Continuing Education at Merge & Converge: Sixteen in ‘16

Submitted by Amy Blevins, Publicity/Promotion Chair, Merge & Converge

One of the great things about attending a chapter meeting is the ability to take CE classes at lower prices than what you typically see at the big national meetings.  This year, all CE classes will be taking place on Saturday, October 22. Most of the classes are 4 hours in length, so you can enjoy a morning or afternoon off or you can sign up for two classes and spend your Saturday basking in learning opportunities. Classes cover a wide variety of topics including research projects, data visualization, predatory publishing, building partnerships with stakeholders, turning your data into a financial advocate for your library, and innovative instruction. Class descriptions are provided below.

Lorie Kloda, MLIS, PhD Associate University Librarian for Planning and Community Relations at Concordia University in Montreal will be teaching Research by Design: Proposing, Planning, and Carrying Out a Research Project for the Practicing Librarian from 8am – noon for 4 contact hours. This workshop will introduce participants to the steps in designing a research project: articulating the problem, formulating a research objective, reviewing the literature, designing the methods, and outlining the work plan and resources required. Using examples from health sciences librarianship, participants will explore different types of research projects accomplished by hospital and academic librarians as inspiration. Workshop participants will learn practical strategies and tips for incorporating research into daily routines useful for those without extensive education or experience in research methods. Each participant will leave the workshop with an outline of steps for a research project.

Tony Nguyen, MLS, NN/LM SE/A, University of Maryland, Medical Library is teaching Cool Creative Communications: Dazzling Data Visualization from 8am – noon for 4 contact hours. Taking this class will enable participants to: 1) Increase their knowledge of using visual representations of data and various data visualization tools; 2) Design a visualization using a data set with a selected tool and 3) Discuss visualizations created by peers to enhance understanding of the data presented.

Catherine Arnott Smith, AMLS, MA, MS, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library & Information Studies is teaching Beyond the List: Unpacking the Predatory Publisher from 8am – noon for 4 contact hours. The overall goal of this class is to enable learners to think in a deep way about how librarians can evaluate the published biomedical literature they find and make decisions about its quality. I do this by focusing on a real-life situation: the “predatory publisher” scenario. Both practicing librarians and their patrons are affected by the predatory phenomenon in important ways, and I hope to equip librarians to deal with the phenomenon to empower themselves as information professionals and authors alike.

Gwen Wilson, MLS, AHIP, Washburn University, Mabee Library, Topeka, KS and Kristen DeSanto, MSLS, MS, RD, AHIP, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus Library, Aurora CO are co-teaching Building Partnerships with Faculty, Clinicians and Other Stakeholders from 1pm – 5pm for 4 contact hours. Interested in strategies on building partnerships that lead to collaborative projects? This class will discuss barriers to building partnerships and detailed plans to help overcome these obstacles. Learn some strategies that will help open opportunities for collaborative projects in both the academic and hospital settings. After four hours in a hands-on workshop you will walk away with an action plan that fits you.

Betsy Kelly, MLS, MBANN/NL MCR and Barb Jones, MLS, Missouri State Coordinator and Coordinator for Library Engagement projects within the MidContinental Region will be teaching Financial Advocacy: Turning Your Data into Ammunition! from 1pm – 4pm for 3 contact hours. Statistics, data, reporting, oh my! Is your data alive and selling your value? Or, is it inanimate – stuck on paper, filed in a folder that is opened once a year to add another page and get a little fatter? Attend this Financial Advocacy class to learn how your data can become a living, breathing, contributing member of your library. This class will talk about what you can do with data and what it takes to make it sing for you. We’ll talk about kinds of data, different ways to view and analyze them as well as how to convert those numbers to money saved for your institution. We’ll determine the ROI of your services and of creating and teaching a class. We’ll finish up with a look at different ways to put your data to work telling your story in compelling ways.

Amy Blevins, MALS, Indiana University Ruth Lilly Medical Library and Xiaomei Gu, MSLS, University of Iowa Hardin Library for the Health Sciences will be teaching Innovative Instruction from 1pm – 5pm for 4 contact hours. This class will show a variety of active learning strategies to enhance instruction delivered face to face, online, or in a blended setting. Topics covered will include learning theory, instructional design, audience response systems, screencasting, and other technologies. The instructors will engage participants in discussions about their experiences with creating engaging instructional sessions while also modeling techniques they have used in their own classes.

To learn more about these class offerings, please check out the Merge & Converge website at

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