2012/13 President: Jane Blumenthal, AHIP
Presidential Priorities 2012/13: Positive Energy
We’re in an exciting time for librarians. The world around us is changing constantly. We are changing ourselves, our work, and our profession in real time every day. As a result, our profession is more interdisciplinary and more global than ever before.
This is an exciting time for MLA as well. The association has an ongoing opportunity to embrace change and move forward, remaining relevant and adding value to members’ professional lives.
Both of these are positive developments. Our knowledge and skills as librarians are valuable (and valued) but are used in different ways than they have been traditionally. MLA’s strengths in networking, publications, and continuing education remain valuable for its membership, but the association is also challenged to be more nimble, responsive, and up-to-date in its approach.
We can, and should, continue to do what we do well. My predecessors have started initiatives that are still relevant and still in process. The MLA Academy of Teaching Excellence (MATE) and the Emerging MLA Leaders Task Force (ELTF) are addressing specific concerns previously identified and endorsed as priorities by the board. The association’s global initiatives and attention to increasing diversity in the profession as well as in the association reflect our professional values. The virtual meetings and virtual community that open participation in MLA to members who cannot attend the annual meeting in person address a specific concern and frequent request from the membership.
The recent economic turmoil, changing demographics, evolving technology, and other environmental factors have challenged MLA to define its relevance, prove its worth, and build new relationships with and among its members. We can expect such challenges to continue. In five years, the association will not look the same as it does today. We have an opportunity to direct this change in a positive direction and to steer the organization in a way that will strengthen MLA at the same time it benefits its members.
Consequently, we should also do new things, take risks, and develop new tools. We should strengthen the organization as well as the membership by expanding the definition of what constitutes health sciences librarianship. At the same time, we should welcome practitioners from related fields into our membership, whether or not they fall into this expanded definition. As individuals, we cross disciplinary boundaries to work on interprofessional teams in education, research, and patient care. As an organization, we cross national borders to partner with colleagues around the world. We can also cross discipline boundaries to simultaneously expand the definition of medical librarianship and recognize that librarians and other health information professionals are indeed part of the same profession, regardless of names.
We have positive energy for ourselves as individual health professionals and for MLA as an organization. My priority for MLA is to harness that energy to thoughtfully reposition the association. The strategic issues I want us to engage include:
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2013 March 20