We will be there to highlight the work of the West Midlands Branch and Groups and encourage people to join CILIP.
Please come and see us on stand number 245
When I have been to CILIP events before, or spoken to colleagues about CILIP membership, the most frequently asked question seems to be "What do I get for my money?"
So I have been looking into what you actually get and I have divided the benefits into two categories, Financial and Professional.
Lets imagine a recently Chartered Member, earning over £17,000 a year. Their membership fee will be £177 and they can pay it in 10 direct debit installments of £17.70 per month. What do they get for their £177?
We are all concerned about getting value for money in the current economic climate, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the financial savings through CILIP membership could be much greater than I expected.
Examples of potential Financial benefits include:
- Save £25 with free entry to the London Book Fair
- Receive a £20 Amazon voucher for introducing a colleague to CILIP
- Save £10 on Car and Cycle rescue from the Environmental Transport Association
- Save over 25% on weekend hotel rooms with Intercontinental. (If they wanted to stay in the London Mayfair from Friday to Monday (3 nights) this week they would save £136 as a CILIP member!!)
- Save 20% on all books published by Facet. That means they could buy Phil Bradley's book "How To Use Web 2 In Your Library" for £31.96 - a saving of £8
- There is also a discount rate on home and car insurance from Endsleigh
- They could save £125 off the cost of the Using Social Networking course running at CILIP HQ in July
- 50% off private medical insurance from HMCA
- Pay just £92 for Microsoft Office Professional (normally around £200)
There are more that I have not mentioned here, see the CILIP web site for a more complete list. But you can see how it would be more than possible for a member to save more than their membership fee every year by taking advantage of these offers.
And don't forget - CILIP Membership fee is tax deductible - if you are a UK tax payer you can claim back the tax you paid on it (22% of the original fee!) so your membership doesn't cost as much as you thought it did anyway.
So what are the professional gains?
I can only speak for myself, but in my recent personal experience CILIP membership has been invaluable. Here are just some of the key things I have done with it:
- Gained Chartered status (looks good on the CV, but more importantly the process taught me a LOT about myself and my profession)
- Used Gazette and Update to keep abreast of professional issues
- Joined the Career Development Group and received support from the West Midlands CDG during my Chartership
- Joined the Universities, College and Research Group and taken part in professional networking events set up by the West Midlands Division
- Had my blog recognised as a CILIP blog and added to CILIP Communities so increasing awareness of it within it's target audience
- Joined the West Midlands Branch Committee as Marketing Officer and as a result been involved in a range of activities I would not otherwise have had chance to engage in (including liaison with Special Interest Groups, organising the stand for LIS at the NEC, attending a careers fair at Warwick University, attending an NHS Knowledge workers event, writing marketing updates for Open Access newsletter, planning for next year's West Midlands members day. . .and more). I am now working to improve communications between the Branch and Groups in the West Midlands, and I hope that together we can achieve more, especially in terms of marketing and raising awareness of libraries and the profession.
CILIP Membership is what you make it. It can be more about finance or it can be more about professional gain. Whichever slant you put on it I hope this has helped people to understand what they can get out of their membership fee. And I have only really scratched the surface.
If nothing else I hope this post has reminded a few members to claim their tax back :-)