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!

MLA 2013 Needs Bloggers!

Are you going to Boston for the MLA 2013 Annual Meeting?  Are you already going to be taking notes during certain sessions or activities?  Why not turn those notes into a blog post to earn AHIP points?

MLA 2013 wants bloggers and you might be able to help them out.  International librarians we could really use your help blogging as well!

Check out to see if would be blogging as a…

  • Distinguished Member (10+ years): 3 posts from perspective of a long time librarian/information specialist. What has changed? What has stayed the same? What are you excited/disappointed/curious about?
  • Early Riser: 3 posts about events that take place prior to 9am, such as the YBP Health Walk & a Sunrise Seminar
  • Exhibits correspondent: 3 posts on things of interest in the exhibit hall
  • First Timer: 3 posts from perspective a new member/first time conference attendee
  • International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML) blogger: 3 posts from an ICML attendee or on ICML sessions
  • International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS) blogger: 3 posts from an ICAHIS attendee or on ICAHIS sessions
  • International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICIS) blogger: 3 posts from an ICIS attendee or on ICIS sessions
  • Library Student: 3 posts from perspective of a library science student
  • Lifelong learner: 3 posts about what you’re learning, 1 post must be a description of a CE course you took while at the conference
  • National Library of Medicine blogger: 3 posts on NLM activities (NLM update, Online Users’ Meeting, booth presentations)
  • Plenary Sessions: 4 posts on Plenary Sessions (must attend and post on Wednesday plenary)
  • Poster Sessions: 3 posts on poster sessions
  • Section blogger: 3 posts on section activities.  Posts on section sponsored programs, papers/projects by section members, business meetings, incoming/outgoing officers, etc. Membership in Section is preferred. List of MLA Sections
  • SIG blogger: 3 posts on special interest group activities. List of MLA Special Interest Groups
  • Social Butterfly: 3 posts, include Bearded Pigs, receptions and social events.
  • Your idea here: 3 posts from a perspective of your own design

Applications will be accepted January 2nd through February 15th via SurveyMonkey. Contact Kate Flewelling (flewkate at if you have questions.

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. .

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  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] 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

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 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 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:

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 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.