Librarianship | Veronica Leigh Milliner| June 05, 2018
EBSCO ALA Midwinter Scholarship winners at the conference in Denver, Colorado. Pictured above from left, Rosa Diaz, Children’s Librarian/Bilingual at the Lincoln branch of the Rochester Public Library; Loren Klein, MLIS Student on the Stonewall Book Awards Committee; Veronica Leigh Milliner, University of Pittsburgh Health Science Library System and Chelsea Brantley, Media Coordinator at Nags Head Elementary School.
EBSCO is proud to team up with ALA to provide scholarships to attend ALA Conferences. Read about the conference experience of one 2018 EBSCO ALA Scholarship winner.
This past winter I was beyond excited to hear that I was one of the five recipients of the EBSCO ALA Midwinter Scholarship, funding my trip to the ALA Midwinter conference. As a return attendee of the conference, I went into the weekend looking to make the most of my experience. I was determined to utilize my time by gaining direct career development knowledge and participating in networking opportunities to connect with others in the field.
I’m always looking for opportunities to further my professional development opportunities and my career. During the time of the conference, I was in the process of transitioning to a new job and looking for opportunities that would help me succeed in my new role. My experience at the conference proved to be beneficial and I was able to accomplish all of my goals.
ALA Midwinter is considered the smaller version of the ALA Annual Conference and is often described as being less frenetic and flashy. However, it in no way lacks value to those who attend the conference meetings, committee groups and smaller sessions. Since I was transitioning to a new position from an outreach librarian at a public library to a coordinator role at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, I wanted to use my conference attendance as an opportunity to attend as many health and public library related sessions as possible. One of the most valuable events I attended was a session presented by a fellow NNLM Regional Librarian who discussed health programs in public libraries. The session size was manageable and made it easy to connect with other librarians about the concerns they have for their libraries and the innovative programming they are trying to work into their communities. This session, among several others, provided great knowledge for me to take back to my new position working with public libraries on health initiatives.
I was determined to utilize my time by gaining direct career development knowledge and participating in networking opportunities to connect with others in the field.
During the conference, I focused my time on networking with others. I currently serve on the executive board of the New Members Round Table (NMRT), so ALA Midwinter was a great opportunity to promote the Round Table to potential members and reconnect with other NMRT members. As the current NMRT Leadership Development Director, I was able to attend the NMRT Executive Board meeting, as well as serve on NMRT orientation session panel, where we spoke with potential NMRT members at the Membership, Networking, & Committee Interest meeting. Since this session was open to everyone at the conference it was nice to see non-NMRT members showing interest.
I encourage anyone attending ALA Midwinter (or other conferences) to look into how you can attend open meetings and gain more insight about how you can become involved with ALA.
It seemed like others had a good time connecting and sharing ideas at the conference as well. It was great to end the experience with a breakfast hosted by EBSCO, and meet the other talented scholarship winners. I’d like to thank EBSCO and ALA, as scholarship co-sponsors, for their continued dedication to professional development of library workers. I look forward to using what I learned at the conference and the connections I made in the future.
Veronica Leigh Milliner is the All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine- Middle Atlantic Region based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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