Library Day In The Life Round 5 – Day 1 (& Intro)

Library Day in The Life 5 #libday5

I’m the Library Manager for NHS Bolton Library, though obviously all opinions are my own etc. I have officially been in position about 18 months.  We’re a health library supporting approx. 1600 NHS staff for the PCT as well as other health and social care staff in the Bolton community and the general public.  We sit in the Public Health department within the PCT  (I’m not sure whether this is a positive or not yet) We also provide health promotion services as well. This is the first time i have participated in Library Day in the Life, though have been aware of it previously. To set the scene, we currently have 5 members of library staff, though 2 are full time with the trust (myself and a Library Technician who is on leave this week), 1 apprentice through the Future Jobs Fund, 1 Saturday Assistant who also works as cover on the bank, and another bank Library Assistant. We sit, as mentioned in the Public Health department, with the Strategy and Improvement Team and within that the Public Health Intelligence Team. Though on the whole as the senior library member within not only the department, but the trust i am allowed to operate with some freedom. As well as the NHS privatisation, the other major agenda on the Horizon is the LQAF and ensuring we meet the necessary standards.

Monday 26th July

In a 1 line summary as a whole today was about finishing jobs, or at least starting the push to finish them! I thought it be easiest for today at least to go through the day chronologically.

I arrived in work at about 7:50 am after seeing ‘The Future Mrs. Cook’ off at the Bus Station. She is a Library Assistant at Bury Public Library. When not at the gym, this is the normal routine. First job is to check and send any emails that weren’t sent on the Saturday, then its on to the main jobs in hand.

First task before staff get in is to finish off the emergency literature search i received on Friday PM. I sent out an email to the region (LIHNN) to see if anyone had any previous examples but didn’t get any replies meaning either: 1) new territory 2) I’m hated in an area that spans Cheshire to Isle of Man to Cumbria. i had previously found a couple of examples and the user seemed happy with that and would like any future findings. The search was on The Map of Medicine and evaluations/evidence of its effectiveness.

By this time it was nearing opening and staff had arrived. The issue today was that the Saturday Assistant and Apprentice had never worked together or even met. The introductions went well, so i set them the tasks for the day & week. The Saturday Assistant had previously been set the secret task of knocking the bad habits the full time Library Assistant had managed to implant into the Apprentice (this is his first ever job). As you will probably see throughout the week, the Saturday Assistant is very, very good and I’m said she’s leaving to pursue her new career as a Speech & Language Therapist.

Next up was the finishing off of the C-CBT in Libraries Pilot evaluation survey. We are about to pilot the feasibility of offering a user-led computer based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy service in the public libraries. we are working with the public library as well as NHS Bolton’s Primary Care Mental Health Team. Basically put its giving users – who are signposted by the mental health team – access to appropriate resources – Living Life To The Full & Mood Gym (chosen by mental health team) – in their local community using the services and resources that are already available – See Glass Half Full report To pilot this scheme we thought it best to use us, as we’re easily accessible, a library, but also NHS staff so have the appropriate knowledge and skills etc. Now I’ve completed the survey and the scope etc. is agreed upon, hopefully this will be up and running in a couple of weeks. Survey Monkey was being a bitch though.

Whilst this was going on Saturday Assistant decided the library (my) office was too messy and begun a tidy up! I helped by staying out of the way.

Another ongoing project is the proposed introduction of Health Information Points into all 14 branch libraries. Its an idea evolved/stolen from a Manchester Public Libraries project My role in this project would be to ensure that the information contains in the collections is NHS approved as the health sections at the moment have some awful shite in them.  Along with my awesome public library colleague Charlotte Higham, we have been round to 12 of the 14 branches to discuss this with the branch managers and to measure up the possible space it would need. Apart from one awful library assistant everyone at the branches has been very positive. This morning i wrote up the summary of the visits, which though important for the project was nothing more than writing up notes. In the PM i had a quick 15 minute meeting with Charlotte discussing this as well as some other Health promotion work we do.

Lunch – tends to be lunch at my desk – today was no exception: had a salad with a tin of pilchards. It rocked.

Straight after lunch was a meeting that had been booked for me in the library. All I knew was that it ‘was about book reviews’. Reading them? Finding them? Writing them? It was finding them. A member of staff has become quite a successful author in her field and has tasked her research assistant to find book reviews. He’d tried usual places but was coming up short. I found a couple through Medline, but am trying to find a review accumulator that focuses on health/medical books. if you know of one drop me a line.

Since i started as a Library Assistant way back in 2004, we never had a stock audit. I have decided that this is a major issue and needs to be done as a matter of urgency. With this in mind a list produced from Heritage (though had to be created on heritage, copied to excel – all resources that weren’t ours manually removed… Man I hate heritage) i set the criteria for the audit to begin. 3 standards: quality, use, relevance.

I have been struggling with a literature search for over 2 weeks. It is set on PCT middle managers, career progression and work-patterns. I can’t for the life of me find a constant term(s) for work patterns or reduce the clinical entries without losing some known correct non-clinical results. Today was my 3rd attempt… It now is over 100 lines long, Its become a monster.  I may start afresh.

I had set the apprentice the task of creating himself a ‘reflection log’ as every Friday we chat about 5 things he wants to learn, 5 things he has learned etc. He has produced something really quite impressive. Once he’s properly finished it, I will share.

Both staff finished at 5 today. Normally the library will shut at 5.30 but the future Mrs. Cook wasn’t getting back into Bolton till 7 so i stayed late. My final task for the day was trying to get the draft of the Library Strategy finished. The time its taken to get this far coupled with the Transforming Community Services/White Paper changes means it now is a lot more inward looking. I managed to complete 4 sections in draft from (library synopsis, finances, evaluation, The Future) and made a start on the implementation part. I’ve put some real thought and it is a new direction so hopefully when produced it will be approved. Its ‘interesting’ times to be a PCT Library, and I have an opportunity not many have had, so i want to take advantage to the fullest.

The day finished about 6:45pm.

A long day (or so it reads as…) but a lot of it was putting it into context! I hope you read this far. Let me know what you think of my Library Day in The Life. Part 2 tomorrow.


Thought I’d attach my to-do-list (Idea stolen from the ever awesome ekcragg)  for the week as of Monday AM, and then post my end of week  as a comparison.

to do list 2607


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