As I was unable to get into London yesterday evening, I decided to follow the CILIP 2012 hustings online. This was possible since CILIP was helpfully livestreaming the event (which has been recorded and can be viewed here) and there was also a twitter hashtag allocated (#CILIP2012).
John Kirriemuir has already posted an excellent review of the evening, from an attendees point of view, so I will try and avoid duplicating any of the points he's already made.
So what was the experience like as a virtual participant? The video worked really well (although from the twitter stream I believe there were one or two people who had difficulty getting it to run). The only real problem I experienced was with the sound quality. There were two table-microphones in view, but Sue Cook on the end of the row (and to a lesser extent Maria Cotera next to her) were virtually inaudible at times.
The twitter stream displayed alongside the video on the CILIP page didn't seem to be updating without refreshing the screen, so rather than risk disrupting the video stram, I ran my own HootSuite stream in the background and checked it regularly as a substitute, which worked out fine.
Some of the key quotes that I picked up on, and tweeted about last night, included:
Q. How should CILIP increase membership?
Liz Mcgettigan we tell each other how wonderful we are - we should have a conference & invite people from other disciplines
Maria Cotera Start by bringing back those that have left - show them a reason to rejoin
Liz Mcgettigan Create a website or tools for people to use to sell the benefits of having librarians to employers
Mike Hosking Make CILIP seem less 'top down' and more belonging to, and owned by, members
Mike Hosking (Provide) better information career development guidance, less focused on traditional (physical?) library based careers
Sue Westcott Widen Chartership so it's more available (perceived as more available) to non-traditional LIS workers, take more care about the language used so it's more inclusive
Sue Westcott Talking publically about issues of wider public interest (Wikileaks for eg), would make more people want to join CILIP
Sue Westcott It's up to us to go out and find other communities who could be part of our profession and take a positive messasge to them
Maria Cotera The key thing is to listen, to what people's requirements are, not just partner for the sake of it, not just listen to friends but to 'enemies' too so we expand our circle
Q. Should CILIP increase its partnerships?
Sue Westcott We should think of partnerships in two ways; to partner with other information groups & to partner with commercial or other organisations to deliver services
Liz Mcgettigan CILIP needs to be selective about who they partner with
Sue Cook We need to be aware partnerships don't last forever, be flexible, and go for strategic partnerships
Mike Hosking CILIP needs to be in a partnership with organisations in the education sector
Q. How would you make members not in London feel more a part of CILIP?
Sue Westcott CILIP needs to think about having an internal dialogue about how people in the regions want to be included and catered for
Mike Hosking Branches & groups are key but we need to look at them with fresh eye, use new tech to bridge distances & get people to band together
Maria Cotera In other organisation I've been involved with, we used to hold a conference & other meetings at different locations around the country; CILIP needs to establish new models of working
Q. Where are borders of LIS profession, which skill sets are in or out?
Sue Cook There is a core set (of skills), but each job I've had has needed new things as well - so it's varied
Maria Cotera The most important skills are the softer ones like communication or advocacy
Sue Westcott Anyone who puts the right people together with the right information = an LIS professional, wherever they work
Liz Mcgettigan The basic skills (I believe she meant the core technical LIS skills) are important, plus the ability to engage, network and advocate are key
*sorry to any of the candidates if your comments are underrepresented, but as I mentioned above I had difficulty hearing some of the replies, some of the time.
Overall it was great to be able to participate remotely, and to see the candidates reactions in real time, which of course isn't possible with the ehustings. In fact, I believe there were more virtual participants (someone tweeted there were 28 viewing the live stream at one point) than physical attendees.
Even so, that only makes a total of 38 people taking part, which seems a woefully low proportion of CILIP's 16,000 or so members. Being somewhat controversial here, is it fair to say that, if people don't take part in the democratic process, then they have less right to complain about how things are run? Of course some of those members had other engagements last night, or no access to an internet computer, but even so surely a couple of hundred could have shown an interest, at this critical juncture in the organisations life?