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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Advocacy is a very important thing if you are sort of service desk, shop, museum curator etc etc.  You are  there to promote your wares.  Unless you are just a Saturday girl at the local supermarket who couldn't give a damn about the shop or customers, everyone should have a mind to serve the customer to their best ability.
Every day I help to advocate our library.  Whenever I serve a customer from issuing books to helping them find a journal article I promote our library and what it can do to help them find what they want.  If you are seen to do the best you can even if they walk away empty handed - you can congratulate yourself on a job well done and be seen to do the best you can for them.
Our library is a hospital library, so most of the staff here know we are there and know that we can or try to find them the best information they require.  New staff inductions are where we promote our library as well.  We provide training on how to find the best evidence based practice and literature searching.  Or for busy doctors we can do their literature search for them.
To advocate our library to our other staff and not just clinical staff, we set up a non clinical book selection.  This includes novels, non fiction, food and drink and gardening books.  They are donated books that anyone can bring in.  This has proved quite popular with clinical and non clinical staff alike.
Although there is unrest in the library fraternity I don't think we need to get out our banners and march to Downing Street just yet.  I think the health library in particular is seen as important to get the medical evidence for patient care.  The library is funded by the University Deanery which hold a special budget, so I think we are safe for now, although there has been cut backs elsewhere.
I read with interest on people's ideas for advocacy especially the knitting pattern idea!  Brilliant!  I am compelled to find other interesting ideas myself, particularly to get more of the non clinical staff in.

As for 'getting published' - this is definitely over my head.

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