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

Monday, September 08, 2003

Tips for promoting value of libraries

At the DLnet masterclass in Newcastle last Thursday, delegates brainstormed some ideas on how best to promote the value of library services. Here's what they came up with:

Some of the issues:
  • We should think of ourselves as important professionals
  • We need to identify the 'champion' for each user group
  • When resources fail, people are quick to complain therefore must be valued
  • We need to support practice, not just courses
  • Maintaining awareness of traditional library resources
  • How do you promote to remote users?
  • Hard to know who is using which resources therefore hard to plan promotion
  • Get rid of negative messages - the skeleton must go!

Key messages to communicate:
  • Libraries are for life, not just for learning
  • Half an hour in your library will save you hours of your valuable time
  • We are a starting point for educational process
  • We signpost people to the right direction
  • Importance of libraries for continuing professional development
  • Promoting best evidence
  • Use libraries as the first port of call to find information as 'we have the skills'
  • Ask what your library can do for you

Tools we can use:
  • Be a member of appropriate committees and groups
  • Become visible - walk around the hospital
  • Ask to attend departmental meetings
  • Be proactive around your organisation's priorities and delivery areas
  • Publicise our successes
  • Adopting KM principles - PUSH rather than PULL
  • Highlight clinical governance issues e.g. in CHI reviews
  • Target line managers especially in relation to professional development
  • Facilitate learning events in key delivery areas
  • Visits to the users' workplaces
  • Newsletters
  • Global email
  • Hosting mailing lists for clinicians
  • Tasteful publicity (more relevant)
  • Library stands
  • Current awareness services
  • Eye-catching internet access
  • User needs analysis
  • Access into clinicians' training
  • NHSU induction
  • Persistence


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