#cpd23 Thing 7 – Real-life networks

I have decided to use this post as a reflection on why I haven’t joined CILIP (sorry!).

Firstly, I just want to say it’s not because I don’t think professional organisations are worthwhile. I think they are, and I am happy to be a part of them (I am a member of SLA Europe).

My main reason is far more practical… Money.

As a Graduate Trainee last year, I was in no way earning nearly enough to be living in Oxford. I was lucky enough that my boyfriend moved to Oxford just before me, so we shared a flat. Even splitting the rent between two meant I rarely had much left over at the end of the month. Paying for CILIP membership, even at student rates (which you can do as a trainee apparently), sadly wasn’t really my priority with my disposable income.

Right now, it’s a similar situation. I am extremely grateful in that I was awarded funding for my Masters, but I have to spend a lot on train tickets to see the boyfriend in Oxford (train travel is so overpriced, damn you privatisation!). Again, CILIP isn’t really a priority; though I must add I have thought about joining many times, and hope to join when I am working full-time.

That being said, I haven’t really thought it through. If I had joined in September 2010, I would have paid student rates and would have already been a member for nearly two years. As it is, I will now have to join, if I wait til I’m in full-time employment, a much higher rate.

I feel the jump in membership fees between student rates and the other categories is huge. This is hard for those of us just starting out, potentially not earning that much. You can see the membership fees here.

Maybe somewhere under there, subconsciously, I feel it’s not value for money. But I can figure that out when I join!


  1. Great post! I *am* a member of CILIP and I have to admit I struggle to see how to justify it! I am paying the student fee but I know I am lucky to also be working so can afford it atm. One of my resolutions for this coming year is to get more involved with CILIP to make the most of my membership, rather than letting it languish, begrudging the cost and then just not renewing.

    What is SLA Europe then, and what do you get from it? (Sorry, I feel like I should know!)

  2. Thanks for the info on SLA, very interesting!

    I’m currently in the process of renewing my CILIP membership (at non-student rates) for a couple of reasons. I want to get involved in the local groups as part of my CPD. I also intend to charter in a few years time so thought it’d be useful to get involved now so as to keep it on my radar, instead of burying it away and thinking about it later as I tend to do!

    I agree that the jump in cost seems steep and I do have a hard time explaining to other people what CILIP is and what it does and why it is worth the money, I let you know in a few months time how I got on and whether it’s worked out worthwhile …

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