Striving for Excellence

November 17, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Stephanie Friree is another of our NAHSL Professional Development Award winners. This year she co-authored and presented her first poster’ Congratulations, Stephanie!

Striving for Excellence

Blog post by Stephanie Friree

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

I’m thankful I was able to attend the Annual conference this year, in part due to support from NAHSL. This year’s NAHSL conference was aptly named. 2015 has been all about change in my personal and professional life and I’ve been striving for excellence in all of my new roles.

I coauthored my first poster, which we presented at the NAHSL conference, with Margo Coletti, Lisa Adriani, and Anne-Marie Kaminsky. I changed jobs. Not only did I change jobs, my new role is completely different and uses a lot of different skills than my prior one. I also got engaged and moved. Through all of these changes I’ve attempted to bring a level of excellence to each role while also maintaining my sanity. I think that parallels what we as medical librarians are trying to do in our profession. As the changes continue to appear we must continue to strive for excellence.

The poster session displayed how engaged librarians are in our field. I was a little nervous when I started my own poster project. Working on it with colleagues made the entire process much easier and I’m confident it was well received. There were many audience members interested in the results of the Salary Surveys and I’m hopeful they were pleased with our presentation of them. Thankfully, I still had the time to see to see the other posters as well. Martha Meacham’s Poster, “Medical Library Marketing: An Investigation of Current Definitions and Practices” was a delight to see. In the environment libraries are in at this time, marketing is an important skill that should be explored by all librarians. Librarians need to market themselves professionally as well as their library. I also found Todd Lane’s poster, “A Cross-Sectional Study of the State of Nursing: Evidence Based Practice at Bridgeport Hospital” to be informative. It reinforced what I’ve found in my own experience, that nurses typically do not have the skills necessary to implement evidence based practice. This is an area where we as librarians can fill a gap.

This year’s lightning presentations were another display of librarians’ engagement and excellence. The librarians at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library at Yale stole the show with their presentation and roll out of the Yale MeSH Analyzer tool. I heard a lot of ooh’s and aah’s as they described its time-saving capabilities in creating a grid from MEDLINE metadata which will help searchers in the process of comprehensive searches. After testing it out in practice when I got back to my desk, I am sure it is a tool that will come in handy in my searching.

Lastly, something that stood out for me in the presentation by the librarians at Quinnipiac University was something that I’m guessing they did not intend. I found it encouraging that in a setting where some libraries are closing, shrinking, or going entirely virtual, theirs is a brand new library, which came about during a period of expansion for the school with the School of Medicine. I’m happy to see the University still saw the need and the benefit of a library space rather than just including it in another pre-existing library or making it all online. Another encouraging note: they are marketing (or “anchoring” as they state in their abstract) themselves through a number of outreach efforts throughout the schools.

Overall, the presenters from the beginning to the end of the conference demonstrated that librarians are “Anchored in Excellence” and “anchored in our values” and will continue to be, as changes persist throughout our field. This year’s annual conference was energizing and encouraging. I hope it was for the rest of the attendees as much as it was for me. I’m already looking forward to the 2016 Conference.


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