Chapter History

A Brief History: Five Decades of Service

The Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association celebrated its 40th anniversary at the Minneapolis meeting in 1990. As part of the observance, four past presidents served on a panel, each interpreting the events of “her” decade. Their help is gratefully acknowledged in the preparation of this summary of our history:

1950’s  Minnie Orfanos
1960’s  Ann Kerker
1970’s Dana McDonald
1980’s image Gretchen Hallerberg
1990’s image Harriette M. Cluxton

A chronological outline covering the period from the founding until 1977 was prepared in that year by a committee chaired by Armin Kay Sadove. The present Archives Committee has completed and updated the Chronology, and maintains it on a current basis. This covers officers and annual meetings. Annual reports, meeting programs, MIDLINE issues and other documentation are retained in the Archives files, housed in the Library of the Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago.

In the early years, the Medical Library Association was not supportive of regional groups, fearing they might weaken the national organization. During World War II years when MLA could not meet, the few regional groups then extant met without official sanction. By 1950, MLA had reversed its position, realizing that regional groups could strengthen the organization. When Janet Doe was president, a committee on regional groups, chaired by Marguerite Prime, recommended establishing regional groups, and presented a set of guidelines to be observed.

Harriette M. Cluxton
Midwest Chapter/MLA Archivist
April, 1994