By Daina Dickman, MA, MLIS, AHIP
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Sacramento State University
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Open Access 2019 Conference: Open for Whom? Research Equity for Campus and Community, at San Jose State University, with the assistance of an NNLM PSR Professional Development Award. The conference theme focused on research equity, and I was able to hear many thoughtful presentations and speakers from California (and one presenter visiting from Texas). I presented my own paper on censorship concerns in medical library institutional repositories as part of a panel with Melissa Seelye of San Francisco State University, exploring the tensions between open access ideals and corporate interests. As a focused one-track conference, a common conversation was contributed to by all presenters and attendees.
For me, a highlight of the conference was hearing Alexa Hight, of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s presentation about the open access publishing fund her library administers. I am always interested in the creative and practical ways that libraries can promote open access publishing as a viable path for scholarship at their institutions.
As a new librarian to the Pacific Southwest Region, I appreciated the chance to meet and network with new local colleagues, including the health sciences librarian at San Jose State University. I highly recommend that health sciences librarians consider conferences that aren’t just focused on medical librarianship. I always come away with new ideas which I am excited to apply to my own work, and appreciate the opportunity to share the medical librarian perspective with colleagues from other areas of librarianship. Smaller regional conferences are also a great place to practice your presentation skills before the MLA Annual Meeting!