Report about the interactive workshop at EAHIL2018

We had a group of 20 active participants in our interactive workshop at EAHIL2018 in Cardiff.  The title and topic of the workshop was Passing on the benchmarking baton: workshop on cooperation methods, using new indicators, finding partners, and reporting results.


The workshop aimed to share methods and tools, to encourage cooperation and new partnerships between libraries and librarians, to build on new indicators that were identified during the Dublin workshop, to determine themes and methods for new benchmarking projects, and to find means and channels to report to colleagues.

The participants had the chance to meet new partners for possible future benchmarking projects and to learn and practice tools to use in their own workshops. We wanted to pass on the benchmarking baton to our colleagues and hoped to encourage new health library projects.

EAHIL Conference 2018



The interactive methods included speed-dating, brain-storming and brain-writing.

Speed dating

During the first activity, the participants discussed each of the proposed new indicators for two minutes in a pair and then moved to discuss the next one in a new pair. The aim was trying to find a duo or group who is willing to work on the same indicator.

Group work

During the second activity, the participants worked in the duos or groups they had just found during the speed-dating activity. They discussed the chosen indicator and its implementation and started planning new projects.


To conclude, each of the pairs/groups shared their ideas and plans with the whole group.


<3 library benchmarking


Two pairs and five groups of three members were formed. The chosen indicators and pairs & groups willing to work on them were:

  • How has the literature search been used to change practice?
    • Group: Blanche, Gaëtan & Latifa
  • Proportion of knowledge syntheses that reach publication.
    • Group: Amanda, Rebecca, Tom
  • Publications from the faculty; visibility in altmetrics.
    • Pair: Christina & Gabi
  • When host organisation cites the library’s contribution in press releases or publicity.
    • Group: David, John & Paulina
  • And the most popular one: New roles of the librarian / information professional; non-traditional work.
    • Pair: Alicia & Mikaela
    • Group: Elke, Erik, Floriane
    • Group: Jo, Lucy, Madeleine

We would like to warmly thank each of the participants. We really look forward to seeing some, if not all, of these projects come true. It would be great to know about one or more of the new projects, maybe read about them in the JEAHIL, or see them included in the programme of an EAHIL event, as a presentation, a poster or a workshop.


We were happy to facilitate this session. Bye for now!


Outcomes from ICML+EAHIL2017 workshop

At ICML+EAHIL2017 we facilitated a workshop called Cooperation and benchmarking – finding the value and impact together.

We invited the participants to take part in our benchmarking project. We wanted them to help us to identify more future oriented indicators* and also to discuss how — or if — benchmarking can provide tools for creating an evidence base for health librarianship. The goal of the workshop was to find some new and exciting ideas to take further. We used brainwriting as a tool to find and refine the ideas.


Preparations the day before.

The first part of the session was spent on identifying new ideas for indicators to help measuring impact and value for international (health) library benchmarking.

The best ideas for indicators — quotations from post-it notes — from this brainwriting sessions were:

  • Number of high “grade” student essays/exam papers in relation to librarian time spent teaching/tutoring
  • How has the literature search been used to change practice?
  • Impact on national health policies index/indicator
  • When host organisation cites the library’s contribution in press releases or publicity
  • What is the new role of a librarian? Non-traditional work
  • Publications from the faculty; visibility in altmetrics
  • Can the customer get the grant he/she applies
  • Time saved by faculty e.g. lecture writing, student remediation
  • Proportion of knowledge syntheses that reach publication
  • Increase in application usage after a conference
  • Chocolate/biscuits/cards — how many gifts (you get from customers)
interactive workshop

Identifying new indicators

During the second part of the session the participants discussed how (or if) benchmarking can provide tools for creating an evidence base for health librarianship. There were five questions and the participants came up with lots of ideas and then voted for the ones that they liked best. Here are the ideas and proposals that were most popular — again quotations from post-it notes:

1. How can benchmarking provide tools for creating an evidence base for health librarianship?

  • Develop indicators which are clearly articulated and detailed to enable consistent application across different services.

2. How can cooperation and benchmarking be seen as research activities?

  • Will help develop “industry standards” to be adopted by the profession.

3. How can cooperation and benchmarking be used for measuring the impact of libraries and librarians?

  • It will give you “evidence” by comparing both qualitative and quantitative measures.

4. How to inspire staff for change?

  • By empowering them, trusting them, and giving them freeway to make decisions.

5. Something else?

  • More national and international collaboration.

The best ideas

We are very grateful for all the participants for working hard and being so active. We hope everyone got something to bring back, some food for thought, found new connections and were able to extend their professional network.

* ISO 11620 (2014) definition of indicator: Expression used to characterize activities both in quantitative and qualitative terms in order to assess the value of the activities characterized, and the associated method.

EAHIL 2016

Last Friday was the last day of the EAHIL 2016 conference in beautiful Seville. Karen and Tuulevi presented in session I – Cooperation, chaired by Tiina Heino, as the last of seven papers. It was a good experience and we felt we could communicate some of our team spirit, too, not only tools, methods and findings.

The presentation is titled How to work together on an international project? Experiences from a benchmarking project of three European health libraries and the full text is available at the conference website as both page and pdf.

In EAHIL 2016 Flickr there are some photos of us presenting:




In Twitter search #eahil2016 to find all the tweets about the excellent conference.

The conference was of course much more than presenting our paper. As EAHIL Board members we had lots of meetings. As delegates, we listened to many thought-provoking presentations and saw rows of interesting posters. Most importantly we could exchange thoughts and ideas with colleagues we already know but also expand our networks with new ones.