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Libraries Week x Meet our Members – Ania Matuszewska

Category: Blog, Libraries Week, Meet our Members, Professional Development

The regular Meet our Members blog you know and love is enjoying a Libraries Week special edition for one week only, during which we’ll be learning more about how our dynamic and diverse CILIPS membership base is Taking Action, #Changing Lives.

Today, we’re hearing from Ania Matuszewska, Systems Librarian at NHS Lanarkshire, who recently hosted our sell-out employability workshop ‘Information Professionals Can Wear Many Hats!’ (lucky Autumn ReGathering delegates will even get to attend an in-person version at the end of this month). Take it away, Ania!

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw  off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’  Mark Twain

What is my hat?

I am Systems Librarian working within the Quality Directorate and the Evidence Function at NHS Lanarkshire. I lead the Standards and Guidelines Team. Together we convert local knowledge into digital tools that NHS Lanarkshire can use to support decisions about patient care and service improvement.

What competencies and skills are needed for the role of the Systems Librarian and why?

In my opinion the following skills, abilities, behaviours and other characteristics are required from an individual to perform a systems librarian (SL) role successfully:

  1. Digital Literacy – The SL engages with technologies, utilises existing ones efficiently to address problems and complete tasks, and knows how to use tools, hardware, software, equipment etc.
  2. Oral and Written Communication (Communication) – The SL articulates thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively, exchanges information regardless of barriers using appropriate platforms, and translates complex technical concepts in a meaningful way to others.
  3. Innovation, Creativity and Flexibility – The SL generates new, varied and unique ideas, makes connections between unrelated concepts and brainstorms to get results.
  4. Global Fluency – The SL expresses openness, values differences, practices inclusiveness and builds collaborative relationships with others.
  5. Initiative and Leadership (Management/Leadership) – The SL supports the strengths of others to achieve common goals, mentor and/or develop others, and independently determines what needs to be done and acts on it.
  6. Professionalism and Work Ethic – The SL demonstrates personal accountability, effective work habits, transparency, integrity and ethical behaviour.
  7. Critical Thinking (Information Literacy) and Problem Solving (Analytical Skills) – The SL exercises sound reasoning to research and analyse problems, makes decisions and overcomes obstacles, interprets data and creates new knowledge.

The Meaning of Big Words

What the above means in my day-to-day practice is best described by the following example…

On Monday 10th May 2021 my team launched an app – NHSL Guidelines. Clinical guidelines are used by health professionals every day. Accessing and keeping up to date with this particular type of information can sometimes be challenging and time consuming. The NHSL Guidelines app is a single source of information for guidelines, medicines, referral pathways and COVID-19. It is unique in its design, because it is multidisciplinary and brings together six independent toolkits under one searchable interface:

  1. Guidelines — a single source of information for NHSL guidelines.
  2. Medical Scores & Calculators — a selection of links to well established tools supporting clinical decision-making and management.
  3. Referral Pathways — pathways developed by all stakeholders during the patient journey to ensure a seamless approach to patient care, reduction in variation to care provided and increased efficiency.
  4. Medicines Guidance — a reference source about safe, efficient, and effective use of medicines and devices. It consists of Adult Formulary, Medicines Updates, Medicines Approval Process etc.
  5. Antimicrobial Guidelines — clinical guidance and support decision making on prescribing within NHS Lanarkshire (NHSL).
  6. COVID-19 — a single source of information for national and local guidance developed in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The app is designed to support NHS Lanarkshire staff who use guidelines in their day-to-day work — e.g. clinicians, junior doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists etc. They can access it on any device connected to the internet and it is available to download free from Apple App Store and Google Play. It also means that the NHS Lanarkshire have a quality assured decision support tool in place contributing to a delivery of person-centred, safe and effective care.

Find your hat!

Working for the Library and Information Sector gives me great satisfaction, and I strongly believe that I am never done growing… I am very lucky! I wear a hat that does it for me. I am sure that you too desire true meaning, contentment and passion in your professional life. Start with some basic steps, like reflecting on skills and competencies of information professionals. Use different available tools, such as the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB). Identify your strengths. Identify your weaknesses. Identify skills and competencies for different career opportunities. And put yourself out there and let the world learn about you.

There are so many hats out there to choose from… and Information Professionals can wear many hats!

Thank you so much to Ania for her inspirational advice on all that librarians and information professionals can achieve – #ChangingLives for the better, whatever hat they choose to wear! To watch the recording of Ania’s brilliant webinar, please click here, and don’t forget to look out for further fantastic Libraries Week content coming soon.

The Libraries Week graphic with white text reading 'Taking action, changing lives' and a photograph of Ania with a background of multicoloured hats

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