ASCEL Conference

The ASCEL annual members’ conference is the only conference aimed specifically at Heads of Children’s and School Library Services. Each year the conference focuses on a key theme relating to contemporary library services for children and young people presenting expert speakers; interactive workshops; updates from partners across the sector; publishers’ exhibitions; and a lively forum for discussion, debate and creativity.

Our last two conferences were held virtually, but for 2022, we returned to our usual venue for an in-person event.

Past ASCEL conference themes:

  • Read to Live, Live to Read: Libraries supporting children & young people reading for pleasure, information & recovery. (2021, Virtual)
  • A Brave New World: Libraries helping children  young people shape heir future. (2020, Virtual)
  • Diversity,, Empathy, and Wellbeing, Libraries as Places of Nurture (2019)
  • My Library, My Space, My Life. Making libraries relevant for children and young people. (2018)
  • Libraries, Learning & Literacy:Raising the Aspirations & Attainment of Children & Young People (2017)
  • Reaching out: Libraries- enablers of active communities (2016)
  • Life Changing Libraries - libraries supporting health, well-being & inclusion of children & young people (2015)
  • Libraries, reading, culture, creativity - exploring reading as a cultural activity and libraries as an integral part of the cultural landscape (2014)
  • Libraries as core building blocks in the development of children’s communication skills (2013)
  • Promising futures: shaping library services for children and young people (2012)
  • From scorched earth to new landscapes: developing children’s and school library services in an era of austerity (2011)

Read this report from Emma Ali from Bolton of her experiences at her first ASCEL Conference, November 2014. Emma said: "I can honestly say this conference is the most valuable thing I have ever done in my professional life - the thing I have learned will have a direct impact on the children and young people I work with."

More updates and reports are posted on our Blog.


See what was said and take a look at some of the activities and speakers from last year's conference on twitter with #ASCELWOW23

ASCEL Members can login to view application details and download presentations from previous conferences.

If you have any queries about the ASCEL Conference please contact our Conference Manager Annie Everall.