CILIP works to put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. Our policy work to support this objective is evident across the various sectors which taken together make up the larger knowledge, library and information sector.

We represent a UK workforce of 87,000 information professionals and have members working in over 20 industries across the private, public and third sectors. In this section you will find our work relating to public libraries, higher education, further education, school librariesprisons  sector and the health and social care sector.

See also Topics for our work on information literacy, freedom of information, international, copyright, ebooks, knowledge and information management and sustainable development goals.

  • Higher education

    Librarians and information professionals in universities and colleges make a vital contribution to teaching and learning. We work to ensure that this is recognised by employers, politicians, the media and the public.

  • Further education

    Library services delivered by librarians in further education are broad in scope and reach to cater for the high degree of differentiation which exists within the sector. Many FE colleges teach higher education courses and also help with transition to higher level studies and this is reflected in the varied roles and responsibilities found in FE libraries.

  • Public libraries

    A strong public library service is the foundation of a literate and inclusive society and a competitive knowledge economy. Great local libraries are an investment in communities, providing a cost effective way to improve health, support business start-ups, improve literacy and skills, and do all of this in a way that is open to all.

  • Schools

    School librarians help children and young people navigate the information world, improving their information literacy skills, and as a result, their life chances. They also make a vital contribution to teaching and learning.

  • Health and social care

    CILIP members work in a variety of health and social care settings as librarians and information and knowledge workers. They provide the information to clinicians, managers and patients that supports evidence-based medicine and healthcare. In this sector the quality and timeliness of the information provided will often impact on life and death situations as well as enabling and promoting the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

  • Prisons

    CILIP believes that prisoner rehabilitation makes social and economic sense. Prison libraries and prison library staff play a key part in this by helping to improve prisoner literacy skills, encouraging a love of reading for pleasure and improving basic online skills

    Prison libraries and professional library staff offer a neutral environment for prisoners outside of the formal education and learning provision within the prison.