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.


Behind the MLA Scenes

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,, 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

MLA Statement Supporting Blogger & McMaster Being Sued by Publisher

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.

Seeking Virtual Projects

The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) has a new annual column describing innovative and notable virtual projects in health sciences libraries. This column will focus on library virtual spaces. “In an increasingly digital world, the library’s virtual space can be as much of a hub as the library’s physical space. Digital content and technology-rich library services are moving the library presence outside the physical building to support users in their digital spaces wherever and whenever needed.”

JMLA is looking for submissions of recent virtual projects for the Virtual Projects column.  The column will be published in October 2013.

Examples of projects that could be submitted include:

  • projects that improve the quality of the library’s virtual presence through webpages or its catalog
  • development of technologies that facilitate information discovery and content delivery (e.g., federated searching products and portals)
  • mobile-friendly resource and service initiatives
  • development of web 2.0/Library 2.0 initiatives (e.g., social networking applications)
  • hosting and preserving digital content activities
  • projects that demonstrate the use of library resources and services through the institution’s electronic health record (EHR)
  • collaborative ventures with campus or other partners to develop new digital resources and services


To be considered for this column, please submit a 200-word abstract of your virtual project or a link to your project web page that describes the project and why it is innovative/notable. Send your submissions to Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, by March 15, 2013.