Libraries for Nursing Committee news

Libraries for Nursing Bulletin Vol 30(2)

Continuing from the spring edition of the Libraries for Nursing Bulletin here are profiles of two more members of the LfN committee and the first in a series of “a day in the life of…” features.

Committee Profiles

Phillip Barlow – I am a Senior Library Assistant working for Imperial College London, based at the Chelsea & Westminster campus. I am responsible for providing support primarily to the library’s NHS users, whether they are employed by the Chelsea and Westminster Trust, or one of the local primary care trusts that Imperial also supports. My role encompasses both information literacy and learning development, for all categories of NHS user, and collection development, primarily aimed at nursing and allied health. I have been a member of the Libraries for Nursing Committee since 2009 and am involved both in the marketing of the group’s activities, and with the LfN Bulletin.

Alison Paul – I am the Acting Library and Knowledge Services Manager at Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust in Surrey. I oversee the management of library and knowledge resources, facilities, and training for health and social care staff and students working in acute, mental health, ambulance and primary care services. I plan, provide and promote and the highest quality of library and knowledge services to the whole workforce to support the delivery of effective patient care, service management and development, education, training and research. I also develop and maintain partnerships with all stakeholders from healthcare and higher education and manage the operation of the library and knowledge services department as two libraries located in Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. I have been a member of Libraries for Nursing since 2009 and have recently taken on the role of Membership Manager.

A Day in the Life of Gillian Siddall

Gillian Siddall
Academic Librarian for the School of Health
University of Northampton
Park Campus,
Boughton Green Road

I started in my current role, as Academic Librarian for the School of Health at the University of Northampton, in September 2009. Since then my role has been a whirlwind of teaching, meetings and collection development. I work with one of the largest schools at the University supporting nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, paramedics, social work, health and life sciences and sports. The range of subjects gives me plenty of variety, as I deal with students from diverse backgrounds and a range of levels from foundation degree to PhD level. I also support staff with their research and teaching information needs, as well as providing training on new software and library systems.

I spend the majority of my time teaching; whether lectures, tutor groups or individual sessions. With courses starting throughout the year I am still offering inductions and information literacy sessions at the beginning of the summer, when most of my colleagues are beginning work on their summer projects. Straight out of the masters course at Loughborough University I was teaching within three weeks and have enjoyed the challenge ever since.

On Monday 26th April, I started with a Board of Studies for Occupational Therapy. It is my opportunity to hear about developments and plans for the coming academic year. It is interesting to see how the different divisions within the School of Health work. I act as liaison, answering queries for Information Services and providing information about new developments and support for students. I respond to student representatives and enjoy listening to their feedback.

Next, I met briefly with my colleague to discuss the LILAC conference we had recently attended and to compile an evaluation of the conference to feedback at the Learning and Teaching Committee. Afterwards we went to an induction meeting, where we planned how we will provide an introduction to Information Services for new students for the coming academic year. We are looking at new innovations to see how we can adapt to growing student numbers and support their transition to Higher Education.

My afternoon ends with a series of one-to-one meetings with students. I spend half an hour with a student doing a foundation degree in Health and Social Care, helping her to use the catalogue and introduce her to the full text articles available via Internurse. Then I spend an hour with three second year nursing students who were searching for research articles for their module. They provide interesting queries and a relaxed conversation when we discuss how they can break down their questions into keywords. I try to build on what they already know to take them to the next stage as they begin to interrogate the databases to find key articles that relate to their theories and allow them to investigate the functionality of the different databases with some prompting from me. This particular afternoon has proved to be a satisfying one where I can see how the work I do helps to support these students on the way to their degree, with the hope they will take the skills they learn on into their career.

At work, my day is never the same. As I have not yet had a full year at the University I cannot predict what will happen next. The constant interaction with students underlines the need to teach information skills in a way that will stay with them as they progress in their professional lives. I am lucky in the support I have received from my colleagues and the School that has meant that my transition to this demanding role has run smoothly and I look forward to beginning my Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching for Higher Education (PGCTHE) in September. I will continue to build and develop my teaching skills to support our community here in Northampton.

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