Key aspects of the role
- Management of library management systems often on behalf of several organisations
- Technical support for library management systems, troubleshooting and tracking performance.
- Planning the development of system improvements.
- Developing, delivering, and evaluating training for library system users.
- Evaluating data and reporting on systems performance.
- Basic coding to maximise system effectiveness and enable system integration.
Skills and knowledge
You may require a high level of knowledge and skills in the following CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) sections to work within this role:
Ethics and Values. Underpinning healthcare ethics and values by providing the best available evidence at the right time, in the right place, to inform decision-making and enable better outcomes for patients and populations.
Professional development. Reflecting on practice and being self-aware about performance.
Organisational and environmental context. Understanding organisational priorities and challenges identified by the executive team.
Wider library, data, information and knowledge sector context. Networking across the healthcare economy, both information providers, data analysts and health informaticists, to support shared learning and joint working.
Collection development and management. Understanding the benefits of digital resources including, sustainability, discoverability, accessibility and ease of sharing information across organisational boundaries under licence.
Data Management. Ensuring compliance with local and international laws and the policies and guidelines of the local organisation.
Information exploitation and use. Delivery of information through routes such as alerts, current awareness, enquiries and literature searches, including saving the time of users by providing time-saving services such as synthesis and summaries of evidence.
Information governance and compliance. Awareness of the value and limitations of search interfaces, technologies, AI and machine learning, in the context of seeking information via sources such as databases and the internet.
Information management. Advising the organisation on the opportunity to improve information management.
Knowledge management. Developing organisational repositories.
Literacies and learning. Tailoring training for different audiences and adapting the offer for different learning styles.
Records management and archiving. Understanding legal requirements and organisational policy for the retention, update and disposal of records, taking into account user needs and interoperability with other systems.
Research. Capturing and curating the research output of the organisation; developing a repository.
Customer focus. Service design and marketing. Engaging with a variety of users across the healthcare landscape to provide a professional and efficient service.
Leadership, advocacy, influencing and personal effectiveness. Showing strong leadership skills in order to ensure the visibility and breadth of involvement of the service across the organisation.
Strategy, planning and management. Maximising the use of purchased and licensed products (for example e-resources and media) within licenses and copyright.
Technology and communication. Linking technological solutions with user requirements and linking users with the appropriate expertise.
Further information about the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base
60 seconds with…Barbara Peirce, Knowledge and Library Systems Specialist
My name is Barbara Peirce and I am Knowledge and Library Systems Specialist working in NHS East Dorset Library & Knowledge Service.
In a sentence what does your job entail? My job role is to deliver evidence-based information and training to staff working at the University Hospitals, Dorset and I am the lead in the implementation of the regional Library Management Service across NHS South West and Thames Velley and Wessex. I work three days a week for the hospital and the other two days for Health England Education.
Tell us about your proudest achievement at work? I think it was completing my library qualification distance learning from Aberystwyth and getting a distinction. It took me two years to complete.
Are there things that you do in your job that would surprise others? I have attended ward rounds with doctors, and this has been very interesting. It has helped to remind me what the information I am asked for helps individuals to get better and improve their lives. I also attend multi-disciplinary team meetings; this is where various medical professionals discuss patients. This helped me feel part of the wider medical team, as I can provide information in a quicker and easier manner. Attending these meetings also increases the number of literature searches that I get given, as staff ask for information about other topics.
I also support over 60 libraries with their Library Management System, this involves supporting them through implementation, reports, and any issues which they might encounter. There are a lot of manual updates which I need to add to the system such as Christmas and New Year dates, as these are not manually updated on the system.
What is your top career tip? Volunteer for as many things as you can. Put yourself forward and get networking within your organisation and the library networks. Try and do the things that you fear, and you will build your confidence levels. It makes a big difference to your job satisfaction.
How do you see your role changing over the next couple of years? More online training as I think people have got used to it in the last year. Although learning ways to make the teaching engaging is going to be key. It will be important to have staff be engaged and feel comfortable with discussing issues and problems online as they would in person. Finding ways to make online training of processes more interactive will be key, especially where aspects can be hard to grasp online.
Also, I think I will be doing more outreach work because I think that’s the way we’re going forward because people haven’t got time to come to us. So we’re going to go to them, and making more of our online offer truly accessible.
What is the most challenging thing you have dealt with at work? We are currently a small team and due to this it can be very busy. As I have two roles, I have to prioritise my work to make sure that everything is completed on time.
Have you got any hidden talents? I can make great cakes and my speciality was icing. The hardest one which I have done is Fred Flintstone, but I have made Winnie the Pooh, and Pirate ships.
What do you enjoy most about your role? I think it’s different every day. You never quite know what’s going to come through the door. There’s lots to do all the time and it can be fast paced at times
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your role? Due to the pandemic and the move to digital meetings, there have been more meetings that I have been able to attend and support our medical colleagues with literature searches. The interesting fact about the library in Poole is that it used to be part of the social club and the enquiry desk used to be a bar! Colleagues who have worked in the hospital for many years, have said that the club used to hold wedding receptions and there was even the odd pantomime at Christmas.