The Medical Library Association (MLA) has provided feedback to help IMLS envision its future through its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. MLA supports the IMLS vision to impact a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. Highlights of the association's comments addressed the need for:
- Funding opportunities for libraries and librarians to support health literacy programs, especially among underserved populations
- Supporting BIPOC outreach programs that provide mentoring and peer support networks to help build librarian skills and confidence
- Supporting programs that would provide additional training and build librarian skills in the areas of expert searching, including complex reviews such as systematic reviews, and research and evidence-based practice
- Supporting new partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships between public libraries, academic medical libraries, hospital libraries, consumer health libraries, and the Medical Library Association to provide training and recognition for public librarians that would build their skills and confidence to provide timely, relevant, and accurate consumer health information for their users
- Supporting the training and development of research and evidence-based practice skills in formal library school programs and encouraging library schools to share and adopt research instruction best practices
- Investing in the development of methods, tools and technology that enable health librarians of all backgrounds and abilities to discover, use, and apply published HLIS/LIS-related research studies/resources to better serve their user communities
The Board of Directors thanks Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, Project Director, MLA Research Training Institute for developing these comments. In 2020, MLA received funding for a second IMLS grant to continue the development of the RTI. More information about the RTI can be found here.
The full set of comments can be read here.