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SLA Conference 2023 – Empathy to Empowerment: understanding coaching and mentoring skills [TG4/SLA23]


10:00 am - 4:00 pm


De Morgan House, the London Mathematical Society
57-58 Russell Square, London, WC1B 4HS

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Twitter: @cpd25_M25 #cpd25


Annual SLA Conference 2023 – Empathy to Empowerment: understanding coaching and mentoring skills

CPD25 is pleased to bring you our annual SLA (Senior Library Assistant) Conference, designed for those who supervise staff, services or both.

The SLA conference has been on pause for a few years since the start of the pandemic, so we are delighted to be able to restart this popular and well-loved event, giving our members the invaluable opportunity to meet again and network in-person. This year will focus on coaching and mentoring and how to make the most of these opportunities to build confidence and progress your career.

If you would like to contribute to the day by sharing a 5-minute presentation of your experiences with coaching and/or mentoring, please contact us at with details by 28th July.

There will also be an opportunity to visit UCL’s Student Centre or the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine during the event.

The conference will be in-person and will be a highly participative day with plenty of opportunities for networking – enabling attendees to share their experience and best practice. This event is open to all, but would benefit in particular Senior Library Assistants, Information Services Supervisors, Library Assistants, Information Assistants or their equivalent.


9.30- 10am – Registration – tea /coffee

10 -10.10am – Welcome and introduction

10.10 – 10.40 – Keynote speaker: Andrew Preater, Director of Library Services, Goldsmiths, University of London

10.40 – 11.10 – Break

11.10 – 12.30 – Visits to London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or UCL Student Centre

12.30 – 1.30 – Lunch

1.30 –  1.50 – Delegate presentations – Experience of Coaching and Mentoring

1.50 – 3.50 – Ant Babajee, CRM Manager and LGBT+ Network Co-Chair, and Katerina Loukopoulou, Senior Academic Developer, Middlesex University – with 15 minute break

3.50 – 4.00 –  Close and feedback



Andrew Preater (pronouns: he/him) is Director of Library Services at Goldsmiths, University of London. Andrew joined Goldsmiths in 2023 and provides leadership and strategic direction for the Library.

Prior to this, his experience in higher education included posts at University of West London, Imperial College London; Senate House, University of London; and the University of Durham where he began his career working in library systems.

Andrew’s professional interests include the role of academic libraries in equity and widening participation, working-class experiences of higher education and libraries, and the application of critical librarianship to library leadership. He is an Executive Board member and Trustee of SCONUL, and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Katerina Loukopoulou
As a Senior Academic Developer at Middlesex University’s Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement (CAPE), I work collaboratively with academics and professional services, including the Library, to support excellence in learning, teaching and assessment practices. My previous professional experience has included part time work at Goldsmiths College Library, a job I very much enjoyed doing, even shelving, for the sheer pleasure of being surrounded by books. Prior to my current role at Middlesex, I navigated my HE career from novice Graduate Teaching Assistant and Library Assistant to Researcher, Lecturer and Academic Advisor at Universities with different identities (Goldsmiths College, Birkbeck, UCL and UAL). Since 2008, I have gradually moved into the field of Academic Development, driven by my passion to advocate for Higher Education as a cradle for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. My philosophy has been shaped by my alma mater, Birkbeck College, where I gained my PhD in 2010. As the UK’s historical bastion of continuing education, Birkbeck influenced my approach towards lifelong learning, summed up as ‘Cease not to learn until thou cease to live’.  This background underpins my learning journey into coaching and mentoring, currently working towards accreditation for a Coaching Professional Apprenticeship Diploma.

Ant Babajee | he/him. Ant is co-chair of the LGBT+ Network at Middlesex University, where his day job as CRM [Customer Relationship Management] Manager is based in the Digital Marketing team. Diagnosed with HIV in 2007 and describing himself as being ‘unashamedly undetectable’, he is a former BBC journalist, award-winning activist, public health graduate and coaching professional apprentice. Ant has more than a decade’s experience as a peer mentor at Positively UK as well as at Terrence Higgins Trust, where he was also a trustee between 2013 and 2017.

Ant is a Mental Health First Aider and volunteers in numerous roles, including as branch LGBT+ officer and regional LGBT+ committee member of UNISON, and as a member of the London chapter of the Impulse Group, which aims to engage, support and connect queer men globally to community health initiatives.

For the past decade, Ant has used his media skills to raise awareness about HIV and has been interviewed on numerous occasions, including for ITV News, Sky News, 5 News, BBC Three and Radio 2. He was also invited to speak on discrimination in healthcare at the European Parliament in Brussels in 2014. Ant was awarded Change Maker of the Year by Stonewall in the 2023 Workplace Equality Index for his LGBT+ and HIV activism and advocacy.

Ant’s vision for mentoring and coaching is to make a difference for his clients on their own journey of discovery. He is on a mission to support people to move forwards after a health diagnosis or a period of illness; to return to study; and to be able to bring their full and authentic self to the workplace.

Thanks to an ERASMUS exchange year at the University of Cologne, Ant speaks German, and is passionate about the arts, Doctor Who and Eurovision. Twitter and LinkedIn: @anthonybabajee


£200 members
£400 non member institutions

Cost includes lunch and refreshments

Information for joining:

  • Electronic CPD attendance certificates can be provided on request. Please request via

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.


Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members