Beyond the COM: May 2015 Conference Adventures! Part 2

We hope you enjoyed our post last week introducing the two conferences our library staff attended this month. This is Part 2 of that post, which focuses on our trip to Austin, Texas, for the Medical Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting.

Unlimited Potential at MLA 2015

Nadine Dexter, Michael Garner, Pamela (Pammy) Herring, and Melodie Gardner journeyed to Austin, Texas for the 2015 Medical Library Association annual conference. The conference began with an awesome lecture by the first African-American woman NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison. She captured the audience’s attention with her numerous Star Trek references (she was on an episode of ST:TNG and is an astronaut, so why not?), and kept them captivated with her talk on the 100 Year Starship program. For humans to get to the point where we can travel to the next galaxy, we’re going to have to think outside the box. As the world of medical libraries changes, Librarians will need to do the same.

Pammy, Michael, and Nadine presenting our poster

Pammy,  Michael, and Nadine presenting our poster

Later in the day, we presented our poster, “Redefining the Role of the Library: Connecting Users to New Technologies for Education, Research, and Patient Care,” which shared the creation and implementation of the Library Technology Lab (LTL). The poster generated great interest, and we were able to share our findings and experiences with several other librarians.

Pammy spent most of the time in the exhibit hall speaking with vendors about new products, resource renewals, or simply saying hello to people we’ve only spoken with through email and telephone. It’s always nice to put a face to a name. When she wasn’t in the exhibit hall, she joined the rest of the gang in attending some fabulous lunch-and-learns, sessions, and technology showcases. Some of the major themes from the conference include: research collaboration, data management and sharing, re-defining library services, and engaging patrons both in the library and online.

One session Pammy attended was for the MLA Research Agenda Systematic Review Project. The project is 15 teams consisting of 10 librarians each examining a research question picked from the final result of a three-phase Delphi study. Pammy is a member of Team 6 and attended to support her group and listen to the updates on the projects of all the teams. The updates ran the gamut from successfully completed systematic reviews to teams disbanding due to team leader issues. If you would like to learn more about Team 6’s work, please check out their Google+ Community.

Of course, being Austin, we did find time to check out some of the awesome local cuisine while we were there. Check out some of the delicious meals below!

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