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.
I attended the 45th annual SCC MLA Conference this month as part of the NNLM Student Outreach Award. The conference lasted five days and I attended two continuing education classes. The first class was on servant leadership and finding your personal leadership style. The class talked about how being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you are in a management position. With servant leadership, your focus is on making the people around you better. It is about asking “How can I help?” and truly meaning it. The other continuing education class I attended focused on PubMed searching techniques. I learned how to look at just clinical trials, build clinical queries for latest research, and the class explored the PubMed’s new websites.
One of my favorite parts of SCC were the posters, round-tables and paper presentations. There was everything from Lego workshops to Harry Potter Exhibits to research data management and scholarly communications research. UNTHSC is looking to develop their scholarly communication activities, and I learned more about what other institutions are doing such as workshops for publishing, presenting and literature searching. Another presentation discussed a survey they sent out to staff to determine how the faculty was utilizing the library and what areas the library could help with. Lastly, there was a paper on MLA’s Rising Star Program and ALA’s Emerging Leaders Program. That presentation was a crash course in what those programs have to offer and how they can help mid-career librarians grow and develop professionally.
Overall, SCC was a fantastic experience. Attending the conference pushed me out of my comfort zone, and everyone there was very warm, welcoming and supportive. I got to meet so many new faces and learn about the exciting things happen in libraries across South Central Region. I look forward to attending again next year.