Connie Poole
President, AAHSL 2009-2010 and
Associate Dean for Information Resources
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine


President's Message #9

October 25, 2010

The AAHSL year seems to build to a crescendo as we approach our annual meeting and the AAMC annual meeting.  Late changes to the AAMC program recently put our nimbleness to the test!

Changes to Annual Meeting Schedule:  Please note the changes in meeting time for our annual business meeting and statistics discussion prompted by the change in the time for the AAMC Plenary Session featuring Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.  A revised program is posted on the AAHSL Web page, and times should be correct in the printed program you receive at AAMC registration.

AAHSL Webmaster:  Chris Shaffer is completing his two-year appointment as AAHSL Webmaster.  Chris has done a marvelous job with the transition to a new Web design and the use of MemberClicks.  In looking for a new Webmaster, the AAHSL Board wanted to maintain expertise with AAHSL's information technology platform.  We are delighted that outgoing Treasurer, Paul Schoening, has volunteered to serve as Webmaster for two years.  Paul and Chris have worked closely together on our technology initiatives over the last two years.  They have also developed a draft position description for the AAHSL Webmaster position that can be used as we move forward.  During Paul's term, we will be looking for a Webmaster-designate to ensure a smooth transition in the future.  Thanks to both Chris and Paul for their support of our information technology needs!

Cornerstone Award:  Carol Jenkins was announced earlier this summer as the winner of the Association's Cornerstone award.  The Cornerstone Award is given to "an individual, group, or institution for a notable or important contribution made during the most recent four years that has assisted AAHSL in achieving its mission or had significant impact on the profession of academic health sciences librarianship."  This award will be presented at the GIR/AAHSL Reception, to be held on November 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  In advance of that presentation, I wanted to share with all members excerpts from the nomination letter received for Carol:

"Carol’s contributions to AAHSL have had a significant impact on the achievement of its goals and the implementation of its initiatives. She has played a number of leadership roles for AAHSL over the years. We take particular note of her recent work in the last four years toward the association’s goal to educate, develop, and nurture directors and prospective directors, while placing this effort in the context of her other contributions.
Carol has worked tirelessly for the success of the AAHSL leadership programs. As co-chair of the Future Leadership Committee for six years (2003-2009), her strategic vision and commitment guided the direction of the programs. She was also involved at the operational level, lending her wisdom to decisions big and small, to support the implementation of the continuum of programs for future and current leaders at different career stages.


She played a leading role in the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, working with the partner of NLM, other institutions, and other AAHSL leaders to shape the program and to build support for it.


She volunteered her time to all aspects of the Leadership Fellows Program, including planning, funding, evaluation, selection of participants, curriculum, management oversight, and problem resolution.


She served as a mentor in the Leadership Fellows Program twice, in the first cohort when the program was establishing its framework, and in the sixth cohort; both her fellows have advanced to director positions.


She participated in all cohort Leadership Fellows Program meetings (Orientation, Leadership Institute, and Capstone) for classes from 2002 through 2009, giving individual fellows the opportunity to get to know and learn from an additional director and helping to guide the focus of content of the in-person meetings.


She helped to build a community of mentors among AAHSL directors, recruiting many, fostering communication among them, and leading mentor-the-mentor programs to orient new participants.


She contributed to the content of the curriculum through consultation with faculty, facilitating Capstone sessions, and designing and presenting components including a case study on the institutional decision process for library building projects and a webinar on fundraising concepts.


She continues to serve as a member of the current instructor team for the AAHSL CE course for persons considering a career as director, working with the other instructors to design the course and share their experiences on knowledge, skills, and career paths for directors.


She was a member of the planning team for the first AAHSL New Directors Symposium and is a faculty member for the current symposium, co-teaching a webinar on future roles for libraries.


[In addition,] Carol is a role model for current and future directors through her professional leadership roles in AAHSL, MLA, and other settings. She served as AAHSL president-elect, president, and past-president during 1998-2001. Among other activities, she supported the importance of promoting a legislative agenda through chairing the Joint AAHSL/MLA Legislative Task Force in1991-1992 and 1994-1996 and serving as a member from 1989-1996 and 2000. She contributed to a symposium published in the Journal of the Medical Library Association marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of AAHSL, focusing on strategic collaborations with other organizations.


"Carol’s leadership has played a critical role in the evolution and maturation of the AAHSL leadership programs. For several years she has asked mentors, fellows, and other participants to stand in AAHSL business meetings. By the end, much of the room is on its feet, a testament to how many member institutions have contributed to and benefited from the programs. The AAHSL future leadership initiative is recognized outside AAHSL as an innovative and committed response on the part of a professional association to the need to develop the corps of the next generation of leaders."

Please take a moment out of your busy day to reflect on such a worthy Cornerstone recipient and the significant contributions that you, your fellow directors and library leaders, and the AAHSL staff make to create and sustain the vibrant organization we call AAHSL!



President's Message #8

October 18, 2010

As promised in the last President's Message, we return to AAHSL business and the upcoming AAMC / AAHSL meetings.

AAHSL Exhibit Volunteers Needed:  Once again this year, AAHSL will have an exhibit in the AAMC exhibit hall (#815).  We have found this a good way to give visibility to the organization.  Last year, Board members staffed the exhibit when they could.  We would like to expand that and ask for volunteers who would like to represent the Association to the broader AAMC membership.  If you are willing to spend an hour or two at the exhibit, please drop me a note with your available times.  The hours of the exhibit are:

Sunday, November 7: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 to 6:00 p.m
Monday, November 8: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Because of scheduled AAHSL events, we know all hours may not be staffed.  Those of us who did this last year enjoyed it, and M. J. Tooey is in charge of candy, so say no more!

Leading the Way Steering Committee: An outgrowth of our Spring partner visits was mutual interest and excitement in developing a series of high-level programs to highlight the role of libraries and information in academic medical centers to occur during the 175th anniversary year of the National Library of Medicine (2011).  We have established a new group, with the formidable name of "Leading the Way : Leveraging Information and Technology in Academic Health Centers Steering Committee" to tackle this task.

The charge of the Steering Committee reads as follows:  Every aspect of the academic health center builds and relies on information for decision making and knowledge creation.  The ability to find, apply, and coordinate the application of information to critical issues requires close collaboration between academic medicine and information leadership. The Steering Committee will oversee the development and planning of a series of events highlighting the role and contributions of visionary leaders in library and information technology services and the programs and resources they oversee as applied to the multiple missions of the academic health center. In celebration of the 175th anniversary of the National Library of Medicine in 2011, the Steering Committee will work closely and collaboratively to develop programming with NLM. Highlighting diverse information strategies, initiatives, and systems that underpin and serve varied institutions and missions, the programs will build relationships and an investment for future success.  The target audience is executive leadership, opinion leaders, and decision makers in academic health centers, including deans and other high-level personnel.  The Steering Committee may establish sub-groups for individual events. The deliverables are one to three events that highlight the vision and value of information to academic medicine and the contributions of AAHSL, NLM, and GIR to that information landscape.

Members of the Steering Committee  represent major roles in the academic medicine information environment: Julia Sollenberger, Chair (Education); Betsy Humphreys, NLM; Brett Kirkpatrick, GIR; Elaine Martin (Research); Pat Thibodeau (Clinical Care); M.J. Tooey (Outreach); and Connie Poole, Board Liaison.

Closed Events:  A member asked about the "closed" designation on the list of AAHSL events that was recently distributed.  This is a hold-over from the AAMC program format, which uses "closed" to designate events that are not open to general AAMC meeting registrants.  In our case, we use it to designate events that are not open to non-AAHSL members.  In fact, AAHSL observers are welcome to attend committee meetings.  Because meeting room seating space is sometimes limited, we ask that you contact the chair of the committee in advance, if you wish to observe the meeting.  Refreshments and food service (when included) are provided for committee members.

AAHSL / Publisher Liaison Joint Task Force Briefing: The AAHSL/Publisher Liaison Joint Task Force will present a briefing regarding Chicago Collaborative activities on Sunday morning, November 7, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Calvert Room of the Omni Shoreham. In addition, potential transitions for the task force will be proposed.  The Scholarly Communications Committee will also provide an update on their activities.

AAHSL Surveys: Just a reminder that the AAHSL annual surveys are out and due in by October 31.

Member News: Welcome to new associate member, Janice Swiatek-Kelley, representing Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.  Neil Rambo has been appointed director of the Ehrman Medical Library at New York University. Also welcome to Nanette Welton, interim director at the University of Washington and welcome back to Parks Welch from Wake Forest University.

That's it at this point; have a good week all!



President's Message #7

Special Issue: AAHC Meeting
October 8, 2010

I had the opportunity to represent AAHSL at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC).  You may recall that AAHSL was an associate member of AAHC, until AAHC discontinued that membership category.  AAHC president, Steve Wartman, has continued to welcome AAHSL representation at their annual meeting.  This meeting was held in Dallas, September 23-25, with a theme of "New Ideas and Strategies in the Era of Health Reform".  I wanted to share a few items and observations from the meeting; many of these resonated with me from either a library or association perspective.  

Health Reform:  The first featured speaker was Dr. Kavita Patel, who worked in the White House during the health reform legislation process and is now with the New America Foundation.   Dr. Patel characterized the process behind the health reform legislation as minimizing the risks, understanding the uncertainties, and maximizing the opportunities.  She identified the areas that especially affected academic health centers:  Healthcare Innovation Zones; research funding (AHCs need to put forward compelling stories that elected persons can take forward and support, not just the need for 10% more funding); work force issues; GME and redistribution of residency slots; and public health.  She characterized the mission of AHCs as research (knowledge discovery), clinical care (knowledge translation), and teaching and education (knowledge dissemination), with clinical care subsidizing both other missions financially.  One respondent on a panel on stimulus and reform later opined that each AHC might need a reform / innovation position, because CEO's have too much to do to keep up with this area.

Health Information Technology:  The second featured speaker was Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.  Dr. Blumenthal stated the ONC was trying to kick start a revolution in collecting, managing, and using information.  ONC has done what it can do and passed the baton to the AHCs, private entities, and communities.   Every goal in medicine depends on good information.  His metaphor for electronic health records adoption is "getting people to step on the escalator".  You can't start at the highest level of sophistication; you have to start where most people are.  The real competency of medicine is managing information: gathering information from the patient, drawing upon the scientific knowledge base, and making decisions based upon the information.

Metrics: One discussion of special interest to me was on metrics and whether AAHC wanted to undertake discussions on collecting different metrics for and from their members.  The assertion (made several times by different speakers throughout the program) was that AHCs are not viewed as high performers because they don't compare well with other entities.  Identified gaps in metrics for AHCs were in the research enterprise, faculty effort and support, funds flow, and benchmarking on outcomes data.  Possible topics for future discussion by AAHC of AHC metrics were identifying the data wanted, definitions, anonymity and security, grouping or clustering of institutions, and staffing required (both institutionally and centrally).

Open Mike Session:  The AAHC meeting devotes one session to open discussion of whatever topics the members wish to discuss (somewhat like the GIR "hot topics" sessions).  One of the issues that came up was succession planning:  how to groom the AHC leaders of tomorrow and was there a role for AAHC in providing a program for this.  The similarity of this to our Leadership Fellows program was striking.  I was also very intrigued by the idea of planning moderated time for members to talk about issues on their mind and ask questions of each other (could we carve time out of our business meeting for this?).

Snippets: There were some repeated themes and ideas that were mentioned by multiple presenters:

Research costs the institution (one speaker said it costs $.30 for each research dollar they bring in).

In an AHC, the School of Medicine represents 80% of the dollars.

AHCs are running three businesses on one administrative platform: education, clinical, and research.

Media changes the definition of "community service" because media has no geographic boundaries.

Many public institutions are grappling with in-state vs. out-of-state student ratios, because of differential tuition and economic pressures.  All institutions are concerned about affordability and cost to degree.  

Many academic health center leaders are "accidental leaders" who did not set to be a dean or other academic leader.

Readings: Below are several publications that were recommended in the course of the program:

Victor J Dzau.  "The role of academic health science systems in the transformation of medicine".  The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9718 (13 March 2010): 949 - 953.

Peter M. Senge. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization, 2006.

Donald M Berwick. "Preparing Medical Students for the Continual Improvement of Health and Health Care: Abraham Flexner and the New 'Public Interest' ". Academic Medicine: Volume 85, Issue 9 (September 2010):S56-S65.

Local Interest:  While in Dallas, I took advantage of a free slot in the program to visit the Library of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  Laurie Thompson graciously showed me her Library (including the famous Rubber Ducky collection and the beautiful Rare Books Room).  I also came away with good ideas for stand alone carrels and sign boards.  Like the AAHC attendees, one of the great values of being with your colleagues is learning from and being inspired by them.  Many thanks to Laurie for the great Texas hospitality!

The next President's message will return to more AAHSL-centric topics.  Hope you found this taste of the AAHC meeting interesting; if you have any questions on the meeting, please let me know!



AAHSL President’s Message #6

August 30, 2010
Summer is coming to a fast end with the return of students to the campus and the slightest nip in the air (here that means 85 degrees rather than 95!).  This also signals the start of the Fall meeting season, and the planning for the Association’s annual meeting is in full swing.
Nominating Committee:  The Nominating Committee chaired by President-elect, Pat Thibodeau, with members Ruth Riley and Chris Shaffer, has submitted an excellent slate for our consideration at the November business meeting.  The candidates and positions are:
President-elect -- Gary Freiburger (University of Arizona)
Secretary/Treasurer -- Jett McCann (Georgetown University)
Board member -- Karen Butter (University of California, San Francisco)
Committee Appointments:  Pat Thibodeau has also issued the call for volunteers for committee appointments for the upcoming Association year.  As she indicated, the Board is considering the Association’s needs for service and may have other appointments to be made in the coming months, so please respond to Pat’s call, if you would like to be considered for a known or yet to become known assignment.  Responses are due September 3 (see Pat’s e-mail of August 20 for more details).
Matheson Lecture:  The GIR/AAHSL Matheson lecturer for this year is Dave Davis, M.D., Senior Director, Continuing Education & Performance Improvement, Association of American Medical Colleges.  He has selected as his topic:  “Scaling the Knowledge Pyramid: the shared role of the clinician, the educator and the librarian”.   We were delighted to learn that the Matheson Lecture will be included in a CME track for this year’s AAMC meeting!  Dr. Davis has provided this description of his lecture; please plan to be there! (November 8, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.)
“This session will focus on the concepts of 'knowledge' and 'evidence', of critical importance to best clinical practice, and to the education of learners - including faculty members- across the continuum of health sciences education. These concepts assume even more importance in the context of health care reform and require pro-active collaborations between clinicians, educators and information specialists – equal members of the health care knowledge team.
At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:
1) understand the forces driving the incorporation of evidence-based principles into education and clinical practice
2) appreciate the roles of librarians/information specialists in bridging gaps in lifelong learning, in education and in clinical practice,
3) articulate the differences between levels and sources of evidence
4) develop new roles for faculty members and the 'knowledge team' in the translation of best evidence into practice"
November Workshop:  The Program Committee has arranged for an excellent workshop on change management for the November meeting.  This is especially symbolic, as the Committee had chosen a different topic for the workshop and made a significant and nimble change in direction, based upon the current environment in which we all now operate (the “new normal”, I think).  A half-day session has again been planned to allow some of you to travel in the day of the workshop and conserve on travel funds.  Please mark your calendars for Saturday, November 6, from 1:00  to 5:00 p.m. for:

Managing Change in Academic Health Sciences Libraries: Leading Changes Without MigrainesTM, a workshop presented by Rick Maurer.  I’ve spoken to Rick by phone about some of our challenges, and we have shared with him your suggestions from the question on programming included in the reporting structure survey.
All workshop attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Rick's new book, Beyond the Wall of Resistance:  Why 70% of Changes Still Fail - and What You Can Do About it (2010). Each AAHSL Member Institution receives one complementary registration, any additional attendees from Member Institutions may register for $100.  If you have not already registered, please do so on the AAHSL Web site.
Member News:  Colleen Cuddy has been appointed Director at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York.  Colleen is a “graduate” of the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellowship Program.  She replaces Carolyn Reid, who retired, and Mark Funk, who has been serving as interim director.
Have a great Labor Day weekend and watch from more news about our Fall meeting!


AAHSL President’s Message #5

July 1, 2010

Advocacy:  As part of the Joint MLA / AAHSL Legislative Task Force, I represented AAHSL at Capitol Hill visits on May 25.  Jane Blumenthal and I were teamed together to visit the offices of Congressman Patrick Tiberi (R-OH), co-chair of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus; Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL); and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).  We, and other teams, advocated for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine and sought support and co-sponsorships for the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA).  The Congressional staff with whom we met were all interested in and supportive of health care issues, though cautious concerning budget implications.

New Directors Symposium:  I was delighted to attend the final session of the New Directors Symposium in Washington, DC, on May 22.  In addition to providing the attendees with information about AAHSL, I was able to participate in a program session on "The Life of a Director".  It was great fun, and the rapport and bonding among this group is formidable!

Cornerstone Award:  The AAHSL Board is very pleased to announce that the 2010 AAHSL Cornerstone Award recipient is Carol Jenkins, Director of the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Her nominators cited her many contributions to AAHSL and to the field of academic health sciences librarianship, but especially her recent work toward the association’s goal to educate, develop, and nurture directors and prospective directors, as chair of the Future Leadership Committee and her leading role in the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program.

AAHSL Scholarships:  The Future Leadership Committee has announced AAHSL scholarship awardees for 2010.  These scholarships partially fund participation in a variety of leadership development activities.  Awardees are:
--Keith Cogdill, Director, South Texas Regional Information Services, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, for the 2010 ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
--Michelle Frisque, Head, Information Systems, Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern University, for "Designing Sustainable Strategic Change," MS in Learning and Organizational Change course
--Deborah L. Lauseng, Liaison Services Coordinator, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan, for the 2010 ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
--Roger G. Russell, Assistant Director for User Services, Laupus Library, East Carolina University, for the 2010 ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
--Christie C. Silbajoris, Director, NC Health Info, Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for the TRLN Management Academy

Leadership Fellows Program:  The 2010-2011 Leadership Fellows Program is now open for applicants.  This successful program is beginning its ninth year!

Reporting Structure Survey:  President-elect Pat Thibodeau distributed a survey on changes in library reporting structures in an e-mail dated June 21.  The response deadline is July 6; if you have not yet completed the survey for your institution, please do so.  The final question concerns ideas for the fall workshop, so please also give us any suggestions you may have.

Member News:  Cynthia Henderson is now the executive director of the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library at Howard University.  Welcome to Joe Swanson, Jr., who is interim director at Morehouse School of Medicine Library.  Best wishes to Tovah Reis, who retired from Brown University on June 30;  welcome to David Banush, who will be the AAHSL contact at Brown.  Welcome to Janet Crum, library director at Graff Library of City of Hope, a new Associate Member.  Janet has already made use of the listserv and done a mini-survey!

Hope you all have safe and festive Independence Day celebrations!



AAHSL President's Message #4


AAHSL President's Message #4
April 30, 2010

Spring Meetings with Partners -- NLM, AMIA, AAMC, ARL:  President-elect Pat Thibodeau, Past-President Julie Sollenberger, and I visited partner organizations in Washington, DC, in April.  I'll send a fuller report in my next message, but wanted to share a few overall impressions.  Last year's visits were embodied by the terms "stimulus funding" and "shovel-ready", which permeated the air of DC (yes, that was only a year ago!).  This year's visits also had a few common threads that emerged in the discussions with our partner organizations: interprofessional and team education, global focus, and the need for nimble / creative responses to and communication in changing environments.

To show how the seeds sown in one year's visits may come to fruition... at last year's Spring Visits, we met Dave Davis, M.D., AAMC's  senior director for continuing education and performance improvement.  Because of our expressed interest in interprofessional education and lifelong learning, Dr. Davis later asked AAHSL to provide feedback on a draft joint report by AAMC and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) on Lifelong Learning in Medicine and Nursing.  Julie Sollenberger prepared the AAHSL Board response.  The final report has now been issued; AAHSL's suggestions are included; and Julie, as AAHSL president, is named on the External Review Panel.  The final report is available.  The Lifelong Learning Initiative is described at

Public Access: AAHSL responded to the January 2010 Scholarly Publishing Roundtable Report, highlighting key commonalities in the Roundtable Report and AAHSL recommendations previously contributed to the Office of Science and Technology Policy.  The AAHSL response to the report is posted on the AAHSL web site.

AAHSL and nine other national and regional research organizations have sent letters of thanks to the original sponsors of  H.R. 5037, "The Federal Research Public Access Act" and also letters encouraging co-sponsorship of the bill.  A joint letter of thanks to the bill's sponsors has also been prepared by MLA and AAHSL.

Membership News:  Jolene Miller is director of the Raymon H. Mulford Library at the University of Toledo.  Emma Stupp now represents the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Public Health Library and Information Center.  Welcome to you both!

You may have noticed a change in the 2010 AAHSL Membership Directory.  To more effectively use this document as both an annual report of the previous year and a directory of the current year, the listings of committee memberships in the Directory has changed.  The committee charges and memberships are for the current (2009-2010) association year.  The annual reports list the members for the previous (2008-2009) association year.

Lastly, a phrase from Joni Mitchell's song, Big Yellow Taxi, keeps resonating through my head.: "Don't it always seem to go / that you don't know what you've got / till it's gone"   We've had some unexpected bumps with our latest listserv upgrade.  This has reinforced for me the value of our listserv and how fortunate we are to have colleagues who respond so generously and quickly to our requests for help or information (see above reference to the growing need for nimble communications in a time of change).  We'll keep working on the listserv set-up; for now, should you wish to respond to me (and a few of you take the time to do so, and I appreciate it), please use my e-mail ([email protected]) as all responses will go to the list.



AAHSL President's Message #3


February 26, 2010

AAHSL Board Retreat:  The AAHSL Board of Directors held its retreat in Atlanta, January 21-22.  It is always exciting and stimulating to spend dedicated time with respected colleagues on behalf of the Association and its members.   We enjoyed a surfeit of peach cobbler and warm (compared to the midwest) weather and hospitality!

In the planning portion of the retreat, the Board developed a statement of values for the Association to accompany the vision, mission, and goals and objectives developed for the Strategic Plan last year.  We would welcome your feedback and reaction to the following values statement:

As an organization, AAHSL values:


  • Innovation: developing and adopting new and relevant approaches to emerging and ongoing challenges
  • Inclusivity: promoting, providing, and projecting a positive, supportive and safe environment, and welcoming an atmosphere of cultural differences and comprehensive participation.
  • Collaboration and partnerships: building strong foundations of collegiality and cooperation with other organizations to achieve common goals
  • Advocacy: speaking out with a credible voice to influence policy decisions and outcomes that benefit the common good
  • Integrity: acting honestly and ethically to make decisions that are trusted by the membership and our partners
  • Transparency:  conducting association business, programs, and planning in an open and visible manner.  
  • Agility: striving for nimbleness and the ability to act quickly, change direction, and embrace opportunities
  • Openmindedness: exploring new and different ideas, opinions, and strategies that assist the association in meeting its goals.

The Board also approved the Association's 2010 budget, received an overview of MemberClicks functionality, and discussed a wide-range of topics affecting our members.

Public Access: AAHSL responded to the request for comment by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) regarding the development of policies to deliver public access to the published results of taxpayer-funded research.  The AAHSL response, prepared by Jean Shipman, Chair of the Scholarly Communication Committee, was submitted to the OSTP blog and encourages expanding the NIH Public Access Policy to include other science and technology governmental agencies that fund research awards with tax-generated revenue. The response is posted on the AAHSL Web page (

Advocacy:  The Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force and the MLA Governmental Relations Committee held a virtual meeting on February 4.  Because MLA is meeting in Washington this year, the task force will meet and do its Capitol visits in May in conjunction with the MLA meeting.

Separately, Pat Thibodeau (president-elect), Julie Sollenberger (past-president), and I are planning our upcoming Spring visits to our Washington, DC-based partners in April.

Leadership: Two articles on the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program are included in Journal of Library Administration 49(8), November 2009. Carolyn Lipscomb, Elaine Martin, and Wayne Peay's article ("Building the Next Generation of Leaders: The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program") describes the program and its evaluation study in the context of the AAHSL leadership initiative. The fellows in the second cohort (Brian Bunnett, Nancy Allee, Jo Dorsch, Gabriel Rios, and Cindy Stewart) contributed an article on their experience in the program ("The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program: A Year in Review"). The special issue also includes articles on other leadership programs in academic and special libraries and is edited by Martha Bedard.

The New Directors Symposium began the virtual phase of its curriculum with a January webinar on "Future Roles for Libraries," facilitated by Carol Jenkins and Elaine Martin. The 20 new directors participating in the symposium worked together ahead of time in small groups writing scenarios for new roles and needed capacity. They chose to focus on curriculum redesign, alignment with academic computing, mobile computing, library as student center, and expanded research roles. The scenarios were presented during the webinar, and the group of new directors and faculty discussed common themes, success factors, and how the director supports and determines priorities among the potential roles. Many ideas were exchanged about what the directors are doing on their campuses. The group plans to continue the conversation until the March webinar on "Technology and the Library."

Teaching and Learning: AAHSL and the Research in Medical Education (RIME) Steering Committee agreed to appoint a shared working group to advance the discussions held at the RIME business meeting in Boston, November 2009, about potential joint educational research topics.  AAHLS representatives to the Research Collaboration Task Force are from the AAHSL Teaching and Learning Committee: Jo Dorsch, Jacque Doyle, and Jerry Perry, with project direction by Rick Forsman.

Cornerstone Award Nominations
:  A reminder that the AAHSL Board is soliciting  nominations for the 2010 Cornerstone Award.  The Cornerstone Award is given to an individual, group, or institution for a notable or important contribution made during the most recent four years that has assisted AAHSL in achieving its mission or had significant impact on the profession of academic health sciences librarianship.  The deadline for submittal of nominations is April 30, 2010.  For more information on the award and the process of nomination, please visit the Web site:

Membership News: Mark Funk has been appointed Acting Director of the Weill Cornell Medical Library, with the upcoming retirement of Carolyn Reid.

We are putting the final touches on the 2010 membership directory; watch for it in March.  Because of the many changes in the annual statistics this past year, that publication will probably be issued in April.  Again, the Board would enjoy hearing your reaction to the values listed above.



AAHSL President's Message #2


January 4, 2010 (for December 2009)


Happy New Year!  I hope you all had restful and refreshing holidays.


Bylaws:  AAHSL starts 2010 with newly revised bylaws.  The bylaws changes were approved with 58 "yes" votes.  Thanks to all who took the time to hear about and discuss the proposed changes at the business meeting and to submit your votes.  The accepted changes confirm and rename our membership categories (now full and associate), more clearly indicate eligibility for serving as officers and on committees, and provide for dissolution of the association's assets in a standard manner.


Annual Statistics:  You have heard from Gary Byrd that the annual statistics process has been closed with 124 annual surveys and 115 salary surveys submitted.  The Annual Survey had some significant changes from previous years based upon results from a survey conducted by the Assessment and Statistics Committee.  We appreciate the work of all members and their staffs to compile and submit the statistics this year.  Our response rate remained the same as last year, which is a credit to the value that we all find in the shared statistics.


IMLS Proposal: A proposal was submitted on behalf of AAHSL to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, Continuing Education Category, for support for the creation, refinement, and delivery of a "Positioning the Professions: STM Publishing" curriculum for practicing librarians. This project is an outgrowth of the Joint AAHSL/Publisher Liaison Task Force and the Chicago Collaborative.  Jean Shipman is serving as co-principal investigator (with me as President of AAHSL).  Margaret Reich, publishing consultant, is serving as Project Manager, and Cynthia Olney, evaluation consultant, is serving as Project Evaluator.  The grant development was shepherded by Michael Homan and Gail Yokote, as co-chairs of the Task Force.  The project, if approved, will run three years (July 2010 through June 2013) and enjoys letters of support from all representative members of the Chicago Collaborative.  


NIH Consumer Health RFI:  Linda Watson, past past-president of AAHSL, has coordinated the AAHSL response to the NIH's request for information on consumer health information interests and behaviors for seeking and using health information.  Thanks to all of you who sent comments and ideas to Linda.  The AAHSL response will be posted on the AAHSL Web site; watch for it there.


SPARC: The AAHSL Board has accepted an invitation from SPARC to be represented on the SPARC Steering Committee.  Initially, this will be for a three-year term starting January 2010.  The chair of the AAHSL Scholarly Communication Committee will be the AAHSL representative, with  Jean Shipman serving in this capacity.  The invitation from SPARC acknowledges the importance of the academic health sciences voice in SPARC activities.  Many thanks go to Karen Butter, immediate past chair of the Scholarly Communication Committee for representing us so well with SPARC.  


Cornerstone Award Nominations:  While we are still remembering the great Boston reception and Cornerstone Award given to Tony Mazzaschi.....the AAHSL Board is now soliciting  nominations for the 2010 Cornerstone Award.  The Cornerstone Award is given to an individual, group, or institution for a notable or important contribution made during the most recent four years that has assisted AAHSL in achieving its mission or had significant impact on the profession of academic health sciences librarianship.  The deadline for submittal of nominations is April 30, 2010.  For more information on the award and the process of nomination, please visit the Cornerstone web page (which also includes the press release announcing Tony's award--which was seen and mentioned to Tony by NIH Director Francis Collins!).


Membership News:  L. Maximilian Buha, M.D., was named executive director of the Houston Academic of Medicine -Texas Medical Center (HAM-TMC) Library.  Cecilia Botero is associate dean, Smathers Libraries and director, Health Science Center Libraries, University of Florida.  Barbara Kuchan is interim director at Temple University, following Mark-Allen Taylor's retirement.  Colleen Cuddy is interim director of New York University Health Sciences Libraries, following Karen Brewer's retirement.


AAHSL has gained a new member: Dalhousie University's W. K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Patrick Ellis is the institutional representative.


Welcome to all our new members and representatives!


Board retreat: Lastly, the AAHSL Board of Directors will be having its annual planning retreat January 21-22.  We have a number of items on our agenda, but please let me know if there is something you would like discussed by the Board.


Best wishes for 2010!  



AAHSL President’s Message #1


November 2009


Giving thanks: While the glow of Thanksgiving is still upon us, let me offer some thanks for our recent meeting in Boston. To Barbara Epstein and Jim Curtis and their stalwart Program and Education Committee, thanks for an excellent Saturday afternoon workshop on the electronic health record and knowledge-based information. The room was packed and the topic riveting. The Matheson lecture with Chuck Friedman was also the work of the Program Committee; his address on health information technology from the perspective of the Office of the National Coordinator attracted a large and diverse crowd. The Joint AAHSL/Publisher Liaison Task Force presentation on the Chicago Collaborative also played to a full house (do you detect a theme here?). We enjoyed two receptions: one at Tufts University, courtesy of Eric Albright and his gracious staff, the other in conjunction with the GIR, sponsored by EBSCO; thanks to both for the marvelous hospitality. And thanks to all of you who were able to be in Boston and attend these many sessions, committee meetings, Statistics discussion, and a long and very hot business meeting!


Board Transitions: At our recent business meeting, Pat Thibodeau was elected president-elect and Sandra Franklin was elected board member; we are delighted to have them on the Board. Linda Watson, immediate past-president and Mary Ryan, board member, completed their terms on the Board; we thank them for their tremendous service.


Appointments: New committee chairs for 2009-10 are: Judith Robinson, Charting the Future; Judy Consales and Elaine Martin, Future Leadership; Dottie Spencer, Program and Education; Jean Shipman, Scholarly Communication; and Elaine Martin, E-Science Task Force. Continuing appointments are: Gary Byrd, Assessment and Statistics; Michael Homan, Vice-Chair, Joint Legislative Task Force; Cynthia Robinson, Teaching/Learning Committee; Gail Yokote and Michael Homan, Joint AAHSL/Publisher Liaison Task Force; Kerry O'Rourke, LiME/AAHSL Joint Task Force; Logan Ludwig and Gary Byrd, CAS representatives; and Chris Shaffer, AAHSL Webmaster.


Leadership Development: Also in Boston, eighteen of our colleagues began the New Directors' Symposium. The Symposium has taken on a different format and will run through next May, with both virtual sessions and in person sessions held in conjunction with AAMC and MLA meetings.


A new cohort of five leadership fellows and their mentors also began their year in Boston. More information on both programs and their participants is available on the AAHSL web page.


Member Transitions: Susan Murray is now Head of the Health Science Library at McGill University. Susan was unable to attend the recent meeting in Boston, but the AAHSL Board and I were able to greet and get to know 16 new and interim/acting directors at this year's new directors' lunch there.


Bylaws Vote: Proposed bylaws changes necessitated by the work of the Membership Task Force were discussed at the recent business meeting. The ballot for change has been sent to voting members (e-mail dated November 23); please take the time to review the materials and vote before December 18.


President's Remarks: At the close of the business meeting, I made a few remarks about recurring themes I have been considering recently. Representing AAHSL at the meeting of the Committee on Libraries of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, my assumption that we have more in common than not was rewarded when I heard of their lively discussions on statistics! Representing AAHSL at the meeting of the Association of Academic Health Centers, I heard speaker after speaker mention alignment and integration of missions, administrative efficiencies, and sustainability. Despite major fiscal downturns, the AHCs were finding ways to invest in new models, missions, and sustainable futures.


The themes that resonated for me from these experiences were "ask the right question" and "run toward the fire". This past year AAHSL stepped back with a strategic plan and the Membership Task Force and asked who we were and what were were about. We clarified and recommitted to our identity, our mission, and our goals. At the Board's retreat in January, we will be taking a look at the fit of our strategic plan after a year and considering feedback we've heard. We'll consider the Association's values and how to incorporate them in the Association's work. We'll look at the sustainability and future models for some of our activities. We'll look at our relationships with other organizations and how to further those and strengthen some of our partnerships. We'll look at the next steps to take with the results of the Membership Task Force report. And, we will look at the best investments that AAHSL can make to further our common asking the right questions and running toward the fire.


If you have thoughts for our Board retreat deliberations, please share them with me or one of the Board members.