Well it is goodbye from me. After nearly 30 years I am hanging up my date stamp and accession register and moving to the delights of retirement. No more excuses for not having the best garden in the street, being the one with the largest family tree on the Ancestry website or not having read as many books as I would like!



I clearly remember starting at the Mersey Regional Health Authority library on Monday 18 September 1989 and by Friday wanting to go back to my old job. I found it difficult adjusting to being the only professional librarian with a library that consisted of a few hundred books and old back issues of the BMJ and Health Service Journal. I’d come from an academic library with a large library staff that had several professional librarians. I gave myself a talking to at the weekend (I am very determined and do not like to give up) and the rest is history. I joined the Mersey and Cheshire Health Librarians Group and the national NHS Management Librarians Group and made sure I had lots of colleagues to learn from.

I built the library from 2 staff to 5 staff aided by Maureen Horrigan and Kieran Lamb. It was very sad to see the library I had helped to develop disappear as part of the restructure of the NW Commissioning Support Unit. I joined the Health Care Libraries Unit in October 2000 after project managing the SECTA Review that established the Unit. It’s ironic that after 24 years of motorway driving to work (Birchwood, Warrington and Wigan) for the last two months of working I’ve been based in Liverpool at Regatta Place which is a short 10 minute drive from my home.

I don’t have many plans. This is new territory for me as I pride myself on my organisation skills. I’m not quite sure what to do with the 5 lots of printed To Do List stationery but I’m sure I will find something to use them for.

After a few days away in York for my actual birthday and cruising from St Petersburg to Moscow in September, once we have been vetted by the Russian authorities, the calendar is empty.

There will be quite a few things I will miss but I’m looking forward to a rest before I embark on my new life. I may turn up at some events in the future if I have time.

Thank you for all you kind wishes, gifts and cards. My goal as a librarian has always been to make a difference and your kind words have reassured me that I have.

Keep the flag flying to confirm that everyone knows the value that you as library and knowledge specialists bring to the NHS. Make sure your legacy will be a strong and vibrant NHS library and knowledge specialist workforce who can readily demonstrate what difference you make to the NHS.

We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference.” –Nelson Mandela



Linda Ferguson
Deputy Director of Health Library and Knowledge Services North