Health Libraries Group (HLG) Conference Update

In CILIP, Evidence-Based Librarianship, HLG 2008, How to work better on July 22, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m back, sort of, after 2 weeks of vacation, traveling about with my younger sister. Today I attended the second day of the HLG Conference in Cardiff, Wales. I wanted to give you a bit of an update of the highlights.

A question for discussion–who here likes parallel sessions? Today’s conference had 2 sets of them–one mid-morning and one post lunch. That means, I have missed a total of twenty-five presentations. This is torture–how can one be a proper information professional and accept being forced to miss that much excitement? I understand that the point is to offer us more choice, but it ends up not working as the presentations are clumped together, making it necessary to sprint to another room if there are “competing interests”.

Having said that, I did enjoy my day at Cardiff City Hall. These are some highlights of all of the sessions I have attended:

1. Dr. Tony Jewell’s very visual presentation on public health (a nice break for sore eyes);

2. Michael Heinrich’s talk on indigenous uses of herbs and plants, and the usefulness of this information to current research on drugs;

3. Sir Muir Gray’s podcasts on trying to ‘green’ healthcare, the walking campaign, and creating a common language as a means of preventing misunderstanding (unfortunately, Muir wasn’t there in person);

4. Gerry Maclean’s roadmaps to reconcile local developments in NHS education with national ones in Scotland;

5. Marina Waddington’s inspiring tale of leading her library’s initiative to provide evidence-based help with the creation of local hospital guidelines at the Royal Free Hospital–and the challenges with this (if anyone knows of a system to share guidelines so that each hospital doesn’t have to start from scratch, please let us know);

6. Lina Bakhshi’s informative presentation on the role of the Information Scientist in developing NICE guidelines;

7. Kate Wheadon’s description of Metalib, a system to allow searches by topic, rather than database–this can include searching multiple databases;

8. Kieran Lamb’s descriptive study of 84 blogs, which informs us that very few of us use either tag clouds or graphics, and that most folks blog weekly or 2 to 3 times per month (so now I don’t feel so bad…);

9. Sam Martin’s elegant survey of home workers and managers and her description of the advantages (increased productivity, being there for sick sons or daughters) and disadvantages (social isolation, being ‘out of the loop’) of home working. Wise advice: try to get out of the house at least once!

10. Joan Lomas’s and Hannah Price’s presentation on getting the right journals for the East of England NHS libraries;

11. Jean Ryan’s successful plan to start a journal writing club at the Glan Clwyd Hospital, with helpful tips to inspire us to do the same;

12. Jane McHugh’s report on what tools work best to change clinical behaviour–she found the most evidence for reminders, followed by continuing medical education, and outreach education. Combinations of interventions worked better that interventions consisting of only one component;

13. Andrew Booth was urging us to contribute our comments (200-250 words) to the Health Information and Libraries Journal by 31st July;


14. Alan Fricker spoke about his work in trying to develop a public health policy for CILIP. Their wiki is located here. He has invited us to contribute to it, edit it, and get involved in this ongoing process.

Hopefully, I come across something parallel to what I have written, giving me the condensed version of the first day. And, what with parallel sessions and all, I would like to hear from people who went to listen to different sessions than mine.


3 Responses to “Health Libraries Group (HLG) Conference Update”

  1. Do you think we should use a tag cloud then? They always look so clunky to me – though perhaps we need a whole new look? So difficult to keep up with the times.

    As for sharing guidelines – what about the Map of Medicine, which allows localisation. You can see abridged versions of some of them here: OK, so they’re not quite the same thing, being pathways, but weren’t the Royal Free the movers and shakers of what later became the Map?

  2. Really glad to see this summary of your time at the conference and that you felt it worth mentioning my talk.

    Please note that I only put the front page url for the wiki in my presentation and the one people will need for editing purposes is

    In terms of the parallel sessions I have to agree about the frustrations of this. That said – while you miss a few you might want to see it also means you miss a few you might not be so interested in.

    One thing that I don’t think happened was any recording of the talks. This is a shame as there would be real value in making these available as podcasts alongside the slides when they go on the HLG site.

    Some Trusts do publish their guidelines to the general web (cannot recall which off the top of my head). It would be interesting to see if the NLH guidelines database could perhaps harvest these? I agree with Alan also that Map of Medicine in presenting the largely national guidelines in a visual form has great potential to reduce duplication of effort and increase standardisation. All NHS England staff (and I think those in Wales) already have access to the Map.



  3. Thanks Alan, and Alan– I am feeling very gushy at getting not one, but two comments.

    Map of Medicine did indeed get some mentions after Marina’s talk and I am very behind with what is going on with MoM (gee, have they really thought through the name and acronym?). I will have a look and maybe do some hunting for guidelines from Trusts.

    Thanks guys πŸ™‚


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