Despite having a horribly early start (thank you Northern Rail timetable) I was really looking forward to attending the ‘Big Day Out Up North’ and I’m pleased to say, it didn’t disappoint. The programme was really interesting with a variety of topics and presenters to learn from.

The venue itself was great, and I could enthuse for many pages about the lunch that was provided, but on to the event itself!

The day began with a talk from Martin Kratz, the project manager for the (as yet) unopened Manchester Poetry Library. It was interesting to learn how some of my colleagues in mental health trusts had used poetry in their libraries and gave me some ideas of how I could possibly incorporate poetry into some of our library events, and promotions – particularly around staff health and wellbeing.

After Martin we had a series of fast ten minute talks on lots of different topics. I presented on our experiences of promoting the library service through social media, and was really glad to have my colleague Colette on hand to answer the difficult questions. It was great to hear about the progress happening around the Health Librarianship module and the possibility of a level 7 LKS apprenticeship in the future. I also found Irene Mabbott’s presentation on the evidence based practice forum at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT really interesting. We don’t currently have anything similar in our Trust, although there may be elements that I can incorporate into some of my critical appraisal training. Sarah Gardner’s ten minutes on her therapy team search and alert sessions has given me some ideas to try out in my literature searching sessions. Setting up alerts that the trainees can make use of after the session will add a practical element to the training that I think would be appreciated.

Unfortunately transport problems meant that Rachel Butler from the Keyll Darree Library was not able to present but Dave Stewart stepped into the breach with a question and answer session taking our questions on LIHNN, HCLU and CILIP.

The day finished with an interesting talk about the Museum and Medicine and Health and a workshop on writing which gave us a chance to get on our feet, move around and talk to the other attendees.

All in all a great day. A chance to share ideas with colleagues, keep up to date with new developments in the profession and meet new people. Here’s looking forward to the next one.

Yvonne Stubbington

St Helen's and Knowsley NHS Trust