MLA seeks to have an impact throughout the world in building international partnerships and supporting the information needs of underserved individuals. MLA's international strategy is built around 4 main approaches:
- Education: local in underserved countries, and online
- Networking: community of worldwide practitioners
- Standards: definition of roles, sets of standards for health information governance/management, advocacy
- Access: advocate the adoption of accessible country models for access to information
Current international programs are:
- Discounted membership rates for health information practitioners outside of the US and Canada, with additional discounts for individuals from HINARI-eligible Group A or Group B countries.
- The International Cooperation Section (ICS) was established in 1989 and continues to enable MLA members to become involved in international activities, fostering international collaboration, promoting awareness of international issues, and providing a mechanism for addressing the needs of international members.
- The MLA ICS International Visiting Health Information Professionals Program (open to MLA members, members of organizations with which MLA has bilateral agreements, and hosting institutions): This International Cooperation Section program matches librarians with host libraries in another country. See more about the program and apply.
- The Librarians without Borders® program was established in 2005 to provide training in the field of information retrieval and library information assistance to underserved countries. With support from the Elsevier Foundation, LWB has held approximately 70 workshops in 36 countries and developed numerous training modules. The 2015 program expansion seeks to develop a community of librarians that will continue to support HINARI/R4L training and related development of instructional material. (See LWB/Elsevier Foundation/Research4Life grants below)
- Awards and Grants - MLA presents many awards to global health information professionals:
- The Ysabel Bertolucci MLA Annual Meeting Grant enables a librarian involved in nursing, allied health, consumer health, or international librarianship to attend MLA’s annual meeting. (open to MLA members)
- The Cunningham Fellowship provides a librarian outside of North America funding for attendance at the MLA Annual Meeting and observation and supervised work in one or more medical libraries in the US and Canada. (open to non-MLA members)
- The T. Mark Hodges International Service Award which honors individual achievement in promoting, enabling, and/or delivering improvements in the quality of health information internationally. (open to MLA members)
- The Avraham Reis ICS International Conference Travel Grant recognizes a health sciences librarian and ICS member who is involved in international librarianship. The recipient receives a grant for $500 to be used for travel and conference-related expenses for attending an international health sciences library conference, such as IFLA, AHILA, or EAHIL. (open to MLA-ICS members)
- The MLA Librarians without Borders®/ Elsevier Foundation/ Research4Life Grant: Supports training activities that promote the use of scientific research resources in emerging and low income countries. (open to non-MLA members)
- The Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship helps fund an international project by a US or Canadian health sciences librarian. (open to MLA members)
- Bilateral agreements with 10 health library associations around the world, many of which attend the MLA Annual Meeting and its International Reception. MLA leaders occasionally speak at the national meetings of our colleagues.
- Global Partnership for Joint Meetings:
- Mosaic 2016 in Toronto, Canada with the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA/ABSC) and International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC)
- One Health 2014 in Boston, USA with the International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML), the International Conference of
Animal Health Information Specialists (ICAHIS), and ICLC
- Demystifying the Dragon 2000 in Vancouver, Canada with CHLA/ABSC