ALN Conference 2024

Academic Libraries North Conference 2024

Generative AI and Emerging Technologies


Sponsored by Kortext

Online on 12th June (via Teams) and in-person on 5th July 2024 (St. George’s Centre, Leeds) 


Bookings for the conference are now closed and the conference is now past. If you managed to come along to one or both days, we hope you enjoyed the conference.


Programme and materials

The programme and delegate brochure is available for the conference. We had a great range of short papers, lightning talks and workshops for attendees to choose from! You can scroll through the document to see the abstracts for all the papers. We recorded the online sessions along with some of the in-person presentations, including our keynotes, which will be available to view soon. Slides from the presenters are also available for both the online and in person days.


With the increasing ubiquity of emerging technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing or generative AI into the tools we use everyday, it is time to consider how this will affect our day-to-day work. As these tools become embedded into search, collection development, research, writing and more we need to think about how we should be educating ourselves and our users about them. How do these emerging technologies impact ethics, information literacy instruction, or research to name but a few? How should libraries adapt to these challenges? What initiatives and discussions could (need) to be put in place to forecast shifts in ways of working and prepare staff for novel ways of working that embed these emerging technologies? This event recognises the breadth of activities and tools that are covered by the umbrella term of emerging technologies as well as the early stage at which some of our work and initiatives might be.  

For the full call for papers including details of possible themes, and types of contribution click here

Please note: 

Ticket prices for presenters were £30 (online), £75 (for both days, in-person and online) for ALN members and £45 (online), £110 (for both days, in-person and online) for non-ALN members. Presenters will have received a discount code by email which is the same as the "early bird" discount.

Ticket prices for those not presenting are £40 (online), £98 (for both days, in-person and online) for ALN members and £60 (online), £150 (for both days, in-person and online) for non-ALN members.

There is no separate ticket for in-person only - in effect, in-person attendees get a "free" space for the online day.



Thank you to our sponsors whose support and partnership play a key role in our conference - we appreciate their participation:

  • Platinum Sponsor - Kortext
  • Gold Sponsor - Clarivate
  • Silver Sponsors - AM, Browns Books, De Gruyter, Gale, OCLC, Sage
  • Bronze Sponsor - PTFS Europe


Keynote speakers

Our keynote speakers for the two days are:

  • Sue Attewell, Head of AI and co-design at Jisc will discuss Generative AI: the impact on education
    In this era of Everyday AI, we are at the beginning of a transformative period where the seamless integration of generative AI into our daily lives has become an indispensable component. This fusion of AI with our daily tools has become a tangible reality with profound implications for our work and learning environments. This keynote will delve into the transformative impact of AI technologies on education, particularly focusing on the ethical, information literacy, and educational evolution aspects necessary for adapting to these changes. By highlighting Jisc's proactive strategies, including pilots, events, information sharing, and community engagement, we'll explore how the UK's education sector is navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by AI. The keynote aims to address how education can adapt to technological changes. By sharing insights from Jisc's initiatives and the broader challenges and opportunities presented by AI, the talk will encourage a dialogue on preparing for future shifts in work practices and the importance of continuous learning and adaptation.
  • Ciaran Talbot, Associate Director for the Directorate of AI and Ideas Adoption at the University of Manchester will discuss Surfing the wave: positioning the academic library for our next era

    It is an incredible time to work in an academic library. Successive waves of change are breaking across our institutions, with many more on the horizon. Most recently the commoditisation and accessibility of Generative AI. There will be many more of these waves in the coming years. With continuous change in mind, the way we talk about and position the academic library is of increasing importance in an age of AI and emerging technology. We will explore some of the conversations and ideas around the spaces our libraries reach into and the opportunities and challenges of this. And how, at the University of Manchester Library, we have tried to take a leading role within our institution so we might better design our own future. We will look at some of the approaches taken at the University of Manchester Library in the consideration and application of AI. Highlighting opportunities for partnerships and collaboration, as we strongly believe we must be outward-looking in the objectives we set and in the actions we take. As people who care and think a lot about what we do, our goal must be to embrace, and skilfully surf these waves. And ultimately, understand, tackle and shape them if we possibly can.

Why should you attend the conference?


  • Hear the latest developments on the generative AI and emerging technologies from people working in similar settings as yourself
  • Learn from a leading sector relevant expert in AI and emerging technology in the Keynote talk
  • Increase awareness of who else is working on similar issues and solutions in your field


  • The same as online, plus...
  • Network with other library and information professionals in a central Leeds venue
  • Benefit from interactive workshops and discussions with colleagues from other institutions 
  • Meet a range of supplier representatives 

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Call for Papers 

Our call for papers closed on 24th March 2024. Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal. 


Sponsored Places

We originally offered five sponsored places at this year’s conference, but are pleased to say that we managed to stretch this to seven, covering their attendance on both days and travel costs to Leeds. We're looking forward to welcoming our sponsored attendees to both days - they've all promised some form of output for us to share afterwards, so look out for that later!