Resource Highlights

Information for Deans, University Librarians, and Other Administrators

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has produced several significant publications of potential interest to higher level administrators:

Recruiting and Selecting Academic Health Sciences Library Directors: a Guide

The Recruiting Guide is particularly aimed at Deans of medical schools, university librarians and other administrators responsible for the recruitment and selection of the academic health sciences library director. Recruitment will likely be a significant administrative issue in the years ahead. Changing demographics in the library and information professions suggest a major turnover of the current director population. This guide is designed to assist chief administrators in defining the process that recruits your next library director.

The Annual Statistics of Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada

The Annual Statistics provides data gathered from three major surveys: a general survey on library operations including information about collections, services and expenditures; a salary survey of librarians and information professionals working in academic health sciences libraries; and a descriptive survey that produces data on the number of users and educational programs served, space information and related information that is only collected every five years due to the lack of major change. The Annual Stats have been collected for over 25 years, so trend data is readily available. Each member library has online access to the data and also receives a paper copy of the annual survey results. Deans and administrators should contact their library director for specific data. The publication is available for purchase by non-members at $500 per print copy; online access is not available for purchase by non-members. Contact association headquarters for more information.

Building On Success

Building on Success is the association's vision for change and development of the academic health sciences library profession. This document outlines the challenges facing academic health sciences libraries and identifies successful responses to those challenges. It also identifies opportunities for collaboration and sharing with units of the academic medical center, the university, and other related professional groups.

Information for Researchers

In response to the need for skilled guidance in identifying scholarly information, the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has developed a guide to responsible literature searching aimed particularly at researchers.

Responsible Literature Searching

The Responsible Literature Searching for Research module is an instructional tool to teach researchers the fundamentals of responsible literature searching for research practice.

This module was developed by the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) with support from a contract granted through a cooperative agreement between the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HSLS' application was sponsored by the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. Primary content developer is Charles Wessel, MLS, HSLS Reference Librarian.

Information for Health Sciences Librarians and Information Professionals

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has made a concerted effort to develop the next generation of academic health sciences library directors. Its leadership program provides a continuum of opportunities for career growth and development. This program consists of a CE course, scholarships for leadership development and a fellowship sponsored by the NLM and AAHSL.

Medical Library Association CE Course, Library Director: Knowledge, Skills and Career Paths

Do You Want to be a Library Director? Knowledge, Skill and Career Paths is a full day, face-to-face course designed to inform MLA members exploring becoming academic health sciences library directors. As leaders of the profession retire, MLA and AAHSL are noting the effects of a changing member demographics, and leadership and director opportunities. The course will prepare MLA members to consider the leadership challenges in academic health sciences libraries and to assess their own career goals and readiness. It is the first in a continuum of leadership programs sponsored by AAHSL The course addresses four topics:

1. Leadership potential

2. What do library directors do?

3. What is the environment in an academic health center like?

4. Self-assessment and awareness.

In addition to the face-to-face component, a web page primer is available to serve as an online text for the course.

Leadership Scholarships

AAHSL provides funding for a number of scholarships to assist librarians interested in developing their leadership skills.vRead reports of past scholarship awardees to get an idea of the opportunities available to librarians and information professionals.

The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellowship

The fellowship is a year-long program designed to prepare individuals for application as an academic health sciences library director. A number of meetings, online sessions and related activities form a curriculum that culminates in a two-week, hands-on visit at the library of the fellow's mentor. Fellows and mentors form a bond that aids the fellow’s career development long after the fellowship is over.

Information for the General Public

The Association of Academic Health Science Libraries (AAHSL) does not collect or publish health information directed to the general public. Rather, many AAHSL member libraries serve their local communities through the provision of consumer-oriented information services or do so in conjunction with their affiliated hospitals, patient education centers or hospital libraries. To see if a local collection is near you, check the AAHSL membership directory.

An excellent source for online health information directed to the general public is MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. It provides health information selected from numerous government agencies and other health-related organizations.

Another excellent resource that will help the general public understand the language of medicine and health care can be found at MLANET, the website of the Medical Library Association. This resource is called Deciphering Medspeak. Here you will find a number of online brochures that explain the terms most often used about health conditions. In addition, the Medical Library Association provides its Top Ten Most Useful websites for finding information about health.

For more guidance on finding other online health information resources, contact your local libraries for assistance.