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!

Welcome Reception

Meeting and Greeting

This evening a good time was had by all. The evening began with the Meet & Greet for mentors and mentees. Lots of great conversation. Then the action moved to the Exhibits area for the Welcome Reception with the vendors. There were sweet treats galore and door prize drawings. All good.

Indulge your sweet tooth!
Librarians love door prizes!

For more fun conference photos, check out Flickr photos tagged midwestmla11. And watch for more photos!

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

“All my jokes are Indianapolis.  All my attitudes are Indianapolis.  My adenoids are Indianapolis.  If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business.  What people like about me is Indianapolis.” —Kurt Vonnegut, 1986

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library

One of my places that I want to visit in Indianapolis but have not yet is the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, opened last year. It is open daily (except Wednesday) 12pm-5pm and located at the “corner” of Senate, Indiana, and Vermont streets. From the hotel, walk towards downtown a block to Senate (the street where the capitol building is), then turn left (north) and go four blocks. It will be on your left.

340 N. Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

And we’re under way!

The Friendly Registration Staff

Welcome to Indianapolis! Conference 2011 is up and running! The CEs are in progress! We are looking forward this evening to the Welcome and Exhibitor’s Reception. The program says that I will be able to indulge my sweet tooth. Sounds like an excellent idea!

Welcome to the 2011 Midwest Chapter Conference

Colts and construction

Ah, irony. After Chris Bishop’s invitation last year in Wisonsin to this year’s conference and his truly rabid support of the Colts (I’ve seen the picture of him yelling at one of the games), I do find it ironic that the Packers won last season, Peyton’s out for the season (most likely), and the teams currently have palindromic 2011-2012 season records. All that aside, I do still have faith in our home team, which leads me to the

1st part of this blog entry: Colts

Go Colts!

This Sunday the Colts have a home game at 1pm against the Kansas City Chiefs. Rumor has it that tickets may be a little easier to come by this season, so this may be an opportunity to go to an NFL game if you’ve always wanted to and never had the chance. Of course, I assume that everyone will either giving their paper presentations or listening and learning from them, so I doubt any of us will be impacted by this. 🙂

However, this does bring me to point #2: Construction

Picture from

As much as I love the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis, it is not completed yet. The Super Bowl this upcoming February 6, 2012 is going be held here in Indianapolis, which means even more construction is under way to make the city its shiniest and prettiest for early next year. Bonus construction, coupled with a lot of one-way streets in downtown Indianapolis, makes driving extra fun (or headache-inducing). Also not surprisingly with construction, where to cross the street, which lane is open, etc. may change daily (or hourly). Drivers in Indianapolis, being in the Midwest, are generally still polite (read: not enough honking, in my opinion), so just keep that mind, and bring good walking shoes!

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!

“Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!”

New baby elephant Kalina!

(the following information provided by our local zoo expert)

The Indianapolis Zoo is just down the street from the NCAA Hall of Champions, location of the Sunday night gala event. We have a dolphin amphitheater, touchable sharks and even a botanical garden. Our female baby elephant, Kalina (just born on July 20th), is a real cutie pie and not to be missed. Check out the zoo at, or just ask me. I’ll happily talk your ears off about our wonderful facility.

Sue London (zoo volunteer naturalist)

Knitting Shops

Mass Ave Knit Shop, Fountain Square

Looking for a LYS (local yarn shop) in Indianapolis? There are several, but I’ll start with my favorite (and the one closest to the conference hotel):

Mass Ave Knit Shop, 862 Virginia Ave., 46203 (1.5 miles from the hotel)

Yes, the name hearkens back to when the yarn shop actually was located on Mass(achusetts) Ave., but I’ve only known the shop in its current location in the Fountain Square area of Indianapolis. This is a great yarn shop with good selection of all types of yarn; this is also the place I go when I need my size 2 26″ circular knitting needles that I can’t find at a more mainstream craft store.

Other locally-owned knit/crochet/craft stores in the area:

Broad Ripple Knits, 6267 Guilford Ave., 46220 (7.7 miles from the hotel)

Knit Stop, 3941 E. 82nd St., 46240 (12 miles from the hotel)


Village Yarn Shop, 40 N. Main St., Zionsville, IN, 46077 (17.5 miles from the hotel)