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Hooray! CILIP* is to rebrand and, above all, find a new name.

Names matter. We are in incredibly difficult times for libraries, higher education and public services.  Librarians and library users need a professional association which can reach out to and influence decision-makers, the media, the public.  A convoluted name and a meaningless and unmemorable acronym which can be pronounced in at least three ways make this more difficult than it needs to be.

The issue is not just a concern for CILIP HQ.  A difficult name makes things more difficult for activists and other members.  As a CILIP Rare Books Group Committee bod, I’ve found the name a burden when organising conferences and events and chasing payments.

I really hope we get something with Library or Librarian in the name.  To explain what CILIP is, I often end up saying, “It used to be the Library Association”, which works!  The words mean something to almost everybody – can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t have some concept of a library or librarian.  The difficulty (which led to the original problematic name) is what to do with the “Information” side.  And does “Knowledge” have to be in there somewhere now?  I’d say those are part of librarianship, but I imagine the many members who work outside traditional library posts may disagree.  It will be interesting to see how it goes!

*For non-librarians, it’s the organisation that used to be the Library Association.

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