Saturday 30 May 2020

Becky Scott - Leaving the silo behind: A needs-must transformation for a Library Service in a new hospital with no library space

Not only did Cambridge Library Group hold its first ever lunch time session on Wednesday 20 May, but it was also its first ever Webex talk with Q and A! It was fascinating to hear how Becky had taken up the post of Library and Knowledge Services Manager at the Royal Papworth Hospital specifically to organise the move of its Library Service. When the Hospital closed at Papworth Everard in May 2019 it opened on a new site on the Cambridge Bio Medical Campus. Since there was no room for a physical library within the hospital building Becky moved her team onto the Clinical Admin floor with little more than one Library desk, a Returns bin and a trolley.

Becky organized various services with innovation and flair: a Click and Collect lending service (600 core volumes on site in store and 1200 volumes off site); an Inter Library Loan service through the consortium with other NHS Libraries; online literature searches. The benefits of a flexible service not tied to opening hours nor a particular space have been realised by team members who embrace change. Whilst there have understandably been challenges along the way, new services have sprung up from the recent move e.g. an audiobook project for patients organized with the public library. In addition, one of the team is based in the Pharmacy, carrying out literature searches for consultants wanting to prescribe new drugs.

It is impossible to relate all the various details of this interesting talk. Topics covered included the change in VAT on e-resources, the realisation that libraries are not all virtual (despite the thinking 10 years ago) and the serious lack of funding.

Many thanks to Becky for this wonderful talk which shone a light on flexible working, so appropriate during these days of lockdown!

Janet Syme

(Simon Balle All-through School, Hertford)