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One (Online) Site: A New Paradigm for MLA Concurrent Session Planning? Open Access (recommended)


Resource type(s)
medical libraries
Attribution 3.0 United States

Kubilius, Ramune Karolina
Rethlefsen, Melissa
Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and usability of an online section/special interest group (SIG) program planning process for the One Health meeting and to investigate whether the time has come for the process to move online for future meetings. Methods: Traditionally, MLA has required that section and SIG planners attend two on-site meetings that take place the year prior to the meeting being planned. An experiment grew out of necessity when planning for the 2013 international federated meeting that resulted in a meeting planning timeline that did not follow the usual pattern. An alternative method was devised, implemented, and tested. All 2013 program planners will be invited to participate in a survey to gauge their satisfaction with the online session theme planning process. A follow-up interview will be conducted with those planners who had earlier experience with the previous planning process. Results: Thirty-four planners (from all 23 sections and 7 SIGs) responded to the survey. One respondent had not used the online planning site at all, due to inaccessibility of Google Sites at work. Of the remaining 33 respondents, 17 were first-time program planners. Responses about the site were generally positive (4 responses from experienced users were negative about usability, and 3 indicated it was ineffective). Nonusers of the online tutorials perceived the site's usability negatively or very positively, though perceived site effectiveness did not differ by tutorial usage. The overall online planning process was perceived slightly less positively, and 3 experienced planners felt the 2013 process was worse than their previous experience (same n=7, better n=5). Most planners favored adding an in-person component, though 3 felt it would not have benefited the process, and 11, primarily first-timers, were unsure. Communication challenges were mentioned in qualitative survey comments and focus group discussions, though it was acknowledged that the online process allowed more people to participate in a more efficient, trackable manner. Strong leadership, perceived as evident for 2013, could ensure future success with online planning. Conclusions: For the online planning process to succeed in the future, an in-person component should be retained as a supplement.
Original Bibliographic Citation
Kubilius RK and Rethlefsen ML. "One (Online) Site: A New Paradigm for MLA Concurrent Session Planning?". Poster Presentation, Medical Library Association annual meeting, Boston, MA, May 2013 and Midwest Chapter / MLA annual meeting, East Peoria, IL, October 2013.
Related URL
DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library
Date Created
Subject: MESH
Libraries, Medical
Library Associations
Subject: Name
Medical Library Association
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
East Peoria, Illinois, United States

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