On the first day of Midwest/MHSLA 2017, I attended Getting Started with Community Health Information Outreach, taught by Darlene Kaskie. In this course, attendees learned how to examine specific populations for targeted outreach initiatives.
To do this, we first discussed the various resources available for getting a clearer picture of the populations in certain communities. By utilizing census data and other government health resources, it is possible to develop a better understanding of the demographic makeup of specific communities, as well as the health needs in those areas.
Throughout the course, there was an emphasis on learning and asking questions. For example, if you wanted to speak to a demographic that was culturally different from groups you had worked with previously, it’s important to develop an understanding of that group before trying to start an outreach project. So, if you were working with senior citizens who had limited understanding of mobile technologies, you may not want to lead with the cutting edge mobile apps available to them. However, by communicating with your targeted group and asking questions, you could learn what their particular struggles and health issues might be and how you as an information professional may be able to address them.
One way to learn more about a community is to seek out a community health assessment for that particular region. If an agency or institution has already conducted a community health assessment, you can easily determine what the health needs are for that particular area. Examining a community health assessment also allows you to easily target potential partners for your outreach efforts.
I have always enjoyed attending conferences for the educational opportunities that help me keep abreast of advancements in our field. These courses teach us how other librarians are problem solving, expanding their roles, and developing new strategies to best utilize their skills in an ever-changing environment. Both continuing education courses I attended at Midwest/MHSLA 2017 gave me the chance to learn about new (or new to me) resources and how librarians are harnessing these tools to create new roles for themselves.
Serendipitously, though, I ended up spending a full eight hours learning about RDM. My afternoon class got cancelled and so I ended up in a second class entitled Data Management for Librarians given by Caitlin Bakker from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
From Kevin and Alisa I learned not only the basics of RDM, but also how it can be marketed. I learned that librarians should make meetings with researchers about their research, not about the library. Kevin even went into how to “cold-call” researchers to drum up business for the library. A couple of ways to find out about what your institution’s researchers are doing include the NIH RePORTER database and your institution’s grant office.
Then Alisa showed us this cute video, which dramatized many of the frustrations researchers have when managing their data and what can go wrong with RDM and sharing.
As usual, I felt overwhelmed with the information in just one CE class; nevertheless, I persisted in the afternoon, as Caitlin Bakker reinforced many of the RDM topics from Kevin and Alisa’s class. Caitlin provided us with some hands-on exercises using the DMP Tool to actually critique and compose a Data Management Plan. Within a few hours she had the class reviewing and creating real plans that would meet institutional and funder requirements.
I ended up with a day-long crash course in data management, but I still learned about library marketing as I had hoped. I was a beneficiary of a serendipitous confluence of three great instructors and a rising topic in health sciences librarianship. I made sure to tell Emily Ginier, the Chair of the CE Committee, how pleased I was with my day, despite the cancellation and substitution of my afternoon class. I also wrote to Kevin, Alisa, and Caitlin suggesting they team teach a seminar together on RDM. What an excellent day of learning at #MidwestMHSLA17!
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Chapter Critter Update & Details
There was an enthusiastic response to the call for Chapter ‘Critter’ suggestions. A total of 26 different suggestions came in and the Executive Board voted on their 5 top choices. Survey results revealed 6 top ‘critters’ due to a 3-way tie.
Members vote to select one of the 6 as the ‘critter’ or mascot to represent the nine states in the Midwest MLA Chapter.
Midwest Chapter MLA 2017 Fundraiser – Support the Midwest Chapter MLA Scholarships & Awards
The fundraiser this year is a silent auction and we need your help!
Are you creative and talented? Do you knit, crochet, quilt, make jewelry, or create other small beautiful objects? Do you know an author or an artist or a business person?
If so, consider donating a silent auction item or asking a business, author or artist to donate an auction item. AND bid on the silent auction items during the upcoming 2017 Midwest Chapter/MLA annual conference!
Silent auction donation parameters:
• High quality and easily packable
• Register your commitment
• Send photo of item by September 15, 2017 or sooner
• Silent auction coordinators reserve the right to select the final items for the silent auction
• Donated item must be at the conference – bring the item with you or ask a colleague to bring it
If you ask a business, author, or artist for a silent auction donation:
• Let us know that you’re willing to ask
• We will supply an information kit (coming soon)
• Provide a photo of the item by September 15, 2017 or sooner
A great big ‘Thank You’ to the creative and talented members who have already stepped up and volunteered to donate a silent auction item! We will share photos and more information as we get closer to the conference.
Together we can make this scholarship fundraiser a great success!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Edith Starbuck (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nicole Theis-Mahon (email@example.com)
Already thinking about Midwest/MLA ’17? Check out the information below and start planning now!
Please save the dates of October 13 – 16, 2017, for the Joint Conference of the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA) and the Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association (MHSLA)!
This conference, being held in picturesque Ypsilanti, MI, at the Ann Arbor Marriot at Eagle Crest, offers numerous learning and networking opportunities, including MLA CE courses, poster presentations, special events, and a keynote address by Curt Guyette, an award-winning investigative journalist for the ACLU Michigan.
The Midwest Chapter/MLA supports the Medical Library Association’s statement affirming its core values including the reliance on scientific evidence, advancement of evidence-based practice, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Merge & Converge started off early Saturday morning with a coffee from the lobby Starbucks and then onto Lorie Kloda’s CE class – Research by Design: Proposing, planning, and carrying out a research project for the practicing librarian. The class delivered on everything the title promised. Having no prior research experience, I was happy to walk out of the class with a direction for a research project and feel more comfortable taking the first steps to starting that project.
It was a great way to start off the conference and get some library ideas flowing. The class was broken up with some lecture and then group activities, which worked extremely well for newbies just getting into the research arena. Being able to brainstorm with other librarians from across the Midwest was a great way to get multiple perspectives, focus ideas, and make the whole process seem much more attainable and less of an overwhelming, impossible goal.
The class started out with identifying a “burning question”; what had we been wondering and wanting to learn more about? From this burning question, in later activites we went on to hash out some of the finer details of creating a research proposal.
Having only taken one research course during my MLIS education, this class served to refresh some previously stowed away knowledge and stir up some motivation to take on completing some original research of my own.
Lorie also let the class know about the MLA Research Institute and provided attendees with additional resources to support their research goals.
The class made for a perfect fit with the conference theme Merge and Converge and I am looking forward to more as the conference continues on.