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Integrating Technology

By Michelle Kraft, President, and Teresa Knott, President-Elect

Clarifying organizational structure is a key component of the MLA strategic goal 1. Over the last year, the MLA Board of Directors and executive director worked to examine, assess, and adjust our structure based on environmental changes. At our November meeting, the Board voted to disband the Technology Advisory Committee. This decision was not easy.

The Technology Advisory Committee can be traced back to 1995, when the MLANET Task Force was formed, and to 2010, when the Social Networking Task Force and the MLANET Editorial Board were merged. Members of these committees were technical experts who fostered greater technical competency across MLA.

  • The MLANET Editorial Board recommended hosting standards for chapters and sections and supported the development of member-generated content on MLANET
  • The Social Networking Task Force educated hundreds of medical librarians on Web 2.0 tools (remember that term?)
  • The Technology Advisory Committee developed a comprehensive social networking strategy and plan, which continue to inform MLA’s activities in this area
  • All technology groups helped survey the membership on priorities for MLANET and technology

Most recently, the Technology Advisory Committee identified issues that deserve ongoing attention within MLA. Some of these issues include how members can best provide feedback, and how National Program Committees can provide continuity in technology for the annual meeting.

A lot has changed since 2010. Technology and social media are more ingrained in every aspect of our lives, and MLANET has moved onto a new platform with a more solid infrastructure. With today’s IT environment, the members of the Board believe that technology needs to be integrated into everything MLA does, built into the DNA of every group. Work and decisions surrounding technology have greatly outgrown the scope of a single committee.

The Board will continue to ensure that technology agendas are identified and executed at every level of the organization, including sections, programming, and the annual meeting. We thank all the MLA members who served on the Technology Advisory Committee and its precursor groups. You have guided us into the future.

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