I attended the CILIP Annual General Meeting last week. As I’d just become a new member of CILIP I thought it would be a good opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes. I’m not going to go into detail about it. Phil Bradley’s blog post and the comments below it cover all the things I’d like to say.
My only other concern about the AGM was that only about 80 CILIP members attended. I understand that most members would be getting on with their day job during the time that the CILIP AGM was taking place and that’s fair enough. However, those who didn’t attend had the opportunity to vote on various decisions by proxy – only a handful of people took this opportunity. Why? Was it really so difficult to look at the agenda, read the documents, make a decision and cast a vote for an organisation you have paid to be a member of?
I really hope this lack of interest isn’t going to be an indication of voting in the CILIP elections too. All it takes is a little bit of time to have a look at the various manifestos of the candidates and a moment to put a little cross in the box, pop it in the post and you’re done. Everyone should take the opportunity to vote.
Libraries are going through a time of change at the moment and the value of librarians and information professionals is being questioned in the media, by the Government and by people who just don’t grasp their importance in the 21st century and current economic climate. We need to fight this attitude and show that we are interested in our own future and that what we do is relevant. We need to support the organisation we have chosen to become members of – the organisation that represents us and our values (CILIP). By voting in the elections you can put people on CILIP Council and in the position of Vice-President who will help shape the future of CILIP and ensure that the message that libraries, librarians and information professionals are still of value in a digital society, is heard.