Back in September of 2016, a pretty neat bit of history was made in the library world. The Library of Congress swore in its first ever African American into the role of Librarian of Congress. The appointment was significant for a few other reasons as well; to understand why, you’ll need a quick history lesson!
This past weekend, a few of our library staff had a chance to attend the marathon that was the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference and Exhibition right here in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. For a conference that didn’t require us to actually travel anywhere, we definitely found ourselves just as busy and involved as if we had actually traveled out of state. It’s not too often we attend conferences not centered around medical librarianship, but this was a good opportunity to reconnect with our colleagues working in more traditional libraries.
Obviously, geeky references and librarianship go hand in hand. This pleases me.
Seriously though, where has the time gone and how is it already a week from October? 2015 has been busy for our library staff, but we couldn’t ask for a better group of colleagues and students to be so busy for. Thanks for letting us do what we do for you!
October 1st marks the beginning of National Medical Librarians month. The Medical Library Association dedicates each October to celebrating information professionals who provide expert assistance and guidance to students, faculty, other health care providers and everyday consumers looking for health information inside health sciences and medical libraries.
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
Over the course of the last month or so, most of us in the library have been busily preparing to participate in two big library conferences that occurred one after the other this past week. This year, we were very fortunate to be presenting at both the Florida Library Association’s 2015 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, and the Medical Library Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX! This will be a two part recap of our adventures; first up is FLA 2015!
Inspiring Innovation at FLA 2015
Natasha and Shalu at FLA 2015
This year, the Florida Library Association’s annual conference was held at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL, from May 12 – 15. It has always been a great conference to attend to get fun new ideas for improving our public services (our Step 1 Survival Coffee Cart actually came about in part because of a session we attended at the 2013 conference!). Further, we can connect with the more traditional side of librarianship we don’t get to hear so much about in the medical librarianship world. We had two of our staff attend, our Public Services Librarian Shalu and myself (hi there, Natasha here!), as well as our colleague Kerry, who recently moved onto a new position out of state.
This year the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SC/MLA) held its annual meeting in Mobile, Alabama from October 26 through October 30. Representing the Harriet F. Ginsburg Library were Nadine Dexter, Deedra Walton, Pamela Herring, and Michael Garner. The theme for the meeting this year was “Making a Difference in Health.” The library presented a poster entitled “Plant a Seed and Watch It Grow: Nurturing a Foundation for College-Wide Workplace Wellness Programs” which highlighted the work that the library lead with the workplace wellness initiative that centered around the FitBit wearable technology. While the presentation was a highlight for each of us there were many other events to keep us busy throughout the day: a meeting of the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS), paper presentations, speakers, roundtable discussions, the ability to meet with vendors face-to-face, the opportunity to network with new colleagues from other medical libraries in the southeastern region of the United States, and the chance to catch up with friends not seen since the last annual meeting.
The conference consisted of more than just attending meetings. We took advantage of down time to check out Mobile, Alabama and taste some of the local cuisine, from burgers at a restaurant called the Royal Scam (the food was in fact actual food, no tricks or funny business!) to fantastic seafood at the Oyster House (fire-grilled oysters!), one of the many top notch seafood restaurants.
Robert DeNiro was also in town filming a movie titled Bus 657 also starring Dave Bautista, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, and Lydia Hull. Check it out on IMDB. Unfortunately Mr. DeNiro was too busy to drop by the conference.
The conference wrapped up with a banquet at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley rivers flow into Mobile Bay. In the setting we were treated to a fantastic meal of local food including shrimp, fish, corn nuggets, and capped off with fresh made bread pudding. While we ate we were treated to the music of a bluegrass band.
Interesting Fact: Mobile, Alabama is the first place in the United States to start annual celebrations of Mardi Gras. During the opening of the conference we were pelted with beads by a mask-wearing krewe. Duck!
In the City!