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Public Policy

MLA supports unrestricted, affordable, and permanent access to quality health information for everyone. 

The Governmental Relations Committee and the Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force both address federal information issues, policies, and legislation of importance to the health sciences library community.

Latest News

  • MLA/AAHSL statement supporting NLM's fiscal year 2016 funding and recognizing the medical library community’s role in supporting NLM’s programs and services
  • MLA Comments on NLM’s Future: MLA has submitted comments and recommendations that recognize the critical support NLM provides to the health sciences library community and others. NLM’s programs and services advance health and improve public health; enable researchers to speed scientific discovery and develop new therapies; assist health practitioners to improve medical care; and give the public access to resources and tools that promote wellness  and disease prevention. The comments respond to the Request for Information (RFI): Soliciting Input into the Deliberations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on the National Library of Medicine.
  • MLA, the Cancer Libraries Section, and AAHSL have developed comments in support of the NIH Proposed Rulemaking for Clinical Trials Registration and Results under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act
  • MLA, the Cancer Libraries Section, and AAHSL have developed comments in support of the draft NIH Policy on Dissemination of NIH-funded Clinical Trials Information (February 2015)
  • MLA and other groups have developed comments and recommendations on the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education's proposed standards 2016 addressing the key role that librarians play in meeting the information needs of institutions and students. 
  • MLA has signed a joint letter in support of the USA Freedom Act, S. 265, which takes steps to reform the government's surveillance authorities 
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Proceedings in the matter of "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" would impede the ability of health sciences libraries to provide access to government information, including NLM resources. Read why in the joint library comments submitted to the FCC on July 8.

Funding for NLM and NIH

The latest news on federal funding for health sciences library programs and services, which helps ensure that information is available to health professionals, educators, students, and the public. 

Intellectual Property and Copyright

Health sciences librarians support the purpose of the copyright law in balancing the rights of copyright holders with the rights of users.  Find out more about MLA's activities in this area. 

Information Access

Find out why public access to federally supported research and development data and publications is essential to furthering scientific discovery, health care delivery, patient education, and more.

Learn about the differences between open access and public access.


Healthcare Reform

Find out how the Affordable Care Act may affect health sciences libraries