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Science Boot Camp for Librarians – Scholarship Recipient Post 9

Posted by on October 10th, 2018 Posted in: Blog
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This is the ninth blog post in a series authored by twelve individuals who received scholarships to attend the 2018 Science Boot Camp held at Brandeis University on June 13-15, 2018. In this installment, describes science boot camp as a networking event. Please watch for more posts about resources from this event and views from scholarship recipients in the upcoming weeks.


New England Science Boot Camp 2018 – Alyssa Valcourt, MLIS

This past June, I had the opportunity to attend the 10th Annual New England Science Boot Camp held at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. During my MLIS program, it was not until my last semester that I realized that I wanted to go into science librarianship. About a year ago when I started as a Science Librarian, the New England Science Boot Camp was one of the first resources for science librarians I discovered and had been waiting to go since then!

When the time came to attend, I was excited about the topics covered. The topics included Ecology, Genetic Counselling, and Materials Science. These topics are all areas that I cover at my university and I hoped that I would be able to grasp some information through them that I could take back. I certainly have been able to do so!

Each topic had a wonderful overview of the field, followed by some research that they have done in that field. Through this, I was able to not only learn a little bit about a specific field, I was also able to then learn about HOW they are using this field to better the world we live in. The presentations and then the discussions that happened afterward, allowed me to learn from different faculty how library resources help them in their field or research, and brainstorm ways to make resources more accessible to them when needed.

Not only did Boot Camp provide great speakers about topics, it provided great discussion among other science librarians each day. There was a wonderful mix of science librarians with various experience and skills, each of us with a unique story to how we became science librarians. These discussions allowed me to reflect on what I am doing in my position and learn from others how I can improve my practices to better my users. They also allowed me to see other librarians feel stuck in the same areas I feel stuck, and that is okay! I was able to learn valuable information through the experience of others and hopefully, I was able to share some too!

The New England Science Boot Camp was a great way to learn about very specific topics, meet and network with other librarians, and learn more about science librarianship. I left Boot Camp feeling optimistic and excited for what the next school year and Boot Camp brings!

Alyssa Valcourt, MLIS
Science & Math Librarian
Rose Library 2308
Libraries & Educational Technologies
James Madison University


I hope you enjoy the latest installment of the Science Boot Camp for librarians. To read the first post please click here. For more about this year’s Science Boot Camp resources or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

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