CILIP rebrand sparks controversy

CILIP rebrand sparks controversy

A rebrand being mooted by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has sparked criticism from members for omitting the word "library".

The organisation is running a survey on its website to ask members for their views on how it should present itself. A list of potential new names for the body includes Information UK, The Information Association and The Knowledge People.

Criticism expressed via Twitter has focused on the fact that none of the suggestions include the word "library". One user, @evil_jen, wrote: "I know it is only a suggestion, but if CILIP becomes 'The Knowledge People' I'll have to hand in my membership card", while others said they had been through the survey suggesting the addition of the word "library" throughout.

Library campaigner Desmond Clarke commented: "There are a lot of people who are very concerned about the direction [CILIP] is going in—to give up the term 'library' completely just seems unbelievable."

CILIP is hoping to launch the rebrand in April 2014. Chief executive Annie Mauger told members in the April edition of CILIP Update: "To us, it is increasingly clear that the CILIP brand does not accurately reflect the changes that have taken place and the new organisation that has taken shape. The brand needs to catch up and reflect the type of organisation that CILIP has become and the ambitions we hold; with a working culture that is more collaborative with you, and a strong voice externally in advocacy and the media."

CILIP has been working with brand consultancy Spencer du Bois on the changes, with a budget of £35,000. As well as taking on a new name, the organisation is looking to adopt a new logo and visuals, including typeface and colours.

Commenting on the criticism from members, CILIP president Phil Bradley said: "The whole rebranding is part of a journey we are on. It started with forum groups and speaking to other employers and professions about how they saw CILIP, then we had a branch and group review and spoke to them. Some of the suggested names have come out of that  but they are not a final list, they are just allowing us to gauge the feelings of our membership.

"Some of members will understandably want 'library' to be in there—some of our members are not librarians and don't work in libraries and feel that wouldn't represent them. We want something that will convey a message."

He added: "We are still very early in our discussions, and we will have much more debate at our annual conference in July. Members will be able to vote on the final decision at our AGM in September and I hope by then we will find something that everyone can agree on."