You’ll be pleased to see that CILIP have opened the online hustings for the 2011 elections so you can read about myself, Katy, Phil and the other candidates thoughts on the questions of the day – and perhaps more importantly cast a question into the mix yourself! I’m sure there’ll be a few surprises along the way, and I’ve surprised myself a little already at how passionate I feel about some of the issues. Ah well, a long way to go yet on the old #votellama bandwagon.
And to date I’ve not had to kiss any babies or pose for any photo opps. Probably for the best.
I have been thinking about the election quite a bit over the last couple of days while I was in London (CILIP Editorial Panel) and Birmingham (Forum for Interlending Committee). Someone said being on Council means a lot of meetings, but then as my life is already all about meetings it doesn’t hold an especial fear for me. I certainly came away thinking there’s a real need to do a lot more of the CILIP business virtually via web conferencing and teleconferencing, it’ll certainly expect Council (no matter whom is elected) to really lead the way on this. The CILIP financial situation isn’t great, and we can’t simply hike up the membership fee again and again to try and plug the gap – the only thing that’ll do is slim our ranks down more and more.
I was also thinking, in a more positive light, of the real benefit I’ve had to my career and my professional experiences through serving on the various local and national committees I’ve sat on. Some of the greatest friendships I’ve developed have come out of these, let alone what I’ve learned, seen and done through my involvement. That a scant 10% of the membership tends to be active is something that always saddens me. I’m aware not everyone works for so progressive an organisation as I so getting out and about can be a real problem for some, but with the revolution in social networking there are thankfully so many other avenues open to the professional to engage with…the profession!
I think in many respects this is why we’re seeing a real groundswell of new professionals champing at the bit to engage and get on with the business of developing the profession in C21, I know I’d be just the same were I in their shoes! I think also there’s a groundswell of frustration from them too about the speed of change, that I can well appreciate – my career’s never stayed still for more than a couple of years, such is my love of a new challenge! But if only 10% of the profession are pushing for change, that leaves us with a herculean majority who might just throw out the anchor.
How do we solve this? If I had the answer I’d be writing the book now, but I think a strong and relevant membership focussed organisation is going to be a key part. Will it be CILIP? I hope it is, but am I certain? Not unless CILIP can embrace real change, real soon I fear.