You are here

Vision, Values, and Mission


The Medical Library Association (MLA) believes that quality information is essential for improved health. MLA aspires to be the association of the most visible, valued, and trusted health information experts. To that end, MLA fosters excellence in the professional practice and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals in order to enhance the quality of health care, education and research throughout the world.

Core Values

On behalf of the profession, MLA will:

  • enhance and expand the knowledge and skills of health information professionals
  • advocate new directions and roles for the profession that respond to changing health needs in society
  • advance health information research and evidence-based practice
  • uphold and promote the Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarians

On behalf of society, MLA will:

  • advance the role of health information professionals in providing the best health information to all who work in health care, health education, and research
  • develop and promote the use of scientific evidence in making health care decisions
  • improve the public’s awareness of, access to, and use of quality health information
  • promote a sense of community and collaboration with organizations that have similar missions and values to ensure that the best health information is available to everyone
  • support production of high-quality health information

Goals and Objectives

1. Recruitment, Membership, and Leadership in the Profession

MLA will recruit and retain talented individuals from diverse backgrounds to become health information professionals, serve them through the association, and foster their leadership roles in the association and the profession. The association will:

a. aggressively promote health sciences librarianship to individuals from diverse backgrounds, including members of related health and information professions, high school and college students, and others;
b. promote exploration of new health information professional roles, knowledge, and skills to better serve society;
c. promote mentorship and leadership opportunities to support the development and flourishing of 21st-century health information professionals.

2. Lifelong Learning

MLA will be the leading education provider and facilitator for lifelong learning opportunities in health information and information management. The association will:

a. expand the content/topics of education programs to meet the evolving needs of health sciences librarians and other providers of health information;
b. expand the market for its education programs to include other librarians, library and information sciences students, and health professionals to promote access to and use of quality health information;
c. extend access to education programs through distance learning to meet the needs of health sciences librarians and other providers of health information wherever they are;
d. offer credentialing programs that recognize special expertise to promote the value of lifelong learning;
e. seek partnerships with other organizations and institutions, such as graduate schools of library and information science and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, to encourage the provision of education opportunities for health information professionals.

3. Advocacy

MLA will demonstrate to the health care, education, and research communities and to the public the value of quality health information to society and the role that health information professionals play in producing and managing that information. The asociation will:

a. be a leading advocate for professional concerns of health information experts in our society;
b. aggressively promote and communicate the value of health sciences librarians and information professionals to society, especially to those in the health care setting;
c. help its members advocate on their own behalf their value to their institutions;
d. help improve the process of scholarly communication;
e. serve as a leading advocate for unrestricted, affordable, and permanent access to quality health information for everyone.

4. Knowledge Creation and Communication

MLA will develop and manage a knowledgebase of health information research. That knowledgebase will enhance and improve professional practice, promulgate advances in biomedical research, demonstrate the value of health information for improved health, and support lifelong learning. The association will:

a. promote the creation of knowledge through health information research and the practice of evidence-based librarianship;
b. support the collection and use of data for assessment and quality improvement for health sciences libraries and information services and for promoting the value of health information expertise;
c. use, and support members’ use of, advanced information technologies to manage and disseminate health information;
d. promote the dissemination and application of scientific knowledge in the health care and research communities as well as in society.

5. Partnerships

MLA will actively build networks to serve people working in health care and provide health information to the public through a global collaboration of members and partners who share expertise and resources. The association will:

a. work to develop local, regional, national, and international partnerships that support access to quality information for improved health for all;
b. seek international partnerships through Librarians without Borders® with others who share MLA's values and goals regarding access to information;
c. support the information needs of individuals such as consumer health information specialists and others engaged in providing health information services to the public, including outreach to underserved communities.

For further information, contact Kevin Baliozian.