Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

Event planning is hard, especially when unexpected things happen.  It is also fun and rewarding when things go right.  Either way it is definitely worth all the work because it is still, even in our iGeneration, the best way to learn, connect with colleagues, and have fun.

One of the main purposes for me to attend #MidwestMHSLA17 was to observe the details of planning a professional conference.  I am on the Planning Committee for the next Midwest MLA Conference in Cleveland in October 2018.  I am a member of the Publicity Committee, and the Webmaster for the conference site.  The Publicity Committee is responsible for getting the word out to the Midwest MLA membership about the conference and promoting the host city and state. We have already been working hard since the spring and the 2017 meeting was our first big milestone in planning.  Besides observing and meeting our counterparts at the 2017 meeting, the 2018 Planning Committee sponsored a table with promotional materials, and announced the conference at the MHSLA Business Meeting and the Midwest Chapter Business Meeting.

The 2018 Publicity Committee (consisting of Margaret Hoogland, Theresa Kline, and me) planned out our table and decided to give out buckeyes (chocolate and peanut butter truffles for those non-Ohioans), Cleveland pins, and chances to win a $50 coupon towards the registration cost of the next meeting. We made a banner and decorated our table with rock-n-roll paraphernalia.  We encouraged visitors to take selfies and tag them with the official meeting hasthtag, #MidwestMLA18.  We benefited from the 2017 Special Karaoke Event which got people thinking in a rock-and-roll mode.  The video featuring our 2018 conference chairs Mary Pat Harnegie and Mary Schleicher, and the music of real life rock star librarian Cathy Murch put an exclamation point on our marketing efforts.  In a happy coincidence, the NLM in Focus blog has been focusing on “rock-star” medical librarians all month – a gift of free marketing for us!

I am sure that all the 2018 Conference Planning Committee members were watching carefully and learning from the 2017 meeting.  Stephanie Swanberg, the chair of the 2017 Publicity Committee, met with us and shared some pointers and volunteered to be available for questions.  I spoke with Emily Ginier, the chair of the CE committee, when my CE instructor suddenly cancelled.  Probably the most important thing I learned from observing this meeting is how to land on one’s feet when that inevitable something doesn’t go as planned. Switching gracefully to Plan B is a conference planner’s biggest challenge.  But the 2017 conference planning committee did an excellent job of moving forward and rolling with the stormy waves.  I told Emily that I actually enjoyed the substituted CE class very much as it ended up giving me a full day crash course on Research Data Management. Although I was disappointed at not getting to hear Curt Guyette speak, I did not mind the gap in the schedule as things just moved on gracefully.

In reflecting on my 2017 conference experience, I am very thankful for this opportunity.  I am thankful to have received an NN/LM GMR Professional Development Award to attend the conference.  I had hoped to take some CEs, and learn from the vendors, paper and poster presenters, and the keynote speaker, but what I learned most is how important personal interaction still is and how valuable physical attendance at a conference is.  Even the “fun” sessions like the welcome party, karaoke night, and down-time are not just icing on the cake, but opportunities to really build relationships among colleagues, have some great discussions, and even establish some mentor and mentee relationships.

All in all I was very pleased with my conference experience – and that is the goal, after all, isn’t it?  I realized that a tight schedule is important, but that just being with and learning from one’s peers is what is most important about conferences.  If I want to learn about a topic I can just search for an article, or watch a video online.  But there is no replacement for meeting people in person.  Even with scheduling snafus, an annual conference still provides that in-person networking and fellowship time that is growing increasingly rare in our society.  I will take this realization back to my 2018 planning work.  I want to keep in mind that building collegial relationships is the most important thing in a conference, not the production of a perfectly smooth, clockwork event.  In that spirit, we can almost guarantee that the Cleveland conference next year will Shake, Rattle, and Roll!!

Donald Pearson, MBA/MIS, MLIS, AHIP
Library Technology Specialist, Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library
Columbus, Ohio |

Happy Birthday to Us!

During our chapter meeting this week, MLA President Michelle Kraft shared a Birthday Message from the Medical Library Association. Bet you didn’t know that the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association was 65 years old!

MLA PresidentResolution Honoring the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Section

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA), Inc. has been in existence for 65 years;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter stimulates and fosters interest in health sciences libraries and librarianship;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter provides educational and professional development opportunities for its members through its annual meeting and promotes MLA continuing education offerings to chapter members;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter facilitates communication and the exchange of ideas and information among its members through the MIDLINE Newsletter, chapter blogs, and the Midwest Email Discussion Group;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter promotes resource sharing and cooperation among libraries and library groups in the Chapter;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter furthers MLA’s Research Agenda through its Research Awards program and the Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter supports attendance for two Chapter members to attend the Chapter Council Presents Sharing Roundtables Luncheon at the MLA Annual meeting each year;

Whereas, members of the Midwest Chapter have furthered MLA’s mission by serving as MLA presidents, board members, committee chairs and members; be it therefore

Resolved, that the Medical Library Association commends the Midwest Chapter for 65 years of excellent service and accomplishment in support of the profession of health sciences librarianship.

Adopted by the MLA Board of Directors, August 2015

Jean Williams Sayres Innovation Award 2013

Jean Williams Sayres Innovation Award – 2013 – MESH and CIHSLC

Congratulations to MESH and the Central Indiana Health Sciences Libraries Consortium (CIHSLC)!

Both MESH and CIHSLC received the 2013 Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award for disaster education and information partnership in central Indiana.  This award was granted by the Midwest Chapter/ Medical Library Association for the collaboration between the disaster preparedness agency and medical information professionals on multiple projects.  These agencies created a unique partnership to provide disaster education to medical and public librarians as well as medical information resources for first responder agencies during crisis.

CIHSLC consists of medical librarians who are experienced in providing health information to both professionals and consumers, in a hospital, academic and/or clinical environment.  The consortium exists to encourage resource sharing, joint purchases, cost savings, professional camaraderie, and to create, provide and fund unique continuing education & professional development opportunities for members and non-members alike. CIHSLC is a consortium of health science libraries in Indianapolis and Central Indiana. Since its inception in 1979, CIHSLC’s membership has been active in promoting the professional development of health science librarians; advocating for professional concerns in the workplace, library community, and local/national government; advocating for access to quality healthcare information; and promoting resource sharing.

MESH consists of clinicians and non-clinicians who unite the Indianapolis healthcare community.  MESH provides training and education to first responders, including public safety partners such as the Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis EMS, area hospitals, including two Level 1 Trauma Centers,  the Indiana State Department of Health and more.  MESH is a nationally recognized, innovative, public-private non-profit coalition that enables healthcare providers to respond effectively to emergency events and remain viable through recovery. MESH provides four core services to the healthcare, public health, and public safety community: (1) Education and Training; (2) Planning and Exercising; (3) Policy Analysis; and (4) Healthcare Intelligence.  MESH programs increase capacity of healthcare providers to respond to emergency events, and all programs and services are designed to support and promote improved healthcare operations every day.  MESH serves as the Medical Multi-Agency Coordination Center (Medical MACC) for Marion County, providing healthcare intelligence fusion services to the emergency where to buy tramadol online management community by gathering, analyzing, and reporting on intelligence gathered from throughout the healthcare sector. In addition to providing intelligence from the healthcare sector to public sector officials, MESH provides just-in-time information and intelligence to the private healthcare sector about ongoing events and known risks in the community.

MESH was awarded a grant by the National Library of Medicine to provide enhanced access to up-to-date and accurate health and disaster preparedness information to local and state public health and emergency management agencies.  This innovative collaboration resulted in benefits to Indiana emergency response agencies and the Indiana information professional community.

A CIHSLC librarian working group was established to advise MESH on the best evidence-based print resources to deploy with emergency responders during disaster.  These print resources will be stored with the MESH Mastfs.  A Mastf is a large army-type medical tent, capable of being deployed immediately and establishing a fully functioning mobile field hospital within 4 hours of delivery. This print collection was designed specifically with the needs of first responders and an all-hazards approach in mind.  Reference books were selected based upon established authority, and ease of use in a clinical setting. Subjects covered include primary care, emergency care, vulnerable populations including children, the elderly, the homeless and human companion animals (veterinary care for cats, dogs, etc).

MESH also provided trainings to medical and public librarians in the state of Indiana on continuity of operations, the incident command system, healthcare leadership, emergency triage, family reunification following disasters, and emergency medical services operations.  These trainings help information professionals better understand where their skills and resources can be utilized in disaster planning, during crisis response and recovery.  Libraries have become indispensable resources during natural disasters and man-made crisis.  These trainings help librarians prepare their own institutions for catastrophic events and teach them how to help their local disaster response agencies and their communities.

An important part of the MESH healthcare intelligence program is the Daily Situational Awareness Brief, which was developed as a means to provide emergency preparedness and healthcare providers with critical information about potential threats. The Brief began publication in April 2011 and is a free, subscription-based, service in Marion County Indiana. The Brief is comprised of three sections: (1) Environmental; (2) Threat Analysis with Action Steps; and (3) Events. The Environmental section includes information on environmental conditions that can impact the health and welfare of the population. The Threat Analysis section includes information on current and/or potential threats to the healthcare sector and provides specific action steps the reader can take to mitigate, prepare, respond and/or recover from the threat/potential threat. The Event section includes a listing of local mass gathering events.  MESH consulted CIHSLC on the Brief for feedback on subjects, appropriate literacy/reading comprehension level/ writing, and additional avenues of distribution/increased readership.  Information availability of disaster planning increased by increasing total distribution of the brief and by including information professionals on this dissemination.

This partnership benefits the disaster response community, Indiana libraries and librarians, and the Indianapolis Community.

Congrats again! Many thanks to the Midwest Chapter/MLA.

Kacy Allgood
The Ambulance Riding Librarian

Vote now! Midwest MLA officer election for 2013-2014

Voting is open now for the Midwest MLA elections.  You should have received an email today (Aug. 5th) from Janna Lawrence containing your link to vote.  If you haven’t seen it, check your spam/junk mail folder and let her know if you still don’t see it.  Contact her at janna dash lawrence at uiowa dot edu.

Please vote for one candidate for each office.  You can complete your ballot through 11:55 pm on Monday, August 26, 2013, at which time the polls will close.  If you do not complete your ballot, you can come back to it for up to two weeks, although no later than August 26.

Information about the candidate can be found at

Please note that if you are NOT also a current member of MLA, your ballot will not include the candidates for Potential Nominee to the MLA Nominating Committee.  That part of the election is restricted to Midwest Chapter members who are also members of MLA.

Registration Open! Sign up for Midwest MLA ’13!

Registration for the Midwest Chapter/Medical Library Association Annual Meeting, Navigating a River of Information, to be held in East Peoria, IL, October 4-8, 2013, is now open. Registration and payment may be made online or by mailing a completed registration form and check. Both options are available via the registration page on the conference website at: .

A discount is available to Early Bird registrants, prior to September order propecia us 3rd.

The conference features Keynote Speaker Michelle Kraft, author of The Krafty Librarian, and Plenary Speaker Sarah Houghton, author of the award-winning

A preliminary program is available at

Descriptions of Continuing Education Classes are posted at

If you have questions regarding registration for the conference, please contact: