To get the most out of your experience at MLA | SLA '23, we've compiled a list of tips from attendees thanks to Peter Johnson (@libraryvines). Don't forget to download your Packing Checklist and get additional tips from the National Programming Committee (NPC).
Peter Johnson @libraryvines: "#medlibs – recently found out I’ll be able to attend @MedLibAssn’s annual conference this year 🙂 for those who have gone before, what’s one tip you’ve learned for getting benefit out of the conference?"
It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement. Even if you've attended in person before, a refresher is always helpful.
Kate Saylor @katemsaylor: "Yeah! I’m going too! It’s been so long since I’ve been to an in-person, I can’t remember. I know I usually do too much for my little introvert brain, so if you tend to be a bit more quiet, make sure to plan some time for solo-rest. I’ll be interested to see what other folks say."
Can’t forget a packing list.
Angela Spencer @angspenc: "Packing list: layers (rooms are either hot or cold), comfy shoes, charger, device or paper for notes, headphones, mints or gum, lip balm, snacks, water bottle, first aid kit."
2. Be prepared for lots of walking.
Amy Houck @achouck23: "Wear comfortable shoes. You’re going to be walking a lot. Bring a folder for handouts and feel free to jump between paper presentations (the 10-15 minute presentations)."
3. Check the schedule ahead of time (and don’t forget your crab hat).
Carrie Price @carrieprice78: "I look at the schedule and then pop in and out of sessions based on who and what I want to see. Don’t discount the posters! And wear a crab hat."
4. Speaking of sessions…
Charlotte Beyer @referencediva: "You don’t have to stay for the whole session if there is a session with multiple papers being presented. Often I will hop from room to room to hear a variety of papers."
5. Give yourself a break.
Carly @carlyclaires: "Don’t force yourself to go to a session, just because you don’t have one planned for that time. Take a break in your room, go see a sight in Detroit, or read a book in a coffee shop."
Check out the official Dining Guide for recommendations from the Local Assistance Committee (LAC).
6. Stop by the Hall of Exhibits.
Tracy Shields @tcshields: "Make time for the exhibits and vendors. Those connections and conversations are valuable, can have long term payoff too. Seconding others about taking breaks and having quite downtime. Save room in packing for swag! I’m still using pens and such from my last in person MLA.😂"
7. Seriously, don’t forget to stop by the Hall of Exhibits.
Michelle Kraft @krafty: "I second @tcshields suggestion about the exhibit floor and vendors. I always learn something new and find a new product. I would also suggest saying hi to the person next to you. Getting to meet and know people is the best part."
8. Don’t forget to have fun!
Whitney Townsend @bergney: "Find some non-conference fun; it’s easy to overbook yourself. (and when I say non-conference fun, I *don’t* mean vendor parties. something actually fun to you)."
Check out the official MLA | SLA ’23 blog for more info about the meeting as well as things to do in Detroit.