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MLA ’17: Make Your Case to Attend

Build your case to attend the MLA annual meeting by focusing on the benefits of your attendance at the meeting, such as:

  • Program Sessions (subject to change)
  • Latest trends in technology
  • Best practices in service
  • Effective leadership techniques
  • Greater confidence and increased competencies
  • Ways to enhance intellectual growth
  • Ideas to improve services at your library
  • New, innovative resources for efficiency and cost savings

Demonstrate your commitment and service to the association. Are you:

  • Presenting a paper or poster
  • Serving as a speaker or moderator
  • Volunteering on a committee or in a special interest group (SIG) or section
  • Serving as an officer of a committee, section, SIG, or the association
  • Serving on the editorial team for an MLA publication
  • Serving on a task force
  • Working with a new initiative or volunteering with MLA planning committees
  • Sharing the results of your work with your colleagues
  • Networking, benchmarking, and sharing ideas with fellow librarians
  • Getting involved in research or collaborative efforts for association improvement

 Emphasize the benefits to your institution; such as

  • The opportunity for you to be the first librarian from your institution to attend an MLA meeting
  • The publicity that your institution will receive from you presenting a paper or poster
  • The advantage of your ability to compare vendor products and services onsite to make effective purchase decisions
  • The opportunity for your professional development, which improves your competence and capacity building
  • The opportunity for you to explore ideas, learn new skills, and translate these skills into tangible training at your organization
  • The return-on-investment that your institution will receive from your attendance

Need help convincing your boss to let you attend MLA?

Customize this letter and send it with a link to the Preliminary Program to your boss.

Dear Employer:

In today’s fast-paced information-intensive world, the challenges we face require us to continually reinvent ourselves and adapt to new trends and innovations. These challenges include achieving a balance between print and digital resources, selecting the best evidenced-based resources, and maintaining the most cost-effective library operations possible. To do this, I need to be in tune with the latest trends in library management and in sync with disruptive technologies that will affect future library decisions. That’s why I need your approval to attend MLA ’17, the Medical Library Association’s 2017 Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, in May.

MLA ’17 is the one meeting that I consider absolutely essential to my professional development. My role as a health sciences librarian is to ensure that all of the health professionals in our organization have access to information at the point of need. Training health professionals and medical students to make good evidenced-based decisions depends on the quality of knowledge-based information services that I provide. Attending MLA ’17 will help me build quality, knowledge-based skills by exposing me to new ideas, best practices, and lessons learned. I will also have the opportunity to be introduced to experts in the field and colleagues who share my ideology.

The Medical Library Association meeting schedule is chock full of classes, poster sessions, formal and informal meetings, sharing sessions, exhibits, and paper sessions that explore the latest trends in gathering, organizing, analyzing, and sharing information. I’ll have the opportunity to strengthen my professional and social network and contribute to the creation of new knowledge. Provocative keynote addresses delivered by notable personalities such as Patricia Brennan, Julia Sollenberger and other renowned speakers will stimulate my mind and contribute to my professional growth.

I’m confident that I’ll be able to share what I’ll learn with our team in a meaningful way and gain hands-on experience with new information products and services.

Best of all, MLA ’17 is a great value. Registration fees are much lower than those for most meetings of this caliber, and Seattle offers some of the best food and lodging prices of any major convention location.

If you give me the go-ahead—and I sincerely hope you will—you can expect me to return from MLA ’17 with loads of practical ideas that I can put to work right away. Please let me know if you would like additional information, or feel free to check the MLA website at for details about my professional organization and its activities.

Follow-Up to MLA ’17: Dare Dream Do: Focus on Diversity in Medical Librarianship

Follow-Up to MLA ’17: Dare Dream Do: Content and Sessions on New and Emerging Technologies