As a participant of the Medical Library Association-Research Training Institute (MLA-RTI), I found my knowledge of research improved and the MLA-RTI was a fantastic way to explore different ways of making an impact on my community and my profession. Along the way, I also learned a great deal about myself.
Our Dean of University Libraries at the University of Toledo completely backed my attendance of the MLA-RTI. I was fortunate enough to receive two scholarships. One scholarship was from the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine – Greater Midwest Region Professional Development Award and a second scholarship was from the Medical Library Association Small Library. As a result, I paid only for food and social activities during the week of training in Chicago, Illinois.
The pre-institute reading and activities are self-directed and set the stage for the week of training in Chicago. If you can, do additional reading beyond the assigned and recommended materials. This is particularly useful, if some of the concepts are new or complicated. Also, participate actively in the MLA-RTI listserv! These conversations make talking with fellow participants much easier and facilitates getting input on your project outside of the scheduled 30 minute meeting with your faculty mentor. Post-institute, your mentor will establish a way to check-in regularly, to assist in troubleshooting your way through any issues, and provide feedback on questions and techniques. Additionally, Susan Lessick and the other Faculty Members will ask for regular updates and participants will complete reports on a quarterly basis.
Research is never easy, but it provides endless opportunities for professional growth and development. At the conclusion of the Institute, I decided to do a new study and incorporate a technique discussed during the training.
If you would like to discuss the MLA-RTI in person, I will be attending both the Midwest Chapter Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 5-8th and also the Michigan Health Sciences Library Association meeting in Traverse City, Michigan, on October 11th and 12th.
Hope to see you this October!
–Guest post by Margaret Hoogland