|| Linda A. Watson, AHIP
Theme and Priorities for 2002/03
I want MLA to be recognized as the association
of the most visible, trusted, and respected health information professionals
in the world, based on clear evidence that the members make a positive
difference in the quality of health in the world.
For this bold statement
to become a reality within the next decade, we need to call upon our individual
expertise, energy, and commitment, as well as our collective strength
in numbers, our collective intelligence, and our collective voice. We
have a strong foundation on which to build, established by recent MLA
presidents and boards and carried forth by the creativity and dedication
of MLA members and headquarters staff.
With the following specific goals for 2002/03, we will
continue our journey together into the new century.
1. Cultivate an Expanded and Energized Workforce
(Our Collective Strength in Numbers)
The challenge of MLA's demographics is clear: we are a
graying profession and must recruit new members as one of our highest
priorities. The response to the challenge will mean telling the story
of the value and joy of our work in such a compelling fashion as to attract
new members to our profession and nurture them through our association.
A. Identify and support the next generation health
- Build on the work of the Task Force to Plan Recruitment
for the Twenty-First Century Workforce and develop a process for personalizing
and customizing our outreach to potential new members.
- Follow up on the insights gained at the Informationist
- Build on the spirit of Laura Bushs proposal
to recruit new librarians.
- Develop more targeted and defined relationships with
the faculties of graduate schools of library and information science
and informatics programs and more fully engage the students with the
work of our association.
B. Serve the needs of members and engage their
energy and creativity in the life of the association; seek 100% participation
and deliver a 110% return on investment
- Assess member needs at various stages of their careers
and develop ways to respond. Use member information to customize products
- Engage the MLA Fellows in describing and transmitting
our culture, traditions, and values in compelling ways to our own members
- Continue building the virtual MLA, an anytime,
anywhere association that adds value to our members through technology.
2. Foster a Learning and Evidence-Based Culture
(Our Collective Intelligence)
MLA should support members' personal mastery by harnessing
the lessons of proven practice and forging new directions using the principles
of evidence-based practice. We should also seek ways to repackage our
knowledge for wider audiences.
A. Acquire, apply, and share what we already know
- Create a Knowledge Marketplace on MLANET
by capturing, organizing, and promoting the explicit knowledge of members.
- Promote our official journal, Journal of the Medical
Library Association, as the core of our knowledgebase and extend
its value beyond our membership.
- Digitize our core practice handbooks
and other publications to enhance access to and derivative use of
our collective knowledge over time and provide for continuous updating.
- Encourage members to submit best practices, such
as development of expert searching guidelines or posting of teaching
syllabi, for placement on MLANET.
- Develop more powerful searching and data-mining
capability across all of MLANET to make the richness of individual
unit content more accessible and useful.
- Build on the work of MLAs Center of Excellence
to enhance member access to the knowledge assets of our association
and promote the value of the Academy of Health Information Professionals
as a framework for continuous learning.
B. Generate new knowledge
- Invigorate and support an MLA and member research
agenda including making research a more comprehensive and visible presence
- Leverage our resources by seeking opportunities to
partner with other agencies, organizations, and educational institutions
to conduct joint research.
- Promote new knowledge and foster MLAs research
agenda through funding the Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship
and selecting the first scholar.
3. Reach a Shared Community of Users to Improve Health
(Our Collective Voice)
There are many players who support health information
literacy as a way to improve health. These players included governmental
agencies, foundations, professional associations, private sector businesses,
health care and public health professionals, patient educators, and health
information professionals. MLA has developed a track record in consumer
health-information training and delivery of quality information. We need
to determine the most effective next steps. There are also real and potential
barriers to access to necessary information against which MLA needs to
take strong and thoughtful positions.
A. Define MLAs role in health information
literacy and articulate it aggressively to both consumers and other players
- Seek partnerships that complement and leverage the
contributions and skills of MLA and its members including national,
regional, and local health information literacy efforts.
- Explore adapting the American Library Associations
@your library campaign as health @your library.
- Continue to work with PCI, MLAs public relations
firm, to communicate the value of health information professionals to
B. Continue MLAs advocacy role in national
information policy, legislation, and funding, especially that which has
impact on biomedical research, health care, and scholarly communication.