Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is a professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers in the United Kingdom. Since 2017, it has been branded CILIP: The library and information association[4] (pronounced /ˈsɪlɪp/ SIL-ip). CILIP in Scotland is an independent organisation which operates in Scotland in affiliation with CILIP and delivers services via a Service Level Agreement.

Established2002 (2002)
1958 (Institute of Information Scientists)
1877 (Library Association)
PresidentDavid Stewart
Chief ExecutiveNick Poole
Budget£4.7 million[2]
Members12,632 (as of 2016)[3]

CILIP's 2020 goal is to "put information and library skills and professional values at the heart of a democratic, equal and prosperous society".


CILIP was formed in 2002 by the merger of the Library Association (abbreviated as LA or sometimes LAUK) – founded in 1877 as a result of the first International Conference of Librarians[5] and awarded a Royal Charter in 1898[6] – and the Institute of Information Scientists, founded in 1958. Membership on unification was estimated at around 23,000.[7] Sheila Corrall was the first President of CILIP,[8] succeeded in 2003 by Margaret Watson.[9]

CILIP has its headquarters at number 7 Ridgmount Street, London;[10] the building was purpose-built in 1965 as the headquarters of the Library Association, one of CILIP's predecessors.[11]

CILIP is a registered charity (Charity Commission. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, registered charity no. 313014.)


CILIP launched a monthly journal, Information Professional (ISSN 2515-8015) in 2017, providing news, interviews, and analysis. This publication succeeded Library & Information Update (ISSN 1476-7171) which was published from 2002 to 2017 and the Library Association Record (ISSN 0024-2195) published from 1899 to 2002. CILIP publications also include Lisjobnet (a recruitment website), and Facet Publishing (professional books).

CILIP hosts an annual conference for members and non-members. Past keynote speakers include Dr Carla Hayden (Librarian of Congress in the US), Professor Luciano Floridi and Sir Nigel Shadbolt.

CILIP works to raise the profile of the work of librarians and information professionals through campaigns, public affairs activity, and awards and medals, as well as promoting best practice. Campaigns have included My Library By Right[12] (publicising local government's statutory obligation to provide library services), Facts Matter[13] (championing the value of quality information during the 2017 UK General Election), and the annual Libraries Week campaign[14] and Libraries Change Lives Award.[15]

CILIP awards the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals for children's books. CILIP works in partnership to award the Amnesty CILIP Honour, a special commendation which is part of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. Special interest groups also make their own awards, such as the Jason Farradane Award and Tony Kent Strix Award of UKeiG.

There are over 20 special interest groups for members working with, for instance, rare books and prison libraries[16] and a similar number of 'organisations in liaison' with CILIP, such as Information for Social Change, the National Acquisitions Group, and the Society of Indexers.[17] CILIP, in its previous incarnation as the Library Association, was a founder member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in 1927.[18]

Professional development

CILIP accredits degree courses in library and information science at universities in the UK, as well as a number of overseas programmes in China, Germany, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Oman, Thailand and Qatar.[19]

There are three levels of professional registration with corresponding postnominal letters:[20][21]

Honorary Fellowship (HonFCLIP), akin to an honorary degree, is granted to a small number of people who have rendered distinguished service to the profession. CILIP provides opportunities for continuing professional development and a self-assessment tool, the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base. Registered members may revalidate their registration annually.[23]

Membership of CILIP is not compulsory for practice.

Membership Numbers

The following information on CILIP Membership numbers is taken from CILIP Council reports,[24] with the exceptions of the estimates for 2002, 2003 and 2005. Membership numbers for 2004 and 2006 are not available.

2002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017 2018
Nos. of members ≈23,000[25] 22,689 N/A (20,373)[26] N/A 19,206[27] 18,490 17,634[28] 17,192 15,705 14,555 13,974 13,567 13,163 12,632 11,868 9,793

CILIP in Scotland

Established1908 (1908)
PresidentMartina McChrystal
HeadSean McNamara
Members1,200 (as of 2019)
Glasgow, United Kingdom

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIP in Scotland, or CILIPS) is a charitable incorporated organisation affiliated to CILIP ("Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Registered Charity no. SC038532". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.). All CILIP members working or living in Scotland are automatically members of CILIPS.[30] Policy, finances, operational matters and advocacy are devolved to CILIPS Council and staff and CILIP services are delivered via a Service Level Agreement. CILIPS works with the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), the advisory body for the Scottish Government on library and information matters.

CILIP in Scotland was originally established as the Scottish Library Association in 1908 and affiliated with the Library Association in 1931.[31] When CILIP was established in 2002, the Scottish Library Association voted to change its name to CILIPS.[32] CILIPS published a professional journal, Information Scotland (ISSN 1479-8441), between 2003 and 2009, which subsequently became a newsletter.


  1. "Charity Commission. Data for financial year ending 31 December 2016". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. "Charity Commission. Data for financial year ending 31 December 2016". Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  3. "Trustees' Report and Financial Statement, 31 December 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  4. CILIP, Our look: the brand guide; Ian Anstice, 'CILIP stealth rebrands', Public Libraries News, 1 March 2017; Phil Bradley, 'CILIP the err.. library and information association, Phil Bradley's weblog, 28 February 2017
  5. Munford, W. A. A History of the Library Association, 1877-1977, p. 3. London: Library Association, 1977.
  6. Munford, p. 56; Royal Charter 1898, amended 1986 and 2002
  7. CILIP, 'Membership' ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2002. Retrieved 30 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)).
  8. "Rallying call to profession as CILIP launched". Information World Review. 179: 1. 2002.
  9. "The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals. (Moves in Brief)". Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  10. Holding your meetings and events at CILIP 2018, CILIP. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  11. Kent, Allen; Lancour, Harold; Daily, Jay E. (1975). "The Library Association". Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science: Volume 14. CC Press. p. 324. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  12. Authors lead support for My Library By Right campaign
  13. Onwuemezi, Natasha (10 May 2017). "Wikipedia founder joins CILIP's fight against 'fake news' | The Bookseller". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  14. Over 1,000 venues participate in first Libraries Week
  15. Prestigious award for HMP Norwich library service for 'forgotten' prisoners
  16. CILIP, Special Interest Groups
  17. CILIP, 23 November 2016 Board meeting, Item 14, Appendix A
  18. Johanna L. de Vries, The history of the International Federation of Library Associations: from its creation to the Second World War, 1927-1940, Master's thesis, Loughborough University, 1976, page 9; accessed 29 November 2018.
  19. CILIP accredited qualifications (accessed 29 November 2018)
  20. AGCAS. Prospects job profile: Academic librarian, August 2017 (accessed 16 April 2018)
  21. CILIP Royal Charter (accessed 16 April 2018)
  22. Watson, Margaret; ‘Professional qualifications: a CILIP perspective’ in AIDAinformazioni; Vol. 23, no. 4, (2005), pp. 25-26
  23. CILIP, Revalidation (accessed 16 April 2018)
  24. CILIP Council
  25. The figure of ≈23,000 is taken from a copy of the CILIP Web site available on the Internet Archive CILIP Membership, 2 December 2002
  26. Membership at end of September 2006, from an email sent to Branch committee members December 2006. So pre-renewals, i.e. roughly end of year 2005?
  27. From annual report 2008 Annual Report 2008
  28. Membership numbers for 2008 & 2009 from the Annual Report 2009
  29. "CILIPS, Meet the Team". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  30. CILIPS, Rules and Regulations, section 9 (2016)
  31. About CILIPS
  32. CILIPS Timeline

Further reading

  • Munford, W. A. A History of The Library Association, 1877-1977 (London: The Library Association, 1976)
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