Day in the life of a Clinical Librarian

Day in a life of aI am Catherine McLaren one of the part-time clinical librarians at William Harvey Library, George Eliot Hospital. You will find me in the Trust on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can be contacted via email or on 3095. You can follow the library on twitter @GEHLibrary.

As a Clinical Librarian no two days are the same. There is always something happening that you don’t expect. Most of my mornings do start the same way thought. I start by opening up the library between 8:00am and 8:30pm (we officially open from 8:30am, but if I am in before than we open a little early) and start the morning routine.

First of the jobs are turning on systems, checking emails – seeing if there is any urgent, supporting those users that are in early. Then the social media output starts. Letting our users know we are here this morning, maybe some news about what is happening in the library today, or what library staff are doing. We also raise awareness of what is happening around the trust and support the trust’s media campaigns. We want to not just support hospital staff and students who use the library services but also the population we serve as a trust and we do this on social media in three main ways, tweeting and producing content about breaking or important health news – such as keeping people up to date on the Zika Virus, sharing trust worthy information on health headlines – getting the truth out there and supporting health awareness of multiple conditions. Social media output continues thought out the day from a number of other library staff, but I lead this work stream.

Supporting the trust in its development of its clinical guidelines and policies is a key area of my everyday work. I spend a lot of time checking that references are correct, that they match the trust standard and that they are up to date. I also check that the most up to date evidence is used to support both clinical guidelines and policies. This means I spend a lot of time searching databases to see if there is any change to the published evidence.

Another part of my day is usually taken up with supporting the development of the intranet for the library and other departments within education. This involves making sure that the sites are up to date, that they conform with trust standards. Supporting staff developing their sites and skills, suggesting ways things can be done to make them more appealing to users and easy to access and use.

The rest of my day’s are filled with the unexpected surprises that keep things interesting; supporting a user who needs to understand a research paper; undertaking literature searches so that a patient can get the best care; going to meetings, supporting less senior library staff, answering enquiries from users that come in via email, telephone, social media and face to face, undertaking training so that I keep up to date with what is happening with the profession.

There is never a dull moment in the day of a clinical librarian. Do come to the library to see us – we are happy to help and offer support in all kinds of areas.