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Am I Eligible for AHIP?

Admission to the academy is based on three areas of achievement: academic preparation, professional work experience, and individual professional accomplishments, including participation in professional organizations. Applicants may apply for membership in the academy at any of the five membership levels. The level at which you should apply depends upon your level of achievement in these three areas. 

There are two ways to determine the level at which you should apply: review a summary of the requirements for all levels or follow the steps below.

Step 1: Academic Preparation

All five levels of membership require a master's degree.

  • Do you have a master's degree in library and information science from an ALA-accredited program? If so, continue to step 2.

    OR

  • Do you have another master's degree? If so, you are required to document coursework in all seven professional competencies. The level at which you will apply depends upon your achievement in these areas. Continue to a description of the professional competencies

 

Step 2: Relevant Experience in Information Science

The experience required for each academy membership level is shown below. Usually, only professional experience following receipt of the master's degree is considered for academy membership. Calculate the full-time equivalent for part-time employment using the method described in the glossary (see employment, length of).

Years of Experience
Academy Level
If you are currently employed in the information field, and have less than five years experience... OR are seeking employment in the field, and currently have less than five years experience in the field... 
...consider applying at the Provisional Member level.
If you have worked in the information field for five years or more...
...consider applying at the Member or Senior Member level. 
 

If you have worked in the information field for ten years or more... 

...consider applying at the Distinguished Member level.
 

If you have been a member of the academy at any level (except provisional) at the time of retirement and have been credentialed by MLA for at least ten consecutive years at the time of retirement...

...consider applying at the Emeritus Member level.

If you will be applying as a provisional member, continue to the application process. If not, continue to step 3. 

Special Circumstances: MLA has found that because of the economic recession, some medical librarians are no longer full-time medical librarians, have left the field, or have become different types of librarians. We know that those who want to move into, remain in, or come back to the health sciences librarian field want AHIP membership. To help members succeed with AHIP, the MLA Board of Directors has approved the following changes to the job requirements for AHIP starting May 1, 2012.

The changes to the program requirements allow librarians who are not currently practicing in the health sciences librarianship field to join AHIP and renew AHIP membership by following these guidelines:

  • New applicants without five years of experience in an information professional position will still apply for AHIP membership at the provisional level. Please note: Upon renewal one year later, the provisional member is required to show evidence of employment in the field via an employer letter.
  • Applicants who already have AHIP membership but lose their position in the health sciences will be able to renew at their current level of membership or apply for a higher level as long as they meet all other AHIP requirements.
  • New applicants who have five years of professional experience who have recently lost their jobs or had their hours reduced are still eligible to join AHIP at any level (Member, Senior, or Distinguished) as long as they meet all other AHIP requirements.
  • Other special employment circumstances will be reviewed by the Credentialing Committee on an individual basis.

AHIP requirements that must be met by all applicants:

  • Must meet the current AHIP requirements for sponsored instruction and individual professional accomplishments,
  • Must meet the current AHIP educational requirements,
  • Must have all current requirements for their AHIP level (i.e., fifty points for member, eighty points for senior with at least five points from professional organization activities, and 120 points for distinguished with at least ten points from professional organization activities), and
  • Points will still need to be health sciences library or health information–related, not just library activities or courses, with the rationale that applicants will be improving their health sciences medical librarianship knowledgebase and skills in the profession. 

Step 3: Professional Accomplishments

Applicants must document a minimum number of points of professional accomplishment achieved during the previous five (5) years. These accomplishments must be in areas contributing to the effectiveness of the health information profession and include continuing education, teaching, publishing, research, and association participation. Acceptable continuing education and individual accomplishments are listed in the point index

The distribution of points is different for each level of academy membership. Use form LEDGER and the point index to determine the number of points you have earned in the past five years.  

Step 4: Tallying Professional Accomplishment Points

Use the form LEDGER and point index to determine the number of points you have earned in the past five years.

Academy Level
Points Needed
Provisional Member  Applicants are not required to show professional accomplishments completed prior to membership in the academy. If you will be applying at the provisional member level, continue to the application process.
Member 50 points of professional accomplishment within the past five years.
Senior 80 points of professional accomplishment within the past five years. No more than 50 of these points may be sponsored instruction (continuing education activities). At least 5 points must be professional association activities. 
Distinguished
120 points of professional accomplishment within the past five years. No more than 50 of these points may be sponsored instruction (continuing education activities). At least 10 points must be professional association activities; at least 5 of the 10 must be MLA activities
Emeritus
No points required. Must be A member of AHIP at any level (except provisional) at the time of retirement and have been credentialed by MLA for at least ten consecutive years at the time of retirement.

Now that you know the academy membership level for which you qualify . . . continue to the application process!