Virtual Projects Wanted for JMLA Column

Submit Virtual Projects for JMLA Column by March 15
The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) seeks innovative and notable projects for the October 2015 JMLA Virtual Projects column. This annual column focuses on library virtual spaces that extend the library “presence” outward to support users in their digital spaces, wherever and whenever needed.

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

Submissions of virtual projects can demonstrate the integration of services and content into user workflows, new technology initiatives and collaborative opportunities, new ways of using devices and software to enrich services and collections, or facilitation of information discovery and delivery. Focus areas or technologies of special interest include, but are not limited to:

  • electronic medical record/electronic health record integration
  • data management
  • altmetrics
  • games and gamification
  • unique mobile options for content and delivery
  • wearable technology

Please consider sharing your knowledge and experiences with implementing virtual projects in your library to inspire and encourage your peers, partners, and communities!

Behind the MLA Scenes: Committees

Roughly two years ago I wrote the post “How to Join a Committee” describing the importance of joining a committee and the basic process.  I figured since one of my major jobs as President-elect of MLA is to now assign people to the various MLA committees now would be a good time to revisit the process.

Committees are the driving force of MLA and without members’ participation on committees many things within MLA wouldn’t happen.  Each year MLA members must apply to join a committee or  committees. An online committee application is available in the members-only area (active June through October 31). The form also appears in the August and September issues of MLA News and is available through headquarters. As I mentioned, the deadline for committee applications is October 31.

MLA members can apply to the various committees below.

Members can also choose to apply to “any committee” as needed.

Once members have completed their application and the deadline has passed then MLA sorts through all of the information and organizes it based on the applying members’ committee selections.  The information is compiled in a spreadsheet and given to each committee co-chair.  The co-chairs then select from their “wish list” of members to join their committee.

The co-chairs “wish list” is then given to the President-elect (me this year) and the President-elect then officially selects the members for each committee.  Usually the President-elect respects the selections of the co-chairs, but there are times when multiple committees select the same person for their committee.  In these cases the President-elect does his/her best job to to make as many members (and co-chairs) happy as well as provide as many opportunities possible to applicants.

Mark Funk describes the process as similar to the “NFL draft done by one person trying to make teams, coaches, and players all happy.”  I tend to think of it as the residency match process.  A member may list one committee as their first choice but the co-chairs may choose another person who also listed that same committee as their first choice.

For example some committees may have a need for members with certain skills or knowledge.  The best example I can give on this is the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) .  Depending on the upcoming projects the TAC may need to select members with certain technological knowledge and skills over another very tech savvy member who has other skills.

This is why it is VERY important to fill out everything about your knowledge and experience when applying for committees. According to MLA’s website: “In making appointments, the association considers the background and skills of the applicants, as well as the responsibilities and needs of the committees. A history of active participation in committee work on the local, regional, or national level is an important qualification. Recommendations are sought from current committee chairs, members of the board of directors, and program staff. Some MLA committees require combinations of skills and knowledge found among few health sciences librarians. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to recruit certain members with unique experience and expertise to serve on specific committees.”

Basically the above paragraph is a really long way to say the following:

  • Current committee members look at those apply for committee spots
    • Therefore list your whatever credentials, activities, experience you have even if it isn’t national experience.  The committee members just want to make sure you are somebody who is willing to be an active participant.
    • If you want to join a committee where your experience might helpful towards committee work. For example: people wanting to join the Technology Advisory Committee will want to list their technology experience.

IF you are new to MLA or the profession it is even more important to list your experience and information in the application.  It doesn’t have to be MLA related.

Usually the committee selection process happens in January with letters going out to newly selected committee members sometime in February.  Unfortunately there are times where there are more applicants than committees.  While that may disappointing at first, there are often committee opportunities that spring up afterwards for new ad hoc committees and task forces.  So there is a good chance that somebody not selected for a standing committee could be selected for an ad hoc committee or task force that has not yet been created or envisioned.

One final note about committees.  There are three committees that are not a part of the October application process.  They are the Administrative and Board CommitteesExecutive Committee, and the Nominating Committee. These three committees are different and don’t follow the same application and appointment process.  (See my post on the Nominating Committee.)

I hope this provides some insight into the whole committee process.  In the next few weeks I will do my best to match the member and the committee while respecting the co-chairs’ “wish list.”  I want to thank everyone who applied to join a committee, your active participation makes MLA what it is.

 

 

Still Tweaking the Blog

So the “new” skin was causing difficulties. I reverted to the very old skin but it hasn’t been updated in years so that was also causing problems. Right now I am using this skin as it has some of the layout and features I like but I haven’t totally settled on it.
As I get busier and busier with life and MLA I am wondering if I need more advanced help with getting skin that behaves (no malware and other issues) and has a more modern design and function. Now that my kids are older and I am playing cab driver to various events and my professional duties have increased I just don’t have the time to fuss with some of the stuff. I just want to write, have it look good, and have it connected socially. So if anybody has ideas I am open to them, let me know.

Your Opinions Please

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.

I’m Baaaaack

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.

Wanted: MLA News Social Media Column Editor

(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.

Vote for MLA Leadership Now

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.

Last Day to Sign Up for MLA Committee

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
https://www.mlanet.org/form/committee-appointment-application

MLA 2016 Toronto: Problems Traveling Internationally

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.

 

MLA Executive Director Search: Update

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 fall 2014.