Midwest Chapter Supports NAHSL suggestions for PubMed interface

 In October 2020, the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries Association’s Executive Board and members sent a letter to Dr. Patti Brennan, director of the National Library of Medicine, expressing concerns and offering suggestions for the new PubMed interface. Since then, the Ohio Health Sciences Library Association’s (OHSLA) Executive Committee sent a letter on behalf of OHSLA members expressing their support for NAHSL’s letter. Hearing from Midwest Chapter members that they would also like to show support for the NAHSL letter, I drafted a letter of support and got the okay from the Midwest Chapter/MLA Executive Board to send it out on behalf of the chapter. I’m sharing the letter with you and you can read a copy of the NAHSL letter here. I fully understand that it may not be possible for PubMed to implement some of the suggestions, but I feel that as super-users and super-educators of PubMed, we need to put our concerns on record.


August 16, 2021

Dear Dr. Brennan:

The Midwest Chapter/MLA members would like to express our support for the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries’ (NAHSL) October 2020 letter (attached) that outlines suggestions for the new PubMed interface.

The new PubMed interface has benefits for those who use it to find health related information, and we find many features to be an upgrade from the previous interface – specifically the ability to download large sets of records from PubMed, and an enhanced user experience. However, we share the concerns raised by NAHSL and hope that these concerns will be reviewed and addressed by the NLM.

Many of our chapter members work for NNLM Outreach Institutions, nearly all of us use PubMed daily, and many of us teach literature searching skills to our patrons. As the premier biomedical open-access resource for finding valuable health publications, we are some of PubMed’s biggest champions. We help and teach students, researchers, healthcare providers, patients, and their families how to use PubMed to find the information they need. We are very concerned that some of the new features of PubMed make it difficult for us to adequately teach your users how to best use this valuable resource.

Thank you for your consideration.


Members of the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association

Elizabeth Suelzer, President, Midwest Chapter/MLA

Cc: Midwest Chapter Executive Board, 2020-2021; Martha Meacham, NAHSL President; Ximena Chrisagis, OHSLA President

Share your Research and Innovative Practices at the 2021 MCMLA/Midwest Joint Chapter Meeting!

The Joint Research Program Committee invites poster, paper, and lightning talk abstract submissions on any health sciences librarianship topic for the 2021 MCMLA/Midwest Joint Chapter Meeting. The meeting will take place virtually from October 13-15, 2021.
Submission to present at the MCMLA/Midwest Joint Chapter Meeting is open to members and non-members of MCMLA and the Midwest Chapter. Papers will have 20-30 minutes for their presentation, while lightning talks will have 5-10 minutes. Posters will be available in an online tool with optional audio narration. For accepted submissions, at least one author should be in attendance at the virtual conference.
Submission of work that has previously been presented at MLA but not at MCMLA/Midwest Chapter is welcomed and encouraged for this year’s joint meeting. Both program descriptions and research projects are encouraged. Feel free to forward this announcement to potentially interested parties that may not have received this email.
Deadline for submissions is June 4th. Early submissions are welcomed and appreciated. Acceptance decisions will be sent out by July 30th.

Never submitted a structured abstract for a conference before? Join us for an informal Structured Abstract Brown Bag on May 21, 1pm CT (12pm MT, 2pm ET). We’ll talk about requirements for conference abstracts, types of presentations, and answer any questions you may have. Session will be recorded. Link to join the Zoom meeting: https://umn.zoom.us/j/93414540324?pwd=Zi9jWWpxcHA2ak9LTTJEcmZuMVlKZz09)
Please contact Research Program Committee co-chairs Emily Vardell (evardell@emporia.edu) or Jolene Miller (Jolene.Miller@utoledo.edu) with questions. 

Registration Open for 2021 Wisconsin Health Science Library Association Conference

Registration is now open for the 2021 Wisconsin Health Science Library Association (WHSLA) Conference. The meeting will be held via Zoom on Wednesday June 16, from 9:30am to 4pm.

Our keynote speaker is Jolene Miller, AHIP, from the University of Toledo. Jolene will introduce us to reflective practice – a more intentional and structured way to reflect on situations at work – with a focus on coping with change. She will talk about the varied ways to engage in reflective practice and guide us through a brief reflective writing experience and reflective conversation.

The conference also features quick three-minute presentations to introduce you to the tech (software, apps, gadgets, accessories) that is making our work or personal lives more efficient, more organized, or just more fun. Sign up in advance to claim one of the limited spots and share your favorite tech.  

Registration is free for WHSLA members, $30 for non-members, and $10 for students, retirees, and those enduring hardship/furloughs. Not a WHSLA member? Joinfor $20 and then register for the conference at no additional cost.

Why attend?

  • Network with other health science librarians
  • Attend from home or work
  • Learn about reflective practice
  • Share your favorite tech tool  
  • Hear what’s going on with MLA

See the full schedule for more details and to register for the conference.

Whoo wants to design an Owl Logo?

Calling all artistic and creative members! Transform our chapter animal – the Northern Saw Whet owl – into a logo that we can use on t-shirts and tote bags and other chapter merch.

  • The selected designer will be the inaugural Owlccolade recipient at the Joint Virtual Conference in October 2021.
  • Additional incentives may include Midwest Chapter swag, undying glory, a gift card, or something else that will swoop into the Fundraising Committee brains before October.


  • A design suitable for printing in 1 color on a range of merchandise.
  • Donation of the design and the copyright to the chapter

Send your creative designs to fundraising@midwestmla.org by 11:59 pm EDT/10:59 pm CDT on April 1st. Questions? Give us a hoot!

Awards and Scholarships

The Midwest MLA Awards and Scholarships Committee has grants and awards available to give away for this year’s online annual meeting! Applications are due this Friday so don’t delay.

The Annual Meeting Grant will support attendance at this year’s online annual meeting and covers both registration and one 4-hour continuing education program.

The First-Time Attendee Annual Meeting Grant is for new members to attend this year’s online annual meeting; it will cover registration and one 4-hour continuing education program.

The Student Annual Meeting Grant is for library science students to attend the online annual meeting. It too covers registration and one 4-hour continuing education program.

The Distinguished Librarian of the Year Award recognizes a member of the Midwest Chapter Medical Library Association who has shown outstanding service to the chapter; winner receives a plaque of recognition.

New This Year: Registration Grants are available to all who may be interested; awardees will receive a registration code to attend the online annual meeting.

Again, applications are due THIS FRIDAY, so head over to this page for more information and to apply: http://midwestmla.org/awards/