I officially took over as Chair of the CILIP SE Branch at the AGM on Thursday 26th May. I took over from my colleague Juliet Eve, so we’re keeping things in the University of Brighton family. The next year is going to be one of change, with CILIP’s review of Branches and Groups currently under way – but we’re up for the challenge. The speaker at the AGM was Phil Bradley, CILIP vice-President, but speaking to us more as future-watcher. He sees the future as one of opportunity for information professionals – if we’re prepared to grasp it and adopt the role of thought leaders. See more of Phil at http://www.netvibes.com/philbradley#General.
May 30, 2011
May 8, 2009
On Wednesday, 6th May 2009, I attended a CILIP East of England Information Sevices Group seminar entitled ‘Digital Native or Digitally Naive: Library and Information Services for the Next Generation’ – the focus of which was ‘What is the role of libraries when people already have access to everything?’ The day was very similar to the cpd25 event I attended last week (and topic of my last post), in that questions of relevance to ‘users’ (learners/customers etc.) and the role of the library and the librarian were the key focus. A number of very similar issues emerged: in particular, that of confidence and advocacy – how do we not only shout loudly about the added value we bring, but work strategically within our organisations to contribute to the delivery of that organisation’s wider agenda? Alison Wheeler, a Strategic Commissioner for Suffolk County Council (and former Head of Development for their library and information services), introduced and chaired the day. She spoke of the ‘moral imperative’ we have to provide services that:
- connect people with their communties;
- assist choices about healthcare;
- help people find ways to work, learn and spend their leisure time;
- be part of their community.
Libraries’ – and library staff’s – role in this will be as trusted intermediaries who signpost good and valid information, help people find and understand that information, and support marginalised people. Alison and a colleague visited us here at the University the following day, and it was fascinating to hear examples of the way Suffolk is already doing this in practice. For example, Suffolk were quick off the mark in establishing a ‘Credit Crunch Suffolk‘ website, with advice ranging from benefits to energy to free or cheap activities. Their Felixstowe library is also the first to have set up a Baby Cafe.
I was expecting the day to be more focused around the specific issue of the ‘Net Gen’ question (i.e. the digital natives/naives of the title); though this came up in a numebr of presentations (with mentions of the ‘Google generation’ study of 2008, and the recently commissioned study into the research behaviour of ‘Generation Y’), discussions were more general, about the possible role of libraries and librarians in the future (and, in fact, in the now).
The highlights of the day for me were the contributions from the four ‘new’ professionals, particularly Colin Higgins’ amuisng but insightful ’10 Reasons why Facebook and libraries don’t mix’ – ranging from its unreliability, to ownership of copyright to the simple fact that already, Facebook just isn’t cool any more… The discussions during the sessions and at the end of the day were also lively and interesting, covering the importance of library as physical space (this theme of libraries as social learning spaces is being addressed in a half-day seminar organised by CILIP in Kent on 27th May – details on the Kent pages of the CILIP South East Branch site); censorship and surveillance and the issue of school libraries. Earlier, Caroline Moss-Gibbons, Leader of CILIP Council (and a keen Twitterer) had outlined the role of CILIP in contributing to these ongoing debates about professionalism, and suggested that we need to adapt or face extinction (again, echoing themes from the Future of Libraries event last week). She welcomed suggestions and contributions to be sent to her or other members of Council – it seems to me that CILIP could usefully focus on school libraries in the future, now that they have proven themselves willing to intervene in the issue of public library closures such as those proposed in the Wirral.
April 1, 2009
In my capacity as Chair of CILIP South East Branch, I attended the CILIP in Hants and Wight AGM on 25th March. Over 30 people attended the AGM, which included a talk by Michael Martin from CILIP about the Framework of Qualifications. This was a very useful overview of the different levels of qualification offered by CILIP – from ACLIP to Chartership, to Fellowship. For those of us needing to get our heads round these different levels, and to have an idea about how the process works, Michael provided a clear and concise outline. For anyone going through or contemplating one of the qualifications, his tips on building portfolios, including how to reflect and evaluate, were highly useful – especially since he has recentlly revalidated his own Chartered status, so could give some first -hand examples and advice. He mentioned some potential changes to the Framework, namely the possiblity of introducing compulsory revalidation, which I think in principle a good idea, although subsequent questions brought up issues like lack of employer support/lack of money for training as potential barriers to gaining an initial qualification, let alone revalidating. I look forward to the debate which will inevitably follow! Michael’s session went down very well, and was followed by a lively set of questions ans answers, which had to be cut short due to time running out. It was great to see the conversations continuing over tea after the AGM business was concluded. Photos from the event can be viewed on the South East Branch flickr site.
February 27, 2009
On Wednesday I attended my first sub-branch event as new Chair of CILIP South East Branch - a CILIP in Sussex event, Marketing your Skills. Suzanne Wheatley, from Sue Hill Recruitment gave an informal, but highly useful presentation, covering how to market your skills both internally and externally (e.g. how to set out a cv), as well as tips on interviews. Attendees offered their own experiences along the way, and had the chance to chat and network (all part of marketing yourself!) over drinks and sandwiches after the event. What was especially nice for me was to see some of my current MA Information Studies students there, as well as catching up with former students who are now moving up through the library profession across the South East.
Suzanne’s comments on the evening can be found on the Sue Hill blog. Photos from the event can be found on the South East Branch flickr pages. I am looking forward to attending more events during the coming year – for details of all the activities planned for the SE region, visit our website, and follow the Events link.
December 19, 2008
I have just been elected as Chair of CILIP South East branch, replacing my colleague Margaret Wallis, who has held the post for the last five years. Another University of Brighton, Audrey Marshall, is also on the South East branch Committee. I met some of my fellow committee members earlier this week to plan the agenda for our February meeting, and I am looking forward to working with them and other colleagues from the region over the coming year.
January 10, 2008
From the beginning of 2008, it’s all change at CILIP and a lot of change with my own involvement with CILIP. There is a new CILIP Council, as part of the new governannce structure, and the changes recommended by the New Business Model Working Group will start to bite. As a member of the New Business Model Working Group, I have been involved over the last 18 months in some heated discussions about the future of CILIP and been party to some difficult decisions. It was hard work, but if it means that CILIP’s future is secure for a number of years yet, then extremely worthwhile. I have also been South East Branch Councillor since 2003, which meant representing the SE Branch interests on Council. But, no longer. The new Council is leaner and fitter – 12 trustees, elected nationally, and the hope is that this new streamlined Council will be more flexible and responsive to the world in which we now operate. You can see who was elected on to Council on the CILIP website. Policy, meanwhile, will be debated and decided by means of a Policy Forum, consisting of representatives of Branches and Special Interest Groups. The hope with the Policy Forum is that it will not duplicate the old Council but will use innovative techniques to involve representatives from the grass-roots organisation in order to make meaningful decisions about pertinent policy issues. I’m still very much active in the SE Branch and its Sussex sub-branch, the voice of CILIP locally. I plan to be involved in the Policy Forum and to continue to get students and former students involved in CILIP in Sussex and the South East.