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Meet the MLA ’24 Instructors of CE100 - Essential Searching Skills for Librarians on Systematic Review Teams

In the weeks leading up to MLA ’24 in Portland, we’ll profile the conference Continuing Education instructors and their courses. We continue the series this week with Carrie Price (CP), David Farris (DF), and Rachael Lebo (RL), who teach Essential Searching Skills for Librarians on Systematic Review Teams

Their course is required for Level I of the Systematic Review Services Specialization and is part of the Level I Pathway. This will be the 11th time the team has taught the course! 

To see all four CE courses, visit MLA ’24 Continuing Education. If you’ve already registered for the conference, open the Registration Form and click ”Already Registered” to add a course.

What are you most looking forward to seeing/eating/experiencing in Portland?

CP: I haven’t been to Portland before, but I love the Pacific Northwest! I’m also an avid cyclist, and I’ve heard that Portland is very bike-friendly, so I’m looking forward to riding some of the city's many bike paths!

DF: I’ve visited Portland twice, but I have yet to visit Powell’s City of Books. I’m determined to change that this time!

RL: I’ve never been to Portland, but I have a cousin who lives there. I’m excited to meet up with her and have her show me around and introduce me to what she feels is Portland’s best. I know Oregon has some great wines and blueberries, and I am very excited to make those part of my experience as well.  

How did you get interested in your topic and what most excites you about it?

CP: I started working on systematic reviews over ten years ago. I am grateful to have had very kind and knowledgeable mentors. I’m thrilled to be able to pass on what I know about being a systematic review team member and searching biomedical databases, because it's not always easy, and it changes fast!

DF: I’ve been a medical research librarian for over six years, and I’ve always been interested in how information is organized and retrieved. I’ve had wonderful mentors who’ve helped me develop my skills as a searcher, and I’m very happy to share all that I have learned.

RL: My very first position after library school blessed me with Carrie in my life. She shared her love and passion for searching with me. I love researching topics to get to know them prior to starting on the search strategy construction. The research topics I work on continue to educate me and help me grow in my profession.

What problems, obstacles, or lack of knowledge might your intended audience experience that your course addresses?

Our course sets participants up for success: They get to hear from all three of us, and each of us does things slightly differently. One thing we hope to hammer home is that there is not necessarily one right answer.

What practical, immediately applicable information or skills will learners gain from your course?

Participants will walk away with new tools, aids, and perspectives on interacting with systematic review teams and navigating the search process.

How will your course help learners provide value to their employers and advance in their careers?

One of the greatest things about our course is that participants don't just learn from us. They learn from each other! We get learners started on a journey of finding confidence in their systematic review work and expertise in searching and methods.

What’s the main thing you hope learners will take away from your course?

There's no right answer, but there are lots of wrong ones!

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