This was the first event hosted by the newly formed Northern Academic and Research Libraries Group (ARLG) and was about 'building an academic and research library service fit for the future'. The speakers were Annie Mauger (CILIP Chief Executive), Liz Jolly (Director of Library and Information Services, Teesside University) and Anne Rowlands (CoFHE Chair).
Annie spoke about what CILIP have been doing and where they are going, so remodernising, sorting out finances and making CILIP relevant to it's stakeholders, who are predominently academic and research librarians now. Advocacy is top of the agenda, having been the most mentioned topic in the member's consultation and Annie is certainly doing that with public libraries been the priority at the moment and the intention of educating Ministers as to the scope of libraries - a cross sector profession.
Liz talked about CPD and it's importance, how we need to embrace change and keep our skills relevant to demonstrate our worth and ensure our skills are valued. She used Teesside University as a case study, where she has implemented a scheme where any librarian doing Chartership gets their CILIP membership paid for for 2 years, their registration and portfolio submission fees are paid for, time is given to allow completion, candidates are accepted to go on relevant courses and there is an in house support group. Mentors are also found for Candidates from within the University Library. Having been able to demonstrate value for money, the University embrace and support the scheme.
Anne discussed the merger between CoFHE and UCRG, which lead to the forming of ARLG. It was the pilot project as far as SIG mergers went and Anne and Amanda (UCRG chair) spent a lot of time asking CILIP questions about various aspects, some that even they couldn't answer. The formation of ARLG has proved to be a learning curve for all groups involved including CILIP and probably isn't finished yet. Currently there is a call for people to apply for national committee and the local groups are starting to get together, which no doubt will throw up a lot more unanswered questions. There is a joint UCRG / CoFHE North East meeting next month where how we will proceed will be looked at.