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Volunteer for an MLA Committee

Be part of the decision-making process, meet other librarians, and have a seat at the table!

Volunteering for an MLA committee and/or juries is one of the best ways to serve MLA, earn points toward membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP), and meet people. 

I joined MLA in 2008, and it has been my professional home since then. I was eager and excited to be a part of an organization where I could share my time and talents for the greater good of health sciences librarianship. Participating and getting involved in MLA also provided a space for me to grow professionally and build more confidence in myself. I have made long lasting friendships, built strong working relationships, built leadership skills, and expanded my knowledge of health sciences librarians. I like to think of Dolores Huerta’s quote “When we work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve”. This is so important for MLA because nothing can be accomplished without participation and collaboration of people coming together for a common goal and purpose. Each of you is an asset to MLA and, therefore, we need your skills and participation to succeed.

As I reflect on my MLA involvement in the last 16 years, I value the opportunities I’ve had to:

  1. Engage in work that impacts the association and its members.
  2. Enhance my collaboration, leadership, and advocacy skills.
  3. Build long and lasting relationships with diverse colleagues and friends.
  4. Support and participate in recruitment and retention of BIPOC librarians in MLA and health sciences librarianship.

MLA has changed in so many ways since I joined in 2008. There has been a greater involvement in diversity and inclusion efforts, collaboration, and advocacy! Member involvement and member volunteers are what have allowed that change to happen. There is still a lot to do, and we need your help to accomplish what we have started. In the last 125 years, so many things have changed in the right direction, and we need your vision and your ideas to move forward and keep making those positive changes and impacts to our health sciences librarianship profession.

I highly recommend you go to the MLA Committees, Awards and Honors, and Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships pages on MLANET to learn about the options that you have to volunteer. If you are not sure where to start, I would recommend starting with volunteering to be part of a Jury, since the appointment is just for one year. Most committees do not require travel. In many cases, working on a committee allows you to form valuable relationships with other colleagues. The application form will be available on MLANET from March 21 through April 8.

After the application period closes, current chairs and chair-designates will work with their MLA board and staff liaisons to review applications and recommend committee assignments based on applicants’ interests, competencies, and experience. As president-elect, I will review their recommendations and determine final appointments. Appointment invitations will be distributed this spring with committee terms beginning with the new association year on June 1st, 2024.

If you have served before, I highly recommend that you mentor someone to encourage them to volunteer! To those who have served in the past and are currently serving, THANK YOU for sharing your time, voice, and expertise with the MLA Community. To the new members, WELCOME and I hope you consider volunteering. I look forward to serving with you this new year! I can’t wait to work together and collaborate with you, to make MLA the best association possible.  

If you have any questions regarding the process or changes in the process, please reach out to me, Brenda Linares at

The volunteer application is open from March 21, 2024, to April 8, 2024.

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