Name changes on the agenda once again for info pro associations

CILIP votes to move forward with rebranding project; SLA seeks input to gauge interest in possible name change.

At a general meeting in London last week, the UK’s Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP) voted against the motion that proposed the organisation should draw a halt to its current rebranding project.

Consultation on the CILIP rebranding process has been underway since May, with focus groups and surveys designed to gather input from members on the choice of new name.  Members will choose between CILIP and an alternative brand at the AGM on 21 September.

CILIP was formed in 2002 with the merger of the Library Association and Institute of Information Scientists. However there has been a feeling among some that the name for the merged organisation was too long, difficult to pronounce, and did not appeal to the breadth of the profession.  

As part of the rebranding process, a survey was sent to CILIP members to seek input on attitudes to the association, and gather feedback on some alternative names. Some members voiced unhappiness at the names that were proposed, while others commented more positively. Options put forward included Information UK, Info Pro UK, and the Knowledge People.  

The motion under consideration was "This General Meeting believes the current rebranding exercise should be halted, believing it to be a distraction from the urgent tasks of advocacy for the profession, and a waste of scarce resources." Votes cast at the Meeting were combined with proxy votes, with 752 in favour of the motion, 804 against and 16 abstentions.

Reacting to the vote, John Dolan, CILIP’s Chair of Council said that he was delighted that the rebranding project would continue, but acknowledged the concerns that members had raised.

"The profession is going through a time of huge change and so is CILIP," he said.  "The rebranding is a part of a bigger strategic programme to make sure we appeal to the breadth of the library, information and knowledge professions."

The alternative brand will be unveiled over the summer, and in September members will be able to vote on whether to adopt the new brand, or to keep CILIP.

At the same time, the Public Relations Advisory Council (a group of SLA members who perform in an advisory capacity to the SLA - the global organisation for information professionals) has made a proposal to survey the current SLA membership about a potential name change.

There have been two previous votes on a name change, in 2003 and 2009, but neither was successful. In a statement, SLA’s Public Relations Advisory Council said that "the timing is right for this discussion if we are to continue to engage employers and showcase the areas in which our skill sets can benefit and enhance organisations."

Image by Jack Dorsey via Flickr.