The first plenary started with an introduction by Jane Blumenthal, 2012/13 President of MLA highlighting the first ever incorporation of three different international conferences into one MLA meeting: the International Conference on Medical Librarianship (ICML), the International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS), and the International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC).
Sally Gore, chairperson and head of the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries (NAHSL) then welcomed everyone to Boston with a wonderful poem set to the cadence of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” The welcoming poem not only featured local Boston flavor but also introduced visitors to all the states of New England and their offerings and cultures.
The 2013 National Program Committee then took a turn welcoming us to the meeting. They informed us that the idea for an international conference originally took root in Boston. The international conference representatives extended a warm invitation to MLA members to visit their sessions, and the Local Access Committee extended a special thank you to MAHSLIN for underwriting the costs of the tours of the Boston Public Library.
Jane Blumenthal then came forward again to the give the presidential plenary. Her theme was “A Year of Positive Energy.” She took an adorable stuffed lobster named Louie with her on her presidential travels including trips to visit Canadian library conferences, IFLA, NAHSL, and MLA Quad. She was pleased to announce that MLA is beginning to rebound from the effects of the economic downturn. She announced the formation of a new future and Research task forces, as well as a new social media policy and plan. The emerging leaders task force has also been approved to transfer into a committee. Building on MLA 2011/12 president, Jerry Perry’s theme, she stated we must continue to change our game and move forward with positive energy.
With a last offer of thanks, we were all ready to take our newly enhanced positive energy and put it to use in our various professional pursuits over the course of MLA 13.