Hello, I am Don Pearson from Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library in Columbus, Ohio and I am blogging about the MLA ’14 from a Library Student Perspective. I am just beginning the MLIS program at Kent State University, although I have been working in libraries for several years, and with computers for much longer. Coming to this conference for the first time seems quite overwhelming, just as it is coming from Columbus, Ohio to big city Chicago.
My traveling companions and I arrived by car last night (Thursday) and experienced a very quick and painless parking and check-in experience at the Hyatt. It is very large, beautiful, and modern. In fact, the MLA venue this year, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, with 2019 guest rooms is the largest hotel in Chicago (according to Chicago Business). My companions and I marveled at the huge number of buttons in the elevator as we headed to our room on the 14th floor. I realized that I hadn’t been in a building over 10 stories in more than a year. But we’re OK, we parked our car, found our room, got some food and a good nights rest.
Speaking of food here are some good places we found last night and this morning. All are within 2 blocks of the hotel. Bockwinkel’s for groceries is right behind the hotel. Giordanos Pizza at 135 E. Lake Street is about 2 blocks away and really satisfied the need for Chicago deep dish. The Corner Bakery at Michigan and Wacker had great coffee and Apple Hand Pie.
I think from the beginning the theme of this conference for me is that I feel like I’ve jumped into the deep end of the pool. Big city, big hotel, big conference, big ideas and lots of learning to do. But so far so good and so far I’ve come up swimming. I’m taking my lunch break on Friday to write this, while I think about statistics. I’m in the middle of CE700 – Statistical Literacy for Medical Librarians: Swimming in a Sea of Conflicting Medical Claims. I know less about research statistics than I know about medical librarianship, but I’m glad I took this class. Even though much of this is going over my head, I was reassured by Steve Simon, one of the presenters, who said,
“The one who knows the least benefits the most from my class. You will learn more than anyone else.”
That is certainly true for me and I’ll hang on to this quote as a memento from this conference. Even though I jumped into the deep end by even coming here, because I’m starting from zero, I think I will learn more than anyone else!