Archive for the ‘CILIP’ 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!


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…


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!


CILIP Future – thoughts

In CILIP,Information industry,Uncategorized on May 18, 2010 by africker Tagged: , ,

A while ago I blogged about my role on the CILIP Defining our Professional Future project board.  This work has been rolling on as you will have seen on Twitter on the conversation blog and you can find a lot of strands gathered at Netvibes

With my Project Board hat on I would ask again for people to have their say and get involved.

I would like to take that hat off now and make my contribution – so these thoughts are my own.  I have been mulling them for a while and they also had the benefit of being partially tested by talking about Defining our Professional Future at the Perfect Information Conference.

I am not going to spend a lot of time on crystal ball gazing about where we will be as a profession in x years time.  At PIC2010 I summarised it as:

•More mobile?
•More stuff?
•More diverse?
•More personal?
•More specialised?
•More proactive?
•Everywhere or nowhere?

People can draw their own thoughts on those.

I am more interested in what I might want CILIP to do.

I want CILIP to speak loudly on quality.  It should be crystal clear to people why they should want to be chartered and employers as to why they should hire chartered staff.  For me this means mandatory tracking of CPD to reach and maintain Chartered status.  CILIP need to provide the tools to do this electronically (UKCHIP are currently working on this and I am sure we could learn from other bodies) .  Tracking should be convenient and I would expect that most people would meet the requirements to maintain chartership.  We are all doing the CPD – lets demonstrate it.   Update could offer a choice of quick reflection points with input fed directly back into the tracking system. 

Beyond the handy tracking tool I would want CILIP to allow me to chose to share selected details of my ongoing development via a public facing website .  This would be something I could use for job applications, if I was a freelance or generally for networking.  Importantly this would also display my current level of chartered status – MCLIP, FCLIP, uptodate etc.  This would be a benefit to employers who would then be able to readily check if I had the qualifications and experience I claimed on any application.  At the same time it would prevent people claiming post nominals without having done the work.

I want CILIP to be an enabler.  Networking is vital for professionals and CILIP should be actively working to help members to do just that.  This should be enabled by CILIP Communities and the public profile I have just described.  My private profile should be richer to allow better linking.  We should have LinkedIn style tools through these systems.  These should be open to linking to other systems to allow those outside CILIP to interact with our networks (and perhaps over time convince them of the merits of being in them as members).  Along side these electronic tools there should be a specific role within central CILIP to support the creation of networking opportunities.  Want a speaker on topic X?  Here is a list.  Want to know who in your region (or nationally) is working on this?  Here is a list.  Want to set up a supper club?  Here are good venues (regions could help), a simple booking system, an effective means to reach people and so on.  Want to run a virtual journal club?  Here are models, here is the corporate webex account, here is the means to reach those with a similar interest.

Another support to this would be CILIP raising the profile and becoming a thought leader.  I want to see CILIP offering regular public events that set the agenda around professional issues.  These should be free to members or very very low priced with a small fee to non members.  Events might take the form of panel debates, talks by researchers, by people with a strong view on important issues.  So lets present Cory Doctorow on copyright, Michael Stephens on Library 2.0, David Nicholas on the Google Generation, get the relevant person from DCMS to speak.  I want to see informed debate on IP, social media, archives, the information society, information for the health of the public, the role of reading etc etc. They could be sponsored and in partnership with other bodies, think tanks and so on.  When I flick to the List in Prospect I want to find an event with a CILIP badge every month.  This is about raising our profile, establishing what we do as a profession – all the while providing CPD and networking opportunities.  It is important that events are open to the world outside CILIP to get the most relevant people along and get it all linked up.  Generally the events should be recorded where ever possible with digital streams available for those unable to attend in person.

There should be support for Special Interest Groups and regions in putting these events on.  This could be balanced by an obligation on these to participate in sourcing venues, speakers and so on.  We should be making sure those who speak at events like Umbrella then go on to elaborate their research beyond that event.  This might also help bring research into practice.

I think that will do for today.  Thoughts?


Cilip Manifesto and Public Health

In CILIP on March 23, 2010 by Danielle Tagged: , , , ,

I noticed that there have been a number of #cilipmanifesto tweets in the last few days and that Council Matters (the Cilip council blog) has blogged about the Manifesto.

What impressed me the most, naturally, was the inclusion of a public health goal (often health seems to be treated like the freak in the attic of the library and information world):

“Fund and enable the effective co-ordination of health information so that everyone who needs it – patients, carers, doctors, nurses, planners – will be able to find the necessary information to meet their needs.”

On the supporting paper for this goal, I was pleased to see Public Health Librarians at the top of a stakeholders list that included third sector organisations that often provide information on specific health conditions (think BHF Heart Helpline for heart disease and Marie Curie Cancer Care).

The benefits of providing public health information effectively are given in the paper as:

  1. A high quality national public health and wellbeing information service available to all and not subject to a postcode lottery (Comment: Will this mean modifying existing services such as NHS Choices or Patient UK to be a better fit?)
  2. A focus on providing public health and wellbeing information to the “have-nots” and addressing the health inequalities identified in the Wanless report
  3. Making a reality of “informed choice”, personalisation and “working together” to allow individuals greater opportunity to manage their own health and well-being  (Comment: This seems very ambitious- even if we can educate everybody about lifestyle factors and disease, not everybody will care about informed choices and personalisation. Good if we can aspire to this, though!)
  4. Addressing the public health and wellbeing information requirements of children and young people
  5. Building an evidence-base of best practice in public health information (Comment: Will we look to the Cochrane Collaboration for this or a layperson’s version of the National Library for Public Health?)
  6. Upskilling library and information staff in all sectors to improve the service provided to all types of user and the job satisfaction of the staff concerned (Comment: Here, here! Why can’t we all have epidemiological training so we can actually translate abstracts on the fly to deliver or disseminate unadulterated health information to people who request it? )

I think this is actually a wonderful start for an initiative that is at the ‘seedling’ stage of development. I will be interested in seeing how the manifesto will be received by the government and parliamentary candidates to which it was sent.


Guarding privacy

In CILIP on March 18, 2010 by africker Tagged: , ,

CILIP have published a guideline on User privacy in libraries.

This is a very helpful document and just the kind of thing I would expect CILIP to produce.   It is well illustrated with examples and further reading material is linked appropriately.

It would have been nice to see the document embrace a wider audience.  This is one of those times when I think we need to either drop “Library” or broaden the title by adding more terms.

It would be great to build on this to create advice tailored to internet users more generally about their personal data and privacy online.

Issues around privacy of this type arise frequently in the news (though generally beyond the walls of a library) and it is to be hoped that CILIP can provide some responsible and sensible comment on these stories.  This would help raise the profile of the profession and the expertise we offer.


Looking to the future of CILIP

In CILIP on February 1, 2010 by africker Tagged: , , , ,

As you may have read on the main CILIP site – I am one of the project board for the ‘Big Conversation’ initiative. 

The plan is to “gather views from a range of stakeholders, including CILIP members, about what CILIP should look like in 5 and 10 years time. Key questions the big conversation will address include what CILIP’s business model could be, what it should offer to members, to the library and information profession, and society.”.

There was a certain amount of confusion and angst around the process of setting up the Project Board.  I think Elspeth Hyams puts it well in her editorial in the latest issue of Update (going semi digital this year incidentally) “The panel will umpire the debate, collect feedback and manage the process.  Not do the talking.  That’s for you.”

What the intial flurry showed was the strong feelings that surround CILIP as an organisation.  While far from univerally positive I would say that was more encouraging than indifference.  It will be intriguing to see how much interest can be generated from those not already members or ex-members.  Hopefully also we can avoid the modern tendency to excessive snark in online forums (a little always comes in handy mind).

I would personally welcome input on a badge for this process other than the ‘Big Conversation’ due to associations that brand carries.


Cilip mandatory CPD survey – speak now…

In CILIP,Continuing Education,social networking on January 7, 2010 by africker Tagged: ,

Cilip watchers will recall a bit of a flurry of debate regarding the introduction of mandatory “light touch” CPD not so long ago (including here and on CILIP Communities). 

This has resurfaced with a chance to have some input via this survey (open till 15th Jan).  It is worth noting that input is invited from non members and members alike (and you might win an Amazon voucher for your trouble).

Personally I think mandatory CPD is overdue as is some kind of electronic system for logging it.  I think all professional organisations should now offer a means for people to record their work and CPD activities.  This should then be selectively shareable via a public section of the professional organisation website.  In effect I should be able to present a regularly updated professional profile to the world – through my association with the body in question.  Something like this would likely be richer than most job applications allow and would be a boon to employers looking to get a better idea of a candidate.  It could form the basis of networking and link through the various online forums.


Cilip Editorial board: call for newcomers

In CILIP on November 26, 2009 by Danielle Tagged: , , ,

We on the Cilip Editorial board are seeking fresh, (and, even, young) members. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to send a 300 word critique of a recent publication (Gazette freely available here) to Rachel here. Your deadline is 4 December so please act quickly if this is something that would appeal to you.

The editorial board is a lovely, welcoming group of LIS professionals that meets only twice a year, so this is a very small commitment.

If you are an information architect, a developer, archivist, records manager or an SEO professional (etc.) with a new perspective you’d like to share, even better. We aren’t traditionalists, and would like to be represented by a spectrum of information folk in general.