Public Policy Center

MLA supports unrestricted, affordable, and permanent access to quality health information for everyone. Our national efforts focus on federal legislation and regulations impacting libraries.

MLA collaborates with the Association of Academic Health Science Libraries (AAHSL) to address federal information issues, policies, and legislation of importance to the health sciences library community. Together with engagement of members from MLA’s caucuses, chapters, and relevant committees, the association develops statement and comments to Federal requests for information. The actions are led by the Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislation Committee.

MLA Censorship and Library Practices Toolkit

A core value of librarianship is to provide accessible and trustworthy health information. However, institutional policies and regional and national laws often place limits on what information can be shared with library users. Navigating this conflict between our professional values and external rules can be a complex and difficult endeavor.

The MLA Censorship and Library Practices Toolkit provides resources that can assist health sciences librarians in establishing policies, procedures, and information resources that can help to minimize these potential conflicts and provide a solid basis for dealing with them when they arise.

National Library of Medicine Funding

Funding for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) connects health practitioners and the public with the health literature. NLM coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), including eight 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 which supports the development and maintenance of the Library’s 200+ databases and online services that are freely available through libraries (e.g., MedlinePlus and Clinical NLM grants and funding also support librarian education and training for career development; regional funding through the NN/LM for outreach initiatives; and research grants to improve the dissemination, management, and use of biomedical information.

Fiscal Year 2024

  • MLA/AAHSL statement to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee supporting NLM’s fiscal year 2024 funding (May 2023)
  • MLA/AAHSL briefing packet of NLM resources distributed during April 2023 virtual Capitol Hill Meetings
  • Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research FY24 Funding Recommendation (MLA endorsed this March 2023)