Friday, 20 November 2015

London & the South East NHS/HE Libraries Conference 2015

I was lucky enough to attend the London & the South East NHS/HE Libraries Conference 2015 which took place on the 19th of November at Stewart House in London. It was a very good day for networking, putting faces to names and reconnecting with colleagues. I was able to tweet and get an impression of others thoughts thanks to the free WIFI offered. After a gracious welcome from the London Strategic Lead for Library Services & eLearning HENCEL, Richard Osborn, Health Education England's National Programme Manager for Library and Knowledge Services, Louise Goswami gave us an update on the Knowledge for Healthcare Framework. She referred to the use of the NHS Library Services website in the absence of a Knowledge Hub as a place to put updates for the programme and the KfH blog for regular alerts. She also referred to the use of social media for updates e.g. #HEELKS @K4H_PPI on twitter and publications being produced in professional press.

She talked about the need to make noise about the value of the Knowledge and Library Service in order to effect change and the vital need for partnerships such as Public Health England, Pulic Libraries, Sconul and CILIP. Issues relating to the different task and finish groups were also touched upon e.g. Metrics, current awareness, streamlining, authentication, open access, repositories, collaborative procurement, resource discovery and more. A name to describe the Knowledge Hub when it is established was raised.

Next up was Ben Skinner, Head of Knowledge and Library Services at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. It was interesting to hear the progress being made on KnowledgeShare as the Knowledge and Library Services at Barts Health NHS Trust started using it in August. He gave a general overview of the web based resource and a live demonstration. What was in the works, how far they had come, the obstacles faced and the struggles ahead. I am particularly interested in seeing whether giving users direct access to it will create difficulties for LKS staff. Like everything else, they will need to be trained but how much of it is retained. The idea does have merit though as it would allow users to book sessions, download certificates and give feedback without having to contact the Library. From a Librarian's perspective, I have found it useful to view search strategies of colleagues who have done searches on topics similar to that which I am attempting. It really does save me the time of racking my brains. I can also see others across the region whose roles are similar to mine one of whom I met at the conference.

Next was a speed dating session with the exhibitors which included Wiley, Dynamed, ClinicalKey, ProQuest, Sage and more. In true Librarian fashion, I was happy to fleece pens and bags. My weakness. This was followed by lunch and my rumbling tummy was aghast to find we had no cutlery but in true superhero style, Fatima Almeda swooped in and saved the day and my rumbling tummy. I also took this opportunity to peruse the posters on display.
After lunch was the innovation session with nine entries. There was a varied mix of content and styles. Presentation, Video, Audience engagement. I liked the Good thinking Batman innovation by Rachel Cooke. I believe it is important to show people the work they do has value and is appreciated. I also had the opportunity to share some of the innovative practices I came across whilst on my study tour of medical libraries in the United States. The winning innovation was presented by Holly Case . She talked about the #ukmedlibs twitter chat which takes place at 8pm on the third Tuesday of every month. As someone who has participated in few of these discussions, I can say that an hour does go by quickly and the sessions are very interesting. It was a well deserved reward.

Imrana Ghumra, Professional Advisor, Library & Knowledge Services, Health Education East of England shared about the Knowledge for Healthcare advocacy toolkit for NHS LKS staff.  The toolkit is meant to be a reference tool for NHS LKS staff which will enable them have an awareness of the bigger picture. Case studies which can be anonymized on request will be added as a way of sharing best practice. It will constitute a range of resources comprised of how people have done things and what they have learnt. The toolkit will be launched in December and is currently in wiki format but is that fit for purpose? She raised the need to engage with stakeholders and have an elevator pitch at your fingertips which shows how you are impacting patient care. It is important to know how to advocate the LKS to people who don't live in a library bubble as well as develop a one page strategy which is easy to peruse.

Louise returned to talk about the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Development Programme which is to be delivered in partnership with CILIP in March 2016. Where the CILIP Leadership Programme had 20 places and participants needed to pay a £250 fee, this pilot will have 24 places, focus on healthcare, has been sponsored by Health Education England and is thus free to participants. Yes, you heard me. I did say FREE. So get in there because it is bound to be competitive. The programme is seeking aspiring LEADERS so be sure you know what you're signing up for to avoid disappointment. Getting the approval of Line Managers should not be a problem since the only cost to employers is giving the participants time to attend the seven MANDATORY meetings spread over the one year course. I look forward to seeing how this progresses.

This brought us to the end of the conference. All posters received a prize but the winning poster was for the Pop Up Library Service at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust presented by Lynsey Hawker.
Presentations for the conference can be found on LondonLinks.

In other news, I was notified last week that my revalidation has been accepted. Hurray!!! It wasn't as nerve-racking as I had originally thought (says the lady who checked her emails for news every two minutes after submitting). It really is about logging what you've been doing within the profession whether in your workplace or in the wider professional network. A nice variety is always a good way to go i.e. attending or presenting at workshops and conferences, visiting other libraries, contributions in your workplace, training given and received, professional reading, participation in groups on social media, mailing lists and such. I also found joining the Revalidation Group on the CILIP VLE very useful as I was able to view real examples of what others are adding to their portfolios.