Another set of top tips for setting up a clinical librarian service by Sue Jennings

  • Don’t Panic!
  • Take time to get to know how the hospital works, find out the Trust’s Vision & Objectives
  • Find out what services the hospital provides and growth areas.
  • Take time to get to know your subject area, don’t rush, digest and remember
  • If you are not sure, ask!  Hours spent wondering can be saved by simply asking a few more questions, develop your communication skills.
  • Don’t just communicate by email! Pick up the telephone or suggest a quick 10 minute chat.
  • You are not on your own! Your problem is probably not unique.  If you get stuck ask your network of North West librarians or ask on LisMedical or any other lists.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day! It takes time to establish yourself, give yourself realistic goals, 6 months, 12 months, plan long range.
  • It is impossible to capture everyone who works in your trust. Be realistic.
  • Make contact with your Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists they are a very active research group.
  • Make yourself part of Junior Doctors induction offer your services.
  • Talk to people when they come in the library, be approachable.
  • Remember, you are a support service.
  • Make links with the training and development programme
  • Do they have an active research programme is the trust linked with any Universities.
  • Make the first move, don’t wait to be asked, offer your services.
  • Develop problem solving skills and offer solutions.
  • Pilot ideas and use skills in marketing your unique services.
  • Be approachable, friendly and welcoming a smile can make a difference.
  • Show empathy, understanding and solutions, with your support for research.
  • Be organised. Develop systems to organise your information effectively.
  • Get yourself involved in the wider community, shadow other clinical librarians.
  • Visit other library organisations; Universities, Colleges, Schools see what techniques they use to engage users.
  • Be innovative, think outside the box, be creative
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new
  • Put yourself forward to be part of special groups or steering groups, offer and demonstrate your services.
  • Be involved in induction, either by presentations or ‘market stalls’
  • Keep evidence of your impact, develop questionnaires.
  • Attend events in the hospitals, talk to staff, find out there needs and wants.
  • Produce examples of what you can do, showcase your talents.
  • Find out which groups are active in evidence-based practice, make contact and offer to attend meetings.
  • Develop interesting, interactive training, training that you would like to attend.
  • Produce subject guides to target specific staff, build relations.
  • Current awareness bulletins/service targetted to specific groups within the trust

Sue Jennings, Clinical Librarian
Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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