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2017 in review

23 Feb 2018

Sarah Kennedy

Book packing 32017 was an extremely busy year for us here in the Library and Surgical Information Services. We underwent a huge decant project in order to move the Library materials off-site to allow for the redevelopment of the College building, as well as continuing to run most of our services for Members and Fellows throughout a very challenging period. If you ever wondered what the team here do then the following review of the year should give you some small insight into the work that goes on in the Library…

By far our biggest project in 2017 was the decant. As part of this, we were involved in moving 57,000 museum objects, approximately 110,000 books and journals, and 3,086 boxes of archive materials to a number of different sites, including the British Library stores in Boston Spa and The National Archives in Kew.

Another large project for our staff was a complete review and relaunch of the Current Awareness Service. The CAS team reviewed the previous service, conducted a service comparison with similar organisations, recruited new panels of Specialist Advisors and relaunched all 8 of the previous specialty bulletins in their new Update forms. This equates to 24 individual Updates sent to over 10,500 fellows and members since May. The team also began the process for establishing three new Updates (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery) which will be further developed this year and launched in April, bringing the CAS to full service.

CAS 1: Urology

The CAS team are also responsible for the Literature Search Service. They spent around 322.5 hours conducting 90 literature searches on varied and very interesting subject areas. We even got a mention in the RCS Impact Review!

Members continued to make good use of our online resources. Based on our usage data, there were more than 94,000 visits to our electronic resources this year. You can search SurgiCat+ to see what online journals and ebooks we have available to you.

We continued to answer enquiries, responding to hundreds of enquiries throughout the year, assisting people in finding the information they were looking for and in accessing our online resources. Email us at for any help you might need.

Year in review - Library enquiry point

For those who couldn’t access their preferred material through our numerous online subscriptions, we also provided 82 articles through our Document Delivery Service.

Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows records the careers of the Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons, from 1843, when the Fellowship was established, through to the present day. 133 new obituaries were written and added to the Lives Online website by the editorial team in 2017.

And alongside all of this, we even found time to contribute to the Library Blog, where we published 51 posts last year (we took a little break for Christmas). We covered lots of topics across our historic collection, and our modern resources and services. Interestingly, our most-read post was about literature-searching using RCS resources, while the most popular post from our historic collections was about the dangers of the corset.

So there it is, a quick run-down of just some of the major work we were involved in this year; let’s hope 2018 is just as busy and productive! And remember, you can always contact us or browse our webpages for more information.

Sarah Kennedy, Senior Information Specialist

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