These are my last few days as Associate Director of the NER. Leaving for my life’s next adventures, I feel that sense of sorrow in leaving your roots and rich relationships. I’ve thought about how the region and the Network have changed over the last ten years.
Our work has moved from taking place within our libraries to working throughout our environments.
- Focusing on what’s on our shelves and what our libraries are borrowing, to being part of safety, patient education, and clinical teams.
- Taking part in our institutions’ community engagement and community benefit initiatives: More members are doing health information outreach and being recognized for it
- We’ve broadened our ideas of what our information tools and resources are and how these are produced, not just incorporating new technologies but being part of creating locally produced and locally meaningful information.
Sadly, we have seen libraries seep into phases of either doing the same with less or doing less with less. We’ve seen libraries move into less than ideal staffing, restrict their services, or close altogether.
But also with creative thinking we’ve seen libraries examine their roles and restructure. These are libraries that take the best of what they do and target their resources towards new areas of information services. There are great models for these in our region of all shapes and sizes.
I’ve spent a good part of my library career within the Regional Medical Library family. NLM and the National Networks’ programs and emphases have changed in response to not just how health sciences libraries have changed but how patients and providers get and use information. Working throughout our communities, building communities, responding to needs.
I look forward to hearing about the great things the Network continues doing for users and for all areas of health. I know I will stay in touch with many of you. I am grateful and lucky to have worked with such great people, both NER staff and the fine community of health information professionals throughout our network. Thank you all.