Category Archives: News

Shining a light: the future of public libraries across the UK and Ireland

Impact on library policy/practice: NHS libraries are being encouraged to partner with local library services; this report will give NHS librarians an understanding of the current public library landscape.  Central to the report is the theme of wellbeing (see page 9) which may be a useful way for NHS libraries to open a conversation with their local public library colleagues.  The report also encourages partnership working and clearly there is an opportunity for NHS and local authority libraries to work together to work towards the five recommendations laid out in the report.

An accompanying data booklet summarises ‘how people in the UK and Ireland use public libraries and what they think of them’ which could be of use for business cases, impact reports or understanding how to target local services.

Source: Carnegie UK Trust

Link to main document

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: April 2017

Summary of driver: This report outlines how public libraries can continue to contribute to government policy goals and improve people’s wellbeing for many years in the future. The report presents recommendations drawn from research conducted by Carnegie into library use and attitudes towards library across the UK and Ireland.

Public libraries have the ability to contribute to individual and community wellbeing and to many of the priorities of local and national government.  Moving forward, library services and their advocates need to be future focused and outward looking, and resist the temptation to embrace a backwards-looking ethos.

Key features of driver: This report seeks to contribute to the debate by sharing the ‘state of play’ for public libraries in the UK and Ireland revealed by our research.  The reports sets our five recommendations (‘lessons’) for how libraries can continue to improve people’s wellbeing both in today’s political, economic and social context and into the future.

These lessons are as follows:

  1. Demonstrate value to policy makers, decision makers and funders to maximise public and other investment
  2. Increase focus on tailored, personalised services whilst maintaining a focus on delivering a universal service
  3. Accelerate the development of a user-centred, data rich service with a strong online presence
  4. Invest in innovation, leadership and outcomes-based partnerships (one point is ‘Local and national governments and voluntary organisations to explore the value of partnering with public libraries to deliver services and outcomes’)
  5. Enhance learning between libraries and across jurisdictions

Primary audience: Members of the public and public library stakeholders.

Date last updated: August 2017

Due for review: August 2018

Group member responsible: VT


Protected: Meeting 15th August 2017 10-11am

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Dismantling the silos: Poster Exhibition to share and celebrate good practice

Project team:

  • Lis Edwards, Library Services Manager
  • Library Services Team
  • Medical Illustration Team

Resources required: Poster template, Library staff time, Medical Illustration team time

Timeframe: Two months

The story: In September 2016 The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust began a culture change programme throughout the organisation.  This was in response to reports from Deloitte and the CQC which found that there were issues within the Trust around leadership and culture.  As part of the culture change programme two ‘big conversations’ have taken place where members of the executive team and Non-executive directors have visited every department in the hospital  to talk and listen to staff about their concerns.  One of the overwhelming issues raised by staff throughout the Trust was that they wanted other staff to recognise the work that was going on within their departments, and also to know more about what other wards and departments were doing.

Within this setting the Library Services Manager was asked to look at how a culture of innovation could be created within the Trust, by facilitating an event to celebrate and share good practice.  All staff were invited to submit a poster which would go on display as part of a poster exhibition to take place in the main entrance of the hospital, giving both staff and patients an opportunity to see the diversity of work which goes on within the organisation.  The Medical Illustration team based in the hospital agreed to create a template for the posters, and issued guidance for designing a poster.  The library team offered help to all staff in the design and layout of the poster.

The Library Services Manager met with managers and team leaders across the Trust, both clinical and non-clinical to ask for their support for this event.  An Invitation was sent to all staff, and the template and guidance was made available on the Trust intranet.  A deadline of two weeks prior to the event was set for the submission of posters, and regular reminders to staff were communicated via the Trust electronic noticeboard and Facebook and Twitter.  The Chief Executive Officer also lent his support to the event at his monthly staff forum.

Our expectation for support for this event had been around 30 to 40 posters at the most.  The response that we had was totally overwhelming; as the deadline approached it was becoming clear that we had really struck a chord with staff.  The final number of posters submitted was over 100, way beyond our most optimistic expectations.  Because of the number of submissions it was decided to reduce the size of the posters when printed to enable us to make better use of the display space we had available.  This worked well as some departments had submitted several posters in order to tell their ‘story’ and we were able to group them together on the display.

Prior to the day, all senior managers in the Trust were asked to ensure as many staff as possible were given time to view the posters, and be able to be part of the event.

Colleagues from other departments within the hospital helped the library team to display the posters the day before, also affording more staff the opportunity to view the posters.  Initially we had planned for the posters to be on display for one day only, but because of the enthusiasm for the event and the huge amount of information on display it was decided to extend the display over the weekend.

We also supplied all departments throughout the Trust with stickers (small dots) to put on the posters which they found of most interest.  The 3 teams whose posters had the largest number of dots were presented with chocolates by the Chief Executive Officer.

Support and interest from both staff and patients for the event was immense, and the energy and enthusiasm as people viewed the posters was amazing.  The event was organised in response to a view expressed by many staff that no-one knew or valued what they did, and what their contribution was to the organisation.   This exhibition, by showcasing the huge variety of work which goes on, gave us a chance to share what we do; to break out of our individual silos and engage in meaningful and thought-provoking conversations with our colleagues.

Staff from across the Trust really embraced the concept of this event, and have shared learning and good practice from their area of work.  It offered a unique opportunity for us all to learn from each other and about the work which goes on.  By learning from each other and finding out if others have a better way of doing things; we can find the ‘how’ and not just the ‘what’ of bringing about change.
Alignment to local, regional and national drivers: 

Organisational Drivers:

Caring for patients:

·         By sharing good practice and learning from each other

·         Patients given the opportunity to see and understand the work that goes on within the Trust.

Caring for Staff:

·         Giving staff the opportunity to share learning and good practice from their area of work

·         Breaking down silos and giving staff the opportunity to network and learn about what other teams do, and how they may be able to work together.

·         Enabling change in practice.

Caring for Finances:

·         Sharing good practice, enabling other teams to use more efficient ways of carrying out their work.


Impact of this project/service: This event was symbolic of what the library service brings to the organisation:

·         Bringing people together

·         Sharing knowledge

It also raised the profile of the library service and our accessibility to staff.
Lessons learned: The response to this project far outweighed our expectations.  The amount of posters submitted made it difficult to keep track of numbers.  In addition several iterations of the same poster were submitted which again made it difficult to ensure the final version was displayed.

Sustainability / next steps? 

  • We will be displaying the posters again as part of the information fair which will be held prior to the Trust AGM.  The posters will be on display as before in the main entrance, and also in the conference suite, giving us another opportunity to showcase our work.
  • We are creating a PDF booklet of all the posters which will be available on the Trust Intranet, enabling all staff to view or revisit the posters.
  • We are exploring how we can use the posters to showcase the work of the Trust going forward.
  • We are planning to make this an annual event

Contact details: Lis Edwards, Library Services Manager, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust,, 01691 404287

Date case study completed: 2nd June 2017

Protected: MAP Meeting 3rd July 3-4pm

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Protected: MAP Meeting 4th May 1-2pm

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What do STPs mean for NHS/health libraries?

At the NW Library Manager’s meeting on 14th March Tracy Bullock, Chief Executive, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS FT delivered a talk about the Sustainability Transformation Plan for Cheshire and Merseyside. As my service delivered a number of evidence summaries for our local STP I have spent a lot of time thinking about how we can support our STP team to deliver their plans; also a key message at the HLG Conference in September 2016.

Talking with library colleagues about STPs at the meeting made me start to think about what the plans might mean for library services. At the heart of most STPs is the transformation of health services to deliver the 5 year forward view, so big change within a short timescale. There are lots of drivers out there such as the Carter Review and Knowledge for Healthcare which are looking at economies of scale and how services can be more efficient.

If you wanted to transform library services for your region or STP area, what would you need to consider? Here are some questions to get you started:

  • If you were to start from scratch, what kind of library service would you design?
  • What would library services look like in your region or STP area?
  • Are there any functions which could be shared or centralised?
  • What are the key services which need to be delivered locally?

With all of this in mind, we have decided to add some new pages to the MAP toolkit to pull together some useful resources around some of the key themes that seem to be coming out of the plans, so watch this space!

  • Accountable Care Organisations
  • Transformation
  • Cross system working/Integrated care
  • Reducing emergency admissions

Please let us know if you have anything to add to this list.

Protected: Meeting 22nd March 2017

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