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Directors’ Briefing: Diversity in the M25 Consortium: challenging ourselves and our institutions


1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Royal College of Nursing
20 Cavendish Square, London, W1G ORN

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Directors and Heads of Service (from both within and without the M25 Consortium) are invited to attend a Directors’ Briefing on Diversity in the M25 Consortium: challenging ourselves and our institutions. Directors are invited to send a deputy if unable to attend themselves.

Our speakers will present on their experiences of how the M25 Consortium has worked to develop equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives within and across member libraries so far. The event will also include reflections from the lived experience of Consortium member staff.

This Briefing has a particular focus on Directors’ engaging their staff and colleagues within and across their institutions. The focus will be on practical action which foster equity, diversity and inclusion in their services, with recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce a key concern. The event will include an opportunity to feed back to the Consortium on initiatives M25 could take forward to better support members with this important work.

Ahead of the briefing, attendees are requested to read and reflect on the results of a recent Staff Survey of M25 institutions.


13:00 Arrival, refreshments and networking

13:30 Welcome (Anna Semmens, Head of Library: Royal College of Nursing, and Sponsor of the M25 Diversity Group)

13:45 Katie Winter (University of Surrey, and Chair of M25 Diversity Group) and Cliff van Dort (The National Archives): Diversity in M25 Institutions: findings of a recent survey

14:15 Questions, discussion, and actions from the report

15:00 Comfort break

15:15 Helen Rimmer (University of Westminster): Changing recruitment and retention practices: a case study

15:30 Two members of Fair Library Jobs – Darren Flynn and Kirsten Elliott speak about will speak about their work and how they are encouraging fair recruitment in the Library sector.

15:45 Questions and discussion

16:00 Close, and opportunity to view facilities and exhibition at the RCN


Speaker biographies

Katie Winter: Katie has been working in HE libraries since completing her Master’s in Librarianship in 2017. Starting as a Trainee Liaison Librarian at the University of Reading, she moved on to the University of Surrey as a Learning Development Librarian in 2019, pursuing an interest in teaching and learning. In the same year, Katie joined the M25 Diversity group and served as Chair from summer 2020 to autumn 2022. On a local level, she is Chair of the Library EDI group at Surrey and has specific interests in inclusive teaching and inclusive recruitment practices.

Cliff Van Dort: Cliff has been a Library Professional since 1999, working predominantly within government for Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and then Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs running and managing enquiry services, collections and marketing as the only person of colour in a managerial position with Civil service.  He spent two years in Shanghai, as a stay-at-home dad and then working for Dulwich College International school at 6th form and Nursery.  On return to the UK he continued to work as a school librarian for international schools for a further year before returning to Government libraries as a manager of a small and ever dwindling team.  Cliff Joined The National Archives as Head of Library in 2017 and in the last four years has become more actively involved in diversity and inclusiveness. He joined TNA’s Racial Equality Network in 2019 becoming a co-Chair in 2020, presenting a paper to the Exec team on issues of diversity and inclusiveness in 2021. He joined the M25 Diversity group in 2020 after seeing a request to M25 for members from ethnic minority background to join the group and was selected as the new Chair of the group in autumn 2022.

He has seen little diversity in Libraries except at Library Assistant level and as far as he is aware, is the only person of colour in a managerial position in Civil service, Archive and Museum libraries, since he started over twenty years ago and is still only aware of 2 or 3 other PoCs at a managerial level in the Civil Service and HE Libraries. He sees Libraries as neutral, unbiased spaces that should provide access to all stories and voices, allowing users to learn, gain knowledge and form their own opinions. Whilst with the TNA he hopes to decolonize and balance the collection with histories from marginalised and previously unheard stories from British history and works closely with Diversity and ethnic minority research specialists to achieve this.

Helen Rimmer: Helen Rimmer is Head of Library and Archives Service at the University of Westminster, having previously held roles at different levels at Royal Holloway, City University, INTO UEA and the University of Brighton. She is passionate about compassionate leadership, inclusive recruitment, kindness and wellbeing at work, data driven management, and Flexible Working.

Darren Flynn: Darren Flynn is one of the founding members of Fair Library Jobs. He is Academic Liaison Manager at the University of Northampton and a PhD student in the Department of Information Studies at University College London. He has previously working as an academic liaison librarian for allied health professions and a teaching and learning librarian.

Kirsten Elliott: Kirsten Elliott is one of the founding members of Fair Library Jobs. She is a medical librarian at Imperial College London, working primarily with NHS staff. She has previously worked as a library assistant in college libraries at the University of Cambridge and as an Information Specialist Assistant for the Royal College of Physicians.



  • M25 Consortium members receive one free Directors’ Briefing place per institution per year (this is the first briefing of the year for 2022-23). Additional places cost £75
  • Non-M25 Consortium members £112.50

To book a place please use our online booking form, remembering to include your PO number if applicable.

*Please note that bookings will close at 5pm on Thursday 8th December.*

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations less than one week before the event will be charged a 50% cancellation fee.
In the event of a ‘no-show’ on the day, the full fee will be charged.

Information for joining this session

This session is offered in-person to facilitate networking, though if you prefer to join online only, please indicate when you book using the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form. If your booking has been confirmed, joining instructions will be emailed to you on the 8 December.

*Please note that bookings will close at 5pm on Thursday 8th December.*

Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members