MLA 2013 Blog: My Summary

Wow there were a lot of bloggers who wrote great stuff at MLA 2013.  I tried to attend as much as I can but of course I can’t hit everything so I have come to really enjoy reading the Official Meeting Blog  after the meeting to review the things I wasn’t able to attend.  I have taken it upon myself to organize the posts from the blog into some general categories and I thought I would share them. (I am such a librarian I am organizing blog posts…sigh..)

The organization is very rough.  I tried to group like posts on the same topic together, but I am sure I made some mistakes.  I also added some extra details such as the section program title on some of the blog titles where it wasn’t immediately obvious as to what it referred to. 

One thing to remember…. The e-Conference stuff is not just for those who paid for the e-Conference.  Those who physically attended the conference can also access all of the great stuff online using their badge number.

Prior to a conference

About MLA and Getting Involved


Sunrise Seminars

Plenary Sessions


Section & Sig Stuff



NLM Stuff

Other things

After Conference and the e-Conference


Go to MLA’13 Blog for Recent Posts

In a few days a bunch of medical librarians will be heading to or already in Boston for the Medical Library Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting.  I will be there and I will be blogging, along with other people. There will be “Early Riser” bloggers who will writing about sunrise seminars and all sorts of stuff that happens at 7 am.  There will be  “First Timers” and “Distinguished Members” writing about the conference from their perspective.  The complete list of bloggers can be found here.

I will be writing as the “Unofficial MLA Insider.” What does this mean?  Well it is a blogging title that I made up and pitched to Kate and she thought it would be a good idea. 

Bascially this is my idea of what my title and what types of posts I will be writing:

I am not an MLA newbie and while I am technically distinguished with 10+ yrs of MLA-ness, I certainly don’t feel like I’ve been around that long.  I feel like somebody who is in the thick of their career and involvement within MLA.  I feel like somebody who is active and wants to be more active and help get others active as well.   I know when I first decided to get involved (way after my newbie years) I didn’t know how to do it and how things were done within MLA.  Everything seemed to be a great mystery to me.  As the “Unofficial MLA Insider” I will be blogging about how things work at MLA so that if you are interested in getting involved you have a better understanding of what is going on. 

So if you are interested in my posts or that of other MLA bloggers, please check out the MLA’13 Conference Blog. For the couple of days I will be posting there as well as tweeting using the hashtag #mlanet13.

MLA Members Running for Boston Survivors

Dear Medical Library Association Members,

(from MEDLIB-L listserve) 

In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, Montie’ Dobbins and Bart Ragon want to raise money to help support the victims and families affected by the events that occurred on April 15, 2013. During the conference they are going to attempt to run a total of 26.2 miles. This roughly works out to be 5-6 miles a day. For those members who are interested, They are for a donation of $1 for every mile they run. If they accomplish their goal, this means that the total donation would be $26.20. Donations would be made to The One Fund, a charity set up by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Donations are on the honor system and you make your donation directly to the charity. They will not collect any money or track donations. They will send an e-mail at the end of conference to those who choose to participate with an update on the total miles ran. During the conference they will provide updates via Twitter, including maps of their route. They are currently working out a running schedule and if you would like to run some or all of the runs, please indicate below. They plan to run a slooooooooow pace (10-12 min miles).

For more information about the charity please see

 To register go to 

 Questions can be sent to bart(atsign)virginia(dot-thingy)edu.

 Thank you for your consideration. We know that Boston is going to be an excellent host city for our conference!

Be an MLA Mentor

There is still time to apply to be a mentor to a new MLA member or first meeting attendee.  To be a member just volunteer for the Colleague Connection Program at this year’s annual MLA meeting.

Colleague Connection is MLA’s mentoring program that pairs newer members or first-time meeting attendees with returning, more experienced members during the annual meeting. The purpose of Colleague Connection is to introduce new attendees to the association and help them get the most out of the MLA annual meeting.

Sign up to be a mentor today:!

I was a mentor a few times and I can say that it was a great experience.  Each time I met a new person that had different and fresh ideas that I loved hearing about.

MLA is only 2 weeks away…. click on the link now and be a mentor.



Pack Your Floss for MLA’13

This was also posted on MEDLIB-L but I thought it was important to also post here.

Before you head off to Boston, drop an extra pack of dental floss in your bag.  In honor of the Dental Section’s 80th Anniversary (impressive) they will be collecting dental floss for needy populations in Guatemala and Mexico.  Dental students from Boston University go on mssions to these areas to provide treatement and according to organizers their is a scarcity of floss (compared to other oral hygiene products) there.  There will be a donation box at the conference registration desk.

Floss is so small you can probably pack a couple of packs in your carry on.  Don’t forget!!!!

MLA 13 Scheduling Tool

Every year it seems I wrestle with the annual meeting’s scheduling tool.  Perhaps I am too picky, asking it to do more than normal people would like or perhaps I am not savvy enough in the way of calendar apps.  Whatever the case, I always seem to have problems getting it to sync correctly.  So I thought I would share my experience this year in hopes that it might help others who might also be having problems.

I used Google Calendar synced to my iPhone.  I have synced Google Calendar to Androids and the practice is pretty much the same.  I don’t sync to my Outlook calendar, so I can’t help you there. If somebody wants to comment on how they did it in Outlook and any problems/tricks they found, that would be helpful.

I signed into the scheduler using my Facebook.  I admit I did it because I am lazy and didn’t want to try and remember another ID and password for a one time event, plus it is kind of nice seeing my picture and other librarian pictures next to events.

I clicked the star for every event I plan to attend.  I found information (abstracts or other details) on most of the events if I hovered over them.  Those that didn’t have abstracts when I hovered, included a link for me to get more information.  I discovered there is no way to add events that are not on the official MLA Scheduling Tool.  The only way I have been able to do this is to put the added event into my Google Calendar.

Speaking of Google Calendar and exporting.  I clicked on the Facebook and Twitter icons to see what exporting would happen.  Facebook did nothing, it didn’t post to my timeline or anything.  Clicking on the Twitter badge sends out a generic tweet for people to check the scheduler with a link to the scheduler.  (Both the Facebook icon and Twitter icon are kind of useless IMHO.)  Clicking on the phone icon gives me the option to use their mobile web app to view your schedule or to download your schedule into iCal for Google Calendar, Outlook and Apple iCal. 

I downloaded it for Google Calendar to my KraftyLibrarian Google account.  (I have a personal Google Calendar with my entire family life on it and I don’t want my MLA schedule cluttering the family calendar and vice versa.)  The import goes fairly easily, but it Google treats the scheduler calendar as a imported calendar that you can’t edit.  So if you want to add any events you have to add them to your home calendar (in my case KraftyLibrarian calendar) and they will show up in a different color and under that calendar. 

Because it is an imported calendar you will also have to sync it to your mobile device’s calendar. If you are following multiple calendars then make sure you scroll down for the link to syncing multiple calendars. Thank you @dearbeth on Twitter for the link to syncing it to my phone.

Once I was able to sync it to my phone I was able to see everything I needed and add additional MLA personal events (to the non-mla calendar) to show up on on my phone’s calendar to keep me on track for the meeting. 

Anybody else have any tips or tricks?

See the Midwest Chapter Members Presenting at MLA

The ConnectMidwest blog has a list of Midwest Chapter members presenting at MLA in Boston.  Very busy group of people, scroll through it and see what your colleagues are doing or have done.

The Midwest Chapter is also looking for a blogger or two who would like to post about the conference for the MidwestConnect blog so non attendees can keep up.  If you are interested send Elizabeth Moreton a email. emoreto[at sign] siue [that dot thing] edu.

Friday Fun: The Unofficial MLA Drinking SIG

Many who go to MLA often find themselves in the evening after the meeting going out to dinner and the bars to discuss library and non-library stuff.  I remember somebody mentioning that we met for drinks so often that we could have our buisness meetings at the bar.  After a good laugh and a few more drinks later the unofficial Drinking SIG was born. 

I want to stress it is all in good fun and completely unofficial from MLA.  There are no dues but you will probably have a bar bill.  Last year was the first year the unofficial Drinking SIG came off of the barstool and started selling t-shirts and other fun items promoting the group.  This year for 2013 a new design and new set of items is available for you to purchase. 

Even though the SIG is not official, it wouldn’t exist without the people of who attend MLA.  So all of the profits from the SIG’s cafepress site sold will go to the MLA scholarship fund. 

Next Friday Fun post will be a guest post from Heather Holmes about the unofficial Drinking SIG.

MLA Newbies and Vets Sign up for Colleague Connection

I have been a mentee and a mentor for the Colleague Connection and I can say from first hand knowledge that it is a great experience from both perspectives.  An annual conference can be quite intimidating for the first time attendee.  You feel like everybody else knows each other (and you don’t know anybody) and you can get overwhelmed with all of the programming and things to do.  It helps to have a mentor as a friendly face to talk with and to get guidance from.  It offers mentors the ability to meet new attendees and learn about what they are doing too.  So I highly encourage attendees (both new and seasoned) to sign up for the Colleague Connection.

(This has been cross posted on several email lists)

Colleague Connection is MLA’s mentoring program that pairs newer members or first-time meeting attendees with returning, more experienced members during the annual meeting. The purpose of Colleague Connection is to introduce new attendees to the association and help them get the most out of the MLA annual meeting. Initial contacts made through Colleague Connection can lead to lifelong friendships with your peers and increase your professional network. Don’t be left out – sign up as a mentee or mentor today:!

If you are a new member or first time conference attendee, consider pairing up with an experienced colleague at the meeting in Boston! Colleague Connection allows you to have your questions about the conference answered, maximize your time, choose the best programs and meetings to attend, meet new colleagues, build your professional network, and discuss new ideas.

Returning members benefit from Colleague Connection, too! Mentoring a colleague during the conference can expand your professional network, expose you to new ideas, and help you see the conference from a fresh perspective. In addition, you will get the satisfaction of helping someone – there’s no greater reward than that!

Mentees and Mentors should register here: Those who sign up by Saturday April 27th will be guaranteed to receive their mentor or mentee before leaving for the meeting. Once assigned, each pair of colleagues will be responsible for working out times to meet and connect.

 If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Harris email can be found on MLANet.


Last Chance to be an MLA Blogger

(Reposted from Medlib-l)
Are you attending One Health? Do you like to write? Do you want to share what you learn at the conference with other attendees and those at home? Apply to be an official blog correspondent! With free wi-fi in the convention center, conference blogging has never been easier.
Correspondent categories and a link to the (short) application are at the Blog Correspondents

Applications are due Friday so make sure you get yours in!