Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Blogging the conference #2

Day Two of the conference kicked off with a talk from Claire Honeybourne, NHS National Core Content Manager. Claire talked about the new developments coming from the Core Content, and the role that Clinical Librarians may be able to play. I must admit she got me thinking about networks, and ways that we can interact with one another. There was some discussion post-conference about the use of the Clinical Librarian Jiscmail mailing list, and whether we make enough use of it to discuss the future of the profession. There was lots to think about from this, so watch this space.

Jacqueline Verschuere presented again, this time on how the Clinical Librarian can still make a difference when the evidence base is low. We often expect there to be perfect answers to the questions we're asked by clinicians, and finding a lack of high-level evidence can be disappointing, especially when you're starting out as a new CL. Jacqui wanted to spark a debate about whether guidelines are high evidence - is a NICE guideline that is based on case series as good as a systematic review?

Klara Brunnhuber and Jane McHugh from BMJ publishing group presented the results of some work they had been doing with clinicians on barriers in the EBM process. I'll admit that at this stage, nerves had got the better of me, as I was up shortly after the tea break, and I was frantically scribbling notes on my presentation script.

A CL conference isn't a CL conference with Andrew Booth. Andrew talked about the work that ScHaRR had been asked to do regarding the training of CLs. I have mixed feelings about this, because while I agree that a CL training programme would be an interesting addition to already existing training options, I do think that a lot of clinical librarianship is personality-based and cannot be taught from a curriculum.

Next up was me, so I'll gloss over that. It was a bit of a blur anyway. I talked about the Pharm-assist project we're running using PDAs at Leicester. It's ongoing, but we hope to present preliminary results at the EAHIL workshop in September.

Caroline Storer & Linda Dobrzanska followed, talking about how they have implemented SIGs - Special Interest Groups at Bradford & Airedale tPCT.

A brief presentation from Ovid turned into a lot of praise from our Australian delegates for its QUOSA product - it's on my ever-expanding list of web sites to check out!

After lunch, Sarah Lewis & Nia Wyn Roberts talked about how they've set up & evaluated peer support sessions in Thames Valley & Hampshire. It's something we've tried in Leicester, based on the Vanderbilt "SearchTalk" sessions that Becky Jerome & colleagues told us about at "Lost in Space"in 2006. I found this talk really interesting, and hope we can get back to doing our sessions again soon.

Following on in the peer support/networking theme, Debra Thornton & James Allen talked to us about how they've set up a journal club for librarians in the North West, based on the principles of clinical journal clubs that they've attended. The idea of practising what you preach in terms of evidence-based practice came across loud and clear! This was another inspiring talk - there'll hardly be any time left for the searching once we've done all this.

Brenda Goddard & Helen Williams talked to us about the way they've restructed library services at Winchester & Eastleigh to reflect more outreach work. This was an interesting presentation in that it was recognised that the library assistants pretty much run the library as a physical resource while librarians go out & gatecrash clinical meetings. Some of it did feel to me like preaching to the converted, as I'm quite well practised in the art of gatecrashing! Hopefully it inpsired the more reticent among us to get out there.

Finally, we broke off into three workshop sessions. I attended Sara Clarke's workshop on the way in which NLH Specialist Libraries and CLs can work together. I'd previously been quite wary of Specialist Libraries, thinking that they were attempting to virtually replace CLs, but after some discussion, we realised that there are ways in which we can complement each other. With the potential for personalisation of the Specialist Libraries, there may be ways of promoting CL services to users from the Trusts that have them.

All in all, I found it to be an exhausting & inspiring two days. I find that being a CL can be quite isolating, even in a Trust where there is more than one of us, so it is always reassuring to know that there are more of us out there, all facing very similar problems.

I hope that the presentations will soon be available on the web site. http://www.uhl-library.nhs.uk > Clinical Librarians > Study Days

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