Staff from the office participated in the Medical Library Association (MLA) 2018 meeting in Atlanta this past week, where we met many of our Network members attending, presenting – and dining on Southern specialties such as chicken and waffles and cheesy grits in downtown restaurants. GMR Outreach Specialist, Derek Johnson, presented a poster titled “Transforming Library Education Opportunities to Reach New Audiences on Third-Party Platforms,” which outlined developing training for public health professional learning platforms, such as TRAIN. In the poster hall, we saw a familiar face from one of our designated Partner Outreach Libraries, Katherine Chew, presenting “A Year in the Life of a National Network of Libraries of Medicine-Sponsored Outreach Librarian,” among posters that represented many of our regional Network members. I attended as many sessions from our regional Network members as possible this year, whenever I could elbow my way into the packed conference rooms where you were presenting!
At this annual meeting, our office sponsored the Health Information for Public Librarians Symposium, held throughout the final day and a half of the conference. The Symposium was a joint effort between the Medical Library Association, Public Library Association, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (led by the GMR) and attracted nearly 150 public librarians from across the country. The Symposium kicked off after breakfast – an early 7:00 am start – during which Dr. Patricia Brennan (NLM), Scott Allen (PLA), Amanda Wilson (NNLM), and Barbara Epstein (MLA) presented a welcome. Post-breakfast, attendees participated in a speed networking (later dubbed speed dating) session during which public librarians and health sciences librarians were asked to connect for three-minute discussions. Thanks to all of those Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) members who participated in the speed dating session, I hope you made some lasting love connections!
Program speakers included Scott Allen, Dr. Colleen Campbell, Dr. Rema Afifi, LaVentra Danquah, myself and NNLM staff from locations such as the South Central Region, Pacific Southwest Region, Southeastern Atlantic Region, and Middle Atlantic Region. Keynote speakers featured during the second day of programming included Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, the chief engagement officer of the All of Us Research Program and Dr. David Satcher, a former surgeon general of the United States. You can view the entire program details online, and for another perspective on the Symposium, you may want to read Dr. Brennan’s blog post!
Thanks to everyone who participated and who served on the program committee for the event. I facilitated one of the debrief sessions with public library staff from the Southeastern Atlantic Region, one attendee there described the symposium to me as not only a positive experience, but a “powerful” one. Let’s trust that was true for others also, I’m confident we made some lasting partnerships!