Friday, 11 June 2010

Information Literacy

Well I've only been back at work for two days as I was on holiday in lovely Wales for most of the week but I thought I would still blog about them as the first day back especially was quite interesting. It was our bi-monthly CLIST (Clinical Library and Information Skills Trainers) group meeting on Thursday and there were quite a few lively discussions which got going over information literacy skills in healthcare professionals today. Two points which I thought would be useful to mention was the fact that nurses are now being expected to do Masters levels qualifications in order to progress in their careers but many are not getting the support they need to carry out this level of education. One of the librarians at the meeting (who has been in the job for a long time) was saying that some of the nurses she has been seeing recently barely have basic literacy skills, much less information literacy. They are brilliant nurses but just don't have the academic background and processing skills necessary to carry out Masters level work. The universities offer very little support and they are having to manage their very stressful day-to-day nursing work on top of the education - it is unfair on them and must be so demoralising. And we health librarians have to pick up the pieces!

Another point was about information literacy in general among staff and a CLIST member made an interesting point that the style of internet searching has changed in recent years. People using the internet in a personal capacity at home do not tend to 'surf' or explore the internet like they did when the World Wide Web first became popular. She was saying that people now tend to concentrate on two or three sites (Facebook, Google, Yahoo email account etc) to find what they need rather than roving through lots of different sites and as a result have become much less certain about the internet 'terrain'. This then translates over to the work situation where people prefer to have one site to find everything they need. But in health and medicine this is just not possible.

Our afternoon session quite coincidentally was on information literacy as well and we had the ever-enthusiastic Susie Andretta of the FILE course leading the session. There were three presentations - one from Richard Thorne of NHS Nottingham City who is leading on public health intelligence course for public health professionals in the East Midlands area, another from Sue Jennings of Lancashire Care Trust who has a very exciting approach to blogging and current awareness bulletins and the last presentation came from Susie herself which asked about whether evaluation of training sessions should focus on the trainer, the user or the organisation. I found the session from Sue the most interesting - she has been using a blog in conjunction with a monthly one page current awareness bulletin with very successful results. The blog (which uses Wordpress) is very impressive - almost like a website on it's own. The most exciting thing is the complexity of the statistics available on Wordpress - you can literally see who is reading what on nearly every part of the blog and the stats are truly amazing. I was inspired but unsure how well it would work in an acute trust - Lancashire Care Trust is a mental health trust so most of the material is concentrated on mental health. I do think it might be an idea to switch our work blog over to Wordpress though (no offense Blogger....)

Today I have been back in the office catching up with my emails and getting back up to speed again. Have a busy week training-wise next week with quite a few one-to-ones. On Monday I am going into town to find out more about the Ovid link resolver and whether it will be the answer to all our link resolving problems. Hmmm, chance would be a fine thing....!

And most exciting of all - I have a new template for my blog! Thanks Blogger - now just get some analytics built in and I'll be well chuffed.

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