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'Without a commitment to continuing professional development the information profession will cease to exist.' That ...
'Without a commitment to continuing professional development the information profession will cease to exist.' That was was the clear message from the Institute's new president Margaret Watson, addressing the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals' council minutes after her investiture. 'As professionals, we need to embrace lifelong learning and to support and encourage colleagues at all levels to take responsibility for their own professional development.'

With a career spanning the last 16 years in both the education of new professionals and the training of existing practitioners, Margaret Watson told council that the profession needed to develop a workforce which 'is quick to develop new practices and new skills to meet the demands of all sectors, is able to identify potential and develop leadership skills, disseminates good practice and is willing to learn from others.'

'We will need to deliver a CPD scheme which will be both attractive to members and employers,' she continued. The recent report CILIP in the Knowledge Economy had acknowledged that CILIP's role would be complex and challenging but, she added, 'this is a challenge that I relish.'

Paying tribute to her predecessor Sheila Corrall's drive for information literacy, the new president said: 'Sheila has strongly advocated information capability for all in the knowledge economy,' but added that: 'We have a long way to go to put in place the support for all citizens to become independent and effective information users in this increasingly electronic environment.'

International perspectives will also figure prominently during Margaret Watson's presidency. 'The impact of globalisation on the information marketplace has increased the importance of understanding and working closely with information professionals in other countries,' she said, adding that she had been fortunate to work with the British Council and was looking forward to representing CILIP in the international dimension of its work.< p/="">

'I am looking forward to meeting members and employers from a wide range of sectors, and representatives from government and other organisations, over the next year,' Margaret concluded, 'to ensure that we can deliver the promise to be information specialists recognised within the cultural, social and business communities.'

The full text of Margaret Watson's address to CILIP Council will be available on the CILIP web site shortly at

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