It’s clear that our RCN Reps carry out a vital role looking after members in the workplace and it’s really great to see the ‘Valuing RCN Representatives’ initiative that kicked off earlier this year. This work has got us thinking about how the Library and Archive team can play a greater part in assisting and supporting reps in their roles.
For the last couple of years, I have attended the twice yearly ‘RCN Joint Representatives Conferences’. My involvement has been to run a Library and Archive stand which has proved to be very popular.
At the Spring 2017 Joint Reps Conference we distributed a short questionnaire to gauge reps awareness of the Library and Archive Service and ask them what we could do to assist them. Attendees were each given a copy of the survey to complete and we had a great response rate with nearly 100 surveys handed back. Encouragingly, 85% of respondents had previously used the Library and Archive Service and valued it as a tool for their personal learning and development. However, it was clear that there was still work to be done, particularly around our marketing and promotion. Reps said that the library is a good incentive for getting members, especially students, to join but they need more resources to promote it.
With this in mind we have recently launched a new library subject guide that’s dedicated to our RCN Reps. The subject guide is a gateway to library resources for reps and includes:
• Links to our literature search service with prioritised searches for reps
• The ability for reps to order library promotional materials and leaflets
• A downloadable Library and Archive PowerPoint Presentation with speaker notes, something the reps had said they wanted.
• Ebooks, journals and resources on activism, trade unionism and workplace employment law.
Of course there’s still more work to be done but hopefully the new subject guide will underpin an ongoing and proactive relationship with RCN Reps who do so much for the organization.