A trip to the coast

Slightly ahead of the crowd once again I went to Brighton last week to visit the library services at Royal Sussex County Hospital.

I was keen to visit this service as they operate across the NHS and Higher Education so there are similarities to my responsibilities.  They are also something of a powerhouse in terms of clinical librarianship and their work on current awareness.

A major difference is that the medical school library service is run from within the NHS Trust set up.  The Head of Service reports to the Director of Education and Knowledge (a multiprofessional structure has been created) who was previously the Director of Medical Education.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School is a partnership between the two universities and Brighton and Sussex Universty Hospitals NHS Trust.  The student cohort is much smaller than our medical school which sounds great in terms of student experience.  They have found some elegant ways to smooth the issues of needing to have multiple network logins with harmonized usernames for the universities and a free standing BSMS email system. An open source discovery layer is used to allow searching across the three LMS in use.

Resource purchasing is conducted in partnership and Trust OpenAthens is used for authentication from the outset.

Wifi appears to be challenging in similar ways to at many NHS organisations. The availability of Eduroam simplifies some things but it is not widespread in the Trust buildings.

Training is conducted jointly with two thirds of attendees undergraduates.  The shared nature of resources supports this.  A very popular course they have added recently is around reflective writing for nurses preparing for revalidation.  This looks like something we should investigate offering with others in the room having to add multiple sessions of this.

It was great to hear from Tom Roper about the work of the Clinical Librarian team.  I was interested to learn that an early experiment with this had been conducted by Jean Farmer as the Will’s Librarian at Guy’s – I am looking into this history further as I suspect it is little remembered locally.  The take away for me was quite how slow it is to get these services off the ground and embedded.  Any move in this direction must be prepared to be patient.

I had heard a fair bit about KnowledgeShare at various other events but it was good to hear more about it in use and see the various ins and outs.  I would love to have something of this kind for our users but the impact of the additional work around registration would be significant.

Always fun to go to the seaside.


CILIP Update June 2016 and July August 2015

June 2016 Update (plus July / August 2015)

Thought I would have a change from reading about the chaos being unleashed by the EURef and flip through the latest from CILIP (and from them a year back).

June 2016 first.

Bit surprised that the consultation on the new membership model is given just a small news item. This seems a pretty big deal to me.  The new lower price is likely to be welcomed by many.  I wonder how strong the maths is on the number of people likely to take up the “leaders” option and how convincing the package of extra benefits is?  There will definitely need to be some strong recruitment of members.

Positive to hear how the Library at Ferguson supported the community following the shooting of Michael Brown.

Even more positive is the column by Dawn Finch as President on the importance of ethical principles in the profession.  I have been disappointed again by the decision of HLG to suggest conference sponsors should influence the content of the event.  For me this falls foul of the 7th principle

Impartiality, and avoidance of inappropriate bias, in acquiring and evaluating information and in mediating it to other information users.

Meanwhile back in 2015 when we had some semblance of order in UK politics.. Michael Gove was scrapping the book ban in prisons.

I really should have checked out the Impact Toolkit (launched in this issue) by now.  Glad to see Mary Dunne was involved – she spoke really well at HLG 2014 in Oxford.

Over the page is David Gurteen on Knowledge Cafes.  I attended one a few years back at the BDA but found it a bit overwhelming with numbers involved that day.  The focus on conversation is really helpful as we work on driving engagement at work.  A reference is lacking for the Zeldin book on Conversation which I recommend to all as a quick but worthwhile read.  I am very keen on the idea of conversation needing to take place in the physical world – definitely more benefit for me.  The more I can talk to people the better things go.

Interesting to read of efforts at Plymouth to provide core reading material as e-textbooks for undergrads.  It would be interesting to know how strong the actual usage was – a drop in paper circ for purchased titles was mentioned which you would expect.  The preceding article on ebooks was a handy reminder of a few issues and options as I look at what I can do for my NHS users.


Journal clubbing – strategic engagement: new models of relationship management for academic librarians

My team journal club discussed the following paper this week

Strategic engagement: New models of relationship management for academic librarians

Jeanette Eldridge , Katie Fraser , Tony Simmonds , Neil Smyth . (2016) New Review of Academic Librarianship.

Very much hot off the press having been published earlier this month!

We had a highly productive discussion reflecting the paper echoing our own ongoing work on development of new models around liaison and engagement.  I found the concept of “bridging conversations” helpful as an alternative way to present what I have always thought of as the translation service I operate between HE and the NHS. The focus on senior academics and professional services colleagues was greater than in our approach and we were left wondering who does carry out the liaison that is no longer covered by the team in the article?

It would be good to have seen more robust research around the extent of engagement roles in Russell Group (and beyond) institutions.  Investigation focused on information from websites when a conversation might have been both more straightforward and useful. We do not use engagement as a term in either our team name or job titles so may have slipped through the net.

The importance of resolving ambiguities within the library about the new model chimed and prompted discussion of how we might need to continue this work locally.  Also interesting was that the model appeared to have been compromised by the subject related needs of some disciplines.  I am very aware of some of the tensions around this in health with specialist knowledge around systematic review valued by those we work with.

There would be definite value in meeting with the team at University of Nottingham to share experience.



May 2016 Cilip Update (plus September 2015)

Time for a quick read of the latest issue and one from the pile.

May leads on Shakespeare which is understandable given current celebrations (there are just a few days left to see the King’s College London “By Me William Shakespeare” with collaboration by the National Archives and the London Shakespeare Centre.

An exhibition with a few more days to run is “Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee”. It was great to read such a clear explanation of how this had been put together and the pleasures / pains of it all. @girlinthe had already been giving us a good flavour and this is a good example of how social media can get people involved in something well ahead of time.  I need to be sure to go before it closes in July.

The other main articles of note for me were about collaboration in health.  The work of Macmillan with Glasgow Public Libraries demonstrates the importance of specialist information support within a more general service. Meanwhile work in the Wirral links an NHS library with public libraries to support reminiscence therapy provides shows a new service being created with powerful effects.  Both of these illustrate the debate around how NHS LKS should work with patients and the public.  I understand the unwillingness of NHS services to open entirely to the public – the services required are very different and difficult conversations need the right preparation / conditions. I need to make the connections into the relevant services locally to see what we can do.

Nothing massively spoke to me in the September issue – these things happen.  Glad to see the progress of works at the Glasgow School of Art.

Revalidation – going for the threepeat

Spookily almost a year to the day since I last submitted I have once again completed the documents to revalidate my MCLIP.

I hope the current discussions at CILIP will finally see the launch of the online register of practitioners the long overdue public face of revalidation.

It has been another packed year professionally with a host of new conferences, visits, LibUX, Metrics and more. Plenty to reflect on! If anyone wants to talk revalidation do give me a shout – happy to talk you through it.

This years mandatory revalidation celebratory tune from MJ Hibbett and the Validators is – Things will be different when I’m in charge from the Album “This is not a library”


Why read The organized mind?

I kept coming across mentions of The Organized Mind so took my prompt and had a read.  

Written by a neuroscientist it merits the time spent.

Early chapters deal with questions of how we currently believe our mind manages to retain and locate information.  Throughout it has handy suggestions of what the implications of this might be for how we should work, organise our possessions and support our brains natural tendencies. 

There is accordingly much to interest fans of to do lists, filing systems and categorisation generally.

Those with an interest in critical appraisal would do well to read chapter 6 “organizing information for the hardest decisions”. This offers some very clear explanations of assessing the implications of different medical decisions. It does this with two by two tables (there is a further appendix on this) and I think inspiration could be drawn from this for execises and building understanding. 

There is then a primer on information literacy though I suspect experts might find a bit to argue with (the section on wikipedia for example in the light of research on how that community of editors is maturing).

A worthwhile read!