Medical Librarians “Elevate” Annual Meeting & Exhibition: Setting Sights High for MLA ’19 in Chicago


Newswise — CHICAGO, IL, May 15, 2019 —From May 3rd through 8th, an estimated 1,600 medical librarians, informationists, library directors and other health information professionals from around the world met at the Hyatt Regency Chicago to participate in MLA ’19: “Elevate,” the 119th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the Medical Library Association (MLA). Attendees interested in honing their professional expertise immersed themselves in exceptional programming, got wowed by the latest industry products, engaged in meaningful industry connections, and collaborated with friends and colleagues, while taking in many of the wonders that Chicago has to offer.  

Like one of Chicago’s iconic wonders, the Chicago “L” elevated transit system, MLA ’19 is designed to elevate the health sciences librarianship profession, delivering attendees to multiple noteworthy learning destinations, while offering over 80 dynamic educational opportunities within service and learning. 

The 2019 National Program Committee Co-Chairs, James Dale Prince, AHIP and Mellanye J. Lackey, AHIP, worked diligently with 20 members of the National Program Committee to develop a 4-and-1/2-day interdisciplinary educational experience that includes a 2-1/2-day commercial exhibition. This year’s annual event showcased four keynote speakers, 23 immersion sessions, 52 lightning talks, 105 papers in 21 sessions, over 200 posters and one update talk from the National Library of Medicine.

“To assure that every attendee can customize their educational experience, we’ve provided a user-friendly planner online program and itinerary planner, and organized this year’s programming into seven areas of health information professional practice,” noted James Dale Prince, AHIP, 2019 National Program Committee Co-Chair. These programming areas include Information Services, Information Management, Education, Professionalism and Leadership, Innovation and Research Practice, Clinical Support, and Global Health and Health Equity.

Complementary to MLA ‘19’s dynamic programming, its Exhibition Floor, comprising of over 100 exhibitors, provided attendees and exhibitors alike with more than 13 extra hours of quality exhibit time and introduced the newest books, online services tools and technologies to date in the library profession.

“In addition to designing a meeting with exceptional programming and access to the latest industry trends, we believe that offering one-of-a-kind, unique experiences for our attendees is critical to our event’s success,” offered Mellanye J. Lackey, AHIP, 2019 National Program Committee Co-Chair. All MLA ’19 attendees were invited to these unique events: an Open House at the American Hospital Association; a Chi-Town MLA networking event featuring an MLA house band and open mic night; visits available to two Chicago landmark ballparks to watch the Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox play baseball; and a volunteer event for this year’s service project benefiting SitStayRead. SitStayRead is a nonprofit whose programs use certified human volunteers and reading dogs to advance children’s literacy skills in Chicago Public Schools.

Can’t miss programming continued throughout the meeting and exhibition with hundreds of speakers who are leaders in the field. Several of note included the 2019 Awardees, who will presented the John P. McGovern Award Lecture and The Janet Doe Lecture. The John P. McGovern Award Lecture on Sunday, May 5th, featured a panel of “power users” from leading Chicago medical institutions. The Award Lecture Recipients, Vineet Arora, Margaret Danilovich, Allison Lale and Janice M. Phillips, led a conversation on “Discovering New Pathways to Information: What Today’s Users Tell Us.” Awarded for his unique perspectives on medical librarianship, Gerald (Jerry) Perry, AHIP, FMLA, the Janet Doe Lecture Recipient, presented The Janet Doe Lecture on Monday, May 6.

On Sunday, May 5, MLA’s 2018-2019 President, Beverly Murphy, AHIP, FMLA delivered her Presidential Address, and on Tuesday, May 7, MLA’s Incoming 2019-2020 President, Julia Esparza, AHIP, delivered her Inaugural Presidential Address. Another exciting addition to this year’s programming lineup was an Open Forum on Monday, May 6, which was one 85-minute open forum in a single plenary session covering two topics—MLA’s Continuing Education Program and Member Community Transformation.

Finally, the much-anticipated Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture and Closing Keynote Address on Wednesday, May 8, were open to all MLA ’19 attendees and general public ticket holders. Nadya Okamoto, the Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecturer, is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization PERIOD: The Menstrual Movement. Katherine Watson, the Closing Keynote Speaker, is Associate Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Medical Education and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University. Following their presentations, book signings for both were held.

Key sponsors of MLA’19 include EBSCOHealth; McGraw Hill; Wolters Kluwer; The JAMA Network; NEJM Group; and ClinicalKey.

For additional information about the meeting, visit MLANET.org.

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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 MLANET.org.

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