Contact Us | Donate | Advertise Follow us on TwitterFollow us on facebookFollow us on LinkedIn


MLA InSight Initiative

an open circle partnership to advance thinking on health information

The MLA InSight Initiative provides a forum for MLA leaders and participating organizations to engage in high-level, high-value dialogue on issues of common interest that impact the health information profession.

Two in-person summits per year for forty to fifty participants (equal representation of librarian leaders and participating organizations) held in Chicago, featuring speakers and panelists with expertise on the thematic topics for each summit.


Previous Next


Summit 1 Summit 2

Engaging Users in a Disruptive Era

March 6–7, 2018 in Chicago, IL (concluded)
Topics discussed
  • Leveraging specialized discovery tools to maximize user engagement
  • Security and the future of IP authentication
  • Lessons learned from pirate sites
  • Imagining the ideal social networking site for collaboration and sharing
Summit 1 Proceedings

Meeting the Evolving Information Needs of Library Stakeholders

September 27–-28, 2018, in Chicago, IL

The program format includes a mix of keynote speeches, a themed panel discussion, and small group problem-solving exercises. The summit also employs a number of techniques to facilitate networking and encourage future relationships.

Applications for health sciences librarians are now closed. 

See below for information on how to participate (participating organizations and health sciences librarians).

Program overview now available.
Full program now available.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • White papers, professional guidelines, written standards to help advance responsible health information publishing
  • Articles in the academic literature about discoveries from the summits, press releases, social media campaign
  • Action plans to invest in or cocreate informational content
  • Development of educational programs for MLA members
  • Support from and interaction with key outside groups

Note: Outcomes will be made public and reflect the diversity of perspectives rather than seek consensus, without identifying a specific individual or organization unless mutually agreed to.


Librarian participants

Consider applying as a librarian participant if:

  • You have professional knowledge, expertise, and interest in the summit theme;
  • You will commit to:
    • attendance at the summit;
    • between three and five hours of preparatory work (pre-summit);
    • active participation and contribution to the work of the summit; and
    • up to ten hours of follow-up work (post-summit activities and products).

There is no registration fee for librarian participants. MLA will support the travel expenses of librarian participants (summit hotel, and transportation) up to $800. This is made possible through the generous support of our Inaugural Sponsors for summits 1 and 2:

  • the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) with a $15,000 grant to support librarian participant travel expenses
  • Elsevier with a $12,000 grant to support the zero-registration fee for librarian participants

AAHSL-logo.png  els_ns_logo_2c_rgb.jpg

Participating organizations

  • 1-year commitment
    • $10,000 per year for corporations ($6,000 for summit 2 only).
    • $5,000 per year for nonprofits and small businesses ($3,000 for summit 2 only).
    • Fees cover cost of summits and outcomes; net proceeds help to cover cost of MLA’s journal and advocacy programs.
    • Pre-summit and post-summit participation in program development and production of published work or courses that result from each summit
  • Benefits:
    • Listed as an MLA InSight Initative participating organization on MLANET and in MLA publications
    • Invitation to special events and sessions including
      • an invitation-only event in the MLA Presidential suite at the annual meeting where representatives from participating organizations meet with task force members and other MLA leaders in an informal setting
      • an open forum at the MLA annual meeting where representatives from participating organizations can meet informally with the membership at large
    • Unrivaled networking opportunities with senior-level medical librarians, the MLA membership at large, and commercial peers
    • Access to all initiative-related resources
    • Full participation for up to 2 representatives from participating organizations per summit; $1,200 fee for the second participant
    • Credit for your organization’s direct contribution to the development of the intellectual property that results from the summits
    • Proceedings available to public at no cost

More Information? Contact Dan Doody, responsible for participating organization recruitment for the MLA InSight Initiative; 312.239.6226.


These guidelines address confidentiality, rules around business intelligence and information sharing, recognition/attribution, and the nature of information to be shared after each event resulting from the summit.

Confidentiality and Rules around Business Intelligence and Information Sharing

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held (under the Chatham House Rule, as amended by the task force July 2017), direct attribution will not be disclosed. The substance of the discussion, including important details and nuance will be publically shared, as both substance and nuance are critical to having a meaningful, robust, and rich conversation of use to the community of practice. At no time and under no circumstance will participating organizations be asked or expected to share information that they consider to be confidential, they consider proprietary, or they perceive may harm them competitively if they disclosed it.

Vendor participants are encouraged to directly contact librarian participants on issues relating to the summit topic both during and after the summit and vice versa.


Vendors will be recognized in the following ways:

  • InSight web page: company logo and a link to the vendor’s website
  • MLA annual meeting: Official Program
  • MLA leadership: MLA President reception with participating organizations, InSight task force members, and MLA leaders
Information Sharing
  • Following each summit, the following information will be shared with the public/membership:
    • Program agenda
    • Participant list
    • Written highlights of the discussion in conformity with the above guidelines on information sharing (this will not include summit audio/visual recordings and transcription)
    • Tentative: open forum could be held at the MLA annual meeting where representatives from participating organizations informally meeting with the membership at large

Summit participants will have open access to intellectual property developed out of the event and be entitled to the use and consumption of it.

  • Each summit has its own Program Committee appointed by the InSight Initiative Task Force.
  • The summit theme is determined by the Insight Initiative Task Force in consultation with key participants and formal feedback from attendees of previous summits.
  • The Program Committee consists of three librarians, three representatives from the participating organizations, the program facilitator, and a liaison from the InSight Initiative Task Force.
  • The program facilitator is Dan Doody of Doody Consulting.
  • The Program Committee is responsible for developing the schedule and all program elements for its summit. The Program Committee is not responsible for logistics or preparation of program materials for summit.
  • Program elements must support the theme of the summit.
  • Program elements can include, but are not be limited to:
    • Keynote speeches
    • Panel presentations
    • Small-group exercises or discussions (including a summit-opening icebreaker)
    • Planning the intellectual property (i.e., white papers, social media campaigns) that will evolve from the summit
    • Program elements for a particular summit are determined by the Program Committee through a five to six one-hour-long conference calls organized and chaired by the program facilitator. The program facilitator provides the call agenda and background material a few days before the call, followed by the compiled minutes of the call.
  • The Program Committee determines the mix and timing of the program elements, and selects the invited speakers, panelists, and presenters within the limitation of the budget. Program Committee members will volunteer to to invite the identified speakers, panelists, and presenters until all speakers, panelists, and presenters have been secured.
  • Following the summit they planned, the Program Committee convenes one final time to debrief on the success of the summit, lessons learned from the programming effort and output, and things that can be improved for the next summit. The program facilitator ensures these notes are passed along to the Planning Committee of the next summit.
Rules for Selection

The InSight Initiative Task Force, with support from the MLA staff:

  • Recruits librarian and affiliate participants for the summit.
  • Ensures that each summit features a representative mix of librarians affiliated with the diverse organizations with whom vendors work, including academic medical centers, community hospitals, specialty schools (nursing, pharmacy, etc.), governmental agencies, corporations, nonprofit advocacy organizations, and community-based organizations.
  • Ensures that participants agree to their necessary level of involvement prior, during, and after the summit.
  • Uses an online application with defined criteria with which to evaluate interested librarians for selection of participants.
  • Selects librarian thought leaders with specific knowledge and expertise related to the particular summit being organized.
  • Invites individuals from trade associations, nonprofits, federal government agencies, and so on who are subject experts on the summit theme.
  • Invites an equal number of individuals based on the summit theme, to ensure the right balance of thought leaders.
Librarian Participants
  • For each summit, MLA will invite MLA members to express their interest to participate in the upcoming summit via a link to an application form.
  • Applicants are required to list their specific knowledge, skills, and expertise related to the specific theme of the summit, as participants are actively engaged in the discussions and outcomes of the summit.
  • Applicants are committing to the required summit attendance, active engagement in and contribution to the discussion, and time commitment for pre and post summit activities.
  • Cost
    • There is no registration fee for MLA members participating as librarians.
    • Food is provided during the summit.
    • Travel and hotel is reimburses based on actual expenses and MLA’s travel reimbursement policy, up to an $800 maximum.
Affiliate Participants

The In-Sight Initiative Task Force may identify and select a limited number of representatives from affiliate organizations to participate based on their engagement in the issues being addressed at and their ability to provide meaningful contributions to the discussion and outcome of the summit.

Task Force Members

Gerald J. Perry, AHIP, FMLA
University of Arizona
Chair - MLA Past President
Barbara A. Epstein, AHIP, FMLA
University of Pittsburgh
Member - MLA Past President
Michelle Kraft, AHIP
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Member - MLA Past President
Beverly Murphy, AHIP, FMLA
Duke University Med.Cntr.
Member - MLA President
Gabriel R. Rios
Indiana University
Kevin Baliozian
Medical Library Association
Member - MLA Executive Director
Daniel J. Doody
Doody Enterprises, Inc.
Summit Organizer
Mary M. Langman
Medical Library Association
Staff Liaison
Rich Lampert
Doody Consulting, LLC
Summit Co-organizer

InSight Initiative Articles

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?

Report from InSight Summit 2: How Information Providers and Libraries Can Collaborate in Supporting Users in Developing Information Literacy through the Research/Publishing Life Cycle

Report from the InSight Initiative Summit: Imagining the Ideal Social Networking Site for Collaboration and Sharing

Report from the InSight Initiative Summit: Leveraging Specialized Discovery Tools to Maximize User Engagement

Applications for InSight Initiative Summit 2 Sought

Participating Organizations



APA Simplified LOGO BLUE 287 STACKED.png



f1000 logo-300_dpi.jpg


nejmGroup_ID_RGB_JPG copy.jpg