Late April and May have been showers of new projects that are showing up on my to do lists and taking up a fair swath of time.

First, in late April, I became PI for a Technology Award from the National Network for the Library of Medicine Greater Midwest Region (NNLM-GMR). This award is given in order to improve technological access in libraries in the region.  Due to NIH grant year cycles, we were down to the wire getting everything submitted–that was a very stressful few days!

Over the next 7 months, with that funding, I’ll be overseeing installation of technology in three areas of my  building. In our current 20 seat classroom, we’re adding new wireless microphones. This will be a huge benefit when we’re doing remote presentations, as the presenter won’t be tied to the front of the room anymore.

In a smaller meeting room in our administration suite, we’re adding a MondoPad, a large touch screen monitor that has a built in webcam. This will really transform this room, allowing us far greater faculty in displaying presentations (rather than only having our classroom), doing interviews (Skype!), broadcasting ourselves out, and even just showing presentations. The current method is a portable projector that is rather moody sometimes.

Finally, we’re getting a smaller MondoPad on a cart that will serve the same purpose, but be usable anywhere we have power (and internet where we can). Our special collections area is frequently used as a beautiful meeting space, this will allow for better presentation display and engagement.

So far, my administration, facilities, and systems departments have all been involved with this department. I have a new Visiting User Experience Librarian in my building who I’ll hopefully be coordinating with as well. Right now we’re trying to get all of the equipment ordered. I need to schedule a meeting with my head of facilities to find out what is next for she and I to sort out.

But that’s going to have to wait a little bit because:

I got into Woods Hole!

At the Marine Biology Lab in Woods Hole, MA, they do a lot of education. One of those classes, co-sponsored by the National Institute of Health, is a BioMedical Informatics Course. This is offered twice a year, with a January application.

Due to my fall teaching schedule, I was only able to apply to attend the May class and I was wait listed for that.  Last Wednesday, 10 days before class, I got a phone call. They’d had a cancellation, was there any way I could still make it?  I scrambled for about 15 minutes (Hello, Boss? I need week after next off….Hello Boyfriend? Any reason I can’t be in Boston for a week in 10 days?) and called them back to accept. So on Sunday morning, I fly to Boston and then catch a bus down to Woods Hole for a week.

Several other medical librarians I know, including Madame Mentor, have attended this week long course and have greatly sung it’s praises. The calendar is going to be packed every day with classes and projects; our schedule starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m. and then we can retire to the pub.

It’s meant a fair amount of scrambling on this end and not a few late nights trying to get things ready to go. Fortunately, I’ll be through all of the full day interviews for the two search committees I’m currently sitting on, so I won’t miss anything for those. I’m missing several committee meetings but my chairs have been notified.  I imagine most of Saturday will be trying to clear just a few more things off of the to do list, but then I’ll be off.

So that’s what’s taking up time on this end. I hope to get lots of writing about Woods Hole and my experiences there while I’m there or after I come back–probably mostly on the bus and flight home. 🙂

And then when I get back, I need to finish up my annual review!