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.


3 thoughts on “MLA 2016 Toronto: Problems Traveling Internationally”

  1. I was able to attend the MLA meeting in Vancouver. It was a wonderful opportunity. My family joined me at the end of the meeting. I continue to value that meeting experience and my family memories.
    Then MLA was in Hawaii. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the change in the political and healthcare environments between the time that meeting was first planned and when it convened. I never asked for the support to attend. At my hospital, it would have been very inappropriate to ask to attend a meeting in Hawaii. I don’t know if an international venue will be that negatively viewed in 2016. We continue to need CEO approval for out-of-state travel and financial support continues to be limited.
    I once was able to attend MLA yearly. As the financial situation changed, eventually I began paying for about half of my expenses. Yearly attendance has declined to about once every 3 years.
    Additionally, I believe international travel will, at some point, be impacted by the current rise of infectious diseases. Again, I’m not sure we can predict what will be happening in 18 months.

  2. Hi Michelle,

    I’ve only been to MLA once before, when it was joint with the International Clinical Librarian Conference in Boston in 2013, and that was international for me as I’m from the UK. I would be keen to participate in some way in 2016 as this is again joint with ICLC, but I don’t think I will be able to travel to Canada due to cost and distance.
    Is e-Conference registration for access to online video and slides etc likely to be available for MLA 2016?



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