MAC Vision Scholarship Report – Ashley Cuffia, student at University of Maryland
I was lucky enough to receive the MAC Vision Scholarship award this year to attend the MAC conference in Alexandria, Virginia. Along with the scholarship to attend the conference, I was also able to attend a preconference CE Course on Social Media. The class brought up a lot of different ways to use social media to engage patrons in the library setting. Not only to draw people in but to inform them about the library services and get them interested in the programing offered by the library. I then attended the opening reception which enabled me to mingle with other members of the profession and see how each library functions in its own special way. I also got to meet my wonderful MAC buddy Beverly Murphy and absorb the knowledge that she had gained from working in the library field. Monday morning I wandered around the exhibit hall, talking to each vendor about their various products that they had to offer and received a warm welcome even though I was a library student and had no say in purchasing.
I would have to say my favorite part of the conference was the keynote speaker Leighton Ku, with his talk on the history of uniform health care. I found it very interesting to hear about the beginnings of universal health care and how we are just not quite there yet in this country. I also enjoyed the round table luncheon where sitting at the new and emerging roles table I got to talk with everyone from a new librarian who had just started the previous Tuesday to one who was close to retirement. It was a great way to see the overall progression of where the field had been and where it was going. The poster sessions were interesting in that even though I talk to a lot of people in the region by working for the RML, I got to see the individual projects that each of them were working on and the creative ideas that were floating around the region. Overall, my experience of the conference was a great, and one that I was so excited to have this experience. Seeing the interpersonal workings of the medical library community has made me feel that this is the profession that I want to go into and has helped prepare me for the future.