|'Construction work' by gullevek on Flickr|
Last year CILIP took a good look at the future of the profession and of CILIP itself, conducting surveys and talking to members, and coming up with a report titled 'Defining our Professional Future'. (This can be read here.) The event this evening was about how the findings of this report will shape the future of the organisation. In the face of big external issues such as cuts to library services and undervaluing of professional staff, members expect their professional body to put up a strong front and be a voice for library advocacy, but meanwhile CILIP is also facing internal challenges - the biggest being financial struggles and being relevent to its members.
As a response to that last challenge, Annie laid out three areas that had come from the report as being key to members' expectations and needs from CILIP:
- Advocacy and thought leadership
- Networking and community
- Continuing professional development
As for the advocacy, one thing I thought was great was Annie describing the move away from a reactive stance to a proactive stance on campaigning and dealing with the media. More public material is going up on the CILIP website, including campaigning toolkits. A 4-day press release approval process has been cut to 4-minutes!
To bolster the financial side of things (I don't think I've ever used the word bolster before. Good word!), CILIP have set an ambitious target of reaching 20,000 members by 2020 (there are currently about 17,000). The structure of the organisation is also going to have a bit of a revamp, including streamlining branches and groups (for more background see Emma's blogpost on this) and trying to minimise admin stuff and duplication of effort.
Above all else, the theme of this talk was CILIP's members. who really seem to be at the heart of their new plan. I haven't been a member of CILIP for very long, so I can't really comment on how much better or worse the future of the organisation is likely to be, but I definitely came away feeling very positive.