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

Monday, September 29, 2003

Relaunching our library service

Last week following the amalgamation of two libraries and the move to a new hospital earlier this year we decided to organise a week of events to relaunch the service and promote ourselves to our users - we serve 7 organisations: the local mental health trust and the 6 Berkshire PCT's.

The highlight of the week was to be the Nelh cyber cafe. I had done lots of publicity for the week - written to the senior partner and practice manager of every GP practice in Berkshire, sent out posters to all the NHS sites, got something on front page of Berks intranet, sent out individual invitations to all board members and 'directors' and done an 'All sites' email (this earned me a ticking off by the Head of IT). There was free tea and coffee and a prize quiz.

The turn out was rather disappointing, but those who came experienced quality - rather than drop in training sessions with lots of people we were able to do one-to-one sessions.

On the day of the Nelh cyber cafe we put posters wherever we could (its a PFI building so painted walls are out of bounds!) and waited ... The first telephone training session consisted mainly of librarians so drastic action was needed.

Off we went round the wards - Nick was not perturbed by the fact that it is a psychiatric hospital and the staff were receptive and seemed pleased that we'd made the effort. After lunch we visited the local PCT HQ - we did have to arrange a guide as visitors are not allowed to wander around unaccompanied. Those we met were receptive and promised to try the telephone training - even one public health consultant (who I later discovered is a techno-phobe) having originally said he wasn't interested then emerged from his office to find out more.

We then moved on to the local GP and palliative care units - again the staff were pleased to see us and were receptive to hearing about Nelh and having a go at the telephone training - we asked them to tell the night staff so Nick wouldn't be talking to himself!

When we returned things had livened up, Nelh tours were being given and the laptops receiving some use. Lured perhaps by free Danish pastries! We showed Nelh to many staff who had not heard of it before or been too scared to use it - they were all impressed and enthused. Hopefully the consultant who uses Google to find information will switch her allegiance to Nelh now ...

For Nelh awareness week we will be getting out and about (armed with lots of literature) and visiting GP practices/PCT HQ's and anywhere else that has a concentration of our users.


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