Playlists for life

imageAs it is Christmastime, this is a light-hearted post about a lovely initiative I just found out about.

My colleague came across this website, Playlist for Life, while reading about playlists for people with dementia (we work in a mental health hospital). We spent some time reading through the famous and not-so-famous people’s playlist choices and their reasons for them, which was lovely.

We also shared what five songs would be on our playlists for life, which was a really nice five minute activity on the last day before Christmas. My own playlist contains more than a little cheese, but here it is:

  • Simple song – The Shins – one of few songs I know all the words to, and my absolute favourite. It’s on every playlist for in the car and I always sing it loudly
  • Chain of fools – Aretha Franklin – dancing around the kitchen in my student house in Exeter with my housemate singing this song
  • Grease lightening from Grease. I don’t actually like this song! But we were made to choreograph dances to it in PE at school, so it’s branded in my memory forever!
  • Oh bondage up yours – X-Ray Spex – reminds me of my Dad playing records once we’d all gone to bed
  • I’ve had the time of my life – from Dirty Dancing – me and my sisters were obsessed with this film as kids and used to try to do the dance to this song!

Not necessarily all my favourite songs, but all definitely evoke strong memories for me. What would be on yours?

Five really useful websites that will help you find healthcare information

I have learnt a lot in the past year. I have learnt what a hospital pharmacy looks like from the inside; I have learnt that 1 in 4 people will suffer mental ill health, and that it is encouraging to know how kind and dedicated the people are who help; and I have also learnt where on earth you go to find that obscure piece of health information.

Learning curves. Image credit fxp, Flickr

Learning curves. [ Image credit fxp, Flickr ]

It’s been a year since I started my job as librarian in an NHS Trust library service. That year has whizzed by, and I wanted to reflect on what I’ve learnt throughout it, before another one whizzes by too. In particular, I want to share some information resources I have found especially useful – following some good advice I read on Ned Potter’s blog, I am writing this post for ‘One-year-ago Me’!


5 really useful websites that will help you find stuff

NICE Evidence Search

Health librarians might be a bit confused by this one, because it’s so obvious, but I hadn’t heard of it before. NICE Evidence search is a one-stop-shop for evidence-based health and social care information. It’s not the most powerful search, but it’s great for a quick look round. It searches NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance, knowledge summaries, and other important bits and bobs.

Social Care Online

“The UK’s largest database of information and research on all aspects of social care and social work”, created by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. I use it to search for social care information that I’m not likely to find in the traditional databases.

The Commissioning Handbook for Librarians

It’s designed for librarians supporting commissioners, but even if you don’t there’s loads of good information on here – I have used it for pointers of where to go for information on integration of services and partnership working. So, the more service, administration, organisational type stuff.


A tool to search PubMed, with added extras. I use the Statistics tab to identify subject headings, which can really help if you’re stuck for ideas mid-literature search.


It covers business information, definitions, models etc. The layout is a bit… old school, but it’s comprehensive in its content and especially useful for an overview of topics.

So Christmas is drawing ever closer, and in just two weeks I will have been in this job for 12 months. Here’s to another happy and peaceful year in 2015 🙂