Saturday, 15 June 2013


I was originally planning to write about library related things in my next blog but a lot of my time the past couple of weeks has been spent talking to people about the CILIP rebranding so I thought I may as well continue with that …

Those of you who have been following developments will know that the date of the meeting has been changed; this is so that, according to the constitution, members are contacted by post 21 days in advance – you should have received the letters by now! And I do sympathise with those having to sort all this out, I’ve had constitutional dealings within both my SLA branch and SLG London & SE group, and it can be a nightmare to interpret!

I’ve been meeting members recently at various workshops and events, and it’s interesting to get their perceptions on all this. One thing that comes across is that people thought the original survey was actually a ballot and that the new name would be taken from the presented list. I hope by now people realise that this is not the case … and that you’ve completed the second survey where it asked for three suggestions; it will be interesting to see what the results of this are.

The vote on Monday 8 July is simply a choice between halting the rebranding or carrying on with it. That’s it! It will not be a vote on a possible new name; that vote will be taken later after further discussion and consultation.

I do think that calling this a “rebrand” is slightly misleading though. When companies rebrand, they streamline their organisational structure, look at their market placement and assess future opportunities, creating a vision that is fit for purpose; and then they “rename” … usually with a media launch to promote and advocate the new image.

As CILIP have already done most of this, they have, effectively, more or less completed the rebranding so it is just the “renaming” left to discuss. A vote to stop this will not result in CILIP reverting back to the organisation it used to be. All it will mean is that we will have a forward-looking organisation that has worked hard to reflect the needs of its members in the 21st century, that has instigated a change programme to ensure the organisation is inclusive to the wider membership and all areas of the profession but that will have the public and media perceptions of the old name. Something that will be very difficult to advocate and promote because people will immediately associate “CILIP” with whatever views they already hold about it.

Stopping the rebranding process will effectively be stopping members’ right to vote on whether they want a new name or to stay with CILIP. This is a decision that should not be made by a few but by all members, and halting the rebranding now would deprive members of making that choice.

So … if you can’t make the meeting then please use your vote. You can ask anyone attending the meeting to vote on your behalf or the Chair, and you can tell them how you want to vote or leave it up to them. The online form is here and takes little time to complete:

I can’t make the new date as I’m accompanying a group of students to a Wolf Sanctuary as part of our activities week; I’m giving my vote to Phil Bradley.


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