In May 2015, I will become the MLA President. In the past when I was a Board Member, I tried to blog in a way that I was not speaking for MLA but also shedding light on the organization and the profession. Well when I become President, I think it will be increasingly difficult, especially as I write blog posts (or whatever communication) as President on MLANet.
However, I want to keep this blog going. It has been helpful to be to organize my thoughts, hear back from other librarians, and learn from others outside of the library world. So I have an idea and I would like your opinion on it.
I will continue to blog as normal up to May-ish sometime. At which time I become MLA President I will allow guest bloggers to publish posts through my Presidential year. I will still from time to time post something on here but my intention is to have fresh content from fresh minds keeping this information resource going while I am unable to due to time and possibly conflicts of interest.
So I thought I would put out a call for guest bloggers around March and select a group who would work together to provide some of the content for this blog. My intention is to have 1-2 posts a week. Having a group of bloggers instead of one person would make this easier and not so much of a burden to write on anybody.
What do you think about this idea? Would you still be interested in reading it? Should I just scrap the blog anyway? I appreciate any thoughts you, the reader have. Please comment and let me know.
BTW if you want to be a guest poster, I haven’t worked out the details but I know this much…I can’t offer money nor AHIP points or anything official. It would just be a fun way to write about medicine, librarianship, or medical librarianship.
It is 2015 and the blog is going retro. While I liked the look of the skin I was using, it was causing all sorts of havoc with my site. Some places are now blocking my blog as it says it is sending out spam malware which I don’t think it was but I think the skin was maybe sending out advertising cookies that some systems did not like. Well you get what you pay for.
So I went back to the skin design that was last known to work and have few problems over the years. My hope is that I can get things straightened out and get back to writing because there are so many interesting things happening that I want to write about.
I apologize for being AWOL on the Blog wall.
(reposted from MLA Focus)
The MLA News is looking for a Social Media (formerly Blogs to Follow) column editor. The editor is responsible for soliciting authors every month to submit reviews of the best in medicine, librarianship, or related social media (e.g., blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook groups, Instagram). If you are social media savvy and would like to share your knowledge as a column editor, please send an email stating your interest and qualifications to Laurie Thompson, AHIP, FMLA, editor, MLA News, by November 15. This is a 3-year appointment and earns AHIP points.
What a neat opportunity. If it were 3 years earlier or 3 years later I would totally be all over this like white on rice. I like the idea that MLA News is broadening the column to be more than just blogs. I know there are quite a few social media savvy medical librarians out there that would be perfect for this.
Today as people are going to polls to vote for their local and state officials, don’t forget to vote for MLA President, Board members, and Nominating Committee. Don’t wait because if you are like me, once that email goes down below the first page, it might has well have disappeared because I totally forget about it.
Today is Halloween, but it is also the last day for MLA members to sign up to join a committee. So Jack is here, politely knocking on your door to remind you to sign up.
If you want to be included in the appointment process for 2015 appointments, please log on to MLANET and complete your application by today, October 31, 2014.
Visit, https://www.mlanet.org/ and log on; then visit
The 2016 annual meeting will be in Toronto and the NPC is looking to see if there are any barriers to going to an international meeting in Toronto that normally wouldn’t be a barrier if the meeting was withing the continental U.S.
Obviously people traveling to the meeting in Toronto will need an updated passport. Plan early to get your passport if you don’t already have one. Also check its expiration date, sometimes you may not be able to travel on a passport that is set to expire within three months.
The one nice thing is that the US dollar is stronger than the Canadian dollar so that gives us little bit of a “discount” when buying things over there. However that usually isn’t realized on air travel and the cost of flights really depends on the airports. For example, Cleveland is one of the more expensive airports to fly out of, so airfares for me are often painful. We all have budget issues to consider, I don’t think Toronto being an international conference is on the same cost level as an international conference overseas. Based on a very brief look at the expenses, it doesn’t appear the cost to be any more or less of a barrier then one would typically encounter going to MLA.
I am not saying cost isn’t important, but my blog post today is more focused on the barriers unique to an international meeting. One such barrier that may be related to this meeting is the permission or the ability to attend an international meeting. Some hospitals, government entities, and other places will not fund travel to an international meeting (even if international is within North America and is closer than flying to San Francisco). In this case the barrier is the fact that it is an international meeting and the institution will not fund international meetings. So it isn’t the amount of the trip that is the barrier, but the fact that the institution will not pay for the trip at all.
Do you typically attend MLA? If you typically attend, will you have some problems attending a conference in Toronto because it is international or will it be just fine? Please make a comment and let us know. I know the NPC would like to try and address any issues ahead of time.
I mentioned in my earlier Behind the Scenes MLA Executive Director Search that I would provide updates as they were available.
I wanted to let you know that Tuft & Associates interviews with MLA Board members, MLA Staff memebers, and a diverse group MLA members to try and determine the opportunities and challenges for MLA have been completed. Tufts has created a profile as well as traits desired for the position. The position currently being advertised on Tufts website as well as at various other websites and groups in libraries and association management. The position will also go out to various listservs such as MEDLIB-L, AAHSL, Chapter lists, etc.
View the position profile and job opening at Tufts. http://www.tuftassoc.com/searches/executive-director-3/
Still in the near future….MLA members have an opportunity to participate in the process by suggesting questions for candidates. The search committee and Tufts anticipate interviews of top candidates will begin in late
The special edition MLA Focus has just released the Slate for 2015 (to be voted on Nov 3 through Dec 5, 2014).
Congratulations and good luck to the people on the slate for the MLA 2015 Election. Now it is up to the voting members to look at the people on the slate and determine who they feel would best represent the MLA membership.
- Teresa L. Knott, AHIP, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University–Richmond
- Chris Shaffer, AHIP, Library, Oregon Health & Science University–Portland
Board of Directors
- Lisa K. Traditi, AHIP, Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado–Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO
- Melissa Rethlefsen, AHIP, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah–Salt Lake City
- James Dale Prince, AHIP, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), Southeastern Atlantic Region, University of Maryland–Baltimore
- Janna Lawrence, AHIP, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa–Iowa City
- Latrina Keith
- David A. Nolfi, AHIP
- Julie K. Kwan, AHIP
- Stephanie Fulton, AHIP
- Michael S. Fitts
- Brandi D. Tuttle, AHIP
- Brenda Marisol Linares, AHIP
- Gary Kaplan, AHIP
- Marie T. Ascher
- Darlene Parker-Kelly
- Len Levin, AHIP
- John C. Bramble
- Donna R. Berryman
- Sandra De Groote, AHIP
- Rebecca Birr, AHIP
- Patricia Baldwin Regenberg, AHIP
- Terri Ottosen, AHIP
- Emily J. Hurst, AHIP
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.
Last week Clinical Key changed their interface and there was a big discussion about Clinical Key and how it works (or doesn’t) with Internet Explorer 8 & 9 on the Medlib-l listserv. Basically the conversation fell into three categories.
- There was a general feeling that Elsevier did little to no testing of their website with hospital and other users.
- Lack of functionality with IE 8 & 9 seem to indicate they didn’t test it very well using those browsers.
- No A-Z alphabet listed for e-books and e-journals, so users have to wait for the entire list of e-books or e-journals to load and then scroll down to their title. Annoying, but not a big deal if your title begins with a C. But if you are J or another middle of the alphabet letter, it is worse than annoying.
- Changing the way e-journals display a title. In the past they displayed the title, current issue and then listed past issues on the page. This is no longer the case and it makes finding the past issues very difficult. (update 10/2/14: ejournals now display current and past issues.)
- Most hospitals are stuck using Internet Explorer and often old versions of the software.
- Many hospitals have legacy systems and are stuck on older operating systems which often dictate their browser software. I know of one major hospital that has a goal of finally migrating to Windows 7 by Fall 2015.
- If hospitals are a part of your clientele then it is a business imperative to know what the majority operating systems, browsers, and platforms your product will be used on. Failure to do so means your product fails or is not used effectively. This leads to poor usage and will lead to non-renewal.
- In general most hospital librarians CANNOT get their IT department to upgrade the hospital’s browsers. At best they can get the computers in their library to have an upgraded or different browser, but they have no influence to have browsers upgraded elsewhere in the hospital. It is naive to think otherwise.
- Academics have more flexibility and options regarding software and their IT departments are more open to other resources.
- As a result they are often good places to try new things and experiment. However if the product will be offered to hospitals, vendors must be aware that what works at an academic institution may not work at a hospital.
- While academic institution are concerned about privacy, in general they do not have to deal with HIPPA regulations. This adds a layer of complexity to security that must be married to multiple hospital systems.
While the medlib-l discussion on Clinical Key could be boiled down into one of these three themes, it does impact more than just Clinical Key. They are just the most recent example, but others have failed to understand the market they sell to.
Before a vendor decides to upgrade, they would do well to have beta testers from both hospitals and academic institutions (large and small) and make sure the company or programmers they are using to upgrade their product know design to the lowest common browser. That won’t make things perfect, but it will help.
As you all know, Carla Funk, the Executive Director of MLA is retiring. So we must search for a new person for the position. I thought I would provide an update on the search for those of you who didn’t see the update published in the September 25 MLA Focus. (Click here for update as of 10/6/14)
The search committee first worked on selecting an executive search firm to help us with the process for filling the position. The search committee sent out several request for proposals (RFPs) to reputable search firms who specialize in the area of finding executive directors for associations. We reviewed the completed and returned proposals and selected Tuft & Associates as our search firm. Tuft & Associates has experience working with other medical and library associations finding executive directors.
Tufts & Associates has been interviewing MLA Board memebers, MLA staff members, and diverse group of MLA members to try and determine the opportunities and challenges for MLA so that they can compile a profile as well as traits desired for the position. Once the profile is complete, the position will be advertised.
MLA members have an opportunity to participate in the process by suggesting questions for candidates. Stay tuned for how to suggestion questions. MLA is looking at away to do compile the suggestions online. The search committee and Tufts anticipate interviews of top candidates will begin in late fall.
The search committee includes Dixie A. Jones, AHIP, chair; Linda Walton; Michelle Kraft, AHIP; Chris Shaffer, AHIP; Sandra G. Franklin, AHIP; and staff member Kate Corcoran.
The diverse group of MLA members were made up of librarians in academic, hospital libraries, living in different areas of the U.S, representing different ages and ethnic backgrounds.
I will write another update when the profile has been completed and the position has been posted. I will also provide more information on how to suggestion questions for the executive director search as soon as the technical details have been worked out.