The opening plenary session this morning did a great job of kicking off the conference and setting the stage for all of the great posters and sessions to come over the next few days. I particularly liked the quote from the Midwest Chapter representative in her welcome speech: “Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” These next few days are all about dreaming big, thinking big and acting big. That’s the only way we can build a robust information future for ourselves and those we serve. I also loved President Dixie Jones’s description of librarians as, “people who would like to make the world a better place.” Librarianship is, at its very core, a service profession.
For those who were unable to attend the session, here it a list of the 2013-2014 MLA Presidential Priorities:
3. Education & Mentoring
I like that these priorities don’t stand in isolation from one another, but rather are intertwined in interesting ways. For example, the Ethical Awareness Task Force conducted a survey about members’ awareness of the MLA Code of Ethics, the results of which will be published in the October edition of JMLA, thereby interconnecting the Research and Ethics priorities.
Dixie also gave special mention to the first ever flipped program, going on at MLA this year. What I find compelling about the flipped session is that it is analogous to the “flipped classroom” concept that is becoming increasingly common in medical schools across the country. This is a way is creating a shared experience with our users, thereby better understanding and being able to better serve our user communities. (Another example of this is how the medical library community is increasingly focusing on have an evidence basis for our decision making, by, for instance, using instructions techniques that have been proven to be effective or showing the value of medical libraries by relying on studies that prove their effectiveness.)
Thanks to Dixie Jones for her service as MLA’s President. And a special thanks to Carla Funk, Whois retiring this year after serving as MLA’s Executive Director since 1992. Carla received a well deserved standing ovation during the opening plenary session. Thank you, Carla!