You are here:

Home | Events | aspects, cpd25, Library, subject librarian | ASPECTS 4: So you want to be a Subject Librarian? [TG1/ASPECTS4_SUBJECT]

ASPECTS 4: So you want to be a Subject Librarian? [TG1/ASPECTS4_SUBJECT]


10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Event Type

Twitter: @cpd25_M25 #cpd25

This workshop is part of the cpd25 Aspects programme, aimed at library staff looking to acquire additional skills and knowledge or staff working towards Chartership.

The position of Subject Librarian – or Liaison Librarian, or Information Specialist, or any number of other variations – remains a key one in most academic libraries and is one that many new professionals aspire towards

However, it can be difficult for staff in Library Assistant or similar roles to make the move up into this area of library work as it is often a significant leap up the career ladder. It can be difficult to gain experience in this Subject Librarianship and few libraries have roles such as Assistant Liaison Librarians that allow a smoother transition.

In this online event, both recently appointed, and more experienced Subject Librarians will discuss their routes into Subject Librarianship and what they have learned along the way. They will discuss the key aspects of the role and provide advice for those who want to take a similar path. A Subject Team manager will also discuss what skills are required for Subject Librarians and what opportunities you might wish to look at in order to successfully make the transition. Presentations from the speakers will be followed by a panel Q&A, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions.


10.00 am Welcome and Introduction

10.05 -10.25 Instruction or Teaching?

A brief review of technological developments, its impact on information seeking behaviour and adapting our teaching to aid their understanding.

Karen Richardson, Academic Support Librarian, University of Greenwich

10.25 -10.45 Alice’s Adventures in Library Land – an ongoing journey to becoming a researcher librarian.

A tale of growing in confidence, experience and collegiality, and acceptance of never completely knowing.

Alice Cann, Academic Liaison Librarian, Brunel University London

10.45-11.00 Break

11.00 -11.20 So you want to be a subject librarian?

Greg Leurs, Digital and Online Teaching Information Consultant, Royal Holloway, University of London

11.20 – 11.40 Beyond Babel: A Translator’s Journey to Academic Librarianship

Eva Garcia Grau, Information Consultant, Royal Holloway, University of London

11.40 –12.00 Panel Q and A


Speaker biographies:

Karen Richardson: In 1990 I started work as a shelver at Thames Polytechnic. In 1996, I qualified as a librarian by which time the polytechnic had become the University of Greenwich.  I have since relocated my home to Hertfordshire but still happily work at Greenwich, despite the commute.

During that time, I have among other things been responsible for: managing Athens accounts and Turnitin. I was also involved in selecting the software for our repository and I researched and managed a room booking system. However, my primary role has always been looking after the subject needs of my students and academics, I am currently covering the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, School of Digital Arts and the Built Environment which is part of Engineering.

For the last 20 years I have been part-time (28FTE) due to managing a long-distance job and childcare. Now my girls are grown up, I have found time to return to education and completed a PGCert HE and attained fellowship of the HEA.

When not at work, I play in a brass band performing around Hertfordshire and London, and on weekends squeeze in cycle rides with the essential tea and cake break of course.

Alice Cann has over 20 years’ experience in libraries, predominantly at Brunel University London. She’s worked at other universities as Graduate Trainee and, following a master’s degree at UCL, Assistant Reader Services Librarian.

As librarian for Brunel Business School, Alice has liaison, collection management and budget responsibilities, and is particularly passionate about information literacy teaching and support. She has extensive experience with Bloomberg, and enthusiasm and developing expertise in systematic reviews.

Currently part-time, Alice balances work with being a mum to two and works with her husband in a family stained glass business. She’s an avid reader, intermittent runner, and ‘chess parent’.

Alice’s career interests and confidence have blossomed with children getting older. Work opportunities, the RLUK/ARMA Research Catalyst Cohort, the Advance HE Aurora women’s leadership programme and an Evidence Synthesis Institute have also been transformative. Discovering she has aphantasia and no inner monologue has been affirming and influential.

Alice is currently working on a systematic review research project on open access publications. She blogs, somewhat obsessively, at and has written for ARMA, UKSG, CILIP and the Campbell Collaboration. She is a prolific library conference poster, currently on BlueSky at @alicecann, where she advocates for this as an ongoing practice.

Greg Leurs: Alongside supporting students and staff in the School of Law and Social Science, Greg specialises in technology enhanced learning. He has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Aberystwyth University, and a PGCE. Previously, he has worked as a secondary school teacher and at the Open University as a Teaching and Learning Librarian. Alongside exploring critical pedagogy and its application to Information Literacy teaching, he is currently interested in the ethical use of AI Tools and its impact on research and information literacy.

Eva Garcia Grau has been supporting students and staff at the School of Engineering, Physical and Mathematical Sciences since 2020. She is part of the committee for the University Science and Technology Librarians group (USTLG), member of the New Professionals Committee for CILIP’s Information Literacy Group, and the Accessibility Lead for ECLAIR (Early Career Library and Information Resources Community). She is particularly interested in all aspects of accessibility and inclusivity and has been researching the ethical and accessibility implications of AI. Eva has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Aberystwyth University, and she is an Associate Fellow of Advance HE.


£25.00 for members
£50.00 for non members

Information for joining:

  • This session is virtual and will run via Zoom. Once your booking has been confirmed, joining instructions will be emailed the day before the event.
  • 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.

To book a place please use our online booking form. Please remember to include your PO number as bookings cannot be confirmed without this.

Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members