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Guidelines for MLA & Member Engagement in Societal Issues

Submitted by Magaret Ansell, AHIP, Cochair, and Irene Machowa Lubker, AHIP, Cochair, MLA Societal Issues Task Force


The Board of Directors announces the release of guidelines that will facilitate advocacy initiatives undertaken by the Association and its member units (caucuses, chapters, and committees).

MLA Engagement with Societal Issues Guidelines

  • Defines the definition and scope of association engagement;
  • Process for association engagement; and
  • Makes recommendations for engagement in societal issues.

The MLA Board of Directors established the Societal Issues Task Force in 2022 to create and recommend guidelines, objectives, and processes to address MLA’s engagement in social justice and human rights issues, and charged the task force to:

  • Clarify how MLA selects issues it will address, taking into account the MLA mission in health sciences, the MLA audience of health sciences information professionals, the diversity of opinions of MLA members, MLA’s limited resources in volunteer and staff time and in budget, and MLA’s 501c(3) nonprofit status;
  • Further clarify the role of MLA caucuses who currently are encouraged to issue their own statements as part of MLA, the role of the DEI committee, and MLA as the overall organization;
  • Prioritize action-taking and practical impact over issuing or co-signing statements;
  • Define strategies for engaging MLA communities in the process, including subject matter experts, and for partnering with other organizations;
  • Set expectations for response time and scope.

The Board of Directors thanks the following members of the Task Force:

  • Irena Lubker, AHIP, Cochair
  • Maggie Ansell, AHIP, Cochair
  • Barbara Epstein, AHIP, FMLA
  • Margaret Henderson, AHIP
  • Andy Hickner
  • Melissa De Santis, AHIP
  • Deidre Rios, AHIP
  • Amy Blevins, Board Liaison
  • Mary M. Langman, Staff Liaison

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