Join us tomorrow for what is sure to be a lively discussion on killing sacred library cows on #medlibs this Thursday at 9pm Eastern.
As I mentioned in my post on the #medlibs blog…
The library environment has changed drastically and is continuing to do so. The library of 5 years ago is different from the library today. For example, the iPhone had just been released, there were no iPads and the idea of a “downloadable” ebook had just been introduced by Amazon Kindle. There were a very limited number of Kindle and certainly not intended for medicine. Yet many of us are doing the same things we did as librarians 5, 10, 15, 20 yrs ago. We were stretched thin back then, so there is no way we can now add things to our repertoire without giving up something in return. We must look at what we do in our own libraries and evaluate whether it is necessary, whether it helps our patrons or helps us. To really evaluate our services we need to look at EVERYTHING including the sacred cows of the library. We need to ask ourselves, do we need to check in journals, catalog books, make copies, eliminate the reference desk, fuss with circulation, etc. The right answers will depend on the library. A large academic library might need to still do cataloging but does a small solo hospital library with 4 shelves (not ranges) really need a catalog system much less spend time cataloging books? Some of these ideas are dangerous and even somewhat heretical librarian thinking, but I feel we need to discuss them. For more background on sacred cows and heretical librarian thoughts check out my summary of my keynote address I gave at the Midwest Chapter annual meeting.
We need to look at, evaluate and slaughter some sacred library cows. IT makes no sense for us to spend our time doing things that are no longer relevant or used by our patrons. That isn’t to say that we should have never done them. Everything has its time and place. It might be hard to give up, but we can’t just do things because we always have. We need to think like our patrons and for many of us that means completely taking off our librarian hat and looking at ourselves from a patrons view point. That may mean we come up with answers that are uncomfortable, that borderline on librarian heresy. But that is what is needed.
This Thursday’s #medlibs discussion at 9pm Eastern will discuss the idea of thinning the herd of library services so that we can grow healthy new opportunities.
Molly Knapp (@dial_m), Amy Blevins (@blevinsa) and I (@krafty) will be moderating the discussion. As always we will be using the hashtag #medlibs but if you want to further the discussion before/during/or after the regular Thursday night time use the hashtag #moo.
The best way to get the most out of your MLA membership is to get involved. For new members it can be a bit daunting. But never fear, the MLA New Members SIG is having a Hangout this Friday December 6th at 9pm Eastern.
If you are a new member you may not know exactly what a SIG is. A SIG is a Special Interest Group. SIGs are “ad hoc groups open to all members of the association. SIGs range from a series of informal meetings on a specific, short-term issue to an established subgroup within an MLA section.”
There are 21 SIGs in MLA (view list here). SIGs “provide a forum for members with unique interests to identify and meet with others with similar interests without having to fulfill the governance requirements of Sections. SIGs are generally created as less formal and more flexible organizational units, with the advantages of fewer reporting and no minimum membership requirements.” IMHO think of a SIG as the light version of Section. (For more information on SIGs go to MLA or my blog post.)
A SIG for new members is a great way to get some exposure and involvement in MLA because it is less formal and more flexible.
So if you are new member please consider joining other new members at the New Members SIG online event this Friday, Dec 6 @ 9pm Eastern.
They will be talking about the New Members SIG, preparing for MLA 2014, MLA resources, strategies for networking and meeting other medical librarians, and just getting to know each other.
More information can be found here http://bit.ly/1cVg0I2
While the Hangout is geared for new members, it is open to all.
The MLA election closes on December 6, 2013, now is the time to vote for your leaders if you haven’t done it already.
So if you haven’t voted, dig out the email from MLA that contains the unique URL for you to vote. Click on that URL and vote!
MLA provides the bios of the candidates for Nominating Committee, Board Member candidates, and Presidential candidates. In addition to the bios MLA provides a link to a statement from the Board and Presidential candidates answering a specific question posed to them. This can be found by clicking on the hyperlink of the candidate’s name.
If you haven’t voted and you are still unsure as to who to choose for President, MLA Focus just ran a spotlight article on the two candidates (me and Elaine). Both Elaine and I were given five questions that we had to answer to help members to get to know us better. Please read through my spotlight and Elaine’s to get better idea of our ideas for MLA.
Just make sure you vote before December 6th!!!
The final call for Applicants of 2014 MLA Continuing Education Award grants has been sent out. The Deadline is December 1st (right around the corner). This grant allows you to receive funding for your continuing education! MLA members may submit applications for these awards of $100 to $500 to develop their knowledge of the theoretical, administrative, or technical aspects of librarianship. More than 1 Continuing Education Award may be offered in a year.
Visit http://www.mlanet.org/awards/grants/ for more information on MLA grants and scholarships and for downloadable application forms, or email grants[atsign] mlahq [dot] org.
The MLA polls are open and you don’t even have to drive to get to them to vote. If you are an MLA member you just have to open up your email and follow the link and instructions. Easy peasy.
As easy as the process is to vote, it is not so easy to choose the people. To help you choose, MLA has included bios on the Presidential, Board Member and Nominating Committee candidates. The candidates for President and Board Members were also asked to answer a question posed by the Nominating Committee. Please read through the candidates and their answers. Who you choose will help shape the future of MLA.
The November/December of MLA News usually prints the list of candidates and provides the answers to additional questions the Nominating Commitee asked the Presidential candidates, so keep your eye out for that. When it is available I will post the link.
(reposted from MLA-LMS)
The MLA Rising Star program has been developed for MLA members who are interested in attaining leadership roles in MLA but who have not yet become active at a national level. The one-year leadership development program matches each Rising Star with a mentor in a curriculum that includes:
- learning how MLA succeeds through the volunteer efforts of its members;
- the roles of the MLA Board and staff; and
- project management skills applied to an actual MLA project.
Application and information can be found online at: http://www.mlanet.org/pdf/awards/20130827_rising_star_app.doc
Applications are due November 1, 2013.
Also, if your chapter, section, or committee is interested in submitting a project for the program, the host/mentor application can be found online at: http://www.mlanet.org/pdf/awards/20130827_rising_star_host_app.doc
Host/Mentor applications are also due November 1, 2013.
(reprinted with permission)
Do you know someone who has developed an application, tool or interface to help deliver medical information to their clients? Perhaps the technology fits the definition of meaningful use? Maybe you know of an innovative way that a library or informatics center is using technology to better serve a specific group of people. If so, consider nominating a colleague for the Thomson Reuters/Frank Bradway Rogers Information Advancement Award. Technological advances for this award are considered both on their merit, and the extent of their impact.
The award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding contributions in the application of technology to the delivery of health sciences information, to the science of information, or to the facilitation of the delivery of health sciences information. The award is sponsored by Thomson Reuters. The recipient receives a certificate and a cash award of $500.
Deadline for applications is November 1.
Complete information and nomination forms can be found at http://www.mlanet.org/awards/honors/
If you have questions, please contact Terrie Wheeler, Jury Chair, terriewheeler58[atsign]yahoo[dotcom]
In years past I have congratulated those nominated and I want to do so again. Good luck to everyone.
MLA Board of Directors
Teresa L. Knott, AHIP
Heidi Heilemann, AHIP
Melissa De Santis, AHIP
Kristi L. Holmes
Barbara J. Henry
MLA Nominating Committee
Diana J. Cunningham, AHIP
Kelly Gonzalez, AHIP
Laurie L. Thompson, AHIP, FMLA
Paula Raimondo, AHIP
Stephanie Fulton, AHIP
James Shedlock, AHIP, FMLA
T. Scott Plutchak, AHIP, FMLA
Deborah D. Halsted
Pamela S. Bradigan, AHIP
Jonathan Eldredge, AHIP
Meredith Ilyse Solomon
Mark E. Funk, FMLA
Heather N. Holmes, AHIP
Robert T. Mackes, AHIP
Michelle Kraft, AHIP, Alumni Library, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Elaine Russo Martin, Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School–Worcester
I am honored and humbled to be nominated, and even considered in the same category as Elaine. Both of us have done a lot of within MLA and I know it will be a difficult to decision. In the next few weeks, MLA News will send out bios and information about the candidates. Make sure you read them and then vote for the people based on the information within MLA News and who you think will be best for MLA membership.
In Boston, at the 2013 Medical Library Association’s Annual Meeting I blogged as the Unofficial MLA Insider. In the past I noticed that both MLA new members as well as long time members aren’t always sure as to how things work. My posts were meant to shed some light on what happens at the meeting as well as within MLA.
MLA is a great group full of interesting and helpful librarians, and even though we aren’t the size of ALA, it is sometimes hard to know the structure, how things work, who does what, etc. within the organization. So I have decided to continue my unofficial MLA insider posts with an attempt at pulling back the curtain of the organization.
One note, much of the stuff I will be blogging about is available on the organization’s website, MLANet.org, and available to current members, but I think the best way to really understand is to also get involved. It is one thing to read and another to do.
I will still continue writing about other things on the blog, but I will throw in an unofficial insider post every once and a while.
If you didn’t read the MLA 2013 blog, here are links to my posts which will give you an idea of what I intend to write about.
In the following weeks I plan to write a post about Sections, SIGs, Chapters and other entities within the larger MLA. My intention is to shed light on what is sometimes a very confusing area for members. I will be answering the often asked question, “What is a Section and how is it different than a SIG?”
What are some of the things you always wondered about MLA? Let me know and I will try and shed some light on it. I need your imput and questions to help make this unofficial insider series work
I wanted to forward along a press release issued jointly by MLA and AAHSL.
(reprinted from MLA press release)
The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AASHL) and the Medical Library Association (MLA) share a commitment to intellectual freedom and access to information. We strongly oppose the suppression of opinion and censorship of ideas.
We believe that librarians must be able to openly assess publisher products or practices without intimidation.
We strongly support Dale Askey and McMaster University as they face the lawsuit brought against them by Edwin Mellen Press.
“The free exchange of ideas and opinions is essential to academic work,” said Jane Blumenthal, President, Medical Library Association. “This exchange is often critical and sometime intemperate, but regardless, the assessment of information is an essential part of the work of librarians, faculty, libraries, and universities. Academic publishers, as partners in the process of scholarly communication, should not only expect but also welcome critical appraisal. The filing of a lawsuit in response to an expression of professional opinion will work to suppress free and open discussion and hinder the growth of knowledge.”
“Though we may work in different library environments, one common foundational and critical element of our work is the appraisal of information resources in support of our academic communities,” said M.J. Tooey, President, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. “These resources support the creation of new methods, of new theories, of new cures, and new pathways to knowledge. Any attempt to stifle professional opinion is an impediment to the scholarly process and a violation of freedom of speech in support of the advancement of scholarship.”
We urge Edwin Mellen Press to drop this suit.