Meet the IL Group Committee: Jenni Ford

What is your role on the committee?
I am the Health Sector Rep.

When did you join and why?
I joined in Spring 2014. I’m interested in the information behaviour of the health and public health workforce, and I think understanding information literacy and information literacy skills is key to understanding the way in which people manage and interact with information. Through my work I’ve been involved in carrying out a number of information needs assessments of the public health workforce, and I’ve noticed that time and again people working in public health say that they struggle to cope with the volume of information that they’re exposed to. It’s my belief that helping to improve information literacy skills, and awareness of information literacy as a concept can help people to cope with the daily deluge of information that they face.

What do you do in your committee role?
I act as a point of contact between the committee and health sector information professionals. I help to send information on the committee’s activities and events out to the health information community using the contacts I’ve built up through my experience of working in the health sector. I’ve given presentations about the work and benefits of being a member of the ILG to groups of health information professionals, and helped to promote the ILG by attending the Health Libraries Group Conference. I also try to keep my eyes out for anything related to information literacy and health literacy and make sure that I send this through to the rest of the committee to help us all stay up to date with developments.

What is your day job?
I am the Information Manager for a charity called the UK Health Forum. The UK Health Forum is an alliance of professional and public interest organisations working to reduce the risk of avoidable non-communicable diseases, so my focus is on public health information. I work as part of a team of information professionals, helping to provide information services including communities of practice, current awareness, literature searching and information needs assessments. I am also studying part-time for a PhD on how information is used in public health.

 What are your other interests?
I think I have too many hobbies and not enough time to fit them all in! My latest interest is photography, since I was given a second hand digital SLR camera last year. I like nothing better than to spend a Saturday out and about in London finding things to photograph. I also love music, reading and try and spend a little time every evening doing something crafty (knitting or crochet being my main obsessions). I also like films and music – I had piano lessons for many years when I was younger and am hoping to be able to take that up again some day – it might have to be after I finish my PhD though!

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