Library Staff

Who we are, and what we do.

Katy Oak, Library Manager

Immunology B.Sc. (Hons)

Chartered Member of CILIP

Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector Level 3

Coaching Award Level 3

I began my working career as a medical researcher with a special interest in HIV and AIDS. My knowledge of human biology and health research has been invaluable to my current career as a health librarian. I have worked in libraries in the psychiatric, public health and acute sector in Cornwall before moving to my current county wide role as Library Manager.

Prof interests/ passions: I have a particular interest in teaching Critical Appraisal using interactive activities with the aim of making the topic more accessible. I have experience and expertise in searching at an advanced level for systematic and scoping reviews and I tutor for PenARC.

I believe that everyone can take a step towards engaging with using the best evidence to support care for our patients. The library can help to break down barriers for our staff and students, where-ever they are in their understanding. Having a safe learning culture for everyone is vital. Our expert, professional and trusted Library Team work hard to make both the electronic and physical library accessible and welcoming.

Authentic and caring leadership is very important to me and I feel very rewarded by this aspect of my current role.

Favourite Book: All the light we cannot see. Doer Library – Record details (  I read this because Barack Obama recommends it and it lived up to my expectations!

Published Works (Click to expand)

The use of technology for social interaction by people with dementia: A scoping review
Anderson M, Menon R, Oak K, Allan L.
PLOS Digit Health. 2022 Jun 6;1(6):e0000053.
An 8-year study of admissions and discharges to a specialist intellectual disability inpatient unit
Abraham J, Purandare K, McCabe J, Wijeratne A, Eggleston E, Oak K, Laugharne R, Roy A,
J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2022 Mar;35(2):569-576.

Is the Correct Anatomical Placement of the Electrocardiogram (ECG) Electrodes Essential to Diagnosis in the Clinical Setting: A Systematic Review
Hadjiantoni A, Oak K, Mengi S , Konya J, Ungvari T
Cardiol Cardiovasc Med 2021; 5 (2): 182-200

EEG Markers in Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder-A Possible Outcome Measure for Neurofeedback: A Narrative Review
Boland C, Jalihal V, Organ C, Oak K, McLean B, Laugharne R, Woldman W, Beck R, Shankar R. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience; 2021; vol. 52 (no. 4); p. 254-273

A Review of Network and Computer Analysis of Epileptiform Discharge Free EEG to Characterize and Detect Epilepsy
West C, Woldman W, Oak K, McLean B, Shankar R.
Clin EEG Neurosci. 2022 Jan;53(1):74-78

Do the severity of intellectual disability and /or the presence of neurodevelopmental disorders influence the onset of dementia in people with down syndrome?
Anderson, Merryn; Oak, Katy; Goodey, Rebecca; Dodd, Karen; Shankar, Rohit
Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities; Oct 2020

The evidence for switching dibenzazepines in people with epilepsy
Watkins L, O’Dwyer M, Oak K, Lawthom C, Maguire M, Thomas R, Shankar R.
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica; Aug 2020; vol. 142 (no. 2); p. 121-130

Head first – Review of epilepsy head injury risk and protection
Jory C, Oak K, Organ C, Mclean B, Shankar R.
Seizure; Oct 2019; vol. 71 ; p. 66-79

Neuromodulation of autism spectrum disorders using vagal nerve stimulation
Van Hoorn A, Carpenter T, Oak K, Laugharne R, Ring H, Shankar R.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience; May 2019; vol. 63 ; p. 8-12

Stopping, rationalising or optimising antipsychotic drug treatment in people with intellectual disability and/or autism
Shankar R, Wilcock M, Oak K, McGowan P, Sheehan R.
Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin; Jan 2019; vol. 57 (no. 1); p. 2

Going down the tubes! Impact on seizure control of antiepileptic medication given via percutaneous feeding tubes
Jory C, Shankar R, Oak K, Oates J, Wilcock M.
Epilepsy and Behavior; Sep 2017; vol. 74 ; p. 114-118

Increasing the rural general practitioners’ use of library and information services through publicity: a randomized controlled trial in Cornwall, UK.
Oak K, Gegg R.
Health information and libraries journal; Sep 2008; vol. 25 (no. 3); p. 208-217

Clinical experience with zidovudine for patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome and acquired immune deficiency syndrome-related complex.
Pinching A, Helbert M, Peddle B, Robinson D, Janes K, Gor D, Jeffries D, Stoneham C, Mitchell D, Kocsis A
The Journal of infection; Jan 1989; vol. 18

Chronic constipation in people with intellectual disabilities in the community: cross-sectional study.
Richard Laugharne, Indermeet Sawhney, Bhathika Perera, Delia Wainwright, Paul Bassett, Briony Caffrey, Maire O’Dwyer, Kirsten Lamb, Mike Wilcock, Ashok Roy, Katy Oak, Sharon Eustice, Nick Newton, James Sterritt, Ruth Bishop, Rohit Shankar
BJPsych Open (2024)

Dr Lisa Burrows, Clinical Academic

PhD, University of Plymouth, 2015-2020 ‘More than tea and cake: a realist evaluation of memory cafés in Cornwall’

M.Sc Dementia Studies, University of Stirling, 2012 -2015

B.Sc. (Hons) Health and Social Care, Cornwall College/Plymouth University, 2009-2011

FdSc Forensic Science, Cornwall College/Plymouth University, 2007-2009

Diploma in Higher Education – Nursing (Mental Health), Plymouth University, 1996-1999

I work across the library and the South West Clinical School. I am a registered mental health nurse specialising in dementia care. I have worked in both community and long-term settings, and for the NHS and private sector. I have spent most of my career in Cornwall other than six months in New Zealand, where I worked in an acute in-patient unit in the South Island. I am passionate about mobilising evidence into practice, drawing on my clinical, academic and research experience to support clinicians by completing evidence searches and being part of a team on scoping/rapid/systematic reviews. I provide training on literature searching, referencing, health statistics and critical appraisal, and I also facilitate the writing café held monthly in the library.

Hobbies: when I am not working, I enjoy crochet and knitting, and lifting weights at the gym.

Fact about me: I help run a memory café for people with dementia and their carers.

Favourite Book: Mindhunter, by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Lisa is currently on secondment to the South West Clinical School

Sinead Blowers, Subject Librarian for Nursing & Midwifery working with University of Plymouth and NHS

MA Information Studies & Librarianship, BA (Hons) Sociological Studies & Psychology. I have worked for over 20 years now in libraries and bookshops across the UK – including both public, academic libraries and now health libraries for the last 2 years

I am currently working toward my CILIP Chartership and undergoing JBI Systematic Review training with The South West Clinical School in Cornwall.

Professional Interests/Passions: I have a particular interest in the marketing of libraries having undergone research into the stereotyping of librarians in my Master’s degree.
I am passionate in changing the public perception of libraries as a whole and inviting ALL to use us, no matter what your background is – we are not all ‘cardigan and glasses people shhhhing all the time’ (although I am currently wearing both cardigan and glasses and being quiet….hmmm 😉)
I lead the marketing for Cornwall Health Library and work closely with our NHS wellbeing teams. I am also a member of the University of Plymouth Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Group and work on a panel of NHS Librarians looking at decolonisation of library materials.
I help organise our newly formed NHS Book Group and hold a position in our South West NHS Libraries Cataloguing Group.

Hobbies: Reading various fiction and non-fiction books (a given for a librarian, I know!), writing reviews for publishers, kickboxing, Lego building (Harry Potter sets mainly), cross stitch, colouring in and walking around our beautiful Cornish locations

Interesting Fact about me: I am an ITEC qualified Sports Massage, Holistic Massage, Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage Therapist with an interest in crystal healing and other alternative therapies.

Favourite Book: Just one? That’s difficult as there are so many – but I have to say The Color Purple – Alice Walker. It’s a book that I go back to again and again as it is so beautifully written and is filled with hope.

Holly Fraser, Subject Librarian for Exeter Medical School

B.Sc. (Hons) Forensic Science, PGCert Biomedical Science. Started working in the library in August 2022 and am working towards my CILIP Chartership qualification.

Favourite book: Harry Potter series

Hobbies: Hockey 🏒 and walking my dog 🐶

Interesting fact about me: On this date in 2023 I would have injected myself around 40,768 times!

A Bucket List Item to do in the next 5 years: Travel to Dead Mans Flats/Rocky Mountain.

Rebecca Wright, Acquisitions Librarian.

BA (Hons) Library and Information Studies

I have been at Cornwall Health Library, Knowledge Spa since 2018. Over the last 30+ years, I have worked in a range of libraries – public, special and education – all in Cornwall.

My present responsibilities include book, e-book, and e-journal acquisitions for the NHS, cataloguing, library displays, and assorted bits of finance.

Outside of work I love reading, crafting, and walking. I also volunteer at the local food bank.

My favourite book is ever changing, but top of the list at the moment is Mad Honey by Jodie Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan which has made me re-evaluate some of my preconceptions.

Arthur Spear, Senior Library Assistant

I’ve been working in the field of libraries for around 15 years, starting in Cornwall’s public library service as a volunteer.

In the Health Library I am most often customer facing, acting as a primary point of contact through running the library’s issue desk, dealing with all manner of user queries.

I administer the Library’s website and many of the other net-based services we use here.

I have previously gained a black belt and instructor’s certification in taekwondo, and I enjoy folk dance, drumming, dungeons & dragons, and sound editing.

Markus Bettin, Library Assistant.

Master’s Degree of Science with Honours and Bachelor’s Degree of Arts with Honours from The University of Cambridge

Markus Antoni Oliver Bettin has wanted to work with books since spending lunches managing the school library. And now they are!

General library operative, with specific responsibility for Inter-Lending & Document Supply (making sure you can access almost any resource under the sun, at no extra cost). Often spotted on the gym equipment out the back of the Knowledge Spa. Nice Beard.

Alison Whight, Information Specialist

HND Applied Psychology,
B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology, 
PGCert Clinical Applications in Psychology, 

I joined the team in the Cornwall Health Library in September 2023. 

Prior to this I worked as a psychology lecturer for 15 years, teaching all levels of psychology from A level to degree and in more recent years, leading on a college degree programme. My interests are in clinical and health psychology and I supervised many student dissertations in these areas. 

I LOVE research! I am passionate about translating current research into practice. My role as information specialist in the Cornwall Health Library allows me to indulge my passion! Finding the best evidence to support healthcare is incredibly rewarding. As part of the library team, I also deliver training sessions on literature searching, critical appraisal and referencing.

Hobbies: walking my dogs, crochet and cycling. 

Heather Langstaff, Library Assistant

MSc (Econ) Information and Library Studies

Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Studies

BA (Hons) Classical Literature and Civilisation

Level 4 Award Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector

I completed a BA (Hons) in Classical Literature and Civilisation at the University of Birmingham before becoming a Graduate Library Trainee at the Bodleian Social Science Library, University of Oxford.  Whilst I was a Trainee I began my MSc (Econ) Information and Library Studies with Aberystwyth University, via distance learning, graduating in 2014.  My dissertation focussed on the hybrid role of a librarian, regarding teaching and training skills of library professionals.  I then completed my CILIP Chartership in 2015. 

I’ve worked in various libraries, including public libraries, a rare books library, various FE/HE college libraries and a school library.  I previously worked in a hospital library in 2009/2010.  At Cornwall Health Library I work on the help desk and process the interlibrary loan and document supply requests.    

I’m originally from the Lake District, but I’ve also lived in Suffolk and the West Midlands.  Outside of work I enjoy arts and crafts, especially bookbinding.  I also collect antique textiles.  I’m currently trying to learn to play the Ukulele too!


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