Reaching out: regional contacts at Royal College of Nursing Libraries

HLG Nursing Bulletin Vol 36 (2)

Philip Segall
Information Assistant (Customer Services)
Royal College of Nursing
20 Cavendish Square
London W1G 0RN

From Portsmouth to Preston, Salford to Sussex, intrepid staff from Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Library and Archive Services have been out and about over the last few months.

As part of our commitment to Customer Service Excellence (CSE) we have regularly cast aside the homely comforts of our own library premises to champion our services to our members elsewhere. The Library and Archive Services team has been eagerly venturing all over England, assisting at 35 student recruitment events across all of the RCN England regions last year. We were also represented at 43 different conferences and other events. Overall we racked up an impressive 18,788 miles of rail travel from our efforts in 2016!

Figure 1: Map showing RCN English regions

Each of the RCN’s 9 regions in England is represented by a member of the Library and Archive Services team. Our aim is to highlight the services we have available and to open up opportunities for collaboration. Visits frequently involve liaison with library staff at universities and hospitals too. We present at RCN regional meetings, spreading the word to staff about our fantastic services and resources. These include the easy-to-use Library Search tool we introduced last year. We now also have over 45 Subject Guides for our members to explore. All of this work is in addition to the efforts undertaken by library teams in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh to reach staff throughout the rest of the UK. 

Where appropriate, the team has taken our unique handling collection along to events too. Having physical artifacts and publications there has really helped to encourage discussion and bring nursing history to life! We are pleased to be bringing this collection up with us to Liverpool for this year’s RCN Congress in May. Congress is a major annual event attended by over 4,000 nursing professionals each year.

Figure 2: RCN Congress attendees admire some of the items at the Library and Archive Service’s display

RCN Library and Archive Services staff are looking to do even more this year. If you are interested in finding out what RCN Library and Archive Services can do to help users at your nursing library, please contact us at Do look out for all the latest from our most recent regional excursions on Twitter too @RCNLibraries.

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