Tag Archives: PKSB

Part of Something Bigger – What it is to be an information professional

After many years as a public librarian, I moved into a new role at CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) working between the institute and employers in our profession. Having been public library focussed, I am now discovering our broad and beautiful profession as a whole. Much of my time and attention has been on Information and Knowledge Management, particularly in Government and Health.

When looking at the broader library and information profession, it is natural to look for the cross-sector similarities and differences. Whilst I recognise the differences, as my knowledge increases, I see more and more similarities. What unites us as a profession applies as much in health as it does in Government or public libraries. In my opinion, the following four common themes apply across the profession.

Information to our end user: Organisations rely on having the best available information accessible in an efficient way to inform decision making. This clearly applies in clinical decision making and in providing public patient information; however that end user could also be the financial director of a corporation or a public library customer or a commanding officer in the army. They rely on information professionals to provide accurate information in a timely way. Our ability to deliver that has great impact on the success of that organisation’s or individual’s outcomes.

Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB): CILIP’s PKSB is a framework that maps the essential skills and abilities across the profession. Whilst some sections apply more in certain sectors than others, the PKSB provides a comprehensive document to aid professional development and help information professionals to articulate both the broad and the deeply technical skills they hold. These skills are valuable and transferable. They will help us to adapt and evolve.

Professional ethics: Our professional ethics unite us across sectors. We endeavour to deliver the best possible services within our resources whilst balancing the needs of our employers and our users. We defend and advance access to information and demand the equitable treatment of information users. As a profession we understand the importance of impartiality, confidentiality and the integrity of information. All information professionals should be proud of these wide ranging and noble ethics.

Vulnerability to financial impact: This is certainly not limited to our profession, but we are all working in challenging financial times. The ability to advocate for the value of trained information professionals is essential across sectors. Being able to influence stakeholders about the importance of our roles and departments is clearly vital for us individually, but also for the benefit of the organisations as a whole. We add value and improve outcomes; we must equip ourselves to articulate this clearly. CILIP members will have access to the Impact Toolkit for this purpose, plus workforce mapping and commissioned research into the Value of Trained Library and Information Professionals has just been released.

Our skills are vital for an economy based on knowledge sharing. Change is inevitable and service development is essential. In response, we have to become increasingly adaptable and able to demonstrate our transferable skills. Continuing professional development and reflective practice are essential as we adapt to new roles in our sectors or even move into new ones. In this shifting environment, CILIP, as a professional body can act as a constant. It offers a core of professional ethics that apply across the board, a place to anchor your skills and abilities in the PKSB as a common framework, a way to have your professional development recognised in Professional Registration. It also offers the chance to be part of something bigger; a channel for central advocacy. I believe that raising the awareness of the value of information professionals in one sector acts to raise awareness for all. It provides a community and opportunities to help us be the fully-rounded professionals we all need to be as our services evolve.

Jo Cornish Development Officer (Employers) at CILIP

A force to be reckoned with – the NHS LKS workforce

The implementation of Knowledge for Healthcare calls for flexible, multi-skilled knowledge specialists – and we know that our staff are our greatest asset.

It is the expertise of qualified librarians and information specialists, together with our colleagues on the front line of NHS funded library service points, who can make all the difference in bringing knowledge to bear on learning, research, decision-making and innovation. The principles and values defined within the development framework shape our workforce planning and development agenda. It signals skills and experience set to become ever more important.

Focussed on issues around Workforce Planning and Development, this blog is one to watch.

As Chair of the working group which oversees this part of the implementation plan, I am delighted that this key area has attracted highly experienced volunteers from across the profession to help us get this right for the future. The working group members are:

David Stewart – Director of Health Libraries North

Sue Lacey Bryant – Advisor to the Knowledge for Healthcare Programme

Anthea Sutton – Senior Information Specialist, ScHARR, University of Sheffield

Gary Sutton – Library Manager, Warrington & Halton Hospital NHS FT

Simon Edwards – Head of Professional Development, CILIP

Sharon Markless – Senior Lecturer in Education, King’s College London

Gil Young (working group secretary) – CPD & Partnerships Manager, NW Health Care Libraries Unit

Meeting for the first time in May 2015, the group has set up three initial ‘task and finish’ groups (TAFs) so far to work on specific time-limited project groups. Each is made up of volunteers from NHS LKS staff. These TAFs will:

  • develop a set of core competencies for health LKS staff, building on CILIP’s PKSB

Chair: Mary Hill, Christie Hospital

  • define a core national curriculum – setting priorities for ongoing training to meet the needs of future service delivery

Chair: Hugh Hanchard, South Tees Hospitals

  • Launch an online learning zone of resources and career opportunities for library staff

Chair: Paula Elliott, Bolton Hospital

We know that continuing professional development is essential for members of our small, specialised workforce to be able to ensure that they have the right expertise and experience to take the opportunities that lie ahead. We know too that the leaders of tomorrow’s library and knowledge services are already part of today’s workforce. So, in addition to setting up our task and finish groups we have:

  • Commissioned a Talent Management Toolkit

Building on the existing toolkit, this will underpin the conversations we need to have, and development activity we need to undertake, to open up opportunities for career progression and ensure robust succession planning

  • Started to develop a leadership programme

Working closely with CILIP, we are shaping an introductory leadership programme for library managers and their deputies or assistants. Strengthening capacity and capability to deliver Knowledge for Healthcare , this will also serve to build leadership skills amongst those wanting to take on more senior roles in the future.

As you can see, there is a great deal happening and this is only year one of our five-year programme! More news to follow in further postings.

You are invited to get involved. To find out more, and if you have any questions please email me at david.stewart@nhs.net

David Stewart

Director of Health Libraries North