Reflections from MLA ’17

MLA17_LOGO_300X300.jpgEditor’s note: Over the next few issues of the MLA News, we will recap some of the content and sessions presented at MLA ’17: Dream Dare Do, held in Seattle, WA. Our hope is that a brief overview of some of these sessions, technology showcases, posters, lightning talks, and more might continue some dialogue in this space, raise questions, or at least help you decipher those notes you scribbled during a presentation.

This second recap provides a more personal perspective on MLA ’17 from Christine Willis, AHIP, editor of the Consumer Health column.

While in Seattle for MLA ’17, I ran around a lot, both at the meeting and sightseeing during morning runs. The meeting was jam-packed with engaging speakers, business meetings, poster presentations, and session presentations that intrigued and taught me new ideas.

This meeting motivated me to “Dream Dare Do” the work on projects and goals that I have set for myself and the library where I work. Listening to and learning about the challenges and adventures that Julie Angus embarked upon was inspiring. Hearing Barbara A. Epstein, AHIP, FMLA, 2017/18 MLA president, share her vision for MLA next year motivated and encouraged me.

I was disappointed to miss hearing Hope Jahren (in person) on the last day; however, a couple of weeks after getting home I watched the recording provided by MLA on the meeting website. Her talk was so interesting, I went to the public library to borrow her book. I became more engrossed in the life of a seed than I ever thought I could while reading it.

I also watched Patricia Flatley Brennan’s Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture. While listening to her speak, I felt that she recognizes the skills and value that librarians bring to an organization and that she will promote our profession during her tenure at NLM. If schedule conflicts prevented attendees from hearing certain speakers, then the online recordings are a good substitute so that members do not miss the informative content that is presented at the meeting.

I was also able to share about two projects I have participated in this past year, “Library Resources Role in Specialty Rehabilitation Services at Model System Centers” and “Pilot Project to Teach Current and Future Health Care Professionals How to Address Patients with Health Literacy in Mind.” And seeing what others have been learning and doing in their libraries gave me many ideas to use in my library. I appreciate being able to ask presenters questions and encourage them if they are new MLA members or if their posters are their first ventures into research.

Finally, the business meetings for the sections I am able to participate in were all useful, and it is a productive time to see where the sections are heading and what role members can play in that progress.

Click on the thought bubble icon on the left to provide your feedback and comments. If you don’t see the icon, please use the [Link removed (blog link)] and go to this article. Watch upcoming issues of the MLA News for more MLA ’17 topical summaries.