Be the Change

Sometimes it’s easy to become cynical or complacent about voting; whether that’s for national and local elections or indeed for something as simple as representation on a professional body. I know the feeling! But despite the peaks and troughs of pessimism over the years I have never lost the feeling that ‘voting’ really does matter.

So with that in mind I would urge all Cilip members to note and vote in the current Cilip election for three Board Members and the CILIP Vice-President. Members should have received email notifications in October announcing the election and with details of how to vote. If you are a Cilip member but haven’t received details please contact the Membership Team. Voting closes 19th November.

Voting is only part of the equation though. Membership should be a active conversation between the individual and the organisation to ensure views are aired and shared. While I recognise that it’s easy to become disillusioned with organisations, political and professional, if they appear not to represent your views the only way for that to change is to get involved and put your own opinions forward.

To take inspiration from Maya Angelou:

“When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

Talking of involvement it was heartening to see all the positive tweets coming from CILIP’s New Professionals day (31st October), which is the annual conference aimed at library and information professionals in the early part of their careers. Check out #CILIPnpd on Twitter.

And lastly to a different kind of involvement, UNISON is calling for a National Demonstration in support of Libraries, Museums and Culture on 3rd November (this Saturday!). The demo has the support of the PCS and UNITE. Again I hope as many library workers as possible get involved. Front-line library workers make up the bulk of the library workforce but sadly have the least representation amongst library organisations.

It’s always been a particular bugbear of mine that union involvement was excluded and continues to be excluded from library representation at a national level.

Perhaps that position might improve with a change of Government and a recognition that front-line library staff, not just the leadership, deserve to have their voices heard.



  1. An interesting post Leon.

    I would love it if some of our younger colleagues would put their name forward. They must be more aware than many of us, at the state of the profession now, and the appalling rate at which public libraries are disappearing. Most of us are ‘oldies’ now, and we have seen the best, and the worst of the state of public libraries in the UK, New blood on this committee would be refreshing! If I was 40 years younger I would stand!

    Thank you for putting this forward


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