Friday, 1 June 2012

Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

Well, slowly catching up to the

This post will, perhaps, show most evidently that we are doing these 23 Things as relevant to the library service as a whole, rather than individual librarians.

Name used

This is a difficult one for us, as we sport several names, being two (NHS) libraries which have recently merged to a certain extent in a Trust which also has two University libraries. After searching via a popular internet search engine whose name rhymes with 'frugal' for 'OUH library', the third result is for our website, which is promising. Searches for 'NOC library' and 'Horton library', the names of the two sites, also leads us to our personal website. I guess we can conclude that setting up our own website, as opposed to merely using the pages at the Trust website, was an excellent idea, avoiding confusion with the University libraries who figure prominently in the Trust's own website.


As a library service, we're not really interested in whether anybody can recognise the library having seen pictures of it online, so this isn't really relevant. However, we do regularly receive questions by people asking us about how to get to the library, so it might be worth becoming more clear about that, and we do have photos of ourselves on our library website...

Visual brand

We've gone to great lengths to ensure that we have a distinctly recognisable brand to distinguish ourselves from the other non-NHS libraries in our Trust. This involves a prominent display of the 'NHS' logo, and we're working on our own library logo, which should come into operation in the near future. Confusion between email addresses does sometimes result as well, but a gentle nudge in the right direction usually suffices!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Thing 2: Investigate other blogs

Well, we're still a bit behind - we did have an interminable series of meetings last week - but we promise to do four Things this week to catch up with Thing 6 on Monday of next week!

Some of the blogs which we have especially liked, and have linked to on the right, are:

The Adventures of YiWen the Librarian is interesting, easy to read, well-written and has a lovely picture of a car at the top. In addition, the prose is entertainingly punctuated by quirky images.

Dewey Decibelle writes in a witty and engaging style to which I aspire but can only faintly imitate.

Dolly Yang's blog seems full of interesting titbits of information which are totally new to me. And I was favourably jarred yet amused by the quantity of photos of her garden and Chinese characters where I had been expecting rather more mundane (ahem) cpd23 musings.

emmabettyhughes I like mainly for the picture at the top of the blog.

I think the blogs which I like best show the most thorough level of detail about the cpd23, combined with a light-hearted style. Pictures help too of course - although our blog is frightfully dull in that respect!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Thing 1: Blogs and blogging

Well, we're going to have to do a Thing per day this week in order to catch up with the official schedule!

Here's a reminder about what Thing 1 is supposed to be about. from the official 23 Things blog:

"In this Thing you will create your own blog (if you don't have one already) and will think and write about why you're taking part in 23 Things for Professional Development and what you're hoping to get out of it."

So, without further ado:

Assistant A can inform you all that the OUH NHS Library is taking part in 23 Things to develop the library as a professional service and so see what thoughts other libraries come up with. And, in the spirit of sharing and mutual pooling of ideas, we thought it only fair to inflict our poor deluded ramblings on the world.

This is, I think, what Outreach is getting at when she tell me that "it is never easy to write about oneself and I find it quite difficult to think of things to say.  It is much easier to reply to someone else who will have already broached the subject to discuss". We'd probably never have got around to considering the important issues raised by the 23 Things, and certainly not in any systematic way. The 23 Things will force us to come up with ideas and, what's often more difficult, articulate them clearly, cogently and reasonably.

Outreach continues: "I think to write a professional blog and to read other blogs can help immensely in sharing professional practice, problem solving and generating an awareness of what is going on in the library world where the majority of activities may not be recorded elsewhere.  The wisdom of the crowd is a powerful and limitless source of inspiration." Hearty words with which we can all agree.

Our library Manager takes a brief time-out from her usual weighty and important deliberations to consider the matter, and deigns to respond: "I am doing 23 things as I want a greater awareness of Web 2.0 tools and how they can be applied in a heath library setting. Sometimes it is difficult to use the accredited tools that are out there, our hospital lacking a subscription, but there are often free alternatives that can be used instead, and which this sort of sharing can teach us about. I am hoping 23 Things will give me some pointers as to what can be used instead."

We all agree that our focus is on how the 23 Things can support our library as a whole, in addition to just individual librarians. We think that our team-based approach might add something to the mix, as we'll have to discuss our thoughts to arrive at a mutually agreed party-line - either that or the combustible discord will result in productive discussion.

One final note from Assistant A, who would like to express surprise that no better descriptive word than 'Thing' made the final cut. It makes it all sound like a bit of a vague and contrived activity. Which it isn't, is it? No? Surely?

Monday, 21 May 2012


Hello world (and in particular, other libraries/librarians participating in 23 Things)!

To introduce ourselves: we at the OUH libraries have decided to initiate a collective 23 Things blog featuring a collection of both our individual and mutually pooled thoughts.

We are the NHS Library in the Oxford University Hospitals Trust, as opposed to the OUH Trust libraries which form part of the Bodleian Library system - the Bodleian Health Care Libraries. We operate on two separate sites, at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Headington, Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury - being cross-site ensures a regular daily flurry of emails between us as we liaise and present a seamlessly functioning exterior!

We hope that you will forgive the fact that we've decided to pool our thoughts, and have decided to consider the Things more from a library-wide perspective, rather then as they affect each individual librarian, but we may lapse into individual consideration as well.

Those contributing thoughts will be:
Manager: she, ahem, is the manager of the libraries.
Outreach: who is, to continue stating the obvious, our Outreach Librarian
Assistant B: who works at both sites
Assistant K: works part-time at one site
Assistant A: works full-time at one site, and will be the main voice behind these blog posts.

We are hiding behind pseudonyms partly so (especially new) readers will always be instantly aware of the role behind the thoughts, and partly... well, that will become clear in our 'branding' post'.

Finally, we're sorry to join the party so late, and we may well have to post about four blog items in our first week to catch up with the field! Feel free to stop by and say hello, link this to your blog or to express your thoughts however you wish!