Wednesday, 25 September 2013

CILIP AGM, Birmingham Library

Left to right: Stephen Gregory CDG Wales, Mandy Powell CILIP,
Dot Higham and Thomas Allen

On Saturday the CILIP AGM was held at the beautiful new Birmingham Library.
160 members attended, including members from Wales, around 900 sent in proxy votes.
The AGM was lively and there was a lot of debate.

Members voted:

  • Against changing the organisation name to Information & Library Professionals UK (356 members for, 644 members against, 22 abstained).
  • In favour of the proposed subscriptions for 2014 (778 members for, 128 members against, 64 abstained).
  • In favour of the motion expressing ‘no confidence’ in Ed Vaizey MP (669 members for, 200 members against, 103 abstained).

CILIP Cymru Wales invited members to apply for free travel to attend the AGM and names were picked out of a hat.

One of the lucky ones, Dot Higham, Library Assistant, Holywell Library, tells us her impressions of the day...

What a day! Attending my first CILIP AGM in the brand new Birmingham Library! 
The  AGM was interesting in that the controversial renaming of CILIP as ILPUK was being voted on. 
The reaction from the attendees was in the main, quite hostile, resulting in the vote not being carried. (a moment of drama just before the vote - a fire alarm! Everyone had to leave the building.) There was also a lively discussion of the proposed membership fees for 2014  but a majority voted in favour. The greatest implication of this will be for students as joining will be free from next year. The hope is to attract more members to CILIP without the need for a more expensive recruitment campaign. 

In my opinion, the opening of this iconic new library could not have been better planned. It occupies a place next door to Symphony Hall and other worthy, timeless buildings, validating the presence of a library right in their midst. What better symbol of all that is good about libraries and worthy of protection. 

Another lucky name out of the hat was that of Thomas Allen, who works at Swansea Central Public Library.
Thomas is working towards Chartership and this is what he had to say about the day...

The CILIP AGM of 2013 was certainly an interesting one for an AGM virgin such as myself.  The preconceptions that this would be a very dry and brief affair couldn't have been further from the truth.  Probably on a personal note it became quite exciting from the moment I saw the non-avatar version of library luminaries such as Phil Bradley, Annie Mauger etc.  
The new Library of Birmingham also gave the meeting something extra too (although I did feel sorry for the empty old central library that seemed much like Woody to Buzz a la Toy Story 1) with it's Shakespeare room, gardens  vintage SF craft event and glass elevator that brings to mind a strangely appropriate Roald Dahl book.  
The meeting itself really picked up and impressed when it came to the speeches by the fellowship awardees.  Particularly poignant points were made; especially how the recent Hillsborough result showed the power of information.  However, what I was truly happy to take away from the AGM was the passion expressed in the questions that were put by the audience.  
This certainly makes me want to be part of the profession more than I did before. 

You can read more about Thomas on his Chartership blog.

Birmingham library in pictures.

The impressive new library of Birmingham was designed by Dutch architects Mecanoo and includes 10 floors, covering 31,00 square metres, making it one of the largest public libraries in the world.

Here is a short slide show of photos I took on the day, but you can learn more about the library here.

Mandy Powell
CILIP Policy Officer, Wales

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