Share Your Success: Medical University of South Carolina Library’s Tech Fair
by Mary Mauldin, EdD, Professor and Executive Director, Office of Instructional Technology & Faculty Resources, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
From April 2 through April 4, 2012, the Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) library sponsored a Tech Fair that was beyond anything previously experienced at MUSC! This event was made possible through an Information Technology and Public Awareness Award given by the NN/LM Southeastern Atlantic Region in September 2011.
The goal of the Fair was to demonstrate projects and technology that promote collaboration across departments and colleges, and projects that incorporate digital content in meaningful ways in research, teaching, and learning.
Everyone we could think of was invited to the Fair including all faculty, staff and students at MUSC plus students, faculty, staff and librarians from five local colleges and universities. However, we wanted to share our gift from NN/LM SEA with as many people as possible so we also invited medical specialists and librarians from 3 major hospitals and 16 public libraries in the Charleston area. At the end of the three-day event, over 300 people participated.
Through the generous support of the NN/LM SEA award, the Tech Fair included:
- A keynote address by the director of an improvisational theatre illustrating that while technology is important, it never surpasses the power of making human connections.
- Two seminars, one by a faculty member from the Art Institute of Charleston titled, “Tips for Digital Video and Photography: Strategies for Enhanced Results” and the second by Apple, Inc., titled, “Apple Mobile Technology Update”.
The Tech Fair is the largest campus-wide event sponsored by the MUSC library. The success of this year’s Tech Fair increased student and faculty awareness about the various ways the library can support their teaching and learning. Through the Tech Fair and other services provided as part of the MUSC’s Learning Commons initiative, students are understanding the scope and impact of not only the library but also of the importance and influence they have to provide support to the library. For example, the SGA raised money to put towards renovation of the library’s third floor. Students also worked with the library and the Art Institute of Charleston on the design of proposed artwork for the library.
Not to be minimized in any way, the Tech Fair also supported two of MUSC’s four strategic initiatives: Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary and Innovation/Technology, as evidenced by this email sent by MUSC’s President Ray Greenberg, who also attended the Tech Fair:
“…It was a great idea to do this and I hope that we can do it as a regular event. This
really goes to the heart of innovation/technology in the strategic plan – it is not just
about research technology transfer – it is about how we use technology to transform all
that we do. Thanks for being such a great advocate, champion and utilizer of technology
on this campus.”
Dr. Ray Greenberg
In addition, the Tech Fair provided an opportunity for MUSC’s administrators to see the library’s services “in action”. Deans, Associate Deans, and the Assistant Provost for Education participated in the event.
Bottom line: The Tech Fair provided a showcase for the library’s services and reinforced the fact that the MUSC library is eager to collaborate with others from across the university and beyond. From survey results it was a HUGE success – and just within the past two weeks, two administrators contacted the library about the Tech Fair: The Associate Dean for Academics in the College of Graduate Studies said that after attending the keynote session, they recently invited the keynote speaker to lead a session for the PhD students on communication and collaboration, and the Associate Provost for Education and Student Life asked when the next Tech Fair was scheduled!
Demonstration of new Apple products by Grey Mull from Apple, Inc.
Greg Tavares (Co-Founder of improve theater) and students demonstrating the role of improvisation in teamwork.
Student with new iPad – Is he happy or just what!!!