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Region 4 News June 18th, 2024
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Professional Development Award: Liz Kellermeyer– National Jewish Health

Posted in: #CC/Academic List, #Health Interest List, #Health Sciences List, #Public/K-12 List, All Members

Liz Kellermeyer (she/her/hers), Director of the Library & Knowledge Services, National Jewish Health, shares her experience hosting a speaker event supported by a Professional Development Award from Region 4.

The National Jewish Health Library was awarded a Type 2 Professional Development Award, which allowed us to host a speaking event on campus. We brought in Colorado’s poet laureate, Bobby LeFebre, who is the youngest and first person of color to be appointed to the position in its 100-year history. The hybrid event was a mix between a poetry reading and a discussion of the role of artists play in making the unseen visible, the unheard amplified, and the marginalized centered.  At our library, we try to meet the changing needs of our users by developing and promoting innovative services in a creative work environment. While we routinely provide more traditional educational opportunities for our patrons, this dynamic event was an opportunity to showcase the library as a provider of community connection. The audience conveyed a great desire to bring the ability to connect to their work in healthcare.

Many attendees expressed joy at getting to listen to poetry out loud and that it had a positive effect on their general outlook. One attendee wrote that the talk was, “A nice reminder to look at our creative side. A reminder to notice what is happening around us and to express our thoughts creatively. I haven’t listened to a poet in more than 10 years so this was worth getting out of my usual routine.” Another wrote that, “It was a great opportunity to experience this during the workday.” One physician began a conversation with the speaker about what it would mean to bring a space for reflection or poetry to the workday, as a way to increase provider mental well-being.

This grant helped the library realize a goal of being able to provide meaningful and rich experiences to our community of healthcare workers. Our budget dictates that most speaker opportunities are kept fairly small and focused on library service-oriented topics, but it is quite valuable to have people think of the library as a supporter of big ideas, and for their experiences with the library to leave them feeling enriched and inspired.

A recording of the event can be viewed here.




Contact us at:
Network of the National Library of Medicine/NNLM Region 4
University of Utah
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
10 North 1900 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5890
Phone: 801-587-3650
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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