MLA 2013: One Health/Three Poster Sessions

June 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Professional Development | Leave a comment

I appreciate NAHSL’s support which allowed me to attend MLA 2013 in Boston. There were many excellent speakers and forums, and opportunities to network with colleagues and vendors. My greatest sources of inspiration however were the poster sessions. There were 294 posters at MLA ranging in topics from traditional public services, community outreach, technology implementation and social media. I will focus on two themes that caught my eye: testing the impact of technology and reaching out to users with value added resources.

One poster explored a database search versus a federated search: One Search: Examining the Use and Perceptions of a Discovery Tool (Besaw and Andresen). A study comparing users’ perceptions of a CINAHL search versus a Summon search illustrated that while users preferred the search features and structure of CINAHL, they were also willing to use Summon for their searches. As vendors change their products’ search structures, it is helpful to know that users appreciate the features of a database, but are willing to explore a federated search. Another technology poster – QR You (Rosenbloom) – considered the success of a QR code project. This project revealed that despite diligence in staff promotion, the patrons did not make use of the library’s QR codes. Although QR codes are a promising technology, the idea did not catch on with users, who reported they did not use QR codes in their everyday lives.

I also looked closely at posters on outreach with value added resources. In SHHH: An Evidence-Based Bibliography for Keeping Hospitals Quiet (Egeland) the library helped educate and motivate staff with a resource designed specifically for its users. This project showed a willingness to collaborate and an understanding of the importance of addressing a sensitive issue in the clinical areas. Another valuable library-designed resource was displayed in Improving Cultural Approaches to Pediatric Palliative Care in Central Massachusetts (Harger). I knew that we had a strong initiative underfoot on palliative care at Maine Medical Center. I shared Nancy Harger’s site with our staff, raising their awareness of cultural issues in pediatric palliative care. They appreciated the unique content available on this site.

I am grateful to NAHSL for helping me attend MLA 2013, and to all of the poster presenters whose projects demonstrate that medical librarians are constantly expanding our professional boundaries.

-Dina McKelvy, AHIP
Library Manager for Automation and Planning
Maine Medical Center Library
Portland, Maine

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