About 2 months ago, I decided to try to become a chartered member of CILIP Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Apparently, I meet the requirement, which, for overseas members, are: having been an associated member of CILIP for at least one year, and having at least 2 years (full-time equivalent) professional practice (fortunately, my 90% part time in Switzerland equals full-time in Britain 🙂 ). And having a recognised training and degree in librarianship, of course. So far so good. But what exactly is this chartership? What is it good for? And why should I want to do it? According to the handbook, this is, what it is:
Chartered Membership is the second level of professional qualification awarded by CILIP and is considered the ‘gold standard’ for information and library professionals. It is recognised throughout the world. […] Chartered Membership is not an academic qualification but a recognition of the highest standards of professional practice and a commitment to undertake continuing professional development.
In other words, by going through the chartership process, one demonstrates one’s qualifications as a professional member of one’s profession.The reward is that one’s name is added into some kind of charter. Or something like that. I must admit that, as there isn’t really an equivalent in Switzerland, I still don’t seem to get it a 100%. But apparently, it is quite an important and useful thing to have for library and information professionals in Britain. So why would I want to do it? (Especially as I have my doubts about the “recognised throughout the world” when it comes to Switzerland). Because, actually, I find it not a bad thing at all to do, as going through the process (and this seems to involve quite a lot of work) means to evaluate one’s own work, one’s place in the professional field, to look over the fence of one’s own work, at the bigger picture, to formulate one’s visions and interests and plans, to get a clearer picture of oneself as a professional, one’s professional environment and one’s contribution to the profession. I think, it is worth a try.
The first step is to register. There is, of course, a form to fill in and a fee to pay. But, as I’m an overseas member, which means following “pathway 2”, there are some further requirements, such as job description, CV, certified copies of qualification. As all my documents are in German, I have to check first if I need to have them translated into English (which I hope not). So even registration won’t be as quick and easy as I thought. But it doesn’t really matter, there’s no hurry. The next thing will then be to find a mentor. But one step after the other…