I am grateful to the NCNMLG members for the Professional Development Grant, which made it possible for me to attend my first MLA Conference in Chicago in May. As both a new member and an MLIS student, I found the conference welcoming and accessible. I met new friends and colleagues at the meeting, and all were generous with their advice and their time.
The Embedded Librarians Roundtable lunch and the section meetings were excellent opportunities to listen in on frank discussion of how librarians are managing issues we face in the library where I work. I gleaned useful resource recommendations at the Cancer Librarians meeting, and enjoyed advice and anniversary cake with other members of Consumer & Patient Health Information Section, as the section celebrated its 30th year in existence.
A conference highlight for me was the CAPHIS program, Promoting Ethical Awareness Among Health Sciences Librarians. Rachel Becker presented fascinating research she has done with Aileen McCrillis on the incidence of Secondary Traumatic Stress Syndrome among medical librarians who have contact with patients. The scale Becker & McCrillis used to measure STSS comes from the nursing literature, and the notion of employing it among health sciences librarians is of particular interest to me as a new librarian working in a consumer health & cancer support setting. I look forward to seeing future research in this area.
If you are attending MLA for the first time, I encourage you to take advantage of the Hospitality Booth, and learn from the local librarians about attractions in the host city. I received directions to a few Chicago medical libraries, and before my flight home I visited the International Museum of Surgical Science, which exhibits lovely artifacts from the history of surgery, alongside contemporary art based on human anatomy and the surgical sciences.
Thank you NCNMLG for supporting my professional development!
Program Assistant for Medical Information Services
Breast Cancer Connections, Palo Alto, CA