Are we all information professionals now?

The ongoing arguments about CILIP’s name change, to “Information & Library Professionals UK”, include the negative impact of the proposed name shifting “Chartered” to the tagline (the one thing I said in my survey response should not happen).
For me, this raises the questions of if all “knowledge economy” workers can consider themselves “knowledge professionals” and thus engage with CILIP.
The fuzziness of who is an information professional (in the ‘knowledge professions’ as ILPUK would put it) is one of CILIP’s greatest challenges.  Once members could be identified by working in a library – how do professionals such as myself now associate themselves?  There have been valid arguments made that CILIP would be better scaling back to ‘Library Association’ focus in ensuring a defined purpose.
Of course libraries are changing too, from paperless public libraries to supporting free online resources in academia.  Both Sage and Taylor Francis have recently tried to argue libraries can continue to curate in a non purchasing world:
Perhaps the point here is to scare librarians into thinking, actually the paid for content is what is keeping us going?  Certainly I have been to at least one presentation by publishers where the message seems to be, to librarians and researchers, ‘let Amazon win and we all lose’.
One issue is that traditional Library Management Systems do not always serve web resources very easily, thus it is increasingly of use for others to curate themselves.  I have mentioned before the increasing discussion within L&D circles that curation is now an L&D role, for example:
Perhaps the future of the information professionals (UK or not) is in hybrid roles acting as the ILP for their team in a wider circle  – just as RSS opened up current awareness (a service offered by many information teams) to the individual, perhaps bagtheweb,, etc may now do the same for personal ‘libraries’.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

4 thoughts on “Are we all information professionals now?”

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