Thursday, 22 July 2010

Interesting Library things....

I stumbled across two really interesting things today - one a comment/article on why this one Librarian decided to leave CILIP and secondly Phil Bradley's post on CILIP in 2020. I'm going to repost both links here as I really think they are worth reading. So here they are!

CILIP in 2020
What should CILIP be, and where in 2020?

This is another of my thought pieces, which is basically a stream of thought, so it doesn’t have a great structure to it, but it’s heartfelt, which I hope will be sufficient to overcome the other deficiencies of the piece. It’s an attempt to add to the conversation, so I’ve tried to be fairly wide reaching with it. Comments are most welcome.

CILIP needs to be an integral part of every librarian’s day to day work. I would like to see a situation where CILIP acts more as an aggregator of data. I’d like to wake up in the morning, go to my machine or have my mobile device alert me to all of the interesting things that CILIP has found for me overnight, so that I can then sift through them as appropriate. I would like to be able to use CILIP as a conduit, putting everything into one place for me, assessing data, making links to other resources and displaying it for me in useful ways. I want CILIP to think, so I don’t have to! Of course, I can do a lot of this myself now – it’s a matter of a few seconds to create a Netvibes page (and I’m delighted to see that CILIP has), or to drag data from different RSS feeds into one resource for me, but I’d rather someone else was able to do that. I could then just bolt on any extras as needed.

..... to read the rest click on the link above!

Why I quit CILIP ...

Ed Chamberlain Posted: 05-25-2010 8:07 PM

i've posted this as a comment on Bethan Ruddocks blog, but was subsequently guided here. Its my experience of CILIP as a chartered member and my recent resignation. As a CILIP Member of nine years and a Chartered Member for the past four, I have recently quit. A colleague from another institution suggested I do this publicly, which I was not used to, but after some deliberation, I've decided to share the whole process. Here is the guts of my resignation letter, outlining why:


After much deliberation, I have decided not to renew my membership for 2010.

In the current economic climate, I cannot justify the cost of £184 p.a. for an organization that no longer meets my professional development needs.

CILIP is all but unrecognized in my workplace. Looking at my institution of employment, none of my division are members, not my Line Manager nor our Director. Charted status has no bearing on my current pay, nor has it in my previous positions (in specialist and museum libraries). Alternative mechanisms exist to support my personal and professional development. In terms of keeping abreast of developments in information provision and our sector, I find many other sources, (blogs, professional journals, System provider literature) are now meeting my communication and networking needs more than adequately.

Most tellingly, the past years’ worth of CILIP literature has largely remained in its expensive plastic wrapping. My job entails keeping abreast of the latest information developments, yet CILIP cannot tell me anything I have not already found out from other more current and informed sources. CILIP always seems to be several steps behind developments in the networked environment, seemingly playing catchup and acting conservatively. Its attitude towards using Twitter back in March is a case in point.

Even an institution as archaic as my own (Cambridge University Library) is using this medium. Finally, I have issues with CILIPs’ effectiveness as a representational body. Throughout my membership of your organization, I feel that it has failed to tackle issues of pay and status and adequately represent information workers and promote their skill-set and value.

Unexpectedly, I received the following letter from Chief Exec, Bob Mackee, some of which I would also like to share:

I’m saddened by your decision but I’m impressed by your intelligent and considered demolition of the value of CILIP membership for you. Professional qualification is not required by your employer. You get support for your personal and professional development elsewhere, and your needs in terms of networking and current awareness are met through alternative print and online sources. You find CILIP overly conservative in its engagement with the networked environment, and you feel that CILIP is ineffective in representing your interests. Stuff you receive from CILIP remains in its plastic wrapping, unopened. Ouch! These are trenchant and chastening criticisms which summarise very well the challenges facing CLIP now and in the future

I’m not going to attempt rebuttal because all your points have validity. Nor am I going to ask you to change your mind: your decision has been made after much deliberation, and I respect that.

But there are two things I would like you to do. One is to agree that I can copy your letter to the members of CILIP Council and to the Working Group set up by Council to consider issues relating to CILIP membership: your comments will certainly help to concentrate our minds. The other is to contribute to the “Big Conversation” about the future for CILIP that we propose to undertake in the coming months. In your letter you set out the reasons why CILIP membership no longer works for you: it would be really helpful if you could set out, after a similar process of deliberation, what CILIP would have to do in order to work for you again in the future.

.... to read the rest click on the link above!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


It's coming towards the end of the year now and everyone is tired and grumpy and generally fed up. I was plodding through my day, cataloguing books in a typical afternoon zombie fashion and into the Library walks the ex-student coucil president. He comes up to the desk and says, "Hi Emma - this is for you" and hands me a box of chocolates. "It's a thank you for helping us out with supervision at the student parties this year." I was suitably stunned. Firstly, I had never thought that they would think to do something that nice and secondly only moments before I had been thinking about how nice it would be to have a piece of chocolate. It completely made my day. I was feeling a bit tired and generally fed up and just that one act of thoughtfulness has restored my good mood and belief that teenagers do think about others sometimes. A little bit of appreciation every once and a while goes a long way.