Winner of Travelling Librarian Award to explore how American libraries put citizens at the heart of the democratic process


The English-Speaking Union (ESU) and The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals are delighted to announce George Roe as the recipient of this year’s Travelling Librarian Award.

The award, open to CILIP Members, builds relationship between library and information professionals in the United Kingdom and their counterparts in the United States through a professional development study tour. The award of approximately £3000 will cover George’s flights and some of his accommodation. Winners are encouraged to take up home hospitality with ESU  branches in the US.

George is Senior Indexer at the House of Commons Library and intends to use his grant to study how libraries in the United States can enrich the democratic process during the 2012 Presidential elections. He is keen to learn how US libraries have engaged people from a variety of backgrounds, especially those generally considered to be marginalised from the democratic process.

Highlights of George’s trip will include a visit the Library of Congress to see how the library adds value to legislative material and the proceedings of Congress through subject indexing; the Office of Presidential Libraries to discover how this national network of libraries and archive resources engages with users across the country; and the Urban Library Council in Chicago to see their work in promoting the centrality of libraries for the civic engagement of urban communities.

Throughout his tour, George plans on maintaining a blog, keeping followers up-to-date. He will also write a report on his findings, to be distributed across the LIS community and will present to colleagues in the House of Commons and other groups interested in his visit, such as the English- Speaking Union, the International Library Information Group and other CILIP special interest groups.

Phil Bradley, CILIP President said:

“Libraries have a unique place in the heart of their communities and librarians are central to ensuring the value and importance of this role. Never is this more important than when it comes to involvement in the democratic process. I am thrilled that George will be exploring this during what is sure to be an extremely exciting US Presidential Election. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to following his blog and hearing about his visit, including lessons for the UK.”

George Roe said:

“As Senior Indexer in the House of Commons Library, I am extremely passionate about the role that libraries and information professionals play in the role of any truly democratic nation. I am thrilled to have won the ESU CILIP Travelling Librarian Award and I cannot wait to investigate this further and hopefully bring back some learning and best practise to our sector and to the House.”

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Press contact:

Aaron Hussey
Communications and Campaigns Manager, CILIP
Tel: 020 7255 0653 or 07867 455 070

Last modified on: 24/07/2012 09:56 AM