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Chapter News: News from the Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter (UNYOC/MLA)

Submitted by Nell Aronoff, UNYOC-L Coordinator, and Celeste Moore, Communications Committee, Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter; edited by Jennifer K. Lloyd, AHIP

The 52nd Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter meeting (UNYOC) was held in Watkins Glen, New York, October 26–28, 2016. Watkins Glen is located on the southern end of Seneca Lake, which is known for its wineries, stunning natural beauty, and Watkins Glen International race track. The conference convened at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel, a four-diamond hotel with lake views, and its theme was “The Inside Track.” Attendees networked with one another and with the twenty-one vendors who also made the trip to Watkins Glen.

Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, AHIP, FMLA, Health Sciences Library, Virtua Center for Learning, Mt Laurel, New Jersey, presented “Your Role in Achieving Magnet Status.” Brown Epstein is the informationist at Virtua Health System in southern New Jersey. With more than forty years of experience under her belt, she has taught more than 5,000 people to search the literature. In this continuing education (CE) class, Brown Epstein reviewed opportunities for medical librarians to become a part of the team working for Magnet Status, the highest level of recognition that an organization can receive for quality nursing care. Conducting patient-centered outcomes research in innovative ways was the focus of the workshop.

Conference speakers included:

  • Nancy Fried Foster, senior anthropologist at Ithaka S+R who is known for her ethnographic research, was the keynote speaker. Her topic was, “Understanding Work Practices to Improve Information Services in Health Sciences Libraries.” She spoke about inclusive user-centered design and methods for collecting information about how patrons learn and work in library spaces. She advised framing space design on what people need to do and provided attendees with examples of the projects she has undertaken over the years.
  • Jill Hurst-Wahl, associate professor of practice at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, spoke on “Reach Out Across Your Organization with Information and Compassion.” She stressed that librarians should go outside of their comfort zones and work with new people, wherever they may be located. She closed her talk by listing five tips that were designed to help give purpose, clarity, and direction to our work.
  • Sandy Iverson, manager of the Health Information and Knowledge Mobilization Program at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, spoke on “Humour and Creativity in Library Marketing.” She wanted to liven up the way the library promoted its resources and services. She reviewed some of the interesting tactics that she and her staff have employed at their hospital library, which included rebranding the library with a new logo and spokesperson, SALI, a blue-haired avatar. Iverson stressed that marketing with humor helps to establish a rapport with patrons and often creates a more memorable impression.
  • Lane Rasberry, Wikipedia expert currently employed by Consumer Reports, spoke on “The Inside Track on Wikipedia for Medical Librarians.” He discussed the ins and outs of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the fifth most-trafficked nonprofit website and is an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Rasberry explained that Wikipedia’s goal is to cite the highest-quality sources, meaning that they often consult premier medical journals and Cochrane when vetting medical entries. Furthermore, every new sentence entry added to Wikipedia must have a corresponding citation, and other volunteer-editors fact check the content. The presentation was an informative look into Wikipedia and the power of open, accessible information that is made possible through the work of volunteers all over the world.
  • MLA President Teresa L. Knott, AHIP, and MLA staff member Tomi Gunn represented MLA at the meeting.

Member papers, lightning talks, and posters were also presented. For more information please visit our website or Facebook page.

UNYOC is busy planning the annual conference for October 25–27, 2017. The event will take place in Syracuse, which is located in central New York. More details will be available soon on the chapter website.

unyoc-2016-photo_chapter-news.jpgAmy G. Lyons and Rita Ferri, both from the University at Buffalo, tell UNYOC attendees about their poster “Giving the Library a Spacelift” during the chapter’s 2016 annual meeting.

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