Posts with category - Sections

Talking with ICS: Open Forum and Dining Circles


One of the best parts of any MLA conference is connecting with all the attendees.  And if you add good food and atmosphere to the mix: all the better!  The International Cooperation Section was lucky to have many members both national and international attend their Open Forum on starting a job exchange project and the informal Dining Circles.  The Open Forum was attended by representatives from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, Austria, Mexico, and many more!  Also attending were many MLA and ICS members who had been on international exchanges of their own or hosted an international guest.  It was wonderful to have everyone’s input on how to start a visiting medical librarian program.  With so many great ideas, it should be much easier to get the project going!

The conversation was extended to the ICS dining circles which were held after the ICS birthday party and the ICS programming.  Everyone got to know each other a little better while listening to Jazz at Bandera and in a 1930′s atmosphere with fresh local food at the Atwood Cafe.  Thank you everyone for attending!  We hope to see you next year!

1 Comment

Be sure to listen to the ICS program if you missed it in person!

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 11.16.53 AM

If you missed it in person, be sure to check out ICS’s programs on M-Health and Information Innovations.  Gupreet Rana, the incoming chair of ICS, moderated some amazing talks on a variety of projects.  Dana Abbey from the Health Sciences Library at the University of Colorado and NN/LM MidContinental region presented her work with her colleagues on providing internet access to members of the community without or with limited access.  She and her team demonstrated how providing a more mobile access to the internet had an impact health in the community and for public health initiatives.  Elizabeth Norton from the Disaster Information Management Research Center at the NLM showcased their work in mobile apps and support in terms of disaster health information.  In particular she highlighted the work they have done in Central and South America.  Finally, the talks ended with Julia Royall’s presentation on her and her colleagues work in Africa.  In particular she demonstrated how empowering it can be to provide the tools to local community members so that they can carry out their own projects with mobile technology.  She emphasized the importance of sustainability, practicality, involvement, and demonstrable results in m-health projects.  Her efforts with communities on taking on the challenge of malaria made for an excellent discussion on how to make a lasting impact on global health.  A wonderful program with wonderful presentations, it was a pleasure to attend!

1 Comment

Building Capacity for Sustainable Innovation

Session: Building Capacity for Sustainable Innovation

I attended this morning session on Monday, May 19. Each talk was so different that it’s difficult to summarize it in one or two paragraphs. The overarching message from these presenters: Libraries and librarians must approach challenges with creativity and courage.

Building Bridges: Sustaining Innovative Services to Support Internal Efficiencies in a Collaborative Partnership

Presented by Stevo Roksandic, Library Director, Mount Carmel Health System, Columbus, Ohio

Stevo presented on the collaborative partnership between the health sciences librarians within the Trinity Health system. Stevo launched the OHIOWA program where the health sciences librarians in Ohio would virtually support their partner librarians and healthcare professionals in Iowa (hence the name, O-H-I-O-W-A). Initially librarians were concerned this partnership would lead to lay-offs but Stevo was able to demonstrate that the additional support would actually enable librarians to provide more consistent service across the two systems.

Stevo shared this fun tip: OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE – it all depends on how you see it! (Opportunity is now here? Opportunity is nowhere?)

Welcome to the Family! Enjoying Massive Organizational Change

Presented by Heidi M. Nickisch Duggan, Deputy Director, Galter Health Sciences Library, Chicago, Illinois

Northwestern University, including the Galter Health Sciences Library, underwent a tremendous amount of change in leadership. This included changing the library reporting structure and making the library a division of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS). Heidi acknowledged that this new partnership has been extremely supportive and productive. In addition to the dean of NUCATS being a library champion, Heidi found that the library shared with NUCATS a vocabulary and a similar mission to collect and disseminate knowledge and information which facilitates communication and strengthens their collaboration.

Galter’s experience is an excellent example of what can be achieved when novel relationships are formed through shared vision and goals. By speaking the same language the library created a new partnership with NUCATS and, together, advanced the institutional mission.

Building the Future: Rejecting, Rethinking, Redoing, and Rejuvenating Medical Librarianship

Presented by Martha Meacham, Library Fellow, Lamar Soutter Library, Worcester, MA

Martha Meacham and Molly Higgins are the inaugural fellows at the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The fellowship was developed in the face of some harsh facts: budget cuts, declining statistics, rising costs, and “traditional” library work rapidly changing. Library leadership chose to develop an entirely professional staff – support and technical staff were laid off and recent graduates and new professionals would be the focus for new hires. The fellowship aimed to give new graduates necessary work experience and prepare them for a career in academic health sciences libraries. It spans two years, rotates through all areas of the library, and has a research component as well. Martha and Molly have been involved with the development of this program – they meet regularly with mentors and supervisors, work with an evaluation consultant to evaluate the program, and the fellows will be surveyed over five years after completion of the program to mark their progress.

How do we keep young professionals engaged? How do we support them and encourage them to think creatively about the future of health sciences librarianship? Positions like this give young professionals a chance to gain exposure to different areas of the field and really apply their skills where they are best suited.

Balanced Scorecard in Libraries: Libraries Can’t Effectively Change What They Can’t Measure

Presented by Dean Hendrix, Assistant Director, University Libraries, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York

The balance scorecard is a strategic planning execution tool. It allows for users to quantitatively track their progress towards goals and maintains accountability throughout. Dean Hendrix spoke about the benefits of using this approach at his institution. Dean found that staff really own the metrics and it’s difficult to hide from the cold, hard truth of numbers.

What would Dean have done differently? He would have opted to educate staff about the Balanced Scorecard in smaller groups with a more carefully crafted message. Instead they discussed in in “town hall” like forums which, he believes, was not very effective.

Session sponsored by the Leadership and Management Section, Co-sponsored by the Hospital Libraries Section, Medical Library Education Section, and New Members SIG

No Comments

Your Dream CE – Submit Ideas Today!

At Monday’s MLA meeting for Section CE Chairs, we had a chance to meet and talk with MLA CE and Professional Development coordinators Debra Cavanaugh and Kathleen Combs. Are you a Section CE Chair and couldn’t attend? Check in with Debra at to get the scoop on ways you can share your section’s CE interests.

MLA Members: What topics would you most like to learn about this Fall?

MLA members are in luck! Last session’s webinars were so popular that another series of 5 webinars will be repeated in the Fall! This series will be available at a low cost to MLA members. *If you miss out on registering before they close, recordings will be available following the webinars.

What topic would you like to see covered in a Fall 1.5 hour webinar?  Send your suggestions ASAP to MLA CE Coordinator, Debra Cavanaugh at:

Looking for other learning options in the meantime?

Explore MLA’s Professional Development page including information on CEs that you can suggest for your Chapter or work place, AHIP (Academy of Health Information Professionals) program, and more.



No Comments

Happy 25th Birthday ICS!


The International Cooperation Section celebrated their 25th birthday with a lovely party hosted by Kathy Kwan.  Attended by many MLA members both national and international, everyone had a lovely time reminiscing about ICS’s involvement and achievements over delicious hors d’oeuvres and birthday cake.  Guests also were encouraged to dress in traditional clothing from their home country which made for a beautiful gathering!

MLA President, Dixie Jones, kindly dropped by to give a lovely speech on behalf of MLA thanking ICS for all their work over the years.  ICS also thanked Tovah Reis for her generous contribution to the ICS Treasury on behalf of her late husband.  Everyone enjoyed the display table of past activities and pictures. Also included was a magnificent basket to be included in the scholarship auction that included many donations from our international guests.  Thank you everyone for attending!  It was a lovely time.

No Comments

NAHRS program- Architects of the future: Managing 21st century resources

Combining resources, combining forces: Regionalizing hospital library services in  a large statewide health system.  Heather Martin, AHIP,  Basia Delawska-Elliott

Facing mergers? This team of presenters went from 3 librarians to just one in the health system.  They planned strategically by talking to stakeholders, literature reviews and SWOT analysis, aligning with organizations goals.  They created a new team approach to services, which meant more efficiency, less isolation, more collaboration.  Amazingly, they had to eliminate 80%of print collection first year and convert to electronic with budget decrease of 27% but they were able to gain 100 new titles and stay on budget.

Had to create one website for whole system, so created eye-catching design.  Using VPN enabled mobile platform.  Purchased discovery tool to help patrons identify location of resources.

They also began marketing and training services through newsletters, presentations at meetings, at training sessions, and embedded (even at the cafeteria!)


Partnering with postdocs:  A library-hosted “how to” training series taught by postdocs.  Carrie L. Iwema, AHIP

What is a postdoc and how do we share our resources with them? Postdocs have PhD but still have mentor.  This school created “postdoc talks” to give postdocs teaching experience, gave feedback on teaching, gave letter of acknowledgment from library.  The sessions took a “how to” approach, for 1-2 hour sessions, and had to be biomedically relevant topic.

They contacted postdoctoral associations and other partners, identified necessary library equipment and sent out an RFP- they ended up having 6 talks in fall, and 8 talks in spring.  They promoted the events through online calendars, campus monitors, flyers, library newsletter, and email lists.

Overall, this project reduces library teaching load and increases marketing opportunities at minimal cost to the library.  It also benefits postdocs as well with scholarly opportunities.

Future: better advertising, change talk titles to be less cumbersome, add abstracts to clarify topics, change scheduling to accommodate more people, and change program name so non-postdocs know they can attend.


How a health sciences librarian creates a different approach to library instruction.  Gwen Wilson

Wondering how to change from one shot to embedded model? This session discussed using face to face, hybrid, or all online approach to instruction

How do you get embedded? Connect with faculty, learn about course and assignment, customize to their course, and get feedback from students and faculty.  For grad students, try face to face help during their class time. For online classes, include relevant links for the students so they can access help and resources quickly.


Future technological practices: Medical librarians’ skills and information structures for continued effectiveness in a changing environment.  Patricia F. Anderson

This group wanted to study emerging technologies, what librarians need to know and why.  They looked at emerging technology reports, asked librarians and health care leaders for technologies and medlib roles, distributed survey for people they didn’t know.  45 respondents, 340 technology recommendations!

They also created 4 subgroups to help identify which technologies were relevant to which areas of practice.  Then they developed search strategies  for each technology.  Future: to report on what is needed now, soon, and in the future for different types of librarians to equip us with emerging technologies.

No Comments

Out and About? Pick up some items for Sarah’s Circle

On the way to the exhibit hall, you may have seen a plastic bin filled with toiletries. These items are headed to Sarah’s Circle, an organization in Uptown Chicago that provides services to homeless women.

Sarah’s Circle needs travel-size toiletries for the women it serves. They are also accepting:

• Band aids
• Bladder Pads
• Chapstick
• Denture Cleanser
• Deodorant
• Dryer Sheets
• Fixodent
• Hand sanitizer
• Kotex pads (regular and heavy)
• Razors
• Sunscreen
• Tampex (regular and super)
• Toilet paper
• Vaseline (travel size)

Don’t have time to shop? You can donate your unused hotel room soap and shampoo!

Haven’t seen the bin? Here’s a pic. It’ll be there until the end of the conference!

No Comments

Sunday Morning Review and Monday Preview

I hope you had a chance to attend one (or more!) of the wonderful morning activities today. I attended the New Members Breakfast to meet up with my Colleague Connection mentee. What a great turnout! I really enjoyed meeting so many new members and it sounded like everyone was really excited for the meeting.

The planners organized a really great networking event during the breakfast – a “2 minute mingle”. It was a great way to meet lots of people. While mostly I talked to new members and first time MLA attendees, it was nice to talk to other members and to catch up with friends.

The schedule shows lots of great learning opportunities for early Monday morning. Here’s a preview of what’s coming up. Unless otherwise stated, all of these events take place from 7-8:55 in the specified room on the Gold Level of the East Tower.

Sections, SIGs, and Chapter Meetings:
Health Association Libraries Section (HALS) – New Orleans, Gold Level, West Tower
Veterinary Medical Libraries Section Business Meeting – Columbus GH

Sunrise Seminars:
American Psychological Association Sunrise Seminar – Columbus AB
Coffee Talk: How to Enable Patient-Centered Care (sponsored by Swets)- Columbus CD
Embase: Current, Comprehensive, and Colorful – Columbus IJ
Nursing Reference Center Plus – Columbus EF
Secrets of Successful Rollouts (sponsored by Ovid)- Acapulco, Gold Level, West Tower

Other Events:
bepress Digital Commons Community Meeting – Columbian, Bronze Level, West Tower
Books Panel – 8:00-8:55, Atlanta, Gold Level, West Tower


No Comments

Come see the International Cooperation Section programs!

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 11.04.49 AM

This is an exciting year for the International Cooperation Section: it’s our 25th anniversary!  The business meeting was abuzz some of the amazing achievements that have occurred over the years, including this past year.  The plan for 2014/2015 is an exciting one and it’s so much fun to be a part of this section!

If you missed the meeting, I recommend attending the International Visitors Reception this evening Sunday, May 18 from 6-7 pm for a look back at ICS’ accomplishments and eat some birthday cake!  The reception will be followed by a Dining Circle at Bandera for food and live Jazz.  Please email Martha Knuth if you would like to join us at Bandera.

Also, plan on attending the ICS Section Program M-Health and Information Innovations: Making an Impact in Global Health” (Monday, May 19, 10:30-11:55am).  There is a fabulous line up of speakers and a discussion and Dining Circle at the Atwood Café afterwards. Please email Martha Knuth if you would like to join us at the Atwood.

Of particular interest in the upcoming year for ICS is the MLA/ICS International Job Exchange.  There will be an Open Forum to promote the program, answer questions, and get feedback on Tuesday, May 20 at 3:30-4:25pm.  Please plan on attending if you or your institution is interested in participating in the exchange of medical librarians internationally!


No Comments

Section Program Planning for ’15 starts now!

As I write this, we’re a couple of hours away from the Welcome Reception for 2014, but planning for MLA ’15 is well underway.  The theme for the Austin conference will be “Librarians Without Limits.” As incoming chair-elect for the Relevant Issues Section, I met with leaders from other Sections and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to begin selecting program themes for next year. Today was just introductions and brainstorming. Throughout the conference, we will be talking to each other and our sections/SIGs to generate ideas on what sessions will be offered in 2015. We’ll meet again on Wednesday, and then work through out the next month or so to finalize themes.

Why am I telling you about the sausage-making of program planning? Because the themes we decide on will be the basis of call for papers. And, section programming makes up the bulk of conference programming. Were you frustrated that you had a great idea to submit this year, but it didn’t fit any of the session themes? Do you have a great idea for a session? Now’s the time to speak up!

The best way to have input in next year’s section programming is to attend your section/SIGs business meeting, where 2015 planning will be discussed. Section and SIG business meetings are listed here.

Not a member of a section? Check out posters from each section and talk to section leaders at the Sunday Poster Session.

No Comments