Hello everyone, I’m Ruth Muscat and I’ve recently joined Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHTR) in the role of Clinical Librarian, jobsharing with Joanne Taylor.

I moved to London from Malta in 2006, having had a whale of a time doing my MA LIS at University College London and wanting more of the opportunities the UK afforded. I've worked in health libraries almost all the time since then, performing clinical librarian-type roles in various UCL medical libraries for ten years – I’ve held posts at the Institute of Child Health Library based at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the library at the Royal Free Hospital, amongst others, and for a while I managed a couple of the old NICE Evidence Specialist Collections if anyone apart from me is old enough to remember those.

When we moved to the NW it was a bit of a shock to learn how difficult it was to get a job outside London, and so I had a 3-year hiatus as the EBSCO Health regional sales manager for UK North and Ireland, where I had the opportunity to get to know some of you. It was sad being on the outside looking in though, and I really wanted to get back into health libraries ASAP, so when a fixed term post came up at what was then Public Health England I took the chance and was a Knowledge and Evidence Specialist there for 18 months till the contract ended. I'm also, for my sins, halfway through a PhD with Northumbria University, researching the role that health librarians play in mobilising knowledge within and across healthcare organisations – please fill my survey when I send it round in a few months’ time!!

It’s been absolutely wonderful being back in a medical library since I started in June, my friends and family have all been commenting about how fired up I am about it. The clinical librarian service at LTHTR is very well established and highly in demand, and it will be great to work with Joanne and the rest of the team and our library manager to expand the service in new directions. We have a very actively used literature search service to clinical as well as public health users, and we are starting to get more involved in supporting systematic reviewing. We have a knowledge management role in the form of checking, cataloguing and uploading Trust policies as well as maintaining a Trust publications database. In addition to that we provide training and promote our resources, obviously, and I have just taken the lead on restarting ward rounds with the Critical Care team, after Covid put a stop to my predecessor Emily’s involvement.

Outside of work I live in Glossop with my husband Keith and our five (yes, really!) cats, and frequently miss the warm Mediterranean beaches of my youth though I do love the Peak District. I am a bookworm (contemporary fiction mainly), a soprano in my local choir, a fair-weather gardener, an occasional catsitter, an even more occasional volunteer in our local community bookshop, and I sometimes dabble in making jewellery out of silver clay (look it up). I am greatly looking forward to working with you all, it's so, so good to be squarely back in the medical librarian fold! I’m contactable on ruth.muscat@lthtr.nhs.uk and I work Wednesday to Friday.