New Library and Knowledge Strategy calls for collective action in the Irish Health Service


The Strategy is the first of its kind for the Irish health service.



The vision of the strategy is:  “Everyone working in Ireland’s health service will access and apply knowledge, wherever and whenever they need it, to deliver the best possible health and care”.


It is a call to collective action for both users and providers of knowledge to work together in new innovative ways, using knowledge to meet the changing needs of the health service.

The NHLKS reports into a new division in the health service, Research & Development, which in turn reports into Strategic Planning & Transformation.  Directly aligning Library and knowledge services to research represents a good business fit.  Organisational alignment heretofore was to various divisions including Human Resources, Acute Hospitals or Business Services.  Enabling research and working in partnership with healthcare professionals who are engaged in research has been a core service provided by the NHLKS.  Having strong, appropriate and relevant organizational alignment will strengthen the ability of the NHLKS to deliver better outcomes for the health service.



The main points of the strategy are summarized below:


The first 1-2 years will be spent assessing readiness for implementation and laying foundations for the years ahead.  This includes restructuring and significant change management.

There will be 5 national virtual teams made up of the following:


  1. Knowledge Search & Summary Service
  2. Digital Knowledge Service
  3. Knowledge Broker Service
  4. Information Skills Development Service
  5. Network of Library Sites and Resources


The teams will be distributed across the existing network of HSE libraries, managed nationally while providing support and services locally.

A second core piece of work to happen during the first 2 years of the strategy is to produce a detailed action or work plan and impact evaluation framework.  This will involve testing changes and scaling up or down depending on the success of the changes.


The last 3 years of the strategy will focus on implementation and operationalisation.  By this time, it is envisaged that the 5 teams will be up and running building on the existing expertise of HSE library staff.  Enablers of the strategy will be a partnership approach which will underpin all five teams.  Governance of the strategy will be overseen by executive-level knowledge Governance and Leadership Group and the 1-2 year transition phase will be led by a Transition Leadership Team of senior librarians and managers.



For more information on the strategy, please visit or follow @hselibrary.