Meeting of Communicators Group, NHS Scotland Library Services
NHS Education offices, Lister Institute, Hill Square, Edinburgh
10.30 am – 3.30 pm 21 May 2004
Present: Sue Hothersall (SH); Anne Gillespie (AG); George Dougary (GD); Gill Hewitt (GH);
Mhairi McMillan (MM); Malcolm Dobson (MD); Judith Anderson (JA); Lottie McKie (LM); Clare
Scanlan (CS); Cathy Smith (CS); Sandra Ladd (SL); Gerry MacLean (GM); Ann Wales (AW)
Apologies for absence: Juliet Brown, Andy Jackson, Janette Boynton, Sharon
Jamieson, Jennifer MacLaine, Isla Imrie (George Dougary deputising)
Clare Scanlan was welcomed as the new Communicator for NHS 24; George Dougary was welcomed and thanked for deputising for Isla Imrie.
Notes of previous meeting. These were accepted.
Matters arising not otherwise on agenda
Gerry MacLean to meet shortly with Caroline Whitehead to agree on how to progress the pilot.
Action: GM to report back on meeting with RGU
Uploading local strategies to Librarians’ Area
Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire and Arran and Grampian strategies had been uploaded.
Communicators were thanked for making these documents available.
Interlibrary loans and print journals: cost-effective management
4.1 GD gave a stimulating presentation (attached) covering: a.) The impact of implementing the document delivery system managed by NHS Education in NHS Grampian; b.) management of print journal subscriptions and the impact of the NHS Scotland e-Library.
4.2 Implementation of the NES- managed document delivery system in NHS Grampian had been linked with centralisation of interlibrary loans processing. This involved transferring management of requests received from secondary care (the former University Hospitals NHS
Trust) from management by the University Medical School Library to management alongside primary care requests by the library service at Cornhill Hospital.
4.3 Interlibrary loan statistics and costs for 2002/3 were compared with those for the pilot period for the new system (1 September 2003 to 28 February 2004). The total volume of requests, calculated on a
basis, had reduced by an estimated 30%. This was attributed to the increased availability of fulltext titles via the e-Library. Average cost per request had reduced from £2.65 to £2.04. This was likely to be due to the fact that the
Cornhill Hospital used a variety of cheaper interlibrary loan providers compared with the
Medical School Library, which formerly sent requests solely to the British Library, incurring a higher cost.
4.4 Library staff time spent on processing requests had been reduced by encouraging users to place requests remotely via the Internet interface of the document requesting system.
4.5 Usage of current print journals in the Royal Cornhill Hospital Library, Medical School
Library, Woodend Research Library and NHS Grampian Public Health Library had been
studied using the survey slip approach. Initial findings indicated that 38% of current titles had not been used. Half of those not being used are available online.
4.6 George described how in his Project Officer role he had achieved a degree of centralisation of management of departmental as well as library print journals across NHS
Grampian. Finances and receipt of titles were still managed at departmental level; however, the Grampian-wide overview had enabled cancellation of 52 out of an original total of 382 titles. These included a number of library cancellations, and several departments had been persuaded to rationalise their subscriptions on the basis of availability via the NHS Scotland e-Library or of multiple print subscriptions within the organisation.
4.7 Increases in subscription costs had meant that the full extent of savings originally anticipated had not materialised. Total savings achieved by cancellation of 52 titles were just under £10,000 for 2004 subscriptions compared with the total sum paid for 2003 subscriptions. It was noted however that the cost to maintain the full set of original subscriptions at 2004 costs would be significantly higher than that paid in 2003.
4.8 Discussion of George’s presentation covered the following points:
4.8.1 Need for confirmation of e-Library continuity before cancellation of print titles can be undertaken with confidence.
As cancellation of print subscriptions takes place, need for an NHS Scotland wide approach to taking responsibility for retaining current print copy. Linked with this, the need to consider a managed NHS Scotland-wide approach to retaining archives of print copies.
Noted that the savings in NHS Grampian had been achieved in large part from departmental budgets rather than directly from the library budget; moreover that savings had not fed directly back into library service development. Nevertheless agreed that even without centralised spending, centralised administration of print journals had been significantly costeffective to NHS Grampian as a whole and had given a clear signal that responsibility for journals management lay with the library service.
Unpredictability of increases in publishers’ costs for print and electronic makes it difficult to plan and budget ahead.
Questions over the level of discount available from EBSCO as journal subscription agent. AW reminded the group that the tender process during 2003 had identified EBSCO as best value subscription agent for NHS Scotland Library Services.
Action: AW to circulate details of EBSCO’s discount rates.
JA commented that Bell College Library (Dumfries and Galloway campus) was able to keep quite accurate journal usage statistics on an ongoing basis by asking users not to reshelve journal issues themselves; library staff do the shelving and count usage of each title in the process.
Noted increasing tendency for publishers who formerly provided electronic access free with print now to introduce charges.
identified as case in point. Noted associated tendency for publishers no longer to offer online as optional but to insist that print and electronic formats are purchased as a whole package.
SH suggested that it might be possible to produce a simple grid tool to map titles against characteristics that would help librarians in making decisions about whether to cancel or retain a subscription. For each title, it would be possible to indicate, for example, whether it is available electronically via the elibrary; whether electronic is available freely with print; whether another NHS library service is retaining a print subscription, etc.
Concern was expressed about the possibility that NHS Boards might be asked to contribute to the NHS Scotland e-Library as a substitute for their current spend on print journals. AW indicated that the business case would continue to recognise the principles NHS
Education had already put forward in terms of an integrated and inter-dependent local/national approach, rather than local and national being regarded as independent approaches to service delivery. This framework requires increased investment and support for local NHS library services as well as continuity for the NHS Scotland e-Library. While local
NHS Boards were regarded as potentially a legitimate funding partner for the longer term, it was recognised that it would be unrealistic in the present financial climate to expect a contribution to e-Library costs in the coming two years.
The draft business case will not draw a simplistic equivalence between cancellation of print library journals and potential for contribution to the e-Library. Rather, it will highlight how the e-Library enables savings to be made throughout the NHS system in a wide variety of ways - including economies of scale in purchase of content and in building technical infrastructure; and through saving time and money by providing access to knowledge and learning resources at point of need. The business case will recognise the need for reinvestment of these system-wide savings in knowledge support at local level as well as the potential need to consider some longer term investment in the national knowledge infrastructure represented by the e-Library.
Training and Development for NHS Scotland Library Staff 5.
5.1 Gerry MacLean, Library Staff Development Manager for NHS Education, gave a brief presentation on training and development needs. This was followed by a short group work session exploring technical, professional and managerial elements of the NHS librarian role, as well as barriers to undertaking training and development and ways in which training and development needs could potentially be met. Presentation and groupwork notes are attached.
5.2 Discussion took place around the fact that personal and professional development do not always require attendance at a course or delivery by a third party; equally they occur as an intrinsic part of day to day work, being built up through reflective practice and by a willingness to recognise and respect the learning that we can gain directly from colleagues.
6.1 Feedback from Regional Librarian Network meetings
6.1.1 Outer West Librarian Network (NHS Argyll and Clyde, NHS Ayrshire and
Arran, NHS Dumfries and Galloway)
Stuart Bain’s presentation
The messages regarding system-wide responsibility for the NHS Scotland e-Library in
Stuart Bain’s presentation had been noted and concerns expressed about substitution of funding for local services by funding for the e-Library. This concern had been addressed in the earlier discussion of print and electronic journals management (see 4.8.9 above).
The possibility of cross-Board consortium purchasing of electronic content, eg via a public health consortium, had been discussed.
Concern that Stuart Bain’s presentation focused exclusively on e-Library as an end-user resource. Important to note that it must also be regarded as a mediated service, with librarians facilitating effective use and providing expert searching.
Feedback on redesigned NHS Scotland e-Library
Familiar web layout welcomed
Concern that main usage of e-Library focuses on fulltext journals and databases – access
route to these resources may be masked by the search box, which users expect to conduct a search at article level.
Extent of changes and new functionality noted – agreed that it will take time for users to become accustomed to the new interface and to appreciate the full extent of new functionality.
Concerns that some clinical staff interpreted this service as “presumptuous”, suggesting that current mechanisms of communication were not optimally effective. AW stressed that the Knowledge Exchange service was offered as an opportunity for staff to take up where there is perceived need and potential benefit. At no time should the Knowledge
Exchange system be regarded or presented as an imposed substitute for existing communication systems but rather as complementing such systems.
Lack of clarity over the nature of Knowledge Exchanges and potential librarian role within these system– are librairans expected to be advisers / promoters/ administrators or active participants?
AW suggested that librarians might want to read the “help” sections on Knowledge
Exchanges and Discussion Forums within the e-Library to clarify the understanding of these functions. She indicated that while, in a broad sense, involvement in horizontal networking with clinical staff and managers could be regarded as a key component of the extended librarian role, there was no intention to prescribe a librarian role in
Knowledge Exchanges or Forums. It was expected that librarians would promote the service to their users as one of the available e-Library functions. It was also already evident that in some specialist contexts the librarian might well be involved in initiating or administering a forum or Exchange; however, it is anticipated that the majority of communities will to be operated by clinicians and other non-librarians who form a natural community of practice.
Action: AW to consult with e-Library team on producing a librarians’ guide to
Discussion Forums and Knowledge Exchanges.
Marketing of NHS Scotland e-Library
Seen as important that e-Library marketing is integrated with promotion of the local library service
Concern over uncertainties surrounding the future of the e-Library; dilemma of promoting a product that may have a limited shelf-life.
Ongoing concern over inadequate access to IT and training to support realisation of the full potential of the e-Library.
Need for ongoing programme of training including follow-up sessions. Encouragement to share promotional material and ideas within the librarian community. NELH conference call sessions regarded as an effective model to adapt for the e-Library.
AW indicated that Malcolm Wright, the new Chief Executive of NHS Education, had given instructions to carry out proactive promotion of the e-Library throughout the system and was highly supportive of the need to ensure the long term future of the service.
Potential for librarians to add own material was attractive.
Closed discussion area to exchange ideas on promotion and service development seen as desirable.
Network had agreed to set up a Discussion Forum or Knowledge Exchange for Outer
West Librarians Network.
Outer West Network had re-visited the concerns expressed within Argyll and Clyde over configuration of the network and the fact that the southern part of Argyll and Clyde may look to Glasgow as its most natural partner. Network had agreed to remain with the status quo for the present.
6.1.2 Inner West Librarians Network (Forth Valley, Lanarkshire, Glasgow)
Stuart Bain’s presentation
Regarded as motivational; funding issues clearly critical; same questions as Outer West
network over relationship between e-Library funding and funding for local library services
(see 4.8.9 above).
Network had agreed to email SB’s presentation to Chief Executives and senior managers together with a copy of “Exploiting the Power of Knowledge in NHS Scotland” and the report of the 6
th April seminar to launch the national strategy.
Feedback on redesigned NHS Scotland e-Library
Sitemap recommended; possible issues around indexing of mental health content; some
Specialist Areas, eg nursing very extensive and difficult to navigate.
Problem had been noted with NHS staff working across two NHS Boards, eg Glasgow and
Forth Valley; situation arises where staff with Forth Valley passwords need to apply for a second ATHENS userid and password in order to access NHS Glasgow electronic resources.
AW indicated that she believed it should be possible to extend access to additional resources to existing individual accounts , rather than requiring the user to set up a second account. Duplicate accounts would cause problems with personalisation, alerting services, etc.
Action: AW to confirm how to extend user’s entitlement to cover more than one
NHS Board’s resources.
As with Outer West Network, wanted more clarity on potential librarian role; concern that this was seen as extra imposed workload; how would it interface with delivery of
“bread and butter” library services. (See response above to Outer West Network comments)
Marketing of NHS Scotland e-Library
NHS Glasgow planning a two-week series of roadshow events, including promotion to
Managed Clinical Networks. Suggestion of promotion via public libraries; issues of training and support for librarians.
6.1.3 East Region Librarians’ Network (NHS Fife, NHS Lothian, NHS Borders)
Feedback by SL
Stuart Bain’s presentation
Agreed that this was impressive and useful for future reference.
Feedback on redesigned NHS Scotland e-Library
Concern over infrastructure issues – eg in acute division in Lothian only 1000 out of 6000 staff have Internet and email access.
Positive feedback on “My Knowledge Space” feature; option to change font sizes
Would have welcomed more training for librarians in advance of launch
Would welcome printed lists of journals and books
Suggested involvement in a pilot – eg a Knowledge Exchange for a group of NHS librarians
Recognised that Knowledge Exchanges would be self-managed in the majority of cases
and that librarian role would frequently be one of signposting. If and when librarians are involved in facilitation it was recognised that this would require a significant commitment.
Marketing the NHS Scotland e-Library
NHS Fife had produced a training pack which could be shared more widely
Suggested that system-wide access to the e-Library could be accompanied by a
“passport” scheme that would enable NHS staff to access any physical NHS library services.
Had agreed that all Boards were keen to participate in the RGU/QMUC training pilot.
6.1.4 Northern Region Librarians Network
Feedback by GD (full minutes available)
Stuart Bain’s presentation
Noted the focus on governance
Feedback on redesigned NHS Scotland e-Library
Preference for Google presentation
Agreement to aim to target Heads of Departments
Direct librarian involvement would require a lot of work; need to define level of involvement which individual librarians feel able to take on.
Update from Coordinator
6.2.1 AW reported that the business case for continuation of NHS Scotland e-Library was still under development under the auspices of an internal Steering Group within NES and an external Working Group comprising three NHS Board Chief Executives (NHS Fife, NHS
Ayrshire and Arran, Common Services Agency) and two Scottish Executive Health Department representatives (June Andrews, Director, Centre for Change and Innovation; Dr Kenneth
Robertson, Clinical Lead, e-Health Strategy). An August timescale had been agreed for submission of the business case, to NHS Education, the Scottish Executive and the NHS
Boards Chief Executives’ Group. Malcolm Wright, the new Chief Executive of NHS Education was highly supportive of the role and future potential of the e-Library.
6.2.2 AW reiterated that the business case recognised the pressures on NHS Board funding for the coming two years and the fact that it would not be feasible to approach the boards for funding at the present time. The e-Library is not presented as a substitute for local services but rather as a key element of an interdependent local and national knowledge service development process which requires support and investment across the whole system;
6.2.3 The Knowledge Management Forum on 30 th April to launch the redesigned NHS
Scotland e-Library had been successful, with approximately 150 participants drawn from a variety of disciplines and areas across the NHS. The Knowledge Services Group was now embarking on a programme of outreach and further development and modification of the redesigned e-Library in response to feedback.
6.2.4 Work had commenced on creation of a Healthcare Associated Infections Knowledge
Portal, with a Project Consultant (Andy Hyde) being appointed on a part-time basis to support this project. Funding had also been identified for a Diabetes Portal, and this work should begin in the near future.
6.2.5 New staff: It was a pleasure to announce that Gerry MacLean had now taken up post as
Staff Development Manager, NHS Scotland Knowledge Services (2.5 days per week). Lynn
Caldwell had been appointed as Information Specialist and Kimberley Ralston as IT Officer for a New Opportunities funded project to develop a Stroke Therapy Knowledge Portal.
6.2.6 The post of Project Manager for the Northern Region Knowledge Management Project had been evaluated as A&C 8 and should be advertised within the week. This postholder would line manage two part-time Information Officers working on development of a Remote and Rural Healthcare Portal using funds made available by the former RARARI.
6.2.7 Work had now commenced on detailed implementation planning for the coming year, based on the development themes defined within
Draft proposal to create an Expert Advisory Group for implementation of
(Paper circulated previously)
7.1 AW presented an overview of this proposal, based on the recognition that the transition from strategic development to implementation phase required some modifications in the nature of the Reference Group. The proposed new group would bring together librarian and senior management representatives in a cross-Board, cross-disciplinary configuration that reflected the principles of integration and cooperative working underpinning the national strategy.
7.2 Feedback covered the following points:
Overall, the proposal was positively received.
Option 1 seen as the only viable approach to defining representation on the group; would be very difficult to find a senior manager to represent each development area as proposed in option 2. It was noted however that there was some natural mapping between the development themes in option 2 and the representation suggested in option 1.
GM suggested that it would be appropriate to include representation for the interests of Special NHS Board library and knowledge services. This was agreed.
SH stressed that it was important that remote NHS Boards did not feel they were excluded from representation on this cross-cutting group.
The question of whether nominations should be made on a basis of individual interest or authority within the NHS (ie nomination by a national or regional NHS group) was discussed. The importance of making initial nominations by the latter route was acknowledged. Ultimately the decision on nomination process would lie with the
Librarian Participation in Discussion Forums / Knowledge Exchanges
Group work: Facilitator Mhairi McMillan
Participants: Gill Earl, Lottie McKie, George Dougary, Anne Gillespie, Sandra Ladd, Clare
8.1 Existing or emerging Communities of Practice in own work context
Regional Librarian networks
Board Area Librarian Groups and Stakeholder Groupos
Forth Valley Primary Care Group
Stroke Group in NHS Highland
Coronary Care Nurses
8.2 Benefits of Communities of Practice
Avoiding duplication of effort
Collaboration to achieve goals which would not be possible working independently
Continuing professional development
Disseminating information / publicity
Keeping community members up to date
Keeping in contact – addressing problems of isolation
8.3 Potential disadvantages of Communities of Practice
Differing levels of interest
Requirement for time and commitment
Majority of work may fall to one or two individuals
Risk of domination by individuals
Communities may not have management buy-in – possibility of conflict between community and management
8.4 Key characteristics of Communities of Practice in health context
Purpose of community is explicitly related to practice
8.5 e-Library Framework to support Communities of Practice
Examples of potential use of e-Library framework: o o o
Building projects database
Creating a Who’s who database of contacts
Guide needed to use of Knowledge Exchanges o o o o
Noticeboard to announce new ideas or projects – seek interested individuals
Case conferencing e-Library indexing system can facilitate retrieval of information contributed to
8.6 Practicalities of Communities of Practice
A Champion to initiate and ensure vitality
An Administrator to manage the Forum or Exchange
A “librarian” to manage the information content
A “mole” to stimulate discussion
A marketing lead to generate interest and attract membership
A defined remit and terms of reference
8.7 Action points for Librarians:
Act as contact points for promotion of Forums and Knowledge Exchanges
Include mention of Discussion Forums and Knowledge Exchanges in training
Set up a Knowledge Exchange for Outer West Librarian network
8.8 Action point for e-Library Team:
Produce Librarians’ Guide to Knowledge Exchanges
Librarians’ Area of e-Library
Facilitator: Gerry Maclean; Scribe: Laura McCaig, Information Manager, NHS
Participants: Cathy Smith; Judith Anderson; Malcolm Dobson; Sue Hothersall.
9.1 Feedback on existing Librarians' Area:
General opinion was that the original content was very good and exactly the kind of information that was required.
Strategy, Policy, Current Topics
Useful Articles e-Library trouble-shooting and updates
Some links no longer work
Many were not aware this information was here!
Last updated January 2004
Recommended that this is also on main homepage for users too.
Library administration functions
Knowledge Services for Primary
Due to the nature of the current presentation, many were unaware of what data was actually held and subsequently quite surprised when re-introduced to the site.
Presentation - too "busy" looking or "cluttered" making it difficult to find correct information easily.
Responsibility/ownership of page not clear
Feedback on suggestions for re-developed Librarians' Area
Promotion and Outreach
Notes from Promotion and Outreach Group
Local marketing plans and activities
Links to marketing material
Books, journals, database, websites with library services focus
Government policy documents relevant to library services
All suggestions were agreed as being worthy of inclusion in the redesigned Librarians' Area.
Would like a more structured approach
Preferable if redesigned area mirrored the look of other portals
Wish to have a separate 'search' box for Librarians information or the ability to limit to this area only. A tick box 'for Librarians only' on the main search box was discounted as it was felt that other users would feel excluded from the resources.
High level of interactivity required/desired, e.g. ability to post relevant articles etc without having to rely on IT or NES to do so
"Localised resources" - wish to have the ability to amend work for individual purposes
e.g. taking general material such as e-Library Powerpoint presentations and customising them for their own specific needs, thus reducing repetition of effort.
Would like a 'Closed Area' within the portal (especially in discussion areas)
Need to make clear the division between new and archive material
Areas relating to general policy, Chrysalis etc should be managed by NES. Other areas such as announcements etc where local information could be added would have to be locally managed.
Although the idea of local librarian management was welcomed there was a general feeling
that this may not be achieved due to local IT restrictions. There was also a feeling that as the local librarians are not sure of what is required to 'manage' these areas that proper training would be required in order for the area to function properly.
Local strategies to be 'managed' locally
Local IT problems/restrictions may mean that NES may have to administrate
Administrator training required
Librarian Discussion Forums
Themes of local area group notices and general training issues, posting of presentations that may be of use to other regions e.g. e-Library training presentations were all discussed as possible discussion forums.
It was felt that the forums could remain open, as there was no material being posted that would not be 'open access', however there may be a requirement for part of the forum to be
closed. E.g. a closed area for each region to post local information not thought to be of interest to a general audience or local 'draft' documents.
It was also requested that NES draw up a guideline for using the discussion forums as if local
Librarians were to be moderators they would appreciate receiving appropriate training.
How to sustain these areas and keep them active?
It was also suggested that a more social, fun element may be added which may encourage lurkers to post for the first time.
The general outcome was that Librarians were technically unsure of how to use the discussion forums, it was suggested that NES should start a test message string to give everyone the opportunity to post.
Moderation of messages - need to know what is involved in the process.
Fun 'thread' to encourage initial use
NES to start a discussion thread
Cataloguing and indexing
There was concern that specific Librarian content would be retrieved in a general endusers search and could affect the precision of the search results. Hence there is a necessity to index the material specifically for Librarians so it is not retrieved in a general e-Library search (or if so does not detract from relevant hits). The possibility of
incorporating a Librarians' thesaurus such as LISA was discussed, as was developing a search box in the Librarians area, which would only search the Librarians' Area content.
Athens access. It was agreed that the Athens accounts would be a good way to limit access to the Librarians' area.
Search page on Librarians' portal with limit option.
Athens system used to limit access
LISA thesaurus used for indexing purposes?
Need for change to Librarians' Area and suggestions for new areas accepted
Regional Librarians information area required
Would also like a Current awareness area/option for Librarians
Health Libraries Week (scheduled for week beginning 15 November)
10.1 SL reported on the initial planning meeting which she and Shona McQuistan (Western
Infirmary, Glasgow) had attended on 27 May behalf of thetive Promotion and Outreach
10.2 This collaborative UK-wide initiative is intended to involve all four nation states and the
Health Libraries Group. It has been proposed by the English NELH as a means of building upon the success of individual promotional campaigns during the past two years and demonstrating a commitment to partnership working. This would essentially be an umbrella for party’s individual activities but there would be opportunities to work jointly.
10.3 Proposed to work on a marketing disk (print posters on demand) and session for the
HLG Conference in early September. Materials for disk required by end
July. Slides circulated with proposals. Overall theme – Libraries and Librarians are changing
Need to define scope – NHS / HE / voluntary sector / social care etc.
Action: AW to confirm details with Alison Turner. Proposals to be discussed and developed further with Knowledge Services Group and Promotion and Outreach
Group; then circulated to Librarian Networks for consultation and further discussion at July Communicators’ meeting.
No other business identified
Date of next meeting - 10.30 am 27 July 2004, Lister Institute, Hill Square,