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

Friday, October 31, 2003

Measuring impact

This article was mentioned on lis-medical earlier this week:

O’Connor, P. Determining the impact of health library services on patient care: a review of the literature. Journal of Hospital Librarianship 2003; 3(2): 29-49. "An invaluable summing-up of the subject since 1985, particularly relevant at a time of increasing electronic access and potentially fewer skilled information staff."

NHSU presentation

Professor Bob Fryer spoke at last week's CILIP Members Day about NHSU - his presentation is now available online.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Nervous about presenting?

For anyone who doesn't do a lot of training or presenting, and is planning on doing some in awareness week, but feeling a little nervous about it, here are a couple of nice quotes from a collection at TrainingZone:

"I can never remember being afraid of an audience. If the audience could do better, they'd be up here on stage and I'd be out there watching them."
Ethel Merman, US singer, actress (1909-1984)

"It's all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation."
Rob Gilbert, Australian sociologist

You can pick up more quotes on a whole range of topics to do with training from the TrainingZone pages.

AW Desktop Wallpaper

A big thank you to Siobhan Whitby from the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic & District Hospital in Shropshire - she's had a fiddle with the original NeLH Desktop Wallpaper and come up with an Awareness Week version. You can get it from the Publicity pages - scroll down to near the bottom of the page, and then follow the instructions for downloading it onto your computers.

Siobahn's going to try sweet-talking her IT department into setting the wallpaper on all the computers in the trust - if you can get your own IT department to help, that's a very quick way of spreading the word to lots of people.

Pencils and other literature

This year is going to be a phenominal year for Digital Libraries if the amount of interest in Awareness Week and the amount of promotional literature that we are supplying is any judge.

In the last two weeks alone we have sent out over 35 000 items. This is a huge demand and we are running to keep up. As expected monitor clips have proved attractive and as of now we have dropped to below a thousand..we wont be restocking for a while. However, pencils are destined to arrive next week and we should have enough to last us till AW at least. New stocks of A1 posters will shortly arrive as will a restock of the A3/A4 poster. 18000 internal envelopes dissappeared overnight and we are finishing off the re-order today and negotiating a delivery date.

Strangely the large AW stickers have ..stuck ..in our warehouse. Please order before they go out of date!! The idea behind these is to attach to existing literature and triangular displays.

Talking of the giant toblerones they are also going fast ..every library should have two (at least)!! www.nelh.nhs.uk/publicity

Thanks for all your help


Monday, October 27, 2003

Awareness Week Preparation

Elephants...grey elephants, grey elephants (not pink) everywhere. We are just about to blitz our Trust from all angles. Leaflets with payslips, posters, Intranet postings of posters and a programme of our activities during the Week, along with all user emails. I have managed to get spots on our Audit Meeting (which is compulsory attendance for all medical staff) and also the Trust Board Meeting that is conveniently timed during the Week too. For Nurses and AHP's whose meetings were jam packed with agenda items, we just sent a short briefing note about the Week that could be read out at the relevant meeting. We have arranged to have Displays in the main reception of both our sites for the whole Week, manning them for a set time to give out freebies such as bananas with NeLH logo stickers on, sweets and NeLH publicity as well as general library leaflets. We had a Display back in June that was a bit disappointing, but hopefully now that we have great freebies, NeLH toblerone triangles, blue and white balloons, blue and white table covers and stand up leaflet holders to add interest we should make a real impact.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Evidence in Practice

Just a quick mention of the "Evidence in Practice" conference, held earlier this week and sponsored by NeLH. Thanks to the DLnet Reps who were able to come along and help out. The conference included sessions on digital libraries and teaching/learning. Some presentations are now online and I'm told videos of some of the keynote presentations will be available shortly. Just click on the More link to get to the presentations.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Interesting reading

RLG Shelflife is a handy publication, reporting once a week on news for information professionals. The 9 October issue features a couple of interesting snippets:
    An article looking at Marylaine Block's recent book, Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet. Block looks at some of the solutions librarians have developed "to survive -- and thrive -- in the Internet environment".
    [extract] "In academic libraries nationwide, the same conversation is taking place between librarians who
    don't want the interface 'dumbed down' and librarians with usability practice who know that patrons basically want the Google experience," writes library consultant Judy Luther. "It's time for librarians to accept that library users are not interested in being more like us. If we don't understand that the majority of our users are novice searchers who may wish to remain that way, we are missing the opportunity to serve the pragmatic user who is happy with a 'good enough' answer."

You can find RLG Shelflife at http://lists2.rlg.org/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?visit=shelflife-from-rlg&id=224862757 - select the issue you want to read.

Also, in this week's BMJ, there's an article about the Cochrane Collaboration and the debate on whether to accept industry funding for reviews.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Tips for Internet training

There is an article by Mary C Congleton and Winn Theirl in the September issue of MLA News (sadly, not available for free on the Internet) on internet training. They give their top tips for "stress-free internet-based training". In summary, they advise:
  • a pre-training interview to discuss details and plan the training
  • listing equipment needs well in advance
  • checking Internet access available
  • scout out the training room e.g. do they have flipcharts?
  • have a backup in case it all goes pear-shaped
  • create a portable kit containing extension leads, blu-tack etc
  • reconfirm with your contact before the day

I particularly like the idea of a portable kit, something I never quite get round to doing so I always end up stealing blu-tack from our Events team.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003


I finally got round to reading the October issue of Information World Review and came across a little snippet about the latest marketing activities at Oxford Brookes University (on the back page if you have a copy - if you don't get a copy, you can sign up at their web site). They are targeting freshers with a campaign "Drink - satisfy your thirst for knowledge", giving away bottled water with the library's URL printed on the label.

There's also an interesting piece by Gerry McGovern, The age of less gene. In it, McGovern talks about how we need to learn to communicate less - i.e. less long Web pages and shorter and snappier chunks of information: "..we need to stand back and ask whether our communication has become overweight". So on that note, I'll stop typing now!

Monday, October 13, 2003

Bite-size training

The Guardian ran an interesting article on Saturday, on bite-size training and how it's taking off in the private sector. We're trying out our own bite-size training by offering 10-minute sessions during Awareness Week.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Clinical Evidence Finding the Evidence Training Support Materials

Clinical Evidence Online have developed a Finding the Evidence Training Pack. It is very comprehensive and useful. It contains everything you need to run a Finding the Evidence Workshop including checklist, covering letter to trainees, exercises, evaluation, and trainee's workbook. You can find it by going to NeLH and clicking on Clinical Evidence. Under "What's New This Month?" there is a heading called Free EBM training materials. It is stored as a WinZip file and you have to register. NB It didn't work when I selected the View Trainer Module, so I just went straight for Download Zipped Word Document, which worked fine.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Learner-centred instruction

I came across this site from the Faculty Development Institute in Virginia. It's a module on how to design learner-centred instruction and although aimed at lecturers, has some interesting pointers.

Update PLUS newsletter - October 03

The October edition of Update PLUS is now available.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

New web resource - Evidence4u

Just a line to tell you about the launch of a new web based educational aid for healthcare workers to build their skills in Evidence Based Healthcare.
The purpose of the website is to provide comprehensive tutorials about how to access, appraise and apply evidence to everyday practice. It gives the opportunity to learn (or brush-up on) the skills and techniques of evidence based practice, and work through a case scenario from start to finish. The website enables all healthcare workers to access these skills at any time, particularly when the skills are actually required.

The resource is a collaboration between the Manchester NHS Agency and the Evidence for Population Health Unit, University of Manchester, developed by myself and Dr John Sandars, Lecturer in the Evidence for Population Health Unit and the School of Primary Care at the University of Manchester.

I'd really appreciate your help in 2 ways - publicising the site with your users, and providing feedback to me to improve anything that needs it (as it can be changed and updated easily).

Go to www.evidence4u.org.uk
You have to register to get onto the site - click on the Register link, then choose your own username and password, which you can then use each time you want to go to the site.
Follow the links for each of the sections.

Thanks in advance for your help - I hope you find the resource useful.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Web site on marketing

Just found a web site which is quite interesting although oriented towards American libraries.

DIY NeLH Awareness Stickers

The new elephant logo for NeLH Awareness Week, can be easily copied and pasted into a label file, providing you with quick and easy labels, which can be stuck onto envelopes, literature searches, anything that goes out to the library members. The label option which I am using is Avery - L7664 - Diskette. The logo size can be altered to suit other label options, but be careful of making it too small otherwise you won't be able to read the important message about telephone training.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Case studies

At some of the earlier DLnet days, we used case studies, which we collected informally from librarians in early Summer. These have now been loaded on to the DLnet Know How pages. The case studies focus on possible solutions to problems associated with promoting evidence-based information/knowledge for decision-making.

We're thinking about how we might collect case studies and present them in the most helpful way. In the meantime, these will feed into the Little Book of Marketing, to appear shortly, and the Little Book of Training, to appear a bit later.

If you're having problems accessing archives directly from the blog page, links to archives are also available from our DLnet Know How pages - we've just added September's archive. This may seem like doing the same job twice but following an unexplained incident earlier, it seems the link to June archive is a bit hit and miss. So to be on the safe side, we're copying archives to DLnet :-)