Emily Hurt (@EmilyHHurt) is a clinical librarian at
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Emily says: “The mainstay of my role is undertaking literature searches and providing information skills training, but I get to do other things too, from shadowing ward rounds on Critical Care to sitting on the Patient Information Leaflet group. I’m currently trying to organise a story time in the children’s clinic. I love my job and the people I work with.”
Emily recently won the LILAC Information Literacy Award for an outstanding researcher or practitioner in Information Literacy.
What was your earliest ambition?
I wanted to be a vet, but then realised I wouldn’t be very good as I’d cry every time an animal died. I stumbled into librarianship – I had dropped out of a PhD in children’s literature and was doing admin jobs through a temping agency. I was placed as a library assistant at Worcestershire Royal Hospitals and found I really enjoyed working there. I was lucky enough to be given funding for a part-time PGDip, and took it from there.
Who has inspired you in your career?
I saw Victoria Treadway speak at the Manchester 2013
CILIP conference, and thought “I need to be back in the NHS”. I had lost my way somewhat – after qualifying I worked as a subject librarian, but after I left my job to move North and have my daughter, I struggled to find a part-time qualified post. I was working as a library assistant in a public library, and hearing Victoria talk gave me the impetus to sit down and plan how I could get back into health libraries. I took a band two (assistant library assistant!) maternity cover post at an NHS library and it gave me the experience I needed to get a qualified post.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
You don’t always need to be moving up, sometimes moving sideways can be just as rewarding. Management and leadership aren’t for everybody – sometimes a good career can mean finding jobs that you’re happy with and that give you room to grow.
Best professional achievement?
In April this year I won the LILAC Information Literacy Award, which is for an outstanding researcher or practitioner in Information Literacy. My manager, Tracey Pratchett, nominated me and I was very proud to win – the first non-university librarian to have been given the award, and hopefully not the last from the NHS. I think we do a huge amount of work around IL in the health sector, but we don’t necessarily shout about it as much as we should do. My nomination was around the project I run with a research nurse colleague, the Research Engagement Programme.
Worst professional moment?
Not really a worst moment, but more of a professional confession – I am not chartered.
What CILIP member networks do you belong to?
Health Libraries Group, Information Literacy Group,
Library and Information Research Group. I’m a member
of the HLG CPD working group.
What drives you on?
I love my job, but I get itchy! So I start new things, and I am very fortunate to have a line manager who shares my enthusiasm. Since I’ve started shadowing ward rounds, I’ve started to think more about how information can help patients, and it’s something I’d like to develop. Providing something that can help a person better manage a condition, understand a procedure, or make a decision about which treatment to choose, that’s an amazingly powerful use of information.
A book you’ve enjoyed recently?
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. A beautifully descriptive book, it made me want to visit Serbia. It slips backwards and forwards between the tales of a young doctor and the past of her grandfather. And there’s a tiger in it!
Have you got any hidden talents?
I started sewing clothes for my daughter when she was a toddler, then moved on to things for me, and more recently I’ve started making quilts. It keeps me sane, I
find it very therapeutic, and the satisfaction of wearing something you’ve made yourself is immense.