Submitted by Jonquil D. Feldman, AHIP, Cochair, and Dawn G. Field, AHIP, Cochair, Local Arrangements Committee, South Central Chapter of MLA
The South Central Chapter of MLA (SCC/MLA) held its 45th annual meeting from October 19–24, 2018. It was fitting that the meeting was held at the Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio, as it was the site of the inaugural chapter meeting in 1973. There were 150 registered attendees and 26 exhibitors. Attendees had the opportunity to sign up for 4 classes and heard presentations about primate research and breakthrough discoveries in medicine, challenges and translational approaches to tuberculosis research, identification and management of care for people at risk in the US opioid epidemic, and disaster readiness and response. Andy Lopez, the last speaker, who works for the American Red Cross, kept his commitment in the midst of coordinating an actual disaster response to extensive flooding in central Texas that affected the drinking water supply of Austin and its surrounding counties.
Playing along with the theme of “Librarians on a Mission,” presenters gave catchy “mission”-based titles to their contributed papers and posters that discussed projects, trends, and services at libraries in the five-state region. Meeting attendees and exhibitors had an opportunity to mingle at a welcome reception on the grounds of San Antonio’s most famous mission, the Alamo. The Farewell Fiesta at the Menger Hotel ballroom turned into a dance party thanks to a fun DJ.
Contrary to usual expectations, the SCC Business Meeting was fast-paced and eventful. MLA President-Elect Julia Esparza, AHIP, gave her MLA update and then planned to catch a plane to get to another chapter meeting. She was stopped from taking her airport ride because, to her surprise, she had been named Librarian of the Year, and she was asked to return to the ballroom to receive her award.
The SCC mascot, a six-foot armadillo, had everyone in stitches as it danced (awkwardly) to the music of the video that was the 2019 Local Arrangements Committee’s invitation—definitely a good enticement to attend next year’s meeting in Oklahoma City!