In this short piece, I’ll highlight the main steps taken during the LibKey Nomad implementation plan we carried at Bradford District Care NHS FT. I’m not focusing on what LibKey Nomad is or how it works, this information can be found at

On the morning of the 8th February 2021 a green drop icon appeared on the Microsoft Edge browser of all laptops and PCs affiliated with Bradford District Care NHS Trust. It meant that the trust-wide roll-out project of LibKey Nomad was completed and it was live!


Back in June 2020 I started my new role at Bradford District Care NHS Trust as Library Manager and, as part of my induction, I scheduled different meetings with our suppliers. One of these was with Third Iron from which we currently subscribe to Browzine. The sales representative gave me an overview of the products included with the subscription highlighting a browser plugin that I had never heard of: LibKey Nomad.

I immediately recognised the potential of LibKey Nomad and how it facilitates access to library content when users start looking for journal articles outside the library remit (publisher websites, Google Scholar, Wikipedia, etc.). And it fitted perfectly with our remote access strategy during Covid. I passed the info to my colleagues in the library team, who expressed the same enthusiasm for the product.

I then demonstrated how LibKey Nomad works during two Trust strategic committee meetings: the Research Forum and the Medical Education Council. Instantly, I got the support of our Director of Research and of the Medical Director to implement and roll-out the LibKey Nomad installation.

IT resistance

Next, I reached out to our IT department and explained the project: roll-out LibKey Nomad on any laptop and PC affiliated with the Trust. It was August 2020.

The Cyber security team replied to me with some reservations. They were worried about:

• potential confusion on what LibKey Nomad was from staff
• being inundated with calls and messages seeking clarification
• security issues (quite vague this one!).

Meanwhile, I asked for support from our Director of Research and Medical Director who helped me strengthen the proposal. Their support was essential.

I then submitted a business case proposal to IT highlighting the benefits and risks of the roll-out at a Trust level. As well as passing technical information from Third Iron, I reassured IT that we would prepare an awareness campaign and marketing materials to introduce the product. I also confirmed that the library team would deal with any enquiry or complaint about it. The proposal went to the IT committee for discussion and review.

Planning for awareness

The business case was approved in November 2020. I’ll omit here the time I spent chasing the outcome!

I teamed up with a Cyber security office from IT and we decided to phase the roll-out in three stages:

1. In December 2020 we tested the plug-in using 20 IP addresses from staff who wanted to trial LibKey Nomad. I collected feedback, and they were all positive!
2. In January 2021, the library team started an awareness campaign on how to use LibKey Nomad. We created posts on our website, sent emails to OpenAthens users, prepared marketing material for our internal newsletter and had a screensaver added to any laptop promoting the product.
3. In February 2021 we agreed to launch the roll-out trust wide.

Lessons learnt

• Be persistent! If IT doesn’t collaborate at first, keep asking for clarifications and reasons why the project can’t go ahead. If the reply you get is not satisfactory, escalate it to managers in IT.
• Involve senior staff members in the project. Our Medical Director and Director of Research were really supportive and encouraged me to keep chasing the project with IT. For example, our request for having a screensaver promoting LibKey Nomad was initially turned down. Our Medical Director suggested rewording it and having a more explicit link to Covid questions and resubmitting the request on the day he was attending the Silver committee. The screensaver was then approved!
• Involve your team in the project. At different levels I kept my team updated on the different stages and they proved to be really helpful in promoting the product to our staff. In particular I asked Mel(anie Dawson), our Knowledge Manager, to look after the automation of LibKey Nomad with our document supply process. Find out more about it in her own post.
• Share your story! Last month I have been approached by a medical librarian in Norway about this project.

Federica Bianchini
Library Manager
Bradford District Care NHS trust