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Health librarians: developing professional competence through a Legitimate Peripheral Participation model Sara Clarke and Zoe Thomas Royal Free Hospital.

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Presentation on theme: "Health librarians: developing professional competence through a Legitimate Peripheral Participation model Sara Clarke and Zoe Thomas Royal Free Hospital."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health librarians: developing professional competence through a Legitimate Peripheral Participation model Sara Clarke and Zoe Thomas Royal Free Hospital Medical Library, UCL Library Services

2 UCL Library Services mapping and recognising the competencies that health librarians gain on the job Legitimate Peripheral Participation development of a competency framework to frame the learning of health librarians

3 UCL Library Services critical appraisal study methodology literature searching grading evidence systematic reviewing

4 UCL Library Services “ proposed competences for …healthcare librarians providing information literacy instruction to learners : Professional competency -content knowledge oLIS concepts and processes oPersonal information literacy oHealthcare concepts, vocabulary, subject knowledge oGood knowledge of relevant resources and systems -Technical knowledge… -Teaching skills… -E-learning skills…” p47 (Robinson & Hilger-Ellis 2005) Image used from Mark Brannan on Flickr under creative commons licenceMark Brannan

5 UCL Library Services in order to become fully adept practitioners, health librarians also need to develop knowledge of the particular needs of a ‘health professional’ audience, and the ability to speak with authority to that audience

6 UCL Library Services “ structured continuing professional development (CPD) is required to meet the rapidly changing needs in the health sector. The emphasis ought to be on teaching skills, outreach work, marketing and promotion, research skills and methods, subject knowledge and terminology, and management skills. Library school curricula do not appear to meet the demands of medical library posts…The conclusions suggest that library schools need to update their programmes to include teaching skills, advanced search skills, project management skills, research methods, with more practical exercises.” p167 (Petrinic & Urquhart 2007)

7 UCL Library Services “I took the health care module [in my library course] – it was just kind of doing things I had already experienced in my job. There is no substitute for experience.” p171 (ibid) Image used from Nationaal Archief on FlickrNationaal Archief learning from a course vs learning on the job?

8 UCL Library Services “recent case-study work suggests that qualifications and training are partial measures of skill development as most learning arises naturally out of the demands and challenges of everyday work experience.” p359 (Felstead et al. 2005) Learning as acquisition Learning as participation

9 UCL Library Services Current situation for health librarians? General certificate gained on library course Learning specialist competencies through participation in job Get first professional post

10 UCL Library Services Legitimate Peripheral Participation “They propose that learning is a process of participation in communities of practice, participation that is at first legitimately peripheral but that increases gradually in engagement and complexity”. (back cover) (Lave & Wenger 1991) “The individual learner is not gaining a discrete body of abstract knowledge which (s)/he will then transport and reapply in later contexts. Instead, (s) he acquires the skills to perform by actually engaging in the process”. p14 (ibid). learning how to do something, not by reading about it but by actually doing it

11 UCL Library Services Legitimate Peripheral Participation Used with permission from:

12 UCL Library Services Zoe’s story… Image used from Okinawa Soba (In Asia and Africa until August) on Flickr under creative commons licenceOkinawa Soba (In Asia and Africa until August)

13 UCL Library Services Health Library staff competency framework

14 UCL Library Services Potential difficulties Best to start with new staff member Need to have - 1 trainee and 1 mentor - is this always practical? Limited opportunities e.g. training large groups In the current economic climate, how many new starters will there be to pilot this?

15 UCL Library Services The future Possible future developments Would certification of competence (learnt on the job) be useful to future employers? Any questions or comments? Image used from darkmatter on Flickr using creative commons licencedarkmatter

16 UCL Library Services References Eraut, M. 1994, Developing professional knowledge and competence Falmer Press, London. Felstead, A., Fuller, A., Unwin, L., Ashton, D., Butler, P., & Lee, T. 2005, "Surveying the scene: learning metaphors, survey design and the workplace context", Journal of Education and Work, vol. 18, no. 4, pp Health Executive Advisory Group 2004, Future proofing the profession, CILIP. Lave, J. & Wenger, E. 1991, Situated Learning - Legitimate peripheral participation Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Lewis, S. 2009, “I work in a hospital library, that makes me a health librarian, doesn’t it?” Paper submitted for the 10th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, 31 August to 4 September 2009, Brisbane, Queensland Petrinic, T. & Urquhart, C. 2007, "The education and training needs of health librarians;the generalist versus specialist dilemma", Health Information & Libraries Journal, vol. 24, no. 3, pp Robinson, L. & Hilger-Ellis, J. 2005, "Healthcare librarians and learner support: a review of competences and methods", Health Information & Libraries Journal, vol. 22, no. s2, pp


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