June 10, 2016

Reflections on the MLA Annual Meeting

By Ayaba Logan, MPH, MLIS, AHIP

MLA16 … Being a part of the Big Picture in Toronto was AMAZING. This was my second MLA Conference preceded by Austin 2015. What made it AMAZING? Toronto!!! A rich, diverse, city- a true Mosaic of cultures, languages, and head coverings. The conference programing was excellent as usual and Toronto was the icing on yummy cake. The sessions were overflowing with tools, ideas, and challenges to the work we do. The exhibit hall was packed with vendors poised to sell the latest and greatest widgets. The plenary speakers did a great job, both inspirational and enthusiastic (I thought I was at a TED talk). MJ Tooey gave quite the history lesson, and the stroll down leadership lane was much appreciated by this newer attendee.

Talking to people at their posters was enlightening professionally and personally- we have already begun planning for an MLA 17 whitewater rafting day trip. Networking, making conference friends, committee meetings, round tables, Aquarium Parties, catchups had me flying high and sleeping like a baby. And Toronto was the best backdrop to all of this excitement and development. For people with dietary restriction, especially religious ones like mine, Toronto eateries from food trucks to gourmet restaurants all accommodated my requirements with a smile and a YES- they made my questions and requests normal. I was moved to joyous tears.

Throughout the week, I learned, talked, walked, ate halal, drank juice, and was merry. Toronto has become one of my favorite cities and a second home- I can’t wait until I return to Toronto and MLA. See you next year Seattle (InshaAllah/ إن شاء الله)!!  

Ayaba Logan, MPH is a Research and Education Informationist at MUSC Library, and Instructor in the College of Nursing and Department of Public Health.

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