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Advocacy

MLA 2021 Capitol Hill Meetings

In May 2021, as part of MLA ’21, MLA members are invited to conduct virtual meetings with their elected officials and their congressional staff as part of a group advocacy effort of health sciences librarians across the United States. This website provides  information, tools, and resources to support MLA members’ efforts to engage in successful meetings.

The Governmental Relations Committee will support members’ advocacy efforts by

  • offering a series of informational sessions via Zoom through December 2020–May 2021
  • providing links to MLA statements and other helpful resources addressing relevant issues
  • developing handouts that members can use in their  meetings
  • featuring tips for scheduling and planning the meetings

Why meet with your congressional representatives?

These meetings give you the opportunity to educate and communicate with your elected officials and their staff about issues of importance to the health sciences library community. For example, this is a chance for you to talk with your officials about the importance of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and how it helps your library, users, and local community.  

Here is what one MLA member had to say about their 2010 Capitol Hill Day experience:

“I think my visits were a success! I’d do this again in a minute. It was fun and exhilarating. Considering I’m a political junkie, this was a fun way to support the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NLM’s programs and services. I think I’ve found another committee calling in MLA! The briefings held beforehand were invaluable. I felt that with a few talking points and doing a little homework before the scheduled visits, I could talk with members of Congress about issues that matter to health sciences libraries. My hope was to help our constituents and colleagues with more funding from Congress. Thank you for the opportunity to educate Congress on behalf of the health sciences library community.”

Interested in getting involved? 

Sign up to learn more here.

MLA Priorities for May 2021 Meetings (In Progress)

National Library of Medicine Funding

Funding for NLM connects health practitioners and the public with the health literature. NLM coordinates a 6,000-member Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), including 7 Regional Medical Libraries that receive NLM support, 125 resource libraries connected to medical schools, and more than 5,000 libraries located primarily in hospitals and clinics.

Libraries benefit from NLM funding that supports the development and maintenance of the library's 200+ databases and online services that are freely available (e.g., MedlinePlus and Clinical Trials.gov). NLM grants and funding also support librarian education and training for career development; regional funding through NNLM for outreach initiatives; and research grants to improve the dissemination, management, and use of biomedical information. 

Relevant to NLM and NIH Funding MLA priorities for May 2021 meetings will urge support for

  • health information equity and relevant National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources, and
  • pandemic relief for hospitals and academic health centers

Capitol Hill Meetings will take place in May 10-21, 2021.

2020–2021 MLA/AAHSL Statements

See the Latest News section of MLA’s public policy page for additional statements addressing NLM, other federal initiatives, and other health information issues of relevance.

Virtual Orientations Schedule

Orientations take place on Zoom. Mary Langman will post login information a few weeks before each session.

  • December 10, 2020, noon–1:00 p.m., central time 
  • February 17, 2021, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., central time
  • March 16, 2021, 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m., central time (session for state coordinators)
  • April 2021 (Date to be determined)
  • May 2021 (Date to be determined)

Resources for Planning Your Meetings

Coming Soon

Please check this space frequently as informational resources will be updated with resources that include:

  • Talking Points for Member Hill Meetings
  • Updated Fact Sheets

Please contact any of these members of the Planning Committee with questions or feedback:

  • Maggie Ansell, AHIP, Cochair, Governmental Relations Committee
  • Andy Hickner, AHIP, Cochair, Governmental Relations Committee
  • Sandra Bandy, AHIP, Chair, MLA/AAHSL Legislation Committee
  • Chris Shaffer, AHIP, President, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
  • Mary Langman, Director, Information Issues and Policy, MLA