MLA President 2006/07
Jean Mapping: Forging New Frontiers
Congratulations everyone on a terrific 106th MLA Annual Meeting. While Phoenix was indeed hot as far as temperature, I think the program itself was even hotter. Thanks are extended to the National Program Committee and chairs, the Local Arrangements Committee and chairs, Brenda Dreier and Paul Graller (our meeting planners), and to the ever-hard working MLA Headquarters staff! And all of you members who contributed to papers, posters, section presentations, roundtables, etc. please take a bow as well! And I’d like to especially thank our exhibitors and sponsors who help to make the meeting possible. And last but not least, I’d like to thank the members of the Bearded Pigs, who once again provided us with delightful entertainment and encouraged dancing fever. Thank you, thank you everyone!
I know all of our meeting committees, sections and planners are hard at work already for next year’s meeting to be held in Philadelphia from May 18-23, 2007 - where we will celebrate our “Information Revolution: Change is in the Air.” Be thinking about how you want to contribute to this keystone meeting as the call for papers and posters will be released before we know it!
After the MLA meeting, my husband Mark and I took several days to tour the surrounding natural beauty spots including Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff before returning to Richmond, VA. It felt good to get some physical exercise after the information overload of the annual meeting. It was great to get some spiritual renewal in Sedona – after all, there’s probably no better place to seek such spiritual refreshment! Mark and I hiked up Doe Mountain to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, the mesas, and the beautiful fauna. It was a great way to just appreciate Mother Nature and to reflect on the events of the previous week.
And as you might have guessed, yes, we did visit the Sedona airport and in fact, had lunch there which was delicious. It amazed us how pilots were flying with the intense winds of the day.
Next we jaunted to the Grand Canyon and hiked the rim for about 5 miles. Mark had hiked to the bottom and back in a day while I attended the 2003 MLA annual meeting in San Diego so I was able to retrace his steps at both ends of his trail. Yes, I cheated and just did about a half mile on each part of the trails versus the entire stretch!
Back to work and regular life! Well almost, today MJ Tooey and I did a radio show with Scott Draughon of mytechnologylawyer.com regarding our experience at the MLA Annual Meeting. Scott is featuring MLA once a week for 6 weeks. At the end of the series, the recorded shows will be available from the MLANET Web site but if you just can’t wait, here’s how you can listen to the shows to date:
This day was also monumental in that the firstname.lastname@example.org email was transferred to me from MJ so now you can email me at this address with your thoughts! And indeed, if some emails continue to arrive for MJ, I will forward them to her!
In addition, I made plans to visit my first library school, the School of Library & Information Science, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, at the end of July thanks to Dr. Julie McGowan. I will also be visiting with her library faculty and staff and am really looking forward to this!
Today I traveled to Gettysburg, PA to attend a president’s reception at Gettysburg College, my alma mater. It was great to relive even though for a short time, some of my college days. My roommate from there also attended and we ended up talking most of the night. It is terrific to have friends that you feel so comfortable with and treasure! And indeed, we did do some outlet shopping as our hotel was conveniently located to the outlet mall – just don’t know how these things happen!
Mark Funk, Carla Funk and I attended a workshop in Tysons Corner entitled “Symposium for Chief Executive and Chief Elected Officers” that was given by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership. This workshop provided lots of time for the three of us to review plans for MLA for the coming year and to learn more about how non-profit associations work. We also got to meet with other officers of numerous associations including the American Hospital Association. It was fun to learn how other associations are governed and how alike and different we all are! There is a lot of research being done in this area and it was interesting to learn that associations really need to focus on the desired wishes of their members and who they support in order to be responsive in today’s world.
I had the delight of attending an NLM Associate Fellows Colloquium at the National Library of Medicine today. The four second-year fellows each provided a very interesting and unique snapshot of their year with their four host institutions. It is refreshing to hear that their years went extremely well and that once again, even though we are all medical librarians, the variety of experience and work we each do was illustrated quite clearly in the presentations.
To complete my week in the DC area, I attended my first, but the 28th Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) -“Beyond Borders & Bindings” along with over 650 other attendees. It was great to see several familiar faces including, Chung Sook Kim, Tom Richardson, Chris Scannell , and Susan Starr. This meeting is a terrific way to glean many perspectives on scholarly publishing and communications and I highly recommend it to all MLA members as a great learning opportunity.
I attended several plenary sessions including a keynote by Dr. Marshall Keys about “Chaotic Transitions: How Today’s Trends Will Affect Tomorrow’s Information Environment”. He highlighted how the current generation views the world and how libraries and publishers need to respond to their demand for instant communication and feedback. He also reviewed some new technologies and noted how they are being marketed – for instance, cell phones – in commercials, nothing is ever mentioned about being able to talk with someone via the device – but more emphasis is placed on fancy ring tones, deluxe covers and cases and inclusive gadgets such as cameras and GPS equipment.
Several sessions dealt with the globalization of information including an overview of the Chinese market and examples of how publishers are working with authors from China to encourage more publication in both Chinese and English journals. There is increasing concern over copyright and intellectual property rights and one session reviewed various ways to work with government agencies to try and prevent abuse of the literature. There was also a session on preserving the scholarly record and whose responsibility is it – libraries or publishers? I also enjoyed a session on open access – where several publishers shared their pricing models for encouraging authors to publish via this venue.
The apex of the meeting for me was recognition of MLA by the SSP President, Dr. Norman Frankel, at the Business Meeting luncheon. He thanked MJ Tooey for hosting the MLA/SSP Forum at the end of the Phoenix MLA meeting, and stated that he was using that forum as a model for meeting with other library associations. MJ also presented on the MLA/SSP Forum at an earlier SSP meeting seminar as part of a panel entitled “Access Models and the Future of Open Access Publishing – Do or Die, or Do and Die?” Upon thanking Dr. Frankel for his coverage of MLA, he invited me to his Presidential Reception where I was able to talk with him about potential future collaborations between MLA and SSP.
All in all, an excellent experience and again, I encourage members to attend this meeting. Next year’s site is very attractive – San Francisco, CA, from June 6-9, 2007. Librarians are offered a discounted rate for meeting registration as well as SSP membership. More information can be found at http://www.sspnet.org.
Today, Mark and I flew to Tangier Island, which is an island located in the Chesapeake Bay, that is only accessible via boat or air. Here’s a link to some history about this island http://www.intercom.net/user/goldmar/tangier/. The island is not large – and it houses a quaint colony of around 700 individuals who speak with a rolling Elizabethan English accent. We discovered a very quiet, natural beach at one end of the island that we love to walk after eating a delicious crab cake lunch (see photo). Yesterday, while walking along this pristine sandy-white beach, it hit me that change is everywhere! Yes, even this isolated beach had changed its personality since the last time we walked along its shores (which was the weekend prior to the MLA annual meeting). The last time we visited, the water was very calm and the beach was wide and clean. There were also tens of thousands of sea nettles lying along the shore’s edge. This time, there was a lot of dried seaweed washed on the shore and the waves were rapidly crashing against the sand. At some points, there wasn’t a beach to really walk on – we had to resort to tiptoeing through the sand dunes. And only a few lonely jellyfish had washed ashore. So, change is indeed everywhere!
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While I was not able to attend the ALA annual meeting this year, Carla Funk did represent MLA. In addition, MLA co-sponsored a program on health literacy with ALA’s Office for Literacy & Outreach Services. Carla worked with ALA staff on developing the program. Beth Westcott, of the Southeastern/Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine was one of the presenters. She also taught two continuing education courses.
Today, I did a radio show with Scott Draughon of mytechnologylawyer.com. The topic for this show’s short segment (fifth in a series) was how private health care practitioners can access needed health information. As usual, Scott was a great host and the time seemed to fly by. Next week’s show ends the MLA series for now, but Scott is willing to entertain additional topics if we want to suggest some. Ideas?
Judith Robinson’s birthday was today. Judith is the director of the Edward E. Brickell Medical Sciences Library at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. To help celebrate her birthday, I visited with Judith and several of her staff—what fun! Judith’s library is a natural beauty and even with six years of wear and tear from students and others, the library still looks like new. It was featured in “The Library as Place” NLM Symposium held November 5-6, 2003. Truly a classic—the building that is! Ok, Judith too!
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Mark and I flew to Elizabeth City, NC, today for lunch and to tour the town. The airport serves as a U.S. Coast Guard station so is much larger than the usual general aviation airport. We rented a car and went downtown to eat an al fresco seafood lunch along the river. Then we walked the streets of the small town and shopped at the local independent bookstore. The town is quite charming and the breeze from the river helped to keep us cool despite the 90+ temperature.
Not much was planned for this weekend except to help our neighbor Rob celebrate his 4th of July birthday via a dinner on his deck. Mark and I played several rounds of tennis (yes, I’m still the champion) and I made a new Thai dish that turned out to be quite good! We did some more planning for our trip to Korea for the IFLA meeting this August and for our vacation afterwards in Japan. Hope everyone had a chance to enjoy Independence Day and took some time to relax!
I believe these past two weeks are the calm before the storm. At least, they have been quiet travel-wise. I seized this opportunity to start planning my fall MLA chapter visits. I wish it were humanly possible to get to each chapter's meeting, but with the majority of them being in October this year, unless I can get the "beam me up" routine down, I regretfully will not be able to attend every meeting. But there will be an MLA Board of Directors representative at every one! I will be at the following chapters' meetings:
And to be sure that I don't grow any moss, the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL/AAMC) meeting is at the end of October in Seattle, WA. Mark and my cat, Madrona, are taking pictures of me now to place around the house in October just so they remember who I am! All kidding aside, it will be terrific to see so many MLA members and I am really looking forward to October!
I also took these two weeks to continue preparations for the IFLA meeting. Bruce Madge and team are arranging two sessions targeted specifically for health sciences librarians. The first is a satellite session sponsored by the IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section entitled "Information Resources in Traditional Medicine". The second session also sponsored by this section is "The Emerging Informationist: Wired and Ready?", with panelists Kate Oliver (Johns Hopkins), Tony McSean, (Elsevier), and myself. MLA has also been invited to meet with the Korean Medical Library Association; details to follow regarding the exact meeting time. I'm really looking forward to my first IFLA meeting!
On Sunday, July 23, I will be leaving for Indianapolis, IN, to meet with Dr. Julie McGowan who has planned an incredible Monday schedule for me.
I will meet with her library faculty and staff, members of the Indiana Health Sciences Library Association, library school students and the medical library program director, Kathy Schilling. I'll share highlights of this day with you soon!
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Indianapolis, IN, and meeting with the faculty and staff of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library (many are active MLA members). Dr. Julie McGowan pampered me beyond belief and her library faculty and staff were very gracious and engaged. We had wonderful discussions about our skills, values and futures. The library (http://www.medlib.iupui.edu/) is fairly new and very spacious with lots of glass walls and natural lighting. A late afternoon meeting with two of the School of Medicine Deans also was very enlightening for all.
My visit included meeting with library school faculty and students at the School of Library and Information Science Indianapolis (www.slis.iupui.edu). Conversations with Drs. Kathy Schilling (Associate Professor) and Daniel Callison (Professor and Executive Associate Dean) and three students were very informative for all of us. The school is planning a MLS track focusing on health sciences librarianship and it recently created a dual degree program with Health Informatics (MLA/MS). Working with others in the area, they created a terrific recruitment tool for librarians—a glossy May 2006 issue of Indiana Insight, a biannual magazine produced by IUPUI (http://uc.iupui.edu/friends/publications_insight.asp), that highlights libraries and librarianship. Sample articles include “What happened to the buns and bad attitude?”, “For every one dollar invested libraries add six more,” and “Planning for study in library science.” Truly an impressive issue!
In addition, I met with many other members of the other IUPUI libraries including librarians and directors from the law and university libraries. Many attended a presentation I gave regarding health sciences librarianship.
What an action-packed and fun day talking about our profession and organization! Thank you to everyone who made this day special!
Lest you think I'm working too hard, I have been having some fun via day trips. Mark and I returned to Tangier Island, VA, but the beach was pretty much the same as last time; the crabcakes tasted better though and the bugs were more in force. Today, we flew to Luray Caverns, VA, (http://www.luraycaverns.com/) to tour the beautiful caves full of nature's wonders - many crystalline formations with predominant colors of peach, terra cotta, ivory and teal. These caverns were discovered in 1878 and now are a U.S. national landmark. The neatest item was an organ finished in 1957 (a good year) that took three years to build.
What's unique about this musical instrument? The music is created by tones due to mallets striking stalactites of different diameters and lengths. Now that's a new definition of a "rock band"! The other cool item of the day, and I mean cool, is a new style of ice cream called Dippin' Dots. My dish of ice cream was composed of small convex dots of red and white which translated into a raspberry and cream flavor. Just when I thought some things were sacred and not vulnerable to change...
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It's hard to believe that we are half-way through August already! Hope everyone has been able to take some vacation and get a summer break. I have continued to prepare for IFLA and am busy packing as we leave this Friday bright and early for Korea. With the route we are taking, our estimated travel time will be 22 hours. I have packed a lot of reading and luckily, am able to fall asleep on planes fairly easily.
I have my overview talk on the Information Specialist in Context (Powerpoint, 172KB) prepared and we will be meeting with the Korean Medical Library Association members on Tuesday, August 22nd at 10:00 a.m. If you are attending IFLA and would like to join us for this meeting, please let me know. You are very welcome.
Otherwise, August is birthday month for me and many of my family and friends. I went to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (the airport has an active skydiving club thus we have to dodge the jumpers when we land) two weekends ago to help celebrate my Aunt's 90th birthday. It was really fun to see her and her many friends (most over 80) and my cousins who I hadn't seen in quite some time. Then this Saturday, I had the neighbors over to celebrate 3 out of 5 of our birthdays. It was an evening in the high 60's for a change, so eating on the patio was a real treat! The teriyaki salmon was also!
I'll write about the IFLA meeting and Japan (my vacation) soon!
What a wonderful meeting IFLA’s 2006 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) turned out to be. This was my first WLIC meeting and apparently I picked a great one to attend. Everything was well organized and the Korean community couldn’t have been more welcoming. The meeting was held in the COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre which was very modern and spacious. The theme of the meeting was “Libraries: Dynamic Engines for the Knowledge and Information Society.”
IFLA stands for the International Federation of Library Associations and its composition includes eight divisions, one of which is the Division of Special Libraries of which the Health and Biosciences Libraries is a part. IFLA was founded in 1927 and has over 1,700 members who are mostly associations or organizations although there are some personal memberships. There are over 150 countries represented and all kinds of libraries. Such diversity makes for a very interesting learning experience.
August 20, 2006
On to day two—August 21, 2006
I was able to sit in on part of a discussion about censorship and how far freedom of speech should be taken if what is under discussion is a culturally sensitive issue. The session centered on a Danish newspaper publication of cartoons that offended many Muslims due to the cartoon’s depiction of Prophet Mohammed. Unfortunately, I had to leave this session as the debate just got started to prepare for the following session on the Informationist which was sponsored by Bruce Madge’s Health and Biosciences Libraries section planning team.
Michael Homan introduced the Information Specialist in Context session which was entitled “The Emerging Informationist: Wired and Ready?” As the first speaker, I provided background on how the informationist concept was conceived and described what efforts have been made to further investigate the concept including an inventory of the positions currently in place. Kate Oliver from the Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University, followed with more details about the two NLM Fellows they are hosting to further examine the roles of informationists in both clinical and public health settings. Tony McSean of Elsevier wrapped up the session by giving his impressions on the concept which included ideas such as how these types of individuals can maintain their knowledge as they will work in more isolated environments than current academic medical librarians. A lively question and answer session was moderated by Michael where topics such as outsourcing, expansion of the topic and personal attribute characteristics of such individuals were reviewed. About 60 people attended this session with many being from other countries.
The evening cultural event was a Minister’s Gala Reception where a sit-down buffet dinner was served offering many Korean culinary samples. A live band with dancers provided the event’s entertainment.
August 22, 2006
Posters were offered in the afternoon which was followed by an elaborate Cultural Evening at the Sejong Centre. We were escorted by police in buses (which made Carla extremely happy when traffic was stopped for our passage) to this beautiful center for a magical night of traditional music and dancing which included one song of drum dancing where 43 drummers were arranged in three tiers on the stage and performed their music while dancing. What an incredible sight and sound! My other favorite song was a fan dance where traditional Korean fans were used to create a choreographed dance. Indescribable!!
August 23, 2006
Immediately after this session, several of us took a long taxi ride to the U.S. Embassy of Korea to attend a reception at its Information Resource Center. This was a very nice event and I was able to meet many other leaders of library associations as well as refresh acquaintances with those I knew. Another traffic-congested taxi ride returned us to the convention center where we next left for a wonderful dinner sponsored by the New England Journal of Medicine at a traditional Korean house called Phil Kyung Jae. Its name means “respect for the elderly.” There we were served a vast number of Korean dishes including many variations of kimchi and dessert in a peaceful and serene outdoor courtyard. This familial house was built in the 1400s and like a lot of dwellings was restored due to environmental wear and tear. The setting, food and company created a memorable evening and a great finish to my IFLA experience.
In summary, I was truly honored to represent MLA at the IFLA meeting and thank the membership for this great opportunity to participate in international discussions about key topics relevant to many countries’ librarians. Thank you for this learning experience!
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The next week plus, my husband Mark and I spent on vacation in various parts of Japan including Tokyo, Ueno, Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima. I’ll write more about my vacation soon but major highlights were touring a private tea farm in Ujitawara and seeing the birthplace of Japanese green tea production, visiting many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and the memorial at Hiroshima (a very heart wrenching activity). Other unusual activities included touring Raku tea cup, textile, and costume museums, participating in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, seeing a komono fashion show and Gion area geishas. I think we walked over 50 miles and rode about every kind of public transportation possible to see as much as we did in this brief time period. It was all worth it! But more details to follow as I’m still catching up from jet lag and am busy getting ready for the fall MLA Board of Director’s meeting which is next week in Chicago!
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2009 June 19