Defining a project proposal to enhance the Medical Library Association’s Annual Meeting through session-level assessment

Nicole Theis-Mahon, Laura Menard, Hanna Schmillen, Rachel Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Associations and organizations rely on feedback from membership to assess conferences, programs, and meetings. The Medical Library Association (MLA) utilizes post-conference assessment to get an overall evaluation of the meeting. While this informs future meeting planning, it does not provide targeted assessment data about the perceived quality and relevance of sessions, papers, or posters. Incorporating session-level, just-in-time feedback would further engage meeting attendees and ensure relevance of the meeting to the membership. Methods: The 2017-2018 MLA Rising Star cohort investigated the interest in and use of session-level, just-in-time feedback at conferences of seven peer associations. A five-question survey to gauge MLA member interest in session-level feedback was distributed in February 2018. The survey was only available to current MLA members and advertised on the MLA blog, distributed to Section and SIG, state, and select MLA Chapter lists. Live polling was also conducted at the May 22, 2018, MLA Rising Star project proposal presentation. Results: The cohort received responses from five peer associations and only three are using some form of session-level, just-in-time assessment at their conferences. The February 2018 MLA membership survey yielded 157 responses. 94% of respondents (n=147) had attended a MLA meeting and 72% of respondents agreed that they would find session-level assessment valuable. Respondents indicated that they would be interested in receiving feedback from attendees about the application of their session's content, whether attendees learned something new, and if their session met expectations. Of attendees at this May 22, 2018, project proposal presentation, 97% agreed that they would value the opportunity to provide session-level, and 91% indicated that as a presenter would find attendee feedback useful. Conclusion: The investigation by the 2017-2018 MLA Rising Star Cohort indicated an interest in session-level, just-in-time feedback for MLA's annual meetings.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-20
JournalHypothesis: journal of the Research Section of MLA
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Medical Library Association
  • Proposal Writing
  • Congresses
  • Feedback communication


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