Instant Ideas and Collaboration

Feature #30: A C21st Professional Association

Our next will be on Tuesday 3 November from 6:30-8:30pm UK time, it will be a joint chat with CILIP on: A C21st Professional Association.

We have a A C21st Professional Association agenda where you can add your questions for discussion on the night.

To go along with the #uklibchat, we have an article from Nick Poole, the Chief Executiveof CILIP, telling us more about the challenges ahead and what they hope to achieve from their current Shape the Future project for developing CILIP’s strategic plan.


A C21st professional association

There are big challenges and big opportunities ahead for the library and information community.  Successive reports in recent years have focussed on the emerging role of data in society and the economy, on information literacy and the disruptive impact of digital connectivity and mobile communications in all our lives.

To some, the evidence points toward a profound transition in which the old model of library and information services as physical experiences will be replaced by placeless, always-on digital ones. To others, the digital and physical have come to co-exist, connected by interfaces and platforms, software and identities.

Helping people lead information-rich lives

We believe that people today have a right to lead lives that are rich in information and opportunity. Today’s 15 year olds have never known a world without the Web. They are beginning to move into their 20’s, to become parents, to build careers and articulate the kind of world they intend to create. And it is our job to be ready to support them.

As library, information and knowledge management professionals, our role in these information-rich lives will be ever more critical. Whether by defending fundamental principles of freedom of expression and discovery, promoting information literacy in the workforce, supporting open knowledge or helping our companies and organisations maximise their use of information as a strategic, social and economic asset.

Access to quality information is increasingly becoming a commercial good in today’s society. Our community must be ready to deliver services which help people overcome inequality and information poverty, to define new and affordable delivery models and to defend our case with facts and evidence.

The challenge ahead

Embracing this role is not without its challenges. The incredible rise of online search has helped undermine public awareness of the power of structured knowledge. The increasing facility of smart devices threatens further to separate the user from the skills they need to take control of information at the heart of daily life.

Our community cannot thrive by seeking to turn the tide of technology. To seize the opportunity of the modern world, we have to develop an exciting new vision of how we will support the universal right to know. We must be bold and confident in re-articulating the need for trusted spaces – online and virtual – in which people can discover themselves, explore their identity and understand their role in society.

Society is increasingly recognising that physical and digital information, books and e-resources, are not different. That they are simply different forms of the same cultural phenomenon – each with its respective strengths and challenges. As a professional community, we must demonstrate leadership by moving quickly to embrace knowledge, information, learning and literacy in all their forms.

The challenge ahead

The rise of Internet connected devices, of social media and big data are all symptoms of a progressive wave of social change enabled by technological innovation. Their disruptive influence has been profound but in reality this wave of disruption has only just begun.

In a very real and physical sense, the world is made of information. Sensors, smart devices and the Internet of Things are giving us a glimpse of a future in which the teeming information content of daily life is immediately accessible, usable and adaptable.

The Web is no longer an abstract layer but a real and tangible part of daily life. Its impact is no longer restricted to the screen but is directly changing social values and personal behaviours. On the positive side, it is enabling new forms of activism and collaboration. On the less positive side, it threatens to deepen inequality and promote hatred and intolerance.

Navigating this next new horizon requires skilled, principled people and safe, neutral spaces. It needs libraries that are designed to make the most of information in every part of peoples’ lives. It needs our professional skills to be embedded across civic life, industry and the economy.

This presents new opportunities for library, information and knowledge professionals.

Shape the Future

Shape the Future image

As a major professional body of that community we at CILIP think that the best way to make sure that we are providing leadership and support to our members is by working with as many people as possible to shape our plans.

To do this we are working on “Shape the Future”, an open and collaborative project to develop CILIP’s Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020.

A strategy is a story we tell about the future we want to create. Shape the Future is designed to provoke a conversation about how we look ahead to this near future as a professional community with confidence.

We have created a consultation document and questionnaire. It sets out the main elements of our current plans and activities, and asks a series of questions and provides opportunities for more open responses. Anyone can participate with their own views and responses until 16th December 2015.

The consultation document and questionnaire sets out, and asks for feedback on:

  • CILIP’s current vision and mission
  • Proposed shared values
  • Proposed strategic goals 2016-2020
  • Proposed campaigns and programmes
  • CILIP’s current and future business model

We will use the consultation responses to refine and improve our plans before publishing the strategic plan in early 2016.


As part of this consultation in this #uklibchat we want to give an opportunity to both members and non members to discuss what matters to them in a more interactive way

With #uklibchat we would like to:

  • Explore what the role of a modern professional body should be now and in the future
  • What CILIP should do to develop the future workforce
  • How can CILIP be open and inclusive
  • How to best promote the interests of the library and information community

You don’t have to be a CILIP member to join in this #uklibchat and have your say through the consultation, it’s open to all. I look forward to talking to you on the 3rd November in what should be a fascinating discussion.


Nick Poole

CILIP Chief Executive


About the author:

Image of Nick Poole

Nick Poole became Chief Executive of CILIP on 22 June 2015.

Nick was previously CEO of the Collections Trust and was responsible for the strategic direction and management of the organisation. In this role, Nick has been responsible for developing UK and international standards for information management, advising agencies on digital programmes and leading partnership initiatives with a range of leading digital companies.

Nick was elected to the Board of Wikimedia UK on 25 July 2015.



About Ka-Ming

Librarian at a University in London and one of the founding members of uklibchat.wordpress.com Find me @agentk23

2 comments on “Feature #30: A C21st Professional Association

  1. therealjadejustice
    November 3, 2015

    Reblogged this on My MLIS Journey (so far).

  2. Pingback: Interview: uklibchat team | NLPN

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This entry was posted on October 30, 2015 by in Feature and tagged , , , .


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