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The day was capped by a solicitation for proposals.About 100 people attended the UND Discovery grand challenge event, held earlier this week at the Gorecki Alumni Center, including representatives from eight federal agencies. “We will join you in this challenge,” said Charles Smith, regional administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which provides funding and programs for mental health and substance abuse and recovery treatment.Representatives from eight federal agencies came to campus at their own expense to discuss grant and research opportunities and to solicit proposals for some programs.The University has the capacity to help solve rural issues, said Thomasine Heitkamp, who with grand challenge team members invited the federal representatives. Playing “matchmaker” between individual readers and their next great book is the exception.While many libraries host “blind date” book events (pairing individual readers with a “mystery read” wrapped in paper, labelled with just a few descriptors), a variation I like for book clubs is more like “speed dating.” The basic concept behind “book club speed dating” is to create appealing, quick, book club-centric pitches that boost reader engagement by giving them choices.As librarians, we usually DO have particular reasons why we pick one book club option over another -- but we seldom share them explicitly with the group.Ironically, however, we know that great RA is based on exactly those kind of authentic reader-to-reader recommendations. What you do can be as simple or complex as you choose.
The activity used is a variation on the popular practice of speed dating.“I am thrilled with the outcome,” said Heitkamp, who noted the event had to be restructured to accommodate nearly twice as many people as expected.“It identified funding streams and began collaborations.They included Laurie Konsella, acting regional health authority for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH); David Von Behren, regional public affairs director, U. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food & Nutrition Service; Bill Davis, Rural Extension Center, USDA; and Joel Manske, field office director, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).“We have a wide range of incredible expertise in this room,” said Jeff Holm, faculty fellow and professor and chair of psychology, who moderated the panel discussion.