Congratulations to Phil Bradley for being elected as Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the UK. Phil will serve one year as Vice-President, one year as President, and one year as Past President. I’ve known Phil virtually for almost ten years – he adapted my Internet training book for UK audiences. We’ve only met in person and chatted briefly at ILI but I look forward to the next time we are together. I want to buy him a congratulatory drink.
CILIP is currently embroiled in three distinct areas; a need to make itself more relevant to those in the library and information profession; redefining itself in order to support the profession in the coming years; a need to position itself to better put the case for the continued existence and importance for both libraries and professionally qualified librarians.
I believe that I am well qualified to help CILIP achieve all of these things. In the last 25 years I’ve worked closely with information professionals who are active in many different sectors; public, commercial, school, academic and science and technology. I want to ensure CILIP addresses all of their needs by providing better advice, by leading the way in technological advances, by trying new things and giving librarians a chance to explore resources, from software to hardware, from Web 2.0 resources to iPads and beyond.
As a result of the many training courses that I run and the conversations that I have with librarians I’m aware of the frustrations that many of you have day to day; being sidelined, and controlled by technology, not controlling it. CILIP needs to lead and advocate by example – it should not be afraid to try new things, highlighting what works and what doesn’t. I want to draw attention to the good, enthuse the average and help improve the poor.
I also want CILIP to be the organisation the media turn to as the voice of the profession; we should not be afraid to be positive with the message that we all have a right to information, a right to libraries and a right to a professional service.
The time to be traditional has long since passed; now is the time to be proactive and innovative.
The election also involved e-hustings: http://communities.cilip.org.uk/forums/217.aspx Take a look at some of the questions asked of the candidates.
I caught up with some of his recent blogging about the election and it struck me how similar situations are playing out all over the globe. For example, I appreciate Phil’s take on the future of his association and libraries, really:
We are in a parlous situation, both within the organisation and more generally, and there’s lots of hard choices that need to be made. I don’t know what they are yet, but I can take a good guess. All of us who work within the industry are under threat – from public library closures, to school libraries being disbanded to the ‘why libraries when we have Google?’ viewpoint and beyond. We ALL need to work together to support each other, and without wishing to be overly dramatic we need to stem the tide now. It’s not a ‘oh, we can think about it in a decade’. It’s not ‘we’re ok for the next five years’. It’s *now*. The membership of CILIP has to increase – now. If you’re wondering ‘what can CILIP do for me?’ it’s a perfectly acceptable question, but at this point in time I’d counter it by saying ‘If you want CILIP to do anything for you, it has to be in a position where it actually can’. If you’re not a member (and I’m holding up my hand here, because I wasn’t), then please consider joining or rejoining. I’m very proud that I can call myself a librarian, and I’m betting that most of you are as well. However, if we don’t have a strong professional body, which is able to define, set and maintain professional ethics and qualifications, and to promote the profession, we’re not going to be able to say that for much longer. If you want CILIP to advocate, and to have a strong voice in the profession, it needs to be in a position to HAVE a voice – the louder the better. It will only have that if people join and keep their membership. If you have colleagues, friends, co-workers, ask if they are a member of their professional body. And if not, why not? The more that CILIP is diminished the more that the profession in diminished, the more that our jobs are diminished, and the worse we will all be for it.
Congratulations to Phil!