Ready Set for MLA 2013

The online registration for MLA 2013, “One Health: Information in an Interdependent World,” on May 3-8, 2013, in Boston, MA is open.   http://www.mlanet.org/am/am2013/register/register.html .

Wondering what will be presented at the meeting? Check out the preliminary program (now available) to check out the plenary speakers, CE courses, various events, and the concurrent program sessions.

Finally, make sure you are keeping up with all MLA’13 news by subscribing to the blog http://npc.mlanet.org/mla13/.  You can either subscribe to it via RSS or via email (bottom right).

Hope to see you in Boston!

Give Your Imput on MLA 14 NOW!

When I was co-chair of the MLA 12 annual meeting in Seattle, we solicited the membership for ideas and suggestions for programs, CE, speakers, etc.  I am pretty confident in saying that Teresa and I were up for almost anything.  We wanted it to be a fun but relevant meeting for people (the two are not exclusive). 

The BIG thing to remember is that much of the annual meeting is planned WAY in advance.  So if you are at the 2013 thinking of suggesting a speaker, CE, or program for the 2014 meeting…it is most likely too late.  Those things have been decided and are being finalized.  The jetway doors have closed and the plane is on the tarmac talking to the tower. 

So that is why I am forwarding this request from MLA’14.  If you don’t submit your ideas NOW you will have to wait to track down and give them to the 2015 NPC people. 

Submit Ideas for MLA ’14 CE Courses and Symposia Now!
The MLA Continuing Education Committee (CEC) wants to hear from you! What new topics or courses have caught your eye? Who is teaching a class or has expertise you would like to tap into? What classes from past meetings would you like to see offered again? Are you currently a course instructor or would you like to create a new course? You may nominate yourself. MLA is accepting ideas for exciting and innovative courses and symposia to offer at MLA ’14 in Chicago, IL. Suggestions must be submitted by Friday, December 14, for consideration by the MLA CEC at its midwinter meeting. More information and forms are available on MLANET.

You only have a week to do it, so don’t hesitate.  Every year I hear somebody who bemoans that MLA is only for this or that type of medical librarian.  Or there weren’t any CEs and programs on certain topics.  Part of me wants to turn around ask them if they suggested anything to the NPC ahead of time.  Because if they didn’t, well then whose fault is it?

So stop being reactive, be proactive!  Submit your ideas for MLA’14 now.

Win a Trip to MLA 2013 in Boston

NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region members, you have a chance to win a trip to MLA 2013 in Boston!  It all centers around National Medical Librarians Month which is right now, in October. 

(re-posted from the MARquee)

MAR would like to celebrate medical librarians in our region. National Medical Librarians Month gives information professionals an opportunity to market their services and highlight their contributions to research, education and improved patient outcomes. Are you doing something to celebrate Medical Librarians Month? If so, share your story by sending to nnlmmar[atsign]pitt.edu. If applicable, also share a photo depicting your activities/events.

MAR will be collecting your stories and highlighting them in our blog and weekly postings throughout October. All those that submit a story before Oct. 31st will be entered into a random drawing to receive an award to cover registration and airfare to MLA 2013. Please, only one entry per library.

NOTE:  There has been a change to the entry rules.  Multiple entries may be received from the same library, but only ONE entry per person.

I love these kind of opportunities and I wish there was a central area where medical librarians could look up all possible funding opportunities to attend the annual meeting.  So, if you are a Chapter, Section, or other group giving away a scholarship, grant, contest, etc. to attend the 2013 MLA Annual Meeting, please email me or comment and I will post it on my blog so that more people know about it.  Please don’t consider my blog to be the central area to find this sort of thing, so if you are advertising or search about funding opportunities please make sure you look in multiple places.  I just want to promote them as best as possible, so people who don’t get institutional travel money have one more place to read and find out about them.

Mark Funk’s Janet Doe Lecture Video

If you weren’t at MLA in Seattle this year then you missed hearing some great speakers, one of which was Mark Funk and his Janet Doe Lecture.  If you paid for MLA e-conference package you can catch the other speakers from MLA’s online meeting content site. But you can also catch Mark’s phenomenal lecture at https://vimeo.com/45367116

In preparation for the Doe Lecture, Mark chose to analyze word usage from the content in the MLA Bulletin from 1960-2010.  The words we chose while writing in the Bulletin tell a story of medical librarianship through the years.  Mark spend 225 hours analyzing the words came up with 4 basic categories: Environment, Management, Technology, and Research.  It was very interesting as well humorous.  By looking at the word usage you can see how trends have come and gone and how some things like Reference has consistently stayed on our minds through the years. 

Check out Mark’s lecture https://vimeo.com/45367116 and the blog posts from Annie Hughes  and Natalie Clairoux MLA about his lecture.

Personally, it is a freaking great lecture.

Midwest MLA Call for Papers and Posters

Since I’m in the Midwest I thought I would forward along the call for papers and posters. This year the Midwest Chapter’s meeting will be in Rochester, MN at the Mayo Civic Center from October 6-9, 2012. 

The deadline to submit your paper or poster abstract is July 13, 2012!
So you have about 2 weeks left.  

New this year will be an option to compete for a new Research Award. (See http://midwestmla.org/midline/?p=1347 for more information, and watch your inboxes for more details from the Professional Practice Committee.)

(Official call below)
Call for Papers and Posters

The Program Committee invites proposals for contributed papers and posters for the conference theme of “Growing Opportunities.” Papers and posters may highlight practical problem-solving approaches, document collaborative efforts or outreach activities, describe innovative programs, or report on research in librarianship, resources or services. Contributed paper and poster topics are as unlimited as your imagination.

Contributed papers will be presented on Sunday, October 7. Posters will be on display on Monday, October 8 from 8:00 am until 3:30 pm. Presenters should be available to discuss their posters during the poster reception from 11:00 am – noon on October 8. For inspiration, take a look at the abundant and varied papers and posters presented at the 2011 Midwest Chapter meeting.

For contributed paper proposals and poster proposals submit a 250 word abstract describing your paper or poster. Include your name, position title, address, phone number and email address on all submissions. Email your abstracts to Ann Farrell, farrell[atsign]mayo[dot]edu, or snail them to her at Plummer Library, Mayo Clinic, 2001st SW, Rochester, MN, 55905. The deadline for abstract submission is July 13, 2012. Notifications of paper/poster acceptance/rejection will be made by July 27, 2012.

For more information on the Midwest Chapter meeting, see the conference web site: http://midwestmla.org/conference2012/

What Can MLA Do For You?

I sometimes hear people saying, “I don’t belong to MLA because what has MLA done for me as a medical librarian.”  If you are looking for MLA to come in like a knight in shining armor to magically save your job, increase your salary, combat predatory pricing, and bring about universal health care, you are probably a disappointed medical librarian.   

I have gotten the most value out of MLA because of my involvement within MLA.  Did you catch that?  It was my involvement in MLA that began to add value to my MLA membership.  Not the other way around.  All too often in society we see a lot of reaction type of people and fewer and fewer action type people.  You can’t sit around and wait for things to happen and expect results.  Life is not a spectator’s sport, nor is your profession.

I know that is hard to think about in a field that tends to have more than its fair share of introverts among its ranks.  Heck, even the average extrovert can go to an MLA meeting for the first time and feel intimidated.  However the key to getting the most out MLA (the meeting AND the organization) is by getting involved.  I have had the wonderful opportunity to do some cool things like travel to places to be a speaker, sit on various committees, be on two NPC committees, and become a Board Member.  However I didn’t just land those gigs on my good looks.  I got involved.  Baby steps at first.  I started writing book reviews and my blog, then journal articles.  The book reviews let to greater writing confidence and the blog helped feed the topics.  Around the same time I became gradually involved in my local medical library organization, Ohio Health Sciences Library Association (OHSLA).  From there I started volunteer to work on projects or items as they came about.  It was that work that lead to the things I am doing today.  Without it I wouldn’t be where I am now.  Why? Because people wouldn’t know who I was and wouldn’t know what I could do.

You don’t have to start a blog to get involved.  (It would probably be a Pinterest board or Tumblr account now days.)  But you have to find those areas that you are interested in so that you can get involved.  Personally, I think the best way to get involved is to start with your local organization, Chapter, or a MLA Section.  Get to know people.  Volunteer to do some things.  You don’t always have to be going to the annual meeting to become involved.  There are committees that meet mainly via email.  Sections are always looking for section member volunteers to review papers for the annual meeting.  You can even teach a class all online without the need for GoToMeeting or some webinar platform.  The South Central Chapter just finished providing a FREE online class to MLA members https://sites.google.com/site/getmobilizedmla/home and the course instructors were from across the United States.  (I am willing to bet a bag of peanut M&M’s they did everything virtually and didn’t need to travel to MLA or another meeting to create the class.)

The times we live in allow us more opportunities to connect to one another and provide us more opportunities to become involved.  More and more things are done via email and using other online methods.  This should provide the individual with more ways to participate.  Only by getting involved and participating can you get the most out of your membership.  My MLA membership has improved my job, increased my salary and helped me become a better negotiator.  But it wasn’t the paper membership card that did that.  It is my continued involvement within the organization, the people I meet, things I learn, the opportunites and ideas discovered that has done that and continues do that.  Now I wouldn’t be able to do that without the paper membership card, but the paper membership card doesn’t do it on its own. 

I am going to badly twist a former United States President’s words, but it sums up my thoughts perfectly.
My fellow librarians: ask not what MLA can do for you — ask what you can do for MLA.

What I Learned at MLA

The first thing I learned is that being a Section Chair, NPC co-chair, Board member combined with a 3 hour time change makes Michelle a very tired girl at the MLA meeting.  So upon leaving Seattle and returning to Cleveland I decided to take a week break from all things librarian (except for my job) to get some much needed down time.  

Now I am back with renewed energy and want to talk/blog again.  So I thought I would list a few thing of what I learned at MLA.  Some are just small things while, other things are a little bigger and will probably be a future blog post.

  • Get involved! So many people asked me and others I know about the best way to get on committees and being a part of MLA.  Short answer: Get involved. Long answer: See my “how to” blog post later this week.
  • Food is good, but sometimes expensive, think outside the box to lure people to meetings/programs.  I was the chair for MIS, I discovered it would cost close to $450 to provide snacks (cookies and soda) for the MIS Business Meeting.  That is a lot of money and last year the promise of a free breakfast still had us scrambling for enough members for a quorum.  So we got creative and offered an iPad 2 ($400) as an attendance prize. We had people sitting on the floor at meeting.  Think of this when you are trying to lure people (doctors, nurses, med students, librarians, etc.) to a meeting or a class.
  • Google+ Hangouts might be a good free alternative for small group webinars or conference calls.  You can post the documents online and share them with the Google circle.  Big thing to note…you will need a laptop to initiate a Hangout.  So far you can only attend a Hangout on an iPad not be the one who initiates it. 
  • I can almost do everything I need to do on iPad and may not need my laptop at meetings anymore.  I say almost because if I want to do a Google Hangout (which we did for the MIS Business meeting) I need a laptop. I also needed a laptop for displaying the Twitter feed at the Tech Trends program, but that was more for my comfort.
  • Need anything while at the conference? Use Twitter! I had a bad headache and tweeted I needed some Advil and debated about going back to my hotel room to get some.  Within one minute 5 people tweeted they had some for me, including one person in the same room.  I repaid my Twitter karma by giving Alisha764 some Advil when she tweeted she had a headache.

Other observations:

  • More people had iPads or smartphones than I have ever seen in one conference. I think the knitting librarians dropped their needles and yarn and bought iPads. If you doubt me take a look at gabinator’s Instagram photo of the conference room when Mark Funk asked people to lift up their mobile devices. It’s blurry but look at all of those white screens.
  • There is NEVER enough time to see and do everything….that just conference life. That is why the online content is so important now.
  • There is probably a need for “How to do an MLA Meeting” online guide for first time attendees. 
  • You can never have enough power outlets.
  • If you do a Google Hangout to include members not at the conference, don’t schedule your meeting for Saturday or Sunday.

This is just a list of some of the things I learned and observed.  I plan in the next week or two to highlight a few posters and presentations that I found especially helpful or insightful. 

 

 

Friday Good: MLA Relevant Issues Service Project

The Official MLA’12 Blog has a post about the Relevant Issues Section project for the Pioneer Square Clinic.  The section invites MLA 2012 attendees to pack a little extra and bring along new socks and underwear, in all sizes, for both men and women. Extra toiletries from your hotel room may also be donated. A collection box will be set up in the registration area. Pioneer Square Clinic is in the Pioneer Square Neighborhood, serves over 1,000 homeless and low-income patients each month and has been doing so since 1971.

So just before you leave make sure you hit the store so you help others out. Also if you bring your toiletries from the hotel each morning, housekeeping will replace them each day and you can bring more.

Kick Some MLA Butt

I just posted on the MLA’12 blog, Bring Your “A” Game to the Unofficial MLA Kickboxing Class about the opportunity to participate in a kickboxing class taught by Gabe Rios. It will be at the downtown YMCA in Seattle on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 7:00am. It is a cardio workout and not a full-contact class. You do not have to be familiar with kickboxing or martial arts to take this class.

I have never taken a kickboxing class ever, but I am interested in trying it.  So if you are a Kung Fu Panda like me don’t be intimitated, come on try it out and learn from our Master Shifu of MLA.

Calling all Shutterbugs

Some of us are camera people and take pictures no matter the event, some of us snap a shot or two with our cellphones if the mood or subject strikes us.  Whether you are a budding photo journalist or just an occasional cell phone snapper the NPC would like you to post your MLA’12 photos online for all to see.

Simply join the mlanet group on flickr and upload your photos.  More details about the flickr group can be found on the MLA’12 blog.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with the year!