This is the first blog post in a series authored by four individuals who received scholarships to attend the 2019 Science Boot Camp held at the University of New Hampshire on June 5-7, 2019. In this installment, the author highlights resources and presentations that occurred at science boot camp. Please watch for more posts from this event and views from scholarship recipients in the upcoming weeks.
New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians 2019 Blog Post
Jenna Riley – Library Services Specialist, UNH Dimond Library
I had heard wonderful things about the Science Boot Camp from colleagues and was very excited to attend this year! I work at the UNH Dimond Library in Durham, New Hampshire where the conference was held. This experience offered me the opportunity to explore the campus I work at in a whole new way! It also allowed me the chance to hear from many faculty members from the UNH community and learn more about their specialized fields of study. I found the conference a perfect way to immerse myself in a variety of themes including remote sensing, social justice in science, and assistive technology.
I found the atmosphere at the Science Boot Camp very inviting. I could tell immediately that it was a passionate crowd that thrived on learning, just like me! It was great to be surrounded by so many people from different libraries in one setting! It gave me the opportunity to hear about initiatives being implemented at other colleges and universities. I also related to some of the challenges they were facing. Overall, I found the communication between peers in this type of setting to be very helpful.
One thing that really drew me to this conference was the theme of Assistive Technology. I’m very passionate about this topic and was really interested in hearing more about the pairing of Libraries and Assistive Technology. I also currently lead an Accessibility Project Team at the Dimond Library and am always looking for new ideas and information that may lend itself to our library. I really enjoyed both speakers who discussed AT at the Boot Camp. Sajay Arthanat was very thorough in his presentation and gave an educational breakdown of Assistive Technology. He explained the many ways AT can improve the lives of people with disabilities, including daily activities, transportation, computer access and environmental access. Speaker Therese Willkomm’s enthusiasm for assistive technology was contagious and really got my brain thinking of ways to create solutions by re-purposing materials. Her inventions are simple yet very effective and can help so many people! Her creation of a portable book holder really caught my eye, so much so that I’ve been in contact with her to see if we can collaborate and introduce them to patrons in the Dimond Library this fall!
Malin Clyde’s evening talk on Citizen Science also sparked my interest! Finding out more about Nature Groupie and the different ways to volunteer and help advance science and education was enlightening. Hearing how crowdsourcing is helping the environment and research initiatives locally and globally was impressive! It’s great to know that volunteering can have such a positive impact, at times even extending the longevity of research projects! Social Justice in Science speakers Sophia Lemons and Elena Long also offered a lot of food for thought. I found the discussion on coded bias interesting and a bit scary! I was unaware of Algorithmic Bias and was surprised computer coding could produce results in this way. The lecture was very informative, especially the ways to improve accountability and inclusion.
The capstone presentation on patents by Paulina Borrego offered an interactive element to the conference that I really enjoyed. The full text and image databases were so much fun to peruse! Who knew some of the patent images could be such beautiful works of art!? I’m looking forward to seeing the final product of the patent coloring book that everyone contributed to.
Below are some of my favorite online resources from the conference:
I also signed up for tours to see the Chase Ocean Engineering Lab and Fairchild Dairy and Research Center. These activities were a huge highlight of my Science Boot Camp experience. Getting to see these places in person was a real treat! I learned so much by being in the setting and seeing everything firsthand. I’ve enclosed a couple photos from my tour of the Fairchild Dairy and Research Center. One picture shows a calf that was only one day old! Getting to witness this was priceless.
Thank you so much to the scholarship committee for allowing me the opportunity to attend this conference and further my library and science knowledge. Also, a big thank you to everyone for making the Science Boot Camp such a success! I enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things. It’s not every day you walk away from a conference with such a wide array of new interests. This was a great professional development opportunity and I urge others to participate next year!
Library Services Specialist
UNH Dimond Library
I hope you enjoy the first installment of the 2019 Science Boot Camp for librarians. 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.