I attended the Umbrella 2013 Conference with a poster about the redevelopment of SUNCAT. This was my first time at the Umbrella Conference and my first chance to look around Manchester – both were very enjoyable and informative!
The poster itself, was one of a select group of only 8 posters, 5 traditional and 3 digital, and focussed on the redevelopment of SUNCAT and how it can support the journey from resource discovery to access.
I spoke to information professionals from a wide range of libraries, including: NHS Libraries and University Libraries from Oxford to Malta! I also spoke to delegates from Public Libraries and from more specialist organisations such as the Social Care Institute for Excellence, Statoil (an international energy company) and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Both the range of delegates to engage with and the formal sessions opened up a world beyond the field of Higher Education that I am most familiar with.
My favourite speakers had to include:
The joint session from Clinical Librarian, Victoria Treadway and Consultant, Dr Girenda Sadera on how a Librarian joined and supported the daily ward round at the Critical Care ward at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. The importance of developing a good working relationship was highlighted as critical to embedding a librarian into the multidisciplinary team of clinicians including doctors, dieticians, pharmacists and physiotherapists. Victoria went out of her way to support the team’s information needs within and out with the ward rounds. Secondly the need for very quick answers was discussed, so an iPad and a small selection of high quality evidence based resources were utilised. Although Victoria found the experience challenging at first, the support and trust of all the team have made it a very rewarding role.
Janice Lachance’s inspiring talk about her varied career from obtaining a law degree, through to working as the Director of Communications for a large US Labour Union to working alongside Bill Clinton on his cabinet and getting to fly on Air Force One. Janice’s message was not to pigeonhole ourselves too much by our past and current job titles and to look closely at the many transferrable skills information professionals possess and to branch out into other positions where these skills would be invaluable. Janice also advised informational professionals to think and act like executives and align your own and your department’s goals with the organisation’s objectives.
Geoff White, a producer with Channel 4 News also presented a fascinating session on day in the life of a newsroom and how stories to feature are selected and verified.
I can definitely recommend the conference to anyone looking to get a broad overview of what’s happening across the information profession.
Please let get in touch if you have any queries about the poster or about the redevelopment – more posts to follow on this…