On Sunday, May 20, MLA President Barbara Epstein, AHIP, FMLA provided MLA attendees with insights about what she and MLA have been up to during the 2017-2018 term.
President Epstein’s talk, entitled “Engaging the Future”, summarized her MLA focused-activities during the past year. Her experiences included representing MLA at the meeting of the International Congress of Medical Librarianship (ICML) and the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL), which took place in Dublin, Ireland on June 12-16, 2017. Epstein expressed her enjoyment with the opportunity to talk with leaders from other international library associations during this meeting. She also attended four MLA regional chapter meetings and visited Capitol Hill with others from the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) to speak with congressional members and staffers regarding legislation and services that are vital to libraries.
Epstein mentioned that when she became MLA President, she thought that MLA was at an important turning point and that the organization wanted to explore how it offers value to our members to become a “more agile, responsive organization.” Part of MLA’s efforts to become a more responsive organization includes the work of the Communities Strategic Goal Task Force. This task force has been working to address the future of sections and special interest groups, and the task force shared its Proposed Model for MLA Communities report shortly before MLA ‘18. She invited attendees to share their thoughts with the Communities Strategic Goal Task Force during three open forums that were held during MLA ‘18.
Epstein also outlined the work of other MLA Committees during the past year, including Education Steering Committee’s creation of six curriculum committees in an effort to provide a new structure to guide MLA’s educational program offerings. She also acknowledged other MLA initiatives for the year, such as the MLA InSight Initiative to advance thinking in health information, the MLA Research Training Institute for Health Sciences Librarians that will take place in July 2018, and the Health Information for Public Librarians Symposium that was held during the last two days of MLA ‘18. Epstein also stated that MLA’s new strategic goals will involve the creation of a new task force that will focus on annual meeting evaluation and innovation.
At the conclusion of her talk, Epstein encouraged attendees to attend the previously mentioned open forums, to contribute ideas to the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force’s open discussion, and to stay engaged in MLA.