President’s Message

Submitted by Debra Werner, Midwest Chapter/MLA President 2017

Greetings Midwest Chapter!  I am excited and honored to serve as President of Midwest Chapter this year.  As the cold weather bears down on us, I hope we are all able to bring a little hygge into our lives.  That’s right, hygge.  If you haven’t heard of this new buzzword (it was on the OED’s Word of the Year 2016 shortlist, but lost to ‘post-truth’), it is a word of Danish origin that encompasses a feeling of well-being in a cozy and convivial atmosphere while enjoying life’s simple pleasures.  Or something like that.

If you were able to attend the MLA 2016 Annual Meeting in Toronto and hear Teresa Knott’s Presidential Inaugural Address, you may remember that the focus of her talk was on building value.  That is a focus this year for our Chapter, as well.  I’m interested in learning what motivates you to be a Midwest Chapter member and how the Chapter can better support you as a health sciences information professional.  Please send any thoughts or comments my way at!  I’d like to highlight one new program that is already adding value for our members, the Resume and Interview Practice Program.  In this program, volunteer mentors prepare students and new graduates for the job market by providing feedback on mentees’ resumes and conducting a practice interview.  Those who participated in last year’s pilot have overwhelmingly positive experiences.

As Immediate Past President Chris Childs announced earlier in the year, the Chapter is currently weathering some financial difficulties (due to an unscrupulous business partner), and the Board took steps to significantly reduce the Chapter’s expenses.  I’m grateful to report that responses to that announcement were those of support, understanding, and encouragement–the Midwest Chapter has wonderful members!  The Board will continue these belt-tightening measures, which unfortunately, among other cutbacks, has meant a reduction in scholarships.  Our plan is the weather the lean year(s) while endeavoring to build up the coffers through the spending reductions and through fundraising efforts.  Edith Starbuck generously agreed to spearhead the fundraising effort, and if you attended the fantastic Joint Meeting of the Midwest Chapter and the Midcontinental Chapter in Des Moines this year, you may have noticed the Chapter’s 50/50 raffle.  We plan to continue these efforts at the 2017 meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with the goal of restoring our scholarship programs as soon as possible.  If you have fundraising suggestions, please let Edith know at

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has volunteered to serve on the Board or on a Chapter Committee; this organization couldn’t run without you.

Health, happiness, and hygge to all in 2017!

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