The library can save you time so you can save lives.
I’m always amused by the comments I get when I’m asked what I do for a living. It has included “Do you go round the wards with a trolley?” and “It must be nice to be able to read all the books”.
As for the latter comment, even if I had the time, the finer details of pathophysiology would not be my idea of a page-turner!
So, I thought I’d try to remove the mystique of what goes on behind that library desk over the course of a typical week. In doing so, I hope that you may be able to see ways in which the library service can help you in your own role.
Monday – Supporting Students
Monday morning and a new intake of medical students have arrived at Ayr Hospital. In a memory test worthy of “The Generation Game”, I give them an induction in what they need to know about the library; access, door code, open access wifi, using memory sticks, library catalogue, self-issue machine etc.
Then it’s time to check our Twitter account (@NHSAAALibrary) for notifications and any useful tweets to pass on.
Literature searching for evidence-based information takes over the rest of the day and into Tuesday.
Tuesday – Finding Evidence to Support Patient Care
Literature searches for the latest evidence and providing summary digests are a main part of our role within the healthcare community, and also the most rewarding. Today, one search is on service improvement, the other on the latest evidence for treating a patient with multiple conditions.
Later, I have a teleconference with other NHS librarians (aka “knowledge brokers”) on developments with national projects, such as The Knowledge Network – NHS Scotland’s information portal.
Being part of a wider network is so important when there’s only a few of us in any one Board. It gives us the ability to collaborate on larger projects.
Wednesday – Information Skills Training
It is held at Greenwood Resource Centre, Irvine, thanks to collaboration with North Ayrshire Council Library Service.
We are also joined by Rob Westwood from NES who talks about the Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) website. Our role is expanding to include Health and Social Care Partnerships – a new challenge for us.
Thursday – Promoting the Library Service
Today I’m presenting at two audit meetings – Anaesthetics and Ophthalmology. The main message is that Library Services saves clinicians time and provides them with up-to-date information to inform their practice. Promotion of the service and the resources available to staff and students is a constant part of my role.
Even though staff may have been with the organisation for years, they are still surprised at the range of ways in which we can help them. If you have used our services in the past and found them useful, please pass this on to your olleagues.
I also provide free pens, which always goes down well.
Friday – New Books, New Library, New Horizons
I have time to do some new book selection and ordering on Friday before going to Woodland View for an update on the move to our new library there. It’s great to have the library in the centre of the new facility for easy access by staff and students and it’s close to the coffee shop too. I can’t wait to see it open.
So that’s my week in a nutshell. I hope it inspires you to come in or drop me a line if you are looking for the latest information to inform your practice.
This week’s blog was written by Julie Wands, Library Manager (South), NHS Ayrshire & Arran