MLA President 2006/07
Jean Mapping: Forging New Frontiers
Mark and I spent several days visiting with his parents in Florida in the manatee capital of the world (http://www.manateecam.com/). I couldn't help noticing that the weather was not much different than what we had been having in Richmond, as we have played tennis in shorts in both geographic locations in January! What a difference a year makes as last year when we visited them, this was definitely not true and the sunshine and heat were indeed refreshing!
With a kind invitation from the American Library Association (ALA) leadership, I found myself attending my first ALA meeting. What a great experience and I was very honored to represent MLA at several of the conference meetings. I was able to talk with many of the other library association leaders and executive directors and share the many exciting initiatives MLA is undertaking! My favorite event was a reception held late Friday evening in Leslie Burger’s suite, the current president of ALA. Each of the following library associations shared highlights of their activities and pressing issues—AALL, ALA, ALISE, ARL, COSLA, SLA and MLA. Carla and I also attended an affiliate group luncheon the next day where we heard from even more library associations—to see the list of represented affiliate associations, please refer to http://www.ala.org/ala/ourassociation/othergroups/affiliates/affiliateslisting.htm. Common themes seemed to be transforming our roles and responsibilities, developing leadership within our associations, and being advocates for our profession.
While I heard about many association activities, here are some highlights:
A very interesting conference session was one that featured the Pike Place Fish Market staff (http://www.pikeplacefish.com/) of Seattle's Pike Place Market. This booth's staff transformed their market into a fun event for visitors by emphasizing the themes of: play, be there, make someone’s day and choose your work attitude.
I also attended a reception held in the relatively new Seattle Public Library (http://www.spl.org/). This library is very modern and bright as it is composed of 9,994 glass pieces and is 15 stories tall.
Besides the professional meetings and conference sessions, I also did quite a bit of networking with my former University of Washington co-workers and other MLA members. And for those who know me well, I also enjoyed the many restaurants Seattle has to offer including the Thai Ginger, Marlai Thai, Waterfront Seafood Grill, the downtown Purple Café and Wine Bar, Dahlia's Lounge, and Ruth Chris' Steakhouse.
Today was the grand-reopening of our Virginia Commonwealth University MCV Campus’ remodeled Hunton Student Center (http://www.usca.vcu.edu/hunton/). This center is unique in that it is a student commons fitted into the shell of a national landmark church built in 1841, designed by architect Thomas U. Walter. Features of the new commons include a fast-food dining center, a pool hall, offices and conference rooms for the campus’ Associate Dean of Students and Student Group Association, as well as a Learning Center which is being operated by the VCU Libraries’ Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. This new learning center houses 12 Internet-networked computers and a grand teaching station and projection screen. We will be teaching many classes within this facility that serves all of our six professional schools as well as offering one-on-one student consultations.
The re-opening ceremonies included speeches by our University president, dean of students, foundation and student association officers. Our archivist, Jodi Koste, was also recognized for her committee’s work on developing a historical glass timeline for the MCV Campus that is displayed within the main seating area of the new commons. What a great event and opportunity to be a part of student life at our university!
Tonight I attended a dinner meeting of the NLM Board of Regents which was held in the lobby of the Lister Hill Center. This building’s lobby was transformed into an elegant setting via low lighting, classy table settings, delicious food and lots of beautiful flowers and plants. While I missed the event’s main speaker Lady Brenda Maddox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Maddox ) due to needing to return to Richmond that evening (and bad weather), I appreciated seeing a lot of my NLM colleagues and also meeting several new members of the NLM Friends of the Library Board and the NLM Board of Regents. I really enjoyed the evening and thank NLM for inviting me.
For the next several days, I got to meet with the MLA Board of Directors in Chicago, IL. Chicago didn't disappoint and provided very cold weather for many of our southern Board members. We had a very full agenda but managed to get through it with excellent discussions about the various business topics as well as a review of all of the amazing work that is done by our volunteer members. When I read the mid-year reports of our task forces, committees, sections and chapters, I just get overwhelmed with how much time and effort our members give to MLA—thank you!!! It really brings home to me that MLA is us!
One of the major Board meeting discussion topics was Mark Funk's presidential priorities for next year which are summarized by his theme: Only Connect! His priorities include how to use technology to keep our members connected and engaged and will soon be released in an upcoming issue of the MLA News. Please watch for them and send Mark any comments or ideas that you may have about how MLA can employ a lot of the new social networking aspects of the Web.
Another highlight of the meeting was reviewing all of the progress that has been made on my presidential priorities, although there still is a lot more to accomplish, and I only have three more months to do so!! But as I constantly remind myself, the nice thing about MLA is the continuity of the presidents' priorities; we recognize that many initiatives only get started in one's presidential year, and that subsequent presidents are often the ones to actually implement charged task force recommendations and initiatives. Good things take time!
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Tonight was another neighborhood book club meeting complete with Valentine's Day–themed refreshments. This evening we discussed The Faith Club (http://www.thefaithclub.com/), which I didn't get time to read, but I enjoyed the lively discussion anyway. I so appreciate the time I spend with my neighbors and am glad that we are able to get together periodically with book discussions as our excuse!
I had a nice Valentine surprise today—I heard back from the editor of the IFLA Journal about the article I wrote in conjunction with the Information Specialist in Context presentation I gave during IFLA’s 2006 meeting in Seoul, South Korea. The article will be published in Vol. 33, no. 3, the September 2007 issue of the journal. Very exciting!!
Today I'm catching up on a lot of the emails I received while I was traveling and also working on several MLA-related items such as creating additional entries for my presidential updates page. I'm finding that I really enjoy writing these updates and sharing news of my travels, activities and progress. And thanks to you who are reading my page—I hope you are also enjoying the news.
This past week I made a lot of preparations for upcoming MLA travel. I will be going to Gainesville, FL, the first week of March to help Faith Meakin celebrate her retirement. Faith has been a wonderful mentor, past-supervisor when I was with the Southeastern/Atlantic Regional Medical Library and a terrific friend. I'm pleased to be a part of the festivities and parties planned in her honor. I also hope to meet with students from the library school at Florida State University while I am nearby. I then will go to Chapel Hill, NC, from March 21-23 to meet with students at the SILS (http://sils.unc.edu/) and to teach a class on health information literacy. I also will visit with SLIS students at North Carolina Central University (http://www.nccuslis.org/) and meet with their library school Dean.
The last week of March will find me in DC for the joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Days and then on to Baltimore to meet with the faculty of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland Baltimore. M.J. also informed me she will be meeting with the MLA Hawaii Chapter members in mid-March and will also be teaching a class for the SLIS, University of Hawaii (http://www.hawaii.edu/slis/) while there. It will be a busy month with lots of library school outreach!!
But tonight, my neighbors have invited us over for dinner and to see the progress that has been made to their addition to their house. My neighbor is a great cook and hostess and it should be a grand evening! I love the commute!
Every year, Mark has to take his plane in for an annual check-up to fly legally. He has found a terrific mechanic who is located in Culpeper, Virginia (http://www.visitculpeperva.com/). This is a cute historic town outside of the DC and Charlottesville areas. It has lots of restaurants, shops and believe it or not, a tea room called Tea, Lace & Roses (http://www.tealaceandroses.com/).
When Mark was unable to locate another pilot to ferry him to this town, I gladly volunteered to drive up and get him if he bought me lunch in exchange. I don’t know when I have enjoyed a drive so much. The weather was perfect, I put on Dylan and Pure Prairie League and off I went. I won't admit to have many times I replayed "Amie" or how loud I sang, but the drive was over way before I was ready for it to end. I got to the Culpeper Airport which doesn’t have a public sign except for the "Employee of the Year" parking space, but I recognized it from my prior annual visit. I had enjoyed my ride so much, I beat Mark to the airport—I guess I was the one that flew (and with no tickets). So, the airport guys and I hung out—kind of like being in a men's locker room—talking engines, airspeeds, sharing war stories of past flights, etc. Anyway, Mark showed up after one cup of coffee (made man-style) and rescued me. Turns out, he didn't think I would drive so fast and had stopped along the way at the Orange and Louisa airports to get those coveted airport passport stamps – only 20 more to go!
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We ate a late lunch at our usual spot—"Just in Thyme" on Davis Street (http://www.thymeinfo.com/) which is fashioned after a European Bistro. They are always very busy due to their excellent food. From there, we actually shopped in several of the nearby stores and found the tea room. I had read about the tea room in my one tea magazine, and had spotted the tea room van in the parking lot—not to be mistaken for any other due to its unique license plate (kind of reminds me of a YouTube video—Tea Partay—are those MAC Pearl Girls?). I talked to the tea room owner about her experiences operating it. We shared tea stories and marveled over all of the lace, tea cups, antiques and accouterments in her shop: definitely the girl-side of my day!
Anyway, the ride back seemed much longer and I was ready to get home. But can't wait until next year's annual checkup!
As part of our VCU Libraries Black History Month festivities (http://www.library.vcu.edu/bhm/), today Dr. Elvatrice Parker Belsches, M.A., R. Ph. presented a talk about her research celebrating the lives of the Leonard Medical School graduates; the school was located in Raleigh, NC in the late 1800s. This school's students made many contributions to the practice of medicine in Richmond, VA. Dr. Belsches is the author of the book, Black American Series – Richmond, VA, which is now in its 6th printing. She is a graduate of Hampton University and VCU’s School of Pharmacy. Her talk was followed by a lively reception.
Today, I skipped out a little early from work and drove to Chambersburg, PA, to take part in a weekend-long celebration of my Mother's 82nd birthday. We started with lunch on Saturday at the Shippen Place's Black Horse Restaurant & Tavern in Shippensburg. Then we spent the night at the same hotel where there is a room dedicated to the history of the Orrstown Bank. This bank has been an integral part of my family as my grandfather was one of its original directors; my Mother, its first female employee; and my sister, the first female bank director. Anyway, in this hotel room, there was a wall of bank history with several photos of my Mother and her father. My Mother had not seen the room before, so imagine her delight in seeing this historical wall. It really was a birthday with a memory lane, and I hope one that will be celebrated by my Mom for a long time.
This morning I arrived at the Gainesville airport to be greeted by Faith Meakin to be driven to her beautiful home to relax from my 6am flight. We then started the multi-day celebration of Faith's retirement from her directorship position at the University of Florida's Health Science Center Library. These multi-day events are starting to be a pattern in my schedule it seems—I'm all for helping to celebrate lifetime milestones!
Faith had one party on Wednesday afternoon that was open to university health care personnel and students. I presented a letter from MLA to Faith outlining her many professional accomplishments and our thanks for her numerous contributions to our association. The next day, there was another celebration for library personnel. This was a combined celebration of the 50th anniversary of the library and for Faith's retirement. Several past library employees returned for this special occasion. And on Saturday, there was a special dinner in Faith's honor that included many of the health center administration. Between the many flowers, parties, cards and words of congratulations from many of you via a virtual guest book, I think Faith will have many fond memories of her retirement!
And my stay with Faith and her husband Skip was delightful! They are terrific hosts and I really enjoyed my time with them. I also appreciated touring Gainesville (right when the SEC basketball tournaments were happening), meeting with the faculty of the Health Science Center Library and taking part in the MLA Webcast with them on Wednesday afternoon. I thank everyone who welcomed me and allowed me to take part in their parties!
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I also enjoyed Faith's first real day of retirement as we started the day touring a butterfly exhibit at the University of Florida. I got several terrific photos of many butterfly species and even managed to catch several shots of the very elusive blue morpho butterfly! From there, Faith and I ate a delicious lunch at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art (also part of the University of Florida campus) and were entertained by a heron that simultaneously ate lunch from the museum garden’s raised pools. Next we shopped for antiques in the historical town of Micanopy where Faith and Skip were married. And Skip made sure I ate well as he is an excellent chef! And yes, I even managed to get a slight tan line from my leisure hours sitting by their pool and got my cat fix satisfied due to the company of their two cats, Tucker and Zoë. I look forward to seeing Faith and Skip at MLA in Philly and thank them for a wonderful break!
My flight home turned out to be very interesting as I met a young man who travels around the country performing a play that he wrote regarding testicular cancer. I really enjoyed talking with him about his experiences with his personal health and with his desire to be part of the solution by informing health care personnel about his journey with cancer through his plays. I also got him to promise to mention MLA’s Medspeak brochures and tips for selecting quality health sites during his travels!
I had the delight of participating in a focus group for the Center for the Advancement of Health. We discussed health literacy and how to educate our aging population about their health care and the many information resources available to them. The group was composed of representatives from numerous agencies and organizations, and I met a lot of great people. I also was able to share the many initiatives MLA has going in this area and highlighted several of our consumer-related publications such as the Medspeak brochures. I had dinner with a former VCU Community Outreach Information Network (COIN) employee and professional colleague who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. What a great couple of days!
My adventures in a beautiful part of North Carolina—the Chapel Hill and Durham area—started with a tour of the EPA-RTP Library, accompanied by Dr. Joanne Marshall, where I met several librarians and their manager. They have a serene setting along a lake where all kinds of wildlife can be observed. This library hosts a lot of students from the UNC Chapel Hill SILS program; well over 300 students have interned here to date. The library itself was beautiful and is well respected in the EPA organization. I enjoyed meeting Deborah, April, and Ben, and appreciate all that they are doing to educate our professionals via what is often a first-time employment experience.
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From there, I went to A Southern Season, a delightful and huge gourmet store and restaurant. I was joined by many MLA members including Elaine Martin, who was in town to teach a SILS class about focus groups. We had a wonderfully delicious dinner and the company couldn’t have been any better! Conversation included a discussion about Second Life as Carol Perryman, who runs a library island in the village, shared her many experiences related to being a virtual avatar librarian.
The next day, I had the pleasure of attending the class that Elaine taught and meeting several more students through an informal lunch session. Carol Jenkins then escorted Elaine and me to her library where we had a tour of the relatively newly-remodeled health sciences library. Then, it was my turn to present—about Health Information Literacy—to several SILS Consumer Health Information Class attendees and to many health sciences library faculty members. I appreciated meeting many more information school students and wish them the best with their studies. They are an extremely motivated group of individuals!
The evening was rounded out with my first deck dinner at Joanne and Victor Marshall’s lovely home with Carol Jenkins and Pat Thibodeau and their husbands. We barely even discussed medical libraries throughout the evening. Joanne and Victor are gracious hosts, and I really enjoyed staying with them during this visit and getting to know them better. They are terrific cooks, throw a great dinner party, and are very welcoming!
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My last day in NC was spent with faculty and students of the North Carolina Central University SLIS. I presented about medical librarianship and MLA and entertained terrific questions from the attendees. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting many new people, but I was also delighted that Susie Corbett was able to take time away from work to attend with her intern from the school. These students are going to really go places and I know our profession is in good hands. I was also pleased to learn that Dr. Kalyani Ankem of the school is creating several health sciences librarianship courses through a grant from NLM. And another highlight of this visit was having an al fresco lunch with the dean of the school, Dr. Irene Owens, who is an extraordinary individual with a remarkable vision for her school. I thank her and Dr. Ankem for allowing me to visit their school and to share more about MLA with the students. A perfect ending to a truly rewarding visit to NC! And the flowering bushes and warm weather were just icing on the cake!
Driving among all of the cherry trees in DC today made me realize how truly beautiful this city is with its elegant buildings, monuments and this time of year, tons of beautiful blossoms. I drove to DC to meet our new Health Information Literacy Research Project Coordinator, Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi, and Carla Funk to have a planning meeting regarding the project. Sabrina is a real delight and is bringing a lot of expertise and connections to the project. She is very energetic and pleased to be able to work more closely with many of our MLA members. She will be attending the MLA annual meeting in Philadelphia and will be helping to conduct an Open Forum on the project so mark your calendars.
The morning of March 28, Carla and I met with Dr. Don Detmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Medical Informatics Association, AMIA. We discussed potential partnerships between MLA and AMIA and current initiatives of both associations. We reinstated a reciprocal meeting registration agreement so MLA members can once again attend AMIA meetings at their member rates and vice versa. It was a very productive meeting, and Carla and I appreciate Dr. Detmer taking his time to meet with us.
That afternoon, I got updated about various legislative activities and informed about how to meet with congressional office staff as part of the MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force meeting. We met with Dale Dirks, Roxanne Yaghoubi, and Dane Christiansen, of the Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington. They provided very valuable guidance on how to communicate MLA and AAHSL's needs to our legislators. We also heard from Betsy Humphreys and Jerry Sheehan from the National Library of Medicine. I also had the honor to present a physical copy of the 50th anniversary resolution for the National Library of Medicine Act to Betsy and Jerry during this meeting.
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The next day we then split into three teams and each team met with at least six congressional office staff members. I got to lead the discussions with the two Virginia office staff with fellow team members leading their respective state visits. The meetings were extremely interesting, and I really felt the staff listened to what we had to say. It was a very educational couple of days and provided me with yet another experience dimension for my presidential year.
With a beautiful spring afternoon in tow, I drove from DC to Baltimore, MD to spend the night with M.J. Tooey, her husband Ron and daughter Greer. I always have a great time with them and this evening proved to be true to form. We had an Italian dinner and lots of great catch-up conversation. I had a lovely time—thank you all!!!
On Friday, I visited with the faculty of the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland in Baltimore. We had a stimulating question and answer session about my experiences as President of MLA, and I loved sharing some of my insights as well as updates on several special projects. I thoroughly enjoyed the time with the faculty, and appreciate their kind invitation to share my year with them.
Mark and I flew to Manteo today, one of our relatively frequent spring/fall visitation sites. I really enjoyed being there before the tourist season when you can get a feel for what the town is like. Spring was definitely in full bloom there as well and the streets couldn’t have felt more ready for the onslaught of people. I’m sure when you live in a town such as this, you have to have mixed feelings about the summer and tourists. They are your livelihood, yet they definitely change the quiet atmosphere of your hometown.
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We ate a trendy and delicious lunch at the acclaimed Full Moon Café and then did our usual pilgrimage to the Manteo Booksellers store, where I found yet another book from my Charleston SC tea mystery series. And on the way back, I managed to get some good sleep—something that just seems a natural for me on planes these days! What a terrific quick get away, and a chance for Mark and me to be together for a change!!
My next trip isn't for two more weeks, when I head to Arizona to attend the American Hospital Association's Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy annual meeting where I will present MLA's Health Information Literacy Research Project. Seems like an eternity from now. Meanwhile, I welcome any one in the Richmond area to attend our Technology Days event to be held at the Tompkins-McCaw Library on April 12.
And this weekend, rumor has it the Bearded Pigs are practicing in Memphis for their upcoming May gigs. It's not too late to join their Thicket Society where membership benefits are many including a souvenir T-shirt, with any proceeds over gig costs going to the MLA Scholarship Fund. Orders for shirts will be submitted April 22, so if you want a shirt, you need to join prior to then. Thanks Bearded Pigs for getting ready to provide great entertainment at the MLA meeting on Sunday evening, May 20, and at the EBLIP4 conference in North Carolina in early May.
Today was the second day of this year’s VCU Technology Days. This event seemed to surpass the excitement and energy of last year. Over 500 people heard a variety of talks, including ones on simulation equipment, Second Life, NEJM special features, BabelMeSH and txt2MEDLINE (see schedule at http://www.library.vcu.edu/tml/techdays/), viewed posters, visited with vendors, and enjoyed the plentiful food and prizes. Mobile and emerging technologies are definitely the rage!
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Right after Technology Days, I flew to Tucson, Arizona, to give a presentation about MLA's Health Information Literacy Research Project to the American Hospital Association’s Society for Healthcare Consumer Advocacy. Due to my arrival in the early morning hour, I slept late, then got coffee and walked around the beautiful resort grounds at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort. I saw tons of rabbits and bunnies, birds, flowering cacti and rugged terrain scenery.
Photos courtesy Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort. Click on images for larger versions.
In the afternoon, I presented to five individuals who were extremely interested in what MLA and NLM are doing in the area of health literacy. One person had actually spoken at MLA’s meeting in Phoenix last year as part of a patient safety panel. Most of them had a hospital library and knew their medical librarian. The ones that didn’t were given homework assignments to get acquainted with their librarians! I really enjoyed sharing the many consumer health information resources offered by MLA, NLM, and other agencies and talking with the group about their needs and experiences in this area. They really appreciated MLA's Medspeak brochures and were delighted with the Health Information Literacy CD of related materials. They stated that they never would have thought to look at MLA's Website for such information but promised that they would in the future. My session’s PowerPoint program will be placed on this association’s Website and announced in an upcoming issue of their newsletter.
After the talk, I was invited to dinner by incoming board member Gary Freiburger and his wife Natalie. They have a beautiful home and were very gracious hosts. I really enjoyed my time with them and thank them for their great hospitality!!! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera for this trip as the views from their home were breath-taking! I tried to imprint the vistas in my mind so that I can enjoy them over and over again.
On my flights, I met some very interesting people. On my way to Tucson, I sat next to a woman who was having the luckiest week ever (self-proclaimed). I don’t know about karma, but I was upgraded to first class after sitting next to her and also wasn’t charged for my shuttle ride to and from the hotel despite trying to report such to numerous people. I tried to get her to go to Las Vegas, but she needed to visit relatives! Then on the ride home, I met a lovely woman who told me about how a medical librarian at Mayo Clinic gave her the comfort and information she needed when her husband was being treated for his condition. She feels extremely grateful to medical librarians and was delighted to hear about our health information literacy project. I felt lucky on both legs of my flight!!!
I was delighted to be invited to attend the Pittsburgh Chapter of MLA's spring meeting at the Washington Hospital. I met Wallace McLendon at the Pittsburgh International Airport and we drove to Washington, PA, where we were treated to dinner by our hostess Jan Petrak at a terrific restaurant called the Union Grill. Wallace taught a continuing education course on technology planning and I gave an MLA Update at the meeting. It was great to see so many MLA members, meet new people, and to be a part of their day—thank you for the fun and invitation, and Heidi—thanks for the great meeting location and hospitality!!!
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What a gorgeous day! Mark and I, along with our friends, started the morning with brunch at the Stoney Creek Bar & Grill located at the Stoney Creek Golf Club. Fortified, we completed a five-mile hike through the mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trees were barely showing any buds, but the violets were out in full splendor and the day couldn't have been more perfect for hiking—lots of sun filtering through the trees, no bugs, no snakes, and very few fellow hikers. We passed several waterfalls and caught the breezes created by the moving streams. Nature at its best.
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My trip to the Philadelphia Chapter meeting started with a train ride where I talked to a woman about medical librarianship and about her interest in getting a perfect picture of a cell. I also couldn’t help but notice that the sign on the train was about personal health records—and how the featured patients could make history by recording their medical facts for their personal and health care provider use. I also catch up on my reading while traveling and today was no exception. It’s amazing how much one can read in a 4.5 hour ride! And I could use my Blackberry on the train, so I was able to keep up with email as well.
I got a taxi just fine at the 30th Street Station and was talking to the cab driver about medical librarians when he looked at me and said—well, I want to become a nurse informatician. He had a computer/systems bachelor's degree and was enrolled to start nursing school. Then he plans on going into informatics. So we talked about electronic and personal health records, HIPAA, ONCHIT and other electronic health topics. The ride was way too short for such an intensive conversation. It was so absorbing that I didn't realize that the hotel's garage was on fire until I was politely declined a check-in due to the hotel being evacuated. Embarrassed by my non-awareness of the situation, I meandered down the street and had a hoagie for lunch at the Reading Terminal Market which is literally right across the street from the Marriott Hotel. And this was a true Pennsylvania hoagie—complete with tons of hot peppers—the kind I used to eat on bread as a kid and can't find but in one store in Richmond. The hoagie maker was as delighted as I was with my pepper delight, and we talked about how most people just don't know how to make a proper "hoagie" (and not a sub). As I exited the market, I eyed another PA favorite—huge whoopie pies. Luckily my hands were full and I was on a mission to get back to the hotel, or I might have succumbed to my weakness for this sinfully wicked dessert.
My room wasn't ready so I sat in the wireless lobby for an hour writing this entry and checking my email. When I did get to my room, I was delighted with the adjustable bed, the two large flat-screen televisions and with all of the other amenities available. Life just doesn't get much better than this.
After getting dressed for the chapter's dinner meeting, I walked to the Independence Visitor Center at 6th & Market. This is located directly across from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and is an easy walk from the Marriott. It was great to see so many Philly members still standing despite their many never-ending efforts to make our visit to Philly in May a real delight! I appreciated their welcoming me to join them at their meeting and was pleased to be able to get a preview of things to come! Do plan on attending MLA '07 and partaking in the many historical sites, eateries, and fun! Your local assistance team is eager to have you visit! And thanks all for the lovely corsage, chapter bag and t-shirt!!!
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On March 17, after a delayed departure from icy Baltimore and an O.J. Simpson-esque run through O’Hare, we landed in Kahalui, Maui and immediately felt our cares melt away in the warm tradewinds! In other words, it was just what the doctor ordered. Ron and I rented a condo in Ka’anapali, on Maui’s west coast. Imagine if you will, walking into the condo and seeing out the lanai windows beautiful blue ocean, and the islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i. Fabulous. I watched whales and dolphins every morning while eating breakfast on the lanai.
On Monday I flew over to Honolulu (those tradewinds aren’t so nice in a small plane!) to co-teach a library school class at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. The instructors for the class were Mabel Trafford, Director of the Medical Library at Tripler Army Medical Center and Paul Wermager, Head, Science and Technology Reference Department, Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa. They actually developed the class on Health Sciences Librarianship, with the help of Julie Kwan of the NN/LM office at UCLA, where one had never existed before. There is interest in developing a program on medical librarianship and informatics. One of the informatics faculty came and stayed for the entire class, asking several good questions.
For this class I did an overview of MLA, medical librarianship, and professionalism. Heidi Sandstrom and Julie Kwan came from the regional offices and spoke about the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and Evidence Based Practice, respectively. There was a lively discussion during and following the class. One of the side benefits was Paul’s tour for me of the lower level of the Hamilton Library which, if you recall was ravaged by a flood a few years back. Some of his stories of the event were harrowing. Although the area has been cleaned, there is no money to restore that area of the facility so it sits like a spooky basement.
That evening I stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village where MLA will be held in 2009. What a lovely property! My room looked over Waikiki and directly at Diamond Head. The view was tremendous.
Julie, Heidi and I drove over to the University of Hawai’i, School of Medicine for the meeting of the Hawaii Pacific Chapter of MLA. I got a personal tour of the School of Medicine’s library from Ginny Tanji, who is justifiably proud of her wonderful facility. Ginny is also the LAC Chair for MLA ’09. About 12 people attended the meeting onsite and one member attended via an access grid from Hilo on the island of Hawai’i. Heidi Sandstrom taught a CE course on NLM Systems and I gave an enhanced MLA update. They had asked me not only to give the update, but also to focus on MLA’s educational programs, specifically ones that didn’t involve actual face-to-face classroom work. They also wanted to know what to expect and how to prepare for MLA ’09. We then adjourned for a lively lunch at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. What a lovely group of people. I have no doubt MLA ’09 will be a great success.
Well, May 1st or “May Day” does seem to be an appropriate day to attend an aviation safety seminar at the Virginia Aviation Museum, but this seminar was extra special in that it was given by none other than John J. Nance. Mr. Nance gave one of the plenary session presentations at MLA’s 2005 annual meeting in San Antonio, TX. He frequently gives talks about patient and aviation safety, and he has written many aviation-themed novels. He definitely knows how to engage an audience and this one proved to be true to form. He had us laughing yet appreciating a very important subject, as unfortunately, this year Virginia has one of the highest pilot accident statistical rate of any state in our country.
The key theme of Mr. Nance’s presentation was the idea that pilot errors are often caused by a combination of three things—communication, perception, and assumption (or CPA). He showed several video clips where it was clearly obvious how we can focus our attention on one particular aspect of a situation and consequently miss other key simultaneous events. He also discussed how a lot of pilot errors are not reported by co-pilots due to intimidation factors, and Captain Kirk-like macho and “don’t question me” types of pilot attitudes. Many errors are made as co-cockpit personnel assume that pilots know what they are doing at all times, yet they are human. And any time you have a human being involved in a process, you don’t have a secure and fail proof system. Errors are going to happen.
What a great motivational message, and I could listen to Mr. Nance frequently and never get bored. His talk resonated with me not just due to my knowledge of flying but due to understanding how these same themes can affect libraries as workplaces. All too often, leaders are perceived as being unquestionable and that they know what they are doing at all times. And how often have we had to learn about communication in the workplace? Well, it is reassuring to know that as long as we have people working together, we will err. After all it is only human to do so!
The drive to Durham from Richmond is a very relaxing one and today proved to be no exception. With the many spring green trees, the vista was even more beautiful than usual. I arrived at the Sheraton around 4 p.m., the meeting location for the 4th International EBLIP (Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice) Conference. This year for the first time it is being held in the United States, thanks to the foresight and invitation of Dr. Joanne Marshall, FMLA, SILS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Over 200 people from around the globe joined together this week to take continuing education classes, give and hear presentations, posters, and debates. The meeting presentations will be posted to the Website by early June. Some attendees also got an extra special treat—a Bearded Pigs dinner concert! What more could one ask for?
The program was nicely paced and allowed for a lot of time to network with colleagues to discuss the idea of evidence-based library and information practice. This is still an emerging and evolving discipline that is rapidly generating interest as the concept has a journal supporting it that is published quarterly by the University of Alberta Learning Services (http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLip). Kudos to all involved in planning and providing this stimulating event!
It’s time to come full circle. This is my last full entry for the “Jean Mapping” log as my year as President of MLA will soon end. It seems like I was just writing about how much fun we all had at the Phoenix MLA annual meeting and here I am—five days from driving to our 107th meeting in Philadelphia! How time flies!
It’s been a tremendously rewarding and fun year for me! I’ve gotten to meet a lot of you as I attended chapter meetings, special events, and topical conferences. I have seen more areas of the United States, including Fargo, North Dakota, and even some of Korea! I’ve met with many library and information school students and educators and have learned so much about our key professional issues. I have a wealth of memories and delightful times to reminisce about as soon as I get some time to do so! I have expressed to some that the year was like being in a fast-forwarded film; it started at lightening speed and the momentum continued full throttle! It was all I could do to live the moment as there was little time for true absorption and reflection. As I prepare my memory scrapbook, I will carefully review my cherished year and truly appreciate having had this wonderful opportunity! I thank you (the membership) for it, and I look forward to continuing to serve you as your immediate past-president. You are the best!!! Thank you!
You get one each weekday May 7-18!
#10) Get smart by attending continuing education courses that address your special interests. (May 7)
#9) Eat cheesesteaks, soft pretzels and hoagies guilt-free! After all, when in Rome…(Hint – all are available at the Reading Terminal Market located next door to the Marriott Hotel). The challenge is on! (May 8)
#7) Emulate "Rocky" by running up and down the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs—heck, why not do so 10 times! (May 10)
#6) All meeting sessions will be under one roof with Starbucks in the lobby! (May 11)
#3) Meet your fellow MLA section members for the only time during the year (May 16).
#1) Network with friends and colleagues and grow personally as well as professionally while having a ton of fun! (May 18)
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2007 September 10