Beyond the COM: The Florida Health Sciences Library Association annual meeting

This past week, a portion of the Health Sciences Library staff had the opportunity to attend the Florida Health Sciences Library Association (FHSLA) annual meeting, which was held at the Courtyard Marriot in Lake Buena Vista. The two-day meeting gave our librarians a chance to network and collaborate with other medical librarians across the state, as well as a chance to attend some informative continuing education workshops and sessions.

Among sessions held, FHSLA put together a “Mobile Technology Panel” to stimulate conversation about how libraries are using mobile technology with their patrons. Our technology guru and Medical Informatics Librarian, Michael Garner, was one of three librarians asked to sit on the panel, and he was able to share with everyone the details of our library’s mobile technology and iPad initiative. It was also a great chance for us to learn what our colleagues are doing, and how our successes have influenced them.

FHSLA’s leadership is made up of medical librarians from the academic community, as well as from the hospital community. Our Public Services Librarian, Shalu Gillum, served as Secretary of FHSLA last year, and Deedra Walton, our Electronic Resources Librarian, served as Treasurer. During the business meeting, Shalu was re-elected to serve another term as Secretary. The Treasurer position is not yet up for re-election, so Deedra will be continuing in that capacity for one more year.

FHSLA also awards scholarships to attend their annual meeting to students pursuing a graduate degree in Library and Information Science. Typically, they alternate each year between awarding a student at Florida State University’s library school and the University of South Florida’s library school, which are the only two colleges in the state that offer graduate degrees in Library and Information Science. This year’s scholarship recipient was our very own Natasha Fortune, one of our Sr. Library Technical Assistants, who will be graduating from FSU this coming December. The scholarship provided Natasha with the opportunity to attend all of the meeting activities; she was even able to take a CE course, too.

We’re thrilled to have our library so well represented in a statewide organization!