CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Policy on Departmental Mergers in Further and Higher Education

Recently we have had several requests from members concerned about situations where various HE or FE libraries are being merged with other departments and, in response to this, have created the following policy.


In recent years, we are aware that several Higher and Further Education library services have undertaken plans to merge library services with other services, such as IT or student services. This is often undertaken with the aim of creating a more joined-up and responsive service that covers multiple areas, in turn simplifying how students or other users access those services.

CILIPS recognises the many successfully integrated services already in existence in Scotland and can facilitate introductions to staff and managers in some of those Universities and Colleges, should members require information or advice in this regard.

CILIPS understand institutions will need to review service delivery and structures given challenges across the HE landscape. However, CILIPS ask that institutions consider the following principles:

  • To undertake a merger on a collaborative basis, where services and structures are designed in partnership between the constituent service areas;
  • To ensure that staff, and trade unions where applicable, are fully consulted on the changes in a timely manner and be given the opportunity to raise concerns or to ask questions;
  • To ensure that any changes to job descriptions and roles are fully discussed with affected staff so they understand any changes;
  • To ensure that library specific skills, such as those detailed in the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base, are not removed from job descriptions without detailed discussion with those affected;
  • To not de-professionalise any roles or downgrade posts without clear justification and transparent job evaluation of newly created roles;
  • To ensure appropriate training and development is made available to staff across merged services, in order to deliver the services and requirements of a new role; including the continuation of library specific professional development on an on-going basis.
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