I was busy yesterday so could not follow the debate live. What I want to see is not the breathless, instant soundbites of live updates but the more considered responses that will soon appear in blogs and printed articles. CILIP does appear to have been slow to develop a coherent approach to some of the emerging technologies but it has not done too badly. This debate shows that CILIP does want to address the issue and by opening up the event with Web 2.0 it has tested a model that may well be effective in the future.
What concerns me (and many of the people who contributed to the debate) is that there is a group of the Web 2 savvy professionals who are part of this debate but there is a larger group of web-sceptics who are excluded. As Martin Lewis said at yesterday's SINTO Executive meeting, many people are simply missing out on important debates and issues. There are many reasons:
- Barriers to using Web 2.0 in the workplace
- Lack of time at work to spend on professional development by reading professional blogs etc
- Reluctance by managers to encourage/allow staff spend time at work on professional development
- Barriers to using Web 2.0 at home (not least, teenagers who monopolise the PC!)
- Lack of time at home to spend on professional development (some librarians have a life!)
- Lack of awareness that this is happening at all
- Lack of commitment to CPD and professional activities
The important issue here is not whether CILIP, or LIS workers, get involved with Web 2.0 (much less whether we Twitter or blog or have a Facebook page), but how we get engaged with continuing professional development and are empowered to use the tools that are available to help us do this. You don't have to use Twitter and blog feeds to keep yourself up-to-date and involved but they are a useful tool which all LIS staff should have access to and be comfortable using.