I joined the team at North Cumbria Integrated Care in June 2021 as a Knowledge Support Officer. My previous experience as a Librarian was in schools where all teaching and learning was face to face in a pre-COVID world; suddenly the information landscape looked very different! In this new, virtual world enhancing my own digital skills in order to provide quality training and support was my immediate challenge. Research and networking being my top priority. New training tools and techniques proved to be an exciting opportunity for me and I was soon keen to share these new platforms and strategies with colleagues.

The speed of transition to a virtual world has transformed the way teams find, share and use information and the Library and Knowledge Service became key to enabling staff to assess its quality and reliability. Empowering staff with the skills and confidence to embrace emerging technologies for successful knowledge transfer proves to be an ongoing learning journey for everyone. Sharing best practice has never been more important with collaboration at the heart and the key considerations when supporting staff are inclusion, interaction and wellbeing in order to stimulate learning and add value to their professional development.

Learning from Covid-19 gave rise to a new area of Horizon Scanning Bulletins, all of which make reference to digital skills in some capacity, highlighting the fundamental need for developing the competence and confidence of the workforce to ultimately address population health. Facilitating staff training to enable them to support patients, carers and families is personally and professionally rewarding and in this ever changing virtual world digital literacy is an ongoing requirement for us all, with continuous learning and adaptation being pivotal. I am now embarking on the new Knowledge Specialist role working within the Primary Care Training Hubs. This is a great opportunity to extend the reach of the Knowledge and Library Service breaking down geographical boundaries and granting the priceless gift of time to the entire multi-professional workforce.

This new way of learning, working and living calls to mind a quote from the wisdom of Albert Einstein; “The only thing you have to know is the location of the library.” In our revolutionary world the library will always be on your doorstep.

Tracey Garbarino
Knowledge Support Manager
North Cumbria NHS Knowledge & Library Services