Wednesday, 4 July 2018

GDPR and #HIW2018

I was certain that after May the 25th there would be a barrage of lawsuits arising from who did what without consent. I'm relieved that the upheaval has subsided but the question remains IS IT REALLY OVER? The answer would be no. It was never meant to be a quick fix but a change in culture and therefore a regular practice. This much was reiterated at the GDPR training session I attended at Stewart House, London on the 2nd of July. Naomi Korn was a breath of fresh air and it was a relief to have no PowerPoint slides in sight.

The session consisted of case studies, question and answer sessions and covered the interplay between data protection and the GDPR changes. This extended to the need for the speed of the regulatory framework to catch up with the speed of technological change in order to discourage the commercialization of personal data. We also discussed how to collect and process personal data and what action plans we should have in place for our services. The highlights of the session for me were the six principles of data protection and the six grounds for lawful processing.

 Lawful, fair and transparent
Specific, explicit and legitimate
Legal basis
Adequate, relevant and not excessive
Vital interests
Accurate and kept up to date
Public interest
Kept for no longer than necessary
Legitimate interest
Processed securely

It is important to distinguish the need for consent from the other lawful grounds as it is the only one that requires the data subject to actively opt-in. An interesting note was that although individual personal emails constitute personal data, corporate emails do not so it's worth making that distinction.  If you use a system which creates a handicap to compliance, change it. It needs to work for you and not the other way around. There were handouts provided and references to other helpful sources. There's a lot of technical jargon muddying waters in some sources which in no way allays my concern of how to equip frontline staff, particularly Library Assistants, with the skills to ensure they comply with the regulations in their day to day practice. I have found some comfort in the content and straightforward language at which I have now shared with my team in the hopes of filling in the blanks and making the transition a gradual process.

I am in no way a GDPR expert but I did have some notions confirmed and some misconceptions  corrected. I left more confident than I arrived with an action plan sure to make me the least favourite person on my team for a few weeks. I'll need to soften 'em up with lots of chocolate and biscuits. My take home has been the need for experienced information professionals to apply a degree of reasonableness (Naomi's description) i.e. ask ourselves what we consider to be a reasonable expectation from the person who has entrusted us with their personal data. Some things will clearly be right and others will clearly be wrong whilst there will be grey areas. I say stay as far away as you can from what doesn't fall into the clearly right category and you should be fine.

It's also Health Information Week #HIW2018 and I have been tasked with organizing and promoting events. It happens to coincide with NHS70 and I used the opportunity to team up with the Trust Charity who are celebrating with Big7Tea parties. They have cake and we have sources of good quality health information. It's a match made in heaven. I also put together a looped PowerPoint for our local library to promote health and digital literacy, healthy lifestyles, mindfulness, and relaxation on their big screen. Thanks to the templates on the Knowledge for Healthcare blog, I also tailored some posters and promotional materials.

In other news, the team that brought you the Development Needs Analysis is getting back together. Yes, you heard right. Team DNA is back. Commitment, gluttons for punishment or just missing each other (I think quite a bit of the latter LOL). We'll be working together over the next couple of months to get the next survey for the development needs of the NHS Library workforce ready for next autumn. It's gonna be great.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Presenting at a conference

It's been a while since my last post. A hectic couple of months but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I won't bore you with the ins and out outs of what I've been up to but I will try to do better. I've been talking about presenting at a conference for years and tried my hand at it again. I feel it wasn't brilliant but practice makes perfect and you'll never know unless you try. I presented our in-house request management system alongside my colleague at the 2018 Interlend Conference in Birmingham. The original attraction was that the conference was local but it wasn't until our proposal was accepted that I realized I hadn't really expected it to be. The prospect was quite scary. On the 25th June when I attended, there were over 80 delegates and unsurprisingly only one other NHS delegate aside from my colleague and myself. Unfortunately, due to service needs I was only able to stay for the keynote speech and my presentation.

The Keynote speaker was CILIP President, Ayub Khan, and he talked about "Rethinking the Library" address how user needs have changes and the responsiveness of libraries. I especially liked that he discussed the need to demonstrate value based on user benefits and feedback rather than just statistics. What I took away from the conference was priceless especially as I was there for only a short time. By sharing the system with colleagues from other sectors, I was able to see it from their perspective and access other development needs and ways in which the system might be evaluated. I'm grateful for the opportunity to test the waters at Interlend and I can confirm that there is probably nothing more daunting than speaking to a room full of information professionals. I am not quite ready to try conference presenting again but I'm certainly not one to encourage others to do anything I am unwilling to. Now that I have faced the fear and crossed the bridge, I'll see where the road takes me.