September 8, 2006

Library Rebooted

Posted in Career Development, Professional Development, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 11:24 am by Alexia

The Michigan Library Consortium is hosting a series of presentations over the course of 2006 and 2007 collectively titled Library Rebooted.  They have created a blog in conjuction with the presentations – Library Rebooted: Unwrapped!

In celebration of this event, we would like to introduce MLC’s newest blog, The Library Rebooted: Unwrapped! This blog exists to promote any and all aspects of Library 2.0. Featured guest posters include speakers at our upcoming special programs and experts in various library 2.0 technologies.

Comments are encouraged, though you have to obtain a username and password to do so.

I see this as an excellent opportunity for Medical Librarians to become involved and have their say within the general library community.  Though there are aspects of Medical Librarianship that have little bearing on public librarians and vice versa there are a lot of aspects that are relevant to all parties involved.  I encourage everyone to take a look at the blog and participate.  Let’s get our voices heard!

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August 18, 2006

Friday musings

Posted in Career Development, Conferences, Professional Development at 8:46 am by Alexia

No, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth.  August is traditionally a busy month for me as I am in charge of the serials renewal, which needs to be to our vendor by September 1 to guarantee renewal.  In addition, several new, time-sensative assignments came due this week, and I had to prep for and run my first MDMLG Executive Board meeting.

If there was any uncertainty about how underepresented hospital librarians felt at MLA and how irrelevant they felt programming was, those uncertainties were laid to rest yesterday.  The normally “so quiet I sometimes forget about it” Hospital Library Section of MLA listserv offered a flurry of posts regarding JCAHO’s request for comments on the Management of Information Standard and regarding MLA programming.  Michelle Kraft has done a good job recapping the conversation regarding hospital librarians and MLA, I will not reinvent that wheel.  I also have my opinions on that but do not have the time right now to articulate them properly.  What I want to iterate today is barriers, other than lack of relevant programming, to attending MLA conferences and discuss possible alternatives.

There are many reasons medical librarians, especially hospital librarians, cannot attend MLA.  Funding is one reason, many hospitals are strapped for cash and, like it or not, do not feel continuing education for librarians is that important.  There are grants available, but that is a solution for only a handful of librarians.  Paying for a conference out of pocket is another option, and there are librarians who feel that attending MLA is so important that one should not hesitate to pay out of pocket if they were a true professional.  I do not know about anyone else, but I am a librarian at a Catholic hospital.  I don’t get paid enough to have a spare $2000 for MLA.  I won’t get on my salary soapbox here, that is enough fodder for several posts.  Lack of funds is not the only reason; some hospital librarians limit the number of staff members that can be gone from the library at the same time.  So, either only the library director attends MLA, or the staff rotates attendance, or staff attends different conferences.

I agree that MLA, or any conference for that matter, is best experienced in person but that is not always feasible.  Offering alternative means of “attending” MLA offers librarians the chance to keep up when they otherwise could not.

August 14, 2006

Alternatives to the MLA conferences

Posted in Career Development, Professional Development at 8:57 am by Alexia

There is no denying that attending an MLA conference is a wonderful experience but, for a variety of reason, I have not always been able to attend that particular conference.  A couple of years ago the library recieved an Advance Program for Internet Librarian.  Intrigued, I reviewed the materials and found that, as a techie medlibber, this conference had much to offer me.  I spoke with my director and she agreed that I should go.  I have not looked back since.

This conference offers a wonderful alternative to MLA.  The focus is technology, so this conference is not suitable for every medical or hospital librarian, but if you are in charge of any aspect of technology (including electronic resources) in your library I would highly recommend attending.  Speakers come from all aspects of librarianship: public, school, academic, and special (including medical).  The nice thing about this conference is that, for the most part, the technology is dicussed in general terms and is applicable to all types of libraries and librarians.

This year’s offerings look just as exciting as past years.  Oh, and Monterey is a wonderful place for a conference.  The hotel / conference center is quite near Monterey Bay.  Each morning, before the conference, I would grab a latte and head to the Fisherman’s Wharf their to drink my coffee while listening the barking of the sea lions.

If you have any questions about this conference please feel free to ask them in a comment, or you can visit the conference wiki.

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