In essence, CILIP aren’t impressed with MLA’s Blueprint– a view I share.
From this springboard, Coates goes on to argue for the dissolution of CILIP and removal of its accreditiation rights. Oddly, CILIP doesn’t have those ‘rights’; they keep the Chartered Librarians list, but cannot compel public libraries to only employ Chartered Librarians. Much less can they do so in schools, who don’t have to employ a librarian at all; they don’t have to have a library, come to that.
Now, I agree with some of Coates’ views on libraries. And I’m no ra-ra fan of CILIP; they can often lack drive and communicate very poorly. However, I would rather improve it than get rid of it.
Calling for CILIP’s demise is of a piece with one plank of Caotes’ argument; you don’t need qualified librarians. To me he seems to argue for employing people in libraries, because they like books and are good at public service. Not bad things, but a bit limited. And what of CPD (where p = personal)? CILIP at least make some effort at providing a framework for this.
If no CILIP then what? Can we trust ‘the market’ to provide for a framework to produce the library staff of the future? In public library terms, do we need local trusts to manage libraries including staff development? What of other libraries?
Answers on a postcard…
For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t be averse to Apprenticeship/ work-based training models, but I still believe there is a place for trained, qualified librarians. You can be too focused on the ‘front line’; losing the back office will ultimately lead to worse service.
I think the underlying issue is that people can see the reason for trained doctors, lawyers etc, if only because if they screw up, the consequences can be dire. And, anyone can do a librarian’s job right? What’s so hard? I get this a lot from my academic colleagues, but having been a teacher I can ask the same question of teaching with some base in experience 😉 And what is the basis for a profession of librarians? I think there’s at least as good a case for Chartered Librarians as there is for Chartered Marketers…
In libraries there is perhaps a need to recognise a wide range of qualifications as professional, from IT to librarians to marketers etc.
The petition calling for an end to cuts in Hampshire makes a good argument; go look at it. And if such things bother you, sign it.