CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, are undergoing an exercise to rebrand and rename their organisation. Personally I think on balance this is a good thing; possibly overdue, but the past is done and dusted.
A proposal is that CILIP is renamed LISA (Library and Information Science Association). The rationale for this follows; this has been sent off to various people in CILIP.
CILIP is undergoing a process to rebrand aspects of the organisation. This includes changing the official name (and associated acronym). This is a desirable action, as:
- the acronym “unpacks” into a long name
- does not “sound” (to some) like that of a professional body
- requires concentration to understand, thus distracting the listener or reader from the actual message the organisation is trying to convey
This problem is compounded by CILIP being a “broad tent”, representing (but not limited to):
- information professionals
- knowledge managers
- online information service providers
- business and governmental information service providers
- other people who work with information services and content
It is very difficult to come up with an option that is inclusive to all or even many of those people, and to the many others who may view themselves with having some affiliation or association with the organisation. This is seen in e.g. the recent reactions from librarians through social media to the lack of suggested replacement names containing the words “library” or “librarian”.
Proposed new name
A proposal is that the current acronym and name CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) is replaced with LISA (the Library and Information Science Association).
Institute/Institution, Association, Profession(s) or Chartered. Personally I think we need one of them in there, but I’m not sure that we need two.
A name or an acronym can, of course, refer to several different things e.g. Apple computers and Apple records. There are many other organisation whose name compresses to “LISA”. Even within the library sector, there are groups, products and services called LISA. CILIP itself promotes one of these: Library and Information Science Abstracts. This is a good attribute, as people are comfortable with professional “things” called “LISA”. There is little justification for expending considerable resource on finding a name and acronym which are unique (and, to some, will therefore be alien and unusual).
- There is a positive “pop culture” association. The Simpsons, a cornerstone of popular culture for the last two decades, contains many characters. The member of the Simpsons family who is pro-knowledge, pro-libraries and pro-books (libraries and books make appearances in several episodes), helpful and socially aware, is Lisa Simpson.
- This acronym and name has also been used in (geo-specifically) Iceland in an interesting manner. Iran also has a similarly named organisation.
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Update: This post by Ian Clark, which also discusses the constituent elements of the name of the organisation, makes many good points and is well worth a read.