CILIP Update Dec 2016/Jan 2017

It’s been a year, 2016. For my own part, I was off work for an extended period in the summer owing to a physical health challenge.

Adjustments have been made at work, and I am doing a lot better now. And, in better news, I have now officially made the move from an Assistant Librarian up to being a Clinical Librarian. I am still with the same organisation, but I will have very different responsibilities. There are exciting times ahead while I get to grips with my new role and train my replacement. Bring it on, 2017, I shall meet your challenges with my goalsetting notebook in hand and Habitica by my side.

One of my goals this year is to blog more here, and one of the things that makes that easier is blogging about CILIP Update once a month. So here goes some reflection about the December2016/January 2017 issue.

As a health librarian, the “One million decisions” campaign is hugely interesting to me. A joint campaign between Health Education England and CILIP to raise awareness of the contribution that library and knowledge services make in health is timely and I hope it will achieve what it sets out to do.

With regard to the “Libraries Deliver” report’s focus on volunteering in libraries, I can only say what every other librarian has said: we are professionals who have been through specialist education, we have skills that volunteers don’t have. A library without librarians is just a room/building/box full of books. There is literally no other professional work that, in public perception, could be just as well done by volunteers. I am, however, happy that the sustainability of volunteer services is now being studied by the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce, although I have a feeling that the result will be something that we all already know.

As a person with a background in information literacy teaching, I am very excited about CILIP’s IL research. Information literacy teaching will have change substantially as a result of our “post-truth” society, so as far as I’m concerned we need all the evidence we can get about how to better educate people in information literacy.

I feel like everywhere I’ve gone this past year has been full of Knowledge for Healthcare, but that’s because I am a healthcare librarian. It is a great development for library services in health and it was nice to see articles about it in Update (and I’m sure you’ll hear more about it from me as the year goes on). It was also nice to read about how the US is thinking about how public libraries can help with public health, and are training some library staff to become community health specialists. Part of me is sceptical about this of course, because I am unsure what the capacity is and whether this is a case of misusing one public resource to plug a need that should be filled by other services. But as someone who has worked in partnership with public libraries, I can only speak from my own (extremely limited) experience, which is that staff were grateful to receive training in health issues and feedback was that it would be helpful especially for community and outreach librarians.

Last but not least, I thought it was good that the Learning Zone was being showcased. I always forget that it exists, so it was good to be reminded, because there is a lot on there to help with CPD at various levels. Having just submitted my 2016 revalidation, I will add looking at it to my list of goals for this year.

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