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CILIP Ireland Open Day and AGM 2018
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CILIP Ireland Open Day and AGM 2018


The 2018 CILIP Ireland Open Day and Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on Wednesday 5 December in the impressive surroundings of the Inn of Court at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast. The event was kindly sponsored by Biblioteca and offered attendees the chance to engage with CILIP, network with other like-minded information and library professionals and take part in the innovative Superhero Librarian Roadshow (Batgirl was a librarian after all). This workshop is designed to enable participants to loudly and proudly demonstrate their impact and celebrate their successes by sharing best practice through a variety of means such as social media, conferences and publication.

In his opening address Nick Poole, Chief Executive of CILIP, reflected on the association’s activities over the past year. CILIP’s goal is to put library and information skills at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society. Throughout 2018, CILIP campaigned for change, advocating for the sector and influencing politicians and Government. Nick discussed key examples including “Great School libraries” with the School Libraries Association and “A Million Decisions”campaigning for decisions in the healthcare sector to be fully evidence-based by utilising the skills of librarians and knowledge-specialists. Nick also highlighted some of CILIP’s plans for wider engagement in the New Year such as more advocacy and representation, a new international strategy and a yearlong celebration of the new role for professionals in an age of digital transformation.

Nick encouraged attendees to consider CILIP’s new, more affordable and better value membership offer. This includes new perks including more than 40 CPD webinars, over 100 e-learning resources, career development opportunities and an impact toolkit. It also allows members to take part in events across the UK and join informal and social networking. Finally Nick endorsed the dynamic CILIP Ireland committee who continue to work on behalf of members to improve and support library and information services throughout the island of Ireland.

Yvonne Morris, Policy Manager at CILIP, then introduced attendees to CILIP’s new ethical framework which was launched in October 2018. She explained that changes to the library and information sector driven by the growth of big data, rise of the digital citizen, technological developments and regulation had prompted the Ethics Review in 2017. This work was overseen by the CILIP Ethics Committee, chaired by Dawn Finch. It began with a Big Conversation on social media about CILIP’s ethical principles, and continued throughout 2017 with a survey document open to all members. Yvonne talked about the methodology used and how evidence was marshalled before an Ethics Summit in May 2018.

The new Ethical Framework is designed to have fewer but clearer ethical principles with more direct and memorable language. The framework builds on existing principles and includes important and enduring values. It is intended to provide a framework to support professional judgment when tackling difficult issues. It also includes a new section which enables individual members to make express CILIP commitments. Further work includes a regular ethical scenario question and answer feature in the Information Professional magazine, promotional posters, and an audit to ensure compatibility with existing CILIP policies. The full presentation can be found here.

Ahead of lunch, Samantha McCombe, Chair of CILIP Ireland, formally opened the AGM. She gave an overview of the CILIP Ireland’s activities in 2018 and talked about CILIP Ireland’s highlights. Despite the current political situation, CILIP Ireland has continued to engage with the Department of Communities and key stakeholders, it has responded to a number of consultations and increased its visibility. This year CILIP Ireland hosted its annual Joint Conference with the LAI at the Canal Court Hotel and Spa in Newry in April. The two day conference had a packed programme and attracted more than 100 delegates from across the island of Ireland. You can learn more about CILIP Ireland's activities and achievements in our Annual Report.

Three CILIP Ireland roles were up for election. Eimear Evans, Victoria Archer and Ross McDonald were successfully selected for the roles of North South Liaison Officer, Student and New Professionals Officer and Honorary Treasurer, respectively. Congratulations to all! Ross takes over from Heather Anderson, a long-valued committee member who held the role for almost eight years. Heather is moving on from CILIP Ireland and Samantha expressed the Committee’s gratitude for her hard work, dedication and friendship.

After a delicious lunch, the Superhero Librarian Roadshow took the floor. Wendi, Claire and Greg shared their own stories of how they went from zero to hero before asking participants to rate themselves on the superhero scale (batman=1 to hulk=10). There were a huge response of participants rating themselves as the hulk, loudly proud of their professional status. We were asked to celebrate our personal achievements, and encouraged to think about how we could engage in scholarship. There are multiple benefits such as sharing knowledge, raising your personal profile and that of your institutions, creating reference points for your achievements and date stamping your work. The full presentation can be found here.

We would like to thank the presenters and all those who attended.

Claire Milliken

Northern Ireland Assembly Library

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