Assistant Librarian

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
£28,407 to £34,581 per annum
Closing date
22 Oct 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 5
Contract Type
Full Time
The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Library service is responsible for the provision of library and information services and resources across the trust. Our ambitious five-year strategy has already brought great change to the service, raising our profile within the organisation and challenging assumptions about what a library service can provide. As assistant librarian, you would be helping to lead the development of new outreach initiatives alongside supporting an established literature search service.

Working as part of a small team, your role will be varied and dynamic. You will be supporting the Librarian Team Leader in delivering NHS England targets, helping to develop ideas for how our service can best support our small and specialised trust, and ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the library.

You will be supported in this work by the Librarian Team Leader and the wider Knowledge Hub staff. Although we are only a small library service, we are part of a wider, very welcoming team who all pull together in our aim to provide the best possible learning experience for staff and students here at the ROH.

Main duties of the job

In this non-clinical role, you will be the first point of contact for staff and student queries. You may be responding to article requests in the inbox, helping users with resources and technology or sourcing books and other content from across our network. As a friendly and welcoming presence you will encourage our users to ask questions, explore our resources further and become a library 'frequent flyer'.

With a passion for information retrieval, the main part of your role will centre around performing literature searches, supporting systematic reviews and promoting these services throughout the trust. You will be scouring our resources to ensure that the evidence we provide is as comprehensive and reliable as possible, and delivering results in a clear, structured way that enhances the library brand. Your searches may support developments in clinical procedures, patient treatment or service improvement and you will use your understanding of the information landscape to address the variety of subjects we are asked to investigate.

With your frequent use of our resources and oversight of common user queries, you will be instrumental in flagging any emerging trends in our service. You will be assessing our resource usage to highlight new directions for our outreach activities and potentials for cost savings, and in suggesting areas where additional provision may be warranted.

About us

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest specialist orthopaedic units in Europe. We offer planned orthopaedic surgery to people locally, nationally and internationally.

Our Trust is a very special hospital big enough to deliver world class services and small enough to offer exceptional patient and staff experience. We offer a working experience unique in the West Midlands and we're always on the lookout for passionate people to join our award-winning team.

The ROH is an equal opportunities employer. We employ people of difference and are committed to growing an inclusive culture, where difference is celebrated, and people feel able to bring their whole and authentic self to work.

We are a Disability Confident Leader and offer a range of inclusive, family friendly and flexible working arrangements and policies, to support our people in the workplace. Flexible working requests will be considered.

The Trust is committed to the Disability Confident Interview Scheme and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a vacancy and consider them on their abilities.

If you have a disability and need any support with your application or require any reasonable adjustments to be implemented please do get in touch with the Recruiting Manager for this position so that the team can support you.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • Complete literature searches in a timely manner as required from requests across the trust.
  • Assist teams undertaking systematic reviews in structuring their questions and search terms.
  • Perform searches for systematic reviews and provide results in an appropriate format.
  • Responsible for managing own workload and prioritising accordingly.
  • Managing the library inbox and assigning queries appropriately.
  • Sourcing articles for ad-hoc requests.
  • Manning the library enquiry desk alongside the Librarian Team Leader.
  • Ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the physical library space.
  • Responding to in-person queries from staff, students and volunteers.
  • Providing in-person training on library resources.
  • Providing in-person library inductions.
  • Monitoring and assessing library usage statistics, including resource usage.
  • Suggesting ideas for library innovation.
  • Working with the Librarian Team Leader to evolve the library service.

  • To communicate regularly with a range of audiences (including clinical and non-clinical staff) from across the Trust, dealing with complex in-person, email and telephone queries relating to accessing information and library services.
  • Liaise with senior staff to identify systematic review search requirements and parameters.
  • To adhere to the Trusts values and behaviours when welcoming people and answering enquiries, providing a friendly in-person service to library users.
  • Maintain and develop relationships with a network of NHS libraries and library staff through regular attendance at online network meetings.
  • Ensure all verbal and written communication is of the appropriate tone for the required audience.
  • Deal with potentially difficult queries and complaints in a sensitive manner.

  • Concentrate for extended periods of time when conducting literature searches, responding to queries and performing catalogue or resource-based work.
  • When necessary, identifying anomalies in library records and correcting accordingly.
  • Quickly assess resources to identify quality and relevance to a specified question.
  • Able to think creatively when considering literature search requests to maximise the number of relevant results.
  • Familiar with the requirements of the systematic review process.
  • Build comprehensive search strategies to support systematic review processes.
  • Compile and monitor statistics from a range of platforms and identify trends and suggest improvements accordingly.
  • Assess, analyse and resolve basic queries or problems relating to library systems, using judgement to decide the next appropriate steps to resolve the issue.

Planning and organisation
  • Coordinate with the Librarian Team Leader to manage library workload. This may require adjustments to plans at short notice, due to service needs e.g., sickness absence within the team.
  • Manage the delivery of literature search requests to an efficient timescale.
  • Catalogue new physical and digital content on an ad-hoc basis to a defined cataloguing scheme.
  • Sharing the responsibility of ensuring a clean and tidy library environment with the Librarian Team Leader.
  • Plan and deliver one-to-one outreach activities to provide training on resources and information skills.
  • Aid with marketing initiatives to promote the library through attendance at information stands, proactively suggesting social media content and leading on poster campaigns.
  • Engage in a culture of open discussion to ensure the smooth running of the library service.
  • Occasionally manage a conflicting schedule to ensure the library provides consistent, high-quality service.

  • Adhere to NHS England and library network policies on loans, cataloguing and service provision.
  • Adhere to national requirements regarding copyright and licensing legislation.
  • Adhere to national requirements regarding GDPR legislation.
  • Adhere to library guidelines on service delivery and collection development, and to the aims of the library strategy.
  • Contribute to developing library network policies on a range of information-related topics.
  • Recommend developments to library strategy and service procedures based on own knowledge and experience of the workings of the library.
  • Promote and supply literature search results for use in trust-wide clinical and service policies.

  • Monitor the use and stock of library stationery and advise on new orders appropriately.
  • Proactively suggest new purchases of physical or digital library stock.
  • Aid in the sourcing of promotional material (both free and paid-for) from resource suppliers and external companies.
  • Responsibility to ensure all library equipment is used safely when used by self and others.

  • Provide training to staff and students on the use of library resources, and occasional on-to-one training on basic information retrieval skills.
  • Provide one-to-one library inductions and overviews as required.
  • Create and manage new user records on the library catalogue and in OpenAthens.
  • Manage library user data sensitively and in accordance with trust and national requirements.

Information resources
  • Work with a range of varied and complex information resources, including both national and local subscriptions, often combining results from a range of sources to address queries or issues.
  • Responsibility for day-to-day operation of Trust information subscriptions relating to the library service, including troubleshooting technical issues and liaising with account managers where necessary.
  • Monitoring and analysing resource subscription usage statistics to identify patterns in behaviour and usage. Providing an update on these at a quarterly statistics department meeting and suggesting changes to the library service or outreach programmes in response to those statistics.
  • Have an excellent working knowledge of the library catalogue and its capabilities.
  • Familiarity with and understanding of best-practice standards and requirements for journal articles, to facilitate the basics of critical appraisal and ways to identify high-quality, reliable resources.
  • Be aware of a range of technologies and functionalities to improve the library user experience.
  • Be familiar with the requirements of the PCs, wifi and printers in the library and advise staff on their use accordingly to ensure the smooth running of the physical library space.
  • Efficiently advise on the range of books available to library users and suggest appropriate resources to address their queries and needs.

Additional information
  • Work well both independently, requiring minimal supervision, and as part of a team.
  • Actively engage in personal and professional development, through both internal and external processes.
  • The post holder will frequently be required to use physical effort when lifting books and journals for cataloguing, stock checking, and responding to resource requests, although reasonable adjustments will be made in the event that additional support is required.
  • There will be periods in a restricted position, such as sitting at a desk, when inputting data and producing reports.
  • VDU equipment will be used for substantial parts of the day, with a high proportion of keyboard use.
  • When accessing medical material, including books and online resources, information may contain graphic images of surgery and medical conditions.
  • There may be rare exposure to dusty conditions when accessing archive materials.
  • The need to deal with complaints directly or indirectly from service users may be distressing in some situations.

Person Specification



  • Librarianship degree or equivalent experience


  • CILIP (or equivalent) membership



  • Significant experience in library and information services
  • Thorough working knowledge and understanding of the literature search process
  • Experience of working on a library enquiry desk or managing a shared inbox of library enquiries
  • A working knowledge of library outreach practices
  • Experience of advanced searching techniques
  • Experience of suggesting, creating and managing small library projects


  • Experience in NHS or health library services
  • Experience of systematic review support
  • Experience of maintaining library-related statistics


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