Digital Libraries Network is for health librarians and trainers in the UK, interested in promotion and training.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Important news about Cochrane Library

A message posted to the Cochrane Library Users Group mailing list this week, from Wiley re: testing of the interface for Cochrane Library. Full message, with info about logging in, posting comments and progress to date available via JISCmail.

Amedeo - Free Medical Literature Guide

Dear All,

I am sure some of you may have heard of it , but this is a super little site http://www.amedeo.com/ There are free e-journals and e-books including one that updates solely on SARS. In addition it currently has 24 subject areas from Infectious Diseases to Substance abuse, that are then broke down into sub-subject groups. The one I particularly use is the Oncology section, which is excellent. I informed Fiona McLean, when she was British Library Health Adviser of the site and she thought it very useful resource.

Michael, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

E-Learning Blog

Just came across a blog Elearnspace with the following RSS feed for any RSS heads out there. Looks like it might be worth keeping an eye on. While on the subject of E-Learning the North West E-Learning Strategy (NHS Strategy) is available on Aditus along with an E-Learning Strategy toolkit.

Management briefings

NeLH Specialist Library for Health Managers has published new and updated management briefings - at a max of 5 mins reading time, these are well worth reading to pick up on key issues on the latest hot topics. All make interesting reading but some particularly relevant to DLnetters: e-learning, ICT - improving skills, CPD and lifelong learning, knowledge management.

Monday, July 28, 2003

BioMed Central

According to a news item in the August 2003 edition of CILIP’s Library and Information Update (page 5), the UK is considered the world leader in open access publishing, thanks to recent deals between Biomed Central and the health (NHS) and education (JISC) sectors. BioMed Central now has more members in the UK than any other country.

BioMed Central have taken an active role in our DLnet masterclass events over the summer. If you haven’t been able to make it to an event, take a look at their Advocacy Kit, designed to help those of you in the NHS and HE to promote this new service to your users.

NeLH publicity

Thanks to all those who took part in our conference call this morning, to help us evaluate the DLnet masterclasses so far. We talked briefly about people's experiences of ordering NeLH publicity - people were generally happy with the speed of service but often had problems getting the publicity they needed, because it was out of stock. So, the suggestion is to mail any problems you have directly to us so we can act on them much more quickly (to nelhatnhsia.nhs.uk replacing at with @ - trying to avoid spam!). More foldouts are on order and will be available shortly.

Finally, a plea to give lots of notice if you are planning a large event or mailing and need lots of publicity. The more notice we have, the less chance there is of running out as we'll have time to reorder :-)

Friday, July 25, 2003

fold-outs are a dropout :(

Can anyone in the know give any indication when those nice fold-out business cards (ref. 2002-IA-1294) will be available again?
The day after the Birmingham masterclass I phoned the good people on 08453 660066 to discover there were only THREE fold-outs available. They said more were on the way. I phoned again this morning and was told there weren't any [someone obviously snapped up those three pretty d*mn quick!], that they had no idea when, or indeed whether, there would ever be any more, because they just sent them out and weren't responsible for stocking them up.

I don't think this creates a particularly favourable impression.

Happy Friday!

Helga Perry
Systems Librarian
Cheltenham General Hospital

Top Tips

At the DLnet masterclass in Manchester on Tuesday, the group came up with a whole load of useful tips for running events. The Top Tip, voted as the favourite, appears as this week's DLnet Tip of the Week:

Make time to keep up-to-date yourself which came from Kieran's group

The close runner up (just 2 votes in it!) was to Make Training Focused - that is, to know what people need to get out of it, which came from C Powell's group

Here are all the tips by category:

from Kieran's group
  • Reinforce content after training
  • Check all live links
  • Evaluate feedback
  • Have a back up resource
  • Target content to the audience
  • Develop a lesson plan
  • Be flexible
  • Have fun and interest generators
  • Nothing is perfect
  • Plan interaction - communication is a 2-way process
  • Be honest if you don't know
  • Deliver in short bite-sized lumps
  • Make time to keep up to date yourself

from MP and JR
  • Trainers can travel - "bringing knowledge to you"
  • "My place or yours?"
  • Training : any place, anywhere, anytime
  • Ready, steady, TRAIN
  • All you need is a PC and a connection

from Louise, Debbie, Helen, John
  • Going remote? Check your leads/cables are long enough!
  • Back up training materials on e.g. Powerpoint rather than rely on live
  • Test equipment in situ before use
  • Ensure trainees can use equipment before training - arrange preliminary mouse-handling practice where necessary
  • Cache web pages before live demos

from K Turtle's group

  • Keep plenty of stocks of materials
  • Reminder sheets for trainees which aren't too cluttered
  • Make sure materials are up-to-date
  • Make good use of materials already available via DLnet

Training tips
from C Powell, E Bowen, K Turtle, FF
  • Make training focused - know what they need to get out of it
  • Focus by discipline and level of knowledge
  • Flexible time and location
  • Be friendly and proactive
  • Bitesize chunks of knowledge are more memorable
  • Don't do training on a Friday afternoon!
  • Use multi-purpose materials e.g. a crib sheet could also be a mouse mat
  • Put up promotional materials in toilets e.g. flyers on the back of toilet doors

Attracting non-users
from Jane, Angus, Steve, Rhona
  • Advertise on intranet
  • Virtual library service
  • Promote home and office access to services
  • Keep it simple
  • Attend department meetings
  • Work with your IT department
  • Speak or have a stand at your organisation's induction days for new staff

from Gwyneth, Lee, FF
  • NeLH URL on paper drip mats (i.e. the mats which go between your cup and saucer)
  • Make clear and obvious link to NeLH from our own web pages
  • Doorstep staff in the queue for lunch
  • Effective use of e-mail
  • Update mousemats
  • Smile more
  • Put flyers on doors where staff come in to the library etc
  • Make sure promotion is timely and specific - relate to current awareness issues
  • Use a Quiz of the Week
  • Table flyers in the canteen

from L Jones' and S Beck's group
  • Evaluation helps the trainee to see if their objectives have been met
  • Ensure they know you will act on their feedback
  • Use incentives e.g. fines amnesty or free photocopying if ideas are implemented
  • More incentives e.g. each evaluation form has a raffle ticket/prize....

from LHF
  • Never say no - or almost never!
  • Talk "their" (i.e. potential funders) language
  • Prove your worth using evidence and statistics
  • Know your place in the organisation and refer to goals and to drivers such as CHI visits
  • Know your finance source
  • "Sell" your staff

Gremlin update

Still having some problems - lost some of the links and the June archive link doesn't seem to work. I have a copy of the archive so it's not lost just the link isn't working. I've put back some links but couldn't remember them all so if there are any missing, tell me! Hopefully, back up to full service soon...

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Amazon Lite

Amazon without the clutter with Amzon Lite in a UK version, a practical application for XML aiming to provide a faster, cleaner Amazon.co.uk search experience - moreso than can be found at the original site. Links through to the full Amazon record if you need to check something out in more detail. Useful for all that bib checking you do on Amazon on the sly... Originally spotted on the Resource Shelf Blog.


A bit of a glitch with the blog - if you tried to view it earlier, you may have been faced with a blank page. Something has happened to the template (I don't know how) and I'm working on getting it back to normal - I did say I was new to this :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Five excuses to go onto a ward

1. Can I put a poster up (in your resource cupboard/ward library/by your PC/toilet)?
2. Can I give you a copy of Clinical Evidence?
3. Is now a good time to change the wallpaper on your PCs?
4. I am looking for Dr Smith (he has booked a 3 minute library intro) but since you are here Nurse Jones can I tell you about it?
5. Can I tell you about six million quids worth resources you might be missing out on?

When you finish your library intro dont forget to give then a foldout or business card and one for a friend!

-A word to the wise- if people are running around or there are calls of "CAN I HAVE SOME HELP IN HERE -NOW" it probably isn't convenient just then. Try next door.

And another thing you might surprised how pleased peopleare being given this opportunity.


For those without previous experience of blogging (or just in need of a breath of air ) you might like to visit http://loopylibrarian.blogspot.com/ to read some of Kieran's rants.

NeLH News

The latest NeLH Update newsletter is out, this time with a new supplement, Update Plus, for DLnet Reps and trainers. If you're a DLnet Rep, you'll have already received a copy. The NeLH team would like to receive contributions - use this blog to tell us your stories of how you've delivered training and marketing ideas on your patch. Update Plus includes highlights from the blog and we'd like to include some of your stories, tips and tricks (always with permission, of course!).

Disseminating Current Awarness.

At yesterdays NeLH day in Manchester, I was asked to put forward this blog for your appreciation. Here at Bradford, whenever I get a NeLH Update, NICE E-newsletter or other newsletters/updates; they are sent on a selective global e-mail in the Trust to all health and clinician staff. This has proved very popular. In addition, I put a stapled printout on one of our display boards, this proves popular when people are in browse mode in the library.
Michael, Bradford Teaching HNHST

Monday, July 21, 2003

Search example for free-text and thesaurus/MeSH search skills training

I have just had an enquiry which really demonstrates the importance of searching free-text and thesaurus/MeSH for a comprehensive search. The question was "find evidence of the effect of mobile phones in a clinical environment." You need to search for mobile phone as free text and cellular phone as thesaurus/MeSH term or you will miss out on many useful results. Then, for clinical environment, I went for healthcare facilities, but as a related term searched for electromagnetic fields and equipment failure. I thought the mobile phone and cellular phone aspect of the question would be useful as an example in a search skills training session.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Index of library journals

Current Cites, from University of California, is a good way of keeping up to date with the library literature. This service focuses on articles on IT. Another useful service I use is The Informed Librarian.

Friday, July 18, 2003

More on change management

Resource recently launched a Change Management Toolkit. Although aimed at helping public libraries with the rollout of Peoples Network, it has some useful stuff in there for libraries in general. Includes principles of change such as "Think big - act small" and "Go where the energy is", points on interpersonal communication and force field analysis.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Force field analysis

At the last two DLnet masterclasses, we've looked at force field analysis in association with change management. This is a method which identifies the restraining (hindering) forces and the driving (favouring) forces for change. We've discussed how to "turn down" the restraining forces and "turn up" the driving forces, in relation to promoting evidence-based decision making.

A brief description of force field analysis is given in a recent SDO publication by Valerie Iles and Kim Sutherland, Managing Change in the NHS: Organisational Change. A Review for Health Care Managers, Professionals and Researchers, National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R&D, 2001, which is available online.

Summaries from our group discussions on this will be posted on the DLnet pages after the series of masterclasses ends in September.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Searching on NeLH

At a recent meeting of the South West Library Trainers' Group in Exeter we discussed the fact that doing a Google site search generally gave better results than just using the NeLH search facility. To test this enter the following into Google -

diabetes site:www.nelh.nhs.uk (or any subject you like instead of "diabetes".)

Robin Mellor
North Devon

Index of subject gateways

With so many partnerships being built within the NHS, I am getting requests for training in finding information on topics related to, but not specifically about health care, for example law, education, or child protection. I have found the Pinakes Subject Launchpad, hosted by Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, very useful for providing relevant information to support training for people involved in social care, health care or education.

US Guidelines

Dear All

Dont know if this is the correct place for this but the NeLH link to the US guidelines is linking to their old website so you have to wait while it connects to the new site. Can the link be changed. Also - any chance we can have a more sophisticated search mechanism on the UK guidelines search engine like the US one - ours is very limited if you want to do a sophisticated search (and thats all I seem to get asked for)

Happy blogging mates!!


Case Study/ Feedback

NeLH has recently recently received the following from Dr Rob McKinty, GP-PEC member, Sedgefield PCT. It can be freely used when promoting NeLH/ Digital libraries to health professionals.

"I would recommend this site to all GPs nurses and AHPs working in the health service. Personally I have found it very usefull, easy to navigate and the links are good to other sites. I am on our communication sub group of the PCT and have now had feedback from professional colleagues within Sedgefield who have used the site. They all report that it is particularly useful in situations when colleagues want to find a particular protocol NICE guideline or perhaps the evidence base for a form of treatment. Gone are the days when protocols are mislaid or when colleagues complain that they can’t access the information they just have to enter the site and find what they want. The site even has professional groups listed so that all NHS professionals can use it. I know that our nurses in Sedgefield find it particularly useful. I am the mental health lead for our PCT and I was pleased to see a new addition of the mental health specialist library to the site. No doubt the site will develop further and there will be further improvements but my advice to fellow PCTs is to let professional colleagues be aware of the site and its potential. I think it is great."

Resources for trainers

TRIAGE (Trent Research Information Access Gateway) has some useful resources on presentation and writing; literature searching; and critical appraisal. Includes a Powerpoint show on things to think about for important presentations as well as lots of other handy stuff. The downside is that it hasn't been updated in a while and some of the links are to commercial sites but mostly very useful.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Umbrella presentations

I didn't go to Umbrella this year but luckily some of the presentations are now online. UKOLUG (UK Online User Group) have the presentations from their sessions on their web site. Of particular interest are the materials from Sheila Webber on designing documentation and Mike Gardner on user support. I haven't found other papers from Umbrella yet but it's early days yet!

Collection of articles on Presentations and Training

I came across this site the other day from the Law Library Resource Exchange. While it isn't a site aimed at health libraries, the Presentations page has links to loads of really useful articles, such as Ice Breakers and Other Related Activities, adult learning styles, training principles, and asking questions. Well worth checking out.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Interesting web site

A reference to LibraryInstruction.com was posted on lis-medical today. A potentially useful site with links to references about library instruction as well as lesson plans - seems to be a project to bring together materials online so it's a bit small as yet but seems to be growing.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Training tips

Here are the tips suggested at yesterday's DLnet masterclass.

Tips for planning training
These tips related to planning for your trainees' needs....

- Find out as much as you can about users and what interests them
- Train people with common interests so the session can be tailored
- Ensure learners have basic IT skills
- Learn your topic well beforehand

...and for possible mishaps:

- Check any databases/resources beforehand to make sure they are working and haven't changed since you last used them
- Check suitability of the venue before training
- When training at an external site after hours check that the switchboard does not bar outside calls – I checked everything during working hours and didn’t imagine we wouldn’t get an outside line after 5pm (Diane Thompson)
- Check all the technology works beforehand – check for double bookings of rooms, machines etc – and check connections work
- Ensure that user accounts are set up in advance for training using licensed resources
- Make sure software versions are compatible
- Beware live internet demos– have an offline back up or alternative activity just in case
- Allow extra time for travel

A key message was that trainers have to be flexible.

Tips for designing training
Think clearly about what you are trying to achieve - some ideas:

- Set clear learning objectives and/or aims for the session
- Have very defined course pre-requisites
- Make sure trainees know purpose of training before they come and ask them to think of their goals before arriving
- Never overestimate trainees’ knowledge and skills
- Don’t try to show people too many resources – concentrate on key resources
- Contextualise as far as possible (Kay Moore)
- Keep training materials up to date - remember to check any exercises and search strategies
- Display basic tips on literature searching on your website or near computers (L Ristic)
- Display a Hierarchy of resources of evidence card/leaflet next to computers (L Ristic)
- Allow time for reflection (Kay Moore)

Tips for delivering training
A key message is to focus on the trainee(s):

- Don’t give out too much paper
- Use "bribery" – e.g. food, drinks
- Assess what trainers have learned to keep them interested
- Get feedback from your learners
- Design quick reference cards to hand out
- Keep it brief
- Use graphics in presentations
- Use humour
- Make instructions for breakout groups very clear
- Keep slides clear – not too much text
A couple more marketing tips from yesterday's DLnet masterclass event:

- Know your message – what you want to promote and who to (Hazel Croucher)
- Give examples and anecdotes of when the resource/service you’re promoting has been useful

Training tips to follow very soon....

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Having run today's event at a less-than-swish hotel, my tip for running events would be always check your venue before the day. Think of it in the same way as buying or renting a house - go see what it's like but think things through like how convenient it is for parking, public transport. Think about when you're going to be there, for example, how will it operate out of hours? You may have examples where even the best planning couldn't prepare you for unforeseen events. But having aged considerably when arriving at our chosen venue, I would highly recommend a visit and reading documents with very critical eyes to cut down on stress levels! And if the venue is scheduled to be demolished shortly after your event, take this to be a bad sign :-)
Here are the top tips for marketing suggested by librarians at today's DLnet event in Sheffield - watch out for training tips, to be posted tomorrow:

- persevere and use every opportunity to promote yourself and your service (anonymous)
- go for visual impact - use promotional tools such as leaflets and posters as well as the odd freebie (anonymous)
- try to reach out to as many people as possible at the same time, through regular bulletins for example (anonymous)
- go to the dining rooms in your organisation - you'll find most people there at some point! (anonymous)
- focus on the "what's in it for me" elements to sell your service to health professionals (Kay Moore)
- draw attention to information by means of an eyecatching unexpected word or phrase e.g. I use NeLH ASK me why stickers (anonymous)
- Make use of Head of Clinical Department secretaries email lists for important messages (Sarah Sutton)
- Update publicity for resources (e.g. Cochrane Library) the same time as the resources themselves are updated (anonymous)
- Timing is everything (anonymous)
- Get out and meet people (anonymous)

The DLnet events are designed to get librarians sharing ideas and experiences of training and marketing, with an emphasis on reaching beyond the library walls. Not always easy given the time constraints most librarians face, and that's where we hope the sharing of tips and tricks will help.
At the DLnet event today, we asked librarians to tell us their top tips for training and marketing. We'll be adding these later today so keep an eye open!

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Health Knowledge is a great NHS site “created to support the continuing and professional development of those working in the fields of health and social care by providing fast and easy access to quality learning materials”. Health Knowledge features a whole range of materials on knowledge management, critical appraisal, statistics, different types of health information and a handy jargon buster. This resource has been created by the Brent and Harrow Health Authority, partly funded by the North West London Workforce Development Confederation and is maintained by Harrow Primary Care Trust. Well worth taking a look.

Monday, July 07, 2003

CILIP's (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Members Day, on 23 October, features a range of free workshops, including "Developing librarians as teachers" and "The marketing mindset". I just checked and there are still places available. Let me know if you sign up to the marketing one - I'm signed up for the teaching one! No details on the CILIP website as yet but there's a booking form in the July 2003 issue of Update.
The summer issue of Library and Information Research features a rundown of current and completed research in the UK's library schools. I suspect there are some gaps but it's interesting to see the range of work underway - quite a few related to health, digital libraries, user needs/behaviour/experiences.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

A useful resource on outcomes evaluation - Putting Outcome Evaluation in Context: A Toolkit will help you to identify how your library service contributes to your organisation. This resource is intended for use to evaluate all types of library service but will obviously be a useful tool for evaluating training provision.

Funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and led by researchers at University of Michigan and University of Washington. The Toolkit provides 4 steps:

Step 1 - additional information and resources to help you prepare for evaluation

Step 2 - data collection tips and techniques including sample instruments

Step 3 - help on analysing the data you collect

Step 4 - using the information you collect and analyse, including how to plan and present your ideas
EAHIL, European Assoc of Health Information and Libraries, held a workshop in Oslo last month. A presentation by Peter Morgan focused on the use of PDAs, giving a useful insight into how PDAs are and may be used. Peter also points to the Handhelds for Doctors web site, which accompanies a new book by Mohammad Al-Ubaydli.

The EAHIL workshop proceedings are worth a look - a range of presentations including one on training the trainers (which I'm pleased to say mentions DLnet!) and one on integrating information literacy into the curriculum.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

On 19 June I referred to a study about students using Google. Jakob Neilsen's latest Alertbox gives an insight into why it's so popular. Neilsen talks about information foraging: "The easier it is to find places with good information, the less time users will spend visiting any individual website. This is one of many conclusions that follow from analyzing how people optimize their behavior in online information systems."
Free Pint reported on the recent Special Libraries Association conference in New York - some of my favourite snippets from their daily reports:

Day 1
“Top tip for information professionals - develop and practice a three-minute elevator speech encompassing what it is you and your department do, and why you justify investment when caught in a lift with your Director or CEO?” Something we've been practising at DLnet masterclasses.

Day 2 -
“there has never been a more vital time for information professionals to aggressively publicise their knowledge of the sheer range of information choices, sources and services out there.”

“Call me an information Professional, call me a librarian, call me a web guru. Whatever. Just call me” – Gary Price talking about the L word

Day 3 - a round up of latest technology to watch out for – VERY interesting!