Library, knowledge and information services

Library and knowledge professionals apply their expertise to ensure that NHS bodies, staff, learners, patients and the public have the right knowledge and evidence, when and where they need it.

Their work is crucial to all aspects of healthcare through the supplying of evidence to support decisions on treatment, patient care and safety, commissioning and policy. They also support lifelong learning, undertake research and drive innovation.  

Working life

Information and knowledge is available in a variety of formats, for example books, websites and periodicals so healthcare professionals rely on knowledge management staff for support in accessing it. This could be looking for information on their behalf or training them to use tools to search and critically appraise the information themselves. 

Librarian at desk

The work is varied, stimulating and rewarding. You may:

Library staff increasingly work outside the traditional library space to deliver clinical and outreach services, embedding roles within health and management teams. 

Roles in library, knowledge and information services

Explore some of the roles available:

Library and knowledge services manager

As a library knowledge services manager, you'll:


You'll work on the front line delivering training to healthcare professionals so they can access and assess the quality of the information they find. You'll also: 

Clinical librarian

Your aim is to spend as much time as possible in the hospital working alongside clinical teams as they care for patients. You are part of a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nursestherapists and managers. You'll also:

Outreach librarian

You'll work with health staff working across the community, often providing library and knowledge services remotely. You'll also:

Public health and commissioning librarian

You'll provide evidence-based knowledge and information and run awareness services of the latest information. You'll either work across public health and commissioning or just one, for example local authorities for public health, and clinical commissioning groups (CCG) for commissioning. Each may have different needs: 

As you'll be working on the same site as these teams, you are part of the public health and/or commissioning team and their work.

Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) liaison librarian

You'll promote research and collaboration between the NHS, higher education and industry. This involves:

Library assistant/senior library assistant

You'll be the front-line staff of the library service. Your role will involve:

Senior library assistants may supervise the library assistants and take on additional responsibilities, such as managing document delivery services and liaising with more senior staff.

Want to learn more?

Other roles that may interest you

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