This has been a year of many changes at the QE Library! To share just a few…


Susan Oliver left the library team in October after many years’ service and we wish her all the best for a long and happy retirement with her family. We welcomed a new library assistant, Scott Conaghan, to the team. Scott is no stranger to Gateshead Health having worked in other departments in the hospital. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge, including from time spent working in the Health Records Library. We’re already making use of this!


Learning Development and Organisational Development
We have been working closely with the L&D and OD managers to support projects including the Trust coaching programme, Staff survey, redevelopment of Corporate Induction and the Staff Training Prospectus. Some of the ways we were able to contribute include attending Corporate Induction ‘Meet and Greet’, carrying out literature searches around effective induction and successful coaching, producing a Guide to Library Resources for Coaching and Mentoring, and redeveloping our library training offer to feed into the training prospectus.


Collection Development
Major work has been underway on our print collection as part of preparing to switch our LMS. Scott was kept busy putting his skills to work producing some detailed stock check, review and circulation reports. This helped us work strategically to identify out of date and non-used materials. Working with Betterworld Books, all withdrawn stock was collected and money raised for the QE Breast Screening Unit.

Once stock was removed we needed to replace it! Discussions with library users (and non-users) plus yet more circulation reporting, identified areas that were in demand or needed strengthening, helping us to effectively tailor our collection to customer needs. We took the opportunity to make our collection more accessible at the shelves - re-spacing for easier retrieval, improving signage and using extra marketing prompts.


Collaborative working with an IT project manager allowed us to upgrade IT equipment, streamline access to clinical and non-clinical software, ensure PC’s in our Quiet Study Room (also used for training) were in tip top shape, and generally make our customers happy with how fast the computers are! Great news when we’re filled to capacity supporting new staff, students and volunteers during induction weeks.


Marketing Strategy

Our annual marketing strategy was launched – we planned the year ahead, identified key customers, events, Trust and national campaigns and then designed a collection of themed reusable marketing materials. Each month we just needed to update posters, postcards, leaflets, signatures with the new campaign, while retaining the same image. This saved staff time, allowed the whole team to be involved and helped us with our library branding. We produced a whole range of ‘Spotlight’ materials which can be used in and out of the library.


Health and Wellbeing
We know how much libraries, library staff and books contribute to health and wellbeing; connecting people with the right information, offering pastoral support, helping with last resort queries about things that aren’t actually library related or recommending fiction for mental health and relaxation.

Senior Library Assistant Sylvia Hughes put a huge amount of work into leading the Health and Wellbeing offer for the library. Sylvia is now a Health and Wellbeing Champion and member of the Trust Wellbeing Steering Group. Throughout the year we have been building new collections, creating attractive displays, tapping into national wellbeing themes and amplifying Trust messages.


One of our most successful developments was creating a welcoming area where people can take 10 minutes out of their busy days for themselves, and maybe enjoy a drink, book, puzzle or positive message.

Annika Davis
Trust Librarian
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust