I have heard several of my medical librarian colleagues commenting on how it is necessary to pace yourself when attending the MLA Conference.
Yesterday I felt like I jumped into the deep end of the pool with a sink-or-swim attitude. Today was no different, but I am learning to take the time to enjoy being here, while not being in a frenzy. There is so much to see and do on the MLA Schedule and in Chicago, that it is tempting to try to do it all, see it all and understand it all. Not possible.
Here’s my rule of thumb: when all three of your mobile devices shut down you should probably lie down too and take a rest while they are recharging.
When you wake up ask yourself what is possible to accomplish during MLA 14? Here’s what I’m doing: making some connections, having some conversations, taking notes on Google Docs, gathering business cards and emails, and stopping by interesting Chicago places, if only for a moment.
Here’s my list of things that I’ve enjoyed so far, starting with a few tips on Chicago:
Food: I love Indian food and had a great lunch buffet at Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine about a 20 minute walk north on Michigan Avenue at Walton Street. The food was well done and there were plenty of vegetarian options. About 10 people waited on me, but the buffet was only $13.95. For dessert they had the best gulab jamun I have ever tasted.
Sightseeing: My nephew who lives here in downtown Chicago said that if you want to view the city from the Hancock Tower, it is a better deal to go to the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor and buy a $10 drink than to pay the same money to go to the observation deck. We went there last night and the views were awesome, as well as the Tanqueray and tonic!
If you find yourself up by Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine for a hands on CE class, stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art, just across the street. Right now they have an exhibit of Zachary Cahill’s work which explores the “implications of art as a therapeutic exercise.” I enjoyed a 30 minute art therapy session after my CE class this morning.
CE Courses: Technology was the theme of my continuing education courses today. At 7 am a group of MLA attendees gathered in the lobby and walked about 12 blocks (20 minutes) north along Michigan Avenue (not stopping to shop) to Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. There I attended CE202: Breaking an Electronic Health Record (EHR) System: a sandbox workshop by PJ Grier from NNLM/SEA. Once again I was overwhelmed with excellent and idea-provoking information. Wireless and personalized medicine (a la Dr. Eric Topol)? The necessity of the librarian to advocate for a defined role in the Electronic Health Record? Meaningful Use 1, 2 and 3? HIMSS? Health Level Seven? Took notes so I can read up on all this fascinating and important information!!! Not to mention taking some time to explore a freely available sample EHR system in Practice Fusion.
Then a quick walk back to the Hyatt for CE501-Information at Your Fingertips: Tablet Technology by Emily Hurst of NNLM/SCR. I did not know about all the mobile sites and mobile apps that the NLM makes available for us: http://nlm.gov/mobile. Also going to spend some time looking at Bloomin’ Apps (iPad Apps to support Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy) and the Padagogy Wheel which “shows teachers that the pedagogy should drive the technology and not the other way around.”
So that is why I am now resting and reflecting on the day, while everything recharges. (Good thing my Chromebook can recharge while I type!) My second day at MLA ’14 is in the books, and I paced myself – didn’t go back for seconds at the Indian buffet – and satisfied myself with taking notes, knowing that I’ll have time when I get home to review it all at leisure. Now, let me check my devices to see if they’re recharged yet . . .