I leave for South Africa in two weeks for the IFLA meeting. I will spend the first week traveling with my husband, sister, and brother in law. My brother in law is South African so we are fortunate to have our own personal tour guide to take us around. August is winter in South Africa (highs of 60-70 degrees and lows of 40-50 degrees). It is chilly but coming from Cleveland, that ain’t winter, that’s spring weather in my mind.
As excited as I am about touring around the country that first week, I am just as excited about going to my first conference outside of North America. Along with this excitement comes some uncertainty. I pulled up the conference program this weekend to map out my conference plan of attack. As I was making my schedule I began to feel like I did when I was making my schedule to attend my very first MLA meeting back in 2001 in Orlando. I had no clue what to expect back then and I have no clue as to what to expect at IFLA.
Similar to MLA they have a newcomer session where I will be introduced to IFLA and meet people. Like MLA they have A LOT of sessions, too many for me to attend all of them. Thankfully some are out of my scope like “Access to Legal Information and Legislative Data in Africa: the Role of Libraries and Librarians – Library and Research Services for Parliaments, Africa and the Law Libraries” making it a little easier for my schedule.
I am sure there were will also be opportunities at IFLA for events and parties where I will be able to meet new people. I just don’t know about them yet, my guess is that like MLA these aren’t on the official schedule. As MLA President I am going to IFLA to represent MLA and its members to a large diverse international library audience. I would like to use this opportunity to speak with and meet as many biomedical, health sciences librarians as possible to get a better understanding and perspective on MLA’s international presence.
Right now MLA’s international presence has been rather scatter shot. I would like to understand things better so that we as an organization can determine our international role in a more cohesive and strategic manner. My hope is that by attending IFLA, I will not only learn library things for my regular job but also learn about the role of medical, health science librarianship in the world and what part MLA can have in that.
It kind of feels like a lofty goal as I stare at the IFLA program and feel like a conference newbie again. I just need to remember the advice from the MLA New Members & Attendees breakfast, “just talk to people, librarians are nice.”
I’m Tobin Magle, the Biomedical Sciences Research Support Specialist at the Health Sciences Library on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. I’m so excited to be a guest writer for the Krafty Librarian as she takes on her responsibilities as MLA president.
My dirty little secret is that I don’t have a library degree: my background is in research science. I have a PhD in microbiology, and my research focused on parasites like Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria.
While working on studying these pathogens is a very worthwhile and necessary pursuit, it just wasn’t for me. I began investigating careers outside the research laboratory and came across the listing for my position at CU Anschutz, somewhat incidentally you might say.
To make a long story short, it ended up being a perfect fit. I can focus on helping others do all the very important aspects of research science that often get short changed. I honestly feel like I won the lottery. I can’t believe I’ve been working at the CU Anschutz HSL for almost a year now! Time flies when you’re having fun I guess.
I primarily focus on bioinformatics, data management and sharing, and scholarly communication (if you can call that focus). These all fall under the theme of providing research support on our campus. I aim to bring a research/informatics perspective to the blog. I hope you enjoy it!
I’m Katie Mulik Dayani, a solo librarian at a special medical library in Kansas City. I nerd out on all things related to solo-librarianship, copyright issues, taxonomy/metadata development and advocacy/outreach. I’m excited to connect with more cool librarians here. If you can name the song referenced in the title of this post, I want to be your friend. Thanks so much, Michelle, for the opportunity to be a Krafter!
Patricia Anderson here, one of the cohort of new writers for the Krafty Librarian blog, and delighted to be here. You might know me better as @pfanderson on Twitter (and many other places in social media), or as the person behind the ETechLib blog, or as Perplexity Peccable in Second Life. (I chose that name because both being perplexed and having a less-than-impeccable office are part of what I consider to be my natural condition!)
I am the Emerging Technologies Informationist at the newly renovated Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan. I bet some of you will want to hear about our renovation, so I’ll try to touch on that before too long. Obviously, I have a strong focus on new technologies, and am the leader of the MLA Systematic Review team on emerging technologies. Reporting out on some of that work will also probably interest folk here. I was doing systematic reviews long before I was into emerging technologies, and have been thrilled to see the growth of the profession in that area, and the emerging respect for medical librarians that naturally derives from our inclusion as partners and methodology consultants in the design, data generation, and practice of research methods in information synthesis. Pretty darn cool, if you ask me. Before that, I did a lot of research and writing about search engines, online health information, and so forth. Did you realize that 2014 was the 20th anniversary of the founding of the HealthWeb project? There are still a lot of lessons we could learn from that.
Anyway, those are the types of topics I’m likely to write about — emerging tech or trends or events; research and methods; online health information and searching; and so forth. I am really looking forward to seeing what the other collaborators come up with, and learning from the truly incredible team that Michelle has assembled. Delighted to be here, and I hope you are, too.
As Michelle takes on the responsibility of the MLA Presidency, I am delighted to join the team of volunteers contributing to the Krafty Librarian. Since I am now at a Community College with 10 Health Professions programs, I look forward to sharing my experiences about how I help the students prepare presentations and do homework. Also, lately, I have been teaching and thinking in a comparative effectiveness research way and am eager to share my knowledge. I look forward to starting many meaningful conversations. Helen-Ann Brown Epstein
I am really excited to have the opportunity to write for this blog! My name is Irene Lubker and I work as a medical librarian at the Tompkins McCaw Library which is the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health Sciences library.
At Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), we have schools of Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. I have liaison duties to the School of Dentistry and Public Health programs in the School of Medicine. I also work with dietetic interns who come to the VCU hospitals for their year long internship because in my previous life I used to be a dietitian. So working with students and faculty in the School of Dentistry, Public Health programs and dietetic interns makes for a very interesting life. To add to the fun, I am also a doctoral student in the School of Education.
Well, this is exciting….thanks Michelle, for giving me the opportunity to write on your blog. To paraphrase Delaware’s own beloved Joe Biden, this is a big deal.
My name is Richard James, and I am currently the electronic resources librarian at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine- I manage databases and online subscriptions, even a few print journals, for our 100-and-change year old medical college. And like most of our professional brethren and sistren, I do a lot of “other responsibilities include” which will probably be more interesting to blog about.
Prior to my position here, I was an instructional librarian at another Philadelphia college, mostly working with student nurses, and before then, the ILS administrator for the Delaware Division of Libraries. Professionally I’m interested in Open Access, wikipedia and medicine, LGBTQ and diversity issues.
In the next few days and weeks there will be several posts by people who have agreed to write for this blog. I have asked them to write a short paragraph about themselves for two reasons.
So I know I set everything up correctly.
So you can get to know the new authors.
For years the Krafty Librarian has been about me and what I find interesting in medical librarianship and technology. Through the years of going to conferences, workshops, and meeting with other medical librarians I have learned that all medical librarians are a little “krafty.” We try and do whatever we can to get the information to our users and we think outside of the box. So the next phase of this blog will be not just about me (I will still be posting) it will include other krafty librarians and their thoughts.
I look forward to reading about each author and I look forward to the new direction that we are taking this blog. I hope you all do too. There may be some bumps along the way but we will get it all figured out.
A while back ago MLA sent out its meeting survey asking attendees their opinions about the meeting. Lots of questions are asked so that MLA staff and future NPC (National Programming Committees) can learn from the responses.
I noticed one question needed a little bit of updating. The question is regarding the exhibit hall and what types of information or products you (the librarian) is looking for.
(Question from the survey)
Check the types of information or products you were looking for: (Check all that apply)
Integrated information systems
Computer hardware & software
Films & videotapes
Other health organizations
Other (has a text box to specify)
So my first thought is this question, specifically its answers, is dated. Who is looking for films and videotapes in 2015. Online image bank collections yes, but films and videotapes?
My second thought is, how many people are clicking publications and subscription services and can/should those answers be more specific? For example aren’t a lot of our services subscription services? Do we need something like journal subscription services, ebook subscription services, database subscription services? Or, does journal and ebook subscription services handled with the publications answer?
There are probably two reasons for the existence of this question.
MLA wants to find more vendors that are relevant to librarian needs.
MLA wants vendors to share what librarians are looking for/need.
So dropping the question is not a good idea, MLA staff and NPC’s still need that type of information. However, we it needs to be revised. This is where I am asking for your help. Please either comment here on the blog, Twitter (@Krafty) or on my Facebook page with a few things of what you are looking for when you visit the exhibit hall.
Join us tomorrow (6:00pm Pacific / 9:00pm Eastern) on the #medlibs chat as I try to successfully balance watching the Cavs in the NBA playoffs and moderating the discussion on the changes happening within MLA, specifically the MLA strategic plan.
(reposted from #medlibs chat blog)
In the past each MLA President has presented their list of priorities for the upcoming year for MLA. This year is a little different. I have no priorities. OK, that sounds a lot different. But it really isn’t. Instead of coming up with priorities each year the incoming president will look at MLA’s strategic plan and evaluate the goals within the plan. If we are near accomplishing a goal, then the incoming president looks at other potential goals that we should add to the strategic plan. The idea is that these goals live long enough for accomplishment and are not specifically tied to the president’s term. They are part of the entire MLA strategic plan which is tied to MLA, the board, staff, etc. As in the case of MLA’s technology goal, a goal could be accomplished in less than a year. In the case of the Education goal, it may take more than a year. However, steps toward accomplishing that goal will be continually happening.
Speaking of continually happening… In years prior the time line for getting things done always seemed to be centered around the meeting in May. Why? There are probably a lot of reasons, but I think (total guess on my part) is that it is a legacy of when we (librarians) did less business electronically. We live in a time of email and other forms of online communication. Now days things can happen faster because we can communicate more easily and more often. We agree to take on projects at MLA then scurry around next March/April to make sure something was accomplished before the meeting again in May. We don’t even read and approve the prior meetings minutes until a year later at the next meeting. This has given us the nimbleness of an AT-AT in regards to change.
We need to look at ways to speed up processes and work towards the evolution of our organization as well as the groups (Sections, SIGs, Committees, etc.) within our organization. So this Twitter chat will focus on ways that we as a group can work toward improving the speed at which we accomplish things. Because waiting a year to approve something makes any organization sluggish and less adaptable to responsive change.
What are your ideas for making us more nimble?
Come share your thoughts and perspectives! Never participated in a #medlibs or other Twitter chat before? Check out this overview and come on in, we’re a supportive community and are especially keeping an eye out to welcome and support your participation if you’ve just heard about this community for the first time during the meeting.