About MLA

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a global, nonprofit educational organization, with a membership of more than 2,500 institutions and professionals in the health information field.

Who We Are, What We Do

Medical librarians and other health information professionals support healthcare institutions globally with expertise in delivering high quality and relevant health information to many stakeholders:

  • patients seeking more information about a cancer diagnosis
  • researchers seeking help conducting a systematic review for publication
  • nurses seeking information on advanced therapies
  • medical students learning about specific health conditions
  • clinicians that have an emergency request during surgery

MLA supports members by

  • providing access to the latest tools, innovative skills, and continuing education in health information management, research, and evidence-based practice
  • providing easy connections with colleagues across different types of healthcare institutions, health specialties, and expertise
  • providing funding for scholarships, grants, fellowships, and other training initiatives
  • facilitating opportunities for leadership, publishing, presenting and teaching
  • working for an open, diverse, inclusive, and collaborative environment within MLA and the profession


Membership–with a range of options and prices–is available to both individuals and institutions.

Individual Membership ($25-$245)

  • Connect: Gain ideas, insights, experiences, and expertise in MLA online communities
  • Learn: Assess your skills and build knowledge throughout your career with a peer-reviewed credentialing program, specialization certificates, and focused education options
  • Lead: elevate your leadership skills as an association volunteer, editor, author, or presenter
  • Discover: Find the latest tips, tricks, and evidence to advocate for your role and expertise
  • Fund: Apply for grants, scholarships, fellowships, and training initiatives; MLA provides more than $50,000 annually

Institutional Membership ($368-$1,470)

Institutional dues are based on the number of library/information center FTEs that directly serve medical and health sciences patrons, exclusive of student, temporary, or grant-funded positions.

  • Support: Advocacy for your library and staff members in the healthcare environment
  • Save: Lower your education costs with site licenses or group purchases for online education and annual conference registrations
  • Hire: Target your discounted job ads to professionals in the field
  • Free individual membership for your official institutional representative


“I Am MLA” showcases our talented, engaged, and diverse members and promotes the value of diversity and inclusion in MLA and the profession. Discover how our members contribute to our success.


MLA provides research about and for the profession through the open-access peer-reviewed Journal of the Medical Library Association; provides the latest news and communication about the profession and the association through MLAConnect; and supports authors publishing books in the association’s book series through Rowman & Littlefield.

International Programs & Partners

MLA seeks to have an impact globally by building international partnerships and supporting the information needs of underserved individuals. MLA’s international strategy is built around 4 main approaches: Education, Networking, Standards, and Access.

International Programs

  • Discounted membership rates for health information practitioners from HINARI-eligible Group A or Group B countries.
  • The International Cooperation Caucus was established in 1989 and continues to enable 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.
  • Awards and Grants – MLA presents many awards to global health information professionals:
    • The Ysabel Bertolucci MLA Annual Conference Grant enables a librarian involved in nursing, allied health, consumer health, or international librarianship to attend MLA’s annual meeting. (open to MLA members)
    • 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. (open to non-MLA members)
    • The T. Mark Hodges International Service Award which honors individual achievement in promoting, enabling, and/or delivering improvements in the quality of health information internationally. (open to MLA members)
    • The Avraham Reis ICS International Conference Travel Grant recognizes a health sciences librarian and ICS member who is involved in international librarianship. The recipient receives a grant for $500 to be used for travel and conference-related expenses for attending an international health sciences library conference, such as IFLA, AHILA, or EAHIL. (open to MLA-ICC members)
    • The Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship helps fund an international project by a US or Canadian health sciences librarian. (open to MLA members)

International Partners

  • MLA maintains bilateral agreements with 10 health library associations around the world, members of which attend the MLA annual conference and its International Reception. MLA leaders occasionally speak at the national meetings of our colleagues. [ALL IN LIST BELOW ARE OFFSITE LINKS]
    • The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) aims to improve the provision of up-to-date and relevant information to health and medical workers in Africa; encourage the professional development of librarianship; promote the development of resource-sharing and exchange of experiences and information among African health information professionals; and promote the development, standardization, and exchange of national databases of medical and health literature produced in the African countries in the form of an African Index Medicus.
    • The mission of the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC) is to improve health and health care by promoting excellence in access to information.
    • CILIP Health Libraries Group (HLG) is a UK-based network of individuals working in or professionally interested in health and social care information. Our strength is our diverse and active membership covering all health and social sectors, and geographical areas in the UK. Members work for the health service, the academic sector, the independent sector, government departments, professional associations, charities and public libraries. Students with an interest in health and social care information are also welcome.
    • The European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) is an active professional association uniting and motivating librarians and information officers working in medical and health science libraries in Europe. EAHIL encourages professional development, improves cooperation and enables exchanges of experience amongst its members. The association counts about 1000 members from about 30 European countries.
    • The Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Medizinisches Bibliothekswesen (AGMB) [German Working Group for Medical Librarianship] Promotes medical libraries and information technology, supports
      cooperation between medical libraries at national and international levels, initiates community projects, and organizes training conferences with specialist exhibitions.
    • Health Libraries Australia (HLA) of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) is the Australian national professional organization representing librarians and information professionals working in all health sectors including: hospitals and other clinical facilities, research institutes, regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government departments, regional health services, professional colleges, universities, cooperative research centers, not-for-profit and community organizations, and parts of public library services.
    • The Japan Medical Library Association (JMLA) was established as the National Medical College Library Association in 1927, an organization of institutional members. It was reformed as the JMLA in 2003 and began accepting individual members. The mission of JMLA is to contribute to the progress of health, medicine, and related areas by promoting health sciences library activities and encouraging research and development of medical and health information so that patrons can access and build advanced medical knowledge.
    • The Korean Medical Librarians Association (KMLA) was established by 5 medical college libraries in 1968. KMLA comprises 183 libraries in Korea.
    • Originally founded in 1954, the Mexican Association of Librarians, Asociación Mexicana de Bibliotecarios, A.C. (AMBAC) is the oldest and largest library association in Mexico. Its main objectives are the professional development of its members and the promotion and development of libraries, library service, and librarianship in Mexico. The AMBAC carries out, among other activities, refresher courses and workshops, regular meetings, associate assemblies and the Mexican Biblionomy Days, which are spaces for the exhibition, discussion and analysis of issues related to libraries and information sciences.
    • The Taiwan Medical Library Association (TMLA) was founded in 1978. The mission of TMLA is to promote cooperation and exchanges among medical libraries. In recent years, TMLA is more committed in facilitating medical librarianship, and actively participating in exchanges and cooperation among international medical libraries.

Allied Organizations

MLA maintains strong ties with allied associations, agencies, networks, and organizations that share our concerns. MLA also maintains official representatives to specific allied organizations that have similar interests in an effort to influence decisions affecting the field of health sciences librarianship and biomedical information management.

Organizations with MLA Executive Committee Liaison

North American Organizations with MLA Representation


Your donations to MLA’s grants, scholarship, and fellowship awards allow us to increase the number of awards for members to attend the annual conference, participate in continuing education and professional development, and to develop other important projects. Increasing the awards and grants endowments means increasing the level of support MLA can provide to its members every year.

Contact MLA

We’re happy to connect with you about any of our programs! Use the form below and we’ll direct your question or message to the correct staff member.

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