|| Patricia L. Thibodeau, AHIP
Theme and Priorities for 2003/04
We need to seize the power of our value and demonstrate
to health care and institutional leaders our value to the health care
community and the public. Within MLA, we must continue to use the
power of our collective voice in advocating our essential role in
delivering quality information, and in responding to issues that impact
our libraries, our values, and our communities.
Seizing the Power of Our Value
Health science librarians ensure that quality biomedical information is
available to support health care, research and learning within our institutions,
medical communities and society. Our value is evident every day through
our work as librarians - organizing, selecting, evaluating, and leveraging
our collective knowledge management skills to promote the best sources
of information. Through our skills and expertise we bring context, content
and structure to health care information. We provide enhanced access to
quality information that is used to make health care decisions, develop
new research initiatives, evaluate and implement health services, support
health-related administrative and policy decision-making, inform consumers
about health-related issues and options, and support life long learning.
We need to seize the power of our value and demonstrate to health care
and institutional leaders our value to the health care community and the
public. Within MLA, we must continue to use the power of our collective
voice in advocating our essential role in delivering quality information,
and in responding to issues that impact our libraries, our values, and
our communities. As librarians we must continue to capture and expand
our professional knowledge base, pursue research that quantifies and describes
the qualities of our contributions, and explore new roles so that we can
meet emerging informational needs in a rapidly changing biomedical environment.
It is through these activities that we will seize the power of being
librarians, demonstrate the power of our role, and ensure our enduring
value to society.
1) Advocate our value
Recognize and promote our value to our institutions, the health care
enterprise and society
a. Promote our value to health care and institutional
leaders, health professionals and consumers.
b. Provide a revitalized media kit and other publicity tools so
that all members may become advocates and promoters of their value, within
their institutions, in their communities, and at the national level.
c. Develop new tools and resources to support members who are negotiating
for better compensation.
d. Further explore expanded roles for providing information in
context in different types of health care settings, and identify pathways
for acquiring the specialized knowledge and skills to perform effectively
in these new roles.
e. Use the power of our collective voice to respond to evolving
issues, such as the ongoing crisis in publishing, and the implications
of restrictions on access to information resources within the government
and commercial sectors.
2). Build our community
Ensure our enduring value through recruitment and retention of today's
and tomorrow's librarians and leaders
a. Implement the action plans of task forces and
committees to increase recruitment into medical librarianship.
b. Use surveys, focus groups and task forces to identify the major
issues for members, and develop timely responses.
c. Engage our members in the broader community of practice in health
sciences librarianship, through involvement in MLA activities, opportunities
for leadership, and the sharing of knowledge.
d. Further develop MLANET so that it is a premier resource for
those interested in health sciences librarianship.
e. Conduct usability studies, and explore new features, that enhance
the membership component of MLANET.
3) Encourage Life Long Learning
Ensure that we remain vital and responsive to our environment and
that our value is recognized and sought well into the future by integrating
new technical and content expertise into our traditional skills.
a. Pursue new opportunities for strengthening and
expanding the skills of our members, through new educational programs
identified by CORE and the CE Committee.
b. Develop new specialization programs to increase members' knowledge
and expertise, and document those new, value-added skills.
c. Promote members' technology-related skills sets and the conduct
of research into technological applications within health sciences librarianship.
4) Create a professional knowledge base
Capture and share the value of our knowledge, experiences and skills.
a. Continue to promote research that identifies
best practices and the importance of information in health care and biomedical
b. Promote the study of new models and the launching of pilot projects
that explore the effectiveness of new roles and services.
c. Develop new mechanisms through MLANET that capture best practices
and other useful information directly from members and from non-traditional
d. Encourage the sharing and exchange of members' collective knowledge
and expertise, in collaboration with peer organizations.
5) Embrace global networks
Strengthen our value at the global level through diverse partnerships
and international initiatives.
a. Explore and define global partnerships and initiatives
that strengthen access to health information and the quality of care across
b. Identify and recognize those members and units of MLA who have
built international partnerships, programs and opportunities.
c. Build bridges with publishers, associations, societies and others
involved in developing and distributing biomedical information.
d. Advocate MLA's and MLA members' potential as collaborators and
partners, in light of globalization and its impacts on health care understanding
e. Monitor and respond to federal and national legislation that
impacts access to health care information for the professional, consumer