Like many other Web 2.0 librarians and CILIP members I’m looking forward to following the debate online this afternoon at and around the CILIP Council meeting. It’s been building up for a bit, and I’ve blogged elsewhere about the meeting itself so I’ll avoid filling the Internets with the same old thoughts twice.
What has been especially interesting is the build up, so much so that I think the actual meeting itself (in the virtual realm at least) might well be a real anticlimax. I discovered a rather nice site called Twitterfall this morning, which is allowing me to run a constantly updated twitter feed on all the folks who are talking about it. I’ve picked up more than a few more followers and followed a few people myself too – and now that I see #cilip2 is trending on Twitter doubtless there will be more this afternoon.
This is one of the reasons I like using social networking sites – interacting with a broad cross section of really quite enthusiastic and knowledgeable fellow librarians. In fact I’m not all that bothered what comes out of the meeting this afternoon. Indeed what I suspect will come out will be neither world shattering or epoch making.
And more crucially is anyone going to dare to acknowledge the elephant in the room? The future of CILIP itself.
CILIP might start using more social media to interact with its members, but I doubt we’re truly going to see the start of CILIP 2.0 today. CILIP is, after all, made up of it’s members united together in common interest. To date this is driven in a very organisation 1.0 way, committees, panels etc (and I should know since I’ve served on a few). But CILIP 2.0 is actually already extant – the membership is already engaging in new domains; and in the same way that folksonamies allow the community to define taxonomies things like twitter have allowed us to form our own professional collectives and networks.
Perhaps the only question that needs to be really answered is – can CILIP survive into the second decade of the 21st century – or do social networks and Web 2.0 (and Web 3.0) make it an anachronistic dinosaur? Sure like a woolly mammoth with a spear in its side it might stagger on for a few years, but with falling memberships and its financial problems exasperated by this is it already fatal wounded? Will we mark today as the moment that the long, slow slide into the tar pit of oblivion was finally acknowledged?
Or will we see the evolution of a leaner, fitter CILIP elephant come forth? I’d like to hope this is the case, I think there is still a place for a professional society for librarians. But I don’t think it’s the creatre we currently have.