MLA’17 – What I Learned: Let me count the ways

July 11, 2017 at 11:13 am | Posted in Awards and Recognition, Professional Development, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jennifer Miglus, AHIP, MLS

Jennifer Miglus was awarded a scholarship to attend the MLA Annual Meeting. Congratulations on winning a NAHSL Professional Development Award!


I like sessions that spark ideas that could be practically implemented at my institution. Currently I am interested in angles for effective outreach.  Here are some presentations that resonated.  Some were lighting rounds, some were full hour sessions:

Dare to Invite Yourself to the Table”, Alissa Fial of McGoogan Library of Medicine, Omaha, NB Alissa showed how efforts at her library align with the institutional mission.  An emphasis on interprofessional teamwork has allowed them to become involved with medical education curriculum development.  Librarians have focused on mentorship, educational scholarship and have helped develop learning objects.  They have been honest about their strengths – and weaknesses.  They also participate in new faculty orientations.  To promote the mission of “healing” they have created a reflection room in the library where people can come for quiet and meditation.

Negotiating for Yourself and Your Library”, Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Program Director, NLM; Kristi Holmes, Library Director, Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern; Cynthia Henderson, Executive Director, Howard University.  Kathel was motivational about being assertive, using silence and timing as negotiating tools.  Kristi talked about challenges she faced as a new library director and the ways she has approached new initiatives and projects.  She is an advocate of teamwork and recommended:

    • Bennett, L. M., & Gadlin, H. (2012). Collaboration and team science. Journal of Investigative Medicine, 60(5), 768-775.
    • Cynthia emphasized that it’s important to set your goals in advance, to prioritize, and be persistent. Institutional anniversaries are often opportunities, and telling an engaging and compelling story can draw people in. Be data driven; know your peer libraries.

Adventures in Scholarly Publishing”, Rebecca Welzenbach, Director of Strategic Integration and Partnerships, Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan. Rebecca described the creation of a student-run, peer-reviewed medical journal the Michigan Journal of Medicine.  This journal was developed at the request of students and was the product of a for-credit elective course offered to 4th year medical students.  Course objectives included awareness of all aspects of scholarly publishing: writing, data display, selection and editing of content and ethical issues.  Further objectives were to help students improve their professional profiles and raise awareness of bibliometrics.

Health Sciences Libraries to the Rescue: Bolstering the Library’s Role with Repository & Publishing Services”, Dave Stout, BePress; Anne Linton, Director, Himmelfarb Library, George Washington University, Washington DC; Dan Kipnis, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.  Dave gave an overview of products offered by BePress.  This includes the institutional respository Digital Commons, Impact Dashboards for analytics and reporting and a new product called Expert Gallery Suite.  The latter is a new product, designed to act as a showcase for an institution’s expert researchers and faculty. BePress is content agnostic and is a great place to put grey literature.

  • In her case study, Anne Linton said that GWU uses Digital Commons for research day posters, MPH capstone projects, and for publishing a student-led medical humanities journal Fusion. She gave examples of grey literature found in IRs: legal briefs, congressional testimonies, reports from non-profits and governmental agencies. If items have DOIs and your institution subscribes to an altmetrics service, you can get data on downloads.
  • In his case study, Dan Kipnis expanded on the types of formats that may be uploaded to Digital Commons. These include medical grand rounds, oral histories, abstracts of capstone projects, teaching videos, and transcripts of archival letters, along with scans of the original documents. He also mentioned the platform’s publishing capabilities: JHN Journal is published by neuroscience residents, and The Medicine Forum is published by internal medicine residents.

Online Research Data Management Training Modules for Health Sciences Librarians”, Alisa Surkis Head Data Services and Translational Science Librarian, NYU School of Medicine.  NYU has developed an 8-module online tutorial to support the management of research data.

Visualizing Success: Development of a Data Visualization Service in an Academic Medical Library”, Fred LaPolla, Knowledge Management Librarian, NYU Health Sciences Library.  Fred was engaging as he talked about how he educated himself about data visualization and how his first class was the students’ least favorite section.  After a colleague suggested he teach Prism GraphPad (which is free for students) his session rose to being tied for second “most valuable”.  Students liked the concrete skills they learned and the fact that the program required no heavy coding.

My vote for the coolest application that I saw presented goes to:

What Type of Review Are You?” An Interactive Game to Teach Users about Review Literature Typology, Nha Huynh, Education and Instruction Librarian at Texas Medical Center Library, Houston TX.  This was a clever, fun and practical way to educate people about the different types of reviews and help them find the best one to suit their needs.

Dream – – Dare – – Do. I am dreaming of increased engagement with our medical curriculum and improved teamwork in our department.  I will dare to propose the creation of a student-run journal hosted by our BePress account.  And I do plan to get more comfortable with data visualization tools and work to support data management in our research community.

Thanks MLA. And super thanks to NAHSL for helping me to attend!


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