The Welcome and Presidential Address was filled with plenty of warm welcomes and thank you's. It began with MLA President Michelle Kraft welcoming everyone especially our Canadian and international colleagues to the joint meeting.
Next, Jeanna Hough, President of CHLA expressed excitement for the the chance to collaborate with "a pool of minds beyond national borders." She encouraged attendees to use this meeting as a opportunity to enjoy colleagues and experience the city.
Pip Divall and Sarah Sutton from the International Clinical Librarian Conference explained that their programming is always about what is "hot in librarianship" which is why this meeting is where they want to be more than anywhere in the world. They thanked all the planners and thanked everyone for coming to the conference.
Ann Seymour and Jeff Mason from the Joint Planning Committee were thrilled to kick off the conference with three organizations. They thanked the members of the Joint Planning Committee and the staff at the MLA headquarters.
Vanessa Kitchin and David Lightfoot from the Local Assistance Committee encouraged everyone to go see and enjoy Toronto. They humorously promised that the weather would get warmer. (I hope they are right especially after I saw some snowflakes!) They also thanked all of their local volunteers.
Nancy Cooper who represents Club Amick Program and the Southern Ontario Library Service spoke about the conference community service project; "Promoting Health Professions to First Nation Kids." They have been collecting books and money for aboriginal people of Canada. Their program ensures that almost 6000 kids get three books a year in communities that have no libraries and bookstores. She thanked everyone for considering Club Amick. Children are always excited to get the books.
Lastly, Michelle Kraft thanked the vendors and MLA 16 sponsors.
The second half of the presentation consisted of the MLA Annual Update. Michelle began with congratulating Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan who became the first woman director of NLM. Then she spoke about the goals of MLA. Goal 1 focuses on the strategic priorities task force which included a redesign of annual conference based on feedback and evaluation of MLA international activities. By-laws are also being worked on. Goal 2 aims at outreach to new professionals and getting them into the field. Goal 3 deals with education which includes a task force to review the MLA competencies for lifelong learning and professional success. Goal 4 focuses on technology. One of the initiatives was a new website; mlanet.org. Since the implementation the traffic to the website has doubled and they have saved 150k in cost annually. Goal 5 focuses on research And include initiatives such as Competencies Task force to revise research competencies and planned creation of MLA research institute.
Finally, Michelle thanked everyone for "the journey." Specifically, she thanked the committee members, MLA members, MLA staff, Cleveland Clinic Library staff and her family.
The session ended with a memorial tribute of pictures and sound bites to honor members we lost in the past year.