This year the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SC/MLA) held its annual meeting in Mobile, Alabama from October 26 through October 30. Representing the Harriet F. Ginsburg Library were Nadine Dexter, Deedra Walton, Pamela Herring, and Michael Garner. The theme for the meeting this year was “Making a Difference in Health.” The library presented a poster entitled “Plant a Seed and Watch It Grow: Nurturing a Foundation for College-Wide Workplace Wellness Programs” which highlighted the work that the library lead with the workplace wellness initiative that centered around the FitBit wearable technology. While the presentation was a highlight for each of us there were many other events to keep us busy throughout the day: a meeting of the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS), paper presentations, speakers, roundtable discussions, the ability to meet with vendors face-to-face, the opportunity to network with new colleagues from other medical libraries in the southeastern region of the United States, and the chance to catch up with friends not seen since the last annual meeting.
The conference consisted of more than just attending meetings. We took advantage of down time to check out Mobile, Alabama and taste some of the local cuisine, from burgers at a restaurant called the Royal Scam (the food was in fact actual food, no tricks or funny business!) to fantastic seafood at the Oyster House (fire-grilled oysters!), one of the many top notch seafood restaurants.
Robert DeNiro was also in town filming a movie titled Bus 657 also starring Dave Bautista, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, and Lydia Hull. Check it out on IMDB. Unfortunately Mr. DeNiro was too busy to drop by the conference.
The conference wrapped up with a banquet at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley rivers flow into Mobile Bay. In the setting we were treated to a fantastic meal of local food including shrimp, fish, corn nuggets, and capped off with fresh made bread pudding. While we ate we were treated to the music of a bluegrass band.
Interesting Fact: Mobile, Alabama is the first place in the United States to start annual celebrations of Mardi Gras. During the opening of the conference we were pelted with beads by a mask-wearing krewe. Duck!