Ayub Khan MBE has become the new President of Libraries Connected, the independent charity that represents public library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ayub is currently Head of Universal Services for Warwickshire County Council. He was born in Uganda and came to England as a refugee aged two, after his family were expelled from their homeland. As the first Black President of Libraries Connected, Ayub has vowed to use his platform to encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to pursue a career in libraries.
Starting out as a Saturday assistant in Birmingham libraries, Ayub spent his early career in education and children’s services and was later Project Officer for the award-winning new Library of Birmingham. In 2013, Ayub was awarded an MBE for his services to libraries.
Ayub is a past President of CILIP, the library and information association, and a former Treasurer of Libraries Connected. He has worked on library projects for the British Council in Eastern Europe, Africa in South Asia, and recently supported library and museum projects in Dubai and Iraq.
Ayub takes over the position of President from Carol Stump, who led Libraries Connected through a time of upheaval as it supported the libraries sector through the pandemic. As President, Carol focused on workforce and leadership development, with the aim of diversifying the profession. Her achievements in this area include the Leading Libraries leadership development programme and the Libraries Connected peer mentoring scheme, which launched this month. Carol recently retired as Chief Librarian for Kirklees Council after 45 years of service.
Ayub Khan MBE commented:
“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to help lead Libraries Connected during this critical time. Libraries have demonstrated their value repeatedly during this pandemic and I am committed to ensuring that their physical presence in the heart of local communities is recognised and maintained.”
“As the first Black President of Libraries Connected, I want to use this platform to encourage more people from a diverse background to enter the library profession. I also plan to encourage the continued involvement of the wider workforce in Libraries Connected so that we are better able to represent the whole service.”
Carol Stump commented:
“Ayub has devoted years of service to Libraries Connected and its predecessor, the Society of Chief Librarians. He led our Digital Offer, was a member of the steering group that helped us transform into a Sector Support Organisation and then our Treasurer. He will continue to be a powerful advocate for library and cultural services.”
Isobel Hunter MBE, chief executive of Libraries Connected, commented:
“Ayub is a powerful voice for libraries, their workers and the millions of people who use them. As a trustee of Libraries Connected Ayub played a key role as the sector responded to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and I know he will work tirelessly in this new role. I look forward to working with him over the coming months.”