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Key AHIP Terms

ALA-Accredited master's degree

Master's degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association at the time of graduation.

Professional association activities requirement

At the Senior and Distinguished member level, there are point requirements for professional association activities. Relevant associations include those in library and information science, medical informatics, and the health sciences.

Curriculum vita (CV)

"A comprehensive (generally three to ten pages) biographical statement emphasizing professional qualifications and activities" (Carl McDaniels, Developing a professional vita or resume, 1990); contrast with resume.

Documented coursework

Individuals holding non-ALA accredited masters degrees are required to document coursework in all areas of Professional Competencies. The following types of activities qualify: academic courses taken for credit and continuing education courses.

Employment, length of

Full time employment is considered 24 hours or more per week (Credentialing Committee, May 1999).

Candidates with part-time professional experience must accumulate the required full-time equivalent years of work experience. For example, ten-years' experience in a half-time position is equivalent to five years' experience in a full-time position.

Foreign postbaccalaureate degree

A master's degree from an institution outside of the U.S. or Canada. These degrees will be checked with the ALA Standing Committee on Library Education for ALA-accredited equivalency. If the degree is judged to not be equivalent, the condidate must document coursework in the areas of professional competencies.

MLA activities that count toward the Distinguished Level requirement 

To qualify for the Distinguished Member level, an applicant must document at least five (5) points of MLA activities. The following activities qualify toward these points: 

  • Serving as an officer, a committee chair or committee member of MLA, an MLA chapter, or an MLA section.
  • Serving as a mentor for a Provisional Member in the academy.
  • Developing an MLA continuing education course.
  • Serving as a site coordinator for an MLA teleconference.
  • Conducting oral history interviews for MLA archival purposes.

In addition to the national association, MLA sections and chapters provide opportunites for participation.

Professional accomplishment

An activity which contributed to the health information field or contributes to the professional development of the individual, including continuing education, teaching, publishing, association activities, consulting, etc.

Professional Competencies

An applicant who has a master's degree that is not ALA-accredited is required to document coursework in all Professional Competencies as defined in MLA's Educational Policy Statement, Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success


"An individualized summary (usually one to two pages) of personal, educational and experience qualifications intended to demonstrate fitness for a particular position" (Carl McDaniels, Developing a professional vita or resume, 1990); contrast with curriculum vita.

Sponsored instruction

Instructional opportunities that are sponsored by an organization, such as MLA or NLM. Academic coursework, journal clubs, and self-directed learning is not considered sponsored instruction.