CILIP conversation

I’m playing catchup to the 2 really good overviews:  Anna’s blog  and Anne’s blog about the conversation 9 librarians had last night in a cafe in Cambridge (no doubt Niamh and Katie and Aidan will be contributing good things too)

the discussion seemed to divide into 2 halves – the future of cilip and the future of libraries/librarians. There’s was a good spread of experience with health, HE, school, and a database manager represented.

this is a bit of a stream consciousness…..

what is the future of cilip?

– renewal of membership when not a sutdent?  – such £30 not a problem, but full membership was seen as expensive when the benefit was gained from the specialist groups, rather than from the central body

– chartership value – the process was seen as very valuable, but the fact that you lose the right to call yourself chatered if you stop paying the fees is not good

– what do we actually get for our money? more transparency of funding and how money is spent was called for

–  advocacy in  aprofessional way – being abel and skilled enough to face Paxman, so that when ill-thought through reports like the KPMG one appear there can be a robust and professional and high profile response

– also need advocacy for information inequality issues – I saw Martha Lane Fox interviewed about these things, but didn’t hear CILIP mentioned.  

–          cost of courses in comparison with other comparable bodies, and even regional/special interest groups – same speakers, fraction of the price.

–     what about  making online version of training courses, or video conference them to other members who aren’t able to attend (perhaps can’t afford cost/time of travel to london in addition to cost of course)

 –          Rent out of building –Except if they’re really lobbying parliament, or being on paxman; value in staff rather than value (though perhaps this has been addressed )

 –          Why 2 magazines? Why not just put all jobs online?  Charge less and then get much broader selection since they can now actually afford to advertise in cilip (unlike now, when significant number of jobs aren’t advertised there owing to cost) Plus better advocacy/ guidance for salary scales

 –          Would like a professional body

 –          Bad bad bad website, esp chartership section

comments on the magazines:

  • Digital only update – speakers on, rustle page noise utterly pointless, rubbish search of archive, need flash but this is a problem which the “help” suggestions really don’t address (eg “if your employer wont load flash, then read it at home”
  • for partially sighted flash is a problem
  • Why not just a straight pdf version?
  • Newsletters for special interest groups – data protection issues mean that news isn’t disseminated by email – surely this can be overcome fairly easily

 Why be a member?

–          special interest groups are really good – can even join them without being a full member

–          good value for student membership

–          value in coming together at training courses (though you can get that in online groups too)

–          getting some jobs – chartership required

future of libraries

5 years time (vision for 20 years time was seen as hugely unrealistic)

changes in school libaries

–          need to evolve more online teaching skills and resources

–          improving support for online resources

–          need to increase number of computers – though pupils likely to have own laptops

–          still need a physical place for older material

academic subject library

–          need to improve subject knowledge

–          and need to be able to help interpret the questions that people so that they can better navigate the information resources they need

database manager

–          need to make data so much better in order to ensure that people can actually find stuff! And that other resources can read the data

–          when paper is published there’s lots more metadata in the paper

 HE college library

–          special collections – what’s their future? Their digitization allows for better publicising of resources, which is gerat for buliding better relations with schools and general public (though could raise issues of security for valuable pieces)

–          why digitize if the preservation of the digital image will not last as long as the actual item itself (book that’s 1000 years old, will the digital image be readable in 100 or 10 years?) digital preservation seen as a very big nut that needs to be cracked

– the copyright issus around digitisation of more recent material will needs to be addressed –

–          College library – need books and study spaces – the physical space in the library is still very valuable

–          Public education is big thing and good for image of libraries

–          Is everything online? Humanities are really under threat re specialist publishers (they’re the fist to be cut when the spending review comes round because it’s easier than cutting big deals with the elseviers of this world), and also the e-book content is just not the same as science and much less likely to ever be  as comprehensively catered for  with on online material

What do scientists really need?

–          Much outside the traditional picture of library provision – they don’t just need journals and databases

they need help with

–          Copyright

–          Publishing and open access issues

–          Referencing

– good subject knowledge on part of librarian if they’re going to be able to contribute to developing search strategies etc

(but they need all this now, not just in the future!)

 Gov library (2 of the group had previous experience in government departmental libraries)

–          dept libraries not seen as valuable, so being cut

–          no foresight in terms of the service which is being offered – after a period of “getting by” eventually the ministers question will not be answered correctly because they’ve not got the right piece of information

–          decisions will be made on report with no basis in fact or research (eg kpmg report )

it was a lovely sunny evening, and a great way to meet colleages and  
pull together thoughts and ideas.

Thanks Niamh!


4 Responses to CILIP conversation

  1. Niamh says:

    Thanks Isla!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Isla Kuhn and Niamh Tumelty / Page, Jenni . Jenni said: RT @ilk21: #cilipfuture cambridge version: mine plus @ac224 and @AnnaLMartin […]

  3. Great write up, Isla. Hope to get my write-up posted today, but have school groups visiting so will be busy elsewhere, too.


  4. Sarah Stamford says:

    Great stuff.

    I’d add to the College library point that, along with the UL, it is a library where students can borrow materials which are not in their subject thus supporting the College’s pastoral role.

    Re ebooks, there is good coverage of Arts & Hums at the moment because the subjects are less textbook-oriented. We can therefore get more in these subjects than in the sciences, where the key textbooks are withheld from libraries. This is likely to change though.

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