MLA President 20012002
Carol G. Jenkins, AHIP
The following was developed in response to a question posed by MLA's Nominating Committee to presidential candidates for the 2000/01 election.
Challenges Facing MLA
Our greatest challenge is to continue to assert and demonstrate the value of health sciences libraries and librarians in response to the constant, dramatic changes in our environment. This is easier said than done. To be successful, we must show leadership as individuals and as an association. For me, the critical aspects of this leadership are having a sense of purpose that is in tune with our changing environment, knowing how best to achieve it, and inspiring others to support it.
MLA is a leading advocate for the role and value of its members with health care organizations, government, and other agencies. This is one of MLA’s most important roles. As president, I would support strategies to sustain and strengthen MLA’s advocacy role through public relations, legislative and public policy advocacy, research support, education, and electronic publishing and communication. I also support the new benchmarking project. MLA needs to make better use of data about members and member libraries to pinpoint trends, document needs, and promote our value.
MLA also needs to help members be more effective leaders. This begins with recruiting the best and brightest individuals into our profession, assuring that they enter practice with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed, and offering lifelong learning opportunities to keep knowledge current. One of MLA’s greatest strengths has been its support for professional development. I believe we could channel that strength to even greater advantage by forming stronger alliances with professional schools, members, NLM, and other agencies to meet the challenges of recruitment and training. One approach I like is for MLA to create a Center of Excellence in Health Information Education.
As health information professionals, we have a record of exceptional service. We are well positioned to build upon that record in the next century, to be health information leaders.