I was very interested in Teresa Knott’s Presidential Address on Sunday morning (May 28) for many reasons.
To begin with, I was interested because she admitted that MLA needed to make some changes, to be more flexible and responsive to member needs and concerns. And that made me think, if a good-sized organization can change, then there is hope that we can make some changes, like making the effort to take advantage of what MLA has to offer.
I’ve been in MLA for many years, and I’ve found the educational and networking benefits to be very worthwhile. But, I’ve heard others complain that the organization doesn’t do much for them. I think some of the changes that Teresa presented in her address will change that.
Also, making sure we take a look at what has been done over the year. The new MLA web site provides us access to Annual reports. You can view a pdf of latest annual report or, after you have logged in, you can use the Member pull down to view all files, and check out the organization files (as an aside, be sure to explore all the files you have access to as a member). By viewing what chapters, sections, and SIGs have done, as well as viewing strategic goals and headquarters activities. Take the time to learn what is being done for you.
After Teresa’s introduction, I was very interested to learn about the many new things MLA has to offer.
Medlib-Ed has been developed to help with new education offerings, as well as allowing us a chance to see where we stand with the competencies for medical librarians. This is a good chance to find gaps in your knowledge so you can focus your future CEs.
The increasing focus on education has increased the number of education and curriculum committees, so be sure to check what is available when the call for new committee volunteers gets sent out. Being on a committee is a great way to get involved with the organization, learn more about MLA, and meet new people.
With a grant from IMLS, MLA will start offering a Research institute that will support The Research Imperative of the organization. Conducting research strengthens our profession, so watch for upcoming opportunities to learn more.
More about the Diversity and Inclusion goals of MLA can be found in Teresa’s blog post.
Advocacy is another issue mentioned by Teresa. The Advocacy pull down menu on the MLAnet site links to what is being done for the profession and more specifically, the Aim for Excellence page provides a long list of research that supports the need for medical librarians helping with patient care. The statistics and bibliography will be helpful to those needing to justify their services.
Be sure to take advantage of all MLA has to offer