From fragmentation / death to cohesion / life

In August last year Mark Field started a discussion on the CILIP LinkedIn Group which he called The Fragmentation Death of the Information Professions.  It attracted some 200 comments, and runs to around 29,000 words.   (You can find the whole thing at, but you have to be a member of the group to access it – it’s very easy to join.)

One of the reasons the discussion was so lively was that it was clear that it was not simply a talking shop.  Mark and others were planning to do something about it, to try to bring about “a comprehensive, hospitable and rigorous over-arching professional framework for information scientists, librarians, records managers, archivists, and their emerging new sibling professions in information architecture”. NetIKX encouraged its LinkedIn Group members to participate in the discussion – and quite a few did.  The first meeting was on 14 December and CILIP, BIALL, IRMS, SLA and BCS were among those represented.  It was agreed that the group should seek to involve other organisations and the NetIKX Management Committee made it clear we would be interested in taking part.  Our membership, though not large, covers a wide range of disciplines and organisational types so the discussions are very relevant to us.

The second meeting was held on Tuesday 22 February and I went along.  We had some very constructive discussions, clarifying just who we were seeking to bring together, and who we wanted to influence – a long list including government, senior management, businesses of every size, professional bodies, politicians, the media (and through them the public), employers, and all those who manage information as part of their role (to encourage best practice).

We agreed that we need to produce a manifesto and an information charter, and that in the mean time the group will need to establish a web presence and distribution channels. I will continue to take part, but if anyone else is particularly interested, please contact me. Watch this space.

Suzanne Burge
NetIKX Chair

3 replies
  1. Mark Field says:

    Suzanne, thank you very much for attending the ‘Frag’ meeting 2: ‘de-Frag’. Your contribution was much appreciated.

    We will crack on with the Charter, which sets out the terms of engagement between information professionals and their user community: what we do and the value we bring, and the Manifesto, which will articulate the information professional identity and our role in society, and the critical and unique value that we deliver.

    Talking of ‘critical’: meeting 3 will have to identify and coordinate packages of work: papers, connections, web resources… so if anyone from NetIKX feels sufficiently foolhardy to volunteer, please connect them to me!

    Mark Field: info-Quixote


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