Hong-Anh Nguyen, Information Specialist, NHS Evidence / The King’s Fund

Hong-Anh was the curator w/c 20th May 2013

Were I a 1920s circus sideshow act, I’d be The Incredible Book-Eating Girl (also in homage to my favourite children’s book illustrator, Oliver Jeffers). In real life however, I’m Hong-Anh and I am an Information Specialist for The King’s Fund, a healthcare think-tank in London. I divide my time between working on a sub-contract for NICE and the other half for our in-house Information and Library Service. In all likelihood, you won’t know what The King’s Fund is (prize for anyone who does!*); we’re a charity and think-tank working to improve healthcare in England through our research into health management and policy and our leadership development work. The library is unique in that we’re a free, publicly-accessible source of information on health and social care management and policy.

‘Information Specialist’ sounds a bit souped-up and sexed-up, doesn’t it? I have no qualms at being called a librarian but I think for my job it’s entirely appropriate. Almost all of my work is based online, from the current awareness products that I produce; to leading on our library Twitter account; to adding content to an online database. The most traditional librarian thing I do is answer enquiries but even then the large majority of enquiries are received online, either by email, through an online form or via our IM service. (Fear not, I still get asked where the toilet is and whether I have a stapler a whole lot too.)

I went to library school at the University of Sheffield in 2008/9 after five years of working as a library assistant for Southwark Libraries and more interestingly, for Southwark Education Library Service (do many ELS still exist? I rather doubt it, sadly.) So as well as putting in time in public libraries and school education services, I’ve also dipped into academic services (part-time shelver whilst I was doing my MA); school libraries (my first job out of library school, as a library assistant at a private school in Surrey); and arts & heritage institutions (volunteering for eight months at an august natural sciences museum in London).

Once I vacate the throne of @voiceslibrary and pass the sceptre to someone else (alas, fame – so fleeting!), you can find me @deweydecibelle where I talk mainly about what item of food I have inadvertantly left on my face that day; what I’ve read on today’s Daily Mail sidebar of shame; and Doctor Who.

*Not really. Sorry.