House of Lords digitisation project that lead to them being crowned this year’s winners.

The conference is open to those working in central government departments and Arms’ Length Bodies and applications to attend should be made via your departmental Head of KIM Profession as soon as possible.


New professional opportunity to become a CILIP Board Member

CILIP are currently looking to recruit a new professional to the CILIP Board of Trustees to bring a fresh perspective and to ensure that the voice of this vital part of our membership is present in CILIP decision making at the highest level.  This will be a great opportunity for a new professional to contribute to the leadership of their professional body and it will also give them the chance to engage with members from across the profession and to broaden their skills and experience.

CILIP are looking for someone who has been working in information, knowledge management or library services for 5 years or less and who may or may not hold a professional qualification or be professionally registered.  Experience in this type of role is not necessary as you will receive a full induction and will also have an experienced Board Member to act as mentor. 

Applications are welcome from those working in every sector of the profession, including public, private and third sector – and it would be wonderful to have a new member of the Government KIM profession taking up this opportunity.

Further details, including how to apply, can be found at or contact Nick Poole – for an informal discussion.  The recruitment panel will be three Board Members and interviews will be held in London on Wednesday 19 April 2017.

GIG Events

We have another varied UK wide visits programme set up for 2017. Visits this month include the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Weiner Library. To book a place on these visits or to check out other forthcoming events go to the GIG Events section on the CILIP website


NetiKX Event – free GIG places

GIG now has corporate membership of NetIKX and can therefore offer free attendance for 3 of our members. 

The next event is being held on Thursday 16th March 2017

NetIKX seminar: David Gurteen Knowledge Café

David Gurteen, whose network and knowledge cafés are widely known in the knowledge and information management communities (see, will be running a knowledge café especially for NetIKX. The topic and further details will be announced shortly.

Provisional Timetable

14:00 – 14:30 Registration (and refreshments)
14:30 – 15:30 Speakers’ presentations
15:30 – 16:00 Tea and Networking
16:00 – 17:00 Syndicate session and feedback
17:00 – 18:00 Refreshments and a glass of wine

The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS (The nearest London Underground Station is Bond Street)

Please email Nikki Myall ( if you would like to attend.

Supporting the information seeking needs of colleagues in Government

Friday 31 March 2:00 – 4.30pm (registration from 1:45pm) at the Welsh Government London Office, 25 Victoria Street, London. SW1H 0EX

An interactive session discussing the benefits of measuring information literacy and how departments can use the evidence to increase awareness of library services. Discussion will include barriers to effective information seeking, how to raise information literacy, how to increase awareness of the full range of services available to colleagues, and how to deliver all this in time of budgetary restraints.

Delegates will have the opportunity to share knowledge and discuss potential solutions to aid others in supporting the information seeking requirements of those in their respective departments.

This session is jointly hosted by Catty Bennett (Head of Knowledge and Information Management, Office for National Statistics) and Stephen Gregory (Legal Librarian, Welsh Government).

For security reasons advanced registration for this event is required. Registration will close at 5pm on Friday 24 March 2017. This session is limited to 14 delegates.

Places can be booked at the following link 


Travelling Librarian Award

The Travelling Librarian Award is an exciting award jointly sponsored by the English Speaking Union (ESU) and CILIP.  Each year it offers the opportunity to an adventurous UK library and information professional who is a CILIP personal member to explore a professional theme or challenge by a study tour of library and related institutions in the USA or a Commonwealth country. Normally the study tour will take place over 2-3 weeks in the Autumn but some have gone at different times of the year by agreement with the sponsors.  The successful applicant will receive an award of £3000 to undertake their proposed study tour with other practical help in regard to accommodation and introductions being available as well. The successful applicant will be expected to share the outcomes of their study tour with the profession more broadly.

The 2017 award is now open with a deadline for applications of Wednesday 26 April 2017. The full details of the award can be found on the CILIP website at:

You will also find reports from previous winners.  Most recently they have come from university libraries, government libraries and public libraries but they are open to CILIP members in all sectors. So please do spread the word about this award which can so enrich professional knowledge and experience and be a truly defining moment in a professional career.

GIG e-Bulletin March 2017

SWOP in sunny Dundee

A short report on yesterday’s meeting from Morag Ferguson of the Advocates Library

I attended the SWOP meeting on 1st March 2017 which was held at the University of Dundee Library and Learning Centre.

This started with a fascinating talk provided by Lesley Riddoch on what Scotland can learn from its Nordic neighbours and how it might find ways to thrive after Brexit by examining the experiences of countries such as Norway and Iceland (amongst others) and their relationship with the European Union. Lesley has written a book with Eberhard Bord due to be published in April 2017 entitled Mcsmorgasbord on this topic. It was refreshing to hear something positive for a change coming from the fallout from Brexit.

main_library2Scott McGregor, our host then provided SWOP members with a short presentation on how the University of Dundee library staff have been trying to engage more with the students and encourage use of the Library and Learning Centre. They currently offer a service ‘Ask the library’ – live chat – on their library webpages which has proved so popular that they are currently looking at offering a 24 hour service. During our tour  I was particularly struck by the absence of books (all the students were working online) except in the Law Library where I was reassured by the sight of bound volumes of the Scots Law Times and Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

After our business meeting which Fiona, our Chair, took us through with remarkable speed, we were able to head home and say goodbye to Dundee one of the sunniest cities in the UK (and it did not disappoint yesterday…).

We were extremely grateful to Scott McGregor and his colleagues who were splendid hosts and enabled SWOP members to enjoy an informative afternoon with plenty of opportunities to meet other librarians, make new contacts and share ideas.

Morag Ferguson
Reader Services
Advocates Library