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MLA Urges Administrators to Fund Hospital Libraries and Staff

“Hospital libraries and library staff are essential partners in providing excellent health care and achieving optimal patient outcomes,” begins MLA’s new advocacy statement. Titled “Partner with Hospital Libraries to Improve Patient Care,” the Hospital Library Caucus (HLC) collaborated with its members and the MLA Board to develop the statement. The board has recently provided its approval, and the official statement is publicly available on MLANET.

“Partner with Hospital Libraries to Improve Patient Care” was originally developed as a response to the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC) document on the importance of hospital libraries and librarians during the pandemic. HLC’s goal was to build on many of the important points made by CHLA and to focus on hospital administrators and other key health system budgetary decision-makers as the primary audiences. In researching and developing the content for the statement, Brian Baker, HLC chair-elect, and I sought input and assistance from health sciences librarians with experience in hospital libraries, management, and advocacy.

Several national organizations were initially approached and have quickly signed on. These include the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, the CHLA, and the Special Libraries Association. MLA President Kris Alpi, AHIP, FMLA, and HLC volunteers are currently reaching out to additional institutions to obtain further support. (All cosigning organizations will be added to MLANET.)

Obtaining more support is only part of an ongoing collaboration effort to generate awareness of the importance of hospital librarians. The HLC is also creating a toolkit for administrators who want to build a library in their health care system as well as a toolkit for hospital librarians aiming to help them keep their jobs and libraries open. Further updates will be provided as soon as those are ready.

What you can do

We encourage you to read the statement and reach out to those interested in using or supporting this critical document. We’ve created a template cover letter for you to use in contacting organizations you think may be interested in providing support.

Or, if you belong to an organization wishing to endorse your support for the statement, please complete this form asking them to join us as an essential partner in health care excellence.

Several HLC members have added a link to the statement page on their email signatures, which will also help raise awareness of these efforts.

Please share your advocacy outreach ideas with anyone on the HLC.

We are excited to see this work get underway and to share further developments on this important initiative. MLA values you and the work you do to support the profession.

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