MLA's Future: Issues, Challenges, and Choices
| Note: this draft plan is not yet complete,
but the board wants member input before developing specific goals
and objectives. The draft includes the vision statement, a statement
of values, the overarching goal of the association (envisioned future),
and an explanation of that goal. The draft also includes a description
of some of the major challenges that the profession and MLA face and
some of the strategic choices that the board recommends to address
The board will be discussing the plan at its September 2002 meeting,
and open forums are being held at various chapter meetings. A Web-based
comment area was open through August 2002.
MLA's Vision Statement
Quality information for improved health
MLA's Core Values
MLA is committed to improving the knowledge and skills of health information
professionals, broadening health information research, improving the public's
understanding of health information and its value, promoting access to
the world's health sciences information, and working collaboratively with
other groups to ensure that the best health information is available to
all. MLA upholds and promotes the Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarians.
MLA's Envisioned Future (Overarching Goal)
To be the association of the most visible, trusted, and respected health
information experts with proven positive influence on the quality of health
in the world.
Description of MLA's Future
MLA is the leader in providing health information professionals with lifelong
learning opportunities, actively collaborating with other education providers.
The health care community and the public understand the value of quality
health information to society through MLA's advocacy and research efforts.
As a result, health sciences librarians are well compensated and sought
after as trusted experts in the development and assessment of quality
health information and knowledge management. Through MLA, health sciences
librarians help to achieve excellence in health professional education
and to improve the safety and efficacy of biomedical research and patient
care. MLA and its members actively serve every professional and student
working in health care and/or provide health information to the public
through a global "community of practice" that shares expertise
Major Challenges to Achieving this Future
- recruiting and retaining the best, brightest, diverse individuals
to become health information professionals, recognizing changing roles
will affect knowledge and skills;
- providing the full range of health information education needed to
attract and sustain a top quality workforce wherever they are;
- promoting the value of health information professionals to society,
recognizing the complexity of changing roles and public perception of
- serving the health information needs of the general public and of
the growing range of those who meet their needs;
- expanding the professional research knowledgebase, linking the information
services provided by health information professionals to improved health
care and advances in biomedical research;
- improving access to quality health information and library services
- demonstrating technology leadership that helps members advance.
The Board Recommended Strategic Choices to Address these Challenges:
- MLA will aggressively promote health sciences librarianship and other
health information careers to target audiences who have the greatest
chance of success in the profession, including members of related health
and information professions, high school and college students, and others.
MLA should actively support exploration of new health information professional
roles that support our vision.
- MLA's Center of Research and Education (CORE) will enable MLA to expand
its target education audiences to include students, practitioners, and
the public; expand its health information content and delivery methods
to meet the needs of expanded target audiences wherever they are; offer
certification and credentialing programs that recognize special expertise;
and support an expanded research knowledgebase in health information
and library science.
- MLA will expand its advocacy and promotion role to become the leading
voice of health information experts in our society. MLA will have a
"first response" strategy in cases of urgent national or international
- MLA will promote the ability of its members and others to serve the
health information needs of the general public.
- MLA will promote and support health information research and capture
other knowledge about health sciences libraries and librarians that
members can use. MLA will ensure permanent access to this knowledge.
- MLA will be a leading advocate for unfettered and permanent access
to quality health information in all formats.
- MLA will work with partner organizations to build a community of practice
supporting access to quality information to improve health worldwide.
- MLA will build upon core "virtual association" services
to provide technology leadership in accomplishing these strategic choices.
- MLA will actively collaborate with other health information professional
associations, looking for partnerships that build on shared values and
Visit the Web-based comment
transcript (text file, 14KB), or send your comments, questions, or
suggestions to Carla
Funk, firstname.lastname@example.org; fax, 312.419.8950.