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October 18, 2010


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Jo Alcock

I love these ideas Phil.

As one of the people who organises events on behalf of the West Midlands branch of CILIP, it has been clear that decisions such as the venue and technology should not be taken hastily. In particular, wireless is a must have for anything I organise now (unless it's a pub get together where people are more likely to be chatting than using the wireless, and even then it is an advantage for tweeting).

I like the idea of a sort of exhibition - it would be great to get the branches and groups involved to find out what they have been up to over the last year, that would definitely be a draw for me (and I'd be happy to be involved in creating a stall for the branch and groups I am part of too). Maybe this could also be extended virtually, with each branch/group having the opportunity to highlight their recent achievements via the CILIP website.

Lots to think about, and I certainly think many of these things could be implemented very easily and would help overcome some of the current criticisms of CILIP.

Sarah Pearson

In the future when CILIP has turned into a body which sees advocacy of libraries and librarians as an important part of its work there should be a section of the AGM day showcasing all CILIP's major successes - where it has prevented library services from being cut, influenced government policy, promoted the profession, and represented its members - during the year.


Great ideas, but there must surely be a cheaper alternative for live streaming?

Phil Bradley

Niamh - Yes, I'm sure there are, but I wanted to simply give an example figure, it's not something that I've researched in any detail, but as you say, it can't be THAT expensive!


Some great ideas there. Your point about the awards reminded me of the Special Libraries Association conference I attended - for their awards/fellowships, they had 5 minute videos about each award winner, including comments from their co-workers and people within SLA who knew them about what their contribution to librarianship had been and why they were getting the award. It was all very glossy and American (and some of the videos could probably have been edited down a bit) but I found it much more interesting than the usual format of "read out someone's name, that someone stumbles on stage looking a bit embarassed then shuffles off again"!

I also really like the Honorary Librarian idea! Yes, it is a bit gimicky but it's fun, and would be great PR :)

Sarah's idea above about having a presentation showcasing CILIP's acheivements over the past year is a fantastic idea - CILIP needs to be letting people know what they're doing!


I think that both exhibition space for the different groups within CILIP and a presentation showcasing CILIP's achievements are excellent ideas. For one thing, it would provide a usefully-focussed message that could be made available both to the media and to prospective members. For another, it would remind those attending the AGM that this is the purpose of the organisation.

isabel hood

Hiya, it's safe to say that AGM's are conducted in a wide variety of ways in CILIP and beyond, and a problem for most AGMs is to try to draw people to a meeting which lists such (necessary) excitement on the Agenda as Confirmation of Auditors (never produced a frothy frenzy of excitement yet in my living memory) and is usually a short meeting of itself. Which is why various Cunning Ploys are tried to ensure a quorate meeting from setting them within wider Conferences, running them as core feature of a 'Member's Day' of some sort, adding a nice free talk or drinks on...

The main CILIP AGM in recent years has followed the 'part of Member's Day' approach. So the normal way of things has been free workshops in the morning, often on topics of the moment and CILIP development area's, and stalls for all the depts. in CILIP showing off their wares and chatting through things with drinks, then the main presentations across the road including Presidential Address, various awards, and the AGM. After which in recent years CILIP in London often did an early evening event in the venue if my memory serves (and yes it's a basement, the Brunei Gallery, but a nice basement - I'll come onto that in a minute, promise), which often was an author talk as I recall (I was always back on the Glasgow train so never attended one).

As to Basements Of Our Time Unite I agree it's become unfortunate and needs changed, but essentially the AGM venue and date is booked a long time in advance, and I would suspect that when the contract was entered into for it the Twitterverse was simply not as pervasive and germane as it is today. I know it's frustrating the signal problems and hindrances, it's caught me before in its clutches too, and it's a good reason to look at other options for the future.

I can't comment on everything or this 'comment' will go on forever and I'll get no work done this morning (slaps own hand in reproving manner). But things like dates have problems attached, I agree we don't want to clash with any other major sectoral events such as ILI, or to be in a difficult time for the academic sector, but I have also been in the position of trying to find for other things a date that all sectors like and can do - we're very very varied as a sector and that makes it tricky to get something everyone likes that also avoids holiday seasons, allows for venue booking, avoids conferences, term dates, induction dates for commercial sector etc etc, and there are also factors to do with when the accounts have been through the auditors and the AGM material is ready for printing that impact on dates, which is what has put it in October.

No one is disagreeing that the AGM needs widened out further (and I'm sure if you win your election you will be locked in a room with your skills base and made copious use of as a method of expanding access to it out further). There have been moves towards increasing accessibility, especially re the proxy voting forms for those unable to attend in person on which a lot more guidance was produced last year, the form went online this year, there is actually a lot of work that goes into the AGM by a whole range of parties. But yes, obviously more in the online direction would be a major thing to look at.

So, I agree there's lots of things that can be looked at, I'm just saying that some of them have actually happened, and that there can be reasons why some aspects have been as they are. But - lots of food for thought in all of this, and it will all get discussed on changes that can made to deal with the main issues that have been raised.

Isabel (Trustee, Dep. Leader of Council, that kind of thing, now off to do some day work...)


I love the ideas (and have already voted) :)

As well as making the AGM more of an event and updating the technical side of the meetings (which sounds like it is dire straits), could you do something about CILIP and the corporate libraries?

At the moment many of us feel marginalised as we are neither in academia or the public sector and might as well not exist as far as the Update/Gazette and the website are concerned.

I'm studying for my Masters atm and many of my fellow students haven't bothered joining because 'what is CILIP going to do for me?' In the corporate sector, it doesn't seem to be a great deal, which is why corporate library students aren't joining.

Penny Simmonds

Why not separate the AGM and members day

Link the awards; recogniton of members work; honorary fellowships and celebration of CILIP's successes( inlcuding Branch and groups) and potential recruing of new members to a conference e.g Umbrella

Hold the AGM in the evening perhpas. Would people attedn?
Offer a live webcast of the proceedings and promote the opportunity of Proxy voting for those unable to attend

Penny ( CILIP Training and Development)

Girl in the Moon

Isabel, you say in the second paragraph of your comment that there have recently been events in the morning of the AGM for members, and a CILIP London event in the evening afterwards. Did these happen this year, and if not, why not?

Caroline Roche

Yes please, to all of that, Phil! Here in Kent we combine our AGM with a visit to an interesting library and a talk from the resident librarian. I love the idea of a recruitment fair - would love to take part and have a stall showcasing school libraries, and would love to meet people from other sectors too. Would love to have taken part via Twitter in this AGM, or conference or videocall. If we don't show libraries as being relevant to the 21st century, then how are we going to survive?! I would love to see demonstrations of all the new ereaders, IPads and ebooks, and people talking about new and exciting projects in their library. That's the world we all work in - we need to see this reflected in our professional association, otherwise we will all become demotivated and CILIP will be an irrelevancy to us all.

isabel hood

Allo - response to Girl in the Moon. Recent years yes, not this year. Re CILIP itself it was pared down this year to a Drinks Reception beforehand with variety of CILIP folk on hand to discuss aspects of their work of interest with any members. Re CILIP in London events what the Branch decide to hold and where is the Branch's remit so I don't know precise reasons.

Girl in the Moon

Isabel - thanks. Were the the Members' Day events pared down this year because they had previously been unpopular? It's interesting to hear that something that lots of the people commenting here would seem to welcome has actually already been tried and rejected.

isabel hood

Hi Girl in the Moon - general belt tightening economics this year basically. Nowt to do with popularity or otherwise.

Cathy Linacre

Great ideas! I'd also like to 2nd the comments made above about corporate libraries. At the AGM there was a show of hands for who worked in the public and private sector. There were less than 10 of us in the private sector.

As Cilip gears up to fight the public sector cuts, and all power to them in doing so, lets not forget those us in the private sector.

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