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September 19, 2015 / Christian M.

First Six Weeks on the Job

I have my own office!

I have my own office!

Well I’ve been on the new job for 1.5 months now. What a whirlwind — time flies when you’re having fun! And it has been fun…and a bit challenging too.

As you know, I am the Nebraska/Education Coordinator for National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region. My responsibilities fall into a few different categories:

Education

  • Coordinate the calendar for our regional webinars, assess educational needs of our members, and lead in improving promotion to our target audiences. Sometimes I will host or present for webinars too. Also, maintain the Training & Education section of website.
  • Serve on the NN/LM Education Task Force (this is made up of representatives of all the Regional Medical Libraries).
  • Serve as ex-officio member of Education Committee for our local chapter of Medical Library Association.
  • Administer the Professional Development Award for the MidContinental Region. This award is for librarians in our region.

Nebraska State Outreach

  • Make contacts and build relationships with individuals, organizations, schools, community-based organizations, etc.
  • Teach classes or give presentations on health information resources to health professionals, librarians, educators, and general public.
  • Exhibit at professional conferences and community health fairs.
  • Site visits and support to member libraries and information centers.

Communication

  • Write a quarterly column for the Nebraska Libraries Journal (first article is due end of this month!)
  • Contribute to the MidContinental Region blog and newsletter.
  • Write articles on health information resources/programming for other publications whenever opportunity arises.
  • Monitor assigned listservs to keep up to date with news on NLM products & resources

McGoogan Library of Medicine

  • I am based out of this library, and a small percentage of my time goes to supporting the University of Nebraska Medical Center faculty, students, and patients. Fortunately, the library faculty are being gracious and allowing me to focus just on my NN/LM responsibilities for a few months. Later on this fall, I will receive some training and will start to contribute to reference desk shifts, literature searches, blog posts, website maintenance, and consumer health information services.
Who doesn't love being welcomed to a new workplace with chocolate? ;-)

Who doesn’t love being welcomed to a new workplace with chocolate? 😉

So that’s the general overview…now to the nitty-gritty. What have I been doing so far?

  • Trying not to feel overwhelmed. I have been told to expect it to take a couple of years to really feel confident in this position. I believe it. It is a very self-directed and autonomous role. I have a logic model of goals, outcomes, and indicators to guide me…but many specifics are left to me to decide. My colleagues are very supportive though and there are plenty of people I can ask for advice (both in our region and other regions of NN/LM).
  • Meeting people and building relationships. Sometimes these meetings are facilitated by mutual acquaintances, and other times I am cold-calling/emailing or showing up to community meetings. Recent meetings have included North Omaha Community Care Counsel, Omaha Refugee Task Force, the Director of the Three Rivers Library System, and a site visit to Southeast Community College library.
  • Teaching/presenting/exhibiting. There are some conferences and health fairs I am scheduled to attend, and I have a few presentations lined up as well. Today I attended a community health fair, a couple of weeks ago I presented to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services Health Promotion Unit, next month I am presenting for two webinars on health literacy and health information resources (one focused on public librarians, and the other is for the Nebraska Cancer Coalition), and in November I will be presenting a webinar on Veterans Health info resources. I also have at least three conferences I will be exhibiting at later this fall.
  • There are a couple of articles I am working on writing that are due…soon.
  • Serving on a search committee. The MidContinental Region is seeking a new Health Information Literacy Coordinator to be based here in Omaha too (at another university). Come work with me if it fits your interest! I have been asked to be on the search committee. After going through three interviews this past spring, I’ve very excited to be able to sit on the other side of the table now!

There are other things I’m doing as well…but you get the gist of it. Sometimes I wonder am I doing enough…am I being strategic enough in my outreach…but for less than two months on the job, I think I’m doing pretty good. 😉

So those are my work updates….and I’ll be writing a separate post soon about the adjustments of relocating. Stay tuned!

Want to learn a little more about the MidContinental Regional Medical Library and the work we’re doing? Check out this article from NLM In Focus: Regional Medical Libraries Making a Difference: Focus on MidContinental Region (published last year).

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