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!

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.