Ohio University sent Hanna Schmillen as its first librarian to the Medical Library Association’s (MLA) Rising Star leadership program, a selective group that accepts only four applicants nationwide each year.
Schmillen said she and her cohort meet once a month for both project discussion and leadership coaching.
Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services, said Schmillen’s selection to the prestigious group is representative of the contributions she provides to the faculty and students she works with.
“Hanna is definitely one of our most energetic and productive librarians,” said Broughton. “…She has this opportunity to learn things about what is happening in other institutions and places and [then] bring that information back to us…”
Schmillen has begun a year-long project with her colleagues from three other universities.
“I have learned a lot already about how to be a better leader, both in MLA as an organization, and within my work. I’ve learned skills on how to be more of an influencer,” she said.
This coming May, Schmillen (left), the subject librarian for health sciences, and her team will present a project proposal in front of the Medical Library Association at its 2018 conference.
Additionally, three Ohio University librarians attended the 2017 Association of College and Research Librarians (ACRL) week-long, intensive Immersion Program to reflect on the importance of teaching and bringing back new skills to share with faculty, students and other librarians.
Paul Campbell and Carla Williams participated in ACRL’s teaching track along with more than 100 librarians from around the world. Schmillen also attended the ACRL Immersion Program, participating in its program track.
Broughton said the conferences allow the librarians the chance to step back from day-to-day activities and reflect on longer-term goals.
“[ACRL] is unique in the sense that it is a professional development program that concentrates on the librarian as a teacher, which for our subject librarians is an important aspect of their responsibilities,” she said.
Campbell (left), subject librarian for the social sciences, said he has kept in contact with his cohort and continues to learn about new programs and teaching techniques.
“They broke us up into small cohorts…and we developed a lot of reflective teaching, a lot of reflective practices,” said Campbell. “We learned a lot about active learning and how to adopt that into our library classroom. We got a little bit of instruction from the lecturers, but then we spent a lot of time within the cohort, us peers, teaching each other.”
Williams, music and special projects librarian, said the annual program—this year held in Burlington, Vermont—gave her, Campbell and Schmillen an opportunity to learn from other librarians and programs at their respective libraries and universities.
Williams, who did the teacher track with Campbell, said she also continues to communicate with her cohort.
“I think we are interested in improving our teaching techniques and improving the way we work with students and faculty,” Williams said.