HLG’s Bursary winners

HLG Nursing Bulletin Vol 37 (3/4)

HLG provides a number of grants and bursaries that allow us to aid and support the continuing professional development of our members, amongst which are conference bursaries that allow people to attend various national and international conferences, including our own offering. At this year’s conference, HLG awarded bursaries in three categories:

  • ‘First-Timer’ – supporting HLG members that had never attended the HLG Conference before.
  • ‘Active Participant’ – supporting HLG members that were presenting a paper, hosting a workshop, or submitting a poster.
  • ‘Student’ – supporting full-time or part-time LIS students to attend a conference.

Here we present some of the winners of HLG’s 2018 Conference bursaries, with their reflections on the conference. More can be seen in the latest issue of HLG Newsletter. If you’d like to find out more about HLG’s various bursaries and awards, or apply for one yourself, go to the Awards and Bursaries page on our website.

Helen Licence (First-Timer bursary)
Clinical Support Librarian,
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The workshop that I found most useful was the Social Media and Collaborative Tools Knowledge Café run by Holly Case Wyatt, Tom Roper and Emma Aldrich.  This was useful for both the content and style of the workshop. We discussed using a range of social media tools to promote library services, some of which I had never used. Our library currently has a Twitter account, and after recommendations from the workshop, I am going to investigate Facebook, Instagram and a library blog. The presenters explained how to run a knowledge café – pick a strong question to encourage debate, allocate each table to one aspect of the topic with a piece of paper for notes, then move tables every ten minutes, leaving one person to fill in the next group on what you have discussed. It is an excellent way to get to talk to the majority of people in the room, and to stop discussion getting bogged down on a particular point. It would be a useful model to try on regional library study days, or in student training sessions.

I would recommend attending the HLG conference because it is an excellent way to step out of your daily work round and think about your library service in a wider context. It is particularly useful if, like me, you are new to the health sector. I learnt about many different initiatives from other library services, not just through the formal presentations, but from reading the poster presentations, and talking to other delegates in workshops or during break periods. Everyone was very keen to share information and pass on tips they had learned. It was interesting to hear how many speakers had simply had an idea for a new service or research project, which had then expanded into something much bigger than they had ever imagined, and they all encouraged you to similarly follow through with your own ideas. I have returned to work with a notebook full of online tools to investigate, training ideas to try, initiatives to study and see if we can replicate – and I shared some of my LKS’ initiatives too, such as our Health and Wellbeing resource guides. I have made new contacts, learnt a great deal – and would love to attend again!

Deborah Lepley (Active participant bursary)
Library & Information Services Manager
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

The presentation that really struck me was Heather Steele’s workshop on the QI Bookcase. Heather showcased how she worked with the QI team to develop a virtual bookcase that included links to lessons learned, guidelines, staff publications, active research projects and journals. This struck me as something I could take back to my own trust and discuss with our QI lead and some of Heather’s messages resonated with me: engage early with your stakeholders, use the same terminology as them, and grab opportunities (in Heather’s case the intranet redevelopment). Quality Improvement seemed to be a popular theme of the conference, and even though I didn’t attend all the sessions I found it was really useful being on Twitter during the conference as it allowed me to follow other workshops and presentations.

I also took a lot away from Kate Misso’s presentation on systematic reviews. Even though this was immediately after my own presentation, and I was a little shell shocked, Kate was full of practical tips and ideas for working on systematic reviews, and improving their quality. I am increasingly being asked about systematic reviews, and have helped with a few, and one tip I took away from Kate is not to limit to English only. Even if the reviewers cannot translate the articles, non-English papers should be included in the references so future reviewers are aware and can possibly follow them up.

I have worked in health libraries for a number of years, and yet this was only my second HLG. It is a great environment to meet people of course, but it is also incredibly stimulating to learn about all the great things that are happening in health libraries and beyond. I am grateful to HLG for the bursary that allowed me to attend and recommend anyone thinking of applying to give it a go!

Penny Dunn (First timer bursary)
Academic Librarian – Health Sciences
Leeds Beckett University

Dr Mark Murphy’s discussion regarding the complex nature of EBM and the impact of oversimplified explanations was the more engaging part of the conference for me. He used the phrase “linguistic deceit” to highlight that the use of simple language gives the impression that conditions and treatments are straightforward. He also argued that we live in a “post-complex world”, where there is an expectation that everything is easy. We have inadvertently created a binary view of healthcare – “I am ill, I need THE TREATMENT” – when things just aren’t that simple.

We need to create balance between understanding and reality and work towards a shared understanding of medicine. We shouldn’t oversimplify the explanation, by doing this we could create more confusion. Although I don’t work in the NHS it made me think about how I present information to students and how the educational quest for “the answer” is masking the complexity of information. I think it is important to be honest with users, explain that information isn’t always one click away (no matter how much we would like it to be) but that as a librarian I can help them to navigate, evaluate and use information to help them develop the required skills for their course and later in their career.

I attended Shirley Yearwood-Jackman’s talk on developing evidenced-based practitioners. She had found that the students have an inflated level of confidence when it came to information literacy skills. Students assume that you do not need “skills” to find and use information. But in reality they are “unskilled and unaware” (Kruger & Dunning, 1999). This links to the idea of the “post-complex world”, students expect some things to be easy, they don’t realise some things require additional skills. 

In order to help students realise that they do need to develop such skills Shirley has introduced some reflective exercises into her teaching with these students. It helped the students to evaluate what they are good at, and perhaps more crucially, what they are bad at and to explore why information literacy skills are needed. It also helped Shirley identify which elements students struggle with the most so she could adapt her teaching accordingly. I want to bring these reflective exercises into my own teaching, as I can see it being valuable for my own students as they struggle to see past just needing “the answer”.

All full report of my experience can be found at: https://ladypenland.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/hlg2018/

YiWen Hon (Active participant bursary)
Knowledge Resources Manager
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

One thing I will be changing at work following attendance at this conference will be getting more directly involved in conducting research of my own. There were a number of sessions themed around first steps for novice librarian researchers, which I attended. These were very practical, which was great for giving me actual tasks and actions that I can take into my workplace, as well as inspiring. Meeting fellow professionals who have been able to incorporate research activities into their practice, and having the opportunity to talk to them, has shown me that it is doable after all! Given that we are increasingly under pressure to quantify the impact of our services, these skills are very valuable. I feel that it is important that we as librarians are able to contribute to the academic literature for our profession, and attending the HLG conference has inspired and equipped me to take concrete steps in this direction.

I would recommend attending the HLG conference because it is a great overall learning opportunity. There are many different talks and workshops which are all relevant to those working in health libraries; these cover a variety of topics which you can tailor to match your own professional interests. Many of these are hands-on, with plenty of opportunities for discussion and involvement. In addition to this, the HLG conference provides an important forum for meeting and learning from others in this sector. There is an informal, relaxed atmosphere which makes it easier to network with others and form professional connections. 

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