DCH Library Apprentice shares experience and learning – at the start of National Apprenticeship Week

Today marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week and our very own Apprentice Library Assistant, Jack Welch, shares his experiences, learning and views about working at DCH Library. As you will see he is making great strides in the world of library work but the rest of the team at DCH Library are also benefitting from his enthusiasm and experience.

“Starting as the new Apprentice Library Assistant, there was certainly one expectation that was thwarted – our range of general fiction/non-fiction was smaller than expected! You can probably gather my knowledge about public libraries, as opposed to health libraries, was much greater. At the time of writing this, I will have been with DCH Library for four months now, which like most enjoyable pursuits has flown by without too much notice (and is always a positive sign). As part of a wider network of health libraries across the southern region, I have found we play a subtle, yet influencing, role in supporting effective healthcare for patients at the hospital.

Here is Jack at the Enquiry Desk in the Library

Alongside providing a range of textbooks, which has inevitably decreased in the internet age, we ensure members at this hospital and beyond are able to access scholarly articles with ease and swiftly respond to those requests when they come in. What cannot always be seen afterwards is the impact that might have after on our end, but the aim is geared towards the care of patients in practice. Secondly, and while it is not strictly part of the library function, we give extra assistance to staff who are having difficulty in logging onto their staff records and complete that all-important mandatory NHS e-learning!

As an apprentice, 80% of the time I will spend inside the actual hospital and my workplace environment (COVID guidance permitting) and one day a week from home to concentrate on any apprenticeship related tasks. This includes monthly assignments, meetings with my tutor online and completing other learning tasks that form as part of my eventual qualification. The team I work with in the library have been a great source of help in providing the resources and information needed to complete my assignments with all the evidence needed to meet the criteria. Crucially, a big part of that is down to direct work experience and drawing on situations that we might encounter – some more often than others.

Settling into this position has allowed me to look at how we can also improve some of the library’s systems and improving the functionality of user PCs available. Since I joined, they now have the latest version of Microsoft Office and, hopefully soon, will be more secure with automated erasure of any personal files/information that can be accidentally left behind. I am also able to put on my creative hat at times and design new signage to inform our visitors of necessary messages – including leaving the windows open in the winter for ventilation!

Getting to know the wider team across my department, and others in our space, has also been reassuring and I’ve already started doing a bit of extracurricular activity, such as joining the internal ‘Without Limits’ staff network and our forthcoming Living Library week! I’ve even been giving a few website and IT advice to other colleagues in the building, when the need has arisen – I have several ‘hats’ which I can wear besides being a Library Assistant. There is much more I found I could contribute to beyond my immediate job responsibilities, which is always an encouraging sign for building new skills.”

Winner of DCH library website banner

DCH Library recently ran a competition inviting DCHFT staff and students to design the banner for our new-look website. The design by Charlotte Bidwell, Digital Projects Support Assistant, was chosen for its colours, cheerfulness and simplicity. Charlotte, on the right in the photo, received her prize of a £20 book voucher in the library. Well done and thank you, Charlotte! You can see Charlotte’s design on the heading banner above.

While most people immediately recognise that the image is of a row of books, some of us see in the design a row of beach huts – which reflects a wider geographical reach than Dorchester, where the library is actually based. Whatever you see in the design we liked the fact that the colours matched those of the NHS and the Trust and that its cheerfulness and effective simplicity reflect the helpfulness and friendliness of the library team.

Charlotte Bidwell (right) receives her prize from Morag Evans, Librarian

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘library’?

Maybe you think of shelves of books? Well, although we love books (and by the way we do have shelves of books!) did you know this is a tiny part of what DCH library offers? Did you know there is a wealth of other resources and services available to you?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • As well as our print resources, clinical and medical staff also have access to clinical decision support tools like UpToDate and BMJ Best Practice (both available from the Trust intranet homepage) as well as a host of e-journals and e-books on ClinicalKey – https://www.clinicalkey.com/  and much more!
  • To access our e-resources you’ll need an OpenAthens username and password – self-registration is easy and available at https://openathens.nice.org.uk/
  • We can set up evidence alerts in your specialty/interests – let us know your professional interests and we’ll match these to the evidence base and send you fortnightly alerts with relevant high-level evidence. Sign up here
  • We also offer workshops on a variety of topics including:
  • study skills (first Tuesday of every month),
  • evidence searching,
  • basics of critical appraisal,
  • reflective reading and writing,
  • referencing
  • and health literacy
  • We also conduct evidence searches and summaries – just email us at library.office@dchft.nhs.uk with your question!
  • If we don’t hold a book or article that you are trying to get hold of we probably know a library that does and we are usually able to supply it to you. Our popular inter library lending and document supply service is quick and efficient as we belong to a large network of NHS libraries called SWIMS – you can view the SWIMS catalogue here
  • We also have a button on the Trust intranet homepage which takes you to our Discovery Service – basically you can search all our resources in one place – available here
  • There is also a small fiction section and a popular wellbeing corner and resources.
  • The Library is staffed between Monday and Thursday, 8.30am-5pm and Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm. But with your cotag you can access the library 24/7!

Better Value Better Care

Drop in to the Children’s Centre Seminar Room on Friday 6th November between 10.30am and 12.30pm, where the Library Team will be demonstrating a range of information resources such as Clinical Key. All NHS staff are eligible for an OpenAthens password, which facilitates literature searching and gives access to full-text documents, ebooks and much more, ensuring that you’re never more than a click away from vital, up-to-date information.

Building Work in the Library

Apologies, there may be some noise in the Library due to building work from now until 19th December 2014. Work stops then, and restarts on 5th January 2015, continuing up to 30th January. Part of the Library office is being reconfigured to include an I.T. Suite, which we hope you’ll agree should make all the inconvenience well worth while! Any changes to the planned timetable will be posted on the blog and there will be posters around the Library too.

Library Christmas Prize Draw

Christmas Pictures Clip Art

To enter our fabulous Christmas prize draw with a chance to win a £20 Amazon Voucher, all you have to do is subscribe to our blog by following it (instructions on the left). We’ll be drawing the name of the winning ‘follower’ out of Santa’s hat on Friday 12th December! You’ve got to be in it to win it!