Newswise — CHICAGO, IL, June 30, 2021 —During MLA ’21, the Medical Library Association’s (MLA) premier annual event held from May 10 to 27, 2021, more than 1,200 meeting registrants were engaged in several weeks of interactive educational sessions, informational exhibitor visits and noteworthy lectures focused on health sciences librarianship. The MLA ’21 keynote sessions were scheduled during “Live Action Week,” providing thought-provoking topics, insights and conversation starters.

Damon Tweedy, MD, author of Black Man in a White Coat, a New York Times bestseller, delivered the John P. McGovern lecture on Monday, May 24, 2021. Dr. Tweedy is associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist at the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System. His address outlined the impact of race discrimination on every professional level within the medical profession. Dr. Tweedy shared his ongoing feelings of disconnect, as both a student and physician, in a predominantly white field and identified strategies to navigate his career to achieve success.

On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Mitzi D. Baum MS, Chief Executive Officer at Stop Foodborne Illness (STOP) delivered the Joseph Leiter National Library of Medicine/MLA Lecture, “The Culture of Public Health and Food Safety.” Earlier this year, Baum’s organization STOP, along with several organizations, urged the US Department of Agriculture and the Safety and Inspection Service to reform and modernize poultry inspections to decrease foodborne illness due to salmonella and campylobacter contamination. Her keynote address described their proposal to redefine and introduce inspection standards that reflect current science and identified control measures that could reduce any known, harmful pathogens in poultry. In addition to providing a historical perspective of how the evolution of public health led to the discovery of food pathogens, Baum emphasized how librarians impact today, can further support our nation’s understanding of public health tomorrow.

The Janet Doe Lecturer, Sandra G. Franklin, AHIP, FMLA presented “Diversity that Defines Us: The View Through a Crystal Lens” on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Sandra is director of Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Atlanta, GA. Her lecture reflected on the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically tracking the greater number of deaths within areas of higher Black American populations. She noted the importance of medical and health professionals’ role in supporting medical and health systems that utilize a diversity lens to transform and modernize current approaches to education and patient care.


About MLA

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a global, nonprofit educational organization, with a membership of more than 400 institutions and 3,000 professionals in the health information field. Since 1898, MLA has fostered excellence in the professional practice and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance health care, education, and research throughout the world. MLA educates health information professionals, supports health information research, promotes access to the world's health sciences information, and works to ensure that the best health information is available to all. For more information about MLA, visit


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