UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

UHMLG (University Health and Medical Librarians Group) Conference 2009

Posted by sarahw9 on 8 July, 2009



Last week I enjoyed a very brief visit to this small and friendly conference of health librarians.  I was one of the speakers, talking about our project ‘Using web 2.0 to cultivate information literacy via the construction of personal learning environments’  at Leicester last year.

Sadly I had only made the Friday morning of the conference.   There I managed to catch Isla Kuhn sharing some of her expiences using web 2.0 at the University of Cambridge.  Using clickers in during her presentation we soon found out that of those in the room 68% didn’t use Twitter, but 14% did specifically for their library.  I admit I was surprised that so many are not using Twitter, perhaps I’m in more of a clique than I realised.  Isla described herself as a ‘complete non-paper librarian’  which raised a smile, well thats me too and I’m sure quite a few of others could say the same.  Do we have the right job-title?  Thats another issue.  The work of the Arcadia Project at Cambridge, exploring the role of the academic library in the digital age is worth watching, and they have already produced a favourite of ours here at Leicester, the science@cambridge portal

Sara Clarke from the Royal Free Hospital also gave an entertaining presentation on ‘Memoirs of an Invisible Librarian’, describing how her library had set about raising its profile at the hospital.  They worked on embedding their services, using the Map of Medicine to create a patient journey as it happens specifically at the Royal Free Hospital, to help clinicians redesign their services.  This way they reintroduced a new set of clinicians to the library services.  They did alot of the traditional profile raising activities, getting physically in the way of staff offering an ipod shuffle as a prize drawer in hospital corridors.  One interesting point was their posters campaign which promoted not just the services but what their staff could do for their users.  This is relevant to us – we need to show we are adding value and emphasise our human skills – not just say that we subscribe to a range of databases.  Sara said their membership rates doubled during that period.  They have also set up a clinical library service (we can smugly say we have an excellent clinical library service here at Leicester already) and have set about making their services known to senior management.  This sounds familiar but its continual process we can’t afford to forget. 


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