Fiona Laing, Official Publications Curator at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh was the recipient of the GIG Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

Fiona Laing with her GIG Award

As a past winner of the GIG Lifetime Achievement Award I am delighted to announce that nominations for the 2021 GIG AWARDS are now open.

You can nominate yourself, your team or a colleague by completing the nominations form on the GIG website and emailing

Each year CILIP’s Government Information Group presents two awards in recognition of significant contributions to government knowledge and information management. They are the GIG Annual Award and the Life-time Achievement Award.

More details on the Awards and how to make a nomination.


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 The collection has been weeded recently as much of it had become out of date, but the library holds a complete run of The Economist dating back to the 1850s.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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Standing Committee on Official Publications – Report from meeting – 13th Sept. 17

Report from Steven Hartshorne, Secretary, SCOOP

This was Andy Zelinger’s first meeting as Chair and one of the first orders of business was the unanimous election of Fiona Laing of the National Library of Scotland (and SWOP, the Scottish Working Forum on Official Publications) as Vice-Chair.

gig-leafletKaren George, the chair of the Government Information Group spoke  to the committee about the work of GIG, which represents the interests of knowledge and information management  specialists working in government departments and agencies, parliamentary and national libraries. Especially of interest were the ways in which the groups could work more closely together, particularly in the areas of training in working with Official Publications and government information. Since there are areas of mutual interest for members of GIG and SCOOP, another area of cooperation would  be the promotion of each other’s events and projects.

The committee also discussed the launch of SCOOP’s Print Still Matters questionnaire which will help SCOOP decide on the future development of the PSM project. The original project aims to give an overview of the print Official Publications collections held in libraries in the UK, however the database (and website) have not been updated since 2013. Since keeping it maintained and updated is onerous and undertaking a full and proper revision will incur costs, we devised a short survey to try and find out how much it used and to help us make an informed decision as to whether and how to continue it.

The questionnaire is available here:

The committee then went on to discuss the drafting of a further questionnaire for SCOOP members on the future development of the committee and future projects for the committee to work on, such as additions to our very well received Relegation Guides (available here:

Part of the process of consulting with its members will be a new constitution for the committee which will clearly set out its aims and objectives.




GKIM matters. Issue no. 8 June 2017

The latest edtion of GKIM matters – the Joint Journal from CILIP’s Government Information Group and the Network of Government Library and Information Specialist, is now available.

Articles include “Supporting the Information Seeking Needs of Colleagues Working in
Government” by  Stephen Gregory, Legal and Business Library Team Leader in Information and Archive Services at the Welsh Government.


If any SWOP members would like to contribute an article for the next issue, which will be due out in the Autumn, please contact



GIG award for National Library of Scotland

GIG Award2

“Troublesome to find and often overlooked”: the House of Lords papers digitisation project.

ProQuest’s U.K. Parliamentary Papers resource contains “the richest and most important nineteenth century collection of printed government records in existence in any country”; but there was a gap – namely, the papers of the House of Lords papers from 1806 onwards.  It is little known that these papers contain much which is not duplicated in the House of Commons papers.  For example, in session 1845 alone, there are 72 Lords papers which cannot be found in the Commons set; between 1801 and 1859, over 35 important papers on Canada and the USA have been noted as appearing in the Lords set but not in the Commons set.   It made perfect sense to digitise these, and after a long search for partners and funding, the House of Lords Library and the National Library of Scotland pooled their papers (the majority from NLS) for a large-scale project funded by Proquest. This makes the U.K. Parliamentary Papers resource complete and a huge and rich resource for researchers from all disciplines.

The Library garners 15% royalties from all Proquest sales (currently worth c.£85,000)

Jan Usher (project manager) and Elaine Simpson (curatorial assistant) were recently presented with the CILIP GIG (Government Information Group) Annual Award for their work on the project.

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

Government Information Group AGM and Members Day 2016

Tue, 27th Sep 2016 -12:30pm to 5:00pm

CILIP, 7 Ridgmount Street, Central London.

The AGM will be one element of our annual Members Day (12.30 – 5.00 pm) which will also include:

  • a practical session on using the CILIP Impact Toolkit
  • an update from Nick Poole
  • opportunities to network, including over lunch

Please contact  to reserve your place.

Further details here.

The Supreme Courts Library

I had the pleasure of organising and attending a joint SWOP/ CILIP Government Information Group visit to the Supreme Courts Library at the end of last month.

Scotland’s Supreme Courts are based in Parliament House in Edinburgh.

The Supreme Courts are:

The Court of Session  – Scotland’s supreme civil court (a court of first instance and a court of appeal) The High Court of Justiciary- Scotland’s supreme criminal court The courts complex consists of 7or 8 buildings behind one façade.

Jennie Findlay who is the Librarian works for the Senators of the College, and the Supreme Courts staff. There are currently plans to introduce a similar level of library support for the Sheriff Courts.

Although there are currently 4 library locations for the courts there are almost a hundred locations for the book stock.

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Visit to the Supreme Courts Library

SWOP and CILIP Government Information Group members are invited to the Supreme Courts Library, Parliament House, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RQ


Friday 24th June 2.30-4.30pm

Librarian Jennie Findlay will conduct a tour of the Courts complex including the Supreme Courts Library.

Jennie will give a short talk on the role of the library which supports the work of the Senators of the College of Justice (the senior Scottish judiciary) as well as the Supreme Courts Staff.

Due to the age of the building there are uneven floors and many stairs therefore this tour may not be suitable for anyone with mobility issues.

To reserve a place please email


Supreme Courts