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Librarians without Borders®/MLA Training Initiative Expands with Elsevier Foundation Support

By Gurpreet K. Rana, Chair, and Lenny Rhine, FMLA, E-Library Training Coordinator, Librarians without Borders® Committee

Knowledge is power, as they say. And information delivery systems are making worldwide borders more porous. However, is that true for everyone? Is information being delivered equally to all? The answer of course, is no, it is not. 

MLA Librarians without Borders® was founded in 2005 to create opportunities for health information professionals around the world to work together to improve health outcomes through the power of information. Since then, Lenny Rhine, FMLA, master trainer, has conducted more than sixty workshops in thirty-five countries through the Librarians without Borders E-Library Training Initiative. 

We are proud to announce that the Elsevier Foundation will continue to support the E-Library Training Initiative for another 3 years with $45,000 annually. Thanks to this generous funding, we will be able to expand the scope of the program by recruiting a new cadre of trainers.

Next year, MLA will award three to five grants to individuals and/or organizations to conduct HINARI/Research4Life training activities. These activities might range from workshops to developing training material, including distance learning formats and videos. Application details will be released soon, pending approval of the final application materials by the MLA Board.

Librarians without Borders strives to make a difference in health information equity. We are considering the significant questions of how MLA can work with fellow health information professionals, health care workers, and researchers around the world to build a better bridge across information gaps—one built upon human connections.

One way those human connections are forged is through training. Training is a key component for effective use of resources in emerging and low-income countries. By getting involved as a trainer, you can help empower others and facilitate publishing from emerging and low-income countries, as well as learn from your colleagues around the world in a mutual sharing of ideas, training, and expertise. 

Take it from Lenny himself how rewarding this work can be: “When we are doing exercises for the HINARI/PubMed module, I encourage each participant to search for material in ‘an area of interest to you.’ Often the person finds a key article on a topic she or he has interested in for several years. Instead of completing the subsequent exercises, the participant reads the article. I just smile to myself because I know this person will be a regular user of HINARI.”

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