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Virtual Annual Conference 2023


10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Event Type

Sustainability and kindness


Registration for this event has now closed – please contact with any queries.


The M25 Consortium’s 2023 virtual conference took place on Wednesday 14th June. Recordings of the presentations can be found on the Virtual Learning and Development page of our Members’ area.

The conference theme was ‘Sustainability and kindness’ and considered the broad and often connected themes of environmental sustainability and kindness – both to each other and to the environment we all depend on. What role can M25 libraries play in supporting both institutional and international sustainability goals? How can the collective actions of individual users and library staff deliver positive benefits for the environment?  What successful sustainability stories can already be told about M25 Consortium libraries, and what role did a supportive, kind culture play? This event aimed to provide an opportunity to share experiences, initiatives and learning. On the basis that the smallest changes can ultimately have a massive cumulative effect on the global challenge of environmental sustainability, all initiatives are of interest.


10.00    Welcome and opening remarks, Stuart Hunt, M25 Consortium Chair

10.15    Keynote: ‘The Green Libraries Partnership – working together for people and planet’, Kirsten MacQuarrie & Yvonne Morris, CILIP

10.45    Q&A

11.00    Break

11.15    Keynote: ‘Sustainability and Wellbeing: From beehives to building fabric’, Rachel Ward, Environmental Sustainability Manager, Royal Veterinary College

11.45    Q&A

12.00    ‘Sustainability and kindness; our journey to Bedford Falls’ – Sarah Simpson & James Concannon, University of West London

12.20    Q&A

12.30    Break

13.30    ‘Embedding sustainability and wellbeing at the School of Pharmacy’ – Abigail Heath & Diana Ivanovic, UCL

13.50    Q&A

14.00    ‘Staff CPD and green initiative schemes’ –  Maria Vardaki & Sigrun Wagner, Royal Holloway

14.20    Q&A

14.30    Diversity Task and Finish Group update – Cliff Van Dort, The National Archives & Erika Delbecque, UCL

14.40    Curator and Exhibitions Network update – Leila Kassir, University of London

14.50    Mentoring Group update – Andrew Preater, Goldsmiths, University of London

15.00    Summary – Helen Rimmer, University of Westminster

15.20    Closing remarks

Speaker biographies:

Kirsten MacQuarrie is a writer and Membership Officer for CILIP Scotland. She leads on CILIPSGoGreen, their event series and resource collection dedicated to sustainability in Scotland’s libraries, and is moderator of the Green Libraries Network. Kirsten also runs WINspiration, a programme of events, calls-to-action, collaborative activities and recommended readings to celebrate women and champion feminist values within the libraries and information sector.

Yvonne Morris is a Chartered Librarian and Projects and Programmes Manager for CILIP. She is currently project managing the Green Libraries Programme, a multiyear research and development Programme to establish a Green Libraries Partnership to help public libraries in England engage with the Green agenda. Yvonne is also overseeing a comprehensive review and revision of guidance on the management of controversial material in public libraries, originally published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in 2008.

Rachel Ward is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for the Royal Vet College working on a wide range of projects from solar panels to installing milk vending machines. She has worked in sustainability for around 25 years in both private and public sectors.

Sarah Simpson is subject librarian for the Claude Littner Business school, University of West London. Sarah has had a varied career in Education. She first qualified as an FE lecturer, teaching for over a decade before joining the dark side as a professional librarian! Sarah chairs The University of West London’s Library sustainability group and also chairs the Waltham Forest Flood action group

James Concannon is the subject librarian for two schools at the University of West London, Hospitality and Tourism and Biomedical Sciences.   He represents the Library at UWL’s Environmental Review Board as well as Unison at the University’s Environmental Operations Group and has worked closely with these committees for many yearsAs well as Environmental interests, James is deeply committed to animal welfare and works for an animal welfare charity as a in his spare time as a volunteer.

Abigail Heath started her role as UCL School of Pharmacy Library Manager in March 2022. Previously she worked as a subject librarian at both University of Kent and University of Plymouth.  In her current role she is responsible for the strategic oversight of the library, collection development and customer service. She is interested in user experience and is involved in the library’s communication campaign group and subject guide group.

Diana Ivanovic has worked at the UCL School of Pharmacy since 2016 and is the Library’s Green Champion. She has also worked in public libraries for nearly 20 years.

Sigrun M. Wagner is Head of Department for Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship in the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London. She helped develop Royal Holloway’s environmental strategy. In 2020, she published a textbook on environmental sustainability for businesses. In 2021 she introduced Carbon Literacy Training to Royal Holloway with colleagues in drama. Since then over 200 staff academic and professional services) and students (UG and PG) across the institution have taken the training, with over 120 learners certified as carbon literate.

Maria Vardaki is the Administration Manager at the Library, Learning Support and Culture department, and a doctoral candidate at the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has worked at the library for the last 9 years and held various professional services roles within Higher Education. She is also the Health and Safety Coordinator for the department and has joined two Business Continuity Task and Finish Groups across the M25 Consortium, in the past. She has acquired the Carbon Literacy Training (CLT) certificate in January 2023 and assisted in facilitating the CLT at Royal Holloway in May 2023, organised by Prof Sigrun M. Wagner.


Charlotte Dormer 
Academic Liaison Librarian/Learning Hub Manager, University of Reading

View poster here

This poster details a collaborative project between the Learning Hub (part of the University of Reading Library) and other departments of the university, funded by the John Sykes Foundation. The Multilingual Storytelling project took multilingual Student volunteers into local nursery school settings to read to groups of children in both English and other community languages, mitigating loss of language rich environments caused by the pandemic and helping to expose children to other languages even as monolingual speakers.



With thanks to our Bronze Sponsor Browns Books


With thanks to our Bronze Sponsor OCLC


Cost of attendance:

M25 Member Libraries:

  • One free place (normally for the M25 Representative) as the standard benefit of membership – registration still required
  • Additional places £35

Non-M25 Members: £65

Group discount: 3 or more paying delegates will receive a £5 discount per person if they book as a group e.g. 3 or more members would receive a delegate rate of £30pp, non-members £60pp. Please fill out one form per person and add a note to the form in the PO number box to state ‘group booking’. Please also email with the names of the group members so we can identify you when we receive your booking forms. Any queries about group booking should be sent to Group discount does not apply to member representatives using their free place and students.

Student rate: £10 – if you’re studying and working at an M25 library please use the member registration form and write ‘student’, as well as your job title, in the designated box. If you’re a student and not employed by an M25 member library please use the non-member form and write  ‘student’ in the designated job title box.

Conference Bursaries: Two bursaries supporting free attendance at the conference are available. If you’re a staff member in an M25 library please click here to view the Staff Development Award Scheme.

Cancellation policy: Cancellation is free until 23:59 on 7th June 2023. Cancellations after this date will be charged 50%. No-shows on the day will be charged 100%.


Registration for this event has now closed – please contact with any queries

Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members