Well, I’ve finally decided to do it. Why? Three reasons, although two are related. Before I explain, however, I should just add that, as many people know, I have been reluctant to join the organisation for some time and I am known to be critical. As such, this is not a decision that was taken lightly.
Several recent posts on The Good Library Blog about CILIP have caused me to think again. I may have nodded in agreement before, but now I see the organisation moving in the right direction, such criticisms seem increasingly petty and childish. CILIP is definitely starting to do the things I want it to do. What better way to send a signal than join up. And for that, a debt of gratitude is owed to Mr Coates. Thank you for convincing me to join.
Sort of related really. One of the Good Library Blog‘s frequent visitors is one James Christie. James appears to enjoy writing comments that are, in his words, ‘satirical’. Swiftian, however, he is not. He often criticises CILIP, but it appears to be down to a rather sad bitterness rather than the application of reason. He appears to criticise it for becoming what many of us ‘outsiders’ have longed for. If it came down to sides, I’d rather stand with CILIP than with Mr Christie any day of the week. Indeed, the less Mr Christie’s there are in the library profession, the greater chance it can move forward and meet the demands of the 21st century library user.
Incidentally, whilst Christie’s rudeness is tolerated, anyone wishing to point this out is labelled rude and their comments are edited (as mine were). So, Mr Christie, take a bow for convincing me to sign up. Six months ago I would never have considered it. Satirise that! An anti-CILIP library student convinced to sign up for CILIP after reading one too many of your anti-CILIP comments. I’m sure you’ll chuckle away at that one. Yes, you’ve convinced me. Thank you.
As I said above, CILIP is starting to move in the right direction and maybe it’s time I started pissing inside the tent instead of outside. I’ve always been reluctant to join groups, preferring to strike out on my own and do my own thing. My work with Voices has convinced me that I can work in a group (and strike out on my own from time to time too!).
The real winner for me has been the way the organisation got behind 5th February. Whereas some were non-existent, CILIP were supporting this event and helping to draw attention to what was going on. They were a very positive influence, explaining what everyone can do to support it. Compare this to the negativity I find on the Good Library Blog and it is quite refreshing. When organisations take positive steps to meet the demands of their members, it’s vital that a signal goes our that this approach is welcome. That, above all, is why I’ve decided to join (although should it take a step back, I will once more piss from the sidelines).
So there it is, finally. Many thanks to Tim and James for convincing me. You had a tough job (I’m a stubborn git – ask anyone who has worked with me) but you succeeded. To turn me takes great effort. I think the majority who’ve tried have failed – until now, only my wife has succeeded. Well done, choccies are in the post. Now, who wants to give me the papers to sign up? I have work to do!
*Ok, one of these reasons is clearly more important than the others. That said, the others were just the final confirmation I needed that this was the right thing to do. They tipped me over the edge at the point of re-thinking my position. I just thought it would be fun to put them at the top 🙂