The CILIP rebranding took another step on Monday with the defeat of a motion to stop it.  The vote was close, 804 against and 752 for, showing that CILIP has no great mandate for the change.  The vote was also largely decided by proxy as the mood in the room, from most reports, was decidely against the rebranding.  Moreover, CILIP have lost some credibility amongst its membership by its reporting of the issue.  Those opposing the rebranding were given only minimal space (two paragraphs) in the magazine sent out days before the vote, as opposed to two whole pages in favour.  CILIP also took advantage of its mailing lists to email all members arguing for the rebranding – something the opposition simply could not match.  So, it seems, that the chiefs of the professional organisation consider the matter so important that it can afford accusations of apparent bias.  Let us hope it is so.  Reaction from everyone I am in contact with who are not CILIP chiefs has been almost universally negative, with one very senior librarian and several others  telling me that their subscription may be cancelled soon.  Bridges need to be rebuilt, and quickly.

Other news includes a community buying out its closed library from Tameside Council because they valued it so much.  Imagine being willing to pay £30,000 plus an apparent six-figure sum for something that you already effectively owned.  That’s how much people care for libraries.




You are Yinnion Ezra and I claim my £5″ Tom Roper on Twitter.

  • Future of Libraries – Slideshire / Kim Tairi.  Read the notes too. Intended more towards academic libraries.”
  • Move to halt CILIP rebrand defeated – BookSeller. “roposing the motion, clinical librarian at Royal Sussex County Hospital Tom Roper said: “There are two concerns behind this. The first is the flawed nature of the project itself, especially the survey presented to members and the alternative names it suggested. The second aspect that comes in for criticism is that this is a diversion.” Charles Oppenheimer, seconding the motion, said: “I am a former academic and I am quite used to creating surveys. The survey we saw would have failed on all counts. The questions were awful. The results were invalid.”However, chair of the CILIP council John Dolan, opposing the motion, said that the change was necessary. “Change is driving the world around us… CILIP has to grow. There are many practitioners out there who are not members and we have to attract them.” Seconder Andy Dawson said: “We need to be advocates, we need to be the voice of the profession. We need to have a brand that represents that.”

“The purpose of this meeting was to provide Council with advice about the proposal to rebrand CILIP. While I am delighted that a majority of members have agreed that the rebranding project continues I acknowledge the concerns that members have raised. The profession is going through a time of huge change and so is CILIP.  We are reviewing everything we do to ensure that it has value for members and that in such a changing environment, we can support and equip our members and make a strong advocacy case for their contribution to society. “The rebranding is a part of a bigger strategic programme to make sure we appeal to the breadth of the library, information and knowledge professions. Over the summer we will present the alternative brand to CILIP – including name, strapline and visuals. Individual members will be able to vote to keep CILIP or adopt the new brand at the AGM in Birmingham Central Library on Saturday 21st September. Members can vote at the meeting or if they can’t attend by proxy.” John Dolan, Chair of Council

The General Meeting on the 8th July in London was called to discuss the motion: “This General Meeting believes the current rebranding exercise should be halted, believing it to be a distraction from the urgent tasks of advocacy for the profession, and a waste of scarce resources.” Votes cast at the General Meeting were combined with proxy votes. 752 were in favour of the motion, 804 were against and 16 abstained. The General Meeting was chaired by CILIP President Phil Bradley and over 94 members attended.

The General Meeting began with a statement proposing the motion by CILIP member Tom Roper, followed by a statement opposing the motion by Chair of Council John Dolan. Members attending the meeting were then invited to make comments and ask questions. After final comments by Tom Roper and John Dolan the vote was counted and confirmed by the Chair of the meeting. The vote was verified by members of the Elections Panel.” Press release from CILIP

“They [CILIP] emailed all branches & groups saying to tell members to vote against the motion. [we] refused on principal!” Twitter

“The decision by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals to re-brand itself (“Raised voices as librarians try to find  a better word for themselves“, July 6)  amid the greatest crisis ever faced by public libraries is unbelievable.  Public Libraries News reports that 537 libraries have closed or have been transfered to volunteer groups in the past eighteen months and the new library director at Arts Council England warned the Library Campaign recenty to expect 40% further cuts to library budgets.  The public library service urgently needs effective advocacy and strong leadership, not internal debates about whether to call themselves “librarians”. Shirley Burnham. letter to Times.


Miranda McKearney, Liz Pichon, Malorie Blackman, Janene Cox with SCL, ASCEL

Launch of Summer Reading Challenge (report to be published later) Miranda McKearney, Liz Pichon, Malorie Blackman, Janene Cox with other chief librarians from SCL, and from ASCEL.  I’m the bald one on the right amazed Malorie is stood in front of me (Hi Malorie! Your revelation that you have Public Libraries News as a shortcut on your browser made my year),

  • One million pound gift from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Reading Agency. “This major gift, which is the last of a series of five gifts to mark the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebrations, will support the expansion of our work with young people and libraries into a new Reading Activists Challenge reaching 95,000 young volunteers across the country. It means that thousands more young volunteers will be inspired to get active in their communities, through reading and libraries and supporting younger children.”
  • Roundtable briefing: ‘Future models for the library: Options for ownership and control’, Friday 12 April 2013 – 2020.  Talk by several people (including the chief of York) on outsourcing libraries.  Useful.
  • There’s a danger public sector mutuals are figleaves for privatisation – Guardian. “A co-op is not a co-op when it has no employee engagement, no community support and no democratic accountability”
  • What I would like to see from a professional body for librarians and information professionals – Infoism.  Ian Clark wants the body to be  member-led, democratic, transparent, open and publicly espousing views consistent with core ethics. “I personally believe that the process fell down on not being democratic, being led by council rather than members and lacking in transparency. What I took away from the vote today was that this was acceptable in the drive to rebrand. Personally, I do not think it is acceptable. We either abide by our ethical principles (in which case the process would not stand up to rigorous scrutiny) or we accept that our ethical principles count for nothing.  “
  • Why public libraries should follow Chicago’s lead and build maker labs – Gigaom (USA). “Chicago opened a maker lab in one of its public libraries today. Most maker spaces carry a membership fee of $50-200 a month or are located in an institution like a university, where you are required to be a student or staff member to access equipment. A free lab that is open to the public is a novel concept that will hopefully be a lot more common in the future. The lab at Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center will stock three MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers, two laser cutters, a milling machine and a vinyl cutter, plus a selection of software. A $249,999 grant will sustain its operation through the end of 2013, at which point it will be re-evaluated. The city will also consider adding maker spaces to other library locations.”

“Obviously, not every library can afford hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and staff hours. The ones that can should take this as a chance to set an agenda: building a nation of makers, or at least people who have the option to be one.”

Local news

  • Bury – Third of library staff to go after Bury town hall u-turn – Manchester Evening News. “at least 20 employees redundant by next year as it slashes £570,000 from its library service budget, under plans going before senior councillors next week. The blueprint represents a dramatic u-turn by town hall bosses – who had originally planned to save the money by setting up four ‘community hubs’ in Radcliffe, Prestwich,Whitefield and Unsworth.”. 20.25 FTE to be lost from 70 FTE staff, to be replaced by self-service machines.

“Such extra costs are likely to be unaffordable in light of George Osborne’s recent government spending review, which cut a further 10 per cent from council budgets, the report says.”

  • Calderdale – Gillian and library are valuable to our community – Halifax Courier. “The teaching and support staff who attend Skircoat Library have praised the welcome and input they receive from Gillian the Librarian into their weekly library sessions. Gillian makes the group feel really welcome and this has developed the self-esteem and self-confidence of our students, which in turn develops an increasing use of language. 
We feel that Gillian and Skircoat Library are a wonderful asset to our school community and also in a time of ongoing financial cut backs it would be a shame to lose this valuable service to the local community”
  • Dorset – New Dorchester library to open next week – Dorset Echo. “The new facility, which has cost Dorset County Council £1.2million, will boast twice the current floorspace for library users and more modern equipment and classrooms for learners. The services will be spread across three floors with the lower ground floor offering a ‘quick choice’ library with a collection of stock for all ages for those with limited time to browse as well as DVDs and CDs to hire, public access computers, self service units, help desks and an ICT classroom.”
  • Gateshead – Volunteers booking in to run Gateshead libraries – Chronicle. “Yesterday, volunteers took over the reins at Lobley Hill, Low Fell, Ryton, Sunderland Road and Winlaton. Terry Wileman, who is one of the volunteers at Low Fell library, said: “We took over full responsibility this morning and everyone seems to have gone away with a smile on their face.” £900k budget cut from libraries.” …. “The five volunteer-run libraries will operate differently to council-operated libraries and customers will have a separate library ticket.”
  • Gateshead – New chapter for Gateshead libraries – BBC. “The keys to the first of five libraries in Gateshead to be run by volunteers have been handed over. The council took the decision to let communities run the facilities – including Low Fell – as a way of achieving budget savings without closing them.”  One minute video.
  • Lincolnshire – Coningsby councillors shocked by library proposal – Horncastle News. “The library building is owned by Gartree Community School and is leased to the Council. Councillors were surprised by LCC’s plans and feel they should look for people and volunteer groups to help with the local library services. The building is also home to Tattershall’s Parish Office and East Lindsey District Council’s Compass Point/Information Desk.”
  • Lincolnshire – Campaigners to meet in bid to save library – Lincolnshire Echo.  “Organiser Emily Evison said the group believes the proposed changes to library services by Lincolnshire County Council will not meet the village’s needs. An online petition for the group has reached almost 400 signatures since the group began two weeks ago.”
  • Lincolnshire – Council bans libraries closure petitions – This is Lincolnshire. “Public petitions against plans to cut the county’s library service will not be allowed inside library buildings. Lincolnshire County Council says it will stop campaigners from placing paper petitions in libraries for people to sign.”

“Head of libraries and heritage at Lincolnshire County Council Jonathan Platt says people should voice their concerns through the authority’s managed questionnaire instead. He said: “I do not want petitions put into libraries. “The public can voice their views through the questionnaire which is available online and in paper form in the libraries themselves.”

“The legal advice we have received highlights (principally on legal challenges faced by other local authorities) that finance must not be the only driver. “If we do not follow this guidance, we may find any future legal challenge could be successful.””

  • Tameside – New chapter opens for the library axed in council cuts – Manchester Evening News. “A library bought by residents when it was axed in council cuts is set to re-open in time for the school summer holidays. Families in Denton, Tameside, clubbed together to raise enough to buy Dane Bank Library after it was closed down last October. The council gifted the group of residents all the books and computers inside – and it will now re-open during the school summer holidays.”

“The group raised £30,000 and took out a ‘six figure’ loan to buy the building on Windsor Road, but declined to say the exact amount. It is being funded through a ‘Friends’ scheme and donations through standing order with rooms rented out for community groups and businesses.”