For me the opening reception was ‘business as usual’ and that’s just fine for me. Catching up with friends and colleagues over a few drinks and a good meal are the perfect way to start MLA.
Te first plenary session is also a pleasure as we are reminded of the goals and objectives that the president established from the previous year. Jean Shipman reminded us that Aviation, Navigation (ANC), and Communication were themes that she asked us to carry with us throughout the year. As she rolled through the long list of accomplishments last year, I was reminded of the amount of work that MLA completes over the course of a year. Many of these accomplishments I don’t not aware of until they are completed. Who knew Jean was such a great photographer.
The McGoverrn lecture is probably the highlight for me each year at MLA. Arthur Caplan spoke about Bioethics and the challenges of conflict of interest even within peer reviewed journals. He raised several great points including bias that can occur from the group funding the study either for monetary, political, or other reasons. We as librarians rely upon this peer review process as the as assurance that the information is good and valid. So if the peer review process cannot be trusted, what should we do? This is a hard question. He brought up the point that more open disclosure might help reveal biases from groups who may have an interest in seeing certain outcomes arrive out of a study. Should the editorial process be more transparent? Sure, it sounds like a great idea. Now, how to do we do that?
Other things to note.
I loved the space session, the only problem was that I agreed with each debater.
The posters rooms were hot and cramped.