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

Friday, November 28, 2003

Teaching EBM

A useful web site listing examples to use when training, MeSH terms and other useful stuff. http://www.geocities.com/nqiya/libraryarticles.html

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Showing what we can do

WEBMASTRY : What Google Teaches Us that Has Nothing to Do with Searching by Gary Price http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/nov03/price.shtml
Some snippets:
  • "I keep asking myself, why as a group, the information professional hasn't seen what Google has done with word-of-mouth marketing and begun to use it. It's very inexpensive and, as we know from Google and other companies, can lead to very positive results"
  • "Google often 'energizes' its word-of-mouth marketing by getting to information gatekeepers like journalists, teachers, key members of a company, etc. and demonstrating (or as Mary Ellen Bates puts it, politely "getting in their faces") about what their service offers. Again, doing this costs only time"
  • "We should do the same and show them that libraries of 2003 are full of professionals and tools easily used both inside and outside the library building."
  • "Marketing a training session these days as 'learn how to use library databases' won't work. Instead, title the presentation 'Google Searching and Beyond.' Now, that should lift attendance. So share some Google tricks with them, but then start demonstrating what you and your library can do — with blazing speed and clear authority — that Google can't do well or at all.

Worth reading for Gary's Eight Starting Points, giving ideas on how to promote library services as more valuable than Google alone.

Monday, November 24, 2003

NeLH Lab

Take a look at the NeLH Lab, updated today, which gives an insight into development work to improve the NeLH site. We really need your feedback, so if you have time, send us your comments via the feedback link.

Hope you're enjoying Awareness Week ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2003


The NeLH team were presented with an award today at the CILIP/Emerald Publicity and Public Relations Awards. We were Highly Commended for Awareness Week 2002 - great timing as AW03 starts on Monday! But seriously, this award is to be shared with a whole range of people, without whose contributions, Awareness Week would not have been so successful. So, as we gear up for AW03 (now I know how Santa Claus feels in the run up to Christmas!), give yourselves a well-earned pat on the back (or even better, glass of something potent) for making last year's campaign a success and for putting so much into this year's Awareness Week ;-)

There were some great winners in the awards - showing creativity and inspiration - more info at http://www.cilip.org.uk/news/2003/211103b.html

Enjoy Awareness Week - and don't forget to take lots of photos!

Surprise during practice of NeLH tour

Angela and I were just practising our teleconferencing earlier today in preparation for delivering our NeLH phone in sessions next week when at the end of the call, we heard a murmuring on the line...turns out a chiropractor had mistakenly tuned in for the NeLH tour thinking it was this week. I explained that we were just practising and to come back next week. Not sure how much he heard of it - hopefully not much!
Zoë Debenham

Thursday, November 20, 2003

NursingCenter - Professional Development - CE Article

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

"NeLH the Evidence"

Nick has asked me to report on our Awareness activities here at Papworth. Our NeLH Awareness events started on 1st November, so we really are having an Awareness month. The hospital held a very successful Research Open Day at which I gave a presentation entitled, "NeLH the Evidence". Over 100 patients, members of the public and health professionals attended the day.

That was followed the next week by a Workforce Development Confederation Stakeholders Day - and as part of the Library display, I went armed with all my NeLH promotional posters, pencils etc. At least I'm warmed up for next week (or exhausted!).........


Article on DLnet

The three of us have written a couple of articles about DLnet and the first of these appears in the December issue of CILIP's Library and Information Update, which should appear through letterboxes later this week...
Alison, Nick & Fran

Friday, November 14, 2003

Round up

A quick round up of the useful web sites mentioned so far on this blog...

Marketing-related sites
MLA Communications Toolkit
@Your Library toolkit
3M Strategic Marketing for Academic and Research Libraries
National Medical Librarians Month
Library Media and PR
The People's Network Change Management Toolkit
Biomed Central Advocacy Kit
Council on Library and Information Resources, Use and Users of Electronic Library Resources: An Overview and Analysis of Recent Research Studies
Marketing Library Services
Librarians Toolkit
Outreach Evaluation Resource Centre
Outcome Evaluation Toolkit: how Libraries and Librarians help
MLA Marketing Roundtable Discussion, May 2003

Training-related sites
London Deanery: Teaching And Learning In Clinical Contexts: A Resource For Health Professionals
ALA’s Library Instruction Roundtable List of Top 20 articles (scroll through newsletter)
University of St Thomas list of learning style inventories
Health Knowledge
Law Library Resource Exchange
Creating learner-centered instruction

Getting noticed

From 7 Nov issue of CILIP Vacancies Bulletin : "The Mysterious Case of the Invisible Librarian". Reports what happened when researchers on recent survey had to chase responses by phone - some switchboard operators didn't even know their organisation had a Library! They challenge us to make sure the switchboard and reception staff know who we are.

They also quote following figures (tho don't give a reference): 90% of the impression you give of being capable is based on perception - this breaks down as
  • 30% based on the presentation of your work
  • 30% on the presentation of yourself
  • 30% on being seen to be "doing a good job"
  • 10% on doing a good job

Their conclusion - "This is not to infer that you should spend 90% of your time floating around looking great and not delivering and only devote 10% of your time to doing your job. But it does mean that you have to be seen - or you may become invisible"

So what can we do to get noticed? Well, for starters.....NeLH Awareness Week is a great opportunity to raise your profile. As for useful ideas, the MLA Communications Toolkit has some useful tips. And keep an eye on the DLnet pages and this weblog for more tips'n'tricks.

What strategies have you tried to raise your profile locally?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Night Shift

Usage of NeLH is at a all time high, thousands more people (50k more visits in Oct) are using it because of your efforts.

Usage is above average at all times of the day..except for between 12 and 7. This would seem to indicate that our marketing efforts are getting through to day staff, who are in turn converting that effort into a visit during working time. In the case of night staff they may of course be accessing during the day( at home) but they are not doing so at work.

So 1. are they getting the message? 2. are they finding better things to do at night when not caring for patients? 3. is there protected time for night staff to undertake CPD? 4.

Promotion of the night time Phone-In learning Session (PILS) could be a way of increasing usage to this group. Other suggstions gratefully received.


PPRG Conference feedback - Top tip for today

Next in a never ending series we have my summary of some tips from Adrian Dale's
presentation on How to write stories for the press and journalistic layout. Adrian Dale is the Managing partner, Creatifica. www.creatifica.com. Training@Creatifica.com

Need to capture the essence of any message succinctly. Journalists are taught to write in a ‘V’ shape. Unlike in most education where we write in a diamond shape, starting at the beginning, developing the story and coming to a nail biting conclusion!

In journalistic style , the Headline (no more than 6-8 words for the Times, 3 words for the Sun!) grabs your attention and gives you the essence of the subject. E.g 'Shock, Horror, Probe!' The teaser pulls you in to the article and makes you want to read on. E.g 'Find out what really went on when Harry met Sally...' The stand alone summarises the article. Each paragraph amplifies or illustrates a key part of the stand alone. The paragraphs are presented in descending order of importance so that the editor can cut the last two paragraphs knowing that the essence the story will remain. Pictures break up the page, attract readers and compensate for bleak stories.

So how would you apply this at work. All standard web copy could be written in this way. Content managers could set up text boxes on screen for Headline, teaser, standalone, etc. and expect people to submit copy in this way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Publicity and Public Relations Group Conference - Grasmere

Just back from the PPRG conference. Beautiful scenery and nice weather up in the lake district added to the enjoyment. I am going to post a few things learnt from the conference as I get time. To kick you off, from the Key note address on Promotion in Perspective by Linda Ashcroft a few tips!

Plan – objectives, marketing strategy
Events – raise awareness, promotion
Resources. Make sure that supply can meet demand, if not can be a negative exercise. Eg Oxford Brookes University held marketing event and gave away apples but they made sure that they could meet the demand that was generated for library services. Transformer toys were marketed before Christmas but they ran out of toys so people were queuing to get hold of the ones that were available.
Sponsorship. Make sure that the sponsor ties in with what you are trying to promote. Eg Threshers off licence sponsored Avon and Somerset police, which sent out the wrong message to drink drivers. Sponsors do like to be associated with good ideas e.g Tesco’s sponsored computers for schools and gained a lot of good publicity. But make sure that your name is not dominated by the Sponsor e.g. Coronation Street sponsored by Cadburys but everyone is clear who is the sponsor and who is providing the service!
Promote e.g Kew gardens did press release in the Times about a smelly plant and were inundated with new users, staff then talked to them about the other plants that were there
Enjoy Success!! Celebrate and publicise your successes and remember that successful partnerships can work again
Communication. Are stakeholders on board? What about the media?
Timing. Eg Christmas toys, summer quiet time for news, summer launch
Image. Importance of first impressions. BA strike gave bad impression.
Value. What is the value of your service to customers? To advertisers?
Evaluate. Did you meet your objectives

Monday, November 10, 2003

Lesvos Conference Report

A bit of a detour from all the AW blogs. In September, Lyn Edmonds and myself won the NeLH competition to spend a week in Lesvos, Greece where we attended the 'libraries without walls' conference. You can read about our experiences by downloading our report from
The link to the report is at the bottom of the above page.

Photos taken at the conference are viewable from www.cerlim.ac.uk/conf/lww5/conf-photos/index.html
It's just as well that few of you will be able to identify me!

Zoe Debenham

Using blogs to market ourselves

The latest issue of Marketing Library Services has an article on using weblogs to promote services. Although it's not entirely available for free, there's usually free access to 1 or 2 articles - they tend to be quite short and practically based, which is nice

NeLH Treasure Hunt

Thanks to Lucy Anderson and John Addison from the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, we now have a Treasure Hunt added to the DLnet Training pages.

And it's not just 1 treasure hunt, but 2!
There's a short, 10 question version, which dips people in and out of different resources.
And there's a longer version that looks at 10 resources, with 5 or 6 questions per resource.

You can use them as part of your training sessions, as a competition during awareness week, or just to give to new users to get them looking at NeLH.

Hope you find them useful

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Ideas for raising NeLH awareness

Here are just a few ideas that I am using to promote NeLH Awareness Week

• Copy the NeLH Awareness Week logo, paste it onto address labels and stick them on all your post.
• Attach a NeLH Business Card (with your details) to the monitor clip so that people can see how to use them. (Incidentally, the monitor clips work well when attached to the bottom of the VDU, as it doesn't block the view, but is still clearly visible).
• Edit your email signature and add the NeLH Awareness Week web address.
• Use the money from your NeLH marketing plan to buy tins of biscuits to distribute to all the practices/departments in your PCT/organisation. Stick a pretty label with your contact details, on the tin, so that they will always have a reminder of where to go if they need information. Together with the biscuits, leave some NeLH publicity material, such as internal envelopes, monitor clip and pencils, and literature on NeLH and your library, for them to read. This is a good way of going out to meet the people you are delivering the service to, so that they can put a face to the name they see on emails and newsletters!
• Organise a quiz to raise awareness (what does NeLH stand for, what services does your local healthcare library provide, etc), and use money from the NeLH marketing plan to pay for the prize. I am giving a Christmas hamper as a prize, and hopefully will get someone (Chief Executive) to present it the week before Christmas.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Information overload - scary stats!

The Times Online ran a story on Saturday called "Brain Drain" which quotes some interesting stats on information overload:
  • [...] last year 800 megabytes of data were produced for every man, woman and child on the planet, double the figure recorded in 1999. And there’s something you didn’t need to know for a start. The quantity of e-mails sent worldwide could have filled the new-look British Library half a million times over

But the nice bit is the quote about librarians....
  • For, as the bumper sticker tells us, if knowledge were power then librarians would rule the world

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Digital libraries and Virtual Learning Environments

This month's Internet Resources Newsletter mentions a useful site on implementing Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) as part of digital library developments. The site is developed by CERLIM and CSALT under the auspices of the LinkER project.