My name is Amy Clancy and I am documenting my year as a graduate trainee at Greater Manchester Mental Health and Cheshire Wirral Partnership.

I am now three months into my graduate trainee year, and it’s hard to believe I am already a quarter of the way through! In this blog post I’ll discuss changes that have occurred within my role since my last post, as well as reflect on my first three months as a graduate trainee.

The biggest change since my last post is that I am now splitting my time between Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) and Cheshire Wirral Partnership (CWP). I am now spending two days per week in CWP’s Knowledge and Library Services in Chester. This has been a great way to experience a library service that is so different from GMMH. CWP is a mobile service without a large physical collection, meaning most of their work focusses on document supply and inter-library loans, and books are often borrowed via post rather than in person. These processes are not a large part of my role at GMMH, however they are integral to most NHS library services, so being able to develop these skills has been brilliant and will no doubt be helpful throughout my career. It has also been great way to experience a different working environment, as CWP operates out of quite a busy office that they share with a number of teams, which has been a fun change. Overall, despite the commute to Chester being a bit gruelling at times (rail replacement busses – I’ll say no more) I’m really happy to be split between the two Trusts and think it will add a lot to my graduate trainee year.

I am still working on several projects within the library services; I mentioned social media and the leaflet service in my last post, which are both still going well and I am excited to see how they develop throughout the year. While I have definitely been slightly overwhelmed at times – mostly when all of my leaflet orders decide to arrive on the same day – it’s been a great experience, particularly when hearing positive feedback about how the leaflets have been received by service users and the public. Our social media statistics at GMMH have continued to rise since we implemented the new strategy, and I am now working towards developing a similar strategy for CWP. Other projects I look forward to working on in the near future are getting involved in Health Information Week 2019, with the aim of raising awareness about the value NHS Librarians can have on the production and development of patient information. I am also beginning to work towards CILIP Certification, and am looking forward to developing my portfolio and being able to demonstrate the value of this year in the future.

Reflecting on my experience so far, the past three months have been a fantastic introduction to NHS libraries. It’s amazing that even so early on in my role I have been encouraged to take on so many challenges, and my ideas for the services have been listened to and even implemented in some cases. Everyone I have met has been so welcoming and encouraging, even staff from other libraries who I have only spoken to for a few minutes over the phone while arranging an inter-library loan have offered words of encouragement and told me I can call them if I ever need help with anything! The focus on personal development is an aspect of the role which I really appreciate and I’m looking forward to working towards more of my personal and professional goals throughout the year, as well as starting my professional qualification in September. Overall, I have had a great experience so far and I look forward to the rest of the year.

Amy Clancy
Graduate Library and Knowledge Services Trainee
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust