Friday Fun: Get $400 To Go To Seattle, NOW!

Yesterday I posted asking people about what kind of things they want to see at the Seattle meeting.  PLEASE keep the suggestions coming!

In one of the comments Halyna mentioned that some librarians do not get any funding or partial funding so having discounts, coupons available for restaurants, attractions would be very helpful.  I am all about coupons and I like the idea…and I will pass it on to the LAC who would be in the best position to find coupons or discounts as the meeting draws near.  But Halyna’s comment also served as the perfect reminder that librarians facing travel money issues have various opportunities to help pay to attend the meeting. 

There is still time to enter to the contest sponsored by the NPC to win $400 toward the meeting.  How do you win?  Simply submit the best method you used to justify your attendance at an MLA annual meeting to receive funding from their institutions or employers.  Two people with the best stories will win $400 towards either travel expenses or registration for the Seattle meeting.  So far there aren’t a lot of submissions so your odds of winning are VERY good if you submit.  You must enter by November 1, 2011! So get to your computer and type something out and submit it!

You also might want to check out if the MLA Section you belong to is providing scholarships to attend the meeting.  As a member and current Chair of the Medical Informatics Section, I know that we have recently been offering a travel grant each year to an MIS member to help with traveling to the MLA annual meeting.  Perhaps your one of the sections you belong to is doing something similar.

As the dollar gets tighter we have to get more creative about finding ways to be able to attend the meeting.  The travel grants are out there for this meeting, it is up to you to try and get them.  If you don’t apply you certainly won’t get them.  If you do apply and for some unlucky reason you don’t get a travel grant and can’t afford to go, don’t forget about attending as an e-conference participant!

What Do You Want at MLA 2012?

Monday and Tuesday I was in Boston at the New England Journal of Medicine Library Advisory Board Meeting.  This was my final board meeting, my three year term has come to an end.  It was a very wonderful and illuminating experience and I feel honored and lucky to serve.  While on the board I got to work with other librarians and with the fine folks at NEJM discussing issues, trends, technologies, etc. that both librarians and publishers face.

Unfortunately, I have now been playing catch up at home and work since my return and have had little time to blog.  Next week I am off to Seattle as a co-chair of the 2012 NPC to visit the hotel, conference center and to discuss things.  This will be a turn and burn kind of trip.  I get in Tuesday afternoon and leave Wednesday afternoon.  Since I will be there only a very short time, I want to know from you what you want to see at the Seattle meeting.

 What should we do that you have been dying for MLA to do?  Is there something that you keep writing on the feedback forms for MLA to do and we haven’t done it yet?  Let me know.  I can’t promise you anything but I can look into it.

What sort of fun activities would you like to see us do at the meeting?  I firmly believe that we get the most from these meetings by socializing and networking with other librarians.  Discovering that so and so at such and such library is doing exactly what you have been trying to do in your library.  Even though I think librarians in general are a pretty nice lot, willing to share their success and oops stories it can still be intimidating to approach somebody out of the blue.  That is why I think some fun icebreaker mingle type events are great at getting the networking mojo going.  So in keeping with the Growing Opportunities: Changing Our Game baseball type theme, what do you type of social events do think might be fun?

What did you like at the last meeting that you think we should repeat again at this meeting?  Same question in reverse, what do you think we shouldn’t do?

Finally, for those of you who attend the e-conference and those who are plugged in at the conference…  What would you like to see on the MLA Conference home page during the meeting.  In the past we have had a Conference Community web page but it has kind of been buried and a little difficult to access during the conference while the main conference page remained static with information that was necessary prior to the conference but unnecessary during the actual conference days.  What do you think needs to be featured prominently and what would help your overall experience and increase your connectivity for both e-conference participants and wired in person participants?

Comment back, I look forward to reading them.

MLA Grants and Scholarships

A special edition of MLA Grants and Scholarships was sent out and I want to remind people of the possible things they could apply for to get money.

But first I want to remind people that there is still time to try and win $400 toward the 2012 Annual Meeting.

You must submit your story online by November 1, 2011. Winners will be notified by November 25, 2011 and will be listed in the January 2012 MLA News. All submissions will be displayed online at and will be available for your fellow librarians to read and learn from. By participating in this contest, not only do you have the chance to win money to help pay for next year’s meeting, but you are sharing your successful funding strategies which can serve as a resource to other librarians who may need a little help getting institutional support.

To enter the contest go to:

You must be an MLA member to win.

Other Grants and Scholarships you might interested in are:

  • Continuing Education Awards
  • Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship and Grants
  • EBSCO/MLA Annual Meeting Grant
  • Hospital Libraries Section/MLA Professional Development Grants
  • David A. Kronick Traveling Fellowship
  • Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship
  • Medical Informatics Section/MLA Career Development Grant
  • MLA Scholarship
  • MLA Scholarship for Minority Students
  • MLA/NLM Spectrum Scholarship
  • Thomson Reuters/MLA Doctoral Fellowship

For application deadline dates, more information, applications, and a list of past winners go to:

Internet Librarian Conference: Discount Available

The 2011 Internet Librarian Conference will be held October 17-19 in Monterey, California.  Uusally the cost for the 3 day event is usually $499 but you can get a group discounted admission of $299 (a savings of $200) if you register through Marty Magee, NNLM MidContinental Region.  You must register no later than September 1, 2011.  For more information on how to register for the conference at a discount and contact information go to the MidContinental Region News blog post, Internet Librarian 2011 – Conference discount available at $299.

Even at a discounted registration price, you may want your institution to help fund some of the conference.  Check out the, “Why I Must Go To Monterey” document on the Internet Librarian 2011 site. As they say, “Sometimes all it takes to get permission is using the right words.”  They have created a draft memo for you to use to try and sell your administration on paying for you to attend. (I am sure also explaining how you are able to secure a $200 registration discount can’t hurt either.)  The draft memo is a bit long for memo to your boss, it is definitely a draft.  You will need to edit it so that it takes on the proper tone of your administration yet still convey the importance of attending the meeting.  Personally, I would also edit it so that it is no more than 1 page.  In my experience, memos longer than 1 page don’t get read.  But I applaud the Internet Librarian conference for providing a sample memo, and I would rather that sample be longer with as much information so that potential attendees can edit it as necessary.  Better to have more information and cut down than not enough information.

Finally, since I am talking about discounted registration and justifying your presence at the Internet Librarian Conference, I am going to make a shameless plug promoting MLA 2012 Fund Your Meeting Contest.  Two $400 awards will be given out to help pay for registration or travel expenses to the 2012 meeting in Seattle.  All you have to do to win is submit the most original, funny, interesting, or beth method you used to get funding from your institution to attend a meeting.  Go to to enter before November 1, 2011.  To read other people’s submissions to get ideas as to how you can try and convince your administration to pay or help pay for you to go to MLA, go to

Win $400 Toward the Seattle Meeting

As co-chair of the 2012 NPC I know there are a lot of people working hard to create great programs for the 2012 meeting.  Teresa and I and the rest of the NPC have compiled a great pool of potential speakers and the meeting is shaping up nicely.  It would be a real shame if you won’t be there to enjoy and learn with us.  But every year I hear more and more people on Medlib-l, other listservs, and in person complaining they don’t have the money to attend an MLA meeting because their institution won’t fund them. 

Well, I can’t force your institution to pay for you to go. However, I can give you some great ideas to try to persuade your administration to help pay for your meeting attendance and also provide an opportunity for you to win $400 towards the Seattle meeting. 


The National Program Committee for the 2012 meeting in Seattle, WA has created a contest looking for the best methods librarians used to justify their attendance at a meeting and receive funding from their institution. There will be two $400 prizes to be used toward either registration or travel expenses to the 2012 meeting. The two prizes will be awarded to one hospital librarian and one academic medical librarian for the most original, funny, interesting, or best method for acquiring funding from their institution.

You’ve heard the slogan, “You’ve got to be in it to win it!”  Well that is true for this contest.  You must submit online your story of how you got funded by November 1, 2011. Winners will be notified by November 25, 2011 and will be listed in the January 2012 MLA News. To enter the contest go to:, you must be an MLA member to win.

This contest serves two purposes. First, it helps two people attend the meeting.  Second, it provides a space to share successful stories so that all librarians can learn from them and use them to help secure institutional money to attend a meeting.  All submissions will be displayed online at Want to participate but  nervous about seeing your name in lights on how you got your institution to support your attendance? Don’t worry. We have set it up so that you can participate in the contest but your name will be withheld from the online public site and will only be known to contest judges.

Hurry up, go to the wiki to read some of the entries or to the contest and submit an entry.  The wiki is up-to-date (as of 7/14/11) so the entries you see are the ones submitted so far.  Right now odds are good if you want to enter to win.  You can’t win if you don’t enter!

What is the Purpose of an Association?

Jane Blumenthal wrote a very thought provoking post on the future of associations.  In the past people usually belonged to an association so that they could meet other people with a common interest, make contacts, share information, and learn from each other.  These associations helped their members achieve this by holding conferences, producing publications of the profession, and creating networking opportunities.  Before the Internet that was an effective method to get like minded professionals connected and communicating. 

With the rise of social networking tools and society’s acceptance of alternative communication tools, the question some are asking is, “What is the future of an association?”  For Jane, the question is more specific, “What is the future of MLA?”

The MLA Board has had many conversations around this issue. As a result of those discussions, the Emerging Leaders Task Force and its Rising Stars program were created.  However, the work of the Task Force raised additional questions. We were mentoring future leaders for the association, but where would they be leading us? The Board has asked the Leadership and Management Section to gather information from our members about where they would like to see the association in 5 years. A task force within the section is currently conducting a survey and focused interviews to gather this information.

Where would you like to see MLA in five years? What do you anticipate your future professional needs will be, and what services can the association provide to meet those needs?

What are your thoughts on the MLA of the future?  What is the role of our library association as we are able to connect virtually?  Will the Annual Meeting become a giant week long webinar?  Will people still write articles for publication in JMLA?  What do you think your needs will be in 5 or 10 years from now?  Will MLA be able to help you with those future issues?  Whether they can or can’t help, what are the ways the association needs to adapt so that it can still remain important in the lives of librarians and address those future needs?

Please feel free to comment and post your thoughts on Janes post.  I know lots of us are interested in your thoughts.

MLA Posts

“How do you find time to blog” is the question I get asked most often when I meet people for the first time.  Often I respond that it doesn’t take long to jot down my thoughts and that a normal blog post (not an in-depth product or database review) can take me about 10 minutes to an hour to write. 

If you watched Clay Shirky’s keynote speech yesterday at MLA (view it online here if you registered for e-conference or the regular conference) you might remember that he mentioned that there are 100 million hours put into Wikipedia which illustrates how big of a project it is.  But did you know watching television has taken 200 billion hours in the US alone every year, according to Shirky? So while Wikipedia takes a alot of peoples’ time, Americasn spend much more time on less productive activities such as watching TV.  In fact I am sort of watching TV as I write this post.  

In normal times I am able to find a few minutes out of my day to squeeze out a post.  I guess you could call the time I use to do that my television time.  However, this week I don’t even have television time to write my blog posts.  This year is the first year in a VERY long time that I am not an Official (or unofficial) blogger at MLA. I am just too busy.  This year I am the 2012 NPC co-chair and I am busy attending meetings, thanking vendors, and promoting next year’s meeting.  I am also the incoming chair for MIS and must go to MIS business meetings and section programs.  Last but not least, I am incoming MLA Board member and must attend almost everything MLA and meetings for my liaison committees.

So for once in my MLA meeting life I have no “TV time” to write a steady stream of blog posts.  I hope to write a few posts about the meeting when I get back home but in the mean time don’t forget to check out the Official MLA Meeting Blog.

Win $400 To Go To MLA 2012

How did you convince your organization to fund your trip to a Medical Library Association Annual Meeting? In this day and age where we are all doing our best with shrinking budgets and institutions are scrutinizing our travel funds, the NPC 2012 Committtee thought it would be a good idea for librarians to share with each other their methods, stories, and ways they were able to secure funding to attend an MLA Annual Meeting.

Kind of in the same spirit as the MLA Swap ‘n’ Shop, which features samples and giveaways of successful library promotions, the Get Funded for MLA Contest will feature how librarians successfully got their institution to help pay for the annual meeting so that other librarians can learn and get ideas to use to help them secure travel funds.

So stop by the 2012 booth and get your “Get Your Meeting Funded” stickers and let everyone know that they could win $400 toward the Seattle meeting.

Contest Information:

The National Program Committee for the 2012 meeting in Seattle, WA are looking for the best methods people used to justify their attendance at a meeting to receive funding from their institution. There will be two $400 prizes to be used toward either registration or travel expenses to the 2012 meeting. The two prizes will be awarded to one hospital librarian and one academic medical librarian for the most original, funny, interesting, and best method for acquiring funding from their institution.

You must submit your story online by November 1, 2011. Winners will be notified by November 25, 2011 and will be listed in the January 2012 MLA News. All submissions will be displayed online at and will be available for your fellow librarians to read and learn from. By participating in this contest, not only do you have the chance to win money to help pay for next year’s meeting, but you are sharing your successful funding strategies which can serve as a resource to other librarians who may need a little help getting institutional support.

To enter the contest go to:

You must be an MLA member to win.

Nervous about seeing your name in lights about how you got your institution to support your attendance? That is fine. We have set it up so that you can participate in the contest but your name will be withheld from the online public site and will only be known to contest judges.

MLA Conference Online

By now you are either going to MLA or you are not.  If you aren’t going to MLA you might want to consider attending as an e-Conference participant.  It is only $100 for all of the online content, videos, slides, poster information, etc. It is a good deal and if I wasn’t going to Minneapolis, I would be attending as an e-Conference participant.

Don’t foget to also check out MLA’s CoverItLive link to watch events as they happen.

Online MLA Schedule

I am sure you are all wondering why on Earth I am fussing so much with my MLA schedule and writing about the online program planner.  Well this MLA I am a little busier than others.  I am the soon to be the Section Chair for MIS, Co-chair of the NPC 2012, and I am an incoming MLA Board member.  All of it is doable, but I need a damn good schedule to keep my head on straight.

My entire personal life revolves around Google Calendar.  EVERYTHING is on it and it can be seen online by me or my husband and is synced to our smartphones.  So when I am sitting at my son’s baseball practice and the coach tells us  a game’s location and time has changed, I can easily pull up the calendar on my phone and make the edits.  The changes are saved on Google itself not on my phone.  That is important because the information is instantly updated and can be viewed on my husband’s phone or computer.  

Since my personal life is organized by Google Calendar it is natural that I would like my library life to be as well.  The online program planner in is a good idea, but it fails on a lot of common tasks that I wonder if it was tested before it went live.  There are many more events at MLA than those that are on the Official Program.  People also like to program hop.  Attend one program to see a specific speaker then dart out to see another speaker at another program scheduled at the same time.  Unfortunately you cannot add your own events to the online planner, nor can you select certain speakers to watch within programs for purpose of hopping. 

At first I thought I conquered this problem.  I uploaded my online planner to Google Calendar with the intention of adding the new programs into my calendar.  At first glance this seems to have worked but as I tried to sync to my iPhone and give the link to my schedule to friends, flaws started to appear.

The online planner imports into Google Calendar as a totally separate calendar AND doesn’t allow you to edit that calendar. (It is hard to describe so look at the photos I link to as visual references.)  If you look at this pictureyou can see that my Google Calendar and the events (that aren’t in the Official Program) I added are listed in green under my Krafty Librarian account.  The events in purple are the events that imported from the online planner under my online planner account kraftm.  The purple events are listed as “other calendars” and are not “owned” my the Krafty Librarian account, therefore I can’t alter them. 

Why is this a big deal?  Well if you sync your calendar to your smartphone (which many people do) then your phone has problems picking up your “other calendar” because it is not owned by you.  Therefore you don’t see those events in purple on your smartphone.  Also, if you are like me and need the phone to buzz you 10 min. prior to remind you of an event, you won’t get that reminder buzz.

There were a lot choice words that went through my brain when I discovered this.  However, I found out a way to add the purple events to my “owned” calendar.  Look at this picture.  If you click on the time of the purple entry you get a dialogue box with the link “copy to my calendar.” Doing that will add that event to your “owned” calendar.  Yippeee!  Now for the downside.  I haven’t figured out how you can do this en masse, the only way I have found that works is clicking on each event individually.  Yeah no more yippee.  But the process works.  If you look at this picture, you can see that I was able to successfully add all of my purple events to my “owned” calendar.

By doing all of that my calendar now syncs nicely with my phone.

However, this is a big pain in the but.  I would have given up long ago if it weren’t for how crazy busy I will be and my obession with scheduling and syncing everything through Google and my phone. 

Additionally, one of the biggest features of the MLA online planner is that your friends are able to see your schedule.  This is very helpful if you are trying to meet up with somebody.  For example Nikki Detmar plans to do some geocaching while at MLA. I have been interested in doing this because I think my boys might like it.  So tweeted back that I would be interested in going with her and she said she would check my schedule on the online planner.  Ooops, that totally isn’t going to work.  If you look at my schedule on MLA’s online planner it appears that I am much more available than I really am.  

I realize my example was not exactly a work related example, it was scheduling fun at the conference.  But all work and no fun makes Krafty a very dull girl.  Plus it was a very good example of how the online planner’s inability to add other events really makes the sharing part of it pointless.  Why am I going to share a schedule that isn’t correct?  So now I have gone into Google grabbed the URL to share my calendar so that I can post it on Twitter, my Facebook, here on my blog, and Crowdvine.   

When the online program planner first became live, it was never my intention to devote any more attention to it other than to say, “Hey it is live.”  However, I have to believe that I am not the only person out there who is struggling with the thing trying to add events, trying to get it to sync correctly, and trying display it properly so that easier to schedule a few fun or meeting related things in between MLA events.  I write this post so that others can benefit from my trials with the product.  Good luck, and next year I cross my fingers that my only post about the online planner will be, “Hey it is live.”