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PDA Award: Lessons and New Experiences from SCC/MLA

By Jovana Susic, Reference Librarian, Jefferson Parish Library, Metairie, LA

The 35th Annual Meeting of the SCC/MLA was held in Albuquerque, NM, October 20 – 24, 2007. I was able to attend this meeting thanks to funding from NN/LM SCR Professional Development Award 2007. I am a Reference Librarian at Jefferson Parish Library, Metairie, LA. My goal is to establish a Consumer Health Information Center as a part of the library. Attending this meeting helped me better understand the concept of providing consumer health information, and ways of improving health literacy among the public. Networking with colleagues was also very beneficial.

I attended the following presentations:

Teaching the Chinese Population How to Find Quality Health Information on the Internet (Ana D. Cleveland, Jodi L. Philbrick, and Della Pan / University of North Texas, Denton, TX)

Patient Education Materials: Written for Whom? (Clayton Crenshaw / University of North Texas, Denton, TX)

Meditations on Marketing: Imagine, Create, Promote (Jennifer K. Lloyd / Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA)

Imagining Web Content as an Investment (Kelly Gonzalez and Jon Crossno / UT Southwestern Medical Center Library, Dallas, TX)

Did Computers Make it Faster? Or How Life Has Changed (Shirley Campbell / VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas, TX)

Re-Imagining Our Libraries through the Eyes of Our Administrators (Edward Poletti et. al.)

The posters were also very interesting with a lot of helpful handouts, and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly people.

I attended one Round Table discussion – What Did My Doctor Tell Me? The Librarian’s Role in Health Literacy

I also attended the General Sessions.

My bag won a prize in the “Bring Your Own Bag Contest” – the furthest traveled bag (from a conference far, far away from Albuquerque).

On the last day of the Meeting I attended the CE course Proving Your Worth: Professional Business, Marketing & Political Tools (Michelynn McKnight, PhD, AHIP, Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University, School of Library and Information Science, Baton Rouge, LA). The course objective was to teach librarians how to use professional business and political tools to convince non-librarian decision makers of the value of our essential services. This course will be extremely helpful for my design of the presentation of the proposal for the Consumer Health Information center. The handouts and further readings will substitute for the lack of experience in this area.

The most valuable part of my attendance at this meeting were the people with whom I got to meet, talk to, and whose experience and help I can use in my future work.

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