President's Message

Chris Shaffer, MS, AHIP
AAHSL President
University Librarian
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Information Management
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco


March 22, 2021

Greetings AAHSL Colleagues,

Earlier this month, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) announced that Learn Serve Lead 2021 will be held virtually on November 8-10. In response, the AAHSL Board of Directors voted to hold the 2021 AAHSL Annual Meeting virtually as well. The Program and Education Committee, ably led by Colleen Cuddy, is preparing for an engaging meeting. They will share information about dates and times for the education program, Matheson Lecture, and related events soon. At our June meeting, the Board will make decisions about dates and times for the annual business meeting and committee meetings.

Do you know someone who has made significant contributions to academic health sciences libraries? Nominate them for the Oppenheimer Cornerstone Award! This award, named in honor of Gerald J. Oppenheimer, AAHSL’s first president, is given to an individual, group, or institution selected by the association's board of directors. The award is given for a notable or important contribution that has assisted AAHSL in achieving its mission or had a significant impact on the profession of academic health sciences librarianship.

While the winter holiday is traditionally a “down time” for AAHSL, there has actually been a lot going on behind the scenes!

  • I am very happy to announce that Hannah Rutledge has accepted an appointment as our new AAHSL Statistics Editor. She says “Steve Squires leaves huge shoes to fill, and I am excited for the opportunity to work with Matt Wilcox and the Assessment and Statistics Committee to continue and to improve this vital survey instrument for future needs. I have a love for data and am honored to take on this important role in capturing the state of our academic health sciences libraries.” Matt Wilcox, Chair of the Assessment and Statistics Committee, shares “Steve Squires has been the editor and backbone of the statistics program for many years. He was one of the co-awardees of the 2018 AAHSL Oppenheimer Cornerstone Award, and his work on the statistics has been tremendous. The AAHSL Assessment and Statistics Committee hopes he doesn’t change his email or phone number anytime soon.”
  • Rose Bland stepped forward to fill a vacancy on the Future Leadership Committee (FLC), where she is now serving as Chair Designate. (Sneak peek - look for an announcement from FLC calling for nominations for diversity scholarships and leadership fellowships in April.)
  • Under Gabe Rios’ stewardship and with the support of the NN/LM PNR, AAHSL members enjoyed free registrations to the Research Data Access and Preservation Association (RDAP) 2021 virtual conference.
  • In May, members of the AAHSL/MLA Joint Legislative Task Force will be holding virtual Capitol Hill meetings with representatives and senators (to be honest, we’ll be meeting with their staff…). This is a tradition of hill visits in the years that MLA meets in Washington, DC, which would have been 2021. If you’re interested in participating, contact Maggie Ansell or me.
  • The Task Force on Library Services for Associated Clinical Organizations is planning a webinar for members on April 9th at 2pm Eastern / 11am Pacific. More information coming soon.
  • As you may recall, AAHSL worked with Ithaka S+R on the research report Academic Health Sciences Libraries: Structural Models and Perspectives. Oya Rieger, Senior Strategists at Ithaka S+R and author of the report, will be recording a panel discussion about the report that will be shared with the membership later this year.
  • The Board voted to support a Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM) Symposium titled “Health Sciences Libraries in the Age of COVID-19: Lessons Learned” which will be held next January.

And speaking of the June Board meeting, all committee and task force chairs are asked to submit mid-year reports to their Board liaison no later than Friday, May 28.

If I missed any updates, please don’t hesitate to reply-all and share them with the membership, or you can contact me off-list.

Many thanks to all the volunteers who keep our association going. We couldn’t do it without you!


Chris Shaffer, President

Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries