I sometimes hear people saying, “I don’t belong to MLA because what has MLA done for me as a medical librarian.” If you are looking for MLA to come in like a knight in shining armor to magically save your job, increase your salary, combat predatory pricing, and bring about universal health care, you are probably a disappointed medical librarian.
I have gotten the most value out of MLA because of my involvement within MLA. Did you catch that? It was my involvement in MLA that began to add value to my MLA membership. Not the other way around. All too often in society we see a lot of reaction type of people and fewer and fewer action type people. You can’t sit around and wait for things to happen and expect results. Life is not a spectator’s sport, nor is your profession.
I know that is hard to think about in a field that tends to have more than its fair share of introverts among its ranks. Heck, even the average extrovert can go to an MLA meeting for the first time and feel intimidated. However the key to getting the most out MLA (the meeting AND the organization) is by getting involved. I have had the wonderful opportunity to do some cool things like travel to places to be a speaker, sit on various committees, be on two NPC committees, and become a Board Member. However I didn’t just land those gigs on my good looks. I got involved. Baby steps at first. I started writing book reviews and my blog, then journal articles. The book reviews let to greater writing confidence and the blog helped feed the topics. Around the same time I became gradually involved in my local medical library organization, Ohio Health Sciences Library Association (OHSLA). From there I started volunteer to work on projects or items as they came about. It was that work that lead to the things I am doing today. Without it I wouldn’t be where I am now. Why? Because people wouldn’t know who I was and wouldn’t know what I could do.
You don’t have to start a blog to get involved. (It would probably be a Pinterest board or Tumblr account now days.) But you have to find those areas that you are interested in so that you can get involved. Personally, I think the best way to get involved is to start with your local organization, Chapter, or a MLA Section. Get to know people. Volunteer to do some things. You don’t always have to be going to the annual meeting to become involved. There are committees that meet mainly via email. Sections are always looking for section member volunteers to review papers for the annual meeting. You can even teach a class all online without the need for GoToMeeting or some webinar platform. The South Central Chapter just finished providing a FREE online class to MLA members https://sites.google.com/site/getmobilizedmla/home and the course instructors were from across the United States. (I am willing to bet a bag of peanut M&M’s they did everything virtually and didn’t need to travel to MLA or another meeting to create the class.)
The times we live in allow us more opportunities to connect to one another and provide us more opportunities to become involved. More and more things are done via email and using other online methods. This should provide the individual with more ways to participate. Only by getting involved and participating can you get the most out of your membership. My MLA membership has improved my job, increased my salary and helped me become a better negotiator. But it wasn’t the paper membership card that did that. It is my continued involvement within the organization, the people I meet, things I learn, the opportunites and ideas discovered that has done that and continues do that. Now I wouldn’t be able to do that without the paper membership card, but the paper membership card doesn’t do it on its own.
I am going to badly twist a former United States President’s words, but it sums up my thoughts perfectly.
My fellow librarians: ask not what MLA can do for you — ask what you can do for MLA.
The second class of MLA Rising Stars Program has been announced.
The 2012/13 class of Rising Stars, mentors and projects are:
Annabelle Nunez, Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona–Tucson
Mentor: Nancy J. Allee, AHIP, chair, Leadership and Management Section
Project: Work with the Leadership and Management Section’s New Members/Emerging Leaders Survey Project
Rolando Garcia-Milian, Health Science Center Library, University of Florida–Gainesville
Mentor: Mary L. Riordan, AHIP, incoming chair, Awards Committee
Project: Work with the Awards Committee to increase the number of nominations for MLA awards
Kristi L. Holmes, Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
Mentor: Gerald (Jerry) Perry, AHIP, chair, Task Force on the MLA Academy of Teaching Excellence (MATE)
Project: Work with the Task Force on MATE
Elizabeth V. Fine, Bio-Medical Library, University of Minnesota–Minneapolis
Mentor: I. Diane G. Cooper, AHIP, incoming chair, Federal Libraries Section
Project: Work with the Federal Libraries Section Web Committee to evaluate the section’s website
Heather L. Brown, McGoogan Library of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center–Omaha
Mentor: Julia Shaw-Kokot, AHIP, chair, Chapter Council
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
The Rising Stars and their mentors begin their program activities at MLA ’12 in Seattle and be recognized at MLA ’13 at the completion of the Rising Stars Program.
If you are interested in learning more about the Rising Star program or the projects the first group of Rising Stars completed, go to http://www.mlanet.org/awards/honors/rising_star.html.Share on Facebook
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Is there a Steven Spielberg or Kevin Smith secretly hiding in your soul? Do you harbor a desire to be the next Morgan Spurlock of MLA (minus the french fries and happy meals)? Or do you just like to take videos?
If the answer is yes, then you will want to consider becoming an MLA’12 videographer. Read the post from Medlib-l below and if it sounds like something you would want to do then apply.
(Reposted from Medlib-l)
Don’t remember what happened at MLA last year? Want to relive the unfettered joy of seeing your library colleagues? Wish that when someone asked, “Have you seen the latest viral video on zombie medical librarians taking over Seattle,” that you could pipe up and say, “That was me! I shot that sweet footage!”
Apply to join the MLA ’12 Official Videographer Team!
Last year, videographers focused on casual conversations in and around the meeting. This year our intrepid videographer team will use their own smart phones to capture on the spot interviews and will focus on all aspects of the conference. Videos will be contributed and vetted, then posted to the members-only MLANet conference site, and after the conference to YouTube. No editing of video will be required, so anybody who can take video on their phone can easily participate! Additionally, AHIP points will be awarded—1 AHIP point/video submitted up to maximum of 3 AHIP points per videographer.
Applications will be accepted until 5 pm ET Friday, April 27, 2012. Official videographers will be announced Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Apply here:
Interested in seeing the videos from last year? Go to http://www.meetingproceedings.com/2011/mla/login.asp . After logging in (have that 2011 badge handy!), select “View Presentations”, then “Posters and Video Shorts”. At the end of the electronic wall you will find the videos from MLA 2011 in Minneapolis.Share on Facebook
The 2012 National Program Committee is pleased to report that all attendees staying at the Seattle Sheraton and the Hyatt at Olive Eight will receive free Internet thanks to the hotels and MLA. If you have not booked your room yet there is still time. The deadline for reservations is extended to April 22nd. To receive free hotel Internet access, save money with discounted rates, and support MLA, make your reservation at: http://www.mlanet.org/am/am2012/travel/hotel.html If the Hyatt does not have rooms, try the SheridanShare on Facebook
Rachel Walden will be blogging at the MLA Annual Meeting. As the Exhibit Scout she will be posting things of interest in the exhibit hall. Yesterday she tweeted she is collecting questions and interests about exhibitors and the exhibit all month.
If you aren’t going to MLA but really want to ask a specfic exhibitor a question, tweet or email Rachel. Even if you are going to MLA, you might want to consider contacting Rachel with your questions and thoughts. I know I find myself a lot busier than I anticipated and I often don’t have time to ask exhibitors certain questions or I keep missing them because of my schedule. She is our dedicated correspondent for that area of the meeting so lets make the most of it.Share on Facebook
Want a free drink ticket to the MLA’12 Tweet up? Well all you have to do is be a MLA member and complete this Twitter tutorial. If you aren’t going to MLA’12 you still can take the tutorial (just no drink ticket) so you can interact and exchange ideas with people at the meeting through Twitter.
(From MLA Focus)
“MLA members can hit a home run with Twitter by taking part in an online tutorial about the microblogging service Twitter. Join the Twitter tutorial April 13–22 to learn more about Twitter, get tips from experts, and be ready to tweet about MLA ’12. Members who successfully complete the tutorial will receive a free drink ticket for the annual tweet-up, 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., Monday, May 21. Members who will not attend the annual meeting can share ideas and exchange information through Twitter.”Share on Facebook
The NPC tried to get Melinda Gates to be a speaker and it didn’t work out, but a unique opportunity is available for MLA meeting attendees to tour the new campus of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The location of the new campus is adjacent to Seattle Center. Join other MLA members on Monday May 21 at 7:30am for a one hour tour. Registration is first come, first served and is capped at 25 people. We must provide the Gates Foundation with a final number of tour attendees by the end of April!
Read more about the tour specifics and register by completing this very brief SurveyMonkey formShare on Facebook
If you are going to the annual meeting in Seattle you will want to check out the NLM exhibit booth to not only meet staff but also to see the demos and tutorials featured at NLM Theater at the booth. NLM will also several meetings such as the NLM Online Users’ Meeting “Sunrise Seminar,” NLM Update, and the Docline Users Group Meeting.
For more information including CE classes at MLA and the NLM Theater Schedule go to:Share on Facebook
If you haven’t already paid your MLA dues this year I would like to strongly encourage you to do so and also encourage you to be a member of MIS.
The section is 333 members strong and proud of our accomplishments:
- Created a MIS LinkedIn group for members to discuss items of interest.
- Planned the Top Technology Trends for the 2012 meeting in its own time slot
- MIS member MLA Zombie Hunt mixing both networking and fun
- MLA travel scholarship to help support MIS member to attend MLA
If you are a MIS member and you are attending MLA in Seattle I want to invite you to join us at the MIS Business meeting Sunday 5/20 3:30-4:30.
The business meeting is NOT just for MIS committee chair people, it is for ALL MIS MEMBERS!
This year MIS paid members (as of April 2012) who attend the business meeting at MLA are eligible to win an iPad. We will do the drawing at the conclusion of the meeting and you must be present to win.
MIS is a great group to join and I hope you will either continue your membership or join us as a member.Share on Facebook
Medical librarians if you haven’t taken the MLA Professional Association Value & Planning Survey then please take a few minutes and do so NOW. Your participation will help shape MLA’s future!
The MLA Board invites your participation in a new survey to help shape MLA’s strategic directions going forward and to identify aspects of professional association membership that are particularly of value to MLA members –as well as potential members. Here’s your chance to share your perspectives on membership benefits, program priorities, professional development, and other activities of the association. Findings from the survey will be shared in an Open Forum at the upcoming MLA 2012 annual meeting in Seattle. The survey can be accessed at http://umichlib.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_822PwXB5sqj9HJW and is open through March 30, 2012.Share on Facebook
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