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InSight Initiative: Summit 5

The March 16–17, 2020, summit brings together MLA leaders and select participating organizations who participated in both summits 3 and 4 to develop and report on projects that have been underway since early September of 2019. For more information about this initiative—including objectives, outcomes, guidelines, and task force members—please consult the InSight Initiative home page.

Detailed Summit 5 information

User Behavior: A Collaborative Working Summit 

Summit 5 builds on the key outcome of Summit 3 and the work that small groups have done since then--namely, that librarians and information providers can build trust through collaborative work to improve their joint understanding of how users discover and access information resources. Participants from Summit 3 returned to Chicago in November for Summit 4, and now Summit 5  to develop and report on projects that have been underway since September of 2019. This includes:

  • Convening a series of meetings with an End User Advisory Board (EUAB) designed to elicit key insights about user experiences and needs;
  • Developing an enduring resource that synthesizes ideas from the EUAB and insights from the work of the small groups;
  • Developing an online forum to raise and discuss issues related to discovery and access concerns of users; and
  • Developing learning modules to educate librarians and publishers about critical aspects of user behavior.

Anticipated Outcomes

This summit aims to contribute a body of tangible intellectual property that is widely available to librarians and information providers. It is hoped that this material will enable people working in many facets of the information industry to better serve their users. 

Learning Objectives

  • Develop and document qualitative and quantitative insights into information user needs, concerns, and frustrations;
  • Define the key features of learning modules designed to provide an understanding of information user needs;
  • Design a useful ongoing forum to discuss information user needs.


March 16, 2020, 9:00 am–3:00 pm CDT
March 17, 2020, 9:00 am–3:30 pm CDT

This meeting will take place virtually, using Zoom.

Summit Participants

MLA plans for balanced representation of librarian leaders and participating organizations. This fifth summit will convene 13 librarians and 11 participating organization representatives, nearly all of whom participated in summits 3 and 4.

Librarian participants

There is no registration fee for librarian participants. Through fees paid by participating organizations, MLA will support the actual travel expenses of librarian participants (summit hotel and transportation) up to $600. 

Participating organizations in Summit 5

  • American Psychiatric Association Publishing
  • American Psychological Association
  • BMJ Publishing Group
  • F1000
  • The JAMA Network
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Massachusetts Medical Society/NEJM Group
  • Oxford University Press
  • Wolters Kluwer Health Learning Research & Practice

Organizations interested in participating should contact Sabrina Sheth, who is responsible for recruiting of participating organization for the MLA InSight Initiative; 703.442.2079.

Cost and Travel Support for Librarian Participants

There is no registration fee for librarian participants. MLA will support the travel expenses of librarian participants (summit hotel and transportation) up to $600.

Program Committee


  • Charlotte Beyer, AHIP, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL
  • Andrea Kepsel, AHIP, Michigan State University–East Lansing
  • Elizabeth Laera, AHIP, Princeton Baptist Medical Center, Birmingham, AL
  • Gerald (Jerry) Perry, AHIP, FMLA, University of Arizona–Tucson

Representatives from Participating Organizations

  • Deborah Harris, F1000
  • Lauren Jones, BMJ
  • David Nygren, American Psychological Association
  • Sean Pidgeon, Oxford University Press

Liaison and Facilitators

  • Gerald (Jerry) Perry, AHIP, FMLA, University of Arizona–Tucson, and Liaison, InSight Initiative Task Force
  • Daniel J. Doody, Facilitator, Doody Consulting
  • Tim Butzen, Facilitator, Doody Consulting

InSight Initiative Articles

MLA InSight Initiative Fall Forum Future Possibilities and Opportunities

InSight Initiative Videos

Guest Post: MLA InSight — How to Buy Whisky

It’s Called Predatory Publishing for a Reason!

Report from InSight Summit 2: How Can Librarians, Publishers, and Providers of Discovery and Management Tools Collaborate to More Effectively Communicate the Value of Information?

Participating Organizations (2020)


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