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March 02, 2009


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Matthew Mezey


As I mention in my 'Blogwatch' column in the new issue of CILIP's member magazine Update, a 4-page article looking at how LIS pros can use Twitter will appear in the next issue.

And it's written by Update's 'Internet Q+A' columnist... Phil Bradley :-)

Don't miss it!

Rather than 140 characters long, however, it is in fact 13,151 characters long... ;-)

By chance, my latest Blogwatch column also included a link so that CILIP members can view Tweets about 'CILIP'.

I had no idea that there was going to be *quite* so much to read about CILIP on Twitter at this time...

Also, if you're interested in how to you can use social media tools to increase your PR effectiveness – and how to monitor the conversations about your organsiation - I gave a presentation that covered many of these 'PR 2.0' issues to CILIP's Commercial, Legal and Scientific Information Group late last year.

It was titled: 'PR and Media Know-how
- for personal and organisational effectiveness'.

Anyone – including non-members of CILIP – can read a pdf of the presentation here:
(sorry some pix get a bit grainy on the pdf)

Phil Bradley was one of the people who kindly offered me great advice about what to include (as did others: Sheila Webber, Euan Semple, Karen Blakeman etc etc).

Matthew Mezey
(News Editor, Library and Information Update magazine)

Owen Stephens

From Phil's wishlist:

"To see CILIP open up their website to allow comments from everyone ..."
Yes - absolutely, please, now?

"To make it easier to comment!"
Yes - no brainer.

"To have an 'official' presence on places such as Twitter, Facebook and so on"
Not quite so convinced. Personally I'd prefer to see engagement at an individual level and see some aggregation of this by CILIP (CILIPers who Twitter or some such) - but some engagement in these venues would be welcome.

"To incorporate such resources on the CILIP website and to encourage their use at conferences and on training courses."
Yes - we need to weave adjusting to new technology and challenges into what we do.

"Seek to explore resources and tools and to encourage those information professionals who are currently doing that - to speak out against the banning of Twitter et al in organisations."
Yes - I've heard stories of IT policies stopping this kind of engagement from people working in many kinds of libraries. If people in public libraries can't access these tools, how are they to engage with their customers who are using them?

"To start saying 'Yes, let's try that' instead of 'of course not'."
This is fundamental - lets the spirit of innovation and experimentation that I see from individual librarians/information workers from their professional body.

Mick Fortune

Amen to all this, but I am still a little concerned that we (or probably just I) need better tools - or better skills - to find these conversations in the first place.

Having been tied up writing specs for two hours I had to scroll through several pages before I found the twitter reference that led here. Now of course had I been using Tweetdeck I would have seen "Phil Bradley" in my "Top Twitterers" group but then if I filter all the people I follow who knows what gems I may miss when one of the less active feels moved to speak?

But that's probably all down to experience and taking the time to "read the manual".

More importantly I agree that CILIP needs to open up, and worry less about managing the message. As I mentioned elsewhere I find it slightly strange that SLIC actively uses all the routes to market it can in complete contrast to its London-based counterpart.

Let's hope some of that enthusiasm for experiment finds its way south eventually.

Caroline Moss-Gibbons

CILIP Council is in the midst of developing a Communications Framework for the institution (initiated some months ago), which we hope to have completed by July. We are including consideration of engagement through Twitter, Facebook, and all the other newer communications in the Framework, so this recent discussion prompted by Phil's piece last week (and his shopping list today) is very timely.

I'm chairing the small group developing the Framework, and would welcome input from members and non-members alike. I'm on Twitter, or can be contacted direct through the Council pages on the CILIP website.

And of course will be watching *this* space with particular interest!

Caroline Moss-Gibbons, Leader - CILIP Council.

Helen Dean

Seems to me like COPAC tweets are a good example of how an organisation can use the Twitter platform to reach out with up-dates and quick hit information. As for finding the conversations, there are plenty of ways of keeping involved even if we're not always up-to-date and in lots of ways just being in the game is important. Maybe some info pros hide behind a firewall purposely so that they don't have to engage in these applications and learn something new that they don't readily accept/expect will be relevant to them as individuals. Enthusiasm for experiment indeed!


It is pleasing to see Caroline's response here, and Bob's second post on the original post (looking forward to her post tomorrow). Hopefully this is the start of some real engagement and of 'going to where the conversation is', because otherwise I really do fear for the future of CILIP.

From my own experince, over half the people I know in public and private libraries have ditched their membership in the past 5 years. This is a problem and it is always harder to get people back you've lost, especially when they find they can do just fine without membership and its 'benefits'.

Matthew Mezey


Hi Helen,

One of the things I highlighted in the presentation I did on 'PR 2.0' etc - download it here: http://communities.cilip.org.uk/files/folders/32052/download.aspx - was the importance of putting an end to 'anonymity' amongst LIS pros.

“You have to be *seen* to be heard!”, says library consultant Lesley Robinson.

My most text-heavy slide was this quote, from Stephen Abram (of Sirsi-Dynix/President of SLA) - who argues that “Anonymity just isn’t working for us”:

"Librarians cannot afford to be…

...anonymous and generic. We need to state we’re pretty good more often. We want to be treated as professionals and far too many of us seem to hide under the cloak of anonymity. What other professionals won’t tell you their name right away. Would you find them and employ them if they had Web pages that described their services but didn’t show their names, specialties, work projects and pictures. Why do I see so many library website and intranet pages that display a wonderful range of services and so few images of the professionals behind the services. Why do so many librarians blog anonymously? How can we expect to raise our professionals profile if we don’t remove the cloak and shyness and head out into the big world of professional services."

Stephen Abram, Sirsi-Dynix, President of SLA


Yes-let all comment on Cilip's blogs (Cilip authorities are you reading?). I have no idea why only members can comment. It doesn't add value, it takes away value.

I've been blown away with the conversation and impressed that something has brought people out of the woodwork as this has.

I know plenty of people that are disillusioned with Cilip and have dropped their membership. Time to woo members and work for them.

I've blogged on Bob McKee's response to Phil's first post as well.

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