Congratulations then to the winner, Norfolk Libraries for their “Healthy Libraries’ initiative; a countywide programme promoting healthy living and targeting the county’s most serious health priorities through the Norfolk library network.”
But equally well done to all those shortlisted for showing how vital and needed libraries and staff are for their communities.
Congratulations also to the winners of the UKeiG Information Manager of the Year and Mentor of the Year awards, and the Honorary Fellows.
Typically in the build up to AGM I would write several posts, usually critical and usually about the increase in subscription fees or lack of political campaigning and advocacy for libraries.
Two factors have conspired to keep me quiet this year. Firstly, work events and demands have meant that my attention has, by necessity, been focused elsewhere. Secondly for the first time I broadly agreed with all the items on the agenda including the proposals regarding membership fees. The AGM agreed to:
- Freeze to subscription rates for the majority of members in 2017
- End the trial of providing free student membership and returning students to a heavily discounted rate
- Include a minimum annual subscription of £40 for newly qualified members and the removal of access to a 50% discount for newly qualified members if earning over £42,001
- Modest fee increases for Professional Registration enrolment and portfolio submission
This now paves “…the way for CILIP’s proposed new approach to membership from January 2018. The proposed structure is designed to be more affordable, better value for money, more open to everyone in the sector and provide clearer benefits.” To which I add is more equitable and fairer to members.
Added to this is my growing satisfaction with the direction of travel that Cilip is taking and that within a relatively short space of time a convergence of views has evolved.
From being perceived as soft on library closures we have seen quite increasingly strong statements from Cilip, Nick Poole as CEO, and the current President Dawn Finch, against closures, hollowing out, and the loss of paid staff.
Nick has engaged in a round of media coverage to promote the value of libraries, and even written to councils where cuts have appeared rather draconian. Equally, Dawn is an outspoken defender of library services and fierce critic of closures and cutbacks.
Last year the Cilip Board fully endorsed the resolution to oppose the ‘amateurisation’ of public libraries services and we have seen the launch of the My Library By Right campaign, challenging both local and central government to fulfil their legal responsibilities and provide a quality library service.
Cilip is also ensuring that librarians and staff have a strong voice on the Libraries Taskforce.
And while this is still not enough for some I see it as evidence of an increasingly confident and vocal professional body, willing to champion the value of libraries and librarians.
So this year the other winner is Cilip itself in achieving what some people would have considered impossible; giving me nothing to be grumpy about.
The problem is, I do like being ever so grumpy…thanks a lot Cilip!