It’s been nearly 6 years since I posted anything on this blog, which is frankly a little hard to believe. One wonders what on earth I’ve been doing. Having no home internet access for several years probably helped the demise of this blog.
In the intervening years, my very favorite tool, del.icio.us, became Delicious, and then it died, so far as I was concerned. I mourned, and then I switched to Pinboard. If you were following my bookmarks at all, they are all there. Luckily, I managed to score the Ratcatcher username, which I haven’t even bothered to use most places anymore–too much competition. LibGuides has gone from being a brand new product to a staple of the library world. The work that is being done with it is truly impressive. My institution(s) haven’t made the switch to the new version, but it looks phenomenally flexible and powerful.
No one talks about social software at all these days–for one, it’s basically understood that software should be social now, but mostly, the PR and marketing folks hijacked the concept and turned it into social media. They are doing great things, no doubt, but the lack of emphasis on productivity is less than ideal, in my mind. To be fair, though, my current position requires me to use social media for marketing and branding, so I undoubtedly will use many skills the public affairs masters have brought to the discussion.
So why am I posting now, after all these years? Well, perhaps it’s because I’m feeling reinvigorated about medical librarianship, our future, and even using (gross, I hate this term) social media. My interests have fluctuated over the years, too, which is obvious to anyone who knows me. I still love bibliometrics, I like technology and web stuff, and I’m really into systematic review standards right now, plus the medical humanities and the history of medicine. So my tastes are a little divergent.
One of the things that I have most enjoyed doing in the past year or so is going to works in progress meetings for a health services research group. They covered a host of topics, from strategies to move from being a new investigator to getting an R01 down the road to systematic review methodology. What was really inspiring, though, was hearing the new investigators talk about their research questions and watching the experienced researchers help them narrow their focus and work together come up with research designs to help answer the questions. As a librarian, it was really fascinating for me to see the process of how the research we help organize and provide is instigated, developed, and is ultimately part of a strategy to get future R01 grants.
This post doesn’t have much of a point, I admit, but perhaps I will start thinking about actual topics. There’s a wealth of medical librarian blogs out there these days that are doing a great job, so who knows if I have anything to add. The Expert Searching list is what I’ve been paying attention to more than anything–if you’re not on it, and if you do any searching, join!