This spring I was honored to receive an NCNMLG Professional Development Grant to partially fund my attendance at the 2014 Medical Library Association Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Chicago during May.
This was the first time I have attended this meeting. By attending, I had hoped to learn more about what is happening in academic health sciences librarianship and make connections with librarians from other institutions. The experience surpassed my expectations.
Here are a few highlights:
- I arrived early so that I could take advantage of a couple of continuing education courses. I attended “Evaluating Research Impact” taught by Cathy Sarli and Christy Holmes, which was an amazing class. It provided in-depth understanding of research evaluation which I have only been dancing around in my work, but find that I am called to be increasingly involved with. By expanding my awareness of what could be considered research impact, I have some new approaches to bring back to my institution.
- While at MLA, I had the opportunity to present a poster “Bioinformatics Training for Librarians: Experiences and Planned Services” which reflected the perspective of five librarians from five institutions who attended the course “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI” during Spring 2013. This was the first poster I have ever worked on and it was a very positive collaboration. The poster presentation resulted in further discussions with other librarians who have either attended the course at NCBI or are working in the bioinformatics discipline. It also enabled connections with other librarians who are involved with bioinformatics from the University of California, connections which I look forward to developing over the next few years.
- I fully participated in a number of different events that were designed to increase networking. The first night I was there, I joined a dine-around, which is when a group gathers and goes out to dinner with a local leader. I participated in the Colleague Connection program, which connects new members with a mentor, and together, we attended the New Member and First Time Attendee Breakfast. As a new member, I was eligible for free attendance at the Chapter Round Table Luncheon and participated in a great conversation about Open Access Publishing.
- Other events that I found particularly interesting included a plenary panel discussion session “Professional Identify Reshaped,” and “Librarian’s Role in the Translational Science Research Team,” sponsored by the Medical Informatics Section.
NCNMLG Professional Development Grant enabled me to fully participate in the meeting. While I attended many very interesting and relevant presentation and poster sessions, by far the most valuable part of the meeting for me was the opportunity to develop professional connections.
By Amy Studer, UC Davis Health Sciences Libraries