It’s important to give something back and after 40 plus years as an information professional it gives me great pleasure to sponsor the “IRMS-Alison North New Professional’s Award” for the fifth year. This award focuses on those new to our profession be they student, employee or self-employed, and provides them with an opportunity to win a ticket including accommodation to the annual IRMS conference plus, if the winner wishes, a year’s mentoring or friendly discussions and networking with me. Anyone who has started in the profession in the past three years is eligible to enter by writing a short essay on their experiences in information and records management. Past entrants have written on freedom of information; privacy; the challenges of managing a records management programme; managing records / archives in the 21 century. The choice is yours.

It is a pleasure to read these essays, all are interesting and revealing. So many topics form the building blocks of our profession. Everyone has fresh eyes and ideas that it is a difficult choice when it comes to a winner. Thank you to those who have entered this year and in the past five years. I do hope your careers have blossomed and that you remain connected to this profession.

I look forward to meeting this year’s winner and seeing some of you at the Information and Records Management Society conference, 18-20 May in Brighton, England. I look forward to meeting this year’s winner.