UNYOC 2011: Inspiration and Education

(As a requirement of UNYOC’s Professional Development Award, recipients must post on the UNYOC blog describing their experience including the impact this has had on them personally and/or their organization.) 

With UNYOC’s generous support, I was able to attend their 2011 Annual Meeting in Poughkeepsie, New York. This professional development opportunity benefitted me greatly in light of the enormous transitions occurring at my parent institution – the University at Buffalo. Though I enjoyed the entire program, I will focus on two areas that immediately benefited me and my work.

Personally, the most helpful presentation was from Danny Aronzon, President and CEO of Vassar Brothers Medical Center, due to the unique circumstances surrounding UB School of Medicine of Biomedical Sciences (SMBS). The SMBS is moving to UB’s downtown campus over the course of the next few years so that it is in close proximity to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, home of several hospitals and research institutes. As our library services move from an academic setting to a clinical environment, I really enjoyed Dr. Aronzon’s astute distillation of some of the biggest issues in medicine and hospital administration such as unsustainable costs, medical errors and the necessity of collaboration. I felt like this session helped reorient my strategic priorities as we begin to design new services and spaces at the new campus.  Furthermore, it hammered home that communication between the Libraries and new groups of library users will be of paramount importance.

As a technophile, I appreciated the Gizmos and Gadgets panel and Technology Petting Zoo. Jovy Rosario’s presentation always enlightens me on tools that can enhance my productivity at work. I have already used Grovo tutorials to take full advantage of cloud based productivity tools, Zamzar to convert PDFs to Word and Vectormagic to convert limited raster files into scalable vector files. Even though UB Libraries provides EndNote and accompanying support, we are receiving an increasing number of questions concerning open source bibliographic managers such as Zotero and Mendeley. So I was pleased to talk to Sarah Elichko from Bassett Healthcare about Mendeley, its strengths and weaknesses. This conversation has inspired me to investigate a permanent group at the UB Libraries that monitors the viability of emergent open source solutions for bibliographic data.

Thank you UNYOC members for providing me continuing education and inspiration through your financial support!

Dean Hendrix, University at Buffalo