CILIP Future – thoughts

In CILIP, Information industry, Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 by africker Tagged: , ,

A while ago I blogged about my role on the CILIP Defining our Professional Future project board.  This work has been rolling on as you will have seen on Twitter on the conversation blog and you can find a lot of strands gathered at Netvibes

With my Project Board hat on I would ask again for people to have their say and get involved.

I would like to take that hat off now and make my contribution – so these thoughts are my own.  I have been mulling them for a while and they also had the benefit of being partially tested by talking about Defining our Professional Future at the Perfect Information Conference.

I am not going to spend a lot of time on crystal ball gazing about where we will be as a profession in x years time.  At PIC2010 I summarised it as:

•More mobile?
•More stuff?
•More diverse?
•More personal?
•More specialised?
•More proactive?
•Everywhere or nowhere?

People can draw their own thoughts on those.

I am more interested in what I might want CILIP to do.

I want CILIP to speak loudly on quality.  It should be crystal clear to people why they should want to be chartered and employers as to why they should hire chartered staff.  For me this means mandatory tracking of CPD to reach and maintain Chartered status.  CILIP need to provide the tools to do this electronically (UKCHIP are currently working on this and I am sure we could learn from other bodies) .  Tracking should be convenient and I would expect that most people would meet the requirements to maintain chartership.  We are all doing the CPD – lets demonstrate it.   Update could offer a choice of quick reflection points with input fed directly back into the tracking system. 

Beyond the handy tracking tool I would want CILIP to allow me to chose to share selected details of my ongoing development via a public facing website .  This would be something I could use for job applications, if I was a freelance or generally for networking.  Importantly this would also display my current level of chartered status – MCLIP, FCLIP, uptodate etc.  This would be a benefit to employers who would then be able to readily check if I had the qualifications and experience I claimed on any application.  At the same time it would prevent people claiming post nominals without having done the work.

I want CILIP to be an enabler.  Networking is vital for professionals and CILIP should be actively working to help members to do just that.  This should be enabled by CILIP Communities and the public profile I have just described.  My private profile should be richer to allow better linking.  We should have LinkedIn style tools through these systems.  These should be open to linking to other systems to allow those outside CILIP to interact with our networks (and perhaps over time convince them of the merits of being in them as members).  Along side these electronic tools there should be a specific role within central CILIP to support the creation of networking opportunities.  Want a speaker on topic X?  Here is a list.  Want to know who in your region (or nationally) is working on this?  Here is a list.  Want to set up a supper club?  Here are good venues (regions could help), a simple booking system, an effective means to reach people and so on.  Want to run a virtual journal club?  Here are models, here is the corporate webex account, here is the means to reach those with a similar interest.

Another support to this would be CILIP raising the profile and becoming a thought leader.  I want to see CILIP offering regular public events that set the agenda around professional issues.  These should be free to members or very very low priced with a small fee to non members.  Events might take the form of panel debates, talks by researchers, by people with a strong view on important issues.  So lets present Cory Doctorow on copyright, Michael Stephens on Library 2.0, David Nicholas on the Google Generation, get the relevant person from DCMS to speak.  I want to see informed debate on IP, social media, archives, the information society, information for the health of the public, the role of reading etc etc. They could be sponsored and in partnership with other bodies, think tanks and so on.  When I flick to the List in Prospect I want to find an event with a CILIP badge every month.  This is about raising our profile, establishing what we do as a profession – all the while providing CPD and networking opportunities.  It is important that events are open to the world outside CILIP to get the most relevant people along and get it all linked up.  Generally the events should be recorded where ever possible with digital streams available for those unable to attend in person.

There should be support for Special Interest Groups and regions in putting these events on.  This could be balanced by an obligation on these to participate in sourcing venues, speakers and so on.  We should be making sure those who speak at events like Umbrella then go on to elaborate their research beyond that event.  This might also help bring research into practice.

I think that will do for today.  Thoughts?


9 Responses to “CILIP Future – thoughts”

  1. Interesting post Alan. Raises a lot of points I have also been mulling over, particularly with regards to networking opportunities. At a CILIP West Midlands branch meeting last week, we discussed event organisation and our role as regional support with this. I came to a similar conclusion as yourself – that we should hold a list of both speakers and potential venues to provide support for anyone wanting to hold an event in our region. So a very timely post for me and interesting to hear you hold the same view!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Biddy Fisher and Biddy Fisher, Alan Fricker. Alan Fricker said: #cilipfuture my view blogged – quality focussed, network enabling & thought leading […]

  3. Ta. Just rereading the post now as I had to rush it out somewhat yesterday.

    I want to add that the profile stuff should be very much about breaking out of the echo chamber and about bringing in new voices.

  4. I would like to see better support for those entering the profession (more flexible routes not just graduate trainee placements, how to choose a course to suit you as they are quite different), a more flexible way of studying for the Diploma/Masters degree which should be rooted in current (and anticipates future) practice not taught by professional academics (in the evening a la Birkbeck and taught by practitioners), chartership which is meaningful and relevant to the employer not just to CILIP, for CILIP to embrace change and new technologies and to be a leader in best practice. CILIP needs a chief exec who is a critical friend but at the same time is genuinely enthusiastic about promoting the work of information bods wherever they may be, is astute in marketing and communication and is good at bringing people with diverse opinions together. I would rejoin if they managed to recruit an SLA Janice LaChance type figure, I think leadership is important!

    I definitely agree with you Alan that being open to the rest of the world and actively engaging with the public would do wonders. I also think we could build more links with allied professionals in research, information technology, education etc etc. Perhaps CILIP could recognise it might not be able to do everything and might have to signpost to others such as with networking there is nothing stopping anyone just setting up their own networking opportunities (LIKE in London for example), there shouldn’t be a dependence on CILIP to do this but yes as Jo says acting as a facilitator.

  5. Hi Hanna,

    I was hoping you would do a tHI post of your own on cilipfuture as I know you have interesting views on this topic!

    In terms of the courses thing – I had a lot of practitioner input in my course at Sheffield. Particularly in the health section and agree that it was very useful. I know Aber also invite practitioner speakers as I have been on a jolly with someone talking there about Law info work. I agree that plentiful input from practitioners is very helpful.

    I agree that CILIP cannot do everything – very much about how they enable the network to give members that extra edge.

    Someone tweeted recently about how ALA supports online learning being a lesson for CILIP and I think this fits with a broader need for CILIP to be a catalyst for learning – generating content, opportunities, discussion and so on.

  6. The idea of CILIP enabling online networking makes sense to me. I’d be more tempted to join if that was one of the benefits. It’s currently difficult to track down other librarians and information professionals with specific information skills/knowledge or similar professional interests.

  7. Cheers Gary

    CILIP do already enable online networking – CILIP communities has some features to that effect. They are not very grabbing though and generally it is a poorly used platform.

  8. I like it, yes. I think you’ve touched on a major point here, and that’s visibility. A lot of what CILIP does may be valuable, but it’s hard to see. A professional association needs to be higher profile, and excellent online services and seminars are good ways to achieve this.

  9. […] read with interest what Alan Fricker wrote (on our blog) and what Phil Bradley wrote- I sort of agree with both of them. I read something […]

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