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

I was very grateful to accept a bursary from NHS England to attend the International Clinical Librarian Conference in Leicester this year. I have been to Leicester twice before, both times to visit the National Space Centre, so the vibe was slightly different this time but no less enjoyable.  

I started my job as Clinical and Outreach Librarian at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in April 2023, and the library service at STH had only been set up in the previous year. We are a small, very new team who are delivering a brand new service to a very large acute Trust and trying to get our name out there and made a difference, so I knew there would be a lot that I could learn and bring back to my team from the conference. 

The ICLC agenda had a lot about systematic reviews, which I knew would be useful for me. Between Michelle Maden’s opening presentation on Librarian Involvement with Systematic Reviews, Steve Glover’s lightning talk on Authorship for Clinical Librarians Supporting Research and Best Practice and the first day finisher of a workshop on supporting systematic reviews I left with a lot of ideas.

Key things I learned were the importance of recording absolutely everything, having access to the protocol including inclusion and exclusion criteria, and having a librarian’s work on systematic reviews values and recognised in the final piece.

As a direct result of what I learned at ICLC I was able to significantly contribute to a new systematic review guidance developed for our service, which is increasingly being asked to contribute to systematic reviews. 

Another session that really caught my interest was Lucy Wells’ session on Presenting Evidence in Clinical Meetings. Lucy’s presentation was about how she delivers evidence search results to whole teams in clinical meetings.

Lucy gets evidence search requests from clinicians, then after completing the search she summarises the highest level, most recent results into a report which is then presented in clinical meetings. She includes QR codes so that attendees can easily access articles and sends the report to the team afterwards.

As a new clinical librarian, I am looking for new ways to deliver our service, and Lucy’s presentation really highlighted the different ways that a clinical library service can provide information to clinicians. This is something I have fed back to my team, and we are looking for opportunities to put this into practice. 

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is a large, research-focused Trust, so I thought Dan Livesey and Kathryn Graham-Shuttleworth’s talk entitled Cancer Research Publications: What Can the Data Tell Us? would be very relevant. Dan and Kathryn explained how their team work closely with colleagues in their Research department to collect and classify all publications written by staff at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Rather than just having a basic repository of articles, they add a lot of metadata such as journal impact factors, first and last authorship, and research themes. This means that they can pull out trends in research, promote the impact of publications, and provide evidence to back up claims in external communications.

I was very interested in this talk as I have often thought that many institutional repositories are not used as well as they could be, and that they should be something a bit more than just a list of articles produced by an institution. This work has inspired me to think how I can work with our own Research team to develop a repository for STH that provides useful data for the Trust. 

This was my first trip to a library conference, and I didn’t know anyone before I went. I was a little anxious, but I never struggled to chat to people, and I had some really interesting discussions about libraries and not about libraries too. I ate some lovely food, I slept in a comfy bed and I was not woken up by a four year old demanding to climb in at 6am like I am most days.

Thank you to NHS England for giving me the opportunity to attend ICLC and to all of the presenters for giving me some wonderful ideas to take back to my team.


Clinical and Outreach Librarian Jessica Waite

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Page last reviewed: 10 January 2024