Four Ohio librarians participated as sponsored registrants at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) held February 12-15 in Washington, D.C. Evan Meszaros, Case Western Reserve University; Amanda Reinhart, The Ohio State University; Alison Ricker, Oberlin College; and Zach Sharrow, The College of Wooster, were among the librarians sponsored by the Site Licensing Department of AAAS, which has paid the meeting registration fees for 30 librarians each year for at least ten years. The process is coordinated each year by the ALA Liaison to AAAS. Ricker has served in this role since May 2011 (more about that function in the ACRL Blog, Oct. 10, 2014) and has attended the AAAS annual meeting every year beginning with February 2010 in San Diego, California.
The AAAS meetings are international in scope, dominated by scientists, science writers and journalists, science educators at all levels, plus representatives from government agencies, policy advisors, foundations, various non-profits, and a bevy of students who present posters and mingle with researchers. In addition, 2 days of the meeting are devoted to Family Days – it’s a delightful, if frenetic, forum for children and adults to engage with scientists and have memorable hands-on experience in science demonstrations. Highlights of this year’s meeting included excellent plenary lectures, many of which can be viewed online, and the hilarious session summarizing the 2015 Ig Nobel Prizes awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research (“research that makes you laugh and then think”). The live Webcast of the 2016 Ig Nobel Award Ceremony would be a fun public event in your library – or head to Cambridge to see them in person: Thursday, September 22, 2016, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Tickets will go on sale in July.
Librarians at the conference met together on Sunday morning, at a session coordinated and chaired by Ricker. Presentations by Sarah Jeong, Wake Forest University on “Flipping a Science Information Literacy Course” and Mary Frances Lembo, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on “Data Visualization” were followed by roundtable discussions on these and other topics. The discussion summaries, presentation slides and two presentations given by librarians at other sessions during the conference are now accessible online in Google drive, and will also be posted to the Science Librarian portal.
The 2017 annual meeting will be held February 16-20 in Boston and promises to be an excellent opportunity for librarians to immerse in the most exciting and compelling issues of science, with a focus on evidence-based science policies that serve society.
Alison Ricker, Oberlin College, Procedures Manual Coordinator