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Chapter News: 55th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNC) of MLA


Submitted by Kathryn Vela, AHIP, Cochair, and Electra Enslow, Cochair, Pacific Northwest Chapter/MLA Program Planning Committee

The 55th annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNC) of MLA was held in Spokane, WA, this past fall, with the theme “Translate, Transform, Transcend.” It was the first time the meeting had been held in Spokane since 1987, and planning committee members were excited to share the city with PNC members. We were pleased to provide registration waivers to two of our members and scholarships for students with accepted paper or poster proposals to attend the meeting at no cost.

This year, PNC hosted three continuing education courses that were held at the downtown Spokane Public Library, which boasts stunning views of the city and the Spokane Falls. Course offerings were “Statistics 101,” “Emerging Technologies for the Busy Librarian,” and “Searching Effectively and Efficiently.”

The meeting began with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Kathy Murray, who has been a valuable PNC leader, and we wish her well on her upcoming retirement. MLA Past-President Barbara A. Epstein, AHIP, FMLA, delivered remarks about MLA activities and what we can expect in the future. The keynote presentation was a panel discussion from local researchers in public health, nursing, and medicine. They discussed how they use, collect, and find health data for their research. We were also able to showcase some local Spokane talent and hear a short presentation by local author Kris Dinnison, who read a few pieces of her work. It was a delight to bring some humanities into our health sciences–filled meeting!

One of the highlights for many attendees was the round table discussion session, which included topics about artificial intelligence, accessibility, critical librarianship, instruction, diversity, and research data management. PNC librarians working in a variety of fields presented papers on topics including managing data, working with faculty, developing an institutional repository, building a medical library, and many other topics. It was inspiring to hear what our colleagues have been accomplishing all over the region! The Poster Session/Happy Hour was a fun experience for attendees and included a friendly contest for Best Poster. One of our student attendees, Tori Ward, Kaiser Permanente, and her colleague, Loree Hyde, Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, Clackamas, OR, won the prize.

PNC is grateful to have had a number of vendors to speak with and hear about their latest products. Their involvement was vital to the success of the meeting, and we appreciate their support for this event. We especially thank Wolters Kluwer, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Rockefeller University Press for their sponsorship.

This annual meeting was a great mix of networking, socializing, and learning. We hope you will join us at our 2019 annual meeting, October 27–29, 2019, in beautiful Boise, ID. See you next year!


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