CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Joining a Branch Committee

Volunteer helpers at event

As a CILIP member in Scotland, you are automatically a member of your local CILIPS branch. Why not volunteer to be on your branch committee? Joining a committee is a fantastic way to build your skills and to network and socialise with other members in your area.

“Once I got started on chartership and became involved with the East Branch committee my confidence grew and I began talking to more people, and also learning from them […] it has helped build my confidence, it has provided me with a support network through the good and bad times.”

– Alison Leslie, Committee Member, CILIPS East Branch

Committee members can have responsibility for a number of tasks such as planning and running branch activities and events, facilitating branch meetings, engaging with CILIPS members in your area, managing the branch’s budget, running the branch social media and web page, and acting as a representative to the CILIPS Council. This means that committee members can gain experience in a number of different areas that they may not get the chance to in their daily work. Thus, volunteering for a committee provides opportunities for CPD and, if you are working on CILIP Professional Registration, it is a good way to build up experience and evidence for your portfolio.

“While I initially joined the CILIPS East Branch committee to help gather evidence for my Chartership portfolio, I have ended up staying long past submission as I have found it an excellent way to meet other librarians from a diverse range of sectors and to have genuine agency in ensuring there are valuable and relevant learning and development opportunities in my local area.  I have also been able to transfer the skills and experience I have gained in organising and planning events to my job roles, as well as helping me develop my professional networks.”

– Kayleigh McGarry, previous Web Editor, CILIPS East Branch

Volunteering on your regional branch committee can be extremely rewarding, both professionally and personally. We asked current volunteers to let us know what they get out of being on their committee. Below are some of the benefits they mentioned:

  • Professional networking opportunities
  • Keeping up-to-date with current issues, challenges, and opportunities in different areas of the profession
  • Friendships and a support network
  • Meeting facilitation skills
  • Evidence and experience to add to Chartership portfolio
  • Events planning and organisational skills
  • Increased confidence and chances to learn from other
  • Ability to pursue their passion for the library and information sector outside of their day-job

If you would be interested in becoming more involved with your local branch then please do get in touch with them. They will be happy to hear from you and will be able to advise on what volunteering in your particular area would involve and on how you can join. You can find out what branch you are in here and you can find the relevant email address here. Additionally, if you would like more information or advice on volunteering or getting in touch with your branch then please email us at admin@cilips.org.uk.

“I’ve been able to enjoy professional networking with colleagues from other branches and special interest groups, giving me an insight into the challenges, successes and everyday activities across the information management and library sector. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s going on across Scotland. It also makes you realise just how many different employment opportunities there are for someone with an L&IS qualification. Our branch Committee is small and I’ve been able to refine my meeting facilitation skills in a non-judgemental environment. The Committee is a friendly bunch and we muddle through as best we can. Mistakes are easily forgiven! And the CILIPS staff in Glasgow are always available via e-mail for help and support if you find you need a little bit of guidance. It’s also easy to forget how small the number of CILIP members there are in Scotland and it’s sometimes too easy to become professionally isolated. Don’t be! The connections you make via a branch or special interest group Committee can sometimes be vital support, even if it’s just someone you can pick up the phone to and have a chin wag with.”

– Neil Paterson, Chair and Rep to CILIPS Council, CILIPS Tayside Branch

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