Following the path of one assistant into full librarianship
CILIP – Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
I was only vaguely aware of them until I began talking to my colleagues recently. CILIP is the leading organisation that represents the people in the information business. They do a number of things, from lectures and courses to help you develop professionally, to newsletters and special interest groups.
I’m not attempting to be the business professional attempting to sell them, I am coming at this from the perspective of a new(ish) member of the profession looking to get more involved.
Quite a few of the people in the library are members, and of course members do get benefits. As a member I will get access to professional development courses, a number of discounts on useful librarian services and goods, a monthly journal/magazine, and most importantly, access to a community of people who have the same career and interests as me.
One of the most important aspects of it though, is access to a couple of routes of becoming a recognised information professional. Certification is the first step, where you can gain recognition for your skills and knowledge, and then Chartership is where you prove you can apply that knowledge in the workspace.
Since I already work within an information job, I believe that I could skip straight to Chartership, and start working on proving that I have a range of knowledge, prove that I can apply it in the workplace, and then develop myself into more areas with the help of a mentor. Handily, there’s a person right here in my library who’s working as a mentor currently, so it wouldn’t be hard to set it up.
Given the benefits and potential for career enhancement, it seems only sensible that if I want to further my information career, I join CILIP and take advantage of their benefits and enrol myself in the Chartership program. I’ll let you know how I progress, since I might have to wait until payday rolls around before I can join. As is the downside with most things, it does cost money.