Midwest Chapter/Medical Library Association

Spring Board Meeting

March 26, 2004

Radisson Hotel & Suites, Chicago, Illinois


Present: Kellie Kaneshiro, Melinda Orebaugh, Sheryl Stevens, Theresa Arndt, Bette Sydelko, Chris Shaffer, Carole Gilbert, Pam Rees, Janice Cox, Karen Anderson, Eileen Stanley, Sunny Worel, Julie Schneider, Barb Bartkowiak, Joan Zivich, Sandra DeGroote, Logan Ludwig, Lora Gault, Gerald Dujsik, Carol Jeuell, Julie Schneider, Nancy O'Brien, Barbarie Hill,

Frances Cockrum, Donna Barbour-Talley, Karen Douglas, Mary Markland


Not Present:  Doreen Bradley, Vicki Killion, Rick Brewer, Clare Leibfarth, Felicia Young, Judy Rieke, Janet Stith


1.  CALL TO ORDER - Melinda Orebaugh

The meeting was called to order by President Melinda Orebaugh at 9:35 a.m.



Melinda Orebaugh reminded everyone that we should not use the acronym “MCMLA” to refer to our chapter.  MCMLA refers to the MidContinental Chapter.

Two additions were made to the meeting agenda.  13.9: Chapter Research Initiative and 13.10: Location of Spring Board Meeting.



Jan Cox reported that a quorum of Board members was present.




MOTION, APPROVAL:  Minutes from the Fall Board Meeting on September 19, 2003 were approved as corrected. (Motion by Chris Shaffer)


4.2  Minutes from Business Meeting

The following corrections were made to the minutes from the Annual Business Meeting on September 22, 2003:

  • Strike the last sentence in the Treasure’s Report which reads “They are especially interested in ideas for reducing costs of conference attendance” as no such emphasis was expressed.
  • Correct name for the theme of the 2005 Fargo, North Dakota conference is “Routes to Discovery”. 
  • The minutes should refer to the “Invitation to Springfield” not the ‘initiation’.
  • First and Surnames will be used to refer to all persons mentioned in the minutes.



5.1  Immediate Past President - Kellie Kaneshiro 

Kellie Kaneshiro noted that she had reviewed officer’s manuals of other chapters.  She is also seeking a Benchmarking Chapter Educator, and has one potential appointee identified.


5.2  President - Melinda Orebaugh

Melinda Orebaugh added an additional objective to those in her formal report.  Her goal is to either meet personally or have another Board member meet with the state library association for each state in the Midwest Region in order to gather input on the direction the chapter should take.


ACTION:  Anyone attending a state association meeting contact Melinda Orbaugh in advance for a list of questions to ask on behalf of the Chapter.


5.3  President-Elect - Sheryl Stevens 

Sheryl Stevens raised issues related to planning the Spring Board Meeting.  The issue was added to the agenda (see 13.10 below).  She announced the date for the next Spring Board Meeting would be March 18, 2005.


5.4  Treasurer - Chris Shaffer 

Chris Shaffer announced to applause that the Chapter now has a credit card limited to the amount in the permanent Chapter checking account and which cannot be used to draw cash.  He explained that historically, accounts had been opened and closed each time the Treasurer’s office turned over, and that lack of a credit card had hindered the Chapter’s ability to pay for needed goods and services in a convenient and efficient fashion.


MOTION, APPROVAL:  The annual budget was approved by voting members of the Board.  (Motion by Chris Shaffer.)


5.5  Secretary - Theresa Arndt 

Melinda Orebaugh asked about the time frame for providing minutes following business meetings.  Theresa Arndt responded that the Bylaws outlined the Secretary’s responsibility to have the minutes available within one month of the meeting, and stated that she would meet this timeframe.


5.6  Membership Secretary - Bette Sydelko

Bette Sydelko reported that total membership was 336 as of today, including 20 new members since the Fall meeting.  Ninety-two Chapter members are also AHIP members.  There was a question about the need for a separate formal financial report from the Membership Secretary.  Chris Shaffer responded that since this information is included in the Treasurer’s Report there is no need for a financial report from Membership.


Bette Sydelko reminded everyone that for data on membership composition, or mailing labels, please direct inquiries to the Membership Secretary, who now maintains the membership database using Access software.  Having the Membership Secretary perform database updates directly should result in a more current database.  She may also be contacted if you need Chapter stationery and/or envelopes.


Bette Sydelko was asked how often the website membership directory is updated.  She responded that since the Access database does not directly feed into the website, the website is always less up-to-date than the database.  The Board discussed various possible update schedules, including annual to coincide with membership renewal, June 1 for voting eligibility, and updating continually whenever new members join. Considerations for frequent updates to the website include workload on both the Membership Secretary and the Technology Committee (which maintains the website).  In balancing the desire for an accurate web directory with workload issues, the Board agreed that quarterly web directory updates would be satisfactory.  Bette Sydelko stated that a longer range goal was to have the Access database tied into the website so that database updates would immediately be posted to the website.


ACTION:  Bette Sydelko and Barbarie Hill will work to get quarterly updates of the membership directory on the Chapter website.  Long range goal: Access database tied into the website so that updates are posted immediately.


A question was raised about providing the Board with longitudinal data on membership in order to see trends.  Bette Sydelko indicated that this could be included in future Membership reports.


ACTION:  Future Membership reports will include longitudinal data.


A concern was raised about whether paraprofessionals are made to feel welcome to join the Chapter.  The Bylaws state that membership is open to “both members and non-members of MLA who are interested in health sciences libraries and librarianship”.  The membership brochure/form also uses this language.  The consensus of the Board was that the current language is sufficiently inclusive.  There was also discussion of whether it would be useful to have a checkbox for “paraprofessional” on the membership form for statistics gathering.  The group agreed that this data would be of little utility, and might be unintentionally off-putting to potential members.  A suggestion was made to promote the Chapter at state health science library association meetings. The Board agreed this was a good idea.


ACTION:  The Publications and Membership Committees will work on promoting the chapter to state health science library associations.



6.1  Karen Anderson  

6.2  Julie Schneider  

6.3  Barb Bartkowiak 

6.4  Joan Zivich  

6.5  Eileen Stanley 

6.6  Sunny Worel  

6.7  Doreen Bradley  

6.8  Vicky Killion  

6.9  Sandra DeGroote  


It was noted that Representatives-at-Large represent the entire chapter membership, not just those residing in the Representatives home state. All reports were informational and required no action by the Board.


7.  MLA CHAPTER COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE - Carole Gilbert and Pam Rees (alternate)

Pam Rees reported that she had just been appointed the Chapter Council Liaison to the MLA Membership Committee and is compiling a list of membership representatives from each chapter.  She also compiled a list of Midwest Chapter outreach activities to library schools for the Chapter Council Chair.  Carole Gilbert is the new Midwest Chapter Council Representative.  Chapter Council is expecting a large turnout for the Chapter Sharing Roundtables and they appreciate all who volunteered to be faciliators and recorders.



Logan Ludwig explained the MLA Nominating Committee process.  Each Chapter submits “potential candidates”.  MLA Chapter Council reviews all the potential candidates and selects three who will appear on the ballot.  All MLA members then vote on who will serve.


Logan Ludwig also made the following announcements:

  • He is serving as chair of the MLA Governmental Relations Committee’s “Capitol Hill Day” at MLA.  Conference attendees are encouraged to schedule appointments with their congressional representatives’ offices.  An orientation session will be held Monday, May 24, from 8-9 a.m. during MLA.
  • An MLA teleconference on electronic resource licensing issues is tentatively scheduled for September 4, 2004.
  • MLA and AAHSL are each working on position papers on public access information issues.



9.1   Annual Meetings Committee - Donna Barbour-Talley

Donna Barbour-Talley updated her report to the Board regarding a joint meeting of the Midwest and Midcontinental Chapters in 2006.  Due to lack of timely communication between the two Chapters, the Midcontinental Chapter proceeded with plans for a meeting on its own in 2006.  However they are still interested in pursuing the possibility of a joint conference with Midwest.  Since the 2007 Midwest Chapter meeting is planned for Iowa, which borders the Midcontinental Region, Donna Barbour-Talley suggested exploring the possibility of a joint meeting that year.


ACTION:  The Annual Meetings Committee will explore the possibility of a joint meeting with the Midcontinental Chapter in 2007 in Iowa.  The Board will revisit this issue at its Fall Meeting.


9.2   Archives Committee – Lora Gault

Lora Gault asked that anyone having minutes, reports, correspondence, or other documents related to the Chapter send them to:


Midwest/MLA Archives

c/o Library of the Health Sciences

Special Collections Department

University of Illinois at Chicago

1750 West Polk Street M/C 763

Chicago, IL 60612


If in doubt about whether the items might be duplicates, please err on the side of sending them to the Archives Committee.  They will weed out duplicates and retain the best copy of each item.


9.3   Audit Committee - Rick Brewer (not in attendance)

Informational report submitted and requiring no action by the Board.


9.4   Awards & Scholarships Committee - Gerald Dujsik

Note the new name of this committee (formerly “Awards Committee”) is now Awards & Scholarships Committee.


There have been no applications for the Award for the Advancement of Health Information Management.  The award description states that it is targeted at “associations” but in the past it has been awarded to individual libraries.  The Board discussed this and other awards possibilities.  A suggestion was made to expand eligibility to increase applications.  Another suggestion was to review the awards given by other Chapters for ideas.  Specific examples posited included an award for paraprofessionals and an award for hospital librarianship.  The Board asked the Awards Committee to look into the various issues and report back.


ACTION:  The Awards Committee will review awards offered, eligibility requirements, and possible additional awards and report back at the Fall Board Meeting.


9.5   Education Committee - Carol Jeuell

Carol Jeuell noted that the response to the CE survey was good.  A suggestion was made to consider offering CE classes that are popular at the national conference during the Chapter meeting, since many members cannot afford to attend MLA each year.  The Education Committee would like to develop a contact list to foster relationships with the library schools. 


ACTION:  Carol Jeuell, Nancy O’Brien and Melinda Orebaugh will work on compiling a list of library school contacts for the Chapter website.


9.6   Finance - Chris Shaffer

The Finance report was included as part of the Treasurer's report above.


9.7   Government Relations - Julie Schneider

Julie Schneider noted one change to her previously submitted report:  the new State Coordinator for Illinois is Paul Blobaum.


There was discussion of coordinating participation in MLA “Capitol Hill Day” (described in section 8 of minutes above).  MLA cannot act as coordinator because this would be considered lobbying.  MLA can only offer educational material and recommends participants focus on three main topics:  funding for NLM building expansion, PATRIOT Act review, and database legislation.  It was suggested that individuals also check with their home institutions about policies relating to lobbying. 


ACTION: If anyone is interested in participating in MLA “Capitol Hill Day” let Eileen Stanley know as soon as possible, and she will match people from the same state so they can coordinate their representative visits. 


9.8   Membership Committee - Bette Sydelko

Bette Sydelko provided copies of the membership application form for distribution to library schools.  The form is also available on the website in html, PDF and Word formats.  The main projects of the Membership Committee this year are review of the membership database and exploration of linking the membership database directly to the website.


9.9   Nominations Committee - Nancy O'Brien 

Nancy O’Brien reported that Louise Hass has retired, so a replacement committee member is needed.  This person will be appointed by the immediate past president, Kellie Kaneshiro.


Fifty-nine members have indicated a willingness to serve on committees and 22 have indicated a willingness to run for office.


The Board discussed various issues related to serving in a Chapter office. It was suggested that brief “job descriptions” might be developed for each office.  A “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” was also suggested.  These types of documents should include information related to time commitment, cost, travel reimbursement and other issues.  The documents could help both those new to office, as well as those considering running for office.


ACTION:  Kellie Kaneshiro and Nancy O’Brien will work on developing an FAQ on Chapter offices.


9.10  Publications Committee - Clare Leibfarth

Note:  Clare Leibfarth could not attend the Board meeting in person, but sent notes which Melinda Orebaugh shared.   

Clare Leibfarth is the new Publications Committee chair, replacing Cathy Perley who resigned due to other professional commitments.  The Board expressed appreciation for Cathy Perley’s work as past chair, notably her work developing the electronic version of the Chapter newsletter.


A question was raised regarding what materials the Chapter provides for the MLA Conference Chapter sharing table.  Typically we send our existing membership application.


ACTION:  Bette Sydelko will talk with Clare Leibfarth about the possibility of developing some special handout for MLA.


9.11  Technology Committee  - Barbarie Hill 

Barbarie Hill reported on the work to re-design the Chapter website.  The new design was developed for ease of maintenance as well as attractiveness.  On behalf of the Board, Melinda Orebaugh thanked Barbarie Hill and Allan Barclay for their assistance in mounting the Board reports and agenda prior to the Spring meeting.  A request was made for easy access to a high resolution Chapter logo that could be downloaded for various Chapter uses.


ACTION:  Bette Sydelko will provide a high quality Chapter logo which can be made available on the Chapter website for download.



There are no current ad hoc committees or task forces.



11.1  Indianapolis (2003) - Felicia Young

Informational report requiring no action by the Board.


11.2  Springfield (2004) - Karen Douglas 

Karen Douglas reported that an instructor contract is pending for a “free” CE to be included in the conference registration cost.  She was asked if any programming on benchmarking was offered and could not immediately recall.


ACTION:  Karen Douglas will check on whether the Springfield conference includes any programming on benchmarking and will report back to the Board.


11.3  North Dakota (2005) - Mary Markland & Judy Rieke

Mary Markland and Judy Rieke noted that help from other states’ members would be welcome by the North Dakota conference planning group.  Joan Zivich is coordinating vendors.


ACTION:  Please consider assisting with North Dakota conference planning.

            ACTION:  Please send Joan Zivich ideas for vendors for the North Dakota conference.



Pam Rees is Chapter Benchmarking Coordinator.

The Bylaws are being updated for the website.  The Board thanked Donna Barbour-Talley for reformatting and cleanup work. 


ACTION:  Melinda Orebaugh, Kellie Kaneshiro, and Janice Cox will finish updating the Bylaws and get them to Barbarie Hill for posting on the Chapter website.




13.1  Ratification of Executive Committee Vote – Kellie Kaneshiro

Kellie Kaneshiro gave background on the request from the Indiana Health Sciences Librarians’ Association request that the Chapter’s 2003 Annual Meeting Loan of $1,000 to their association be converted to a grant.  The Chapter has a healthy financial surplus.  It has been suggested that we consider spending it down, so waiving repayment would not adversely affect Chapter finances.  The Executive Committee had already voted to approve this conversion.  A vote of the full Board is needed to ratify that decision.  Kellie Kaneshiro abstained from both the Executive Committee and Board votes on this issue, since she is a member of the Indiana Health Sciences Librarians’ Association.


MOTION, APPROVAL:  The Board ratified the Executive Committee decision to convert the $1000 loan to the Indiana Health Sciences Librarians’ Association to a grant. (Kellie Kaneshiro abstaining.)



13.2  Consider increasing amount of grant awarded to annual meeting committee – Jim Lander (suggestion sent to Board via email)

13.3  Investigate improved methods for managing annual meeting finances – Chris Shaffer

13.4  Consider lowering cost of annual meeting for attendees or otherwise subsidizing meeting attendance – Kellie Kaneshiro


Note:  These three related issues were discussed together by the Board.


Chris Shaffer provided background on past and current Chapter funding practice for annual meetings.  In the past it had been common for the Chapter to give the annual meeting committee a seed loan of $500 dollars to allow them to make deposits and cover other advance expenses.  More recent practice as been to give the annual meeting committee $500 as a seed grant (no repayment required) and $500 as a loan (repaid following the meeting).  If a meeting results in a surplus, the annual meeting committee splits the surplus with the Chapter.  This surplus-split can result in at least some of the seed grant funds essentially being given back to the Chapter. 


The Board discussed various ramifications of giving grants vs. loans to the annual meeting committee.  Giving more funds as a grant puts more of the financial burden on the Chapter, but it was pointed out that the Chapter has an interest in having a good annual meeting and should appropriately assume some of the financial responsibility.  Also, some meetings may operate at a loss, especially in years in which they are in locations perceived as less convenient, and the annual meeting committee should not have to bear this loss alone.  Smaller states hosting meetings may have less financial support from their state organization.  For example, North Dakota has only $100 budgeted from the state organization. 


In years in which the annual meeting has a surplus, the Chapter gets half of the surplus funds back anyway.  A higher Chapter subsidy in the form of a grant may also allow lowering the cost of meeting registration, thus directly benefiting members who attend.  The current mix of grants and loans is also confusing from an accounting standpoint.  The alternative view is that giving loans to the annual meeting committee puts more of the burden on them to manage meeting finances in such a way as to generate a surplus so they can repay the loan; there is less financial exposure for the Chapter. 


The need for conference surpluses to finance other Chapter activities was also raised.  Chris Shaffer pointed out that the Chapter has achieved great savings in converting to electronic communication.  Each year several budget lines go unspent, resulting in a very healthy surplus.


MOTION, APPROVAL:  The Board approved a motion to eliminate the annual meeting loan/grant combination from the Chapter to the annual meeting committee.  Instead, the Chapter will provide a $1500 grant to the annual meeting committee for which no repayment is expected.  This change will take place effective with the 2004 annual meeting. 


Chris Shaffer proposed formation of a task force to recommend improvements in annual meeting financing procedures which, if approved, might take effect with the 2006 or 2007 annual meeting/conference.  Technically, the Chapter Annual Business Meeting is not part of the annual conference.  Currently the handling of funds for the annual business meeting and the conference (room booking, etc.) is confusing, because the events are co-mingled and documentation of separate expenses is poor.  Many separate accounts and confusion over grants vs. loans also cause problems.  An informal survey indicates that most chapters have the Chapter secretary centrally manage all conference and annual business meeting finances, except for the Midcontinental Chapter, which manages annual conference/meeting finances the way we currently do.  Our new Chapter credit card will make it easy to pay more expenses directly. 


ACTION:  Melinda Orebaugh, Chris Shaffer, Donna Barbour-Talley, Sheryl Stevens, Eileen Stanley, Kellie Kaneshiro, Karen Douglas, and Mary Markland will serve on a Task Force to investigate a new model for annual meeting financing.  They will review models used by other chapters and develop a plan for phasing in any recommendations for change.  They will present their recommendations at the Fall Board Meeting.


13.5  Improve reimbursement process for annual meeting scholarship recipient – Kellie Kaneshiro

Currently Annual Meeting Scholarship recipients must pay their expenses up front and apply for reimbursement of the $500 stipend following the meeting.  This can create a hardship for students or new graduates, who may not have funds readily available.  Also, the timing of early-bird registration cut-off and scholarship award notification can make it difficult for applicants to assess the affordability of conference attendance.  The Board discussed a number of possibilities.  Paying the full scholarship to the recipient in advance risks someone taking the money and not attending the conference, and is not a good option.  Ideas suggested were paying the full scholarship via check at the conference (without requiring receipts for reimbursement), coordinating the timeline of scholarship notification with the early-bird registration deadline, and allowing a pre-payment of registration cost for scholarship recipients with the balance of the scholarship given at the annual meeting. 


ACTION:  The Executive Board will work with the Awards & Scholarships and the Finance Committees to develop an improved administrative process for awarding of the Annual Meeting Scholarship.


13.6  Consider offering meeting scholarships to students just entering library school – Carol Jeuell

Carol Jeuell proposed a new scholarship to encourage SLIS students to enter medical librarianship.  In 2003 the Chapter awarded one meeting scholarship and one special, one-time scholarship.  The current scholarship is for “either students or recent graduates,” but in recent years the recipients have all been new graduates, not current students.  The Board discussed barriers to current students applying.  Perhaps the current scholarship’s availability just needs to be promoted more to students, since they are eligible.  The paperwork required (resume, transcripts, etc.) may be too onerous; individuals must pay for copies of official transcripts.  Students are in classes during our Fall meeting, creating a time conflict.  Five hundred dollars may not cover the entire cost of attendance.  Another suggestion was to extend eligibility to paraprofessionals.


ACTION:  The Awards Committee will examine the Chapter’s scholarships and the selection criteria and will provide recommendations at the Fall Board Meeting.


13.7  Representative-at-Large Booklet – Nancy O’Brien & Melinda Orebaugh

A draft booklet designed for new Representatives-at-Large was passed around.  The Board discussed the format this information should take.  Much of the information is already on the Chapter website.  Privacy concerns were raised, and the Board agreed it did not want photographs or individual email addresses on the Chapter website, since these can be mined by spammers.  Currently the only password-protected area of the website is the membership directory, and only current members are given the password. 


ACTION:  Nancy O’Brien, Barbarie Hill, Melinda Orebaugh and will work on the material and share it with the entire board.


13.8  Brainstorm Chapter Goals – Melinda Orebaugh & Board


Melinda Orebaugh lead a structured brainstorming session to develop ideas based on the five MLA themes and priorities for 2003/2004:  1) Advocate our value; 2) Build our community; 3) Encourage Life Long Learning; 4) Create a professional knowledge base; 5) Embrace global networks.  Small group brainstorming was followed by individual “dot voting” to help set priorities.


            ACTION:  Melinda Orebaugh will compile a summary of the brainstorming session.


13.9 Chapter Research initiative

The Board brainstormed ideas for promoting research by Chapter members.  The following ideas were generated:

  • provide examples of short, doable research projects
  • appoint an ad hoc committee on research
  • develop a list of research mentors (this is an Education Committee objective)
  • offer a CE program on how to do research
  • host a research interest event at the annual conference (examples: a special interest event over a meal, something like MLA sharing roundtables, a panel session of librarians who have conducted research)
  • encourage members to volunteer to judge research posters at MLA
  • offer small research grants


General concerns included the duplication of effort with the MLA Research Section, lack of resources for conducting research (time, statistical expertise, funding for direct costs), difficulties with long-distance collaboration on research.


The following recent article was recommended:  Eldredge JD. Inventory of research methods for librarianship and informatics.  J Med Libr Assoc. 2004 Jan;92(1):83-90. Review. PMID: 14762467


ACTION:  Karen Douglas will see if a research sharing event can be organized for the Springfield meeting in 2004.


ACTION:  Melinda Orebaugh will consider the ideas generated for promoting research by Chapter members and will suggest some strategies to the Board.


13.10  Location, cost of Spring Board Meeting

Sheryl Stevens polled the group on preferred location for the Spring Board Meeting.  She described the complexity of negotiating hotel room packages, and suggested that the Chapter consider simply paying for a meeting room rather than trying to get a compensatory meeting room contingent on attendees booking guest rooms. 


An alternative to Chicago was briefly discussed but not agreed upon, because cost and ease of travel varies widely depending on where the individual Board member lives.  Alternatives to a hotel were also discussed (the GMR, another hosting institution) but there were concerns about whether such a venue could provide the room size needed and the central location desired.  A conference call or other alternative to a face-to-face meeting was discussed, but deemed impractical for the group size.  The Chapter bylaws stipulate that a Spring Board Meeting be held each year.


A straw poll indicated that most Board members were not getting institutional support to cover their expenses for attending the meeting.  Chris Shaffer noted that a small amount of funding is available to reimburse travel expenses for the Spring Board Meeting (for details see: http://midwestmla.org/business/treasurer/travel_reimbursement_policy.pdf).


ACTION:  Sheryl Stevens will write up guidelines to help future incoming presidents plan the Spring Board Meeting.



Theresa Arndt reviewed the actions decided upon at the meeting.



The meeting adjourned at 3:25 pm.  All rejoiced.


Respectfully Submitted,  Theresa Arndt, Secretary