CILIP silent on public library problems

Following a continued attack by Tim Coates on the management and policies surrounding public libraries in the UK, Chris Armstrong criticises CILIP for failing to wade in. He makes a few points:

  • That CILIP should respond in a reasoned and robust way to the charges made. The response should be published widely and be highly visible. (my emphasis)
  • That CILIP – which rightly makes much of its advocacy role – should advise the Minister, the MLA, and government in general on an appropriate policy to rescue public libraries.
  • This is the reason that CILIP members pay their subscriptions – to hear their professional body speak on their behalf. (my emphasis)

I am no expert on the actual situation of public library administration, management, or finance, so I will omit commenting on that, but what interests me here is the lack of leadership, and public advocacy by CILIP itself. The last point indeed highlights one of the reasons why I don’t pay a CILIP membership subscription, something I (and Librarywebbie) have pointed out before. Ian Snowley, president elect of CILIP, said when I raised this on his weblog, I do agree that CILIP must do all it can to make an impact in the wider media on libray issues, and plans are in hand to improve its media presence. Here’s one chance.

The above quotations from Chris Armstrong are only a selection from what he says. Do read the full arcticle.