How good is your Twitter account? by Matt Holland

How is your Library Twitter account performing? How do you know if it’s doing well?   Questions that have bothered me for a while.  More now that I am putting an extra effort into upping the (re)Tweet.  I also notice that colleagues are trying harder too. Branching out into creative photography, even adopting mascots! Jobe the Dog (left) has volunteered to be the NWAS LKS mascot on a Treat per Tweet basis.  Oh yes, and before you read further the statistically sophisticated might want to find an interesting spreadsheet to read.  You’re probably going to get stressed by the abuse of numbers that follows.


What does an average Library Twitter account look like?

To find the answer I (more or less) randomly selected 50 NHS Library Twitter accounts and averaged the key numbers.  Here they are …

Of course, there were a few outliers, some libraries don’t bother Tweeting and some seem to do nothing else.  So here is a frequency count on a scale from anyone remember the Twitter Password? to Tweettastic.

One other interesting number. The average NHS Library Twitter account is about four years old.

More stats

Apparently, there are currently six thousand Tweets per second.  See the Twitter Usage Stats real time Tweet counter.  An NHS Library Twitter Rate measured in seconds seems like overkill. The same goes for minutes, hours, days and months.  So, years it is.  The average Tweet rate is 766 Tweets per year per account which works out at just under two Tweets a day.   Most are in the lower end of the distribution but some accounts are really going for it.

Anything else

What else can you do with these numbers? Well what about a Do you feel loved ratio.  We all check our account notifications every now and again to see if anyone has noticed/liked our Tweets.   The number of Tweet to Likes.   The average is 49 Tweets for every Like.  Some are clearly unloved, 1 like for every 266 Tweets and some are just the talk of the Library Twitter sphere with more Likes than Tweets, that’s a Do you feel loved ratio of 0.50:1 or two likes for every Tweet. That figure does seem incredible though!

The Big Reveal

So how is the NWAS LKS Twitter account doing?  Not really a secret but compared to the average its doing all right.

If you want to help the stats along please visit Well, you have to try don’t you.

Matt Holland
Librarian,  NWAS LKS
NWAS LKS is supported by HCLU North


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LIHNN Library Managers Meeting – 12 September 2017

12 September 2017
LIHNN Library Managers Meeting
10.00 – 15.30
Barton Grange Hotel, 746 – 768 Garstang Road, Barton, PR3 5AA
Sponsored by SAGE Publishing


Knowledge for Healthcare, Evaluation Framework & HCLU Update – David Stewart
See also Evaluation Framework – measuring our success and Evaluation Framework

STEP project – Tracey Pratchett

SAGE Video/ SAGE Research Methods – Dominique Pelc

Emergent Technology Group – David Low

Getting Started: Ideas, information and reasons to get involved with Patient and public information – Victoria Treadway and John Gale

At the end of this session the participants were asked what they would do back in the workplace. Their responses are below.

When I’m back at work I will…

  • Discuss HIW 2018 at the next Library Team Meeting
  • Raise awareness with team. Create working doc of HIW ideas
  • Writing my strategy and incorporating KH framework – Teambrief
  • Collaboration / partnership with Dell Belluga College
  • Health information week 2018. Have carers and patient information stands at both inpatient patients libraries
  • Speak to the public health development network to see if we can do anything in partnership
  • Chase up regular slot on hospital radio
  • Talk with team and plan for H Info week. Contact McMillan centre
  • Contact St Helens Public Library Service again with new ideas for HIW. (Sessions by me for public in public library setting)
  • Contact John HWB person re: HIW and health walks. Look @ Health Walks
  • See if the information standard is being applied with Trust and see if we can get involved
  • Add it as part of a job description workscreen
  • Arrange a meeting to start planning HIW 2018
  • Apply to be a quality improvement champion in my Trust and incorporate patient info
  • Make contact with local public libraries
  • Contact our local public library service to plan activities in advance
  • Contact a Bolton public health colleague
  • Contact vanguard team manager to offer training to wellbeing support workers
  • Contact our Trust engagement lead to see how we can support
  • Link with PPI team. Promote KLS to info, MGT colleagues and service innovation via bulletin
  • I will cascade this information to the team. Contact MacMillan information and invite to our strategy session in Nov 2017
  • HIW 2018. Contact the W team, public health libraries, MacMillan and patient info group to look at joint event
  • HIW 2018. Start planning now!
  • Add it to project team meeting agenda for discussion

See also: Patient and Public Information

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Funding Opportunities for LIHNN Members

HCLU and the LIHNN Co-ordinating Committee are keen to support the principle of knowledge sharing and professional development across the LKS community.
The Knowledge Sharing and Professional Development Fund has been set up to enable LIHNN members to participate in activities related to knowledge dissemination.  Each application will be judged on a case by case basis, and there is no annual deadline for applications.
The Knowledge Sharing and Professional Development Fund is available to any LIHNN member who needs financial assistance for activities related to knowledge dissemination. These could be any of the following:
  • Attendance at a conference to present a paper or poster. This doesn’t have to be an LKS conference, applications from members wanting to present at healthcare conferences are encouraged. Funds could cover registration fees, travel, accommodation or a combination of all three.
  • Open access fees for journal articles. To encourage LKS professionals to publish open access articles, part or full funding of fees for publication of articles in journals may be supported.
  • Attendance at a conference for professional development purposes. Applicants will need to demonstrate how they will share knowledge after they have attended.
  • Running a workshop for other LKS staff. Funds could cover venue hire, catering, production of training materials.
  • Poster printing costs. This could be posters for a conference or a LIHNN knowledge sharing event.
  • Research associated costs. Whilst we don’t have the capacity to fund extra staff hours to undertake research, there is the possibility of costs for software, online subscriptions to tools or other associated expenses to be met.
  • Training courses for professional development purposes. This could be outside the field of LKS, and could include things like project management, research methods, writing for publication courses etc.
  • Anything else related to knowledge sharing that isn’t covered by the above list. The more innovative the idea the better!
If you would like to discuss whether the fund is appropriate for your needs, need help with your application or wish to apply for funding then , please contact Gil Young  directly.
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What’s in your signature? by Matt Holland

The library signature has been gathering pixel dust for a while now.   A refresh is overdue and as it happens it’s near the top of the Summer Holiday to do list.   To boot, lots of graphics laden emails have been dropping into the library email box recently. Jealous? Yes, I am.

Where to start?

Well, for evidence-based signature redesign only a survey will do. So here are the results of a survey of 50 (n=50) eMail signatures from the NWAS LKS Inbox. Actually, it was 70. Following sound research practice the survey proforma was tested with a sample of 20 to iron out the bumps.

What do we learn?

The survey revealed something of the blindingly obvious and a little more besides. The essential three items to included are Job Title, Name and Phone Number.

eMail address is popular, but this is also embedded in the metadata of the message. Do you need it in your signature as well? You can find it in Properties or just click Reply. It may not be an issue unless you are up against a word or space restriction.

There is an overlap between postal address and the name of the organisation / trust you work for. Personally, I very rarely need a postal address but I have on more than one occasion tried to tease out where someone works from their eMail address. The name of my employer is on my required list.

Qualifications aren’t that popular. It could depend on whether you want to convey a “Call me Dave” familiarity or impress with the extent of your qualifications.   You might think that a Job Title with a word as weighty as Librarian in it gets the message across nicely. There may also be something in there about the formal/informal culture of the organisation you work in. Social Media weren’t that popular either. Profile pages (LinkedIn, ORCiD etc.) scored a big fat zero.

Graphics or no Graphics?

For those that did include graphics, Corporate logos were popular as well as logos for resources (Up To Date etc.). The Twitter tweetie put in an appearance as well as a showing for national PR campaigns, A Million Decisions and My Name is …

Despite the opening paragraph I do have reservations about graphics. Yes, they are eye catching and yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. However, they take up a lot of screen space, cause filtering issues and they don’t always display well. Colorful text, tastefully done might be as effective? Bottom line is using Webmail gives a very inconsistent display. As I use that more than the desktop eMail software I will pass graphics for now.

Missed marketing opportunity?

For the Virtual Library (e.g. NWAS LKS), the eMail signature is the perfect ambient advertising medium.   It is the one thing that goes to all library users at one time or another. However, only a minority of signatures in the survey included promotional messages for resources or library services.

For NWAS LKS it’s a lesson relearned. Working mainly through Webmail with its unreasonably stingy signature word allowance, the promotional message included a few years back was ditched in favour of keeping a full postal address or something less useful. That was a bad decision! The message is back. It might even get squeezed into the as yet unwritten library Marketing Plan. The only challenge is thinking of something short and pithy enough to catch the eye. Suggestions in an eMail please …

Matt Holland
NWAS LKS, supported by HCLU North.

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CILIP conference 2017 reflections – Victoria Treadway

This year’s CILIP conference was the best CILIP conference I’ve been to; the CILIP team seem to have really stepped up a gear.  On arrival we were invited to show support for the #factsmatter campaign by posing in the CILIP photo booth (it would have been rude to refuse).

I did two things at CILIP 2017 that I’ve never done before: 1. Join an optional breakfast session and 2. Observe a CILIP board meeting.

The breakfast session was to discuss the CILIP ethics review which aims to present a new ethics framework for the information profession.  Facilitator and CILIP Trustee, John Trevor-Allen observed that perhaps ours in the only profession where you could host an ethics breakfast the morning after the conference drinks reception and still get a good turnout; clearly this is an issue that is important to information professionals.  I was keen to attend because I felt it was important that the ethical issues in health libraries were represented.  We are all aware of the ethical principles that doctors and nurses practice under; our ethical principles as librarians (such as neutrality, equal access and inclusion) should be pivotal in engendering trust with stakeholders, protect our users and enable better judgement and decision making.  You can contribute your own thoughts by completing the Ethics Survey and the framework will be launched at CILIP conference 2018 in Brighton.

Conference delegates were invited to observe the CILIP Board meeting which took place over lunch on Day 2.  This offered a fascinating insight into the workings of the board and particularly the role of the Trustees in ensuring that CILIP acts in the best interest of its members.  It was refreshing to hear the board discussing their reflections on the conference (as it was still taking place) and digesting the emerging themes.  I left the conference with a greater understanding of the role of the CILIP board and feeling more connected with my professional body than I think I have ever done in my career so far.

Victoria Treadway
Library & Knowledge Service Lead
Wirral University Teaching Hospital
0151 604 7223 / ext. 8610

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Initial Conference reflections – Rosalind McNally

Highlights of the CILIP Conference for me were:

  • Hearing Carla Hayden and Luciano Floridi speak, and equally, listening to delegates asking difficult questions in response
  • Discussing way ahead with CILIP staff,  Nick  Poole and group Chairs and committee members
  • Getting outside organisation for a day to meet people across sectors.  Spent whole tea break discussing our sectors and current pressures with Kate Lander from BAE Systems. Reminded me how important it is to be able to identify similar issues across sectors, which may appear when you are in it to be so specific to you and your environment.
  • Meeting people who work in same network but hardly ever see face-to-face
  • Overall, initial reflections are it has been motivational, made contact to plan further CPD
  • Great opportunity to attend international event in my home City & socialise as well as keep up to date. Chatted at MOSI to staff from British Library, finally plan to visit
  • Sharing what is going well, what is going badly, and what is not reported on – filling in the gaps in evidence-base. Discussing e-books with Ceri Williams from South Staffordshire and Shropshire.
  • Chance to find out more about leading suppliers and brands
  • Taking part in development of new plans and strategies, like Ethics Review. The conference gave me a structure and focus to go away and participate through the survey.
  • Access theory, ideas and tools from other disciplines – marketing, communications that you you can turn that into an action, very practical, timely input to practice.
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Phew! We made it … by Helen Kiely and Lorna Dawson

Almost one year on, Helen and Lorna take a look at how the first years of their MLIS courses went.


What did you enjoy most?

HK: I really enjoyed one assignment on looking at the future of libraries in different sectors and the governing body papers and reports. It was interesting looking at what the future directions are and how that affects what we do at present. The assignment gave me a lot of scope to look at case studies and examples of best practice which I found really useful to see what worked well and what hasn’t.

HK: I also enjoyed the opportunities to chat with my fellow students many of whom come from different library and information backgrounds so have different perspectives and experiences.

LD: I really enjoyed a group project we did where we had to present how we would implement a new innovation to a library service. It allowed me to think a bit like a library manager which was cool and an experience I wouldn’t usually have. It helped me put theory like organisational structure and marketing – which can sometimes feel a bit distant – into context. The girls I worked with were great, we worked really well together, put our all in and it definitely paid off.


What do you know now that you didn’t before?

HK: A lot! Haha. Seriously though all my assignments and lectures have taught me new things- I’ve been able to spend time actually researching different things and being able to see what research has gone before which not only gives me a better understanding of what we do now (and why we do it) but also gives me plenty of ideas to share with the team.

LD: How openathens and the linkresolver work. My final essay was about extending e-resource access and I had to explain about openathens and linkresolver problems. I was on a tight deadline (because I misread it) and could have kept it vague but I wanted to be able to explain it fully so I went away and researched it. I’m really glad I did. When I submitted that essay I knew no matter what mark I got, I was happy with it because I’d learnt something valuable from writing it.


How has it helped in your job role?

HK: I often come away from lectures going ‘Oh, so that’s why we do it like that’ or ‘I wonder how we could take those ideas and implement them here’ which is really fun- it certainly fires up the imagination.

LD: Yeah I had those kind of moments when we studied things like copyright and intellectual property. It helped me understand the reasons behind the processes in inter-library loans.

HK: It’s also given me a lot more practical understanding about the strategy side of things. One assignment I struggled with at first was writing a PID. I found it challenging because you had to create your fictitious library and organisation (which involved a lot of research of different organisations hierarchies!) but I really enjoyed the actual process of writing it and considering the eventualities and ways to mitigate risk. It’s helped me understand more within our workplace.

LD: Learning about and reflecting on team roles has helped me to better understand our team dynamic at work. I already knew it was a good one, now I have a better appreciation of why. It’s helped me understand my preferred way of working so I can now consciously try to work that way. It’s also highlighted things I might struggle with, which kind of makes them easier to address and hopefully overcome.


What are you looking forward to next year?

HK: We’ve got a research methods module coming up that I’m looking forward to as it’s been a long time since I last did something on this and I’m looking forward to finding out new ideas. There’s also going to be more about Knowledge Management, a concept I still find challenging to get my head around so I’m looking forward to that!

LD: I have to say, I’m also looking forward to the Research Methods and doing super intense research into a topic that I’m interested in. May not feel quite the same way by the end of it but we’ll see. I’m also looking forward to learning more about information literacy. It’s something that’s been touched upon a bit but not much this year. I think is really important for the future so am excited to learn more.


What will you do differently in the coming year?

HK: I’m not going to read the student google plus group the week before an assignment is due! The other google plus pages for modules often have useful information close to deadlines, but I’ve found the student one becomes an echo-chamber with everyone worried about getting their assignment Just Perfect. I think I will stress less if I don’t get caught up in it!

HK: On a perhaps more boring note I’m going to try a new way of notetaking that I found online (because yes, of course I google stuff like that in my spare time) which involves putting summaries on the supporting readings in a box alongside lecture summaries. I think it will help me remember what I’ve read, rather than flipping between pages so I’m going to give that a go!

LD: My aim is to read around the course more. I kind of got into doing this in second term and wish I’d started doing it earlier. It helped me feel more confident contributing ideas in class. One supplementary essay on change management actually helped me understand the changes that were going on at work in the Trust merger.

LD: I also want to go to more NLPN events. I attended one this year on negotiating e-journal licences. There was a guy from JISC who explained about what they do which was helpful because I didn’t have a clue before. It’s nice to meet people who are in the same boat – just starting out – and the events are usually free which is great!

Lorna Dawson and Helen Kiely

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