A series of insights from delegates to the International Clinical Librarian Conference 2023.

The ICLC (International Clinical Librarians Conference) started with an engaging and motivating keynote from Michelle Maden. She spoke about the role and contribution of the library and knowledge workforce in supporting the systematic review process.

The talk was useful as it provided a useful structure and clearly showed how our skills and knowledge can be practically applied. Michelle also highlighted that we put a lot of time and work into providing searches and support for these more complex reviews, and as such, we should really be pushing for more acknowledgement in the final publication.   

The conference had several shorter lightning talks and E-Poster presentations. These provided examples of work and provided case studies of how services had developed innovative approaches to their work.

The lightning talks covered a range of topics and it was inspiring to see the ingenuity, enthusiasm and practical application of skills that were displayed by all of the presenters. I found these case studies to be helpful and took away some ideas and techniques that I intend to use in developing my own service.   

The other keynote was Andy Tattersall presenting on the use of AI in healthcare and providing examples of various tools and applications of AI. The examples Andy gave us showed that current AI has limitations but can be a successful tool to quickly provide first drafts and generate ideas. 

There were also some useful tools to produce images, translate content to other languages, and summarise text. Like any software it appeared that there is a learning process and familiarity with specific AI products resulted in higher quality output. So while AI isn’t going to replace our future workforce, our future workforce will benefit from and need to make use of the AI tools that are being developed.

There is a directory of AI tools at Futurededia  which provides a gateway to many of the services and apps covered in Andy’s presentation.  

There were also two knowledge café workshop, one on supporting systematic reviews and the other on developing peer support for literature searching. These provided interactive activity and a change of pace to the day , and it was interesting and informative to hear views and gain knowledge through this group work.   

The key themes I took from the conference overall were, firstly that the role the Knowledge Specialist is becoming more complex and there is a need to continually adapt and keep our skills up to date. I was also struck by the diversity in the work that’s being done and the range of ways that services are implemented and delivered.   

I would recommend ICLC to anyone working in the library and knowledge sector. The key thing was that all of the information I gained at the conference was practical. The breadth of topics covered by the lightning talks and their useful , innovative content was beneficial and informative.

The keynote speakers also gave thought provoking and interesting presentations. And there was a wealth of clever and enthusiastic people attending the conference who were all willing to share knowledge and experience.


Library Lead Paul Stevenson

Bradford Teaching Hospitals and Airedale NHS Foundation Trusts