There’s a great deal of guff talked about leadership these days. It’s an epidemic. Even a shift supervisor in a fast-food restaurant these days is a leader, it seems.
Whether or not one subscribes to the modern cult of leadership, the proposal that goes to an Extraordinary General Meeting of CILIP on Thursday 23rd March to establish a ‘Leaders’ Network’ is to be opposed, as a divisive move towards a two-tier membership structure. A membership organisation like CILIP should apply the Napoleonic principle, that every member carries a marshal’s baton in his or her knapsack. If there is a leaders’ network, it’s the whole organisation.
Like most CILIP members, I’ll be at work when the EGM takes place, but I’ve cast a proxy vote against the proposals. If the meeting is quorate, and if the proposal is passed, I doubt that the network will succeed; given our membership crisis, on which Ridgmount Street has been deafeningly silent of late - though recent board papers reveal that only 18% of the library and information workforce are now in membership and quote a 2016 membership figure of 12,632 (in 2002 we had 23,000) – it is hard to believe those who do commit to CILIP membership, and fancy themselves as 'leaders' will put their hands into their pockets twice over (the leaders’ network will cost an extra £220 a year, for unclear benefits).