Friday, 1 April 2011

Members' Day (WM branch)

This week I attended the Members’ Day and AGM of Cilip’s West Midlands branch, held at the Stoke campus of Staffordshire University. It’s the first time I’ve attended such an event and the way it was structured brought back memories of when I was part of a History Society committee.

The theme of the day was based around libraries of the future, and there were several informative presentations on new builds in the West Midlands, covering Staffordshire University, the Library of Birmingham, Newman University College and Worcester’s The Hive. Each talk had its own merits and I enjoyed them all, particularly the discussion regarding The Hive – it seems such a unique project. However, for me, one comment stood out from the rest of the day. During the post-talk Q&A session, the panel were asked how the names were selected for these new projects. Chris Porter, from Newman University College, said they had fought long and hard to maintain the term ‘library’ as part of the rebuild’s new name. She explained that in an attempt to move with the times, libraries constantly try to rebadge themselves and, over the years, have favoured names such as Resource Centre or Learning Hub etc., yet the term library has always been the predominant name for such a facility. The word has been in use for thousands of years and it is always the term people use to describe the place. So why change it? Why rebrand it purely for the sake of rebranding it? At this stage I almost wanted to stand up, applaud and shout ‘hear, hear’! Her comments resoluted with me totally – I am proud to be a ‘Librarian’ and have no desire to be a ‘Learning Hub Facilitator’.

During the day, people who gained Cilip awards during the previous 12 months were invited to have an additional certificate presented form the local branch. Having completed chartership last year, I took up this offer and felt quite proud when Cilip Vice-President Phil Bradley shook my hand and people started to clap. The chartership process is quite tough and it was nice to have a way of marking it, other than a certificate simply falling through the letter-box. There are photos of the day (including one of me!) in the branch's Flickr photostream.

My first impression of the local branch’s Members’ Day was quite favourable and I would definitely recommend attendance to others. The committee members were friendly and approachable; the event was reasonably priced and provided excellent value for money. I shall definitely be there for Members’ Day 2012!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations again Cara - here's to a long and fantastic career for you! :)