Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals
Established 2002

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers in the United Kingdom. CILIP’s vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP has 13,470 members as of May 2014.[1]


It 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[2] and awarded a Royal Charter in 1898[3] – and the Institute of Information Scientists, founded in 1958. Membership is not compulsory for practice, but members can work towards Chartered Membership which entitles them to the postnominal letters MCLIP, and subsequently toward Fellowship (FCLIP) [sic]. Affiliated members can also obtain ACLIP upon completing certification. Honorary Fellowship (HonFCLIP or FCLIP(hc)), a qualification akin to an honorary degree, is granted to a small number of people who have rendered distinguished service to the profession.

Membership Numbers

The following information on CILIP Membership numbers is taken from CILIP Council reports,[4] with the exceptions of the estimates for 2002, 2003 and 2005. Membership numbers for 2004 and 2006 are not available.

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Nos. of members ~23,000[5] 22,689 N/A (20,373)[6] N/A 19,206[7] 18,490 17,634[8] 17,192 15,705 14,555 13,974 13,567 13,163


CILIP accredits degree programmes in library and information science at universities in the UK, including Aberystwyth University, City University, London, Loughborough University, the Manchester Metropolitan University, the Robert Gordon University, the University of Sheffield and University College London.

CILIP is perhaps best known to the general public for awarding the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals for children's books.

CILIP publishes a monthly magazine, , including listings of job vacancies. CILIP Update contains news, comment and features from the library and information sectors. Lisjobnet is the magazine’s recruitment website, providing the latest online library and information jobs. CILIP also runs a publishing imprint, Facet Publishing. There are several local branches across the United Kingdom, 25 special interest groups and over 20 organisations in liaison including such bodies as the African Caribbean Library Association, the Librarians' Christian Fellowship and the Society of Indexers.

CILIP hosts a conference every two years called "Umbrella" (containing 'LA' the acronym of the Library Association). Umbrella 2009 and Umbrella 2011 (12–13 July) were held at the University of Hatfield and Umbrella 2013 (2 to 3 July) at the University of Manchester.[9][10] The title is abbreviated from "Under One UmbrelLA" a Library Association event held every two years.[11]

The current 'Information Management Project 2014' initiative aims to produce professional policy resources on information management.[12]

Selected special interest groups

Role in LIS education

CILIP’s policy is to improve all aspects of professional practice through its work in education, maintaining a framework of universally recognised qualifications and providing a wide range of opportunities for CPD. In 2002 CILIP undertook a review of its qualifications framework. The new Framework of Qualifications was launched in April 2005. It is designed to be flexible and adaptable, as the areas will evolve and develop over time to accommodate changing needs. It is appropriate to library and information professionals across the sector as a whole. As such it has a degree of overlap with the knowledge base of other professions.[14]

The framework consists of four levels – certification, chartership, revalidation and fellowship. Certification provides recognition from the association for library and information work by para-professionals. Those who gain admittance to the Register of Certified Members are entitled to work towards Chartered Membership.[15] There are two categories of applicant for Chartership: firstly para-professionals with over five years' experience; secondly those who have some evidence of training and have been working for two years.[16]

Chartership is CILIP's standard for information professionals. Chartered members are entitled to use post nominal letters and describe themselves as qualified library and information professionals. All candidates for Chartership must work with a Mentor and demonstrate through their portfolio that they meet the required criteria.[17] Chartership is not an academic qualification but a recognition of the highest standards of professional practice. The individual makes a commitment to continued professional development. Normally applicants will have completed a degree in LIS and have been working for at least one year.[16]

See also


  1. "Financial and membership report 8th July 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  2. Munford, W.A. A history of the Library Association, 1877-1977, p. 3. London: Library Association, 1977.
  3. Munford, p. 56.
  4. CILIP Council
  5. 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
  6. 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?
  7. From annual report 2008 Annual Report 2008
  8. Membership numbers for 2008 & 2009 from the Annual Report 2009
  9. "Making Connections: Umbrella 2009". Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  10. "Umbrella 2011 Conference & Exhibition". CILIP. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
  11. "Health Libraries Group Newsletter; vol. 14, no. 3, September 1997" (PDF). Library Association. Retrieved 2011-07-12. "the annual conference ... took place within (or under) the Library Association 'Under One UmbrelLA 4 Conference' at UMIST in Manchester"
  12. CILIP Information Management Project 2014
  13. "Information Services; reference awards archive". CILIP. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  14. Watson, Margaret; ‘Professional qualifications: a CILIP perspective’ in AIDAinformazioni; Vol. 23 No. 4, (2005), p.25
  15. Chapman, Margaret; ‘CILIP qualifications and you’; in Legal Information Management, 6 (2006), pp.264-5
  16. 1 2 Watson, Margaret; ‘Professional qualifications: a CILIP perspective’ in AIDAinformazioni; Vol. 23 No. 4, (2005), p.26
  17. Chapman, Margaret; ‘CILIP qualifications and you’; in Legal Information Management, 6 (2006), p.265
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