The New York-New Jersey (NY-NJ) Chapter, with an invitation to the Philadelphia Regional Chapter, met in New Brunswick, NJ, on November 6, 2019. Seventy-five members and thirteen vendors gathered at the Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center for a profitable full-day meeting. The program included a keynote speaker, updates from MLA and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), the chapter business meeting, a member panel, and lightning talks by members and some vendors.
The meeting theme was “Getting to We: Building Communities through Collaboration.” We felt the theme was relevant as our chapter merges with the Philadelphia Regional Chapter. Bonnie Keith, president of the Forefront Group, led attendees through an activity based on the theme during her keynote address. Vendors were invited to the keynote address and participated with members in the activity.
The member panel—Andrew Hickner, Interprofessional Health Sciences Library, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ; Peter D. Cole, AHIP, Learning Resources Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, New York, NY; and Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, AHIP, FMLA, Health Sciences Library, Virtua Health, Mt Laurel, NJ—centered on collaborative relationships outside of the library. Rachel Pinotti, AHIP, Levy Library, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, moderated a lively discussion from the panel and questions from the audience.
Reasons why our meeting was so successful:
- Meeting in November did not compete with vendors’ many other obligations to be at other chapter meetings.
- A vendor recognition game, created with the vendors, brought members to each vendor. Winners of gifts from vendors and gift cards from the chapter were drawn in the vendor space from completed game score cards.
- All meals had healthy choices. Breakfast and the afternoon snack were served in the vendor area.
- Two levels of vendor participation included a lightning talk about products and services.
- The meeting was close to public transportation. The venue offered free transportation to the Rutgers Inn and ample free parking at the site.
- We always give a small gift (pen, blank journal) as a thank you to our presenters: keynote, NNLM representative, MLA representative, panel members and moderators, and lightning talk presenters and moderators.
- We negotiate an honorarium to a keynote speaker if they accept one.
- We present the outgoing chair with a plaque of appreciation.
Send comments and questions to Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, 2019–2020 chair.