Collaborative Librarians

Data don't tell the whole story.

Science of Team Science Conference February 2, 2011

I registered recently to add the 2011 Science of Team Science Conference, hosted by Northwestern University’s NUCATS Institute and its Research Team Support & Development office. I couldn’t be more excited. I wasn’t able to attend last year’s conference because of my heavy travel schedule for the SLA research grant, so I’m thrilled to be able to attend this year.

I’ve been virtually attending last year’s conference via the PPT and MP3 recordings they’ve posted for each session. This is a treasure trove of information and worth perusing. I’ve listened to several presentations so far and have read the minutes, which are well done and really capture the essence of each conversation. They even captured the Q&A sessions!

I think it will be especially interesting to attend in my dual role as social science researcher and practitioner, as this doesn’t seem to be very common. I have to admit, I’ve been a little disappointed about the lack of discussion about libraries, librarians or even information management. I may submit a poster on that topic, just to make sure it makes it onto the radar.


SLA Research Study November 29, 2010

Filed under: Housekeeping,Professional Development,SLA — Betsy Rolland @ 11:09 am

Well. It’s been awhile, but I’m happy to announce that the final report (PDF) of our SLA Research Grant has been published at SLA and the article has been published in Information Outlook. (Note: this is subscriber-only content and still links to last month’s edition.) I am so grateful to all of our participants for opening their lives to us, and I hope readers find the report useful.

I would highly encourage everyone to engage in this kind of professional research, even at a smaller scale. SLA has discontinued their research grant program until further notice, but I really hope they restart it soon. I not only learned a great deal about biomedical librarianship and the direction of research support, I found out that I really loved doing research.

Thanks to my experience with the SLA grant program, I began a PhD program this fall in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington. My research will focus on the support and coordination of collaborative biomedical research under the watchful eye of my advisor Dr. Charlotte Lee, an expert in cyberinfrastructure. Professor Lee also directs the Computer Supported Collaboration (CSC) Laboratory.

In the weeks ahead, I hope to comment more on the experience of doing this research project, as well as on what I’m learning in school. Please feel free to leave any feedback on the report or article here in the comments section.


SLA DBIO Online Poster Session October 15, 2009

Filed under: Professional Development,SharePoint,SLA — Betsy Rolland @ 6:55 am

SLA’s Chemistry Division is having an online conference October 15-29th. Check out the program.

As part of this conference, our poster from the Washington DC conference’s DBIO poster session on “Innovations and Best Practices in Biomedical and Life Sciences Libraries” will be available for viewing and comments. Stop by and let us know what you think!

Poster: Showing the Way in SharePoint: What Every Librarian Should Know

Discussion forum

I’m looking forward to taking a look at the other posters, since Emily and I didn’t really get a chance to check out what others had created.


The Librarian Universe July 28, 2009

Filed under: Professional Development,SLA — Betsy Rolland @ 10:29 am

Recruitment for our study has been an interesting task. Our goal is to reach the largest number of non-traditional librarians in biomedical research as we possibly can. That has required thinking about the Librarian Universe in a whole new way. If our target audience isn’t really engaged in traditional library work, are they subscribing to traditional library listservs? Are they still networked with other librarians or their iSchools? Where can we find them?

Another interesting question is whether or not our target audience actually still consider themselves librarians. Throughout grad school, I resisted calling myself a librarians, because it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Post-graduation, though, I realized I could do non-traditional work and still embrace the label. Plus, it made it easier to explain to people what I had studied and why it was relevant to my work.

And really, what does a librarian look like these days? How many recent grads end up with the traditional librarian role, something that would be recognized by past generations? Even those of my cohort who took more traditional library jobs are integrating new, cutting-edge technologies and doing their jobs a bit differently.


Professional Organizations July 24, 2009

Filed under: Professional Development,SLA — Betsy Rolland @ 1:29 pm

One of the interesting things about sitting at the intersection of so many different fields is trying to find a professional “home.” No one professional organization covers all the different aspects of my job, which means I need multiple orgs to stay current.

I belong to the Special Libraries Association and generally find their content relevant, despite not actually working in a library. I like the breadth of experiences represented in SLA and the strong focus on e-science and cyber-infrastructure.

I also recently joined the Society of Research Administrators. They seem a little less active in pushing content to their members than SLA but research administration is such a big part of my job now, that I find them equally useful. Maybe research administration just isn’t as rapidly changing a field as information science? I recently did a certificate program in Grant Writing at one of the section meetings and came away with fantastic advice and a much better understanding of the process. At lunch, talking to some of the other participants, they (research coordinators and grants office managers) immediately got our thesis of integrating information professionals into scientific research.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on at ASIS&T but it seems a bit more academic than is useful for me and not really focused on my areas of interest. This fall’s conference is in Vancouver but after reviewing the program, I don’t think it’s worth the drive for me.

How do others in non-traditional roles keep up on professional development?



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