In the year 2000, thankfully, we all survived the ‘millennium bug’ that was going to see off Y2K (as it was called).  The World Wide Web was about 10 years old and becoming known as the internet; Internet Explorer was about to launch as version 6.  I was working as a Library Manager at a large mental health and learning disabilities Trust in Northumberland.  Thinking about the services and resources we offered and the technology we used, not much has changed, other than the proliferation of devices allowing access to the internet.  I think the fundamentals of what we do as information professionals stay the same and have been summed up by HEE via Knowledge for Healthcare:

“NHS bodies, their staff, learners, patients and the public use the right knowledge and evidence, at the right time, in the right place, enabling high quality decision-making, learning, research and innovation to achieve excellent healthcare and health improvement.”

This will continue and it will continue across ever more efficient devices.  The internet (or whatever we are calling it) will still need to be explored and information and knowledge professionals will be needed to do this.  Maybe not as many of us if we are aided by AI and (ro)bots, but I am sure we will prevail in the face of whatever bugs and viruses may come along.

David has been in charge of NHS Libraries and Knowledge services all the time I’ve worked in the North West. In all this time David Stewart’s drive and commitment, alongside an uncanny knack for attracting funding, has seen us through good times and bad.  I am proud to say I worked with David, and wish him everything he wants for his retirement.

Paula Elliott
Former Library Manager
Bolton NHS FT