Passing on the benchmarking baton — welcome to our workshop in Cardiff

We are delighted and honoured to see that the interactive workshop we will facilitate on Wednesday 11th July from 14:00 to 15:30 in Studio 2  in Cardiff is already fully booked. Maybe it is not so surprising when we only accept 20 workshop attendees because the required level of participant activity is very high.

The title — and topic of the workshop — is Passing on the benchmarking baton: workshop on cooperation methods, using new indicators, finding partners, and reporting results. The methods will include speed-dating, brain-storming and brain-writing.

Our workshop aims to

  1. Share methods and tools;
  2. Encourage cooperation and new partnerships between libraries and librarians;
  3. Build on new indicators that were identified during the Dublin workshop;
  4. Identify themes and methods for new benchmarking projects;
  5. Find methods and channels to report to colleagues.

As a participant, you will have the opportunity to meet new partners for future benchmarking projects and to learn and practise tools to use in your workshops.

Why do we want to pass on the benchmarking baton?

For about five years, we have collected and tried to compare plenty of data and statistics, had dozens of online meetings and a few live meetings, made site visits to each of the participating libraries, interviewed library users, interviewed library staff, discussed  library as a place, marketing, information skills training, and many other aspects of our work. We have also maintained this blog where we have shared experiences and thoughts on benchmarking issues.

We have also had a focus group session in EAHIL+ICAHIS+ICML 2015 workshop in Edinburgh, prepared and presented a paper at EAHIL 2016 conference in Seville, moreover, facilitated an interactive workshop session in ICML+EAHIL 2017 in Dublin. Most importantly, we have learned a lot.

Now it is not only finally the time to pass on the benchmarking baton to you, but we also need to move on — to new projects and roles, to different challenges and experiences.

Part of a workshop planning document

Part of a workshop planning document

So, what we are proposing, is that you start benchmarking! Our benchmarking project brought us to compare different ways of organising library area and services, of managing staff and coordinate relationships within the institution and outside, and how to train users to information literacy and establish and maintain connections with faculty and hospital. Current and traditional statistics did not help us. They could be compared but did not provide us with handy information, partly because they do not cover the same reality (e.g. economics, mostly). ISO indicators were difficult to use because our countries, working cultures and usages are different.

We came to the point where we wanted to investigate the value of the library, and what we needed was new indicators to compare this value. Impact of our project was that EAHIL members took part in our benchmarking and collaborated in our workshops to propose these new indicators, which could better address our goals. We hope this last workshop will help you to set your goals and encourage you to start something as rewarding as our project.

If you have not attended our previous workshop (or participated in the focus group or heard the presentation) or read this blog before, please, take a look at the background, the participating libraries, and the About page, in addition to reading at least some of the linked posts — most of them are shorter than this one.

We would also really appreciate it, if you could shortly comment who you are, where you work and/or study, and why you have chosen our workshop.

See you in Cardiff!

18 thoughts on “Passing on the benchmarking baton — welcome to our workshop in Cardiff

  1. Hi, My name is Alicia, and I currently work as Research & Scholarly Communications Information Manager at the University of Hertfordshire (UK). Prior to that I was Head of the Library at the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Centre, in Madrid, Spain), where I was working for more than 10 years.

    My journey into the information science has been quite wide-ranging: I first graduated in Translation and Interpreting (German, English). I did then My PhD in Linguistics and Medical Terminology at the University of the Basque Country. In 2012, after many years professional experience, I did a master in Digital Libraries and Information Systems from the University of Carlos III (Madrid).

    My main motivation to choose this workshop is because I’m really keen to share and exchange knowledge and practices. As the EAHIL motto in Rome said: ‘Divided we fall, together we inform’, and the idea of developing an active benchmarking, in partnership with other libraries and librarians can only be positive, to help us learn and improve our services and our positions as librarians.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Alicia! Many thanks for starting the introductions.

      We believe it is good for all of us to get some background information about each other so that we’re not complete strangers to each other when we start.

      We are looking forward to seeing you in Cardiff next week.

      Ghislaine, Karen & Tuulevi


  2. Hi, my name’s Hannah. I work in the University Hospital and the University Medical Library of Basel as information specialist and researcher. In both functions, my focus is on systematic reviews and meta-research. Like Alica, my road to information science has been a bit unusual: I did my bachelors in physiotherapy in the Netherlands, worked in evidence-based physio- and sportstherapy in Germany, did a Masters in Public Health in Warwick, and a PhD in Epidemiology in Switzerland where I now live and work. I chose this workshop because I’m interested in sharing experiences and collaborating internationally. See you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hannah,

      Great to hear from you! Many thanks for your introduction.

      Looking forward to seeing you in Cardiff soon,
      Ghislaine, Karen & Tuulevi


  3. Hi, I’m Mikaela.
    I work at University of Oslo Medical Library. Serving booth University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital. I’ve studied Library and information science and now I am the road to a master degree in scientific theory. My motivation to choose this workshop is that I’m eager to exchange knowledge and practices with my international library fellows. Looking forward!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi,
    my name is David and I am working as a head librarian in a smaller health library together with 2 co-workers. Our library serves the needs of the institute’s research and clinical activities, as well as the university training programs in the field of oncology. We have to do all the routine tasks in a library setting and we are always short of time to improve our knowledge and skills in the field. Improving and extending support to our researchers and clinicians is one of our main goals. We continuously participate at seminars and training courses that are offered within our country.

    Health libraries in Slovenia, besides being part of the Section of Special Libraries of the Slovenian Library Association, do not have any subject specific official association and there is no specific training program for us. We also need to be familiarized with new methods and practices, to stay up to date in the field of (medical) librarianship and to find out best practices that are available to adopt them in our library settings. One such way is participation at the international conferences and workshops abroad.

    The last two EAHIL conference in Seville and the workshop in Dublin contributed a lot to upgrade my professional knowledge and skills. The attendance at the international EAHIL events is an excellent way of getting new ideas and to meet with different solutions to common problems, with new methods, approaches and practices. It is therefore an opportunity for networking and making new collaborations and friendships throughout Europe and wider.

    This are the reasons why I choose also this workshop.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi,

    My name is Jo and I am deputy librarian of a medical library which serves both the university and the NHS.

    We gather feedback and stats on the services we provide. As we serve 2 very different organisations I am looking for ideas on how we can measure our service and impact. I have attended some of more practical workshops at EAHIL and have found them to be stimulating and useful hence choosing this workshop. The workshop leaders are also excellent embodiments for the profession.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jo,

      Thank you for introducing yourself, and for choosing this workshop, and for the compliment.

      Looking forward to seeing you soon,
      Ghislaine, Karen and Tuulevi


  6. Hi, my name is Blanche. I work at the University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland at the nursing library La Source as information specialist.
    There are more than 20 libraries at the University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland which are different in their size, structure and services they offer. We have written down a strategy for this group of libraries including our common vision, mission, aims. I think we could add indicators to measure our impact.
    I am interested in ideas on how we could improve and measure the impact of our library services and would like to initiate new collaborations accross european health libraries. That is the reason why I chose this workshop.
    Looking forward to meet you in Cardiff !


  7. Hello Blanche,

    Thank you very much for your introduction and for choosing to attend our workshop.

    Looking forward to seeing you very soon,
    Ghislaine, Karen & Tuulevi


  8. Hi, my name is Elke. I am the Head of 2Bergen at KU Leuven Libraries. 2Bergen consists of 10 libraries in the fields of Science & Technology and Biomedical Science. The main biomedical library is the Learning Centre Désiré Collen which serves as the University Medical Library for KU Leuven and the university hospital.

    I have a background in history and an additional degree in information and library science. I worked as a librarian for a large Benelux law firm for 13 years before becoming head of 2Bergen in 2017.

    I hope the workshop will allow us to share experiences and best practices and give me some new ideas to take home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Elke,

      Thank you for your introduction and for choosing our workshop.

      We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow,

      Ghislaine, Karen & Tuulevi


  9. Hi! I am Gaetan from the Rouen University Hospital in France. I work both as a librarian for my Hospital and as a member of a Medical Informatics team providing databases for the French speaking health workers community.
    I would like to know more about international collaborations ongoing in Europe for my own interest and also to have real life examples to report to other French health librarians.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi, I am Madeleine, a librarian in the UK National Health Service. My library does not currently use any benchmarking but Ifeel that it would benefit from this, so I chose this workshop as a chance to learn more.

    Liked by 1 person

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