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Contributed Content FAQ



MLA '21 General Information

Abstract submissions now closed for Posters and Lightning Talks!


  • No in-person requirement to present
  • MLA will provide no-charge registration for those needing financial support (presenters get priority).

Watch the Welcome Video

MLA '21 Logo


MLA’s premier event draws more than 1,500 participants including medical librarians and other health information professionals, international attendees, and exhibitors. MLA ’21 offers a variety of opportunities for attending educational sessions, seeing the latest products from exhibitors, and interacting with colleagues.

Special Announcement (January 29, 2021)

The 2021 conference experience will be exclusively virtual and build on the success of the MLA '20 vConference and Exhibits, with improvements based on feedback and lessons learned (see schedule below).

The in-person experience in Washington DC initially scheduled for May 2021 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel has been cancelled.

A Diverse, Inclusive, and Accessible Meeting

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the threads that strengthen the fabric of the Medical Library Association. 

MLA’s goal is to ensure that members, volunteers, and staff have a high level of awareness related to diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and ensure that our organizational behavior reflects the diversity of the profession, and of those we serve at our institutions.


Program details subject to change. Details and exact times to be announced in the months leading to the May events.

In-person events, if maintained, will occur during the originally scheduled days May 24 to 26 (subject to change)

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When What Experience

Live Kickoff

May 10

Opening Session

  • Dynamic presentations, tips on how to best experience the vConference and Exhibits, InSight Initiative highlights, sponsor recognitions

Awards and Recognitions

  • Think the Oscars with MLA’s own emcees

Networking Event

  • Short presentations followed by multiple small group speed networking (yes, you will meet lots of people you don’t know, totally randomly)

Exploration Week 1

May 10 to May 14

Posters, Lightning Talks, and Papers

  • View posters with voice recordings, lightning talks, and papers with voice synced to slides, on your own schedule
  • Participate in group conversations (one per presentation) by asking your questions online via text Q&A

Meetings and Events

  • Join MLA members for the Annual Business Meeting
  • Participate in the Community Council and Chapter Council meetings
  • Join your colleagues for fun activities (e.g. game night and socials)

Exploration Week 2

May 17 to May 21

Exhibitor Live Solution Showcases and Live Exhibits

  • Visit the exhibitor booths, watch educational videos, and download information, on your own schedule, on Wednesday May 19 and Thursday May 20.
  • Participate in Exhibitor Live Solution Showcases all day Wednesday May 19 and Thursday May 20
  • Connect with your exhibitor representative, or join short educational sessions via video chat

Posters, Lightning Talks, and Papers

  • Continue to view posters, lightning talks and papers and interact with your colleagues.

Social Events

  • Join your colleagues for fun activities (e.g. networking and social events)

Live Action Week

May 24 to May 27

Virtual Exhibits and Solution Showcases

  • Continue to view exhibit booths
  • Watch the recorded Exhibitor Solution Showcases you may have missed

Lightning Talks and Papers Meet-Ups

  • Join your colleagues for thirty-minute intimate virtual video chat sessions with groups of four to six presenters, organized and facilitated by topic by the program committee

Interactive Immersion Sessions

  • Participate in seventy-five minute immersion sessions designed to be engaging and interactive


  • John P. McGovern Award Lecture: speaker to be announced - sixty-minute keynote presentation
  • Janet Doe Lecture: speaker to be announced - sixty-minute keynote presentation

NLM Update

  • Stay up to date on National Library of Medicine (NLM) activities by joining NLM leaders for a year in review.

Closing Session

  • Time to wrap up, and to enjoy the performance of the MLA ’21 (Washington, DC) organizing committees

Watch Later

Virtual Exhibits and Solution Showcases

  • Open till June 4 for viewing only


  • Available to meeting attendees exclusively for one year
  • Available to MLA members for three years, after June 1, 2022

What did attendees say about the MLA '20 vConference and Exhibits?

“…never before have I engaged, taken as many notes, met as many collaborators, and fostered next steps as I have with MLA 2020's vConference…overall the experience of truly absorbing content in the quiet of my own home allowed me to get so much more out of this meeting.”

“MLA came to my living room and we had conversations that were quite meaningful.”

“I loved the MLA vConference 2020! …so many creative approaches that included interactive components.”

“Please keep the virtual format—it was amazing.”

“I was able to attend the MLA conference from outside the US and take part in all the fantastic presentations.”

Metrics for Success - MLA '20 vConference and Exhibits

1,100+ attendees (1,500+ with exhibitors) - more than the in-person conferences

  • more than 500 attendees accessing through institutional packages
  • 140 no-charge financial assistance
  • 150+ new members or first-time meeting attendees

On-demand with slides and audio: overall rating, 4.06/5.00 with  6,700+ content views

Live Sessions

  • Plenary sessions: overall rating of 4.16 with 2,000+ attendees
  • Immersion sessions - overall rating of 4.12 with 1,400+ attendees
  • Exhibitor sessions - overall rating of 3.92 with  800+ attendees

Posters with enhanced audio: overall rating of 4.24 with 18,500+ views


Prices below are indicative, and subject to change prior to registration opening by end of January 2021.

Pricing rules are as follows:

  • Member Emeritus, Retired, Student, Unemployed and Lower Dues: 50% discount from Member Regular rate
  • Non-member: 30% surcharge from Member Regular rate
  • Volume pricing ("institutional")
    • 5-pack: 20% discount (5 for the price of 4)
    • 10-pack: 30% discount (10 for the price of 7)
    • 15-pack (new): 40% discount (15 for the price of 9)
    • 20-pack: 50% discount (20 for the price of 10)

MLA will continue to provide no-charge registration for MLA members needing financial support. Apply now.

vConference and Exhibits Price (USD)
Member - Regular $350
Member - Emeritus, Retired $175
Member - Student $175
Member - Unemployed, Lower Dues $175
Non-Member $455
Institutional Member - 5-pack $1,400
Institutional Member - 10-pack $2,450
Institutional Member - 15-pack $3,150
Institutional Member - 20-pack $3,500
Institutional Non-Member - 5-pack $1,820
Institutional Non-Member - 10-pack $3,185
Institutional Non-Member - 15-pack $4,095
Institutional Non-Member - 20-pack $4,550