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Motion presented by The Ad Hoc Committee on Championing Librarians: Claire Hamasu, Betsy Mueth, Cam Gentry

Date: December 19, 2012

Motion: The The Ad Hoc Committee on Championing Librarians move that MCMLA:

  1. Within one year begin work with state hospital accrediting bodies to adopt standards requiring direct access to a librarian.
  2. Encourage and support publication by the membership in (non-library oriented) health professional publications, newsletters, journals, letters to the editor.
  3. Request that the MLA Board charge the MLA Hospital Library Section to aggressively support the survival of their membership with a plan proposed to their membership within a year.
  4. Request that MLA actively recruit members to contribute to their “Change in Status of a US Medical Library” website and to regularly publish the results of member input to the site;
  5. Request that MLA begin work within one year with national accrediting bodies to adopt standards requiring a librarian.
  6. Request that MLA sponsor research that illustrates the hospital librarian’s contribution to the institution in meeting the requirements of meaningful use and of health care reform, and that the results of this research be submitted to non-library oriented health professional publications.

Statement of Problem or Need
Hospital libraries across the country are experiencing closing, downsizing, reduced budgets & staff. It is the opinion of this committee that MCMLA, should be more proactive rather than reactive in these instances. Decisions are made at a higher level by administrators or board members of health care institutions who are not fully aware of the implications of their actions.  We believe that preemptive action is the key and that the library community must join forces to be sure that our worth is presented to the decision makers before the decisions are made.

Librarians have a responsibility to demonstrate the value of their services to their institution. Accrediting bodies have an impact on how institutions regard librarians and their services. As individuals, librarians can not affect change in criteria established by these bodies. It becomes the responsibility of medical library organizations to work with organizations that have an impact on the value placed on librarians within hospitals, academic institutions, and other health organizations. Librarians and their professional organizations need to make sure that a qualified professional is in charge of making evidence based information available to assure effective patient care, research and education.

Past MCMLA Action or Policy
Past MCMLA/MLA policy has been to write a letter signed by the President of the organization that details the value of libraries to their parent organization. These letters are sent to the administration AFTER the decision has been made and rarely have any impact.

You will find each part of this motion listed below in a separate forum. Please share your thoughts and feedback.

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