Each year Wiley hold a European Library Advisory Board. Librarians from all over Europe, from different library sectors (mainly Higher Education) attend. They invite four Early Career Professionals as an opportunity for CPD and this year I was lucky enough to be invited by David Stewart to their Board in Oxford. The topics discussed are confidential but I can talk about what I gained from the experience.
For me the biggest part of the meeting was the spirit of collaboration and learning, both from the publishers and between librarians. The Board was a great opportunity to hear from librarians across Europe, from varied services, about the issues that matter to them. It was an opportunity, for me and David, as representatives of Health, to have our voices heard in what can be an academic heavy meeting, and for us to hear perspectives from outside health. The issues academic libraries are dealing with are often less of a priority in NHS libraries e.g. Research Data Management and Open Access, and it made us question what we as NHS Library Knowledge Services are doing to support these issues and if there is anything more we should be doing.
It was also helpful for publishers to hear about some of the different issues we as health librarians and information professionals encounter, and how we can work together to deliver better services to our users. What was also clear is that libraries have very different user needs and expectations, I’m sure this varies across NHS libraries too, which made me consider how we can better understand our users and continue to deliver the kinds of information/ services that they require. The event was also a great opportunity to network, develop advocacy skills and stay in touch with the wider library world and I’d recommend any other Early Career Professionals attend if they are given the opportunity next year.