The annual meeting of the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association is one of our biggest events of the year. We hold our advisory board meetings, exhibit, and sometimes offer continuing education. One of the highlights for us is being able to bring our Library Outreach Student Award winners with us to show them the ropes. In this three-week series, we’ve asked some of them to reflect on their experiences.
Thanks to the NNLM SCR Library Outreach Student Award, I was able to attend SCC/MLA’s 45th annual conference in San Antonio, TX.
Although I work as an associate in a health sciences library, I had no idea what to expect from a medical library conference. Luckily, the NNLM Regional Medical Library staff explained everything about what to expect at the conference beforehand so that I wasn’t completely lost, and they answered all of my questions.
Attending committee meetings was unexpectedly my favorite part of SCC. Two of the committee meetings I attended were the Continuing Education and Research committees, where I was able to get a glimpse into how each committee plans for the following year and all of the work that goes into preparing for the conference each year.
However, the Outreach Committee meeting was the highlight of my time at the conference. I was interested to hear all of the different outreach activities among medical libraries in our region and how NNLM supports them in their endeavors. I had no idea of how varied outreach efforts were in the medical library community, from providing health information training to public librarians, to attending health fairs locally, and conducting webinars.
It was very interesting to see the research trends that are developing within medical libraries and how medical librarians can help to move forward medical research and evidence-based medicine. Not to mention, the social events were an extremely fun way to network with other health information professionals!
I had a great time at SCC and would encourage other Library and Information Science students to attend. I left the conference feeling motivated about my career path and connected to the larger community of health sciences librarians.