CILIP Big Day and AGM in Newcastle

Over 180 members were registered for this one day event in Newcastle and what a day it was! The event took place in the awesome surroundings of Newcastle Central Library which was abuzz all day with excited delegates enjoying a day of celebration and camaraderie. The atmosphere was described by Council Leader, John Dolan as “tremendously positive”.

I was heartened to identify so many member members who had made the journey down from Scotland to support the day and join in the celebration of achievements. It was good to hear Ann Rossiter of SCONUL speak warmly about SHEDL as an example for others to follow.

There was a controversial keynote from Ged Bell who spoke in support of volunteers and elicited a sharp intake of breath from the audience. But in a barnstorming address later the same day CILIP President spelt out exactly where the organisation stands on volunteers – no, no, no, no no! Lord John Shipley spoke passionately about the meaning and value of libraries.  Read more about the event in Isobel Hood’s blog post.

There was good news for all during the AGM when members voted to freeze subscription rates for 2012-13 before celebrating the achievements of all those who had attained MCLIP, ACLIP and Fellowship over the last year.

Why not get a flavour of the day by viewing the tweet archive?

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Where politics and libraries meet #fop12

The Scottish Parliament has created its own Festival of Politics  which runs between 17-25 August in Edinburgh.  Debate and discussion are at the heart of the event, now in its eighth year. Our 2011 CILIPS President Alan Reid, last year opined that the Festival didn’t seem directly relevant to our own professional concerns.  He’s clearly a man of influence because this year’s themed programme ‘Politics. Culture. Creativity. A force for change’ includes several events featuring libraries, writers and professional practice.

So as Alan might ask, ‘What’s in  the programme for library professionals this time around?’

Well, Festival partners Carnegie UK Trust are offering the following sessions featuring some well known faces from CILIP and the library world.

Public libraries in the digital age (Committee Room 1, Friday 17 August, 1.30-2.30pm)
New technology provides new opportunities for public libraries to reimagine themselves and to provide new kinds of services; but also changes the traditional model of the public library service.  How can libraries respond to these opportunities and challenges, and ensure that the public library service remains relevant to the needs of 21st century citizens?   This session, chaired by Melvyn Ingleson of Microsoft, includes contributions from Martyn Wade, National Library of Scotland, Max Whitby from Touch Press, and Liz McGettigan, Edinburgh City Libraries.

The importance of reading to children (Main Chamber, Saturday 18th August, 11.30am – 1pm)
Reading to children and encouraging children to read, is one of the most significant ways to improve their life chances.  This session will explore how we can encourage children to read and what we can learn from practice throughout the UK.  Annie Mauger, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), Marc Lambert, Scottish Book Trust, Miranda McKearney from the Reading Agency, and children’s author Theresa Breslin will debate the key issues.  The event will be chaired by John Scott MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.

Aye Write! and the National Library of Scotland have joined forces to present

Preserving our Culture, Shaping our Future
Saturday 25 August 10.30-11.30am, The Scottish Parliament, Committee Room 3

Stuart Kelly will chair a discussion on the importance of archives to cultural heritage.  Speakers include Professor Richard Demarco, of the Demarco European Art Foundation, and David McClay, Curator of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Aye Write! are also offering a second event:

Scotland’s Bookshelf – Politics and Society in Scottish Writing
Friday 24 August 6.30-7.30pm, The Scottish Parliament, Debating Chamber

Hear Iain Banks, James Robertson, Louise Welsh and others discuss how Scottish writing has reflected our politics and society over the last century.

You can find out more by downloading the full programme

and you can book tickets by clicking here

Many of the sessions at the Festival are free or charge only a nominal fee. The theme complements the Year of Creative Scotland which also involves several library initiatives. Where else should professionals be discussing library matters in relation to their political context this summer but at the Scottish Parliament!

Last week I went to Wales #CILIPW12

Recently I represented CILIP in Scotland at the CILIP CYMRU Library and Information Conference.  The event was held in Cardiff for the first time after many years of being held in Llandrindod Wells. The Radisson Blu hotel was a very central venue in a fabulous city centre location close to the new library, shopping areas and restaurant quarters.

The theme of the conference was ‘leadership’ and delegates were presented with a very balanced programme addressing national (UK) issues and themes and Wales specific initiatives. There was also a good balance of the ‘personal’ and ‘professional’ including practical sessions from CILIP President Phil Bradley on personal learning networks, and a fun session with a serious message featuring Phil and CILIP CEO Annie Mauger.

Conference opened with an impressive address from Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage who voiced strong support for the continuance of statutory library services in Wales. A motivational presentation from Liz Jolly was extremely well received as were workshops from some of the newer members of the profession. Simon Edwards, CILIP Director of Professional Services attracted a lot of positive comment on Twitter for his presentation on the revised body of professional knowledge. I’m pleased to say that Simon will be repeating that presentation for our Scottish audience in a few weeks time at the CILIP in Scotland Conference in Dundee .

The event including the Tir na n-OG Awards with the Welsh Books Council at Cardiff Central Library which was photographed by Sarah Barker  who also did a grand job of photographing the Conference itself. The presentations from both days of the Conference are on line and well worth a look

Dave Pattern has created a wordle of the conference  and others such as CYMAL’s Alison Tyler and Sarah Barker have blogged about the event too.

Finally for a real flavour of the Conference why not view some of the 1200 tweets from the event?

CILIP Futureskills – revising the Body of Professional Knowledge (BPK)

Last February we alerted you to the first phase of the CILIP Futureskills consultation on revising the BPK and, two months on, the initiative  is well underway and into its second phase. Readers will recall that consultation with members and stakeholders is a key element of the project. The project has reported on the first phase of the consultation. This exercise asked about the value of the BPK and attracted in excess of 500 responses. The results concluded that respondents felt that the current BPK was too generic and  that what was needed was something which was ‘clear, relevant and comprehensive’  and outlined the scope of professional skills and knowledge.

The Project Team has responded with an initial draft of a revised BPK drawing on both the consultation outcomes and the previously published ‘Defining our Professional Future’.  Once again, members and stakeholders are being encouraged to engage with the exercise and respond to this second consultation phase  open until April 29th. You can access the consultation document and supporting material here The April edition of Update will include an article on the initiative and the consultation. Simon Edwards, the CILIP Director of Professional Services, will be speaking about  Futureskills  at our CILIPS Annual Conference on 12th June in Dundee.

Volunteers and Libraries

At two recent events in London in recent days, colleagues have expressed various views about the role of volunteers in libraries. The first was CILIP Council and the changing of the old Library Association statement on volunteers and job substitution to something a little softer. The proposal had been raised at the Branches and Groups Forum and CILIPS representative Sheila Miller made her views about volunteers very clear. Volunteers, as most library managers are aware, are not ‘free’; they have to be checked and this is expensive, they have to be trained and they require support. Speaking to Rory McLeod of the Standards Council recently he expressed it simply ‘3 hours input for 1 hours output’. Volunteering in Scottish libraries is nothing new – we already register over 36,000 volunteer hours per year and they are really helpful delivering housebound services, IT buddying, story-times and other activities like mystery shopping. The vexed question of volunteers is how do organisations like CILIP value the contribution of volunteering and balance that with the mandatory delivery of services?

The second meeting was the Public Library Statistics Working Party of CIPFA which considered whether library managers should start to record all the different types of volunteers – presumably to be able to evidence how many jobs are transferred to volunteers and any change in the customer satisfaction levels. This appeared to be dangerous territory again. Whilst it may be an unpleasant reality that some libraries may be run by volunteers, do we really want to flag this up as a viable service option. Libraries are a trusted brand, as highlighted in Bob Usherwood’s research of 2003, and we need to think about how we protect the value of our brand.

CILIP Funding Review for Branches, Groups and Celtic Nations

The CILIP Task and Finish Group on Funding for Branches, Groups and Celtic Nations have been reviewing the current funding system, as well as looking at the model proposed by the New Business Model Working Group (NBMWG) in 2007. They have, in addition, devised an alternative model.

At present, CILIP members are automatically enrolled in a Branch and can choose up to two Groups without charge. Members may also join additional groups for £10 per annum.

The NBMWG advocate an opt-in model, whereby members would select two free units from the list of Branches, Celtic Nations and Groups; other memberships would be charged for.

The CILIP Task and Finish Group have devised an incentive-based model, which retains the present model but adds a layer of incentives. These include: rewarding Branches, Groups and Celtic Nations in their efforts to recruit new or lapsed members; and an annual cash award for Branch or Group of the Year or for a personal award for the Activist of the Year.

There is a consultation period up until Thursday 18th September 2008, when Branch, Group and Celtic Nations Officers can formally respond to the CILIP Task and Finish Group’s short discussion paper by filling out an online questionnaire. If you would like to have your say and are not an Officer or Group Divisional Committee Member you can feed your views to the Chair of whatever CILIP Branch or Group you are a member of. In the meantime we welcome any comments you have on the current funding systems and proposed models.

CILIP Framework of Qualifications and Accreditation Review

Last year CILIP Council commissioned a review of its Framework of Qualifications and Accreditation (FoQA). This was to look at procedures and processes, with particular focus put on administration of the FoQA. This review resulted in a report containing 19 recommendations.

A steering Group was created in December 2007 to oversee the consideration of the report’s recommendations. It will be producing a final report for CILIP Council in September 2008, with any operational changes being properly phased in from January 2009.

One of the recommendations made in the FoQA report is that ‘the current Revalidation award should be replaced by a lighter-touch, more collaborative approach to continuous professional development, which is nonetheless mandatory. The emphasis should be on personal development, quality learning outcomes, improving skills and competences and maintaining standards of practice.’

What do you think about the current Revalidation scheme? Should Revalidation become compulsory? Is there enough value put on Revalidation, and indeed continued professional development awards in general, within the work place? Please share your views.