Monday, 6 September 2010

Back on the Blog Wagon

I have inadvertently taken a break over the summer from my blog as things have been a bit quiet on the training front but as it is now September I have started to feel familiar twinges of guilt so it’s time to get back on the wagon and blog on a regular basis again. Not a great deal has happened since my last post on the White Paper and in fact the White Paper parade has all gone a bit quiet lately. However people are busy writing more papers in preparation for it becoming law and no doubt we’ll be hearing more when it comes out of consultation on the 11th Oct. For a good resource on all things White Paper I can recommend nothing better than the Health Management Specialist Collection’s White Paper page which not only has all the documentation for the Paper but all the responses from various organisations and media reports as well.

I attended the HLG Conference 2010 on the 19th-20th July which took place this year in Salford Quays near Manchester. The theme was ‘Keeping information centre stage amidst changing scenery’ and there were many interesting seminars and workshops to attend and the venue was really lovely (see attached photo which I took on my first day). My only problem was that there was no wireless access and as mobile signals interfered with the sound equipment in the main lecture theatre it meant I couldn’t tweet my experience as it happened – something I had been really looking forward to! However I did have a good time, met some interesting people and dutifully wrote up my report for the HLG Newsletter which you can read here.

I went on a systematic reviews training day at the end of July which was held at Guy’s campus and hosted by information specialist staff from Cochrane and CRD. They gave very in-depth and informative sessions on the work that goes into producing a systematic review and I found the presentation on searching at systematic review level especially helpful. It certainly gave me a lot to think about and aspects to include in my Systematic Reviews workshop.

I also paid a visit to the Royal College of Physicians library a few weeks ago which proved very dramatic as upon my arrival a BBC film crew were outside the building in Regent’s Park filming a TV drama! Once I navigated my way around the cameras, SWAT teams and semi-automatic rifles into the building we were given an excellent tour of the different bits of the library, which is spread across two sites. They have a very impressive collection of both old and new stock which is accessible to all members of the Royal College and have the largest collection of medical education books in the country. Unfortunately because of building regulations they are unable to put a sign outside the building directing people to the Medical Education Resource Centre so they rely very much on word-of-mouth recommendation. In the Heritage Centre library on the other site I was especially excited to catch site of books owned by John Dee which had been stolen sometime in the 16th century and somehow ended up in the hands of a Duke who contributed his collection to the RCP. Certainly none of our books have such an exciting progeny!

As far as training is concerned it has been quiet over the summer and I decided not to run group training in August to allow myself to catch up with other things. These included trying to convince health managers at the hospital to sign up for Athens accounts (which failed miserably), tracking down some book titles for Learning and Organisational Development to buy on our behalf and promoting the Medicine Collection journals. My new training schedule was advertised last week and I have had a few takers but not as many as I had hoped! Still I suppose people are still getting back from holiday mode etc so I have to hope I will get a few more in the weeks to come. My colleague in Bromley and I are running a joint session on critical appraisal at the Queen Mary’s site in mid-October. She will be doing quantitative (thank goodness!) and I will be doing qualitative and we will be trialling a new critical appraisal technique involving Quality Street chocolates...more on that when it happens!

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