Thursday, 14 June 2007

Blogging the conference - day one

We kicked off with a keynote speech from Ffion Davies, Consultant in Emergency Medicine & Head of Department at University Hospitals NHS Trust. Ffion was inspiring in telling us just how much clinicians need Clinical Librarians, and how we can work together with each other in education and evidence-based medicine. Look out for the article by Tim Coats & Sarah Sutton on the role of the Clinical Librarian in the Emergency Department -it's currently awaiting publication.

Steve Sharp gave us an insight on the Current Awareness methods used by the NLH Specialist Libraries, which was fascinating, as I hadn't realised just how much work goes into keeping the information current & relevant.

After tea, we broke off into parallel sessions, and I attended Veronica Delafosse's presentation on "The Visible Librarian", which was an interesting description of how Veronica had implemented and evaluated a series of training sessions for Occupational Therapists at the Caulfield General Medical Centre in Australia.

Just before lunch, we had a session by Mick Arber from BMJ Clinical Evidence. Mick told us about the process Clinical Evidence use to identify topics for their database, and how articles are appraised before synopses are written. Unfortunately the NHS in England no longer centrally subscribe to Clinical Evidence, which is a shame, as I've often found it to be a really useful resource in my searching.

It was during the morning session that we realised the acoustics in the Maclagen Hall at St. Williams College were not quite the same when full of a bunch of excited information professionals, so we quickly managed to hire in a PA system.

After lunch, at which some of our foreign contingent were mildly confused by the meringues we had for dessert, Andrew Booth chaired, and oversaw Jacqui Verschuere & the team from University Hospitals of Coventry & Warwickshire collect the Evidence in Practice Award prize. The team's submission was a unanimous winner amongst the judges. It followed the process through from the question being asked, to the Clinical Librarian's search to implementation of a wristband to alert patients, care providers and airlines to the risks for patients who have had intraocular gas tamponades.

This was followed by the team from the Netherlands who described to us how Clinical Librarianship has evolved there since the 1990s, which was a very entertaining tour of their work. I was impressed that the library at the Amsterdam Medical Centre commissions artwork!

Sara Sutton followed up on the international theme by telling us all how to blag our way around the world in the name of furthering the profession and our own professional development.

Following on from the much-needed afternoon teabreak, I attended the workshop on RSS feeds run by Heather Gardner of Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust. We discussed the usefulness of different methods of promoting current awareness, and the hindrances we face in trying to do it.

Finally it was back to the main hall for a whistlestop tour of the new features of the Cochrane Library from Nigel Thompson. In this, we learned that South America has moved to Africa (you had to be there!), and that there are a number of elearning resources now available on the site.

It was a packed day, and we still managed to gather a few of us together at 7.30 by the West doors of the Minster to join the Ghost Trail. Having seen last week's Doctor Who, I was unable to turn my back on the statues!

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