MACMLA 2013 Conference First Timer

Julie Silverman

Julie Silverman

Post written by Julie Silverman, the Associate Director for Collections and Access Services at George Washington University, Himmelfarb Library.

As a new MAC member and a first time attendee of a MAC-MLA Annual Conference, I was a bit nervous during our drive from DC to Pittsburgh.  My previous experience in medical libraries was in Colorado and, aside from my colleagues from GW, I did not know any other attendees.

We arrived in time to check in to our spacious rooms and freshen up before the opening reception.  In retrospect, I was a bit silly to be nervous.  Within minutes of entering the reception area, I was quickly talking with various members about everything from library systems to managing ebooks to marathon training!  Oh, and don’t forget THE DUCK!  I felt thoroughly at ease and welcomed.  I deliberately affixed the “first timer” flag to my badge when I claimed my registration packet and I think the other attendees were quick to notice and make me feel especially welcome.

The next day and a half was an interesting mix of key note speakers, poster presentations, and brief presentations of a variety of contributed papers.  As anyone who attends conferences on a regular basis can tell you, nothing is worse than sitting in the same spot for hours on end.  In that regard, I greatly appreciated the foresight of the conference planners!  Even though we were in the same area of the hotel for the entire meeting, there was ample time to move about, network, and recharge before the next session.  The all-day coffee service was also fabulous!

Another nice surprise was the extensive access to all of the vendors!  I expected them to be there for the opening reception and maybe some of the first day but many were there to the end!  It was nice to be able to talk to a few at a time, as my day permitted.

Overall, this was an excellent conference and I look forward to attending again next year!

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Julie Silverman is the Associate Director for Collections and Access Services at George Washington University, Himmelfarb Library.  Previously, she was the Head of Collection Management at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.  She is excited to be back on the east coast and to continue to foster the contacts that she made at the MAC meeting.  She feels she can rest easy now that she has seen The Duck but her son is lobbying for a return trip so that he may also witness the ducky goodness.

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