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MLA Election Updates: New Officers and Modified Calendar

Please join me and the MLA Board of Directors in welcoming the incoming MLA Board members who will assume office at the conclusion of MLA ’17 in Seattle, Washington.


murphy-photo_announcement.jpg Beverly Murphy, AHIP, FMLA, Medical Center Library & Archives, Duke University, Durham, NC

Board of Directors (2016–2018)

ascher_marie.jpg Marie Tomlinson Ascher, Health Sciences Library, New York Medical College–Valhalla
fulton_stephanie.jpg Stephanie Fulton, AHIP, Research Medical Library, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center–Houston, and Library, Houston Academy of Medicine–Texas Medical Center–Houston
lorbeer.jpg Elizabeth R. Lorbeer, AHIP, Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Library, Western Michigan University–Kalamazoo
martin_sandra.jpg Sandra I. Martin, AHIP, Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

At its winter meeting, the Board of Directors reviewed and voted to revise the MLA election calendar for president-elect, Board of Directors, and Nominating Committee. The updated calendar takes effect immediately and replaces the previous calendar, which spanned over sixteen months and two association cycles. In the days of snail mail and paper ballets, the previous calendar was a good fit.

The revised schedule reduces the election calendar to twelve months. By moving the elections from November to February, MLA will maximize the number of members who can vote, as the election will remain within the member grace period and include more new members. The election cycle will now align more closely with the start and end dates of the terms for those involved. The president-elect and Board of Directors will no longer be in a holding pattern for five months before taking office, and immediate past presidents will no longer serve seven months past the end of their terms.

Teresa L. Knott, AHIP, and I are the cochairs of the Nominating Committee for the 2017/18 transition year. Thereafter, the Nominating Committee will be chaired by the immediate past president. The 2017/18 Nominating Committee was elected in December 2016:

  • Heidi Sue Adams, AHIP
  • Kristine M. Alpi, AHIP
  • James Bothmer, AHIP
  • Diana Delgado, AHIP
  • Ayaba Logan, AHIP
  • Fatima M. Mncube-Barnes
  • Peace Ossom Williamson, AHIP
  • Katie Prentice, AHIP
  • Michael A. Wood

As per the MLA Bylaws, the Nominating Committee starts its work immediately after being elected. The committee comes together at the annual meeting each year, where it continues to coordinate potential candidates for the election. The slate of candidates will now be finalized by September and shared with the membership in mid-October each year. MLA will confirm candidates and collect profiles, including photos, background information, and possibly audio or video clips. Full candidate profiles will be published in early January.

In January 2005 when MLA held its first election using electronic voting, paper ballets at that time still accounted for a large percentage of member votes. As the membership has grown accustomed to online voting, the number of paper ballots cast has dramatically dropped to just a handful. While once practical, it is no longer necessary to leave the election open for six weeks to ensure the arrival of paper ballots at MLA headquarters. The next election will open in the first week of February 2018, which complies with the bylaws’ nine-week minimum before the business meeting at the annual meeting. The election will then close three weeks after the start date, which also complies with the bylaws three-week minimum.

As with past elections, results will be validated and candidates contacted after the election closes. Election results will be published by mid-March 2018. The new Nominating Committee will start immediately after being elected (as per the bylaws). The president-elect and MLA Board members will start their terms at the business meeting during MLA ’18 in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the election calendar has been modified, the election itself has not changed and still complies with the MLA Bylaws.

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