by April Frost
Last Friday, I enjoyed the MLGSCA’s Technology in Libraries Symposium in Cerritos, CA. Here are some of the highlights:
Keynote: “The Evolving Library,” by Michelle Kraft, Senior Medical Librarian, Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library & author of The Krafty Librarian blog. Michelle spoke about the library as an ecosystem and discussed the two main types of library user groups, their diverse types of learning and information retrieval, and how they both use the same library. The GenX-ers and younger make up the Net Generation, who require technology, are comfortable with peer learning and learn by experimentation. This group includes students and is starting to include doctors (don’t mind noise). The Baby Boomers and older make up the Net Learners, who are comfortable with linear learning, following directions (or handouts), and do not need technology to achieve desired results. This group includes seasoned doctors, who are used to the traditional (quiet) library setting, in which they can read paper journals and articles. Accommodating these two groups, who have vastly different learning objectives, in one library, is possible because both groups are driven by food and prizes, even if different types of food and prizes are required for each group. By luring all users into the library, the librarian can then demonstrate and direct both groups of users to the information that suits them best. Michelle provided us with great examples and realistic approaches to reaching, and providing for, both groups.
Papers: The contributed papers were divided into two rooms. I chose the room with topics of: Using GoogleDocs to streamline collaboration, E-resources available on mini screens and mobile devices, and Using online instruction to teach evaluation skills. All papers were very well presented and provided a sampling of what is working in today’s medical libraries.
Posters: The posters were displayed in the atrium area outside of our meeting rooms. They were very impressive, and included many similar topics to the papers, including collaboration and training tools, as well as creating customized web pages that are based on each group’s needs.
Afternoon Speakers: There were two simultaneous afternoon speakers. I chose, “Online Health Communities in Social Media and Virtual Worlds,” by Patricia F. Anderson. Her presentation focused on how social networking can be used to reach homebound and caregiver groups, who may not normally be able to attend a traditional support group. She gave examples of how Flickr and SecondLife are being used to allow homebound users to participate in consumer healthcare groups, such as Autism and Cancer support, and applications for medical librarians within similar communities.
All presentation materials from the symposium will be posted on this site: http://www.mlgsca.mlanet.org/events.htm
Cerritos Public Library: After the symposium, I took a tour of the beautiful Cerritos Public Library. It opened in 2002, and has a theme for everyone! This Wikipedia article describes the library very well. There are photos available on the Library’s web site; you have to use the “Back” button to go through them. Other than almost being hit by a police car (I was in the crosswalk in front of the library, on foot!), I had a wonderful time.