Archive for the ‘Professional Organisations’ Category


CILIP Update with Gazette, April 2011

In CILIP,Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , ,

A crisp new copy of Cilip Update with Gazette (the two publications merged a couple months ago in case you’ve been on sabbatical) hit the newstand this week and an interesting welcome message from Elspeth Hyams.

A flip through brings us an update on ebook borrowing practices (don’t buy it unless someone wants to borrow it, according to one model), more from the front lines of Save our Libraries and, something I can agree with (but generally)- the need for more quantitative research in higher education environments. And everywhere else.

The Best Headline award goes to Matthew Mezey for ‘It’s like putting an AK47 into the hands of a moody teenager’, reporting from the front lines of a Guardian conference on sharing public data. Share by any means (lol) but please not on PDF, and keep it simple (sweetheart) were some wise words. Well, I’m glad that public opinion has finally seen the light, but what about our dependence on PDFs?

I’m glad also to see Tupe (Transfer of undertakings (Protection of employment)) regulations explained in a feature on employment law.

At the end you’ll find the job adverts previously found in Gazette (but very at home in UwG I think) and tips on how to reinvent yourself in the job market by Francis Muzzu.

Enjoy your online or paper copy (or join Cilip if you haven’t already).


HLG Conference 2010 day two

In CILIP,HLG 2010 on September 21, 2010 by africker Tagged: ,

Somewhat later than planned is my run through of the second day of the HLG Conference (#HLG2010).

The keynote came from Prof Tony Warne.  I found the discussion of theories of knowledge an eye opener and a good way to open the mind at the start of the day.  He has an interesting technique for writing blog posts where he very much goes with the flow of what he finds on Google and what has happened in recent days to see what comes out.  I did wonder how well his research methods would help with the assignments student nurses struggle with.

This was followed by an amusing Bishop and LeFanu lecture on the topic of disaster planning.  Having been told I was in one of the more vulnerable groups for the flu pandemic and been party to various doom laden meetings I found this an interesting peek behind the curtain.

My first parallel session of the day was around profile.  The first two presentations covered a ‘corporate’ clinical librarian and working with Senior Managers.  Both useful case studies of how people are redefining and presenting their role.  I noted that locally we already offer quite a few of the services they presented.  Perhaps a case for working on some branding?  The final talk in this slot was a fantastic one by Stephen Ayre on working with Clinical Audit.  He has worked to embed librarian support into the clinical audit process – the key seemed to be telephoning the user to offer timely assistance.  This gets past the barrier of the overflowing email and catches people at a time when they are receptive to what we do. The audit he carried out on the extent to which practice is supported by evidence is well worth a look.

Next up was Managing Change.  The highlight here was a talk by Doug Knock on the experience of being involved in a multi Trust merger.  This was paper of the conference for me.  With mergers on the horizon for many NHS trusts this was timely and enlightening.  It looked at the literature around the last great burst of mergers and considered how things were progressing at South London Healthcare NHS Trust.  The merger prescription slide is worth a look if nothing else.

A quick lunch followed eaten at a wobbly table in a light Manchester drizzle.

The final parallel session for me was around web 2.0.  We heard about using Library Thing to update the Core Collections (a good idea), a ‘virtual’ service model – the one woman library in effect (also good) and the use of video by Social Care TV to support LGBT education for social workers (powerful stuff).  Squeezed in here was a talk on this blog by myself and Hanna – hopefully a few more people have been reading since then!

The final Plenary was by Mark Salmon of NHS Evidence.  Unfortunately this was a disappointing run through of some survey results.  This seemed to me to be a missed opportunity to engage with a significant cross section of those with a professional interest in NHS Evidence.  The survey results were unsurprising.  It is worth commenting that nearly 20% of respondents identified themselves as information specialists.  Hopefully this should further demonstrate to NHS Evidence which people are most interested in working with them to help their service improve.  There was little detail of new developments, no discussion of technical niceties and no evidence of consideration of how NHS Evidence fits into the broader ecology of information in the NHS.  It was a deeply uninspiring end to an excellent conference.

Looking forward to HLG 2012!


Professional networking & development. Where do I belong?

In How to work better,Professional Organisations,social networking on August 4, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , ,

This is a thinking aloud type of post. I’m sitting here, in-between finishing work and going off to lindy hop around the synagogues of the west end of London, and I’m thinking I really do need to network/do CPD better. The fact that I have not done so is of course 99.9% my fault. But the 0.1% that I feel I can blame on external circumstance is that I’m never quite sure of which group I belong in. We’ve had the role of CILIP debate and I don’t really want to re-hash it. But I do feel, and arguably incorrectly, that CILIP and, within CILIP, the HLG are kind of dominated by libraries, and I don’t really feel like a librarian. In fact I don’t feel at all like a librarian. I feel like an information, evidence-head sort of person. I know that in London there is London Links, though that’s really only for NHS staff. There was also a Monday night thing, back room of a pub sort of talk followed by chat. I went to one of those, organised by CILIP. Are they still running? They were quite good. I should have gone more often.

What I suppose I’m wondering is are there super groups I ought to be joining out there that will make me feel part of a happy clan, and/or is there a place for a new society, or social network, or meetup group etc, that is really around health and medical information, is evidence focussed, to have as its aim discussion towards working out how to keep up with the genuine information revolution that we find ourselves in the midst of? Does anyone use Ning these days? Would a new social networking platform capture the imagination? I doubt it.  Or should we just be more self reliant and get on with it; sign up to LinkedIn, find a mentor perhaps, read journals, go to the odd conference drink a few beers and get chatting to people – you know, the old fashioned way?

Maybe it’s simply a result of working as the sole information specialist in a small organisation… one always feels a little, well, isolated.


Business support, on the job training and creative learning – HLG round up

In CILIP,Evidence-Based Librarianship,HLG 2010,How to work better,Information industry,Knowledge Management on July 25, 2010 by Hanna Tagged: , , , , ,

The 2010 HLG conference earlier this week offered an opportunity for health librarians and information professionals to share knowledge and experience in the positively sunny Salford Quays location. Alan F and I presented on this very blog and I also presented about work I do on clinical guidelines. This meant that with lots of parallel sessions I may have missed some great presentations and look forward to catching up on those I couldn’t see in person when they’re posted on the HLG website. I tried tweeting from the conference as well but couldn’t get a signal on my phone and the organisers did seem to miss a trick when they announced the hashtag (they switched from #HLGconf to #hlg2010 or maybe this was not organised, haven’t checked) but in the next breath said please turn off your phones…

So what did I take away from the conference? One inspiring session came from librarians supporting the information needs of managers in Leicester where Louise Hull talked about building on experience of a successful clinical librarian service and Debra Thornton in Blackpool had recruited Trevor Morris to provide a dedicated management librarian service. Trevor was so successsful he has now moved into a care pathway coordination role so the library is providing integral support to improving quality for patients. Stephen Ayre spoke about how his service in Nuneaton started offering literature support for clinical audits being carried out at his hospital and how picking up the phone and having a chat to people about their needs could increase new business for the library. He ended up collecting useful information for the clinical audit team about who was registering audits (nurses don’t have to do this for their statutory professional development so slip under the radar) and even becoming a first check of audits before they are registered proved that library services can be tailored to the information need for non-clinicians. I felt their case studies were inspiring as a way of raising your profile in an organisation even if other people might think ‘why is a librarian interested in audit or quality improvement’; in the right culture and with drive and determination you can push the boundaries of traditional library services. Even in my work place, a more corporate/research setting, we don’t specifically address the needs of managers who are our budget holders and paymasters. Perhaps it pays to think that managers have information needs that stretch the imagination in terms of not needing Medline searches but need to know what other organisations are doing , what the latest management technique du jour is and what is on the horizon in their domain of interest be it commissioning or implementation or planning…

Emily Hopkins set up a ‘library’ service in NHS North West and discovered that there was no need for a physical collection but that there were plenty of projects that could use a bit of information or records or knowledge management. Which linked quite nicely to a talk about strategic planning (or looking beyond things like PEST and SWOT analyses which are part of my vocabulary) as most of us don’t have the luxury of starting from scratch but work with a history which means our services need to be revised and developed as we reflect on where we are going. Sheila Corrall talking briefly about a range of other tools such as information ecology whereby you think about the different environments in which you work, strategic information alignment where we explicitly map our goals with that of our organisation and my favourite way the issues priorities matrix where you are trying to think about what to tackle first.

The plenary session featuring a professional development model based on training by doing (yay!) or on the job checklists of specific skills was brilliant for having an overview of how this was developed from Sara Clarke and a reflection on how this felt to progress through by my fellow grad trainee Zoe Thomas. Of course it couldn’t be called common sense or just recognising my argument that I learnt a limited amount about library work at library school and library schools are often a bit too academic and will inherantly always be so they plumped for ‘Legitimate Peripheral Participation’ model which is just brilliant.

Tony Warne, Professor of Nursing at Salford University, offered us a talk on creative learning and and insight into the blog I’d like to write only I should be approached by the estate of James Joyce for breach of copyright. He actually titled his talk around Vannevar Bush’s 1945 paper ‘As we may think’ and meandered around library services being beyond bounds of physical space and the joys of open access (yes indeed I thought) and then spoiled this by talking about the interface between knowing and not knowing and perhaps his interest in psychanalysis took over…but going back to Bush who was thinking about the limits of organising knowledge in a logical way (albeit Andrew Booth had argued earlier in the conference that us info pros are happier when information is ordered in this way) he said humans think in terms of associations and how about we have a machine called a memex that captures this in some way, storing and organising information in a mechanized fashion, allowing more than one person to look at something at once. How far the internet and contemporary knowledge systems have achieved this is up for debate. I definitely agree with creative learning approaches which builds on Warne’s exposition that creativity and rational approaches to knowledge organisation are not mutually exclusive, almost by being open to different ways of thinking will encourage a broader landscape of a topic, building on the collective knowledge of something (and now I’m falling into the academic that turns me off but his talk was definitely intellectually stimulating!).

Lastly I caught two posters from SCIE the Social Care Institute for Excellence which looked at scoping searches and the fact there is no defined way of rapidly gathering evidence about a topic and how far to go as well as how to choose databases for searching in social care. This latter problem was approached in a systematic way whereby a range of databases were searched and unique references identified to map where overlap in coverage was found. Presumably a few more cases might need to be tested to see if there were any general trends. This is certainly a question we have when searching for medical literature and whether we should search every database we have access to or whether it is a peculiar fear of librarians that we’ll end up in a meeting where we missed a paper and all hell will break lose…


NICE’s plans for the specialist collections

In Health industry,Information industry,Professional Organisations on July 8, 2010 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , ,

I noticed today a tender notice from NICE outlining their broad plans for the specialist collections. Here is an abridged version:

“Today, NHS Evidence provides access to 30 collections of specialist evidence content, the ‘Specialist Collections’. In April 2011, NHS Evidence will launch a redesigned and improved specialist evidence service. As well as the technical developments, topic coverage will be extended and greater emphasis will be placed on quality assurance and standardisation of processes and products across topic areas. The current Specialist Collection service is contracted out to 21 distinct organisations (with an overall headcount of approx. 80 staff). The contracts for these services are due to end on 31.3.2011. In order to achieve the quality, consistency and standardisation objectives listed above, NHS Evidence are aiming to rationalise the provision of the core service to three Clinical Hub Centres. One of these will be in-house and Manchester based. The other two will be contracted out. The purpose of this tender is the provision of the service of these two Clinical Hub Centres from 1.4.2011. Each contracted out hub will cover 8 to 10 speciality areas. Key activities of each centre will include hand-picking content from sources routinely ingested by NHS Evidence, searching and identifying content from specialist sources, tagging resources / allocating to an agreed taxonomy, identifying entries for UK DUETs (UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatment), preparing and programme managing Evidence Updates on selected key topics within the hub’s remit (there are currently over 60 Evidence Updates in total across all specialist collections, but this number is likely to increase). Managing and quality assuring the activities of each hub will be part of the service.”

There you are then. Make of that what you will. Nervous times for all involved, no doubt. Presumably the Kings Fund will go for one, given that they already manage three of the current specialist collections. Maybe a consortium up in Oxford (Oxford Radcliffe/CEBM)? They have their hands on a few. The University of Surrey currently manage three. The universities of Southampton, Sheffield and Warwick all have experience, as do a few London teaching hospitals (e.g. Royal Free). Any thoughts or inside information from anyone out there?

**Update 9th July**

It has been suggested that idle speculation about who might go for these Hubs is unhelpful, and that given people are stressed because some might lose their jobs etc. that it should best not be discussed. It is also noticeable that, apart from co-blogger Danni (thanks Danni!), there have been no comments made on the post, even though our stats suggest it has been viewed quite a number of times. I suppose I have four things to say:

  1. I’m just delighted when people other than my Mum read my posts
  2. We rarely get too many comments anyway *sigh*
  3. I’m a chatty blogger who likes to idly speculate. I also find it difficult to finish off blog posts. Ending after “… (e.g. Royal Free)” seemed a bit abrupt. I therefore lazily tapped out “Any thoughts or inside information from anyone out there?” just to round off the post in classic blogging style with a meaningless “what do you think” kind of way. I certainly never thought that I would get much response, let alone “Yes, I am a representative of organisation X, and we’re going for it”!
  4. I am aware that jobs will go, but also that new jobs will be created. I would never make light of the nervousness that we all feel during this time of uncertainty – for better or for worse, none of us have a job for life any more, and we all suffer from job anxiety. I apologise if it seemed to be in bad taste to speculate. However I do maintain that it is a topic of interest to a wide range of people, both inside and outside the NICE/specialist libraries axis, and that it’s right and proper that it is a point of discussion. Of course people on the inside will already have been speculating for a while, and will be much much better informed than I – they also would not start tapping out their inner thoughts on a forum such as this! But there are also people on the outside who are nevertheless interested in what’s going on, and some would be interested in speculation as to what’s going to happen next; and, I would suggest, why wouldn’t they be?

Basically, good luck to anyone who’s going for it, and double good luck for anyone whose job might be affected by it.


DOPF! I almost forgot the Cilip survey…

In CILIP on June 16, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , , , ,

Biddy Fisher, Cilip President has sent out a reminder to do the DOPF (that is, defining our professional future(s)) survey before the end of 22nd June.  I’ve been noncommittally mulling over what the knowledge and information profession will look like in 2020.

I read with interest what Alan Fricker wrote (on our blog) and what Phil Bradley wrote– I sort of agree with both of them. I read something unrelated on Peter Murray-Rust’s blog about digital rights management (DRM) and the British Library. He asked why librarians accept the overly-restrictive DRM from publishers. That post is entitled “Many libraries/ librarians are very, very risk averse.” This struck me as the crux of what I see as the problem with us. Perhaps it is a work-culture or a personality issue for many librarians- we don’t push back nearly enough. At best we tentatively question. We need to be enforcers.

In a similar vein, we don’t innovate. IT has gobbled up innovation and has its own professional organisations and conferences. Scientists and medics have their own dos as well. This compartmentalisation leads to another need- the need to bridge with other organisations. This need is not unique to Cilip at all. The unique problem for us, however, is that we are so guarded that any inclusion of another professional group into our activities (e.g. mentioning an ‘external’ event in our newsletter) is seen as so threatening that it is forbidden. If we continue to try to black out the windows in this way, people will vote with their feet and leave Cilip. The media librarians’ group is now defunct because of a falling membership (okay, media librarians are an endangered species as well). However, a patchwork quilt of over 260 professionals is joining LIKE down at the pub. What gives?

My suggestions for improving Cilip:

  • The need for members to influence Cilip from the grassroots- from the bottom up rather than the top down. It seems to dictate too much. Listen to us and lead (agreed with Alan Fricker on Cilip being an enabler).
  • Scrap the training in its current format. The price puts off all but the wealthiest/ most provided for employees.
  • Revolutionise the way Cilip does conferences- have an unconference. Actually integrate mobile technology and web 3.0 – not just in a token way. Don’t be afraid to copy what a completely different group does, if it is successful.
  • Free events… an email just came through from Ukeig about a free Mashed Library event. These are way too rare.
  • Make Cilip membership a requirement to join special interest groups (SIGs). I’ve already banged on about this in Cilip Communities- there is NO REASON not to do this.
  • Have a joint conference with a different group. Partnerships will enhance us and can be financially attractive (=shared costs. Brilliant).
  • Why not have a Cilip app for mobiles? Podcasts I can download from iTunes? (A big YES to Phil Bradley’s desire for Cilip to experiment with technology).
  • Surveys are not expensive. Let’s make friends with surveys and other evaluations to see that we are doing things right.
  • Have a non-library stream. I work in information, not a library. I do not necessarily want to efface ‘library’ from Cilip, but I do want to feel I am catered for. How can we do this?
  • Don’t be beige. Don’t be afraid of being controversial, Cilip.

I urge you to fill in the survey and make your voice heard (I am doing it now- jury’s still out on what it is asking me and why…). Please criticise/ applaud/ query my suggestions above. Have a look at the Conversation blog- it’s not beige at all- quite pink actually!


Transliteracy – new word, same old web 2.0?

In Blogging on Blogging,Information industry,Knowledge Management,Professional Organisations,social networking,Web 2.0 & all that on June 2, 2010 by Hanna Tagged: , ,

I went to a really interesting LIKE (London Information and Knowledge Exchange) meeting last week about transliteracy. What is transliteracy? I’ve blogged at LIKE so take a peek to find out! They use Posterous to post via email, very intriguing…