HeaLing: Health Librarian meeting July 2019

On the travel form required to get official approval to attend this meeting of Health Librarians across South East Queensland, I said something like … share new and emerging practices and resources to improve my performance … and this is what we do in a library meeting. But improve my performance? Getting together with other librarians does so much more than that. Two personal ‘themes’ that occurred to me are:

Creating and strengthening relationships

I met some librarians and got to know them through the professional discussions facilitated by the group and later over lunch. I caught up with old friends from 4 university and 1 hospital library. There were serious (and passionate) discussions and plenty of laughs. Together, we reinvigorated our network and created a social space in which I feel comfortable to ask for help or advice and confident to respond to the requests of others.

Creating myself as ‘librarian’

In describing my role, in answering people’s questions about ways to approach information literacy training for large cohorts, in responding to their approaches, I co-create myself as a librarian in the presence of others. Now, I don’t suffer from ‘imposter syndrome,’ but get a little ticked off that I can’t join the national librarian association as I am a librarian by trade, not qualification. (Hurumph!) I felt very satisfied with being in conversation with other librarians.

And there were some new and emerging practices and resources too:

  • A matrix for support of systematic reviews showing the time and resources provided by a librarian as part of ‘core business’ and an estimate of additional hours and resources provided by a librarian/author.
  • University of Queensland’s Digital literacy tutorials (Open Access).
  • One University Librarian is trying to get rid of all mandatory textbooks – to be replaced with library subscriptions to good quality eBooks and other resources plus Open Education Resources (I’d name the librarian but not sure if this is her official position on the topic!)
  • We all had a whinge about abuse of the term ‘systematic review.’ Some of us would like to outlaw non-Cochrane-compliant use, but I think that battle is well and truly lost!

There was an omission I found surprising as well — we talked about online teaching, and about making and providing a variety of learning objects but we did not call them learning objects (that I heard) and no-one mentioned ‘pedagogy’ or ‘frameworks for learning,’ or similar language (again — that I heard). Maybe next time.

And so tomorrow I return to work feeling confident and renewed and happy — straight into a PubMed and APA referencing demonstration for a mixed cohort of face-to-face and online students. It will be a blast 🙂

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