I am the manager of a small, specialist health library. We have 12 Operating Theatres but under 60 inpatient beds. There are probably about 1000 staff in total (fewer if you go by Whole Time Equivalent).
The library has a FT Manager, 0.75 Library Supervisor and 0.4 Library Assistant. Consequently I often have to fulfil ILL requests and source articles for our own users as well as performing all the professional and managerial library duties. It makes for a varied and interesting but rather jam-packed working life.
At the moment I’m working on my LQAF – completing the spread sheet and finding all the evidence. This takes up a large part of my day at present but it’s interspersed with attending meetings, carrying out Training sessions, performing Expert Searches, doing staff Appraisals, completing my Mandatory & Statutory training, troubleshooting problems with the photocopier, chasing orders and payments, putting in bids for funding, and so on.
Of course, I’m aware that we’re a very small library, but I do find it very difficult sometimes to complete everything I need to do and, for the LQAF, fulfil expectations. I know of another library (yes, it is huge and allied to a university) which has 7 librarians + the library manager and 2 university librarians as well as library assistants. How can I, on my own, compete with that?
I’d love to get more involved in Knowledge Management within our Trust or find time to write a proper Marketing Plan but I can’t be in 2 (or more) places at a time and I seem to be constantly juggling half a dozen tasks, occasionally managing to complete one, but more often than not being interrupted before I’ve got very far. Current Awareness and Horizon Scanning – we have the software but when will I find time to get to grips with setting everything up so that it runs automatically, rather than relying on my noticing a useful piece of information and manually forwarding it to the relevant people?
LQAF – a good idea in theory. A means to drive improvements and raise standards. For me, personally, it’s a nightmare producing the evidence that we do what we do. Yes, we’ve done our annual survey and yes, I’ve collated all the results. The problem is, my computer won’t display the results. All the charts are just blank and I don’t have the time to re-enter all the data and IT are too busy to help at present.
So for me, the next month will consist of 10-12-hour working days as I try to get together all the information I need.
I’m beginning feel stretched too far and wonder if, one of these days, I’ll snap like an overstretched rubber band.
Library Services Manager
Queen Victoria Hospital