Library day in the Life 8 – What I Do…

I thought it would be useful to start #libday8 off with a brief overview of the different things my current role entails. But first, I should explain what we as a library do. We are NHS Bolton Library. We are a Primary Care Trust Library service based within a public health department and still operate the health promotion function. We are also physically located within a public library. This gives us a very diverse range of clients. Because of local and regional agreements we are still the principal library service for all community-based users. We provide library services to the Public Health team as well as the remaining commissioners and developing CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). We provide health promotion services throughout Bolton, and with our location offer a limited range of services (in comparison) to the general public, notably consumer health and access to our resources to students & voluntary workers. Within these few sentences a lot of work is done by myself and my staff. I like to use the tag-line ‘NHS Bolton – Your Evidence Base’ as it sums up what we do quite nicely.

My I was to sum up my role in a single sentence it would be ‘I help people help people’. That is the goal of me and every member of my team on a daily basis. I try to ensure that all library work is geared towards the end-user, because if we are not working for them, we are working for ourselves. And if that is the case, go work in HR and buy yourself a bookshelf because that’s all you are. My role is broken down into 5 overlapping areas:

Library Manager

This is principally my main role and involves:

  • Line Manager to other library staff
  • Library operational responsibility
  • Library strategic responsibility including strategy development
  • Library budget responsibility
  • NHS Bolton Library ‘brand management’
  • Other traditional library manager roles

Clinical Librarian

However we are a small-tightly ran ship, so I am also the senior information professional for the trust – which I like to use the more traditional term ‘clinical librarian’. This involves:

  • Developing and running training sessions
  • Outreach work
  • Current Awareness creation and distribution
  • Information Consultancies
  • Document and Book Supply
  • Desk Cover
  • Stock control (all aspects)
  • Evidence-based practice (both practicing and preaching!)

LIHNN Members

LIHHN is our regional health library network. It is a vital resource for us continuing to be the best we can be and I would have been lost many times without it. This aspect of my role involves

  • Membership of specific groups such as the Primary Care and Greater Manchester Groups
  • Chair the Quality Group
  • Collaborative purchasing
  • Networking with and offering support to other LIHNN members

Public Health ‘Informationicist’

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the library sits within the Public Health Team. This involves:

  • An (ad-hoc) member of the Social Prescribing/Open Bolton development team
  • A core member of the Public Health Intelligence Team.
  • JSNA Operational Group member
  • Commissioning Policy development work
  • ‘Bolton Health Matters’ site manager
  • Webmaster for NHS Bolton website (Public Health section)
  • Involved in numerous public health campaigns – such as the pharmacy campaign and safe sleeping


As a professional it is vital that I continue to develop myself professionally. This can involve networking with other colleagues but also:

  • Completing Chartership
  • Completing MA in Library and Information Management at MMU
  • Attending Training sessions – normally developed & hosted through HCLU

There is also quite a lot of things left off! I know this seems quite a varied set of roles and skill set (and it is), many of these are done on a smaller scale (but to no less quality) than in larger organisations such as academic libraries. I would say I love my job. It is at times challenging, I help people (help people) and I feel I make a difference.


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