HLG Nursing Bulletin Vol. 39 (1) 

Phillip Barlow
HLG Nursing Bulletin editor

In November 2019, HLG and the wider world of health libraries were saddened to hear of the passing of Shane Godbolt. A formidable advocate of the benefits of our profession, Shane had worked in the field of health libraries since 1972, first in higher education, and then in the NHS, before moving her efforts to the wider community of health librarianship, particularly in Africa. This issue of HLG Nursing Bulletin is dedicated to her and the work that she passionately continued to do.

Many in the profession now will remember Shane from her work with Partnerships in Health Information (Phi), and other organisations advocating for the leadership role that libraries can take in improving health outcomes, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. But, like many of us, she started out working in libraries themselves. Here, her former colleague Howard Hague reminisces on their time working together in the library of Charing Cross Medical School (subsequently Charing Cross & Westminster).

There have been many tributes to Shane written, and so, to follow on from Howard Hague’s recollections, we thought it would be nice for Shane herself to tell the stories of her work. So, with grateful thanks to Health Information and Libraries Journal, Focus on International Library and Information Work, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, we’ve reprinted three pieces that Shane co-authored over the last decade. From 2015, Shane and Jackie Cheesborough discuss the role that UK health librarians can play in the support of their colleagues in developing countries, with particular reference to the various organisations that undertake this work.

From 2014, Shane, alongside Lucy Reid, look at the work done by Phi in setting up a partnership between libraries in the UK and Tanzania over 10 years as a means of improving public access to health information through aiding in the professional development of Tanzanian librarians, with a focus on two librarians undertaking the Commonwealth Professional Fellowship.

From 2010 is a piece Shane authored with Emma Stanley and Paul Sturges discussing the wider role of partnerships, in relation to Public Access to Health Information, based around work done by Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE), part of IFLA, to develop workshop materials on health issues for libraries to use as part of their public health work.

On 2 December 2019, CILIP’s Information Professional published an interview that Shane gave the previous October, when she discussed the work that she had done within the international community, dating back to her time as the Librarian of Charing Cross Medical School. You can read this interview can by clicking here. Tom Roper, the Clinical Librarian at Brighton & Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service, has published his own memories of working for, with and alongside Shane, which you can read by clicking here.

I never had the opportunity to meet Shane, but I know a number of people who worked alongside her and knew her well. The work she began, and so passionately followed through, even to the end of her life, continues with people as passionate about it as she was.

As ever, we want articles from you. This publication wouldn’t exist without your contributions, so the more the better. Tell us if you’ve got a new service, or have obtained a new resource. Tell us if you’ve been to a study day or event. Tell us if you have some burning opinion about the profession that you really, really want to get off your chest. Tell us if you’re a first-time writer and would like to dip your toe into the water. We’d love to hear from you. Details on how you can contribute are at the end of the issue, and can be found on our website.

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