I’m a chartered member of CILIP and a member of the South Eastern branch (by default), but I’m afraid to say I’ve never been to any of their meetings. Perhaps this is something I should get more involved in. I’m also a member of the CILIP Cataloguing and Indexing group and the Universities, Colleges and Research Group. I subscribe to the Cataloguing and Research Group’s blog, which gives me some good insight into what’s going on in the world of cataloguing. I flick through Update whenever it arrives and use LISJobnet for job hunting. I find reading Update and the weekly email digests from CILIP helpful in my attempts to keep up to date with news related to the library and information profession. I’ve written articles for the (now extinct) CILIP Gazette in the past.
There aren’t many CILIP members in my organisation – in fact I think I only know two or three others (out of about 30 library staff) and sometimes I do wonder what the point of being a member of CILIP is. However, I do think that doing my chartership was good for me – it’s the only thing in my career I really feel proud of -, so I will retain my CILIP membership so I can retain my chartered status and eventually re-validate, and, as I’ve said, I do find the communications from CILIP very helpful for current awareness.
I think being a CILIP member probably has a lot more potential for excitement and ‘value’ (if that’s what you want) than a lot of people (including me) give it credit for. Like most other things, you get out what you put in – at least to a certain extent.