Bodie and Doyle aka The Professionals aks Thing 7 (CPD23)

Okay here goes, I’m not a member of CILIP.

Quick ducks down behind the parapet.

Is it safe to come out yet?

Okay so how do I justify not being part of my professional organisation. A lot of my thoughts mirror Helen’s, and which  she wrote about it far more eloquently than I ever will in her blog post. However, below are my thoughts on CILIP.

1) Money, I appreciate the organisation has to have some form of income, but my money is tight enough already without me adding membership fees into the equation, especially in a 2 librarian household.

2) Time, not only do they want my money but it seems they also want more and more of my time, because they need volunteers for the branches and interest groups. I’m actually not against giving up my time for something I believe in, having in the past been a volunteer for a charity and the time I give to being a school governor. However neither of those expected me to give them quite a substantial sum of money and then also help run it. It also seems to slightly go against what I thought was one of CILIP’s core values of making sure librarians are fairly paid and not unpaid volunteers. So they want to make sure that we are fairly paid but will take a chunk of that away and also ask us to give up some of time freely to help run it.

3)Professionalism. I dislike the ‘you are not a professional unless you join Cilip’ attitude. This is the nuts and bolts for it for me. Despite the blood, sweat and tears the 2 years of my MA cost me, I was cast aside before I’d even qualified because I couldn’t be considered a professional on my MA alone but needed to be Chartered. It isn’t that I disagree with the chartership idea I just think that you need time between the MA and starting chartership, plus lets value the MA itself which is a significant step in your library career.

4) What do you stand for? As Bethan wrote in her comments on Helen’s blog “Membership of a professional body can be a statement that you support and value that body”. However, I’m still not sure what CILIP stands for. Is it library advocacy? In which case why does Voices for the Library seem more prominent campaign in this cause than CILIP. Is it ensuring we have jobs and are paid a decent wage? This seems to slightly confuse CILIP with the role a Union has in the workplace.

5) Networks. At the moment I am connected to as many networks as I can cope with without adding another. Also with twitter I am not limited to 2 special interest groups or even within my field of librarianship.

5) Access to professional literature. This is where I am lucky to work where I do as I have access to more professional literature than I can ever hope to read. I know that I am very lucky to have this, so appreciate that others not in the same situation would see this as a compelling reason to join.

Having said all that I know I am in a more advantageous positions than others, I work in a large organisation in London, I have access to all the professional literature, training and networking opportunites I could possibly use without having to join Cilip. I can’t really argue against the idea of giving something back to my profession, however I found slightly cheaper ways to do that as shown by organising a London LibTeachMeet. I would even be willing to join committees and help with interest groups and branches, but I can’t do this unless I give CILIP what I consider is a substantial amount of money. In the end I am not sure who is losing out in this situation, me for not joining CILIP or CILIP for not being able to make use of my skills.

I hope this hasn’t been too ranty and I do see CILIP starting to move in a direction that would encourage me to join.

But what about other organisations related to me?


I am in the process of completing a PGcert which I am hoping will allow me to become an associate of the HEA in due course. I do think that this organisation is actually more relevant to my job than CILIP at the moment with the amount of teaching I do. I do think that the variety of posts and what they can lead to is one of the more satisfying aspects of librarianship.


The University science and Technology Librarians Group (USTLG) does what it says on the tin. We meet up about every 6 months for a day of themed talks. Plus there is a mailing list and website to keep in touch in between. This has been a really useful group. It was great when I started and was getting to grips with a new subject, plus through this group I have made fantastic contacts with people in similar posts to myself. This would be one group I would be sad to lose.

CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group

I know it is CILIP and yet I am still a member. Luckily at the moment I don’t have to be a member of CILIP to be a member of this group. This year was the first year I attended LILAC which is a three day conference organised by this group and I thought it was great. Because of that I would love to get more involved with this group, however it is slightly mysterious how you do that, perhaps I do need to be a member of CILIP after all!


CPD25 is a Staff Development and Training Organisation working in association with the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries. Their training events are usually quite good, picking up topics that are relevant to my day to day role and generally the training is quite cheap, especially when you consider other training that is available. I did try to get involved with this group a couple of years ago, but didn’t pursue as much as I perhaps should have.


About Lynne Meehan
Librarian interested in teaching, infolit, ux and open access. Also Mum, knitter, baker, walker and very amateur photographer. I may also like cows.

2 Responses to Bodie and Doyle aka The Professionals aks Thing 7 (CPD23)

  1. clo1 says:

    Hi, I don’t know if this is going to sound really petty but, in response to point 3 about CILIP, what annoys me is that, when they send me Update with my name and qualifications on, they never put the Masters, they put the chartership on once I had received that, it is, like you say, that CILIP does not value the Masters, especially when, for a lot of sectors still, you have to have the Masters in order to get a job.

    • Lynne Meehan says:

      Thanks for the comment. It is a shame that there isn’t more recognition from CILIP of the hard work that people put into the Masters and for some jobs, like mine, this is the required qualification not chartership.

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