Congratulations to All

MLA Focus just emailed the election results and I want to congratulate the new Board Members and Nominating Committee.  But I want to steal a quote from Nikki Dettmar which summarizes my thoughts completely.

Nikki was on the Nominating Committee that help select the people on the ballot this year.  As she mentions below she is on her NomCom13 Soapbox.

“<Spontaneous Me-on-NomCom13 Soapbox>Yes, a very hearty congrats to those who were elected to Medical Library Association positions! HOWEVER, I would like to offer an even warmer expression of gratitude to all those who were NOT elected: Both those who were actually on the ballot, and those who responded in the affirmative to our initial inquires about willingness to BE on the ballot. For as often as I have heard so many in our field bitch & moan about how ‘MLA needs to do something about…’ YOU WERE WILLING TO! And I hope you don’t stop just because it didn’t work out this time. Now join in the #medlibs chat at the top of the hour about our future. Peace out. </Spontaneous Me-on-NomCom13 Soapbox>”

Nikki you said it perfectly that I have no better way to express it other than to re-post it on my blog (for those of you wondering, yes I did ask her permission).

The greatest way to get MLA to do more or to change is for you to volunteer and do something.  Don’t sit on the sidelines or be a back seat driver!  Get out take charge and shape the organization.  For all the medical librarians who aren’t members of MLA but also complain that MLA doesn’t help them and that is the reason they aren’t members…..  I have one thing to say…. PTTHBBBBBBB! What have you done to change that?! What have you done to shape MLA?!

That is why I want to join Nikki and thank EVERYBODY who was on the ballot or who agreed to be nominated to be on the ballot, because they were willing to step up and take action. Keep it up!

Needed: Projects for MLA Rising Stars

While the official deadline has past, MLA is still looking for projects to match with Rising Stars.  If you have ideas or would like to mentor a Rising Star for a project you are working on please contact MLA.

Rising Star Host/Mentor Application Information and Form

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.

To get an idea of the kind of projects Rising Stars do, here is a list of the most recent Stars, Menors and their projects.

  • Rising Star: Heather L. Brown
    Mentor: Julia Shaw-Kokot, AHIP
    Project: Work with a Chapter Council team to implement recommendations for interactive web features in the communications plan drafted by 2010 Rising Star Karen L. Hanus, AHIP.
  • Rising Star: Elizabeth V. Fine
    Mentor: Diane G. Cooper, AHIP
    Project: Work with the Federal Libraries Section web committee to evaluate the section’s website.
  • Rising Star: Rolando Garcia-Milian
    Mentor: Mary Riordan, AHIP
    Project: Work with the Awards Committee to increase the number of nominations for MLA awards.
  • Rising Star: Kristi L. Holmes
    Mentor: Jerry Perry, AHIP
    Project: Serve on and work with the Task Force on MATE.
  • Rising Star: Annabelle Nunez
    Mentor: Nancy Allee, AHIP
    Project: Work with the Leadership and Management Section’s New Members/Emerging Leaders Survey Project

For more information on past projects and Stars go here to see a longer list.

So if you are a Section or Chapter leader and you have something you have been working on and would like to have a Star work on the project with you, contact MLA ASAP!

#Medlibs Killing Cows

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.

New MLA Members Hangout!

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

While the Hangout is geared for new members, it is open to all.

Vote for MLA Leaders Now

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!!!

Deadline for MLA Continuing Education Award Fast Approaching

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  for more information on MLA grants and scholarships and for downloadable application forms, or email grants[atsign] mlahq [dot] org.

I Voted…Did You?!

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.

MLA’s Rising Star Program: Apply Now to be a Star or Mentor/Host

(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:

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:

Host/Mentor applications are also due November 1, 2013.  

Thomson Reuters Frank Bradway Rogers Information Advancement Award

(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

If you have questions, please contact Terrie Wheeler, Jury Chair, terriewheeler58[atsign]yahoo[dotcom]

Congratulations MLA Nominations

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
Gail Kouame
Heidi Heilemann, AHIP
Melissa De Santis, AHIP
Kristi L. Holmes
Barbara J. Henry

MLA Nominating Committee
Diana J. Cunningham, AHIP
Sally Gore
Kelly Gonzalez, AHIP
Amy Blevins
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
Susan Fowler
Mark E. Funk, FMLA
Heather N. Holmes, AHIP
Robert T. Mackes, AHIP
Linne’ Girouard

MLA President-Elect
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.