On failure and a successful #UHMLG19

pacer

Clickety clack

To Teeside in a pacer for the UHMLG Summer Conference themed around “Failing to succeed”.  The UHMLG summer conference is a bit different – quite small and definitely perfectly formed it has more of a workshop feel than most (NB – I am on the UHMLG committee).  This edition was no exception with a first afternoon workshop followed by a mix of sessions on the second day and a manageable sized attendance.  The glorious sunshine in Middlesbrough was a treat and the venues were convenient.

After a quick carb up lunch (pizza and wedges FTW) we spent a useful afternoon thinking about failure led by Andy Priestner.  Recognising that failure is valuable learning and a part of life we thought about how we might better set cultures that enabled having something fail not become something that feels like it has to be hidden.  The session drew on Andy’s and our own experiences of different forms of failure. There were lessons from his work in UX where failing quickly and cheaply allows for rapid progress of ideas.  Libraries are small c conservative institutions as a rule and this can make accepting failure hard. I liked the warning against “caretaker management” – just keeping things ticking along rather than seeking to match or provoke the progress the people we work with need.  Andy was happy that no one was going to die due to things we had done which provoked discussion around the genuine anxiety the potential for patient death can cause in some around health information work. In the end we are not the ones that make the clinical decision!  Something to follow up was the “How to fail” podcast that a number of people had enjoyed.  It was a great presentation with useful sharing exercises.

I found the next section of the workshop worked less well for me.  I think this was as I had already used the ideation techniques Andy took us through in other contexts and didn’t find they sat quite right with the question we were tackling.  We did have useful conversations around how we might better support a positive culture around when things we try don’t come off.

A take away was that your perceived failure may be viewed as a success by others. I would suggest this is more the case than the opposite given the difficulty most of us experience with self compassion.

cloughie

Cloughie!

After a happy, chatty social evening meal it was great to have a #Libraruns morning outing with Tom, Eli and Brian Clough.

The first two lead a session on Imposter Syndrome something I suspect old big head would not have suffered from.

I freely admit to being a bit dubious of the rise of this as a condition.  I was certainly an outlier in not recognising it in myself in any recent times.  On reflection I put this down to a combination of things. Firstly I am in a fairly sweet spot professionally – I have been around for a fair while and feel ok that I know what I am talking about – I am in a good job for me.  Secondly I am a privileged person – as a white man things are generally easier for me and library land is a space where there are few questions about my presence (the days of being told I am awfully young for a library manager are some way behind me).  Finally I suspect that where I am flailing out of my depth I am OK with this just being somewhere I need to learn things rather than it being down to me being an interloper (or it could be that I am a sociopath).

Conversely my being in a minority on imposter syndrome means I need to be rather more sensitive to it than I am.  Clearly this is a significant issue for many people and the discussion of tactics to address it was useful for me to think about how I approach colleagues who may experience this acutely.

I delivered a lightning talk on how a LibUX experiment blew up in my face

Key learning here – check the politics and talk to more people.  Probably always good advice!

After some other bits the final speaker was Olivia Remes on How to cope with anxiety and bounce back in life. You can get a good feel for this session by watching her TEDTalk.  After a run through of some of the forms of anxiety (clinically speaking) and some of the causes she ran through ways to cope / coping strategies. Self compassion is a good place to start and a number of the strategies related to this.  An idea I had not met before and liked was “Wait to worry” – essentially you book a time to worry about a specific thing rather than have it sitting on you the whole time.  I could see this being very effective to park an issue and prevent it escalating in your mind.

transporter

I had a bit of time to kill before my (failure of a) train home so went for a wander round Middlesbrough – I can recommend a look at the transporter bridge, the “Middlesbrough Collection, Why Are We Here? With Black Artists & Modernism” and a cold drink at the station on another scorching day in the North East.

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HILJClub – Novel insights into views towards H1N1 during the 2009 Pandemic: a thematic analysis of twitter data

This edition of HILJ Club has been prepared by:

Catherine McLaren. LKS Development Manager; Library & Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning, HEE Midlands and East. @cmmclaren

HILJ Club is a intended as a simple way for people to do a bit of CPD by engaging with articles published in HILJ.  HILJ is the journal of the Health Libraries Group of CILIP and all members have access.  Working with Wiley we should be able to open articles up to all for a month around the discussion.  The article selected this time is Open Access which makes this simpler.

The plan remains to pick an article to be discussed from each issue of HILJ. The organising group (Alan Fricker, Catherine McLaren, Morag Clarkson, Lisa Burscheidt, Tom Roper) have picked articles thus far but in future people would be welcome to volunteer to host.  At present articles are hosted on peoples blogs but we may set up a platform at some point.  Generally the host will offer some questions as prompts and then the discussion can go where interest takes it.

Over to Catherine…

#HILJClub, CPD for library staff, especially those interested in health. This time around I got to choose the article we are looking at.

Ahmen, W., Bath, P. A., Sbaffi, L and Demartin, G. (2019) Novel insights into views towards H1N1 during the 2009 Pandemic: a thematic analysis of twitter data. Health Info Libr J, 36: 60-72. doi:10.1111/hir.12247

Background

Infectious disease outbreaks have the potential to cause a high number of fatalities and are a very serious public health risk.

Objectives

Our aim was to utilise an indepth method to study a period of time where the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009 was at its peak.

Methods

A data set of n = 214 784 tweets was retrieved and filtered, and the method of thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results

Eight key themes emerged from the analysis of data: emotion and feeling, health related information, general commentary and resources, media and health organisations, politics, country of origin, food, and humour and/or sarcasm.

Discussion

A major novel finding was that due to the name ‘swine flu’, Twitter users had the belief that pigs and pork could host and/or transmit the virus. Our paper also considered the methodological implications for the wider field of library and information science as well as specific implications for health information and library workers.

Conclusion

Novel insights were derived on how users communicate about disease outbreaks on social media platforms. Our study also provides an innovative methodological contribution because it was found that by utilising an indepth method it was possible to extract greater insight into user communication.

Questions

What? What do you think of this article? What do you think of the research methods? Is there something else that you would have liked to have seen included in the article?

So what? Does this article encourage you to use twitter as the bases for research? Do you think this method could or should be used to research other areas of the profession?

Now what? What areas of the profession would you be interested in researching in a similar way? Will you change your practice as a result of reading this article? If so, how? If not, why not?

 

This article came to my attention because over the last year library and knowledge service staff within the NHS in England have been introduced to health literacy. How they can support NHS staff understand and use health literacy to support the public. So that the public’s health decisions are health literate. The health literacy challenge is already large and anything the brings stress, fear or anxiety to a person reduces their health literacy. How much more so would this be in a large international public health emergency like Swine Flu or Ebola. The writers acknowledge that twitter can be useful in this area; ‘This is because common misunderstandings and key questions relating to health can be rapidly identified and correct information can be consequently disseminated’.

Let’s focus on the questions.

What?

This article interested me for a number of reasons including that Twitter is a social media tool that a lot of library staff use. It is used both personally and professionally but are we aware of how it can be used as a research tool? This article looks at ‘data driven qualitative insights into tweets relating to’ an event of international importance; in this case infectious disease outbreaks and particularly the 2009 Swine flu outbreak.

The article suggests ‘that the methodology applied in this study can be adapted for the analysis of discussions surrounding libraries as well as the profession as a whole’.  Therefore, it is important to judge how robust this methodology is and how and when it might be reproduced in other parts of the profession.

The research question asked within the article was “What type of information was shared on Twitter during the peak of the 2009 swine Flu Pandemic?”

What comes to mind is how do you define the peak of the 2009 Flu Pandemic. The authors defined it as April 28th and 29th 2009 and that Google Trends showed the highest peak during this period of time. UK government data does not support this, instead showing the week beginning June 15th 2009 as being the peak. Figure 1, Health Protection Agency, UK (2010) Epidemiological report of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in the UK. Available at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140713172844/http://www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/InfectiousDiseases/Influenza/1010EpidemiologicalreportofpandemicH1N12009inUK/ [Accessed 29/5/2019].

Data from Australia also doesn’t support the idea that the end of April 2009 was the peak of the pandemic, Figure 4 puts it at the middle to end of July 2009.  Department of Health, AU (2010) Annual Report of the National Influenza Surveillance Scheme, 2009. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdi4104-j [Accessed 29/5/2019].

The World Health Organisation declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” on 25th April 2009. WHO (2010) Evolution of a Pandemic A(N1N1) 2009, April 2009 – August 2010. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/78414/9789241503051_eng.pdf;jsessionid=FC3A8C2A60656D1C3597D76F02F03173?sequence=1 [Accessed 29/5/2019] and a phrase 5 pandemic (wide spread human infection) on 29th April 2009. This maybe why the dates in April where chosen as being the height of the outbreak, as this was when it was high in people minds and online google searches were being done, but it was not the clinical peak of the outbreak as shown by UK, Australian or WHO government surveillance data.

The original number of tweets under review were 214,784 and it was reasonable to filter down these tweets first by removing identical tweets and then near identical tweets at a 60% threshold. After this a 10% sample of the remaining tweets were taken (n=7679).

Eight themes across the study emerge from the two days of data. These were than used along with Twitter’s advance search feature to see if the themes were present across the outbreak of January 2009 to November 2009.

Going forward it would be interesting to see if the themes highlighted in the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak also goes across other worldwide health emergencies such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak (or other national health emergencies). It would also be interesting to see where the interest in an outbreak appears to peak on Twitter or google compared to clinical data around a disease peak. How this data might then be used by governments and health organisations to disseminate information to a worried public would also be of interest.

So What?

This article does highlight to me how twitter and possible other social media platforms can be used to research public perceptions. Linked into concerns around fake news it is important for library staff to understand the positive and negative issues of social media and that research can give us insights into how it is used on an international and more local level. I could see how this type of research could be used to investigate other parts of the profession and especially how it might work for areas within health librarianship. What would have been helpful is a more detailed methods section, but I think there is enough information to give a way forward.

Now What?

I think the work around health literacy within the NHS in England may well be an interesting area to undertake this type of research. Finding out how library staff are reacting to this work, also interested organisations and how members of the public are also interacting with this work. Pulling out the themes of these interactions would allow for more nuanced support as the work goes forward. Taking this research forward would rely on support from the centre around funding and specialist skills which may well be limited in the short term but might be more possible in the medium to long term. We will just have to wait and see.

Catherine McLaren. LKS Development Manager; Library & Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning, HEE Midlands and East. @cmmclaren


Comments are open!

 

Revalidation VI – making a push

A new record for making my MCLIP revalidation submission early in the year.  Why the haste to reflect on 2018?  My experience over the past few years is that the sooner it is done then the more straightforward it is to remember what happened.

The other driver is that last year I promised an FCLIP submission for 2018. This has not come to pass (yet) but has resulted in me being that bit more organised with my logging and reflecting throughout the year.  One last push this time so I can report on how Fellowship went rather than making excuses this time next year!

I have had lots of interesting experiences over the course of the past year including continuing to push the joy of metrics (and annual action plans) at EAHIL and UHMLG.  I got tangled up in the national procurement for NHS databases and conversations around a potential discovery tool.  There was more UX fun at work and some less fun organisational shenanigans.

Brilliant was managing to link my support for health libraries in Africa to the goals of my service which has seen me help organise a stakeholder day for the fantastic folks at African Hospital Libraries, raise a few quid for them (donations welcome till 8/3/2019) and make a bid for Research4life funds to run some HINARI training in Sierra Leone (bid result awaited!).

A good year as M J Hibbett & the Validators reflect on their classic “We Validate” album track “Mental Judo” – “I’m going to enjoy it for what it is – Not for what it isn’t”

 

Stats and stories for impact

I really enjoyed participating in the latest UHMLG autumn forum (not least as the London Mathematical Society is a fun little venue with a surprise garden).

LMS Garden

You can find all the slides from the day here

The day started with an inspiring presentation by Kay Grieves from the University of Sunderland.  What shone out was the importance of having a cohesive and strategic approach to engagement.  Many of the things she presented nicely foreshadowed my own presentation (on making annual reports more useful) and the whole programme hung together nicely.

I liked the process Kay presented of moving from articulating / contextualising through engagement to sharing the narratives and insights gleaned.  It can be easy in engagement work to get pulled in all directions and the careful focus on key strategic objectives / issues for the service is a lesson most could use with applying.  The quality of the presentation of their resulting campaigns was striking and you could well imagine that these would help with getting people interested.

The talk included a worked example around journals showing careful capture of qualitative and quantitative data so that there are stories with the numbers that can often be all we have to go on. The outcome was a positive campaign combining with skills development, academics and the whole library to help people understand the role of journals in learning at university level.

My own talk was tweaked from one I gave at EAHIL this year.  This pulled together the work I have been doing on using a visual action plan format with the work on principles for good metrics prepared for Knowledge for Healthcare.  Placing the metrics work in this context seems to have been an effective way of framing it.  I received very positive feedback from the talk with a number of people planning to take action to improve their own annual reports.

HLG2018 – searching, running and all the rest

In celebration of the HLG2018 conference slides having emerged it is time for some reflections.

Awards-19

This was my first time at Keele University and it was good to explore somewhere new (though not ideal as a conference venue since having found it on the map I then joined the general head scratching about how to get there).  I spent an unhappy hour on the bus from Stoke on Trent and was very fortunate to find a cab to share to get away again at the end.  The campus itself was green and pleasant all be it largely shut down for the summer.

I arrived a day ahead for the HILJ editorial advisory board (EAB).  We had a very productive discussion on the peer review set up for the journal.  Changes should make the peer review reports both easier to complete and more useful for the editorial team.  I was very aware that I do little reviewing and have since made a point of completing one for the journal with the aim to do more in future.  I also continued to flag my idea of driving ownership of the journal amongst HLG members by encouraging a quarterly CPD discussion group (more on this another time or see CILIP SocialLink stream under HLG!).  My involvement in the EAB is great for gaining an insight into the academic processes around journal publication. Do publish in HILJ folks!

A theme for the conference was wellbeing and as part of this I had volunteered to lead a run on the first morning.  I had an initial scout around and got totally lost and we then had a very successful #libraruns effort the next morning (where I lost most of the runners). A good time was had by most (if you run and use strava then join the libraruns club).

The conference started with an update from Nick Poole offering general news of things CILIP.  I get the impression Health remains one of the stronger parts of the membership.  We then heard from Dr Mark Murphy who got us thinking about grey areas in evidence and various lens through which we should consider Evidence Based Medicine.

I attended a session of a Knowledge for Healthcare related working group looking at stats for the NHS LKS.  I may have ended up going off at the deep end about metrics and do feel that the group have been given a brief somewhat too close to the one the metrics group already covered.

I was very taken with a presentation I did not attend (the wonders of twitter to be in more places at once) on a QI bookcase and linked up subsequently with the speaker to learn more.

Good fortune meant I chaired the session where Stevie Russell updated on the work of African Hospital Libraries I am very interested in the work of this charity and have managed to make some headway with making it an area of concern for my own service.  The other talk in the session was on a developing tool for providing Current Awareness Services to biomedical scientists using machine learning.  There was definitely something interesting there but it felt like something of a work in progress and one where librarians experience around delivering CAS could be very helpful.

Work on redeveloping buildings at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Royal College of Surgeons of England  offered contrasting takes with different challenges and needs.  The lack of quality literature on design decisions for new medical libraries was notable.

My favourite talk of the conference was by Kate Misso on reducing waste in systematic review work through the input of librarians to the search process. It was shocking to realise the poor quality of much of the searching under pinning systematic reviews with implications for the findings and reproducibility.  My least favourite was probably laughing yoga which I attended reluctantly as I wanted to hear the Biship and Le Fanu lecture on Evidence Aid that followed it.

For my own part I brought a poster on work I carried out around creating a simple title scheme to support guideline retrieval.

I always enjoy HLG conferences and 2018 was no exception (see my triumph in the raffle at the top of the post!).  It remains a key opportunity to catch up with colleagues and get a feel for what is happening around the place.

 

 

Revalidation – V

Email from CILIP confirming that my revalidation for 2017 has gone through safely.  I was successful in my plan to get this done earlier in the year.  This reflects both being used to the system and the added pressure of working on a submission for Fellowship.

2017 was a hectic year professionally (though you would not know it from this blog where it has mostly been the Journal Club activity that got written up).  I was lucky enough to attend EAHIL for the first time and spoke there on my work on metrics. It was great to go to a wider conference and hear about some of the interesting developments in the use of text and data mining for search.  I have a stack of photos of the brutalist Berkeley Library at Trinity College to share at some point.

I learnt a lot about feedback delivering both LibQUAL+ and LibUX representing rather different approaches to hearing from library users.  Without wishing to completely dismiss LibQUAL+ I think LibUX is likely to offer a richer forward path.  It is so much more flexible, immediate and powerful.

I was lucky enough to learn from inspirational folk on an NHS LKS leadership programme. Not sure I have ever done quite so many tools looking at understanding my style, preferences and so on before.  I am not sure I feel very different for it but I do have some more tools and excellent contacts.

Fellowship submission this year!

This years celebratory Mj Hibbett and the [re] Validators number is “Do the indie kid”

 

On reading – Libraries and Key Performance Indicators (2017) Appleton

One of the fun things I did last year was contribute a case study based on my work with the KfH Metrics Task and Finish Group to the book “Libraries and key performance indicators: a framework for practitioners” by Leo Appleton.

Cover of book

I was really pleased to have the opportunity to share our work in this way and to get my name in print!

Prompted by reading a review of the book (in the December issue of the HLG Newsletter) and by an upcoming workshop I am preparing for health librarians in the North I thought I would have a read myself.

It is a compact book at 150 or so pages including references.  I think brevity has a lot to recommend it in a practical text and this could be dipped into or read completely fairly quickly.  It covers a lot of ground in a short time including a useful review of past efforts at performance management in library services and the influence of current trends around user experience approaches.  There are a number of examples from different library sectors which is useful for widening the perspective.

There were areas where I would differ – for example around the amount of confidence that can be placed in the various statistical return series.  Changes are coming to the long standing NHS statistics return reflecting careful consideration of how useful a number of these measures are in practice – particularly given likely variation in collection.

The chapters on methods provide good overviews with references to follow up. The librarian tendency to count anything that moves has been exacerbated by the opportunities offered by digital resources to do this and the book is good on tempering this enthusiasm.  I would perhaps have liked more on how to manage a regular flow of qualitative data in such a way as to support KPIs.  A contribution to a bundle of performance indicators across a single KPI perhaps?

Terminology is a bit of a muddle and I found myself confused at times about what was being referred to.  A definition of a KPI is provided but merits clearer flagging.  While there were a lot of excellent warnings about potential pitfalls and dead ends I wonder if more could be done to highlight the positive ways forward?  The various case studies were useful in providing some idea of how people have been able to advance with this work.

It was a relief to read my case study in context and I think it makes a useful contribution to the book. The principles advanced in the NHS Metrics work are widely applicable and certainly supported by the wider research presented in the book.

Having declared my bias up front – I think this is a useful book and I hope people will read it!