The benefits of LIHNN by Jo Whitcombe

As LIHNN members we have a pretty good understanding of what LIHNN brings to the region, but what about those around us who don’t necessarily work within the LKS sector but have management interests? How do we convince them that LIHNN is a valuable development and support mechanism for all LKS staff?

The LIHNN Coordinating Committee put together a short, easy to read document which outlines how LIHNN membership helps to support one’s organisation, the LKS team and the individual.

I recently moved into a new role and found myself with a line manager who was also new in role and wanted to get a better understanding of the LKS activity across and beyond our organisation. I shared the Benefits of LIHNN document with her, along with information on Knowledge for Health.

The Benefits of LIHNN document received a very positive response:

“This is great. I had never heard of LIHNN before and this sets out the offer in clear, jargon-free language. I can definitely see how being part of LIHNN can help the team and the Trust.”

Jo Whitcombe – LIHNN Chair

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Critical Appraisal Day 1 by Katie Nicholas

Critical Appraisal Day 1 – Liverpool, Holiday Inn -7 hours

This was the first of three sessions on Critical Appraisal. The aims of the first day were:

  • To understand what we mean by ‘critical appraisal’ – concepts and definitions
  • To identify different types of study designs and when it is appropriate to use them
  • Levels of evidence
  • Critical appraisal of qualitative research

I had done some critical appraisal training in the LIHNN MOOC before the session but my previous role never really included much of this so I had forget rather quickly the principles. I wanted to brush up on my own understanding of research methodologies and get ideas for ways in which we could deliver some form of training in our organisation. The day did both of those things – I left with a much clearer understanding of the different types of research methods and their strengths, weaknesses and place within the ‘evidence hierarchy’. It also gave me so great ideas for ways we could introduce training here – using the CASP tool to go through a paper was useful and I particularly liked the ‘Quality Street game’ to help us understand thematic analysis. The Abstracts activity also helped me apply the theory in practice and was a quick activity that could be easily replicated with papers relevant to our staff.  I’m looking forward to the second and third sessions looking in more detail at RCTs and statistics. The training was also timely and will definitely help with my dissertation.

Katie Nicholas
Knowledge Officer, Health Education England

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Experiences, Essays and Enthusiasm: The story so far by Helen Kiely and Lorna Dawson

After their first month of studying Lorna Dawson and Helen Kiely got together to swap experiences of their MA programmes so far…

LD:  On the induction day I sat in a small cosy lecture room, with twenty something other new students and was asked “What do you like to read?” I know right? Rule number one of library interviews: Do not tell them you love books. Don’t admit you like reading anything at all – except emails. Up until this point I had assumed this rule would apply to library courses too …

If you ask a room full of budding library professionals what they read, let’s face it, it’s not going to stay silent for long. And that’s one of the things I didn’t expect from the course – to talk so much, and for me to talk so much. I’m usually quite quiet but because I’ve had a few years experience in different types of libraries, I’ve found that I actually have quite a lot of real life examples to share. It’s made me feel I’m doing the course at the right time because I can put the information into a professional context.

HK: Yes, I’ve really found that so many people on the course have diverse backgrounds, it’s really interesting to learn from their experiences and it’s nice to be able to have information of my own to contribute as well! My first impressions of the course were very intense- no sooner had I received the initial lectures and signed up to the first modules we were given a test essay to do and assigned additional group work to complete, as well as assignments deadlines for October, November, December and January  so I felt a bit intimidated about that.

LD: Essays already?! (Oh no!) What did the test essay involve?

HK: The test essay was only short- 1,000 words plus abstract and bibliography- but I admit I’m a stresser when it comes to deadlines and the word ‘test’ definitely put the fear of failure into me. Really, it’s an extremely good idea because it’s an opportunity for your personal tutor to see how well you can handle the style of writing and references before you start completing the larger pieces.

Is there anything of your course so far that has surprised or stuck with you?

HK: The thing I’ve found most interesting so far is the work we have started doing for our ethics presentation. There was a lot of interesting reading and my group have decided to work on the relationship between personal bias and information supply in relation to health and public libraries which is really fascinating to discuss.

LD: I didn’t expect to do so much imagining … actually, I think it’s one of the course’s real strengths. On Monday mornings we have a module called Information Organisations and Their Management. I genuinely thought we’d be taught a load of management theories and have to put them into practice … perhaps by managing my pen pot. It’s not been like that at all. My favourite thing to imagine so far has been how to set up a 24-hour enquiry service – because I know I’m not in a position to be setting one up right now but eventually I will be, and imagining has given me a safe environment to explore what will and won’t work.

HK: I think one thing that really struck me is how much communication there is between other students. The last distance learning course I did only had message board interaction and no group work element but this is a lot more interactive and from the start everyone has been really sociable and friendly. I had the first meeting with my group for an ethics project last Monday night, and we had a really good chat- it was good to share how we feel about different aspects of the course with one another- it felt a lot more like ‘really’ being at Uni.

There’s a lot of technology used on the course- we have lectures via a system called adobe connect which is really interesting because you can attend the lectures in real-time if you’re free on the Tuesday afternoons and you can log in with your webcam and microphone to participate in. The adobe connect sessions allow you to see the lecturer and interact by voice or a chat section, and the lecturer can also show you their presentation, share their computer screen or put up a whiteboard for you all to contribute to during the course of the lecture. We also have discussion boards on our online space and the lecturers often create google docs for us to all feed back on the readings on. There’s also a couple of google plus groups- I would’ve said I was quite technically literate before but this is a serious learning curve. On the upside it gives me a lot of ideas of things that we could maybe use in work as well in the future.

LD: Even though I’m going in for lecture, I’m finding that we do a lot of our group work through email and google docs as well. It’s a really good way to prepare for maybe working with health library staff at other sites within the network in the future.

After all that, I think the biggest surprise for me was where our lessons are actually held. I don’t think I was alone in assuming that I’d be spending the duration of the course in cosy lecture theatres trying not to nod off for the warmth. I had a shock the first proper Monday of lessons when I found myself sat for the entire day in a technology lab … Every Monday I walk past a room containing at least 5 3D printers and sit in another with plug sockets hanging down from the ceiling and the gentle lull of the Mancunian Way – there’s no nodding off for me!

Lorna Dawson and Helen Kiely

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What Outreach Means at Pennine Care by Lucy Anderson

Outreach means many different things to different services and people. At Pennine Care we use the term generally as a way of saying we are proactive in getting our services out to people, whether by email or in person.

It is extremely important for Pennine Care to ‘outreach’ as we are a service with no physical library, yet we serve 5000+ people in over 100 locations across six boroughs in Greater Manchester.

In 2014 we recruited an Outreach Specialist, Bruce, who works with us for two days a week. He is highly experienced in information retrieval and has worked for many years as a Librarian, supporting healthcare professionals. These two days focus on getting ‘a person’ out to promote the Knowledge Service across the Trust. Within our trust, the most obvious way to promote services is by attending induction in the form of a market place stall. Due to time restraints, we were unable to make a presentation at induction, although our marketing outcomes were much improved once we’d established our own separate stall rather than sharing one with Organisational Development as was initially the case before Bruce started working with us. Bruce follows up this initial contact with an email after a few months to act as a reminder once new staff have had more time to settle in.

Another outreach method is for Bruce to base himself at an administrative base or health centre for a day a week for a month or two. We have heard various stories about this in other trusts and some haven’t been too favourable. BUT we decided to give it a go anyway as we felt it was worth pursuing, given the wide geographical spread of the Trust.

Key to this was in choosing the base location: Bruce chose the bases carefully. We needed a place from where he could work and where there was enough staff to make it worthwhile. The simplest way to do this was to use the team’s collective knowledge of locations within the Trust, search the staff directory to see how many potential staff members were based there and then contact the building manager or a senior member of staff to find out who had control of desk space and if anyone held email distribution lists.

By having an up to date laptop when he is based at another Trust site, Bruce is able to able to carry out his computer-based work in much the same way as he would when he is in the office at HQ. In fact he tells me that the lack of immediate distractions helps his productivity. Bruce makes sure that everyone is made aware when he is based at the site with emails that also provide tips and guides about getting evidence and information.

So far Bruce has ‘outreached’ at six of the larger sites in the Trust covering all but one of the boroughs. Here are some examples:

  • In the HMR (Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale) borough Bruce chose Callaghan House, an administrative base for rehabilitation and children’s teams in Heywood. In his eight days there he generated sixteen outcomes. These included: searches; a journal club enquiry; two introductory team presentations; book requests; discussions about journal titles; and information training sessions.
  • The four days Bruce spent at Ellen House, one of the main administration sites for Oldham, resulted in five outcomes and included one introductory presentation and one-to-one training sessions.
  • Bruce spent six days working at Nye Bevan, one of our main bases in Rochdale. This resulted in eight contacts including two searches and five people trained.
  • At The Meadows, an older persons’ rehabilitation unit in Stockport, Bruce spent 4 days there resulting in 13 contacts, including training five people.

At each site Bruce ensures that a Knowledge Service publicity notice is on the main notice boards and also that a supply of Knowledge Service leaflets is supplied. In several instances requests for our services which have been prompted by Bruce’s visits have occurred after Bruce has left the site.

This site based service has also been complemented by Bruce working at our training bases on days when mandatory training takes place, when possible. He has completed five of these in the past few months resulting in fifty-seven contacts with staff, in our eyes a significant promotion of the service. He continues to find that a large number of staff are either not already aware of the Knowledge Service at all, or are not aware of what the service offers.

All this, together with general publicity and promotions has helped us to steadily increase our staff’s use of information resources and we recently passed 1000 Athens registrations.

Lucy Anderson BA (Hons) MCLIP
Knowledge Specialist: Outreach and Liaison
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

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Follow that leader (Part 2) by Matt Holland

Experience of Edward Jenner Foundations Programme

Just some background

This is a reflection on the Second part of the Three part Edward Jenner Foundations Programme.  Part One is Launch and Part Three is Advanced.  Launch & Foundations are free.  Advanced carries a fee.  The reflection on Launch can be found in a previous blog entry here.

Launch is launch … but Foundations is down to business

If you read about Launch it’s a fairly gentle taster for what is to come.   Foundations has a pleasingly challenging content and demands more from you as an eLearner.  The piece of information I always want to know is how long does it take to complete?  They recommend 30 days to complete the course.  I took a bit longer.  I estimate I spent between 20 to 25 hours.  You might find the bite sized chunks design either helps or hinders you.  I tended to dip in and so spent some time re-orientating myself on each visit.  Longer concentrated visits might get it done sooner.

It’s all about context

The target learning community  for Foundations is NHS staff working as potential or new leaders. The course focuses on people who have patient contact.  Care is taken, however, to include those who work one step back from the front line, supporting and enabling front line care.  People without frontline care responsibilities, such as library managers can feel included.

The underpinning idea is leadership that delivers patient centred care.  Some of Foundations is spent preparing the ground for this.  Foundations encouraging learners to reflect on patient centred care, what it is and how to deliver it.  The ideas of Don Berwick and the Francis Report form the backdrop to this.

Foundations is seeking to embed a particular view of healthcare leadership based on past failures.  I personally found this useful.  It gave me some important background to ideas that I was aware of but hadn’t really focused on.  So the short version is that this isn’t A.N. Other leadership course.  It has a specific context and message.

You’re going to need some skills

Seems obvious, but you are going to need some skills to be a leader.  Foundations picks up on a core set of skills that any new leader might need. If you are wondering these are: Emotional Intelligence, Influencing Skills, Listening  Skills and Giving Feedback. To keep it brief the approach is direct even simplistic.  Foundations signposts what a mastery of these skills might look like.  If you think you need more help in any of these areas my guess is that is a longer term personal continuing development project.

NHS Leadership Model

The NHS Leadership model can be found on the NHS Leadership Academy website.  It is included as one section of Foundations.  The good thing about the course is that it gives some insight into how the NHS Leadership Model was developed and how it can be deployed as a learning tool.  Part of the programme is to review the model and complete the self assessment questionnaire.  If you have completed the PKSB for Health you will be familiar with the format.  You rate nine dimensions/behaviours on their importance to your job/role and then rate your mastery of each dimension/behaviour.  These are fully explained in the model.  The bigger the gap between the two the more likely that dimension is flagged for improvement.  Really good is the report you get with some very effective graphics presenting your answers.  I have to work on Influencing for Results (aka Impact) and Connecting out Service!

Adaptive Leadership Model

Foundations uses the Adaptive Leadership Model to hang the final section of the course on. It’s based on the work of Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky.  It looks at leadership outside formal structures, leadership in times of change, leadership without authority and leadership that challenges the status quo.  This is the simplified version but the general direction fits well with the change as normal experience that many of us live with at work.  The Adaptive Leadership model was new to me and another good learning point.


We are all be eLearners now and familiar with the eLearning format.  This package uses video, discussion groups and a learning journal  as core components.  Some segments encourage off-line learning.  For example holding a workshop with colleagues to discuss drivers for change.  Of passing interest was the architecture that formed the backdrop of the video presentations. Was that the roof of Manchester’s Victoria Station in the background?  The sartorial choices of the presenters were as interesting, and yes, I did have trouble concentrating in lectures.

It’s not over … till it’s over  …

The final leg of the learning journey is to write a 1000 word piece of work on the difference completing the course has made to you called Your Leadership Difference.  This looks at the implementation, reflection and impact made by your learning.  It’s based on a six question proforma. This gets you from the 96% for completing the online element of the course to 100% completion and a certificate.  Points really do mean prizes.  You may not want to do this part of the course or you may find the lure of a certificate too much.

Worth doing?

I would say yes.  You can power through the bits you already know.  A good refresher and a useful starting point for future leaders.
Matt Holland
NWAS LKS, supported by HCLU North.

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A Guide to Using Social Media for Research Purposes (Version 2) by Matt Holland

This is an updated and revised version of A Guide to Using Social Media for Research Purposes by Matt Holland first published on this blog in March 2016.

This guide takes you though the basics of building a research profile using social media, how to maximise your impact and the tools you can use to assess your impact. If you have any comments or want to add any resources contact

Your Profile

Presenting yourself to others.

Your profile tells the world about you. It makes you easier to find online for like minded researchers.  Your profile should allow you to post details of your publications and the full text if you have the right to do so.  The following suggestions for profile sites have different emphasis.  You could consider creating different profiles for different audiences. See also Your Identity.

ResearchGate [ ] has many NHS members. See an example [ ].

Mendeley [ ] has a clear simple profile page and of course gives you access to the Mendeley reference management software. See an example [ ]. [ ] aimed at the academic community.

LinkedIn [ ] has many NHS members and is a good site for networking with NHS colleagues and others working in the health care.


Katz, M., 2014. How to promote your work on LinkedIn. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Posner, M., 2011. Creating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Your Communication

Ways to share your ideas, opinions and research.

You need a forum to share information with your audience. As a minimum you need your own Twitter account [ ] so that you can Tweet and follow the Twitter feeds of other researchers and research organisations. Important too is a blog either on WordPress [ ] or Blogger [ ]. Sustaining a blog alone can be hard work and time consuming. Consider contributing to another blog as a guest or share a blog with interested colleagues.

The #hashtag

The #hashtag draws together information from Twitter and across social media. Good use of hashtags is a key social media skill, so add this to your social media tool kit.  Each research community has its own popular hashtags e.g. #FOAMed – open access medical education resources or #prehospital – all about prehospital care.  Hashtags are a dynamic area.  Pick up useful hashtags from other Twitter users, search Google for lists of popular hashtags. Some online tools can suggest hashtags.

Tools to manage your hash tags

#tagboard [ https://tagboard.comFreemium.  Create free tagboards for individual tags that collate information across social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google +, Vine, Flikr). tagboards are customisable, add a graphic for example and you can share. Content can be filtered by social network or content type.

#Twubs [ http://twubs.comFreemium.  Create a Twub and Tweets with that hashtag are feed into a ticker tape style stream. Register with your Twitter account and you can Tweet direct with that hashtag. Designed for events it’s a handy tool to Tweet to or about conferences or other professional gatherings. Twubs has an Embed Tool, if your website can cope with that.

Tools to analyse your hashtags

Keyhole [ http://keyhole.coFreemium.  Analyses a sample of Twitter or Instagram over 24 hours. Again only really effective for tags that have some profile. Very good statistical summary though with clear graphics. 

RiteTag [ https://ritetag.comFreemium.  Analyse your hashtag with a view to checking its value or choosing a better one. RiteTag gives you a really neat organogram to show how your tag relates to other tags. 

Curate your own resources

Showcase your expertise by curating collections of references on your topic and sharing on the web.  There are a number of tools that will help you do this. Mendeley and Sparrho are examples of the different tools you can use to achieve this.

Mendeley Groups [ ] Free.  Create a group to share your references. e.g. Prehospital Emergency Services Current Awareness Update

Sparrho [ ] Free.  Create a channel to search the web for relrevant content and share by curating your own pinboard to e.g. Paramedic Practice


Davies, F., 2015. Tips and Tricks: How to promote your research successfully online. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Eassom, H., 2014. How to promote your research through blogging. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

The Online Academic. Twitter for academics. A five part guide to using Twitter as an academic. Available from: [ Accessed 14 October 2016 ].   

Your Identity

Managing your researcher identity online.

Managing your identify means using one of a few web based systems to create an alpha numeric tag that uniquely identifies you. This tag links your biographical data to your publications. The benefit to you of identity software is that your can maintain your information in one place and share that data with other systems without having to input it each time it is needed, just by giving your tag or unique ID. For example: 

publishers can drawn down your data for their article submission and publication systems;

your data can be shared with university repositories, research funders online application systems and research assessment systems;

these systems can feed back to your profile enhanced bibliographic data when you publish anything or are successful in a research application.

Which system should you use?

ORCID This system works with major publisher and academic systems and it’s easy to register. You get an ORCiD, private page and control over what data is exchanged and is seen on your public profile. See example [ ].

ResearcherID ResearcherID is from Thomson Reuters [ ]. Researcher ID and ORCiD can work together to exchange data if you have both ID’s. See an example here [ ].

Scopus ID Scopus ID which is preassigned by Scopus to published authors. You can’t self register. See and example here [ ]. Your are able to correct and update the information attached to your Scopus ID, by contacting Scopus with Updates.


Johnson, R., 2016. Maintaining an Online Scholarly Identity. Available from: [Accessed 29 March 2016].

Utrect University Library. 2016. Researcher Profiles. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Making your research findable

Optimising your publications for the internet search engines. 

You can enhance the impact of your writing by making it easy to find by search engines. This is also called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Typically, it requires a careful choice of keywords to include in your title, abstract and other article metadata. Metadata is information about your article e.g. author supplied keywords. You may just consider this clear and concise writing. If you look at the readings you can see there is some strategy as well. These lessons might equally apply to blog posts and other types of publication.


Green, A.M., 2013, Search Engine Optimization and Your Journal Article: Do you want the bad news first? Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Grieves, C., 2015. Maximising the exposure of your research. Search engine optimisation and why it matters. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

OpenScience, 2014. Why and how should you optimize academic articles for search engines? Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Your Outputs

Putting your research online.

Setting aside the debate about the effects of Open Access, OA removes barriers between you and your reader so it is easy to share across social media. This section looks at tools to publish your research using the Green (self archiving route). Check publishers conditions on SherpaROMEO. In general you can publish a pre or post print in some form of repository.

Institutional Repositories (IR) If your work is associated a university you can deposit their IR if they have one.

figshare [ ] allows you to upload posters, data files and presentations. Gives you a DOI to allow you to share your work.

Mendeley [ ] you can upload your own articles. Mendeley automatically links to these on your Menedley profile page.

PeerJ Preprint Server [ ] Upload pre publication versions of papers for feedback. Note there is a basic screening process for Pre prints. See instructions to authors.

ReseachGate [ ] acts as a repository with facilities to upload and maintain the full text of your work.


Hoyt, J. & Binfield, P., 2013. Who Killed the PrePrint, and Could It Make a Return? Available from: [Accessed 29 March 2016].

Swoger, B., 2013. Understanding your rights: pre-prints, post-prints and publisher versions. Available from: [Accessed 29 March 2016].

Your Impact

Measuring your impact.

You measure your impact by counting mentions of your work or with your published outputs, for example the number of times the full text of your articles are downloaded. Traditionally these impacts or metrics were citation based. However, on the internet all activity is trackable creating a new series of metrics also called altmetrics, for example number of Tweets, mentions on blogs or number of downloads.

Citation Metrics

These tools are free to register and access. The number of citations will vary depending on the dataset from which citations are derived. Google Scholar citations counts tend to be high, ResearcherID lower.

Google Scholar Citations [ ] Tracks your citations and calculates additional metrics e.g. h-index.

ResearchGate (RG) [ ] Calculates citations and downloads by RG users. Other metrics such as the RG Score are not widely accepted.

ResearcherID [ ] Calculates citation metrics.


Altmetric [ ] calculates article level metrics based tracking a number of sources including social media.

The Altmetrics Bookmarklet for your web browser can automatically calculate Altmetrics for articles with a DOI or PubMed.

ImpactStory [ ] Now subscription only but with as 30 day free trial. Draws in bibliographic data from ORCiD, Google Scholar and other sources and generates a profile page where you can track your metrics.

Mendeley [ ] records readership statistics, the number of times a reference is saved into a personal library. This is used by some services, such as ImpactStory as a metric.


altmetrics: a manifesto Available from: [ Accessed 27 March 2016 ]

Matt Holland
NWAS LKS Librarian
October 2016

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Reflections on a Conference – HLG 2016 by LIHNN Members

Katie Nicholas – Health Education England, working across the North West: HLG 2016 was my first HLG conference and my first time presenting at a conference and I loved it! I saw the whole conference process from submitting a proposal, being given the chance to speak with my colleague and getting to experience other sessions and workshops with colleagues. I enjoyed delivering our presentation (we were session 1a so we didn’t have too long to get nervous) and hearing about Mary Hill and Tim Jacobs’ work on their staff Research repository – we were lucky enough to share a session with them. I also really enjoyed Clare Bradshaw’s session on the Talent Management Toolkit as part of Knowledge for Healthcare. Clare delivered a really great workshop with lots of discussion about identifying talent, holding talent conversations and retaining and valuing talented staff and its potential benefit to the network and the organisation. I ended the two days by attending a Knowledge Cafe (a Knowledge Management tool) with the provocative talking point How would you end your profession in the next two years?which was a really clever way of reversing the discussion. By identifying ways in which we could mess the whole thing up it gave us all ideas of how to prevent our worst fears from happening!

Mary Hill – The Christie Library & Knowledge Service: However, experienced you are at giving presentations you still make mistakes.  So I will reflect on the two I am willing to own up to.

What I did:  I tried to answer a question I didn’t fully know the answer to.

What I should have done: Admit it wasn’t my area of expertise and pass it over to my colleague.  Doing this would have saved me appearing rather stupid.  The next time I am in that situation, I will remember the feeling of discomfort I had and take the right course of action.

What I did: I mapped out all my times for the workshop I gave so I didn’t run overtime and kept to it until the last quarter of an hour when I relaxed as I was covering something I regularly do.  I switched into work mode and thought I had the time I would normally have at work and completely ruined the end of the workshop.

What I should have done:  Not relax and kept to my timetable I had drawn up and placed in front of myself.  I felt I had let my audience down badly and rushed everything.  I was aware I was tight on time and had planned for it, not only by drawing up the timetable, but also by telling myself I could just talk about one of the activities rather than getting people to do it.   It has reminded me how important timing is.  I felt unprofessional at the end.  The memory of that feeling will help guard against a repeat.  I will also make a more visible and possible audible reminder with me.


Susan Smith – Joint Education & Training (JET) Library: Knowledge for Healthcare (KfH) programmes dominated the conference (as well as my current work life with touring the launch of the impact toolkit), which is all very good as it’s extremely useful and very, very important.  Many non-NHS librarians I spoke to were in awe of the amount of high quality work being delivered.  NHS librarians may be suffering ennui from the effort of engagement or implementation of the programmes.  For that reason I’m dropping my KfH hat and reflecting on a specific session on User Experience (UX) in Libraries by Jo Milton from University of Cambridge.

In my past career working as a ranger, mapping user experience was key to designing a country park.  If you didn’t build a path correctly, desire lines would appear and scar the landscape.  Lots of little psychological tricks could be used to mark out paths and limit unwanted behaviour.  Some of these things I still do e.g. the staff area has a different coloured carpet.  Most people don’t notice, but they also don’t tend to cross the line.  I also moved the OPAC based on user behaviour so that it was nearer the book stock. A session on user-centred design certainly tweaked my interest.

After librarians at Cambridge re-designed one of their libraries, they were surprised that no-one used it.  Features the librarians thought were helpful, such as placing the computers near the enquiry desk, turned out to be deterrents to the students.  Lessons were learned and for the next re-fit a consultation was planned.

Staff used UX techniques to map out how people used the library.  They shadowed users to experience what their actual journey through the library was like, from coming in to finding what they were looking for.  Some consultations used focus groups to draw the perfect library during which the users were given 3 minutes to draw their ideas and suggestions, then the pen colour was changed and the users had another 3 mins and so on.  People draw what is important to them first, so this helped to prioritise.  Seemingly, if you try this exercise with librarians, we forget to put in our users as we focus on the building itself, whereas our users tend to put us in their drawings.  These drawings were backed-up by post-it note suggestions (as wild as they liked), about what people wanted.  Cocktail bars translated as improved refreshment areas with a bit of lateral thinking! The presentation was full of interesting tips for exercises we can use to better consult with our stakeholders.  The staff library is ordering a copy of UX Lib: User Experience in Libraries: Applying ethnography and human-centred design by Priester, A. and Brog, M. which was recommended during the session or check out @UXLibs.  Keep a look out!


Lisa McLaren – Bridgewater Community Healthcare: The HLG conference was a great mix of serious, “big” issues, around Knowledge for Healthcare and its implementation and how we champion our profession (thanks Nick Poole….), but it was also interspersed with more relaxed human items, such the excellent, thought provoking plenary from Lynn Daniel, from the Expert Patient Programme and also Gareth Allen, a triathlete and triathlon coach who helps people overcome mental illness with exercise.

The biggest thing for me was my first conference presentation, with Michelle Maden and Gil Young, on the LIHNN MOOC on Literature Searching, which went very well, if you overlook me forgetting to move my slides on. I have come home with a lot of notes, contacts and ideas, but if you weren’t lucky enough to come along to the conference and be inspired by the wide variety of information professionals talking about their work and big projects, you can always have a look back at Twitter, with #HLG2016. The mayor features a fair bit…

Emily Hurt – Lancashire Teaching Hospitals: I presented at HLG and found it to be a very positive experience. The HLG Presenters Workshop, organised by LIHNN and delivered by Deborah Daley, was a fantastic way of preparing for the conference and was a great opportunity to get informal and constructive feedback on what can be an intimidating task! It boosted my confidence and meant that when I came to present I felt (relatively!) calm and composed. I shared my session with Lynn Easton, from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, who talked about her work defining users of library space by type. Our presentations complimented each other and I think the audience were interested in both, as we were asked some very thought provoking questions about our projects. You can see Lynne’s slides here, and mine are available here – as mine are mainly images I’ve included my script as well. If you are thinking about presenting at HLG 2018 then I would encourage you to take the plunge. As long as you’re speaking about something you’re passionate about then your enthusiasm and knowledge will help you overcome any nerves.


Sarah Owen – Trust Library Wigan: I would like to give a huge thank you to LIHNN for funding my place at the HLG Conference in Scarborough. This is the first HLG Conference I have attended and my first conference for many years.  I didn’t really know what to expect and was impressed with the whole atmosphere and experience. Everyone was very welcoming and it was great to meet so many lovely people and make new friends. There was a balance of expanding ideas, introduction to new ideas and proposals, reinforcing current practice, discovering new products and putting faces to names and meeting new people. 

There were so many interesting sessions to go to and it was difficult to make a choice at times, so I was pleased to see all the sessions available on the HLG website so I don’t feel I’ve missed anything. The whole event was full of inspiring moments both on a professional and a personal level. 

One of the lasting impressions for me is recurrence of the theme on impact and I was keen to find out as much as I could to take back to the workplace. The session ‘Practical tools to collect evidence of impact using the online Impact Toolkit’ provided me with just that opportunity; it was a fun session presented by Susan Smith and Doug Knock with background, practical exercises, opportunity for discussion and the all-important questionnaire, interview and case study tools which will be put into practice. 

I found the sessions by Lynn Daniel (From a patient’s perspective) and Gareth Allen (Bishop and Le Fanu Memorial Lecture: PT your brain – The benefits of exercise on mental health) to be both inspirational and motivational. Lynn presented  techniques from her Expert Patient Programme Courses on changing thoughts and feelings with a positive approach and on developing coping strategies and improving confidence in such an inspirational way. Gareth was motivational in giving suggestions to make tangible measurable improvements to mental wellbeing through physical activity. In giving details about their roles and programmes, they demonstrated  the many benefits for their patients but they also made their ideas relevant to others in their day to day lives.

David Stewart – Health Care Libraries Unit North: Scarborough. Thick fog for two days. Nice hotel on the cliff top which might have had good views.

The hotel put me in mind of my first HLG Conference in 1985 in Coventry. The thing that struck me then was “nice hotel”.  We stayed at the De Vere Hotel and the meeting report in Health Libraries Review notes it was a “four star hotel … with a colour television and a sewing kit in every room”.

The theme for that 1985 conference was “Impact and image: succeeding with public relations”- some themes seem to be everlasting . I’m afraid I remember very little about the content and certainly hadn’t remembered that there was a visit to the Barnes Medical Library at the University of Birmingham, where I started my career as a Library Assistant in 1978. I see from the review that the great and good were speakers: Michael Carmel, Maureen Forrest, Bob Gann. Didn’t I see Bob at EAHIL in Seville this year?

I think I’ve been to every HLG Conference since 1985, save two, most notably missing the Aberystwyth conference which was apparently a blessing – only those that were present will know what I mean. A few really stick out in my mind, Exeter was very hilly; Canterbury because I helped organise it, Edinburgh was so far out of the centre that we saw nothing of the city, Oxford was very hot and Eastbourne was very tidy. I liked Eastbourne.

So, HLG in Scarborough, 2016. I hope that this one will be more memorable because it was a really great conference: there was excellent networking, there was a good exhibition and above all there were interesting and engaging presentations. A fantastic key note from Patrick Mitchell and Louise Goswami on Knowledge for Healthcare (KfH), an insight into writing a book for Facet by Gil Young and Tracey Pratchett and a thoughtful workshop on the future of the LQAF by Clare Edwards, Dominic Gilroy and Linda Ferguson, all bravely speaking up in a room with a glass roof and heavy rain. And, yes, I gave a presentation too – something on the workforce element of KfH with Sue Lacey Bryant at my side to answer the difficult questions. I note I am still nervous before speaking and I wonder if Michael and Maureen and Bob were nervous too in 1985. LIHNN Members  

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