Tag Archives: Social Media

How do Library and Information Science students choose their sector?

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) recently conducted a small survey of current Library and Information Science (LIS) students to establish how they make their career decisions. How do they decide which sector they want to work in? Where do they look for information and guidance? The short survey was sent to all CILIP student members and also distributed via LIS learning provider contacts. We received 48 responses.

The first question we asked was “Have you already decided on a particular sector you would most like to work in after completing your studies?: 81% of respondents had already decided upon a sector with 6 of the 48 respondents (13%) identifying Health as their sector of interest.

We were interested in finding out where students look for information and guidance when making their decisions (respondents were not limited to one selection).
CILIP was by far the most popular choice with 21 of the 48 citing CILIP itself, in addition CILIP’s jobs board Lisjobnet received 7 specific mentions and the CILIP Special Interest Groups were also mentioned 5 times. Away from CILIP, the next most popular sources were: colleagues (10 mentions), social media (7 mentions) and Blogs (5 mentions) and the website jobs.ac.uk (5 mentions). There were a variety of other sources, including Health Education England, with 4 or less mentions.

As well as knowing where students were looking, we also wanted to know in what format they liked to access the information. 46 respondents answered this question and they were not limited to one selection. Blogs were the most popular format with 91% of respondents identifying them, the next most popular answer “Forums” was identified by 30% of respondents. Books remained relatively popular too with 26% of respondents citing them. Webinars, leaflets and podcasts were identified by 17%, 4% and 2% of respondents respectively.

What was interesting was that we gave respondents an “other” option and in here we found evidence that it is one to one advice that they value. Under “other” they listed: Asking established professionals, asking classmates, face to face discussion, open days and Twitter. This, along with the popularity of blogs as a format, highlight that it is discussion and personal endorsement, whether online or face to face, that students are seeking to support their decision making. This was further evidenced when we asked the students what other resources they would like to have available: “A day in the life of”, career mentors, information on transferable skills, interviews with people in different sectors. It is therefore well worth knowing then that Knowledge for Healthcare is developing resources detailing the different LKS roles in health and social care to act as career guides and CILIP’s soon to be launched Careers Hub will provide this content across the sectors.

The survey, though small has provided useful insight into how we could approach student engagement. Recent contact with LIS learning providers has highlighted that some students are already working in their chosen sector before undertaking their qualifications. Future surveys might want to separate responses from those already decided on sector when beginning their course and those who are yet to decide, or be persuaded.

Jo Cornish, Development Officer at CILIP

Health Information Week and the Power of Social Media

Health Information Week (HIW) is an annual, multi-sector campaign to promote the good quality health resources that are available to the public and to encourage partnership working across sectors. HIW has been running since 2005 as a West Midlands initiative but, this year (4-10th July), Health Education England (HEE) Midlands and East Executive Team provided formal endorsement and support of Health Information Week across West Midlands, East Midlands and East of England and with the help of email and Twitter it soon went international!

It was a whirlwind couple of weeks in which I got the endorsement from HEE, quotes from directors and clearance from the comms team. I wrote a set of daily email bulletins to cover the main HIW messages and these were disseminated via HEE, NHS Libraries and contacts in public libraries and public health. Thanks to lots of people sharing and forwarding, these email bulletins were distributed far and wide across the country and generated lots of emails back to me with staff asking to be involved next year.

It was on Twitter that the HIW campaign ballooned – I was tweeting using @K4H_PPI and encouraging everyone to use the hashtag: #HIW2016. By Wednesday, #HIW2016 had reached about 700,000 Twitter accounts and there were people, who had not heard about HIW before that week, tweeting about displays that they had put up in their organisation. It hit the million mark on Thursday and on Friday there were even some International tweets in Dutch.

It was riveting to watch the social media campaign unfolding and I was amazed that the little West Midlands initiative, started many years ago that has always been fairly low-key but so important for developing local partnerships and providing the public with important health information is now growing and plans are afoot for it to be even bigger next year!

Watch this space: http://learning.wm.hee.nhs.uk/health-information (Full report now available)

Sarah Greening,
Health Information Co-ordinator
HEE working across West Midlands