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Conference Life

So hey, I’ve been attending/presenting at a bunch of conferences lately. Wanna hear about that?

The first was the Medical Librarian Association/OneHealth Conference in lovely, lovely Boston, MA. I seriously cannot say enough about how pretty that city is and what a good vibe it had, even after the terrible events of late. The conference was full of great ideas regarding medical librarianship, and I got some good advice for breaking through to health science professionals. It’s a little bit difficult for me, as I’m in a bit of a niche situation here, as someone who primarily works with nursing students and faculty and staff, I didn’t see as much that would immediately benefit me, but lots of ideas to translate. Also, I still think Google Glass is definitely not the wave of the future. 

P.S., We had a mini-tumblarian meetup (well, two of us), but I got to meet the awesome Informagician for dinner! She’s lovely, and she took me to Newbury Comics!

The next conference I went to was billed as an “innovations” conference and was a bit unusual, as it involves teaching, pedagogy, libraries and technology together. It appeared that the majority of attendees were from Lexington, and were faculty and staff. There was lots of interesting discourse on MOOCs and transitions in student learning, but only a few sessions on libraries. They were scheduled so that one library-track session was scheduled during each item, so I was able to attend them all. During these sessions there were several ideas about how to integrate new tech into info lit sessions, and a couple of new approaches (most notably, teaching TAs how to use databases and guiding them so that they can provide assistance to students later). I was the only one doing a presentation and it was on Branding the Library. I had five attendees, but with this being such a small conference and so few librarians, I consider a decent turnout. We had some good discussion, but it was pretty clear that librarians there were still at the “bookmark” level of promotion, which is fine, but is evidence that librarians aren’t doing the level of promotion they should to keep their libraries an active and integral part of campus. It was good feedback for me to use when I next present on the topic.

I also attended our state-wide conference. There, a colleague and I presented on our embedded librarian project. We had about 15-20 attendees, split evenly librarians/faculty. Most of the faculty were those who had allowed us to participate in their course for our pilot, so their feedback was really useful. We had a great discussion with lots of questions about the practicality of embedding librarians in the Bb shell and how much time it takes. One of the Associate Deans of a department that had the most courses embedded even commented that he had gotten emails from students stating that they had enjoyed the pilot and that having a librarian available online was a great experience. We still have a way to go in polishing it up, but we’re glad that we’re on our way. There weren’t many other librarian sessions at this conference.

So, that’s how it went. Good stuff. I’m already approved for a conference this fall to present my branding presentation and I may have more big news about that soon. It’s good to be busy, but it’s also good to be home for a bit.