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Whooo Says

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Dear Whooo,

Please tell me it isn’t true! I saw on the MCMLA list that Barb Jones is retiring. I have heard through the grapevine that this column will be closed as well. I am a hospital librarian, and have been so interested in what topic you will discuss next through the years.


Sad with the news Sarah

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for writing. Yes, I’m sorry to say that Barb Jones is retiring, and yes, this column will be retired as well. Since you have connected these retirements, you may also have figured out that I am the “feathered representation” of Barb.

I have enjoyed “hooting” with you through the years; your interests and questions have given me much food for thought and content for the discussions in this column. All of the librarians reading this column have all contributed to the conversations held here. I have learned about you and the challenges you face through your emails, phone calls, and chats in classes and conferences. I have heard great ideas from you about how to dissect the difficulties and challenges you face. In fact, if you go back and read this column’s past postings, you may find yourself in some of these same conversations.

I want to thank you all for your willingness to share with me and with each other. You have challenged me to work harder and dig deeper to work on the issues confronting health sciences today, and that challenge has resulted in many of the tools I (along with many others) have created to help you. So, now it is time for me to challenge each of you.

My invitation to you is to continue to use the tools we have built together. You can find them all on the NNLM MCR Advocacy web pages.

  1. Refer to the Hospital Librarian’s Toolkit when you have a question about working successfully in the hospital environment. The information there was compiled and written by some of the best minds in our Region. There is information there on marketing and promoting your library, networking with colleagues and other members of the healthcare community, and recommended resources on library advocacy and patient safety from many other sources.
  2. Take a few minutes and listen to the MCR Voices podcasts. These podcasts were developed to present you with the thoughts and ideas of your regional colleagues on some of the larger issues and successes within the profession.
  3. Use the financial and statistical information presented on the MCR website. Telling your story in financial terms is only one part of advocating for your library, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. Take the time to carefully look at your programs and keep the statistics that will support the priorities of your library and institution. Read the information from the MCR website on working with library statistics and valuation https://nnlm.gov/mcr/professional-development/program-evaluation/valuation-explained ) to learn how to value your services.

Make sure that you work with either your manager or a financial officer from your institution when determining the assigned values.

After you have done that, plug your services and their assigned values into the library valuation calculators to see what the Return on Investment and Cost/Benefit Analysis of your services are.

  1. Continue to be active in our professional organizations. They are a source of great opportunities – education, connection with colleagues, exposure to new ideas and FUN! Participation also offers many avenues for you to further the goals and recognition of our profession.
  2. And, last but certainly not least, continue to work with the great folks at the NNLM. They have tremendous skills and ability to help with your daily issues. They are also positioned to see the new changes coming in the profession, and help you prepare for the next steps.

I cannot promise you that the road ahead will be smooth and trouble-free, but I can promise you that there will always be a need for your skills. It is up to each one of you to determine how and where you can best use your abilities to serve physicians, nurses, patients, and families.

Best wishes to you all. Should you see me flying around the region in my retirement, be sure to stop and say hello. Retirement is not “goodbye,” just a rearrangement of schedule and priorities.


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The MidContinental Messenger is published quarterly by the Network of the National Library of Medicine MidContinental Region

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
University of Utah
10 North 1900 East, Building 589
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-5890

Editor: Suzanne Sawyer, Project Coordinator
(801) 587-3487

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

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