Head of Library

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
£43,742 to £50,056 a year pa
Closing date
28 Dec 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 7
Contract Type
Full Time
Do you want to make a positive impact on the health of people?

Do you want to support NHS staff in the vital work that they do?

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced and collaborative individual with excellent communication skills to provide strategic and operational leadership to a busy and forward thinking NHS library service.

The right candidate will lead our library & knowledge services team and manage the day-to-day running of the library service.

You will have exceptional communication skills and be able to motivate and influence people at all levels, including board members. Knowledge of health related information resources, information skills and previous experience in an NHS library environment would be an advantage.

This role is for 37.5 hours a week, will entail cross site working and be based at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital.

If you are hardworking, enjoy the advantages technology gives, and want to make a difference, we would welcome your application.

Main duties of the job

  • To lead the development of Library and Evidence Services contributing to the development of patient care, education and training, research and development, clinical governance, knowledge management and evidence-based practice.
  • To lead and manage the day-to-day operations of the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Library and Evidence Services, ensuring they support the highest possible standards of clinical care, education, training and research in the NHS through providing all staff and students on placement with access to and support in making effective use of evidence-based healthcare resources.
  • To ensure the service meets the requirements of external validations and audits, including the new Quality and Improvement Outcomes Framework,Deanery and Royal College standards.
  • To ensure access to key decision support resources, electronic resources and so ensure regular teaching and awareness programs.

About us

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides hospital services to a growing population of around 700,000 people living across Bedfordshire and the surrounding areas across two busy hospital sites in Bedford and Luton. Both hospital sites offer key services such as A& E, Obstetrics-led Maternity and Paediatrics.

You will be joining a friendly, high performing Trust committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of staff. As one of the largest NHS Trusts in our region you will have access to a programme of high quality training and development to help you grow your career.

We have state-of-the art facilities placing us at the heart of cutting edge health care. The Trust continues to be committed to delivering the best patient care using the best clinical knowledge and technology available.

Please note that vacancies may close prior to the advertised closing date when sufficient number of applications have been received. Please ensure that you make your application as soon as possible.

All new staff will be subject to a probationary period covering their first six months in post.

Please review all documents attached to this advert to ensure you familiarise yourself with all requirements of the job.

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • Devise and develop strategies for the provision of knowledge and library information services.
  • Create and implement business plans to deliver these strategies.
  • Lead on the implementation of new services and products which enhance the knowledge, library and information provision within budget and staff resources.
  • Contribute to developments at regional and national NHS level
  • Lead on Library website development including intranet, external and library maintained webservers.
  • Lead on the evaluation, selection and implementation of IT resources in consultation with IT Department, so users have access to the most current hardware and operating software solutions, that best meet user needs, study preferences and web accessibility.

Learning & Development
  • Manage the delivery of comprehensive needs-based information skills programme to help users gain necessary information literacy skills to confidently use evidence-based resources in patient and client care.
  • Lead on the library involvement in the delivery of e-Leaning programmes of stakeholders and ensure that the Library Service is able to support the patterns of learning and continuing professional development within the health and social care community.
  • Carry out training needs analyses to inform the development of appropriate training opportunities for library users from the diverse range of stakeholder employees and students on placement.
  • Lead on the library participation in all stakeholder induction programmes.

Communication requirements
  • Lead on negotiations for Service Level Agreements and Standards with current and future stakeholders in health and social care.
  • Develop effective working relationships with NHS and Higher Education stakeholders.
  • Raise the Library profile by using impact-based publicity methods to promote the service with particular reference to remote users.
  • Ensure effective links are established with clinical teams to ensure the service supports evidence based health care delivery.

Clinical Responsibility
  • Lead on delivery of a high quality enquiry service guiding users through the paper and electronic collections enabling them to access the evidence they need to provide high quality patient care.
  • Lead on delivery of the mediated literature search services by finding evidence based material, using highly developed professional skills and judgement to filter valid and appropriate information to the user.
  • Lead on delivery of current awareness services tailored to individual and team requirements, within resource and technological constraints.
  • Lead on delivery of critical appraisal and evidence-based practice in the hospital

Leadership and Staff Management Responsibility
  • Develop the service appropriately in line with user needs, available resources and ensure that the library and evidence services maintains a high level of awareness with users
  • Manage the staff, systems and stock effectively to provide a multidisciplinary library and knowledge service
  • Formulate and maintain policies relating to the provision of library and knowledge services within the overall strategies of the Trust.
  • Develop and implement systems for monitoring the performance of the service and contribute to local and national evaluations of the impact of the service, including undertaking regular user surveys and take action to ensure service provision is in accordance with National Service Framework standards.
  • Maintain and develop contacts with external users of the service maintaining and fostering links with the NHS East of England and Universities with which the Trust has a learning and development agreement.
  • Represent the service on regional and local committees.
  • Select and acquire relevant learning resources in order to meet the needs of users.

Financial responsibility
  • Be the designated budget holder for the service and set and manage the budget following local procedures and standing financial instructions.
  • Lead on negotiations for Service Level Agreements with current and future stakeholders in health and social care.
  • Lead on developing income generation programmes.
  • Use business plans to influence the budget setting process.
  • Actively seek and take advantage of additional funding opportunities, including grant applications to outside bodies.
  • Provide a cost effective service by negotiating with external suppliers, monitoring costs and operating appropriate income generation schemes review charges made to users on a regular basis.
  • Work with the East of England and other appropriate colleagues to negotiate and participate in collaborative purchasing of materials.

Service Development and Improvement
  • Ensure continued service quality and improvement through the implementation and self-evaluation of the HEE Quality and Improvement Outcomes Framework and the adoption of quality improvement tools and methodologies
  • Lead the library team to continually improve and maintain high standards of service delivery.
  • Lead on any opportunities to reconfigure the physical library environment to benefit users.
  • Ensure library & information service meets national and regional NHS requirements and those of the Universities, medical education and Health Education East of England within limits imposed by availability of resources.
  • Contribute to the creation and updating of NHS national and regional library standards.
  • Strive to achieve the highest possible quality of service in every respect, within resource constraints and provide timely, accurate and professional response to requests for information using all relevant current awareness and information retrieval tools.
  • Support and contribute to local key priorities that align with the library services educational and knowledge management aims, such as simulation support, developing guideline repositories and supporting on-site training facilities.

Analytical and Judgemental Skills
  • Analyse requirements, devise and develop strategies for the provision of knowledge and library information services.
  • Establish priorities in service provision with appropriate monitoring mechanisms.
  • Develop and implement systems for monitoring the performance of the service, contributing to local and national evaluations of the impact of the service including undertaking regular user surveys and take action to ensure service provision is in accordance with National Service Framework standards.

Planning and Organisational Skills
  • Prioritise and deal appropriately with conflicting demands and problem solve where there may be differing expectations.

Knowledge and Information Resources
  • Act as Athens authentication system administrator by managing accounts and ensure those registered are eligible to receive the service and training on use.
  • Apply professional knowledge and expertise to the classification and cataloguing of library materials.
  • In line with the requirements of Knowledge for Healthcare, mobilise evidence and organisational knowledge.
  • Select and manage resources in a range of formats with particular emphasis in primary care, healthcare commissioning and continuing professional development.
  • Manage and administer all web based services available to library users including links to password protected resources, closely following the various licence agreements.
  • Ensure the collections reflect the complexity of the user base by consulting with appropriate specialists and users in the selection of suitable and relevant electronic, printed, resources thereby managing the changing balance between print and electronic media and providing the most appropriate means of delivery.
  • Be responsible for security of library collections, accuracy of database records including physical rearrangement of substantial portions of paper collections to maximise use of space and improve ease of access to resources for all users including those in regional and national cooperative interlibrary schemes.
  • Participate in own regular appraisal and supervision to continuously review professional role and practice, objective setting and identification of personal development plan and the ongoing maintenance of a professional portfolio and any other duties that may be required from time to time

Person Specification



  • educated to degree level or equivalent with a professional / postgraduate qualification in Information Science or Librarianship or undergraduate qualification in Information Science or Librarianship
  • evidence of continuing professional development


  • Management, IT or Project Management Qualification or Training
  • Evidence-based Medicine Qualifications or Training
  • Membership of the professional body CILIP: Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (or working towards Chartership)



  • Experience of working in a library in a health or educational environment
  • Experience of participation in delivery of an enquiry service
  • Experience of supervision and leadership
  • Experience of managing change
  • Awareness of key educational issues in the NHS


  • Experience of working with a library management system (LMS)
  • Familiarity with the NHS, in hospital, CCG/GP and
    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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