Why I’ve (re-)joined CILIP

Posted on September 12th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

Cilip officeIn counterpoint to my last blog post, and so I don’t leave the lasting impression that I’m some sort of curmudgeonly hyperindividualist…

I’ve recently joined CILIP, the ‘Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’. It’s the professional body for librarians. I was a student member while I was doing my MSc,  but I dropped my membership as soon as I graduated (i.e. as soon as I became liable for full members’ fees!), so I’m counting this as my first period of ‘proper’ membership.

Other people have given quite coherent accounts of why they’ve recently resigned their membership of CILIP, and as an organisation it does take a fair bit of flak from its current, ex-, and potential members. So why have I signed up, and why now?

  1. I couldn’t justify the membership cost a couple of years ago; now I can better afford it.
  2. The odd grumpy blog post aside, I’m quite a sociable sort, and I enjoy participating in groups of interesting people who share my interests.
  3. I now know (i/r/l or via Twitter) a few|of the|people involved in running CILIP. They’re good people. I’m sure there have always been good people involved in CILIP, but I didn’t know them then. See? Logic.
  4. And now when I don’t agree with how CILIP is run, I get a say in changing it for the better.
  5. I can save my employer some money on training courses, often discounted for members, which might mean I’ll get to go on more of them.
  6. It’s better to be inside the boat than outside, when it’s stormy (or ruder versions of the same proverb).

But did I join CILIP for the job alerts, magazine/newsletter, current awareness, networking opportunities, practical training, conferences, etc.? Probably not. I can have my needs met on the Internet for all of those things, more quickly and with less mess. So to speak.

And did I join for the opportunity to become professionally certified?

I… haven’t decided yet. Convince me.

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One Response to “Why I’ve (re-)joined CILIP”

  1. Michael Martin says:

    As you say you get networking opportunities, there are on-line journals as well as Update but to get full value you should get Chartered. It’s the chance to put together all your learning and experience and get validated credit for that.

    The benefits:
    1. Increased value of learning
    2. Greater career prospects (if not now at a time when you’re ready to move on) / Greater job security ((I’ve often been contacted by people looking to Charter quickly for job applications or to prepare for re-structuring).
    3. Sense of community and achievement
    4. To prove to non-LIS people that we are an active / committed profession
    5. To meet our ethical obligation to prove to others and prompt ourselves that we are performing at our best

    300 people every year put in applications, making a effort and commitment. I did it myself, though that was a while ago now and before I became a CILIP employee, and my reason was to be fully part of the profession as well as doing the reflection. You’ll find each candidate has their own main reason on top of those I’ve listed.

    all the best