I’m always interested in learning about how new technology can be used to organize, locate, and share information in creative and innovative ways (since hey, librarians need to stay one step ahead of millennials and AI looking to put us out of a job). I recently watched a recorded webinar from the Medical Library Association (MLA) called Scanning the Horizon: Emerging Technology at Your Library and in the Classroom, where Emily Hurst, AHIP, of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences in Richmond discusses how librarians can stay on top of emerging technologies that may be used to improve library services.
Here are four free information resources I learned about during the webinar that I know I’ll be checking occasionally to keep informed about emerging technology trends:
Horizon Reports: The New Media Consortium (NMC) periodically publishes Horizon Reports that summarize emerging technology trends for libraries, museums, K-12, and higher education. For instance, the 2017 Library Edition of the report identifies “Important Developments in Technology for Academic and Research Libraries” as Big Data, digital scholarship technologies, library services platforms, online identity, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.
Gartner Hype Cycle: Hurst began the webinar by introducing the audience to the Gartner Hype Cycle, which tracks the “hype cycle” of emerging technologies. Gartner, Inc. posts a chart of the Gartner Hype Cycle annually, with new technologies plotted at different points along the cycle’s trend line. The 2017 Gartner Hype Cycle lists Smart Dust at the very beginning of the cycle, deep learning at the Peak of Inflated Expectations, augmented reality in the Trough of Disillusionment, and virtual reality headed up the Slope of Enlightenment. More articles and commentary on emerging technologies can be found under the Trends section of the Gartner website.
Library of the Future Blog: This blog from the American Library Association (ALA) was recommended by one of the attendees at the webinar. I especially like the weekly round-up of headlines (titled “Read for Later…”) related to emerging technology in libraries.
I’ll admit it: I’m a few years behind the game with starting a personal-professional Twitter account. I’ve used Twitter plenty for work over the years, but Tweeting to promote a brand or a website is different than Tweeting just to promote yourself and your own ideas. There is already a thriving Twitosphere of librarians out there, and it can be daunting to try to jump in and join the conversation. Who should I follow? What hashtags should I use? Where can I find other medical librarians on Twitter?
Here are a few lessons learned while starting my new Twitter account, @jamornini:
Who to follow: I found a fewgreatblog posts listing popular librarian accounts to follow on Twitter. I also checked the list of followers for the Medical Library Association Twitter account (@MedLibAssn).
So I guess I need to get Tweeting. Maybe in the future (if I’m brave enough) I’ll follow the librarian community onto Instagram or Snapchat. Social media is a brave new world, and librarians are constantly adapting to sharing information through the latest digital channels.
I just attended my first Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting (this year in Seattle, WA), and I came away with a lot of great new ideas, resources, and news from the health sciences information field. I’m still trying to absorb everything I’ve seen and learned over the past few days, but here’s a quick list of some of my most interesting takeaways from the conference:
Open Access Biomedical Journals – The vendor hall offered me the opportunity to explore the online tools and publications available from a variety of biomedical publishers, and I checked around for any open access resources they offered. A few open access publications and resources I came across include:
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) recently released a new portal, NNLM RD3: Resources for Data-Driven Discovery. The portal offers subject primers on data science topics, resources for managing/storing/sharing data, and professional development opportunities related to data science.
LibGuides to Explore – I find LibGuides very useful, so I kept an eye out during the poster sessions for any interesting projects related to LibGuides. Two fantastic LibGuides I learned about:
Mobile Resources for Health from the University of Florida – Learn about health-related apps, ranging from apps for healthcare professionals (clinical apps, administrative/productivity apps, E-journal and literature database apps, etc.) to apps for patient education. The LibGuide is mobile-friendly, so learn about healthcare apps on your phone!
Disability Resource GuideDisability Resource Guide from University of Illinois – Learn about a variety of physical and mental disabilities, including depictions of the disability in popular literature and media, web/reference/academic resources, and common assistive technologies related to the disability.
New Online Learning Portal for MLA – The Medical Library Association recently launched MEDLIB-ED, an online education portal for health information professionals where users can “find, complete, track, and claim credit for educational activities.” A free competencies self-assessment is available where users can learn about the newly revised MLA Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success, rate their skills, and use the ratings to plan professional development.
Product Updates from National Library of Medicine (NLM) – The NLM provided updates about a number of their free online tools, including:
ClinicalTrials.gov: A beta version of the site is available for testing. New features include filters for refining search results, option to show/hide columns for search results, and the option to save studies of interest.