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Midwest Chapter Meeting Reflection: Increasing Knowledge

By Lauren Goode
SLIS Student
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

The Midwest Chapter Meeting was an engaging and informative experience which reaffirmed that I have made the correct decision in my career path. My goal for attending the meeting was to learn more about medical librarianship and expand my knowledge about librarianship as a whole. Currently, I am a graduate assistant at Eastern Kentucky University Libraries, in Richmond, KY. I work with the Reference and Instruction team to increase information literacy across the campus community. Though I do not currently work in health sciences or medical librarianship, I do work with nursing students on a somewhat regular basis. I tailored my experience to come back better able to serve the health sciences students in my community. At the meeting I found many inspirations for applying the experience to my everyday life.

I attended two Continuing Education programs. The first, “Planning, Conducting and Publishing Research” taught by Nancy Allee and Jo Dorsch, was a four hour immersion into the research cycle as it applies to medical libraries/librarians. By the end of the session I had developed a brain typhoon for a new research project which I am currently writing up to propose to my team. I plan to use survey methodologies to determine the information needs of biology faculty at EKU and use that information to develop instructional programs for the department. The second CE course I attended, “Emerging Technologies” taught by Gabe Rios ad Melissa DeSantis was fun and highlighted ways to incorporate technology into a librarian’s daily work flow. Technology was a high note for the entire conference as it is transforming the way our patrons seek, find and process information. Since attending the meeting I have explored several apps geared toward the medical profession and helped students use the Ebsco app on their devices.

Papers and posters aimed at instruction and information literacy were my focus when attending the sessions. I set the goal for myself to learn some new ideas for instruction, and in viewing the research of librarians currently in the field, I did just that. Amy Blevins presented her work in building EBP skills in medical students through a curriculum integrated plan at the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences at University of Iowa. The plan was based around the medical students course work and instruction sessions were made to build on each other. I am certain students would benefit from this type of instruction curriculum. I hope that in the future I will have the opportunity to work so closely with students and faculty to build an instruction plan distinctly tailored to the needs of a program. In her presentation, Amy Blevins shared a “Finding Evidence Based Answers to Clinical Questions Flowchart” which was helpful to her students and would likely be helpful to other information seekers in the health sciences. From other presentations, posters and conversations I learned: how to use citation analysis to see what your students are really learning, the role of the embedded librarian and how bibliometerics can highlight research trends.

Beyond seeing research in action and learning concrete skills, I found that my time at the Greater Midwest Region NN/LM booth increased my knowledge substantially. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who were happy to share their diverse experiences in medical librarianship. Though I was on the side of the table which would normally be sharing the outreach programs of the NLM with event attendees, I received a considerable amount of outreach from the librarians who came to the booth. I learned: the role of the GMR in providing and supporting outreach throughout the service area, some of the various positions held by librarians and gained valuable insight into the NLM fellowship program. I look forward to seeing the GMR at future events in my region.

Overall, the experience was wonderful. I am honored and thankful that the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine provided the Student Outreach Award which enabled me to attend the meeting. Every person I connected with was eager to share their knowledge. Their passions for their careers were evident. My attendance at the meeting has increased my knowledge about medical librarianship and fostered new ideas for serving my university community.

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