Jesse Waters: The Skill Set of a Health Science Library Assistant
Jesse is a 2015 graduate of the MLIS at University College Dublin, and also holds an MA in History from Mary Immaculate College. He has a great deal of experience in academic libraries, having volunteered at the library at Limerick School of Art and Design and the Glucksman Library (University of Limerick). He recently worked at the James Joyce Library (University College Dublin) and is currently a part time library-assistant at the Mercer Library (Royal College of Surgeons).
The Skill Set of a Health Science Library Assistant` highlights the core skills required from a library assistant, and those which are developed over time while working at the service desk of a health science library. From his own experience, he has identified three categories of skills that a library assistant should possess. First are the skills necessary before one enters the role, such as communication and research skills. Second are the skills which are realised when one becomes comfortable in their individual library, including knowledge of customer needs and library resources. Third are those which develop with experience in ones library, including specific subject knowledge such as health and medicine.
Anne Madden: Building value into a core skill
Anne is Assistant Librarian in St. Vincent’s University Hospital with responsibilities for providing training to a range of staff and students on expert searching, health literacy, critical appraisal etc. She also provides an alerting service, and a bi-monthly evidence bulletin, and is founder and contributor to “HEAR” (Health Evidence Awareness Report). Anne is the HSLG CPD Officer and assists the National Cancer Control Programme as expert searcher.
A standard role for health librarians is to deliver training to staff and/or students in their organisation. In a hospital setting, librarians deliver training to healthcare professionals in different disciplines – nursing, medical, physiotherapy, pharmacology, occupational health – to name but a few. Conflicting demands on limited staff time can mean that training offered by the library can be poorly attended and/or shortened to the extent that it is virtually pointless. To address this, Anne is investigating what is required to deliver courses that will qualify for CME/CPD points from the relevant national bodies – RCPI, NMBI etc – thus increasing the attractiveness and take-up of the service.
This presentation examines the investigation process and lessons learned, including critically assessing the content and quality of training delivered to hospital staff, adapting delivery methods and timings to meet user requirements, challenges arising from the physical and electronic environment, adapting content to suit accrediting body criteria, tracking what works or doesn’t work, and identifying any gaps in our own skill sets required to deliver clinically relevant training.