Assessing training and professional development needs of library staff. Report for National Library of Health

Christine Urquhart, Siân Spink, Rhian Thomas

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Executive summary The aim was to provide an overview of current training provision and CPD needs of NHS library staff, professional and paraprofessional. The project was largely conducted through desk research, with two workshops held to elicit views on training priorities and formats of training. The objectives were to: · Synthesise lessons learned from previous training needs analyses · Identify what worked, and what best practice might be · Identify current and future needs. Key messages Future training needs analyses Future training needs analyses for healthcare library staff should: · Be based on the Knowledge and Skills Framework as a competency framework, but with a vision similar to that of the Special Libraries Association (USA). · Use a variety of methods informal focus groups or workshops to encourage interest in training, with more objective methods to identify the type of learning and skills actually required, and the appropriate level. Training provision Formal training provision should: · Offer variety e-learning needs to be complemented by national and local provision of face-to-face training. · Exploit opportunities for cross-sector training within the library and information sector · Allow the trainee to build on existing skills and competencies more explicit scaffolding is required, rather than the 'quick fix’. · Be accredited if possible Training priorities The training priorities for health library staff are: · Research and information retrieval skills for more advanced, specialist practitioners · Technical and knowledge management skills for those involved in intranets and outreach activities · Leadership and strategic management skills for the managers · More specific, specialist training for some paraprofessionals Getting skills into practice Getting skills into practice requires: · Mentoring schemes with trained mentors, with more opportunities for health library staff to team up with those working in patient information services · Coaching schemes for the leadership skills required, with more opportunities for health librarians to team up with health professionals · More emphasis on action learning, and reflection on learning, to support organisational learning as well as personal learning · More emphasis on capability, rather than just demonstration of competence NLH initiatives As general awareness of the CILIP framework and UKCHIP activities was limited, the NLH might: · Provide briefings on the pros and cons of the CILIP framework, and UKCHIP for library staff. The workshops confirmed considerable interest in knowledge management initiatives in the NHS, but also some confusion about the way library staff could make useful contributions and plan for the future. The NLH might: · Identify examples of good knowledge management practice · Disseminate good practice through workshops There is some concern that higher education is not aware of practitioner concerns, particularly as the health sector has particular requirements. To move forward on accreditation it would be useful to organise: · Workshop(s) on accreditation of training programmes for health librarians, with HE representation from Library/Information Studies departments, and health informatics programmes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPrifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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