For some reason I had never been to Las Vegas before, so I jumped at the invitation to attend this joint meeting of the Northern California/Nevada Medical Library Group and the Medical Library Group of Southern California & Arizona. I arrived a few days early at the Flamingo, the meeting hotel, in order to partake of the experience that is Las Vegas. I’m not a gambling man, so the casinos themselves didn’t offer much more than gawking, but that was…interesting. We spent days just going from casino to casino, enjoying some great food, window shopping at very expensive stores, and more gawking. Carolyn and I have seen Cirque du Soleil several times in New York, so we got tickets to “O” at the Bellagio, which was very entertaining. While walking around, we had seen several signs about the “Big Elvis” show, so we had to see that, especially since it was free. Big Elvis is fortunately not as big as he used to be, since he’s lost over 500 pounds in the last three years, but he’s still quite large. Appearing with Big Elvis was Morgan White Jr., a trivia expert with lots of audience interaction. Carolyn and I won several prizes during his show, since librarians are usually pretty good at trivia. He would be a great entertainer at a library meeting, where he might meet his match.

The meeting started with a rocking welcome reception featuring yet another Elvis, this one younger and thinner. He was quite a hit, as everybody wanted to have their picture taken with Elvis. I tried to comply. Things got more serious Thursday morning, with keynote Dr. James Cimino speaking on “Infobuttons LITE: the Librarian Infobutton Tailoring Environment.” This was followed by some excellent contributed papers. I gave the MLA update during lunch (I sympathize with every lunchtime speaker). Friday morning started with Tom Basler, Ph.D., FMLA, speaking on how he has repurposed the library’s vision at the Medical University of South Carolina. Tom will give the Janet Doe lecture at the annual meeting in Chicago, and I’m really looking forward to it. More great contributed papers followed, and I’ll give a shoutout to fellow blogger Marcus Banks who spoke on the health sciences biblioblogosphere. The meeting ended with a panel discussion on why excellent hospitals need librarians and libraries and library services. It featured Dr. Robert Wise, VP of the Division of Standards and Survey Methods at The Joint Commission. Many of the presentations from the meeting are available.

This was the last of my Great Chapter Meeting Marathon as president of MLA. I very much appreciate the kindness and support that was given to me at every single one of these meetings. I come away from them in awe of how chapter members can consistently put together provocative and intelligent meetings, all while continuing to do their regular jobs. I hope Mary has as much fun this fall as I did.