The MLA ’20 vConference and Exhibits, a full-featured experience of virtual learning and networking, kicked off on Monday, July 27, with an opening session that was available to all, including all MLA members, registrants, and vendors. MLA President Lisa K. Traditi, AHIP, and MLA Immediate Past President Julia Esparza, AHIP, welcomed the 502 attendees and encouraged those who had not yet registered for the vConference to do so.
Traditi and Esparza featured the MLA annual meeting innovation initiative that had already been in the works when the in-person meeting in Portland had to be changed to a virtual meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While noting that members have been furloughed and laid off, they emphasized that medical librarians are essential workers who ensure the provision of reliable health care information. Traditi and Esparza highlighted the I Am MLA campaign, begun by MLA Past President Beverly Murphy, AHIP, FMLA, and mentioned MLA’s new Statement of Appropriate Conduct. They also reaffirmed MLA’s commitment to social justice and to working to end racial inequity and systemic racism.
Janna C. Lawrence, AHIP, chair, 2020 National Program Committee (NPC), and Melissa De Santis, AHIP, cochair, 2020 NPC, then discussed how “When COVID gave [the NPC] lemons, they made lemonade!” The MLA ’20 experience will feature an Exploration period July 27 to August 9, with a virtual exhibit hall that features health information products and services presented by world-class exhibitors, 150+ posters, 30+ lightning talks, 90+ papers, and exciting social events (with everything from yoga to game nights). The Live Action Week is August 10 to August 14, with vendor exhibits and Solution Showcases, lightning talks and papers meet-ups, immersion sessions, keynote presentations, the National Library of Medicine Update, the Open Science Session with a panel discussion, social hours, and the Closing Session.
MLA ’20 sponsors were recognized. They have stood by and supported MLA during this challenging time. Through the generous contributions of MLA ’20 sponsors, MLA has been able to continue our mission and support initiatives like the MLA ’20 vConference.
Gerald J. Perry, AHIP, FMLA, past chair, InSight Initiative Task Force, and John Gallagher, chair, InSight Initiative Task Force, shared details about the MLA InSight Initiative, a collaboration among librarians and publishing partners in the health information community.
If you haven’t registered yet, registration for the full vConference is still available. Be sure to participate in this groundbreaking, interactive experience designed by your 2020 NPC and the MLA team. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity; register today!
Online Planner Is Now Live!Visit the MLA ’20 online planner to begin watching on-demand sessions, viewing (and listening to) posters and virtual exhibits, and planning your meeting schedule. More features will be added in the next few weeks, including video chat sessions with presenters and exhibitor representatives.