Professional Development Committee

++++  The Professional Development Committee is currently looking for new members to join our team  ++++

Would you like to get involved with organising events for ARLIS/UK & Ireland Art Libraries Society? Maybe you’d like to see ARLIS more involved with areas such as information literacy, critlib, the diversity of the profession or providing training on specific skills or roles.

Getting involved in the committee is a great way to organise together with other library workers and having a say in what you want the professional body to be doing.

The committee normally meets three times and aims to organise two or three public facing events per year. These include regular annual(ish) events such as Taking the Plunge: Art Librarianship as a Career Option, as well as library visits and social events.

Please send the PDC Chair (Nick Brown) a few sentences of why and how you want to be involved as well as a (very) short bio or current CV. We’re particularly keen to have involvement from individuals at a variety of career stages, including current students and early career workers as well as from different types of institution and role. Those from underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply.

Unfortunately, this is unpaid and we recognise that this voluntary role must be fitted around everyone’s increasingly onerous work commitments, so will endeavour to make the workload as minimal as possible. Applicants should be able to commit to attending the majority (but not necessarily all) meetings and if possible also to helping with at least one event per year.


We recognise that ARLIS is very London focused and it will increasingly be a priority to run more events throughout the country and to engage further with regional members so we particularly welcome applications from anyone with creative ideas for this, regardless of where you’re based. The majority of the committee is based in London and this is where our meetings are held though we often have committee members attend remotely. It is not anticipated that membership of the committee will involve significant travel but should this arise, expenses can be met with prior approval.


Applicants must be either individual or institutional members of ARLIS (rates start at £12). For details of joining ARLIS see

The deadline for letting us know you’d like to get involved is Monday 13th January 2020. Please share among your networks and forward to anyone you think might be interested. Further information including details of the current Committee members can be found here. Please do get in touch with any questions. Thanks for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you.


What we do

The Professional Development Committee’s objectives are to provide information, guidance, training and networking opportunities to art librarians and information professionals, and those considering or training for a career in the sector. We do this by:

  • Organising events on behalf of ARLIS.
  • Co-ordinating with other committees to promote their events.


The Professional Development Committee organises popular annual events for ARLIS:

An Introduction to Art & Design Reference Resources introduces delegates to the varied art-specific resources available to them and offers a practical workshop in which to try them out.

Taking the Plunge: art librarianship as a career option aims to give anyone interested in art librarianship a taste of the diverse roles within the sector, including presentations from professionals and CV advice. Read some reviews of a past event herehere and here.

These events are always fun and informal opportunities to meet and talk with other students, trainees and professionals.

Who we are

Chair | Nicholas Brown | Learning Resource Manager, Christie’s Education
Nicholas is currently the Learning Resource Manager at Christie’s Education. Previously, he managed the Stuart Hall Library at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and the Library and Archive of the Hayward Gallery. He has also worked for the Courtauld Institute of Art, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Imperial College London and at the Whitechapel Gallery. He completed his MA in Library & Information Studies at UCL in 2012, the same year that he joined the committee.

Committee Member | Bobbie Winter-Burke | Assistant Librarian, Glasgow School of Art
Bobbie is the Assistant Librarian at Glasgow School of Art and has previously worked in library roles at the Natural History Museum, Ravensbourne, The Courtauld Institute of Art, The Whitechapel Gallery and Middlesex University. She took up a place on the LIS course at UCL and completed the PGDip in 2015.She studied English Literature at Sussex, before working in a number of roles in museums, galleries and publishing. After setting up and running a small art bookshop for an independent publishing house, she moved into the world of libraries.

Committee Member | Antonia Williamson | Subject Librarian for Art, Design and Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London
Antonia graduated with a BA in Sculpture from Bretton Hall College, part of Leeds University in 2000. After several years working in community arts projects and Teaching English as a Foreign Language she decided to pursue a career as a librarian. She began working as a Library Assistant at Kings College London in the medical libraries based at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital. In 2006 she moved to work at the Royal College of Art as a Library Assistant and studied part time for an MSc in Information Management in the Cultural Sector at City University. In 2009 she got her first professional post, which she currently working in, as the Subject Librarian for Art, Design and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Committee Member | Cait Peterson | Assistant Academic Support Librarian, Chelsea College of Art

Cait Peterson is an Assistant Academic Support Librarian at Chelsea College of Art. She supports the BA and MA Textile Design courses, and work on customer service and accessibility and inclusion. Cait graduated with a BA in Illustration from Camberwell College of Art in 2010, and a MSc in Library Science from City University in 2013. She has previously worked in the libraries at Kingston University, The Courtauld Institute of Art, and King’s College London.


Committee Member | Billie Coxhead | Library Services Coordinator, Ravensbourne

Billie Coxhead recently graduated from a three-year distance learning Library and Information Services Management masters at the University of Sheffield. She completed her masters whilst working full time at Ravensbourne University London as the Library Services Co-ordinator. Billie focused her master’s dissertation on the User Experience (UX) of the materials library at Ravensbourne. This research sparked her passion for supporting students and staff using specialist materials collections. Billie is currently working at University of the Arts London (UAL), as the Materials and Products Co-ordinator (Maternity Cover) at the Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion materials collections.


Committee Member | Hayley Webb | Liaison Librarian, Tate

Hayley Webb is a Liaison Librarian for Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool with a subject specialisation of international art. Her role involves developing Tate’s international book collection including zines and artist books. She has a background in film and art libraries and has worked for Sotheby’s Institute of Art and BFI Reuben Library. Hayley completed a post-graduate diploma in Information Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and has an academic background in fine arts, art history and English literature.


Committee Member | Tavian Hunter | Library and Archive Manager, Stuart Hall Library, Iniva

Tavian is currently the Library and Archive Manager of the Stuart Hall Library at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and has a keen interest in developing diverse library collections. Previously, she managed the Department of Asia Library at the British Museum and worked as a Collections Library Graduate Trainee at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  She completed her MA in Library and Information Studies at UCL in 2015 and also holds a degree in Business Management and Information Management with Japanese from the University of Westminster.