This the first in a series of blog posts authored by individuals who professional development grants from NNLM NER to attend ALA Midwinter 2019 and the preconference event “Implicit Bias, Health Disparities, and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity“.
I received a Professional Development Award from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region, to attend the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, WA, January 25-29. Award recipients attended the preconference institute on Friday, January 25, entitled Implicit Bias, Health Disparities and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity. This half-day workshop introduced me to many of the programs, resources, and tools available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and other agencies. I was particularly impressed by Dr Kimberley Reynolds’ presentation on implicit bias and health disparities. Dr Reynolds gave an extremely illuminating talk in which we really engaged in the difficult, valuable, and essential task of identifying our own individual implicit and explicit biases; understanding why these exist; and unpacking ways in which to reduce these biases. The work I undertook with my fellow institute participants will continue to inform the work I do at my library to bring consumer health information to my community. I am very grateful to NNLM (New England Region) for granting me the opportunity to attend this institute and the ALA 2019 Midwinter Conference. We were encouraged to “dream big, start small, act”, and that is what I intend to do!
~ Natane Halasz, Leverett Library, Leverett, MA