Are you sitting comfortably? Well I will begin……
Once upon a time a company needed to change and offer an improved service to its users. The senior leadership team (SLT) called the managers into a series of meetings and a plan was drawn up and agreed. The senior leadership team sat back and waited for the change to happen. Every month they monitored what was going on but nothing had changed. The SLT called the managers back into another series of meetings and again the plan was agreed. The SLT waited and still no changes took place.
The SLT tried a different approach. It decided to look at the informal networks that were operating across the company and used the free open source software Gephi to create a visualization of the networks; to see who the key people were. To their surprise one of the key people at the centre of the network was the man from the post-room. He visited every office twice a day with the post. They dug a little deeper and saw that although they had engaged with the managers in their company, they hadn’t engaged with the other key influencers in their company; people like the man from the post-room. The key influencers were surprised to be called to a meeting to discuss the proposed changes as they did not recognise that they had a role to play and ideas to offer that would improve the service. However, they participated positively and the change that needed to take place, happened.
The same is true of our strategic framework Knowledge for Healthcare. We all have a role to play in suggesting ways that these changes can happen. I work in the South as a knowledge services development lead; David works in the North as a learning resource advisor. We work together on the streamlining task & finish group and he will now describe how he has contributed to change and why that is important for our group.
Library change–maker David
As a learning resource advisor I’ve dealt with document delivery for a long time, I understand the day-to-day workings of document supply and have identified areas that could potentially cause bottlenecks. Over the years, I have been able to make suggestions to my colleagues and managers for ways in which we can streamline the processes and improve the service offered to our users. Sometimes these changes have been instigated by my manager, sometimes by me and sometimes the changes have been due to external factors such as changes in copyright law or the introduction of the CLA Licence Plus.
Since I joined the Streamlining Task & Finish group my knowledge of how other libraries approach document supply has increased and my understanding of copyright has also increased with our ‘copyright first responder’ training. This has been invaluable for me and for the library team. But my first-hand knowledge of document supply has also informed the decisions and recommendations the streamlining group has made; helping guide the group understanding of the library assistant’s role and highlighting areas of change which may help in this role. One of which was easier access to copyright advice and information.
As a result of this ‘three-way conversation’ between the task& finish group, myself and my manager some major improvements have been made to the service we offer our users in the area of document supply.
The challenge to us all is to become “change –makers” and work together to influence and deliver Knowledge for healthcare in our library and knowledge services. Oh and as you ask, the story above is a true one.
Knowledge Services Development Lead, South
Health Education England
4150 Chancellor Court | Oxford Business Park South | Oxford | OX4 2GX
T. 07557 256204
Learning Resources Advisor
Rodney Cove-Smith Library
South Tees Institute of Learning, Research and Innovation
South Tees NHS Foundation Trust
The James Cook University Hospital
Tel: 01642 854820
This quote from the Jedi master Yoda in Star Wars sums up our approach to the streamlining document supply challenge ahead of us. The streamlining LKS functions task & finish group is looking at document supply; a project that has been tackled a number of times before and struggled to reach a consensus. So we have a difficult task ahead, how to recommend streamlining processes for the 21st Century, bearing in mind the vast array of practice that is currently adopted across the country. However, we are determined to succeed.
To date, we have been very busy and started to put the building blocks in place to underpin our work going forwards. We also have a couple of pilots running with the BL and Soutron that will feedback to us and there are a couple of areas of overlap with other task and finish groups, namely Core Offer and Discovery systems groups.
We will report on 2 key areas by the end of the month.
- An analysis of our annual NHS library services statistics 2008-2014 and a quick drill down into last year’s stats for the regions. This was to identify national trends and to note if there were any regional variations, for example, the influence of NHS/HE provided services.
- A review of all interlending and document supply schemes in operation across the country.
The statistical analysis has highlighted some inconsistencies in the way the statistics are completed and we will be making recommendations to the LKSL, as to how the quality of the returns can be improved.
Moving forwards, our energies will be focussed on:
- Streamlining the process from a library point-of-view
- Streamlining the process from a customer point-of-view
- Creation of a union catalogue
- Widening existing schemes
- Software options
If you have any questions, comments or ideas you please contact us via the group chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the group
Hugh Hanchard, David Law, Tricia Ellis, David Watson, Helen Williams, Sue Robertson (chair)
Ian Wilkes, Angharad Rees.