Frequently Asked Questions

We hope these FAQs answer any questions you have. If you have any other questions or would like more information please contact Head of Member Services, Luke Stevens-Burt (   

What is being proposed?

We are proposing to introduce a new approach to membership from January 2018, which will provide you with:

  • Better value for money
  • More affordability
  • More tailed benefits

The new approach will also:

  • Support growth 
  • Be open and inclusive 
  • Provide new ways to support our cause

See the summary of membership categories for details.

Why is this being proposed?

Research such as the Workforce Mapping project show how the information, knowledge and library sector is changing. People are experiencing more diverse careers working in more varied roles. CILIP membership needs to change to meet the needs of today’s audience. 

In consultation with the sector to develop CILIP’s Strategy 2016-2020 we heard that membership needs to be more affordable, better value for money, be more open to everyone in the sector and provide clearer benefits.  

We heard that we need to welcome people who share our professional values and want to develop their skills but may not decide that Professional Registration is appropriate for them. We heard that people who want to build their career around information, library and knowledge skills are welcomed to membership and supported to build their skills and develop their careers.

Who can join?

Anyone can join CILIP and support our cause. We are here for the whole information, knowledge and library sector; for everyone that shares our professional values and skills; for everyone who believes that a fair, open and prosperous society relies on access to information and knowledge.

Are supporters members?

No, supporters provide an annual donation and are kept up to date with our activities. One off donations can also be made to the CILIP Library Fund and Benevolent Fund. Members can also become supporters and make donations. 

How does it provide better value for money?

Members will receive better value for money through more tailored services according to career stage, continually improving services, more advocacy and campaigning, and more affordable subscription rates.

How can you afford to reduce rates so much?

In order to make the new model work the number of members will need to grow. It is anticipated that this renewed offer that provides better value for money will encourage more members to join. This will require an initial investment to help cover the first few years. Growth will be supported by increasing our sales and marketing activities.

How will it deliver growth?

To make this new approach to membership work we need to grow the CILIP community. We will make this happen by:

  • Making membership more affordable
  • Providing better value for money with tailored benefits at each stage of your career
  • Being clear that anyone working in the sector and all supporters are welcome to join
  • Encouraging and incentivising existing members to recommend CILIP
  • Providing new opportunities to support our cause
  • Investing in more sales and marketing

How did you develop the proposed new approach?

The proposed model was developed through:

  • Research and benchmarking
  • Financial forecasting
  • Member input and feedback
  • Consultation with other professional bodies

What is the current membership model?

In the current membership model the fee you pay largely depends on your earnings. The categories and rates in 2016 are: 

Earnings / categoryAnnual fee
£14,001 - £17,500 £171
£12,001 - £14,000  £140
£10,001 - £12,000  £114
£8,001 - £10,000  £86
£5,001 - £8,000  £57
Less than £5,001/unwaged£40
Retired   £74
Overseas members £74
Students     £0
Honorary Fellows £0
Life members (closed to new entrants) £0


All members, apart from students, receive the same benefits. Students receive a digital copy of Update magazine. 

Will the new model affect my eligibility for tax relief?

Not at all. As a benefit of membership, CILIP members will still be eligble for the tax relief through the HMRC. For more information about this, please see the Tax Relief on your CILIP Subscription page.

When are the changes happening?

If agreed by members the new membership model will start on 1 January 2018. 

Members and non-members will be asked to provide feedback on the proposed new model between May and October 2016. The final version of the model will be presented to members in December 2016. Members will then vote on introducing the final membership structure and rates an Extraordinary General Meeting in March 2017. 

Key dates:

  • May 2016: proposals announced
  • June – October 2016: consultation through survey, focus groups and events 
  • 7 August 2016: survey closes
  • October 2016: engagement campaign closes
  • November 2016: final model is presented to CILIP Board
  • December 2016: final model presented to members
  • March 2017: Members vote on the new model at an EGM 
  • 1 January 2018: If approved, new membership model starts

How do I have a say?

Members and non-members can provide feedback on the proposed new model until October 2016 through a survey  and, at a later point in the year, more detailed feedback will be made via focus groups (hosted online or via Regional Member Networks).  We are also accepting comments via email ( You will be asked if you support the new approach and what aspects of being a member are most important. 

Any changes following the feedback will then be made and announced. Members will then vote on introducing the final membership structure and rates an Extraordinary General Meeting in March 2017. 

Is the Leaders' Network a category of membership?

No, it is an enhanced option to your membership open to everyone. This "add on" was created in response to members who, during member research, expressed an interest in and need for additional leadership development and support. During the past 12 months we have tested out how we might provide this support through inititatives such as the CILIP Leadership Programme and a business seminar. These have proven to be successful and will lay the foundations for creating the resources and services associated with this membership enhancement in the future.

What has happened to the Overseas category?

Members will pay the same rate wherever in the world they live and can select the right category for them. 

With a greater digital offer, including CPD opportunities through our Virtual Learning Environment and Update magazine available digitally, there is less need to treat members differently due to where they live.

What has happened to the Retired category?

Retired members should choose the right category for them and are eligible for concessionary rates on Ordinary Member and Professionally Registered categories. We are working with the Retired Members Guild to provide an improved dedicated offer to members who have retired and want to play an active role in the sector.

What has happened to Life Members and Honorary Fellows?

Life Membership and Honorary Fellowship are unaffected by the changes. As Life Membership is closed to new entrants and Honorary Fellowship is a result of nomination rather than self-selection they do not appear in the summary of membership categories.

Are my voting rights affected?

No, all individual members are eligible to vote, for example at AGMs and elections.  

Are Organisation members affected?

Organisation membership remains unchanged.