Friday, 13 June 2014


A quick look back to September 2013…

It was several months ago now and my
recollections are now a little hazy, but back in September I attended the 2013 CILIP AGM. I've had this post written for a long time but wasn't really sure it was worth publishing. It's just a brief personal reflection, but as that's the main purpose of my blog, I've recently decided to publish it. So here it is!

The AGM was held in the new Library of Birmingham and as I live within the region it was too good an opportunity to miss. I had never before attended a CILIP AGM and was keen to experience such an event. This year’s AGM is in Bristol – quite far – so I’m glad I went to the last one.

One of my main recollections of the day was how many people attended. There was a sizeable queue for the venue and it was a good chance to meet new people – I queued with a retired librarian from Leicester and sat next to a clinical librarian from Cardiff. Having never attended a library conference, this was the largest number of librarians in one room I’ve ever seen! (Is there a specific noun for a collection of librarians?!) There were lots of people live-tweeting from the event which made for interesting an online discussion. I love the way library folk utilise Twitter!

This year the AGM attracted more people than usual and this could have been partly due to the venue – a great chance to visit a brand new library – or it could have been because there were several highly anticipated topics on the agenda. A vote on newly proposed membership fees, a vote on the new name of the organisation and a vote of no confidence in Ed Vazey. These topics generated lots of debate and there was a real buzz in the room at the time; discussion from the floor was so vigour that the people chairing the meeting had quite a time keeping to the schedule! Just as the votes were being counted the fire alarm sounded and we were evacuated – the timing caused the anticipation in the room to go through the roof!

I must confess to being disappointed in the organisation of the voting. I was expecting some kind of automated system but instead attendees voted by a show of hands. It felt old fashioned and lacked privacy (which I felt uncomfortable about). CILIP should lead the profession by example and have moved on from this particular voting method. That said, I definitely recommend people attend a CILIP AGM should they have the chance – I really enjoyed the day. I see no need to attend every year – not when votes can be cast by proxy – but it was definitely something I wanted to experience.

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