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Northern Lights, A newsletter for Health Libraries in the North. NHS Library Services (North)

Northern Lights Editorial Issue 4

Welcome to the winter edition of Northern Lights. In his article, Is Ranganathan still relevant?, Chris Lawton asks are the objectives put forward for libraries nearly 90 years ago still relevant today? In addition to Chris’ article perhaps part of the answer can be found in the ideas and practices found in this issue of Northern Lights.


There is a marvellous diversity in the North that is reflected in the Rainbow Badges that have been rolled out in Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation. In her article, Accessibility in the library, Carly Miller continues the theme of diversity and asks whether there is more that can be done to make the library at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust more inclusive. Another amazing example of diversity in the North is provided by Tracey Pratchett and Zareena Mulla in their articles, A living library – where people are the books and Talk to the Hijabi.


There is an international approach from the conference reports for the 10th International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC) 2019. Naomi Hall treats us to Sue Lacey-Bryant’s keynote talk on the Topol Review and the impact which digital technology will have on healthcare and on our profession. In her talk Sue emphasised that “Evidence does not speak for itself. It requires people like you to mediate it.” Patrick Glaister, Caitlin McCulloch, Jane Roberts, and Caroline Timothy in their article, Language, search advice and everything NICE: reflections on the 10th International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC) 2019, also provide us with their different impressions of the ICLC. Patrick and Caitlin highlight Helen Kiely’s interesting talk on the need for plain language. Jane discusses Liz Hunwick’s and Rebecca Parrott’s presentation, ‘The clinical librarians guide to winning friends and influencing people’. This presentation discussed the importance of being approachable when delivering a Clinical Librarian service. Caroline brings to our attention a paper by an ‘American clinical library’ on voice assistants: Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa. This presentation suggested that while Alexa is most popular (in 2019) it is also probably the worst! Another standout article for Caroline was Suzanne Toft’s talk about how she has provided critical appraising to a haemodialysis patient taking part in a systematic review. Suzanne discussed the need to put terms into plain English, terms such as ‘lost to follow up’.

The international theme continues with Federica Bianchini and Max Santalucia, who both recently discovered that they had independently taken the journey from a childhood in Lake Como to working as librarians in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Back in the North, Dawn Grundy tells us about the visit of Roy Lilley, the health writer and commentator, who visited the University of Bolton to find out about the ‘new developments’ taking place in the Faculty of Health and Well-being. Popping up across Leeds, by Maria Simões and Ryan Ford describe Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust use of pop up libraries, but maybe should be renamed ‘Beware of the PAT Dog’ as they steal the limelight. Sheila Marsh, of North Cumbria Library & Knowledge Services, talks about their new learning and improvement hub and its role in bringing learning closer to the wards. Sandra Johnson tells us in the Great Escape of Junior Doctors working together to escape the library (and other rooms) Paula Elliott, Sandra Johnson and Kelly Doolan tell us about the plans for a state of the art health College in the North West. Dominic Gilroy offers advice on Fellowship, explaining the process and benefits in terms of skills learnt, networking opportunities gained and confidence boosted and Andrew Craig provides a quick outline of some of the promotional activities that took place at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals during Digital Libraries Week.

We have a number of new starters in this issue. Welcome to Erica Hateley, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, who swapped Norway for Manchester. Welcome to Carly Rowley who has arrived in Wirral University Teaching Hospitals and to Graham Breckon, who though technically not a new starter has moved from Wirral to Chester.

This is the year we said goodbye to Ian P.G. King from Bradford Royal Infirmary, he will be missed by his many friends and colleagues from across the region and the sector.

Samantha Gavaghan
Library and Information Operatiomal Services Manager
Tees Esk and Wear Valley  NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Lights Editorial Issue 4