It pains me, at least a little bit, to do this. Yet I'm doing it anyway, hypocrite that I am. If it's any consolation, I feel quite bad about it.
This Wednesday, our august professional body is running an inforum - basically an informal forum - on "Dressing for success":
Dressing for SUCCESS
* Does what you wear actually matter?
* What should you wear?
* Can you use the way you dress to communicate?
* Come and join us for a fun evening and review your approach to life from the perspective of the ‘outer you’.
As the kids say: WTF?
I'll answer those questions for you, and for only a fraction* of the inforum's £5 entrance fee:
* Yes, of course it does.
* Something reasonably smart and definitely clean. Chaps: stick to tops with collars please.
* Yes. My T-shirt with a picture of Wolverine on it communicates the fact that I like Wolverine. I could go on, but I won't: the important thing is that your smart, clean clothes say "I know how to use detergent *and* an iron. I can, therefore, be trusted to help you find what you want in the library."
* Well, there's nothing on TV on Wednesday, but I'll still decline that offer. Not least because it's in London, which is three hours and £100-odd away by train. And, really: fun?
Do we need to be told that if we're going to go around claiming to be professionals, we have to look like professionals?
It's good that CILIP is attempting to address the day-to-day concerns of its members. Seriously, honestly, it is. But if those members haven't yet figured out that they need to look halfway presentable at work, we may be in far worse shape as a profession than even the gloomiest commentators think.
* Simply put your £2 in an envelope addressed to "Michael, c/o the Biblioblogosphere" and it will reach me.