Not really. Three things have challenged my thinking recently:
- What difference has Chartership made to my career?
- What difference does a Library qualification make when I'm looking at Person Specifications for jobs, or reading application forms?
- Why isn't every Librarian a CILIP member?
I am finding the answers I'd have given here two years ago harder to justify now. The status quo is not an optimal situation:
- Most employers don't look to Chartership as a significant factor anymore.
- I know some experienced people who work in Libraries who could do a 'professional' job tomorrow, but don't have the qualification. I also know qualified people who have climbed a step on their career with more help from having the qualification on their CV than their actual experience or talent.
- CILIP membership does not permeate through the profession deeply enough.
Would a new paradigm here provide a more competitive Library profession? Perhaps one where:
- All people who work in Libraries are judged by their experience and talent
- No job is inaccessible to someone who is capable of doing it
- Everyone in the profession feels part of the community
The risk in this situation is that professionalism is lost - cornerstone values of the profession could become devalued. Allowing myself one of those 'if I was in charge' moments, I'd spend some time working out if a modular approach to CPD in Libraries could work as part of this new paradigm. It could offer a more flexible way to develop the skills employers look for and be more approachable and accessible or those with limited funds and time.
If this was combined with a different, ultra-inclusive membership model for CILIP, it might also give everyone in the profession the reassurance that only a successful Library community could offer, that although we're all different, we're all working towards the same goal - excellent library and information services, staffed with expert and fulfilled staff.