Focus on the Forest, Not the Trees: A Checklist for Planning Chapter Meetings
OBJECTIVES: After successfully planning QuintEssential: Convergence and Collaboration, a meeting of five MLA chapters, the authors share the lessons they learned from their experience. METHODS: Held Oct.12-16, 2014, QuintEssental was a joint meeting of the Midcontinental Chapter of MLA (MCMLA), Medical Library Group of Southern California & Arizona (MLGSCA), Northern California & Nevada Medical Library Group (NCNMLG), Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA (PNCMLA), and South Central Chapter of MLA (SCCMLA). After reviewing successes and failures of their multi-chapter meeting, the authors used SurveyMonkey to gather the opinions and advice of other multiple chapter meeting planners. The authors then identified key activities and time-sensitive tasks necessary to planning such a meeting. RESULTS: From this amalgam of information, they created a checklist designed to help future planners, whether for individual or multiple chapter meetings. This checklist also includes a recommended timeline for when essential milestones should be reached. CONCLUSIONS: Holding a multi-chapter meeting, while a daunting task, can be beneficial to chapters and attendees. A vetted planning checklist, along with strong communication, skills with shared decision-making, and effective record-keeping are key components for success.