I’m a CILIP member and really only because I feel like I ought to be (and because I need to be to do my Chartership). I don’t really feel like I get value from the money I pay for my membership. I’d like to see more training available away from London and also for that training to be a lot less expensive! That’ said, I have attended a CILIP NW Branch Day and found it to be a good learning experience, but it’s rare that I can justify going to training and events that aren’t considered essential for my role.
Other real-life networks that I’m involved in tend to be specific to health libraries; I’m an active member of our regional libraries groups and always enjoy the sharing of ideas and networking that comes with these real life meetings. I do find us librarians to be an interesting and friendly bunch of people.
I do love going to library conferences. I never used to; I’d always feel shy and inadequate, but now I feel like actually I do have something interesting to talk to people about (I’m also quite nosy and like
stealing ideas gathering inspiration from others!). Going to non-library conferences is another matter. I’ve been to a few medical conferences and they are completely different – less sharing and more competition! I’ve been invited to speak at a medical conference in New Delhi, India – the details are still to be arranged but it could be the ultimate test of my real life networking skills, erk!