MLA seeks to have an impact throughout the world in building international partnerships and supporting the information needs of underserved individuals. MLA's international strategy is built around 4 main approaches:
- Education: local in underserved countries, and online
- Networking: community of worldwide practitioners
- Standards: definition of roles, sets of standards for health information governance/management, advocacy
- Access: advocate the adoption of accessible country models for access to information
Current international programs are:
- The International Cooperation Section (ICS) is in its 27th year of enabling more MLA members to become involved in international activities, fostering international collaboration, promoting awareness of international issues, and providing a mechanism for addressing the needs of international members. ICS held a well-attended open forum at MLA ’15.
- The MLA ICS International Visiting Health Information Professionals Program (open to MLA members, members of organizations with which MLA has bilateral agreements, and hosting institutions): This International Cooperation Section program matches librarians with host libraries in another country. See more about the program and apply.
- The Librarians Without Borders® program was established in 2005 to provide training in the field of information retrieval and library information assistance to underserved countries. Since then, it has held 57 workshops in 33 countries as well as developing an online train the trainers course.
- The Cunningham Fellowship provides a librarian outside of North America funding for attendance at the MLA Annual Meeting and observation and supervised work in one or more medical libraries in the US and Canada.
- The T. Mark Hodges International Service Award (ISA) which honors individual achievement in promoting, enabling, and/or delivering improvements in the quality of health information internationally.
- The Ysabel Bertolucci MLA Annual Meeting Grant enables a librarian involved in nursing, allied health, consumer health, or international librarianship to attend MLA’s annual meeting.
- The Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship helps fund an international project by a US or Canadian health sciences librarian.
- The MLA HINARI/Research4Life (R4L) Grant: Supports training activities that promote the use of scientific research resources in emerging and low income countries.
- Discounted membership rates for individuals outside of the US and Canada
- Bilateral agreements with 10 health library associations around the world, many of which attend the MLA Annual Meeting and its International Reception. MLA leaders occasionally speak at the national meetings of our colleagues.
- Joint meetings with our Canadian colleagues, the Canadian Health Libraries Association (“Mosaic” in Toronto, May 13-18, 2016!). 121 Canadians are also members of MLA.