Grade VI, Executive Librarian
National Health Library and Knowledge Service
Strategy & Research


There is currently one permanent and part time (0.8 WTE) vacancy available located at University Hospital Waterford.

A panel may be formed as a result of this campaign for Grade VI, Executive Librarian, National Health Library and Knowledge Service (all HSE library services/locations), within Strategy and Research from which current and future, permanent and specified purpose vacancies of full or part time duration may be filled.

Informal Enquiries
Name: Aoife Lawton, General Manager, National Health Library and Knowledge Service
Tel: 087 6831498

Details of Service

The National Health Library & Knowledge Service (NHLKS) office co-ordinates a range of library and knowledge services delivered through its 29 libraries and approximately 58 staff located throughout the HSE. The majority of libraries are based in acute hospitals. Strategic plans set the priorities of the national service on an on-going basis. The office liaises closely with a broad range of stakeholders including library staff, service users, and colleagues in primary care, mental health, national ambulance and acute services. These services are delivered through the HSE to all HSE staff including medical, nursing, midwifery, health and social care professionals, scientific professionals, management, students on clinical placements and relevant HSE partners. The service is undergoing significant change with the first strategy published in 2018. NHLKS is one of three units that make up a broader Research and Evidence function in the HSE, the other two units are: Health Intelligence and Research and Development. Full details of the services provided by HSE libraries can be found at

The following core services are delivered by the National Health Library and Knowledge Service (NHLKS):

• Mediated searching, enquiry and reference services
• Continued implementation, promotion and expansion of the Evidence Service and related clinical library activities
• Instruction in the use of electronic resources, to include the production and distribution of customised online guides, tutorials, helpsheets, etc.
• Management of access to online resources for all registered library service users
• Document supply from other Irish and international libraries
• Instruction in the use and submission of research to Lenus the Irish Health Repository
• Access to computer facilities, to purchased electronic resources and to the Internet
• Photocopying, printing and makerspace facilities
• Quiet study areas and research facilities
• Access to a comprehensive range of up-to-date and regularly reviewed reference books, reports and journals in print and, increasingly, electronic format
• Promotion of library services and resources
• Is required to work as a member of one or more virtual teams as outlined in the NHLKS strategy

The remit of the National Health Library and Knowledge Service is to provide access for all healthcare practitioners to a comprehensive range of evidence-based, up-to-date knowledge resources for the purposes of:

• research into specific clinical questions, conditions or treatments relevant to the care of individual patients
• keeping up to date with developments in a specific area of the health sciences, or the professional literature of a given speciality
• continuing professional education

Our services are intended to ensure that point-of-care decisions are informed by best international evidence and that staff engaged in education or research have an available knowledge resource, and assistance when they need it.

Increased access to the most recent evidence-based knowledge resources improves the quality of patient care and reduces the level of risk to the HSE. The availability of a library service has a positive impact on health outcomes for patients, leads to time savings for healthcare professionals and results in cost savings.

The library service is evolving at an exciting pace to meet the demands of staff and to keep abreast with healthcare developments both nationally and internationally. It is expected that the new post holder will continue the work in planning and organising service changes in line with healthcare best practice both nationally and internationally.

The library team is made up of a diverse, friendly and dedicated group of people, committed to serving the information needs of HSE staff.

Some members of the library team have close links with HSE national programmes and initiatives and regularly participate in information service delivery in these areas

Reporting Relationship
Reporting into the Area Library Manager, in turn to the National Health Service Librarian
Purpose of the Post
The post holder will be responsible for developing, improving and promoting the full range of library services and resources as well as being involved in the day to day management of library staff and services at a specific location. This role will include membership and active contribution towards goals of one or more national library virtual teams.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

• Work as part of a national team of library and information staff.
• Actively contribute to one or more of the virtual teams outlined in the NHLKS strategy and future strategies.
• Manage an assigned physical library and provide line management to associated staff.
• Register and induct new library users.
• Contribute to larger knowledge service projects as required.
• Prepare local strategy implementation plans for the future development of the hospital library in conjunction with the assigned Manager and National Health Service Librarian.
• Report key performance indicators for allocated library service on a quarterly and annual basis.
• Build and maintain strong working relationships with all relevant stakeholders including those from Hospital and Community Health Organisations.
• Develop and maintain relationships with peers in similar institutions and roles.
• Provide excellent customer service at all times by providing a welcoming, supportive and efficient service to all library users. Provide information to satisfy enquiries by phone, email and in person. Specifically assure the provision of evaluated resources to support evidence-based patient care.
• Orientate library users on the range of resources and services available via the National Health Library and Knowledge Service.
• Manage and proactively develop knowledge resources and services through the application of professional competencies in acquisitions, collection development, cataloguing and classification.
• Liaise with the assigned Manager and/or other libraries in matters pertaining to the local hospital library.
• Organise and actively promote library services to hospital and community staff.
• Coordinate current awareness services locally in line with national policy.
• Comply with and participate in the development of library policies and procedures.
• Participate in library promotional activities.
• Manage local operational budget where available.
• Represent the National Health Library and Knowledge Service on internal and external committees as required.
• Engage in continuing professional development
• Foster a culture of quality improvement by continuously evaluating services.
• Maintain user records in compliance with data protection guidelines

Digital Knowledge Service
• Assist local users in registering with the ‘OpenAthens’ authentication system to provide 24/7 access to electronic resources onsite and at home.
• Perform administrative and troubleshooting activities associated with ‘OpenAthens’ account expiry, passwords, system navigation, user authentication, for local users
• Promote and support staff to use innovative technologies including but not limited to: videocasting, makerlabs, makerspace equipment.
• Maintain and contribute to the content and design of the NHLKS website where required.
• Provide continual user education in the optimal use of electronic resources.
• Assist library users with navigation of the Internet and relevant software packages.
• Distribute printed helpsheets, tutorials, user guides, etc.
• Administer Internet sign-in to comply with internal ICT security policy.
• Identify trends in information resource provision and recommend further development and innovation.
• Manage and proactively develop healthcare knowledge resources and technology.

Evidence Service
• On completion of requisite training, participate in the delivery of a comprehensive consultation and Research Request Service to include literature and systematic review searching, critical appraisal and evidence summarizing across all disciplines. This includes the production of rapid evidence reviews and evidence summaries in all health and management related disciplines.
• Collect and collates data on the use and impact of evidence supplied in a timely and evidence based way.
• Provides professional library enquiry and reference services using advanced searching, critical appraisal and knowledge summary skills in order to locate and disseminate best evidence.

Knowledge Broker Service:
• Provide a knowledge broker service facilitating healthcare professionals with their knowledge needs including for example knowledge capture and knowledge mobilisation
• Participate in multidisciplinary teams as required.
• Develop processes for enabling healthcare workers to put evidence into practice.
• Be familar with health literacy and put in place mechanisms to distill best practice in health literacy programs for relevant HSE staff.

Collection Development:
• Maintains and develops collections in consultation with library users across all relevant specialties and in line with national policy.
• Conducts continual user needs analysis to facilitate collection development.
• Participates in National Acquisitions Working Group and any other relevant groups.

Information Skills Service:
• Contributes to the work of the NHLKS Information Skills team by developing and delivering individualised and group training programmes on specialist resources. Training supports CPD/CME and evidence-based patient care and is accredited. Monitors and reviews same.
• Delivers training virtually and in person as part of and/or aligned to national Information Skills team offering.

• Manages and maintains the physical library in line with Health and Safety Legislation, and other relevant policies and guidelines.
• Develops a physical library space that is responsive to user needs and is fit for purpose.
• Collects and monitors feedback regularly from stakeholders via a local Library user group or equivalent representative stakeholder forum.
• Be responsible for risk minimisation and management of own work area of work and report on any potential hazards to the relevant line manager.
• Ensures that risk assessments are actively reviewed and updated and a scheduled process is in place for effective monitoring
• Contributes to the National NHLKS Estates team as required.

Staff Management:
• Has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the assigned Library, library staff and services.
• Provides outreach support to library staff.
• Fosters and develops harmonious working relationships between staff.
• Supervises and supports a team of library assistants.
• Conduct regular staff meeting to keep staff informed and to hear views.
• Manage and implement all staff related issues in accordance with HR Policies and Procedures.
• Keep in touch with workloads of staff members to gauge levels of stress and morale in the team.
• Monitors and supports the performance management and development of library staff to ensure that individual contributions are maximised.
• Participation in mandatory training programmes.

Other Responsibilities
• Liaise with colleagues to provide an integrated national service.
• Work as part of a national team to formulate and implement standardised policies and procedures.
• Liaise with the assigned Manager and/or other libraries in matters pertaining to the local library.
• Provide cross cover with colleagues in other Libraries throughout geographic areas as required.
• Interact with a wide range of disciplines and specialties both hospital- and community-based.
• Participate in national project teams or activities as delegated.
• Keep up-to-date with the professional literature of clinical and more general librarianship and continually develop professional competencies and knowledge.
• Catalogue and classify library collection materials.
• Collate and prepare statistical reports and key performance indicators for management.
• Provide document supply services from library collections to users and to other library services on inter-library loan
• Maintain and develop the national library management system.
• Maintain library equipment
• Monitor usage and compliance, referring to the assigned Manager as required.
• Perform such other duties, whether or not connected with or incidental to the functions of national health library & knowledge services, which the National Health Service Librarian may reasonably require.
• Undertake all duties in a confidential, professional and courteous manner when representing the service.

• Ensure appropriate communication and information systems are in place to address the needs of a wide range of stakeholders
• Effectively handle queries directed to the office – assessing, recording and passing on queries, ensuring that such enquiries are dealt with in a timely manner and responses recorded.

Team Working
• Lead and contribute to the development of an effective team environment.
• Contribute to a process of continuous process improvement within the Library Service particularly in the area of technology and information management.
• Maintain and update files and develop and maintain an appropriate manual and electronic filing and tracking systems on an on-going basis provide cover for other Library staff members as required.
• Must be able to work in a busy and dynamic environment.

• Have a working knowledge of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) Standards as they apply to the role for example, Standards for Healthcare, National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections, Hygiene Standards etc. and comply with associated HSE protocols for implementing and maintaining these standards as appropriate to the role.

• Support, promote and actively participate in sustainable energy, water and waste initiatives to create a more sustainable, low carbon and efficient health service.

The above Job Specification is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all duties involved and consequently, the post holder may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post which may be assigned to him/her from time to time and to contribute to the development of the post while in office.


Closing Date

Tuesday August 31st 2021 at 12 Noon

National Health Library and Knowledge Service Strategy & Research

Health Service Executive
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