Embedded Librarian Service

Embedded Librarian Service (ELS)

What is an Embedded Librarian?

This is a Librarian who embeds into a clinical or corporate team. The purpose of this is to attend in-service meetings or team meetings to identify any evidence gaps and then to carry out detailed evidence searches, disseminate those findings to the team and enhance evidence-based practice.

An Embedded Librarian may also help to support journal clubs and other events which help to capture, organise and share knowledge.

Our mission is to ensure that staff at WSFT have the right evidence, at the right time and in the right place.

What type of work does an Embedded Librarian do?

  • Detailed evidence searches with synthesised results and a summary of the main findings.
  • Support with Journal Clubs.
  • Facilitation of knowledge-sharing events, such as Knowledge Cafes and Peer Assists.
  • Support for designing conference posters.
  • Support for writing for publication.
  • 121 or group training on how to search databases.
  • Design and creation of bulletins, for example,  the Shared Learning Bulletin for the Quality Improvement Team.
  • Bespoke support for team objectives – for example, Voice Banking Volunteers for the Speech and Language Team.
  • Staging Pop- Up Libraries in Community locations – bringing the Library to your workplace.
  • Support for colleagues in external organisations which form part of the West Suffolk Alliance.

If you would like more information about having an Embedded Librarian in your team, please contact Laura Wilkes or Helen Else at wsh-tr.library@nhs.net


Here’s what some of our colleagues have to say about the ELS:

Embedded Librarian Service

I would say Laura has been a really wonderful advocate for the multifaceted role of health librarian – she is proactive, professional and hugely knowledgeable. She has helped us to understand how knowledge never stops underpinning the work we do, in so many guises. The innovation in this is the embedded librarian role and the way she has brought the library service out into the front row.

Rosie Finch, Professional Lead Physiotherapy

Embedded Librarian Service

From a small seed of a discussion about embedding librarians in a car park to the fantastic project that is Embedded Librarians!! Laura has tirelessly driven this project from the small pilot of SALT to where we are now – she has made the library accessible to my staff, she (ably assisted by Helen and Beverley) has led and taught by example – our journal club has been transformed and our in-service now more coordinated – the article searching service is great and also staff feel more empowered to be independent in their searches and critical appraisal.

Laura has been extremely supportive in a time of change and a listening ear – she and the team have helped us with various events working towards integration – knowledge café – away day, and always sharing new ideas and her passion for all things library shines through.

Liza Asti, Professional Lead Speech and Language Therapy                                             

Evidence search (patient care)

The Library provided us with an evidence summary and a synthesis about the benefits of swimming for disabled children. We were asked for the evidence by the special school that we work in, as a group of parents is fund raising for an accessible pool to be built at the new school site. We passed on the information to the group so that they could use it as evidence to support funding applications and more generally to spread the word about the benefits of swimming. Having the information enabled us to work collaboratively with the school and the parents and share information. The search highlighted some public health benefits, such as the propensity for disabled children to be overweight, which was not something which we had thought about, but which will give added weight to the group’s case.

Hilary Whitwell, Children’s Physiotherapist West Suffolk Community Services

Knowledge Café

The knowledge café had a huge impact on the staff that attended – they report gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience from other colleagues.  It also had positive reinforcement of the clinical reasoning they do on a day to day basis boosting confidence in their roles.

Lucy Whent, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist (2018)