All posts by Tom Roper

Last night’s quiz

The transcript and analytics of last night’s quiz are now available. Congratulations to our worthy winner, @StephGrey84. A £20 voucher kindly donated by Wolters Kluwer is on its way to you.

If you were baffled by any of our questions, here’s the answers, in italics:

  1. Name the three people responsible for #ukmedlibs: Holly Case, Sam Burgess and Tom Roper (we accepted names or Twitter handles)

  2. What’s the first line of A Christmas Carol? Marley was dead: to begin with

  3. Which #ukmedlibs chat is considered to be the biggest one so far? #amilliondecisions, September 2017

  4. What is the name of the traditional Italian Christmas cake? Panettone…or panforte

  5. What was the date of our very first #ukmedlibs chat? 19th May 2015

  6. By which date should Christmas decorations be removed? 5th or 6th January [controversial, so we accepted either answer]

  7. Who has just been appointed Vice-President of CILIP for 2018? David Stewart [An answer of the King in the North was also considered correct]

  8. Which country donates a Christmas Tree to the UK every year as token of gratitude for support during WW2? Norway

  9. Who are the leads for the STEP e-learning modules? Sarah Lewis and Tracey Pratchett

  10. According to the traditional song, how many ladies dancing were there? Nine

  11. Which website hosts the #ukmedlibs transcript and analytics? Symplur

And finally, who or what is this? [picture of an elf] Elf on the shelf!

And the answers to the Name that librarian picture round were

June Tabor [folk singer and former library assistant in the London Borough of Haringey’s libraries: no one identified her correctly]
Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-Tung if you’re old-fashioned like me)
Angus Wilson [novelist, who worked at the British Museum Reading Room]
Georges Bataille [French librarian and writer]
Philip Larkin [though someone thought it was Eric Morecambe]
Leslie Morton [It seems the author of Garrison-Morton, and one of the architects of NHS librarianship as we now know it, is poorly remembered. Read this obituary if you wish to remedy this. I hope people who apply for the bursary set up in his memory ensure they know who he was]
Jorge Luis Borges
S.R. Ranganathan

A merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone who’s taken part in our chats in 2017. In the new year we have chats on institutional repositories (16th January) and professional ethics (20th February). If you have ideas for chats, do get in touch. We can help facilitate a chat.






#ukmedlibs Christmas quiz 2017

The first ever #ukmedlibs Christmas quiz is now live, with Holly Case at the controls. You can enter in three ways:

  1. Preferred method, as it makes marking easy: see the questions and submit your answers via the Google form. You’ll need to enter an e-mail address, which we promise we will not share with anyone.
  2. Watch the @ukmedlibs Twitter account. We’ll tweet the questions one by one, and you can reply with a direct message to us – don’t tweet answers to all and sundry, please. It doesn’t matter if we don’t follow you – we’ve set our account to receive DMs from anyone.
  3. E-mail your answers to


  1. No Googling. How will we know you haven’t? We won’t, but we hope your professional integrity will stop you
  2. Holly’s decision on everything is final
  3. If there’s a tie, we have a tie break question. The first person to submit a correct answer will win,

We’ll do our best to announce the winner at 9, or as soon as we can afterwards.

We’re very grateful to Wolters Kluwer, who have donated a £20 Amazon voucher to be awarded to the winner. If you win, we’ll ask for a postal address to which to send it.

Happy quizzing. from Holly, Sam and Tom

November chat: the training and development needs of healthcare information professionals in England: Tuesday 21st November

November’s chat takes place at 8 pm on Tuesday 21st November. Earlier this year, Health Education England undertook their bi-annual Development Needs Analysis, looking at the training and development needs of healthcare information professionals in England.

The development team behind the survey are leading the latest #ukmedlibs chat and would like to find out your thoughts about many different aspects of the development needs analysis. 

  1. Have you seen the Development Needs Analysis Report?
  2. Do you think all development areas were covered in the survey?
  3. Have you used the results from the DNA in any way?
  4. Do you think the DNA has made an impact/could make an impact in your region?
  5. Where does the DNA sit within the wider profession/ can it inform other sectors?
  6. Do you have any ideas for increasing number of people completing the survey?  
  7. What do you consider to be the most positive outcomes of the Development Needs Analysis?
  8. Have the DNA results allowed you to plan/attend events which are specific to your locality/region?

Find the Development Needs Analysis on the Knowledge for Healthcare website.  

The ever-changing NHS landscape

The NHS is constantly changing and some recent drivers such as STPs and the Carter review will have a significant impact on our organisations.

We developed the MAP toolkit in 2008 after attending the LondonLinks Alignment Toolkit launch,  to share information about key NHS drivers and also to provide a platform to share examples of good practice in NHS libraries. We felt that it was important to demonstrate how our services are aligned to priorities for our organisations and the wider NHS.

This Twitter chat aims to explore how we keep up-to-date with NHS policy and strategic objectives, and how we use this information to benefit our practice and to plan and deliver library services. Finally we will discuss the MAP Toolkit, how people have used it and whether there are any gaps and any other areas that we should look at.


  1. How do you keep up to date with the wider healthcare agenda, e.g. new NHS policy, political drivers, new strategic objectives?
  2. What resources / bulletins / mechanisms do you find the most useful?
  3. How does keeping up to date benefit your professional practice? Why is it important?
  4. How do you use this information to deliver a better Library & Knowledge Service?
  5. How have you/would you use the MAP Toolkit?
  6. Is there anything we could add to the MAP to help you make your services more relevant to the bigger picture?

Leadership chat transcript

Thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s lively chat on leadership, and particularly to Jo Alcock and Michael Cook, our guest leaders from the Knowledge for Healthcare Leadership Programme.

The transcript and analytics are now up, thanks to Symplur. Next month’s chat will be a postcard from Scarborough, reflections on the HLG conference which takes place there on 15 and 16 September. The chat will be led by Holly Case, and takes place at 8 pm Tuesday 20 September.

May #ukmedlibs, 8pm, Tuesday 17 May: now we are one

#ukmedlibs chats are nearly a year old! Our first chat took place on 19 May 2015. Since then we have had a chat a month, 261 participants and heading for 2 million impressions.  So it’s a good time to take stock, and plan for the next year and beyond. Next Tuesday’s chat, therefore, will be looking at what you like about the chats, what we could do better, and what you would like to do in the future. Join us at 8pm on Tuesday 17 May, using the #ukmedlibs hashtag.

To remind you what we’ve covered, here’s a chronological list of the chats so far.

  • Health Education England Library and Knowledge Service Development Framework,
  • The future of healthcare libraries
  • Twitter journal club on Rethlefsen M et al Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews.
    J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Jun;68(6):617-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.11.025
  • Partnerships between health and public libraries
  • Conferences
  • Librarians as teachers
  • Clinical and executive champions for NHS library and knowledge services
  • Festive frivolity and seasonal silliness
  • Critical appraisal on Twitter
  • Apps
  • Impact of clinical librarian services
  • Current awareness services


#ukmedlibs 15 March: the impact of clinical librarian services

March’s #ukmedlibs chat will look at the impact of clinical librarians, the subject of a major study published very recently in Health Information and Libraries Journal:

Brettle, A., Maden, M. and Payne, C. (2016), The impact of clinical librarian services on patients and health care organisations. Health Information & Libraries Journal. doi: 10.1111/hir.12136

[Free to CILIP HLG members. Login to the CILIP website and access the journal at

This paper is the first large-scale study of the impact of clinical librarian services, based on work in the North-West of England, and offers tools for future research into impact.

We’re lucky to  have Alison Brettle to lead the discussion on this paper [and could any of your co-authors be persuaded to join in, do you think]


The chat takes place at 8 pm on Tuesday 15 March. Use the hashtag #ukmedlibs when participating.


Critical appraisal on Twitter: transcript and analytics

The transcript of Tuesday’s #ukmedlibs critical appraisal chat is now live on the Symplur site. There are also analytics of the top ten tweeters in the chat by mentions, tweets, and impressions. Thanks to everyone who took part, especially our session leader, John Blenkinsopp, aka @Blenky64. 

If you would like more critical appraisal with John, he’s leading a session organised by CILIP’s Health Libraries Group in Wakefield on 13 June.

February’s chat will take place at 8pm on Tuesday 16th of the month. Watch this blog  or our Twitter feed for an annoncement of the topic; we’ve had a suggestion of a chat about apps. Would that appeal? Let us know.