Annual Meeting

Midwest MLA Call for Papers and Posters

Since I’m in the Midwest I thought I would forward along the call for papers and posters. This year the Midwest Chapter’s meeting will be in Rochester, MN at the Mayo Civic Center from October 6-9, 2012. 

The deadline to submit your paper or poster abstract is July 13, 2012!
So you have about 2 weeks left.  

New this year will be an option to compete for a new Research Award. (See for more information, and watch your inboxes for more details from the Professional Practice Committee.)

(Official call below)
Call for Papers and Posters

The Program Committee invites proposals for contributed papers and posters for the conference theme of “Growing Opportunities.” Papers and posters may highlight practical problem-solving approaches, document collaborative efforts or outreach activities, describe innovative programs, or report on research in librarianship, resources or services. Contributed paper and poster topics are as unlimited as your imagination.

Contributed papers will be presented on Sunday, October 7. Posters will be on display on Monday, October 8 from 8:00 am until 3:30 pm. Presenters should be available to discuss their posters during the poster reception from 11:00 am – noon on October 8. For inspiration, take a look at the abundant and varied papers and posters presented at the 2011 Midwest Chapter meeting.

For contributed paper proposals and poster proposals submit a 250 word abstract describing your paper or poster. Include your name, position title, address, phone number and email address on all submissions. Email your abstracts to Ann Farrell, farrell[atsign]mayo[dot]edu, or snail them to her at Plummer Library, Mayo Clinic, 2001st SW, Rochester, MN, 55905. The deadline for abstract submission is July 13, 2012. Notifications of paper/poster acceptance/rejection will be made by July 27, 2012.

For more information on the Midwest Chapter meeting, see the conference web site:

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - June 27, 2012 at 11:04 am

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What Can MLA Do For You?

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 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.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - June 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

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What I Learned at MLA

The first thing I learned is that being a Section Chair, NPC co-chair, Board member combined with a 3 hour time change makes Michelle a very tired girl at the MLA meeting.  So upon leaving Seattle and returning to Cleveland I decided to take a week break from all things librarian (except for my job) to get some much needed down time.  

Now I am back with renewed energy and want to talk/blog again.  So I thought I would list a few thing of what I learned at MLA.  Some are just small things while, other things are a little bigger and will probably be a future blog post.

  • Get involved! So many people asked me and others I know about the best way to get on committees and being a part of MLA.  Short answer: Get involved. Long answer: See my “how to” blog post later this week.
  • Food is good, but sometimes expensive, think outside the box to lure people to meetings/programs.  I was the chair for MIS, I discovered it would cost close to $450 to provide snacks (cookies and soda) for the MIS Business Meeting.  That is a lot of money and last year the promise of a free breakfast still had us scrambling for enough members for a quorum.  So we got creative and offered an iPad 2 ($400) as an attendance prize. We had people sitting on the floor at meeting.  Think of this when you are trying to lure people (doctors, nurses, med students, librarians, etc.) to a meeting or a class.
  • Google+ Hangouts might be a good free alternative for small group webinars or conference calls.  You can post the documents online and share them with the Google circle.  Big thing to note…you will need a laptop to initiate a Hangout.  So far you can only attend a Hangout on an iPad not be the one who initiates it. 
  • I can almost do everything I need to do on iPad and may not need my laptop at meetings anymore.  I say almost because if I want to do a Google Hangout (which we did for the MIS Business meeting) I need a laptop. I also needed a laptop for displaying the Twitter feed at the Tech Trends program, but that was more for my comfort.
  • Need anything while at the conference? Use Twitter! I had a bad headache and tweeted I needed some Advil and debated about going back to my hotel room to get some.  Within one minute 5 people tweeted they had some for me, including one person in the same room.  I repaid my Twitter karma by giving Alisha764 some Advil when she tweeted she had a headache.

Other observations:

  • More people had iPads or smartphones than I have ever seen in one conference. I think the knitting librarians dropped their needles and yarn and bought iPads. If you doubt me take a look at gabinator’s Instagram photo of the conference room when Mark Funk asked people to lift up their mobile devices. It’s blurry but look at all of those white screens.
  • There is NEVER enough time to see and do everything….that just conference life. That is why the online content is so important now.
  • There is probably a need for “How to do an MLA Meeting” online guide for first time attendees. 
  • You can never have enough power outlets.
  • If you do a Google Hangout to include members not at the conference, don’t schedule your meeting for Saturday or Sunday.

This is just a list of some of the things I learned and observed.  I plan in the next week or two to highlight a few posters and presentations that I found especially helpful or insightful. 



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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - June 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

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Friday Good: MLA Relevant Issues Service Project

The Official MLA’12 Blog has a post about the Relevant Issues Section project for the Pioneer Square Clinic.  The section invites MLA 2012 attendees to pack a little extra and bring along new socks and underwear, in all sizes, for both men and women. Extra toiletries from your hotel room may also be donated. A collection box will be set up in the registration area. Pioneer Square Clinic is in the Pioneer Square Neighborhood, serves over 1,000 homeless and low-income patients each month and has been doing so since 1971.

So just before you leave make sure you hit the store so you help others out. Also if you bring your toiletries from the hotel each morning, housekeeping will replace them each day and you can bring more.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - May 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

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Kick Some MLA Butt

I just posted on the MLA’12 blog, Bring Your “A” Game to the Unofficial MLA Kickboxing Class about the opportunity to participate in a kickboxing class taught by Gabe Rios. It will be at the downtown YMCA in Seattle on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 7:00am. It is a cardio workout and not a full-contact class. You do not have to be familiar with kickboxing or martial arts to take this class.

I have never taken a kickboxing class ever, but I am interested in trying it.  So if you are a Kung Fu Panda like me don’t be intimitated, come on try it out and learn from our Master Shifu of MLA.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - May 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

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Calling all Shutterbugs

Some of us are camera people and take pictures no matter the event, some of us snap a shot or two with our cellphones if the mood or subject strikes us.  Whether you are a budding photo journalist or just an occasional cell phone snapper the NPC would like you to post your MLA’12 photos online for all to see.

Simply join the mlanet group on flickr and upload your photos.  More details about the flickr group can be found on the MLA’12 blog.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with the year!

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 30, 2012 at 10:24 am

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Bearded Pigs: Get Your Concert Shirt Now

Time is running out to joing the Thicket Society to support the Bearded Pigs, the World’s First (Only?) Open Access International Librarian Rock Band.  Putting on a Rock show isn’t free, so for those of you who want to help the Pigs cover their expenses for doing the show please consider joining the Thicket Society.  It is $40 for a single membership, $75 for a couple AND you will get a cool limited edition Bearded Pigs MLA’12 concert t-shirt and pin.  May 1st, 2012 is the deadline. 

For more information on the Pigs and when they are playing, go to the MLA’12 Official Blog.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

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MLA’12 Videographers Needed

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 . 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.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 19, 2012 at 9:50 am

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Free WiFi at MLA Hotels

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:   If the Hyatt does not have rooms, try the Sheridan

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

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Get Your MLA Exhibit Floor Info

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.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

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