Vote for Your MLA Leaders
Candidate Responses: President-Elect Candidate Forum
The Nominating Committee asked each candidate for a response to this question:
We need to accept what we cannot change, have the courage to change what we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference, to paraphrase a well-known quote. MLA can provide leadership in guiding members toward activities that can influence change in publishing models, educating members for changing roles, and assisting members with using new technologies that transform the ways knowledge is shared in scholarly communities.
What we cannot change is change itself; it is inevitable. We must embrace change and find innovative ways to organize information resources and make them accessible in the ways that our clientele find most expedient and useful. Our defensive game is to stand our ground and provide evidence that what we do is important to patient care, research, and education. Our offensive game is to go out and be proactive in legislative activities, in issues of scholarly publishing and open access, in getting outside our library walls to serve our clientele, and in finding new niches to showcase our skills. MLA has a role as the coach in these endeavors, and each member has a role as a player to advance the game for the benefit of all.
MLA can help members to manage their change. MLA’s strengths lie in the networking, continuing education, exposure, flexibility, nimbleness, and innovativeness of its members. We must continue to:
Look for ways to leverage technology to add strength and breadth to the networking that members do every day.
Offer continuing education courses in a variety of formats that increase the knowledge of members with regards to technology, biomedical research, and the health care environment.
Expose members to opportunities to engage in thought-provoking conversations with other groups and individuals dealing with these same issues, i.e., associations, faculty, researchers, students, the community around us, and vendors.
Remain open to new ideas.
Act quickly to try those ideas out in a pilot environment.
Provide forums that allow members to share their inventiveness in changing their game, either at work or individually.
It is generally accepted that we live in a knowledge economy. As librarians, we are able to function in such an economy. After all, we do it every day. Tradition and our current environmental reality must be blended in order to create a new zone in which to work. It may not be a comfortable one. In fact, one of the only things that may be said about it with any assuredness is that it will change and it will do so constantly. Technology has permeated our lives, biomedical research, and the health care environment. However, we are uniquely suited to being able to cope and to lead. In an era of information intensity, librarians continue to have legitimacy as knowledge workers and we are able to do so in uncertain situations where stability can be shaky at best.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2011 October 14