Recently, I attended an event titled ‘Expanding Research within Roles and Developing Partnerships’ hosted by our research team. The event highlighted the diverse research roles within the Trust, showcased current research projects, and featured a range of speakers from both within and outside the Trust.

Although we were not originally invited to participate, we were eager to be involved and persuaded the organisers to let us have a stall at the lunchtime marketplace event. Due to our last-minute addition to the agenda, our stall was located in the back room where lunch was being served, away from the hustle and bustle in the main room. However, I seized the opportunity to speak with colleagues as they grabbed lunch and was encouraged by their enthusiasm, which was definitely for the library service and not just for the pizza and chips being served…

The speakers who gave talks at the event were really engaging. Us librarians got a few nice shoutouts too. Both the NIHR Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Professor Ruth Endacott, and the Head of Research at West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, Paul Carder, spoke about the benefits of collaborating with library and knowledge specialists during the research process. Advocating for ourselves can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, so hearing validation from people from other organisations and seeing the nods of agreement from the audience, including our own Chief Executive, felt really rewarding.

Overall, I’m glad I attended the event. It was great to put faces to the names of people I’d only spoken to over email and to meet new colleagues. Discussing our work with them highlighted the potential for collaboration between the library and knowledge service and the research department, and I came away from the event with loads of great ideas and leads to follow up on. While it can sometimes be challenging to get recognition for the work we do, the event motivated me to enhance our promotion and advocacy efforts and increase our visibility across the Trust. Plus, the vegan pizza was excellent!

Image of desk at Research event

Madeline Hannah

Library Assistant

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust