Reflections with Phil Segall

2016 has been a year of firsts for me:

  • I changed jobs and have enjoyed my first year working at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). This has been my first experience of commuting into London on a daily basis – a transition which has been something of a shock to the system, I have to admit! A big positive about working for the RCN is the large amount of scope for professional development. I have had the opportunity to get heavily involved in the planning of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events for the library and was even able to persuade the ILN’s very own Alyson Dalby to lead a CPD session for RCN staff in October!

A virtual tour of the library where I work (the second largest nursing-specific library in the world, no less!) is available here.

The Royal College of Nursing: entrance and study area

The Royal College of Nursing: entrance and study area

  • The RCN has been my first experience of working in a specialist library. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend my first Health Librarians Group (HLG) Conference thanks to a bursary from HLG. I have written up my experiences here.

HLG is one of 22 special interest groups overseen by CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). I have also continued to work with CILIP’s International Library and Information Group (ILIG) throughout 2016. I agreed to take on a role as editor of the Group’s Focus journal from next year and this is a new challenge I look forward to in 2017.

  • In terms of new skills I have picked up, I now lead database training sessions and I put together literature searches for library members. Something I found out during the HLG Conference is that there is an online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) all about how to do literature searches. This was created as a collaborative effort by staff at University Hospital of South Manchester, NHS Health Care Libraries – North & The University of Liverpool. Although the course finished last year, all of the materials are still online here.

Working through this has proved very useful in helping me to improve how I put the searches together. I would recommend it to anyone who is involved in literature searching themselves.

  • I took part in the first Cycling for Libraries tour outside of Europe. Having participated in the last 3 tours, this was my first visit to Canada, where it was heartening (in the somewhat unsettling current global political climate) to find out all about how libraries are working with the Canadian government and the country’s diverse communities to encourage multiculturalism. Here’s a link to my summary of this year’s tour. 
Cycling for Libraries at Toronto Reference Library

Cycling for Libraries at Toronto Reference Library


  • And finally, I’ll be visiting Riga in December (another first as I’ve never been to the Baltics before!) where I look forward to touring the amazing “Castle of Light” that is the Latvian National Library.

Reflecting on all of this has brought home to me that I have been doing a lot more than I realised in 2016! I am glad to have taken the plunge by moving on and am particularly pleased about the sheer variety of things I get to do in my new role.

It has also been my first full year working with the ILN in my voluntary position as Data Officer. Next year is set to be a year of changes for the ILN and I aim to help as best I can to support those changes. Here’s hoping we can all continue to support the ILN network in building upon its existing successes into 2017 and beyond!

– Phil Segall – ILN Data Officer


Posted in Discussion topics, Round 2016B and tagged , , , .

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