CILIP Update June 2015

Lots of good/interesting things in this one.

A new impact toolkit from CILIP! The health libraries’ impact toolkit is being refreshed at the minute so personally I’ll be waiting for that one to hit, but it’s good to have one that can be applied across sectors. In the health service we’re somewhat obsessed with measuring our impact…

The CILIP Leadership programme sounds great – in fact my fellow health info specialist Elly O’Brien is taking part and I’ll be looking forward to her blog posts on what it’s like.

Pleased to read about the Odames library, a new health library for staff and students in Leicester, and especially so to see that they’ll be catering to patients as well. One for a visit if I’m ever in the Midlands, maybe.

The article on the Arts Council England research into libraries and health was very professionally relevant. To probably nobody’s surprise, they have found that people value libraries, and that there is an economic value in having them, but there is no clear connection between the amount of money spent on library and information services and the value that people derive from them. Also unsurprisingly, people value libraries as spaces. We’re never not going to knock a place that offers somewhere to sit where you’re not expected to buy anything.

My personal thoughts are that it is very important politically that we have these findings, but I am also critical of attempts at quantifying everything. I also think that the most important thing is what we/the decisionmakers and people with the money actually decide to do with these numbers. There’s been other research into the arts, for example, that has shown how much they can help people, yet decisions are made based on the assumption that they have no value. So the question I have about this report is, how much good will it actually do in the real world? It would be great if the right people took it seriously, but I don’t hold out too much hope.

The feature on Open Access and processing charges was also interesting. I doubt that we’ll ever have a world where all peer-reviewed research is accessible to all – the signs that the whole system needs rethinking have been there for a while, but I wonder if there’ll ever be a tipping point.

Finally, I found the articles on CPD and the PKSB+ workplace learning framework interesting, especially looking at reasons why people don’t do CPD (because they get to a point where they’re so high up the ladder that they think there’s “nothing for them”) and how there’s “secret CPD”.

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