2015 – a year in review, by Sam Wiggins

Sam Wiggins works for Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP as a Senior Research Librarian, based in their London office. Prior to his current role, Sam worked in the Library and Information Services at Norton Rose Fulbright, but also has experience of working in engineering and public libraries. He holds a BA in History from Cambridge University, an MA in Librarianship from Sheffield University and is a chartered with CILIP. Sam was President for SLA Europe in 2015.


This month will see John Coll take over as President of SLA Europe for 2016, and usher in another successful year for the organisation. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as President of the Chapter thanks to the hard work of our board, the help of our vendor partners, and the support of our members.

We hosted some excellent social events, including January’s Winter Warmer Quiz, our summer soirée at the News UK building, and our Thanksgiving-themed wine tasting. We have also hosted a number of successful educational sessions covering topics such as supplier risk management, an event in conjunction with CILIP’s Information Literacy Group looking at IL in the workplace, and a webinar looking at maximising your workplace’s use of social media. I would like to thank all of our sponsors who have supported us in the last year – we couldn’t have run our events without them: Acquire Media, Alacra, Bureau Van Dijk, CB Resourcing, Dow Jones, Evalueserve, KeyNote, Perfect Information, Sage Publishing, Sue Hill Recruitment and TFPL (Progility companies).

As an association we have also partnered with other organisations this year – our graduate open day in conjunction with BIALL and CLSIG highlighted opportunities in the profession for those new to librarianship, information management and knowledge management. Most notably, it sold out in less than 24 hours! This highlights the level of enthusiasm coming through into the profession, and is something we should be excited by.

SLA Europe also joined the IM Alliance to create an advocacy platform for information management. Together with the Archives and Records Association, the Information and Records Management Society, and CILIP, the IM Alliance aims to provide a bigger voice on behalf of their members to promote the benefits of good information management and the value of practitioners’ expertise to the UK economy and society.

We were also able to celebrate two new professionals as winners of this year’s Early Career Conference Award. Sarah Hume and Neasa McHale represented the Chapter in Boston, kindly co-sponsored by the SLA Legal Division and the Competitive Intelligence Division. They were joined by Natasha Chowdory, winner of the Leadership and Management Division’s award, and a wide number of Chapter members who either spoke at or attended the conference.

This year is already shaping up to be just as fruitful – our annual quiz is taking place next week, and our Early Career Conference Awards are now accepting nominations for the conference in Philadelphia. The board and I wish John all the best as he takes on the role of President at this exciting time, and we look forward to working with him.