Our Communities

MLA’s communities work on association initiatives and provide support, knowledge-sharing, and communication for health information professionals.

Public Communities

Not yet a member of MLA but have specific needs for your library? The following communities are available to medical librarians and health information specialists around the world.


MLA’s backmed-exchange is a list devoted exclusively to the informal exchange of medical serial back issues and books among libraries. The list provides a forum for the listing of both available and desired serial issues and books in primarily medical subject areas. Backmed-exchange is an open, voluntary, unregulated, but self-governing email list. 

Need to remove duplicate or older print journal issues from your collection? Have print books you need to give away because of space contraints? Consider sharing them with the wider medical library community instead of tossing!

Note: BACKMED-EXCHANGE is not a list for interlibrary loans.

MEDLIB-L: A LISTSERV® for Medical Librarians

The MEDLIB-L email discussion list is sponsored by MLA and generously hosted by the University of Vermont. It is a public list (i.e., indexed by Google) and provides a forum for MLA members and other health sciences information professionals to discuss important professional issues.

Distance Education Email List

MLA’s Education and Media Technologies Section sponsors a public email discussion list specifically for anyone interested in distance education. This list is open to everyone, not just to MLA members. The purpose of the list is to strengthen and support librarians involved in distance education.

Members Only Communities


  • MLA committees offer leadership and professional development opportunities and perform a wide variety of functions within MLA. All MLA members are encouraged to apply for committees. 
  • Standing Committees have annual responsibilities for furthering MLA’s plans, goals, strategies, programs, and projects.
  • Juries recommend recipients of awards, grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
  • Editorial boards are appointed to serve as peer-review and evaluation boards for MLA publications.
  • Task forces are appointed for a specific study or activity
  • Answer the Call for Volunteers to participate.


MLA caucuses offer diverse opportunities for getting involved in the specific topics you are interested in. Caucuses may offer:

  • networking opportunities
  • newsletters
  • blogs
  • grants and scholarships
  • other programs and services

MLA members may join one or more of the 44 caucuses of the association. See the list of our caucuses and their descriptions.

Community Council

Community Council provides oversight and guidance in how MLA’s caucuses are created, organized, and governed.


Membership in MLA’s 12 chapters is open to all MLA members and to other interested health sciences librarians and information specialists. If you are not already a member, consider joining your local MLA chapter today! See links to chapter websites, geographic areas for each chapter, and information about chapter governance below.

MLA chapters allow you to get involved in the profession close to home, with:

  • regional meetings (chapter meetings calendar)
  • networking opportunities
  • continuing education courses
  • newsletters
  • blogs
  • grants and scholarships
  • other programs and services on a local level.

Keep up with the latest

Follow MLA on social media for quick updates on association and professional news. Use the official #medlibs hashtag to reach medical librarians.

Policies Governing Caucuses, Domain Hubs, and Community

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