Clinical librarian blog- Pandemic

So this is different then. Remember how things were a month ago? Or even 3 weeks ago? Or even a fortnight…

Welcome to the new normal.

Life at William Harvey Library has changed but also some things remain the same. We’re still open, but we’re operating with a reduced staff, and I’m working virtually. Which doesn’t change things a great deal for me- a lot of my work can easily be done remotely, and I’ve carried on with literature searches, checking policies and guidelines and staying in touch with people. Plus ca change, as they say.

A few things have changed.. my morning commute isn’t quite as far from the kitchen to the dining room table as it was down the M6… My work colleagues are likely to be in their pjs, which NEVER happens at the hospital, and I seem to feed them more than I ever did at the office. There are considerably more cats around, and the washing gets put out to dry more promptly.


I have a twitter routine too- keeping in touch with colleagues in the wider health library community has never seemed more important, and there are a few who check in, and check up on each other’s mental wellbeing. Taking care of wellbeing has become a vital part of the day too. We go for a family walk each day, we’re lucky enough to live overlooking a huge field which is now our stomping ground. I go for a couple of minutes of fresh air in the garden quite regularly, and although I’m busy keeping the library twitter feed up to date, I’m also making sure I’m not just sat refreshing the screen- that’s a rabbit hole I went down for a few days, and it’s definitely not good for my mental well-being. I’m also shutting the screen down firmly at the end of the working day- it’s too easy to keep going at times.

I think I’m contributing- there have been covid-19 related searches and resource lists and more- but there’s also a huge sense of imposter syndrome here. Yes I work for the NHS, but I’m out here clapping and supporting the true heroes. I can’t tell you the awe in which I hold my clinical colleagues. Well, you’re in the world now too, you know. Complete awe. Not enough superlatives in the world.

I’m worried- about my library colleagues and friends, about my colleagues in the trust who are fighting the fight against this pandemic. About the fresh faced medical and nursing and allied health students who are on the front line. About my friends from the trust’s education departments who have returned to the front line. I can’t wait for us to be back to normal, the old normal, not this new one.


Stay safe people, I’ve got a list of hugs I’m going to give out when this is all over, and you’re probably on it.