last nights Newsnight

So, my initial thoughts on last nights Newsnight “Do libraries have a Future” debate. Firstly where was CILIP and where were the librarians? It was Maragret Hodge and Alex Gibbons a “library campaigner” who took part in the discussion. Whilst it is great there are “library campaigners”, it seems bizarre to me that there was no sign of anyone from the professional body there to advocate libraries. Gibbons got some positive comments in there, for example, he thinks that libraries are more important now than ever but he also seemed to think that librarians stamp and issues books, stating that self-service machines should free up the librarians from this work to “get out and meet the public”. I feel like I am forever repeating to people “librarians do not just stamp and issue books all day” my work has been undone! 

Secondly, does Labour have some kind of deal with Starbucks?

A missed opportunity I say. What about all the other work libraires do beyond books?


8 responses to this post.

  1. there is no point grumbling to ourselves on twitter about how we are portrayed or viewed in the media if we leave other people to do the shouting for us.

    Email sent to the “beeb”….


  2. Did you get a response to the email?

    (I agree 100% with everything you said here, by the way.)


  3. Hi, thanks for your comment. No I didn’t, It would seem I have been ignored 😦 pretty ironic!?)…thanks for reminding me, maybe I should chase it up. However, i did get a tweet from someone from CILIP saying something like “um…I don’t think you just get ‘invited’ on Newsnight” ….which I think says it all really. Far be it for me to tell them how to do their job….(um…but I am going to anyway!) advocacy and such isn’t about just sitting around and waiting for invites is it? surely they have established contacts with the media for instances such as these and if not why not? The show was tweeted about for a while before it was on air from various CILIP accounts so it is not like they did not know about it. I did ask if they had contacted the BBC but got no response.


  4. Yeah I remember that at the time. It made me think, either a: well in that case you should invite yourself on to it, why don’t you think that’s important enough to do something about? or b: clearly it’s a very hard thing to achieve and I’m being naive thinking CILIP could have just got someone on Newsnight – what can we do to change that? Because it really needs to change…

    Woodsiegirl and I have a section on Newsnight as part of our echolib presentation which we’re giving in July – I know Biddy is planning to attend our session so I will ask her about it directly (although it may be more Bob McKee’s area, not sure).

    Bottom line though, is whether it was through lack of CILIP initiative or the BBC not recognising them as important enough or WHATEVER it was, it has to change next time there’s an equivalent situation.


  5. I totaly agree with you. I think the two things go hand-in-hand. If the BBC don’t think we are important enough then CILIP is not fulfilling it’s role. I have a friend who is the senior press officer for a small environmental quango and she chases and makes EVERY opportunity she can. She has got the organisation coverage in the national media many times and has built important partnerships just by having the front to approach the big boys and shout about the great work they do and the potentinal they have for future projects, it is her job to do this and she is superb at it….she has to be because they would not exist otherwise.
    I may also be being niave but in contrast CILIP’s response indicated that it is intimidated by big media organisations. If CILIP had said “yes we contacted them but they could not be convinced we should be on there, this has set alarm bells ringing and we will work to rectify this?” then I would have said “fair enough at least you knocked at the door and made them aware that CILIP exsits” but they just seemed in awe of the big bad BBC. We will always be invisible if we think like that. It is a worry and it does need to change.
    Keep me posted on the presentation, I’d like to hear what the response is.


  6. It seems to me that what CILIP needs is a decent PR agency and a stick of dynamite up their collective backside.


    • haha! indeed they do….If this report, with its potentially massive implications, is not the stick of dynamite they need then I don’t know what is!!!!!
      Where are the cries of outrage from CILIP this morning? the reassurances that they will contact KPMG and publically and strongly challenge the report with facts and figures. Where is the email setting the record straight to send to the MP’s who are going to read this report? I know they have a Twitter presence so where is their response to the numerous howls of outrage on there?
      They can not ignore this surely? meanwhile we are all blogging and twittering to the converted.


  7. […] with people on twitter and with people within the profession about the state of librarianship and the way we are represented (or, more to the point are not!) and the impact this would have on library services in the wake of […]


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