All about the Business

The annual Midwest Chapter conference means business, chapter business, that is. The fall Midwest Chapter Executive Board meeting is held on Friday before the conference gets fully underway.  And, of course, the annual chapter Business Meeting is held over lunch on the second day of the conference.

Seriously, the most significant business conducted at the Annual Business Meeting  was the vote on the bylaws revision. The chapter bylaws required major revision from top to bottom in order to conform to MLA’s model bylaws. Bylaws Committee Chair Melinda Orebaugh guided us surely through the turbulent waters of Robert’s Rules of Order as we considered the new bylaws one article at a time and then voted on them. The vote was unanimous!  

The Executive Board meeting Friday evening was serious work, lasting four hours! Here are some of the items discussed and actions taken that you might find interesting:

  • The 2013 chapter budget was approved, based on a projected paid membership of 300 members. The budget includes more realistic figures for conference income and expenditures and funding for new awards, increased advocacy efforts, and the professional auditor.
  • The professional auditor Michelle Dixon submitted a report to the board after reviewing  and “closing” the books for the chapter’s 2010 and 2011 financial activities. The 2010 conference showed a net profit of over $25,000, half of which was shared with WHSLA. The 2011 conference showed a very small net loss. The bookkeeping system has been improved to allow easier auditing.
  • The chapter will be awarding additional Annual Meeting Grants to support conference attendance for chapter members who do not receive institutional support for travel. Eligibility criteria for the award are being developed.
  • A revised Travel Reimbursement Policy was approved by the board. The changes were made to more fully support travel by board members to the spring board meeting. Funds to support this increase in travel expense funding were re-allocated from unused budget lines.
  • The Finance Committee will be continuing their consideration of alternatives to the Acteva service that the chapter uses to handle online payments for memberships and conference registrations. The Immediate Past President will be looking also into different software for handling the election online.
  • The “Shared Expectations for State Liaisons” information sheet developed by outgoing Representative-at-Large Stephanie Schulte will be shared with the state associations for guidance when appointing State Liaisons to the chapter.
  • The Professional Practice Committee will be working with the annual conference continuing education planning committees to help them meet chapter education needs.
  • Upcoming conference plans were discussed. The 2014 conference will be held October 10-14 in Bismarck, ND and the 2015 conference will be October 2-6 in Louisville, KY.

This Fall’s Executive Board Meeting

Update: The Executive Board meeting agenda and reports are now available for your review on the chapter website here.

Each year the Executive Board of the Midwest Chapter/MLA kicks off the annual conference activities, holding their fall meeting on the Friday before the conference begins. President Janna Lawrence has been hard at work for the last several weeks working with the board members, compiling their reports and drafting the agenda for the board meeting. I’ve seen the agenda and it is jam-packed. This year the board will be meeting on Friday, October 5 in the Legion Suite at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Yes, that does seem like a long meeting, but in my experience the time just flies! The Midwest Chapter is one busy association, working hard to benefit the chapter members. The board will be wrapping up a productive membership year under Janna’s leadership and charting out the year ahead during which now President-Elect Kathy Schilling will be at the helm.

ALL Midwest Chapter/MLA members are welcome to attend the Executive Board meetings. If you would like to attend the Executive Board meeting next week, R.S.V.P. to President Janna Lawrence!

Be prepared!

Seriously, I enjoy attending the Annual Business Meeting every year at the Midwest Chapter’s conference. At last year’s conference in Indianapolis, I had the privilege of presiding at the meeting. What is there to look forward to? Of course, there is delicious food and fabulous table companions. And the winners of our many chapter awards are announced.

This year we will have some important business to conduct. We will be voting to ratify significantly amended chapter bylaws. This revision is necessary to bring the bylaws in harmony with the MLA Model Bylaws. These new bylaws are more succinct, which will give the chapter more flexibility in conducting chapter business.

So before you attend the Annual Business Meeting, read all about the bylaws revisions on this page of the chapter website. Then link through to the two documents provided by the Bylaws Special Committee. These show the complete text of the proposed bylaws that will be voted upon and, for comparative purposes, a version of the current bylaws with the edits and changes noted.

Hope to see you at lunch on Monday, October 8th!

2012 Midwest Chapter Election Report

Here is the announcement from the Midwest Chapter/MLA Nominations and Elections Committee that you’ve all been waiting for!

Please join us in offering CONGRATULATIONS! to our incoming chapter officers:

  • Elizabeth Fine Weinfurter, President-Elect
  • Katherine Chew, Membership Secretary
  • Nadia Lalla, Representative-at-Large
  • Bette Sydelko, Representative to the MLA Chapter Council
  • Karen Hanus, Alternate Representative to the MLA Chapter Council
  • Pamela Bradigan, Potential Candidate for Membership on the MLA Nominating Committee

The committee would like to thank Mary Hitchcock, Jere Odell, Travis Schulz, and Nancy O’Brien for participating in the election as candidates.

Thank you to all of our chapter members who voted this year. We had a nearly 50% voter turnout!

Your 2012 Midwest Chapter/MLA Nominations and Elections Committee,

Clare Leibfarth, Chair
Deborah Lauseng
Mary Markland
Mary K. Taylor

Reporting from Indianapolis

Eleven members of your Midwest Chapter/MLA Executive Board met for a very productive meeting last Friday, March 30 in Indianapolis. Here is my personal take from the proceedings! Be sure to watch for stories in the upcoming mid-May issue of our official chapter newsletter MIDLINE about these items of interest and MORE!

It is worth noting first that chapter finances are in good shape. The chapter has retained the services of a professional accountant, Michelle Dixon, C.P.A. Chapter Treasurer Amy Donahue has been working hard all winter with Michelle to review and re-structure the files and spreadsheets used to keep track of chapter finances and to audit the books for 2010 and 2011.  The books for the 2010 Annual Conference in Madison are “closed” and the conference showed a nice profit, half of which was shared with our co-sponsor, WSHLA. The books for the 2011 Annual Conference in Indianapolis are nearly squared away as well. The chapter will still be using the Acteva services in the short term for online membership payment and conference registration. In the meantime, the Finance Committee is investigating alternatives.

The Professional Practice Committee has been hard at work on the details of the chapter’s new Research Presentation and Poster Awards. These monetary awards recognizing presentation of exemplary research by our members will be given for the first time at the 2012 Annual Conference. Watch upcoming MIDLINE issues for award announcements!

One thread that ran through almost all of the discussion at the board meeting was communication. We considered some concrete measures that the chapter’s Representative at Large Stephanie Schulte and the chapter’s State Liaisons Committee members could pursue to better serve as conduits of information in both directions between the chapter and our sister state health sciences library associations in the Midwest. We talked about how to better use different chapter communications vehicles for keeping our members up-to-date. The chapter website will be getting an extensive informal review and some additions were suggested.

As part of a continuing improvement project, Archivist Mary Hitchcock has been busy working on a draft “policies and procedures” document which was reviewed by the board. The document provides guidance for officers and others working on chapter business on what to keep (and send to the archives) and what not to keep. Work will continue on a better way to archive photographs, particularly digital photos taken at conferences. Anyone interested in helping yours truly with collecting all those photos into a single Flickr account? Seriously, let me know if you want to help! I’ve been procrastinating on this for YEARS.

The board spent a big chunk of meeting time reviewing the answers to the open-ended questions from last year’s Membership Survey. The Membership Committee under the leadership of Membership Secretary Katherine Chew mined your comments, categorizing the comments and suggestions. The board particularly focused at this meeting on continuing education, the annual conferences, and other professional practice issues. The Chair Natalie Reed and the Professional Practice Committee will be working on ideas particularly in the area of continuing education.

And here is one last “heads up” for you! We still indeed are planning to bring revised chapter bylaws up for a vote by the assembled membership at the next Annual Business Meeting in October in Minnesota. Our bylaws need to be brought into “compliance” with the MLA Model Bylaws and need some other various tweaking.

Spring Executive Board Meeting Invitation

All Midwest Chapter/MLA members are welcome to attend meetings of the Executive Board. Here are the details!

This is the place!

We will be returning to Indianapolis in my next door neighbor Hoosier State for our spring meeting on Friday, March 30 at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport. Business will be conducted in Ballroom A beginning at 9:00 a.m. and will be finished by 4:00 p.m.

Visualize the Executive Board hard at work in this meeting room!

If you would like to attend the Executive Board meeting, please R.S.V.P. to President Janna Lawrence by Friday, March 23rd!

Presidential Update

I’m on the road again today! I just checked the weather forecast and it looks like it is going to be an absolutely fantastic next several days for the chapter conference in Indianapolis! I’m sure to see lots of lovely fall scenery in the bright sunshine as I drive across Ohio into the Hoosier State this afternoon.

For the past few days I’ve been working on getting things squared away for the chapter’s Executive Board meeting tomorrow afternoon. FYI, the officer and committee reports and the meeting agenda are already posted on the Agendas and Reports website page. Thank you Assistant Webmaster Brian!

ALL chapter members are welcome to attend the Executive Board meeting. So if you are going to be at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, please join us!

Midwest Chapter Fall Executive Board Meeting

ALL Midwest Chapter members are welcome to attend the chapter’s fall Executive Board meeting. The board will be meeting at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Ballroom 7 on the second floor beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2011.

If you are interested in attending the Executive Board meeting as a guest, please send an RSVP e-mail to me (cleibfar AT kent DOT edu) by Tuesday, October 4th. I’ll have handouts and a seat ready for you!

I will be posting the Executive Board reports and meeting agenda on the chapter website early next week. Watch this space:

Hope to see YOU in Indianapolis!

Clare Leibfarth, President
Midwest Chapter/MLA

Midline Editor Needed!

The chapter newsletter Midline is in need of a new editor!

MIDLINE is the official quarterly electronic newsletter of the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association.

In this position, you will work with the chapter-president and head of the communications committee to release a fun and informative quarterly publication to your fellow Midwest cohorts. Duties include organizing future newsletters, contacting members for various news, editing and posting member submissions, and more.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Jean Gudenas (

Call for Member News!

On behalf of our great newsletter, MIDLINE, I’m soliciting any and all member news. What’s going on in your state/community/organization/life? We’d love to hear updates from you as individuals, as well as from groups like the Health Sciences Libraries of Minnesota (sorry for picking on you, I just happen to know you’ve got some good communication channels, as well as lots of snow and cold weather, up there!).

This is both an ASAP and an on-going call; please e-mail me directly with any updates! Your fellow members would love to hear what you’ve been up to. Many thanks in advance!

adonahue (at) umn (dot) edu