CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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CILIPS for Students: the benefits of membership

Category: New Voices

By Heather Neill
Policy and Digital Officer, CILIPS

Editor’s note- Recently, I spoke to a class of current LIS students who expressed the same concerns as my own year. Chiefly, “what will happen after graduation?” and “how can we prepare now?” There are several benefits to joining a professional organisation such as CILIP while earning a degree. Many of these benefits, including funding opportunities and job postings, can be taken advantage of now. 

  1. Staying current
    With the the weekly newsletter from CILIP, monthly newsletter from CILIPS, SocialLink on the CILIP website, and the @CILIPinfo and @CILIPScotland Twitter feeds, all the latest developments in the library and information world are at your fingertips.
  2. Professional Development
    In addition to development opportunities that cost (many offer student discounts), there are loads of free webinars and events.  Employers look highly upon an individual who takes their career seriously. These events allow you to grow professionally while still earning your degree. If you are interested in attending an event that has an entry fee, CILIPS offers funding opportunities quarterly for professional development through the Professional Development Fund. Applications are being accepted now through 1 December for events that take place between 1 January and 31 March. Recipients of the grant will receive up to £600 for the cost of the event and travel expenses. Not sure if your event would qualify? Email any inquiries to CILIPS at
  3. Networking
    Many of the events offered by the CILIPS regional branches and special interest groups are free.  Not only are these events great for providing Continuing Professional Development (CPD), but they are incredible networking opportunities. You get to meet people who work in the field and these connections could help you find a job after graduation. On 5 December, there’s the opportunity to take a tour of the Mitchell Library and meet the CILIPS President Margaret Menzies!
  4. Learn more about LIS
    By attending a variety of events and reading the weekly and monthly newsletters, you have the opportunity to learn more about the LIS community and what it is the members do on a day-to-day basis. This may help you decide what sector you would like to work in after graduation and perhaps even provide inspiration on the topic for your dissertation.
  5. Jobs
    CILIP offers LISjobnet for its members.  This is a great way to see what positions are available for experienced librarians and information professionals, recent graduates, and even students!