Professional Development Award Blog Post – Michelle Price

Professional Development Award winner Michelle Price discusses her experience attending “Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians.”

As a 2017 UNYOC Professional Development Award recipient, I happy to report my experience attending the Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians workshop.  It began with online modules and assignments to complete and then culminated with a two day in-person workshop in Syracuse, New York.

The choice to adopt a flipped model for this workshop was an excellent one.  Not only were the modules of high technical quality, the content was well paced and sequenced.  The asynchronous nature of the modules allowed me to spend more time on difficult content.  Also, with a two-week timeline, there was plenty of time to digest the concepts before the in-person workshop.   The continuous and early contact with the course instructors was great, including the timely, constructive feedback on the online assignments.

Front loading the workshop with many of the technical skills allowed for thoughtful discussions during the in-person workshop.  The small group format was perfect for examining the soft skills regarding systematic reviews.  Relevant case studies were presented and each table discussed what role the librarian could play in the situation and how to react, then there was a large group share out.  The varied experiences and workplaces of the participants made this a very rich discussion.  A response that might work well for a small academic institution, might not work in a larger hospital setting.  Also, the inclusion of participants from the private sector was very illuminating and added a whole new dimension to our discussion, particularly regarding the management of the search strategies.

Toward the end of the second day, Whitney Townsend presented a session on meta-analysis methods.  I found myself swirling in new terminology and concepts like I2, homogeneous data, forest plots, line of no difference and sub-group analysis.  Now I have a new confidence to identify and evaluate those elements in a meta-analysis.   In the future when I am part of a systematic review team or peer review for a journal, I will be a stronger participant because I’ve had this exposure.

As a closing element at the workshop we had to create a small goal to complete right away and a more comprehensive action plan. I am proud to report that my small goal of reading five systematic reviews a week has become an enjoyable part of my workday.  My long term goal to implement systematic review evaluation into the graduate curriculum is underway.   After completing the workshop, I found it easy to draft learning objectives to address multiple, prominent issues regarding the construction of a systematic review.

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Professional Development Award Blog Post – Denise Smith

Denise Smith was awarded a Professional Development Award and used the money to attend Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians. She discusses her experience below.

Systematic review training is relatively easy to find, but finding a course that offers MLA credits that is also engaging, thought-provoking, and easy to retain is not so easy.  I have participated in opportunities to learn about systematic reviews and a librarian’s role in them in the past, but the workshop Systematic Reviews: Opportunities for Librarians was the best learning experience I’ve had so far. I am happy to report that I feel more prepared than ever to advise on searches for systematic reviews or even participate on a systematic review team as a co-investigator.

The workshop approaches the content it covers with a flipped classroom model. I found this approach to be remarkably beneficial because it allowed me to learn, engage, and reflect at my own pace. As a result I retained a lot of the content and I felt confident going into the workshop that my limited experience and recently acquired knowledge would allow me to participate fully. The digestible modules and their respective assignments helped break down what could become an overwhelming amount of material.

In order to get anything out of the in-person workshop, active participation was a must. As a person who dreads answering questions or sharing ideas in front of a group, the small group environment was inviting and the instructors were supportive. I felt comfortable with my table-mates and we exchanged some really good ideas. I really enjoyed participating in this workshop both online and in-person.

A highlight of this workshop, for me, was the capstone project that each participant was required to complete prior to attending the workshop. Then, with our newly acquired skills, we peer-reviewed each other’s search work. It was great to see how other minds approach a systematic review and how my own work might be interpreted by someone else. It really impressed upon me the importance of constructing a clear, well-structured search strategy to optimize its replicability.

Syracuse, NY is lovely and although it rained on both days I went out for a scenic run and visited the local Target (a must-do whenever I am in the USA) after the conclusion of day one. I am honoured to be a recipient of a 2017 UNYOC Professional Development Award and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to UNYOC for affording me this incredible opportunity.

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Booking Information for the 2017 Annual Meeting

The UNYOC Group block rate at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse has been confirmed! Click this booking link or call the hotel at (315) 432-0200 to reserve your room. The special UNYOC rates are available for two nights, with an arrival date of October 25, 2017 and a departure date of October 27, 2017.

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Syracuse

Group Name: UNYOC

Rate: $119/night

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UNYOC Membership Renewal

It’s time to renew your UNYOC Membership.  Membership dues cover the calendar year, January 1 – December 31, 2017

To fill out the form, visit the Membership page and click on the link to the PDF.

Keep Calm and Renew Your Membership

Keep Calm and Renew Your Membership

Please mail the completed form with check payable to UNYOC/MLA to the membership chair:

Elizabeth Stellrecht
University at Buffalo
Health Sciences Library
3435 Main St.
Buffalo, New York 14214

Thank you for your support!

 

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