Both Craigavon and Antrim have a professional Library employed by QUB. Altnagelvin was formerly part of the QUB campus, but the library is now run by a professional librarian employed by the local trust.
Postgraduate centres aim to support doctors in their work and professional development. Responsibility for these centres lies with the designated librarian at the Medical Library. Outliers libraries range from very small collections (many without any formal local supervision) to large resource centres with supervision formally undertaken by local staff. Developing and updating these collections is largely dependent on the pro-active involvement of the health professionals on site. Social Service Outliers includes those attached to Social Services Training Units (SSTUs) and those in the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency offices. There are also small social work collections within some multi-disciplinary outliers. SSTUs maintain small, specialised libraries to support their work in providing a range of in-service training to social workers and social care workers. NIGALA libraries support the work of Guardians ad Litem in safeguarding the interests of children during adoption, and other court proceedings. Both types of library are routinely managed by administrative staff, usually in addition to their main clerical duties, and are supervised by a senior social worker within the unit.
Research/Subject support for QUB is provided via the Faculty Team – principally the Medical Librarian and Assistant Librarians responsible for pre and post registration nursing. Research/Subject support for HPSS is provided via the Faculty team, but also the pharmacy, psychology and social work librarians. The Social work librarian also has responsibility for purchasing books and databases on behalf of the DHSSPS users.
Medical Library is the main physical holding location – lends books to outlying libraries as requested. DHSSPS users also enjoy access to other QUB libraries – Science (psychology, biology, biomedical collections), Main (law, social work, management collections) and Agriculture (food science, biology, microbiology). In 2003 over 5000 items were borrowed by DHSSPS staff directly from non-Medical libraries.
The Medical Library provides a photocopy request service to any DHSSPS staff who are members of the library. A flat rate of 50p is charged regardless of whether that request is satisfied locally or via the British Library.
Training is also support by the psychology, pharmacy and social work librarians. Training takes place on a province-wide basis.
The agreement worked best in a print only environment - the licensing restrictions on e-journals and databases means that increasingly the DHSSPS cannot access what QUB users can access and visa versa. This can be confusing for staff and users alike. Our current direction is to try and split the two services as much as possible so that DHSSPS users have a separate interface (HONNI), catalogue (HPSS catalogue under development + EBSCO A-Z service for e-journals) and logo (HONNI logo, rather then QUB logo). Staff are employed to support both QUB and HPSS, so trying to prioritise and balance the demands of the 2 groups can be difficult. DHSSPS staff can be confused also – are they getting the same as QUB staff etc. DHSSPS is a very large department with a great many trusts – difficulty communicating across it (IT Trust managers??) Status within the DHSSPS There is no information/library authority within the DHSSPS – QUB via the agreement try to fill this role. Given that the Medical Library staff do not work within the DHSSPS our status can be confusing. Strategic approach – does the HPSS have a library/information strategy? To what extent to we buy into national strategies?
Feedback Very little exists by way of feedback mechanisms for either HPSS or QUB users. This is due to a number of factors: busy nature of health professionals and academics, monitoring aspect of the agreement largely not followed up, fact that funding is “general” rather then school, department or subject based. Efforts are being made to make the funding more focused on particular subject areas and the creation of a proper monitoring group.
Funding is “general” rather then school, department or subject based. Efforts are being made to make the funding more focused on particular subject areas and the creation of a proper monitoring group.
We are responsible for ensuring electronic services work and are accessible across a network to which we have no direct access or control. No direct influence over how the network develops. DHSSPS priorities regarding networks are not necessarily the same as ours.
While QUB produce a strategy for resources to the DHSSPS they don’t have any such strategy.
Health & Personal Social Services and Higher Education in Northern Ireland: Managing A Special Relationship Diarmuid Kennedy Faculty Librarian (Medicine & Health Sciences, QUB) 6 September 2004
Health & Personal Social Services and Higher Education in Northern Ireland: Managing A Special Relationship
Department of Health, Personal Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) – Overview
Queen’s University Belfast – Overview
The Service Level Agreement
The Medical Library – Structure, Activities & Developments
A Service Level Agreement exists between the DHSSPS and Queens University to provide library and information services.
The agreement is “to contribute to the quality of health and social care in Northern Ireland by helping health and social services staff to make effective use of the knowledge and information base contained within and made available through the Queen’s University Library, particularly the Medical Library.”