A lot of Maryland librarians have been involved in planning programs for ACRL MD over the years, but many more have not. If you fall into the second category, you may wonder how our events and workshops go from idea to reality.
One important thing to know is that with the rare exception, all of our planning meetings are open to any librarian to attend (including the one coming up on Wednesday). We value the input we get from librarians around the state, and it’s especially helpful to us to have people with new ideas and perspectives in the room. This year and last, we have used MLA’s WIMBA online meeting room software to try to encourage people who cannot physically attend the meeting (either due to distance or to time constraints, or both) to join us virtually. This is not just an empty nod to our more remote colleagues – last year as president, I actually ran several of the meetings over WIMBA. Naturally we’ve experienced some technical difficulties, but I think it is still working out pretty well overall.
And you are invited to do more than just attend the meetings and observe. ACRL MD members do almost all of the program planning – we come up with ideas, identify and schedule speakers, find a place to host the meeting and plan the catering. We also run the show on the day of the meeting, making sure attendees sign in and handling any walk-in registrations – and of course managing any last-minute problems that might crop up with the venue. But the MLA office staff also play a large part, processing program registrations, and using MLA’s official channels get the word about our programs out to all members of MLA.
In the last year or so we have also been expanding our informal programs. We’ve hosted some successful happy hours to foster networking between Maryland librarians, and we also run an online Journal Discussion Club to make sure we’re all keeping up with at least a little bit of the library literature. We are always glad to see new faces and names at these – they are a great way to see what we’re all about without having to dedicate much time or money to doing so.
If you ever see an announcement about an ACRL MD event and have questions, or if you have an idea to share but can’t attend a meeting, let us know! We usually include someone’s contact information in our announcements, and you can always look us up on the About page of this blog.