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How to Make Your Case to Attend MLA '22

After the major upheavals and uncertainty of the last few years, we’re all excited for the opportunity to connect with our peers in New Orleans or virtually at MLA ’22! In these times of travel restrictions and budget cuts, it can be a challenge to make your case to attend MLA ’22. 

Here are some easy ways you can make your case to your supervisor:

  • Create a list of sessions you would like to attend. Demonstrate that you have a concrete plan to get the most value out of the conference. Refer to the Sneak Peek of papers and immersion sessions, the Collection Development and Resource Sharing Symposium, and the CE Courses to begin building your must-attend list
  • Emphasize the networking opportunities. Building connections with your peers and similar institutions is a great way to build your skill set and learn new ideas!
  • Demonstrate how the conference sessions, symposiums, and/or CEs will fill gaps or improve library services. Show how the knowledge you learn at MLA can benefit your library in the long-term.
  • Offer to share highlights with your colleagues. By sending you to MLA, your library peers will benefit from your knowledge and can help to apply new ideas to your library services.
  • Be flexible in your request. As much as we would all like to attend MLA in New Orleans, being willing to attend virtually would ensure that you can still learn and connect at a lower overall cost to your institution.

You can also highlight the unique benefits of attending this year’s MLA:

  • Collection Development and Resource Sharing Symposium. This in-person symposium is included with MLA ‘22 full experience registration and will include a variety of formats encompassing librarian, publisher, and expert perspectives. Topics include copyright; diversity, equity, and inclusion, negation tactics; and trends and tools in collection development.
  • Plenary Speakers. This year’s lineup includes the John P. McGovern Lecture by Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. 
  • Continuing Education. There will be two in-person CE opportunities that include “Essential Searching Skills for Librarians on Systematic Review Teams” and “Do You Want To Be a Library Director?”
  • Immersion Sessions: They're back this year! These sessions are up to 75 minutes of "deep dives" into a single topic. The format may include interactive panel presentations, role-playing, gamification, discussions, working groups, and other activities engaging with the audience.

The National Programming Committee has compiled a helpful list of benefits to your attendance either virtually or in New Orleans that you can find here, including a template for a written justification. If you're considering going in person, remember that Early Bird Registration ends March 31! Register now to get the savings.

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