- Understand the culture of your organisation and the NHS
- Where does your work sit in the story of that organisation and the community? Take time to listen to people and sit down face-to-face. Over time this can be a good way to build reputation alongside proactive publicity.
- If you are working in a Trust that has had a Library Service developing for a while; an Acute Trust with a narrower range of staff roles; with educational and training via less and established academic pathways – success and getting people signed up or picking up unmet needs maybe more straightforward than a newer Library Service because parts of the system are already aligned; one that covers Primary Care, Mental Health, Social Care or a wider range of roles and training routes might take longer or involve getting new resources . This is understandable so don’t be too hard on yourself or expect a big impact overnight.
- Consider the geography of the Trust and the relationship to service points, how people access the service and where and how staff work.
- When you are applying for the job think about how (car vs. Public transport) you will travel across the Trust, and the policies of the Trust on staff travel and reimbursement. Make sure this is discussed with your Line Manager and expectations on both sides clear.
- Get a SATNAV – or a large print A-Z!
- Use the LIHNN Network of Groups, or whatever is available in your region to work effectively to ensure events and development activities are covered across the Region. This might not always mean you attending everything especially as more services and training are delivered across a network.
- Reach out to non – NHS providers and be prepared to explain what you do using no Library terms apart from “Library”!
- Clinical Librarians and Outreach Librarians are both names for roles that basically involve picking up unmet or existing needs for Library Services across the economy, in our case the NHS. This type of role exists in other clinical and non-clinical services in the NHS and across sectors. The roles have become popular with changing ways of working in Libraries and a response to NHS policies. Use NHS Jobs for job descriptions for Clinical/Front-line and other Corporate Service roles with an information giving element. They can be a useful source for seeing how this type of work fits into a number of contexts and our transferable skills!
Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust