I belong to MLA for a long time. My first MLA was also the ’76 Annual Meeting in Cleveland, and it sure would have been nice to have met Barbara Epstein and Ana Cleveland there! Needless to say, MLA means a lot to me.
I have heard the major buzz, both for and against, the new reorganization of MLA. I attended the Open Forum and I think I understand what the very hardworking Task Force members are trying to explain to us.
See if this makes sense to you:
- The Affinity Groups, made up of our current groups that we call Sections and SIGS and future groups of like-minded people, will be the driving forces for the new reorganization and they belong at the top of the reorganization schematic.
- When an Affinity Group has a task or project they look for the Domain (Community) or Domains of Practice to aid in completing the task or project. The Domain works with the MLA Board on the Affinity’s behalf to finance and successfully complete the project.
- Domains (Communities) of Practice, could depending on the advice of the newly formed Task Force, provide guidance in preparing MLA Meeting Content, like we have been doing the last several years. If you have a great idea for a paper, lightning talk, or printed poster, it is put into the larger hopper for consideration, no need to try and pigeonhole your idea into a Section theme. The themes emerge from the abstracts submitted.
- No more Section dues. Belong to as many Affinity Groups as you like.
- Participate in as many Domains (Communities) of Practice as you like.
As voiced by many MLA members, the unclear future of existing treasuries, awards, grants, and scholarships is a concern. Despite these concerns, I’m confident the Task Force will develop a fair solution.
This reorganization makes MLA more nimble to keep up with the exciting events in our world of medical librarianship. In practice, we are so successful for being on the cutting edge of our profession and I think this reorganization deserves a try to keep us there.
I welcome your comments and questions.