This past week the innovation accelerator Pulse, a part of Mass Challenge, hosted an event with Innovation Leader about transforming healthcare. The Pulse accelerator is start up friendly health lab where entrepreneurs are connected to experts, institutions, and resources.
Our health care system is facing serious issues, as can be determined from the news and maybe even your own experience. In one session we were encouraged to not accept the healthcare insurance norms and examine why we follow the established procedure. This made me wonder with all this information flowing and gathering why librarians are not more involved in this potential opportunity to further advocate our services. We are the experts at finding authoritative, verifiable information. This was an opportunity to showcase we are a valuable service. This event focused on innovation. Many new entrepreneurs are showcasing their ideas and looking for ideas on how to overcome challenges. Many of the inventions involved linking devices and apps to information. Librarianship is changing, instead of just relying on the established norms of librarianship where the patron comes in to ask the question why not go out to where the patrons are? The more I chatted with people they were familiar with the National Library of Medicines PubMed database, but then I would mention a specific resource that was also available and pertinent to their start up, such as ToxNet, LactMed, Health Reach, the Drug Information Portal, and get the response “I didn’t think of that what a great idea.”
At the end only did I pass out cards about information sources available I had people on their phones taking pictures of the NNLM NER information (since digital images are sometimes easier to find than paper) that explain our mission, resources, grant and funding opportunities and free training and classes. This seemed to be an effective strategy to showcase the Libraries worth and be there to answer a few reference questions and give potential patrons new ideas to solve problems/ empower learners.