We (re)validate

Back in late September I hatched a plan to revalidate my MCLIP.  I gave myself a month or so to do this (in my head not in public) and I am happy to say I submitted over lunch today.

So how was it?

I found it a fairly straightforward process in the end.  I had a running start at it since I was already registered on the CILIP website and had worked out that you had to login there to get into the CILIP VLE.  I watched the various videos on how to use the VLE and the Portfolio tool and these were fine.  I also had the benefit of the handy presentation (login to the VLE before you follow the link) @ellyob has shared from her revalidation workshop.  Also very helpful were the tips blogged by @joeyanne. Armed with this background (about an hour or so) I set out to complete the exercise.

I decided to make my future planning simple and revalidate my CPD for 2013 (with 2014 to follow subject to how I got on).  I had a big change of role in mid 2013 and wanted to look back to this.

I soon discovered the change of role had disrupted my usual CPD recording (a big Word document) which meant I only had about two thirds of the year.  Fortunately at the same time I stopped adding things to the Word Document I started using I Done This to track my daily activity.  Basically it emails me at the end of each day, I email back what I have been up to and it then shoves it all in a calendar for me.  Using this I soon picked out 30 plus hours of CPD that I wanted to reflect on and wrote brief statements about what I had been up to for the CPD log.  It took me a little more than a couple of hours interspersed with distractions.

I then wrote the accompanying 250 word statement.  Under three headings (Personal Performance, Organisational Context and Wider Professional Context) I put a couple of aspects each of work tasks and CPD opportunities from 2013.  It was good to look back on these (all be it very briefly).  I probably spent an hour or so mulling it but most of that was spent on one section that I didn’t much like. With a quick bit of advice from @ellyob I got it sorted.

The final submission was straightforward via the VLE and job done!  Hopefully I should hear back in time for me to submit for 2014.  Have some M J Hibbett & the Validators to celebrate!

March Update – resumption of the catch up

My planned catch up with the 2014 CILIP Update backlog has been predictably knocked off track by other events.  I did also hesitate over whether I should read the new issue that has arrived so as to have current news.  Having decided to stick with the plan we find ourselves back in March with the House of Commons on the cover.

The news section announces the arrival of the Update App.  I have downloaded it but there my use ended. I think paper lends itself well to the kind of reading I do of Update.  Clickable links are appealing but as I generally read it on public transport this is not a big selling factor.  Glad to see this development anyway.

There is a fair bit of health related content in this issue.  Bursaries from HLG for Conference are a good example of the things a SIG can do to support members professional development (they also keep the costs of conference relatively affordable).  The report on the Sally Hernando awards aimed at sharing innovation and best practice in health information work across the NHS in England are also a fantastic initiative. I am one of the judges for the London area and love the insight and ideas they provide.  I welcome also the update on sending health librarian presenters to non librarian conferences which can only be a good thing for building understanding between the professions engaged in health work.

There a few reports of matters of wider interest around elending, the Finch Pilot and likely impacts of Universal Credit on public libraries. Being behind with reading meant the item on the then upcoming UKSG conference should have been too late.  However I am going to attend this conference for the first time next year so I did read it through and learnt a bit about the KBART format which I had somewhat taken for granted.

The value of a cross sector journal was brought home by the Legal Beagle column looking at embedded roles.  Questions of subject knowledge and the value of co-location are highly relevant to the liaison roles I am involved with. Co-location is a great way to really engage with users and to spot opportunities to make a difference.

The cover article on the House of Commons library was fantastic including things on authority, outreach, training and information literacy.  I liked their personal approach to new MPs and that it ended up becoming an offer to the wider group.

The two CILIP qualification articles went well together.  I plan to use the new revalidation rules over the next few days so watch this space for how it went.  The experiences of mentoring were helpful.  I think this is something where we should be able to do more through the professional body. I have felt the lack of a mentor on a number of occasions (my Chartership mentor back in the mists was a great example but was also my boss under one of the previous sets of regulations so not quite a mentor / mentee relationship). I have also seen members of my team struggle to find a mentor with capacity to take them on.  CILIP are working to offer more training on becoming a mentor which is great. I would like to see it go on and function as a wider clearing house for people to find mentors at all stages of their careers.

Finally I liked the MOOC etiquette article.  In common with many MOOC participants I failed to complete the ones I have started.  I think my failure to meet rule 5 (be engaged) meant I never really did enough of rules 3 and 4 (support others / bring gifts).  There was also just too much chat in the forums on the MOOC I took for me to engage with it.

Palliative care training session thoughts

I run tailored search training sessions for different groups of healthcare staff.  After a year or so in post I am starting to see some groups for the second time and finding that I have not always recorded some of the useful things I found out ahead of time.  So I will share some of them here from time to time to help my memory.  Peoples suggestions of other interesting things will be welcome.

The group today were are all doctors working in palliative care.

A good starting point was the NHS Evidence Palliative Care Topic not least as it includes a link to one of the NICE Pathways.

Some web searching retrieved a great site I had used last time and promptly forgotten CareSearch. This Australian site has lots of tips on searching and includes a brilliant tool for launching canned searches on palliative care topics via PubMed.

Some useful tips to help me think about search headings came from a chance find of a slide set by a colleague.

A more general introduction to research for palliative care from the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care includes literature searching but also lots of helpful contextual information.

Finally the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network includes various publications and tools. What we know now looks a brilliant annual update on changes to the palliative care knowledge base.  Hopefully there having joined Public Health England will not stop this useful work continuing.

During the session we used a search for Fentanyl and Constipation to explore search concepts.

Using Medline I was able to show value in MeSH searching by retrieving additional references for only some small tweaks to the keywords and basic subject headings.

Any other brilliant palliative care search resources I should have mentioned?

Slideshare blogging clickbait

After reading about the Informed blog the other day I was looking for a memory stick and came across the HLG Conference presentation I gave about (the) Health Informaticist group blog I used to write for.

I finally got round to setting up a SlideShare account and popped it up.

Fun to note is the extent of the click baity nature of the presentation title. Within a few hours it had already had nearly a hundred views (though it then slowed down) without me having made any effort to push it.  Another (very exciting) presentation about a small library refurb has drawn fewer (ahem) views.

Nice to think about it being seen by a few more people as the original presentation was seen by about fifty people and I doubt many found it on the HLG site this is probably the most people who have had access to it.  The fairly obvious merits of putting things where people can find them.

NHS E-resource transfer deadline day news

The first phase of the 2015-2018 NHS national content procurement has completed. This is a pretty big deal both in terms of the sums involved (in NHS library terms), the duration and the scope of resources involved.

Given the tight, and tightening, budget situation in the public sector it is not a great suprise that some tough decisions are having to be made.

There are three main points likely to be stressing people out in the current announcement.

1. No CINAHL (with or without fulltext) – this is an important database for lots of searches / professions. Medline coverage has improved in some of the areas it covers and BNI access continues but it has generally been regarded as one of the basics. Hopefully this can come through in the second phase of procurement. It will be interesting to consider what happens if it does not with variation in access from Trust to Trust likely to be the result. After EBSCO stopped CINAHL being available on other platforms you have to wonder what they offered by way of pricing. If libraries end up buying CINAHL individually will it still be possible to search it via HDAS?

2. Medline moves to Proquest. This is a big surprise as Medline is normally an inexpensive resource on Ovid and other databases have been retained through this supplier. Given there will still be a contract with Wolters Kluwer you would hope they would find a way to chuck it in for the NHS. I have not tried to do much in the way of systematic searching via Proquest but it is not a prospect that fills me with excitement. Time to start polishing those PubMed skills perhaps. Proquest via OpenAthens also does not play nicely on machines that are IP authenticating other Proquest resources so there may be a problem anywhere this is the case.

3. No BMJ journal titles. This is the end of a long standing deal. Generally the NHS gets charged high prices for low usage by most publishers. The cost per use would be interesting for the past contract.

There is a strand of concern about how quickly the changes to the suppliers of databases can be robustly implemented on HDAS. I am less concerned about this – all of the suppliers are currently already working through HDAS so we have less change than when we transitioned away from DIALOG. Probably a bit brave given the regular HDAS wobbles but I think it should be alright.

We are obviously only part way through the procurement so it will be interesting to see what things look like by the end of the month. All support to the negotiators doing a tricky job. I hope suppliers take the time to consider their customers when pricing things up.

February Update – the one that considers the MLIS

February 2014 Update (no volume or part numbers I can find?) pops out of the plastic wrapper and spends an hour with me on the 20 bus after the Central Line goes into meltdown.

A few things catch my eye in the news section this time.

The CILIP VLE goes live.  I had a rummage at the time but have not yet got to grips with it (not least as login is a pain – can you login without going to the main CILIP site yet?). Getting to grips with it is on the list as part of revalidation plan.

There is an item on an NIHR publication (PDF) that includes the use of evidence by health managers. I could do with boosting the support for this group in the Trusts I work with so added to the reading pile.

There is an update on progress with books on prescription since the offer in this area by SCL / Reading Agency. Presents it somewhat as an overnight sensation, when it is clearly built on steady progress over many years, but it makes sense to try any lever to secure more work of this kind.

Finally there is the “Access to research” pilot as part of Finch. I had a look at the time of launch but my public library was not then in the scheme. The onsite only search tool, non commercial use clause and no downloading makes this a fairly restrictive pilot. How much time can people get on a PC? How might they be supported to print or download things they actually need?

The campaign for the right to e-read seems a vital one in terms of the future of public libraries. Good to see somewhere the professional body is involved in pushing for the needs of readers. The APPG meeting is mentioned as being back in 2012 which seems a little old even without my belated reading.

The Phil Bradley column is handy as ever.  BigHugeLabs looks a nifty tool.

The future skills section is the regular annual round up to frame the LIS school adverts. Given the debate about the merits of LIS qualifications this article provides some interesting perspectives around the balance between theory / practice and specific / generic. It sounds a good idea that accreditation of courses is now against the PKSB though at the time of the article my alma mater was not accredited.  I really enjoyed my MSc and the opportunity it gave me to really get involved with my topics.  I picked the course carefully as I wanted to work in health libraries and this is a strength at Sheffield. There were things I enjoyed less but most aspects of the course felt relevant and interesting to me (though my threshold for interesting may be lower than yours). I appreciate my view was perhaps coloured by studying full time and with financial support.  I can see how those paying for the course and working through out might have less room to think and different expectations.

Lawbore – looks a brilliantly tailored resource for law students and a powerful advert for City University and their Library Services. Serving students and reaching out it creates a community before and beyond University. I like the fact it has a specific URL.

There then follows stuff about RDA, special collections in Bradford and rare books. Nice pictures but not much else for me (though light exposure of this kind to RDA is probably a good thing).

An item on online mentoring was useful for the more generally applicable practical tips about online meetings. Working in this way is clearly on the rise. New library PCs at work have a built in webcam and Lync also supports screen sharing and online chat. This seems a logical avenue of advance for support at the point of need. Whisper it but I even saw glimmers of a move away from XP in the NHS yesterday.

Last up I was fascinated by the article on collection development for economics (great to see someone from outside the profession pushing debate in this area). While the article is immediately useful to those working with the subject the broader questions about how we carry out the task of maintaining a collection beyond the prevailing view point are applicable generally.  In my view we cannot be neutral collectors but must be inquisitive and open.