President's Message

Paul Schoening
President, AAHSL 2013-2015 
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis


October 5, 2015


This is my swan song as AAHSL President. My very last President’s Update. All that’s left is the Annual Meeting and then Ruth Riley takes the helm. So let’s get this moving …

First, the upcoming AAHSL Annual Meeting is soon upon us. Hopefully you’ve registered already. Once again it will take place in the days immediately preceding the AAMC Annual Meeting – November 4-8. All pertinent information can be found on the AAHSL website. Thanks to M.J. Tooey and the University of Maryland for providing the accommodations and to AAHSL HQ for working the logistics, and of course to all of the folks on the Program and Education Committee. It’s looking to be a great meeting all around!

The New Directors Symposium will be held again this year, kicking off during the annual meeting. Nearly 30 new directors will be participating! Wow.

I had the honor and pleasure of attending the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Capstone and Graduation in Washington, D.C. last week. Although I only attended one day of the Capstone it was fun to see everyone again and to participate in the discussions. Congratulations to the graduating fellows and mentors and thanks to Carol Jenkins and Kathryn Deiss for making it happen!

As you know, we now have a new cohort of NLM/AAHSL fellows and mentors. They’ll be starting their year-long journey at the Annual Meeting. I look forward to meeting them and introducing them to the membership.

And in other NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program news … In a new publication from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), “Creating Leaders: An Examination of Academic and Research Library Leadership Institutes,” two former fellows, Jeff Williams and Jennifer McKinnell, describe the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program. Edited by Irene M. H. Herold, and featuring a foreword by Maureen Sullivan, the work focuses on leadership development programs for academic and research librarians. It explores 18 programs in terms of their history, curriculum, leadership theories and author-participant perspectives on that program. The final chapters evaluate all programs’ impact and offer recommendations that facilitate a better understanding of issues in leadership development in academic and research libraries.

Lastly, a committee has been formed to begin work on planning a symposium co-sponsored with the NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region tentatively titled “Teaching & Learning in New Library Spaces: The Changing Landscape of Health Sciences Libraries.” Judy Consales and Pamela Bradigan will be the AAHSL representatives on the planning committee. The symposium will be held sometime next spring. Details will be forthcoming.

And that’s it. I’ll see you all in Baltimore next month!



Paul Schoening

President, AAHSL 2013-2015 
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis

September 1, 2015


The end of summer is soon upon us, and students are returning to campus to begin their academic year.  For the first year students it’s a new beginning, but for others it’s the last stage before the end.  Both groups are filled with excitement about their futures.  It’s invigorating and inspiring.

I guess it’s much the same for us within AAHSL.  Our year is coming to an end and with it my term as president.  Ruth Riley, our incoming president, has been hard at work finding our new leaders and filling vacancies in our committees.  I think we have much to look forward to! 

I took a hiatus from my updates during the month of July because there wasn’t much to report during the quiet and vacation-filled summer months.  I believe this may be my Penultimate President’s Update.  So without further delay, let me tell you what’s been going on in AAHSL since my last report. 

  1. The AAHSL Nominating Committee, comprising Ruth Riley, Sandra Martin,  and Chris Shaffer, has completed its work and has put forth the following nominees:
    President-Elect – Neil Rambo, Director, Health Sciences Library and Knowledge Informatics, New York University
    Board Member – Nadine Dexter, Director, Health Sciences Library and Director of Medical Informatics, University of Central Florida College of Medicine
    My deepest thanks to the Nominating Committee for their excellent work!

  2. The schedule for the AAHSL Annual Meeting to be held in Baltimore, November 4-8, is now available on the AAHSL website.  The Program Committee has been assembling a great educational program and the Matheson Lecture committee has confirmed that Philip Bourne will be the 2016 Matheson Lecturer.  Dr. Bourne is the first Associate Director for Data Science at the NIH.  In lieu of an honorarium for Dr. Bourne (who is a government employee so can’t accept an honorarium) AAHSL is allocating $5,000 to support educational scholarships for AAHSL members interested in data science.  You’ll hear more about these scholarships later this fall.

  3. The Association signed on to a number of letters:
    1. AAHSL signed on to a letter from the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research to the Senate HELP Committee with recommendations to enhance the role of NIH in getting safe treatments, devices and cures to patients.
    2. Michelle Kraft, President of MLA, and I signed a letter to Elsevier expressing our concerns over their updated sharing and hosting policies.  A representative from Elsevier responded with an offer to discuss the issue further with us in person.
    3. In collaboration with MLA, AAHSL submitted a response to the NIH Strategic Plan RFI.  Thanks to Terrie Wheeler, Emily Mazure, Kristine Alpi (on behalf of MLA) and Brenda Seago (on behalf of AAHSL) for preparing the response.
    4. AAHSL signed on to the NDD United letter urging Congress to avoid sequestration.

That’s about it for the summer of ’15.  Enjoy your Labor Day festivities! 


Paul Schoening

President, AAHSL 2013-2015 
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis

June 22, 2015

It’s officially summer so it must be time for my regular President’s Update.  Here in St. Louis we’ve had mostly rain during the past month so some actual summer would be most welcome!

But the purpose of these updates is not to dwell on the weather, rather it is to provide our members with a succinct review of AAHSL business…

  1. The Board has approved the appointment of Sandra Martin, Wayne State University, and Chris Shaffer, Oregon Health & Science University, to the Nominating Committee.  Ruth Riley, AAHSL President-elect, will chair the committee.  This is an excellent nominating committee and I look forward to their recommendations.
  2. As you know from M.J. Tooey’s email to AAHSL-all, AAMC has approved the Matheson Lecture for inclusion in the AAMC program for this year with the topic “Clinical data in academic medicine: Emerging concerns within and across the three missions.”  The lecture is scheduled to be held at 3:00 pm on Saturday, November 7. Speaker information will be forthcoming.
  3. AAHSL joined MLA and others in signing a letter in support of H.R. 6, The 21st Century Cures Act, drafted by the Steering Committee of the AAMC Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research.
  4. The Joint AAHSL/MLA Legislative Task Force visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 16 to meet with staff from our representatives in the Senate and House where we provided information on the valuable impact that the NIH and NLM have on our communities and encouraged their support of the 21st Century Cures Act and for increased funding for the NIH and NLM.
  5. Congratulations to the 2015 AAHSL Leadership Scholarship awardees: Jonathan Koffel, University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library, Anneliese Taylor, University of California San Francisco Library and Center for Knowledge Management, Annie Thompson, University of Southern California Wilson Dental Library and Learning Center, and Frances Chu, University of Washington Health Sciences Library.
  6. Just a brief reminder that the 2016 call for applications to the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is posted on the AAHSL website.  I strongly encourage you to consider volunteering to be a mentor and to support applications from promising librarians on your staff.  A change in this year’s applicant requirements is the removal of the 5 years of managerial experience, instead just requiring some prior managerial experience.  We hope this will open a path for new applications from librarians who show great leadership potential, but have not had the opportunity, for whatever reason, to be in managerial positions at their institutions.

June’s almost over and with it my Listening Tour.  I’ve had the privilege to speak with more than 50 of our directors and each conversation has been thoroughly enjoyable.  My heartfelt thanks to those who generously took the time to chat.  At the annual meeting I will give a brief presentation of my findings and also hope to publish an article in JMLA.

And that’s it.

Enjoy your Independence Day holiday!



Paul Schoening
President, AAHSL 2013-2015 
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis


Wow!  Time flies.  This is my April President’s Update – in mid-May.  I’ll defend myself, however, by saying that I really wanted to include brief summaries of our Spring Washington Visits which we returned from on May 1.  So, without further delay, here are the relevant AAHSL activities, announcements, etc. since my last report.

  • The Future Leadership Committee has asked me to remind you of the following items:
    • The call for applications for the 2016 class of Leadership Fellows will go out in early June, with a July 1st deadline.  Decisions will be announced in early August. This is a month earlier than in the past, which may enable those selected in making their travel plans for AAMC/AAHSL.  Please consider nominating a promising leader you know who would make a great AAHSL library director.
    • The Future Leadership Committee is planning to host a New Directors Symposium beginning in the fall, 2015, at the AAMC/AAHSL meeting. The call for applications will be announced in June. New Directors who have assumed their positions within the past three years are eligible to apply. The program will begin with a half-day session at the AAMC/AAHSL meeting in Baltimore on November 7, 2015;  continue through the spring with several online sessions; and culminate with an on-site session at the MLA 2016 annual meeting in Toronto. Look for more information in the near future.
    • The Chicago Collaborative is once again sponsoring a Chat with a Librarian session at the upcoming Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Annual Meeting on May 28 in Alrlington, VA.  Several of our AAHSL directors will be participating in this ever-popular session where “Through roundtable conversations with the panelists the audience will come away with a clearer understanding and a better appreciation of what’s at stake for libraries as scholarly publishing evolves.”  Thanks to Brenda Seago, AAHSL’s co-convener of the Chicago Collaborative, for organizing this session.
    • AAHSL signed on to a SPARC authored letter to each of the five original sponsors of the FASTR Act thanking them for their continued support.
    • Ruth Riley (incoming AAHSL president), Jim Bother (past president), and I made our annual visit to like-minded associations in Washington, D.C. on April 28 – May 1.  During this year’s visit we met with representatives from the Association of American Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  The discussions were enjoyable and enlightening.  Here are some (very) brief highlights.
      • AACN – Joan Stanley, Senior Director of Education Policy
        • Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) master’s program - 110 schools have it - grew out of analysis of skill set needed by nurses in the future  - focus on accountability for patient-care outcomes through assimilation and application of evidence-based information to design, implement, and evaluate patient-care processes and models of care delivery. Magnet reviewers are now asking about clinical nurse leaders.
        • Academic-practice partnerships - grew out of clinical nurse leader program – These are partnerships developed between a nursing education program and a care setting, e.g. community hospital, public health department, corporation. She expressed potential connection with libraries in that nurses out in community practice often encounter difficulties in access to evidence-based information at point of care. It may be that these formal academic-practice partnerships could be a vehicle for our libraries to extend some type of access to this population.
        • Inter-professional education – IPE not mandated in accreditation yet but highly recommended in curriculum. Many nursing education programs exist in institutions that are not academic medical centers. Discussion of potential role of librarians in IPE teams and possible collaboration on a webinar on this topic. Some concern about how to we would sell it to members who are not affiliated with an academic health center.
        • Baccalaureate Essentials Tool Kit - how topics are taught is up to individual schools - faculty always looking for resources, case scenarios, case studies - they want to expand toolkit - potential role for librarians - health literacy is one of topics
        • Some discussion of health literacy and health communication
        • Topics of interest to majority of AACN members, not just members at AHCs, would be inter-professional education, quality improvement, and health literacy.  Other area of interest is accessibility of information for nurses out in communities.
        • Graduate Nursing Student Academy - open to all grad students - AACN webinars are free to grad students
  • Institute of Medicine – Abbey Meltzer, Director of Communications & Barbara Kline Pope, Executive Director of Communications & The National Academies Press
    • Name change to National Academy of Medicine effective July 1. Will continue to be an honorific society but change is part of broader internal reorganization to more effectively integrate work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  Reports and studies on health and medicine will continue uninterrupted as activities of the IOM which will become one of the six program units operating under direction of the integrated academies.
    • We asked about process they use in choosing topics for examination. Many of studies they undertake begin as specific mandates from Congress; others are requested by federal agencies and independent organizations. They currently have 20 forums and workgroups in place.
    • They want to work with us to raise awareness and use of IOM reports and publications in our academic medical centers. Every report is free on their website and via PubMed Central. They're working with aggregators to have their content included in as many places as possible. We discussed the idea of having our libraries work to incorporate IOM reports into appropriate subject-specific information portals we're maintaining (LibGuides, etc.) We also told them as academic medical library directors that we often alert our deans, vice chancellors/vice presidents, etc. to new reports of relevance to their priorities and could encourage our members to sign up for IOM e-alerts about new publications.
    • Here is link where you can sign up to receive e-alerts;  you can also access all Academies reports here:
    • Diagnostic errors reporting coming out in the fall.
    • There are four librarians on staff who serve IOM and other academies. They assist with research and are also involved in Google digitization project.  There are 200 staff total.
    • Some discussion of having IOM participate in AAHSL annual meeting. They are open to it.
  • American Medical Informatics Association – Jeff Williamson, Vice President, Education and Academic Affairs & Peshua Rubinstein, Director of Education
    • Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI, joined AMIA as President and CEO in Nov 2014 - formerly Chief Science Officer, Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
    • Clinical Informatics Board Review Course - limited to physicians. Administered by American Board of Preventive Medicine or American Board of Pathologists - 700 diplomats to date.  This course is valid until 2017. Beginning in 2018, certification will be via ACGME-approved two year fellowships. There less than 10 such fellowships in place right now.
    • Advanced Inter-professional Informatics Certification (AIIC) - open to everyone - still in planning phase - Don Detmer heading it up - defining core content and body of knowledge in format of core competencies - developing eligibility criteria, etc.
    • AMIA has joined Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) - accredits associate and baccalaureate degree programs in health information management, and masters’ degree programs in the health informatics and health information management professions in US. Hefty fee for joining.
    • Data management may be potential area for collaboration with AAHSL - consider cobranding a webinar.
    • 10x10 courses on horizon are health information exchanges (public health) and data standards (PCORI)
    • Will come to AAHSL fellows capstone event
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) – Christiane (Chris) Mitchell, Director, Federal Affairs
    • We asked about who is handling Group on Information Resources (GIR) affairs in the wake of Morgan Passiment’s departure. Response was Dr. Janis Orlowski, AAMC’s newly appointed chief health care officer. Orlowski is temporarily overseeing GIR. She joined AAMC as senior director of clinical transformation in October 2013, after serving for nine years as chief medical officer and chief operating officer at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Prior to her MedStar tenure, Orlowski held several leadership roles at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., including executive dean for operations and associate vice president of medical affairs from 1996 to 2004. A board certified nephrologist, Orlowski is chair of the Washington, D.C., Board of Medicine. Chris indicated that Dr. Orlowski wants to interact more closely with AAHSL.
    • As far as the Matheson Lecture, Chris explained that an external group is now handling the process for submitting proposals and topics for AAMC meetings. Ethan Kendrick, GIR staff person, was told to submit a proposal for Matheson lecture to ensure that it was in the pool of proposals.
    • Chris described an association-wide initiative – Optimizing Graduate Medical Education - led by Chief Medical Education Officer Maryellen E. Gusic, MD, and Chief Health Care Officer Janis M. Orlowski, MD. - 3 themes in multi-year effort - Investing in future physicians • Optimizing the environment for learning, care, and discovery • Preparing the physician and physician scientist for the 21st century. Lots of workgroups will be formed. Information technology (IT) and life-long learning will be a big piece of this.  Probably wise for us to read the roadmap document for the initiative
    • AAMC has established an online advocacy community for GME and asked us to encourage our members to consider signing up to receive email updates when they have call to action on GME-related issues.  If you’re interested, please use this link so they can track for the number of our members who have visited/joined the e-community.
  • National Library of Medicine – Betsy Humphreys, Interim Director
    • Jim was unable to attend this meeting and Ruth and I were too engaged in the conversation to take notes, so this is from memory.  Sorry!
    • Discussed the concept of regional data centers.
    • Changes to NN/LM funding model provides flexibility for cross institute collaboration.  Apparently the current NN/LM funding model of contracts creates artificial barriers to other institutes participating in network activities and funding.  Betsy hopes this new model, which she said is very much like a grant, will be less complicated to administer and might provide an incentive for other agencies to participate.
    • Big data in NN/LM to seed the idea of training on data management issues for other organizations.  She feels activities in this area can contribute to the outreach efforts of the NN/LM among other research institutions.  In particular, she thinks the resource libraries could play a role in educating about data management issues – security and privacy, meta-data, etc.
    • Interest in better understanding how information is used throughout the patient care continuum as well as its measurable impact on patient outcomes and hospital costs.
    • Role of librarians – there will be jobs, but not necessarily where we’re used to having them.  Betsy is optimistic that there will be lots of opportunities for librarians and information scientists.
  • My thanks to Ruth for taking notes during our visit.

One last item … we’re extending the call for AAHSL’s Cornerstone Award nominations. Please send your nominations to [email protected].

OK … this has been late and I’m trying to get myself organized for MLA!  It’s time I just hit the send button.  I’ll see many of you in Austin.



Paul Schoening

President, AAHSL 2013-2015
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis


Hello again, Friends!

Another month has passed -- far too quickly for me -- and your Association has been busy.

On February 13, 2015 I sent a letter edited by our Scholarly Communications Committee to the American Public Health Association expressing AAHSL’s concern about the changes made to the open access policy of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) which extended its embargo period from 2 years to 10 years and closed public access to articles via the journal’s web portal.

On February 19, 2015 AAHSL signed on to letter by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research that is recommending at least $32 billion for NIH in FY2016.

The AAHSL Board of Directors held their annual mid-winter meeting in Atlanta, Georgia where some of us were expecting some respite from the bitter midwest winter.  No luck.  It was bitterly cold in Atlanta, too.  Thankfully, the meeting was very productive and, as usual, AAHSL HQ made wonderful arrangements.

During our meeting the Board settled on a preliminary schedule for AAHSL’s Annual Meeting to be held in Baltimore, November 4-7, 2015.  The AAHSL Annual Meeting will immediately precede the AAMC Annual Meeting (November 6-10).  This year the AAMC Medical Education Meeting (November 10-12) immediately follows the AAMC Annual Meeting so the conflicts of this past year will not be repeated.

Wednesday, November 4

  • AAHSL Board of Directors Meeting (pm)

Thursday, November 5

  • AAHSL Board of Directors Meeting (am)
  • AAHSL Leadership Fellows Orientation
  • Committee Meetings (pm, 2 time slots)
  • New Directors Dinner

Friday, November 6

  • Business Meeting
  • AAHSL Educational Program
  • Reception

Saturday, November 7

  • Matheson Lecture
  • New Directors Symposium

Further details will be forthcoming as they emerge.

Other highlights from the Board meeting include:

  • The Board provided recommendations to the Program and Education Committee for the Fall educational program.  It is now up to the committee to deliberate, recommend and proceed with the planning so stay tuned for more information.
  • A thoughtful discussion on the growing role of osteopathic medical schools in healthcare and the many similarities that exist among allopathic and osteopathic health sciences libraries.
  • I shared an update as well as preliminary observations from my Strategic Planning Listening Tour.
  • The Board reviewed the charges for the Research Services Committee and the Assessment & Statistics Review Task Force.
  • Reached a decision for an independent response from AAHSL to the NIH Request for Information regarding the NLM.  Jim Bothmer, Ruth Riley, M.J. Tooey and I will be working together to draft our response in time for the March 13 deadline.  Although AAHSL will be responding I urge all of you to respond on behalf of your own institutions.  This is an important opportunity that we should not miss to support the NLM and its mission.

Hot off the presses is the news that the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) voted in favor of treating Internet service providers as carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.  Known more generally as Net Neutrality this policy will ensure that ISPs do not give preferential treatment or restrict access to content providers.  AAHSL joined MLA, AALL, and SLA in submitting Joint Library comments to the FCC supporting Net Neutrality in July of last year.

I want to express my thanks to our Future Leadership Committee for their idea and HQ’s implementation of the Library Director’s Opening page on the AAHSL web site. Nice work!

My thanks also to Ruth Riley and the volunteers willing to serve on the Assessment & Statistics Review Task Force.  Ruth is in the process of finalizing the membership of the Research Services Committee and is still taking volunteers so let her know if you want to serve.

That’s it for now.  I sincerely hope the weather is warmer when I send my next update!



Paul Schoening
President, AAHSL 2013-2015
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis



The first month of the new year is nearly over. The hope of living up to my personal resolutions has been mercilessly dashed upon the rocks of reality. Ah, such is life. Thankfully I’m doing better on my professional resolutions!

I’ve begun my Listening Tour and the conversations have been spectacular.  Thank you!  I look forward to many, many more and to visiting some of your libraries during the course of the next several months.

Notable activities within AAHSL during January include:

AAHSL signed on to an NDD United letter “urging Congress to build on the Bipartisan Budget Act and stop sequestration.” In doing so AAHSL joined nearly 1,000 other prominent associations strongly urging lawmakers to adopt a balanced approach to deficit reduction without sequestration. The letter highlights the following points:

  1. NDD programs have already been cut too much.
  2. NDD cuts have consequences.
  3. NDD programs make America strong.

Pat Thibodeau quickly and enthusiastically agreed to represent AAHSL in working with MLA to help draft comments on two federal proposals related to the registration of and submission of reporting requirements to The call for participation didn’t leave enough time to ask for volunteers from our members so I am thankful that Pat was interested and willing to do this.

Our President-elect, Ruth Riley, called for volunteers for the Assessment & Statistics Review Task Force and new Research Services committee on January 23. If you are interested in having your voice heard and participating in AAHSL’s future I encourage you to volunteer for either of these groups. I know that the discussions within both will be spirited.

Carol Jenkins asks that I pass along the following information regarding scholarship application guidelines.

The Future Leadership Committee has revised its guidelines on scholarship awards as described below. The normal call for applications by April 1st and the selection process are unchanged, as described here: AAHSL Leadership Scholarships.  This change allows the committee to consider special circumstances.

Out-of-Cycle Applications
The Selection Committee recognizes that in certain instances the Leadership Scholarship deadlines may not synchronize with the application deadlines of suitable leadership programs in which an applicant may be interested.  In such instances, the applicant should immediately notify the AAHSL Office at [email protected] of his/her intent to seek out-of-cycle consideration for a Leadership Scholarship by the selection committee.  Effective January 1, 2015, the Committee will consider such requests on a limited basis.

Ruth Riley, Jim Bothmer and I are beginning to plan our Spring Visits to like-minded organizations in Washington, DC.  The initial list of organizations to visit includes:

  • National Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
  • American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM)
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

These visits provide the opportunity to educate others not only about our association, but also of the vital role that academic health sciences libraries play within their member institutions. In return we learn about the issues they are facing and possible areas where our members could provide support. If you have any particular issues that you would like to see addressed during our visits please send me an email message.

The mid-winter AAHSL Board Meeting will be held in Atlanta, GA on February 19 & 20.  The agenda is shaping up nicely, with several interesting items that I look forward to reporting on in my next update.

And lastly we have four new directors to congratulate!

Kristen L. Anderson
Director, Health Sciences Library

John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Sharon Argov
Director of Library Services at Larkin Health Sciences Institute
Miami, Florida

A new and developing member:

Janis Brown
Interim Director
Norris Medical Library
University of Southern California

Janice Hart
Interim Director at University of Arkansas Library for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, Arkansas

That’s all I have. I personally hope the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow!

With warmest regards,


Paul Schoening
President, AAHSL 2013-2015
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis



Here we are about to close out another year.  Wow!  Where did it go???  I won’t reflect on all that happened during 2014, but I will wish each one of you a happy and healthy start to the upcoming new year!

AAHSL closed out its 2014 with a handful of December accomplishments.

Kate Carpenter, Neil Rambo, and M.J. Tooey submitted the charge for a to-be-formed Assessment & Statistics Review Task Force that will work during the next year to assess the value of the Annual Statistics and recommend needed changes.  Ruth Riley, our president elect, will be assigning members to this task force in the near future.  Be on the lookout for a call for volunteers from her.

The Future Leadership Committee submitted a proposal to the AAHSL Board to begin posting AAHSL Director recruitment announcements on the AAHSL website.  The Board approved and AAHSL HQ has begun working with the committee on the specifics.

During its November meeting the Board, upon a recommendation from the Research Enterprise Task Force, agreed to establish a Research Services Committee to oversee and coordinate AAHSL’s efforts to enhance research support services in member libraries through educational programs, workforce development, best practices and resource material.  Watch the AAHSL email list for a general call for volunteers for this new committee.

And finally, I have begun planning my listening tour to better inform this year’s strategic planning.  Since our budget and my work schedule won’t allow me to personally visit all of our member libraries I will be arranging virtual visits with many of you during the coming months.  The objectives of this listening tour include:

  • Increase the number of individuals providing input to the strategic plan
  • Cultivate higher quality and more candid ideas, comments and recommendations
  • Improve the diversity of viewpoints by ensuring that libraries from a wide variety of institutional types are included
  • Better educate members about the planning process
  • Engender a sense of ownership among members in the strategic planning process

I look forward to beginning my tour in January!

That’s all for now.

Take care and Happy New Year!


Paul Schoening
President, AAHSL 2013-2015
Director, Becker Medical Library
Washington University in St. Louis


November 25, 2014


Welcome to my inaugural AAHSL President’s Update.  I hope that I can achieve the same high level of content and quality that Jim Bothmer put into each of his updates.  So here we go …

First let me thank outgoing past-president M.J. Tooey for her wisdom, advice and hospitality during my president-elect phase.  Fortunately, I’ll continue to have Jim Bothmer’s wisdom and experience to help guide me this year as he settles into his past-presidency.  I welcome working with Ruth Riley as our new president-elect.  Departing the board along with M.J. is Neil Rambo who is being replace by Pamela Bradigan.  I’m confident our new Board will lead AAHSL well this coming year!

November is nearly over and it’s been a busy month.  We had a very successful Annual Meeting in Chicago where it was great to reconnect with everyone again.  Despite the scheduling complexities with AAMC’s Annual Meeting and Medical Education Meeting I think everything went quite well.  We are now more agile leaders thanks to Bill Joiner’s lecture and workshop -- even though we may have been a little more irreverent than he wanted us to be.  The Matheson Lecture was also a success.  The program committee did a great job on this year’s program and deserves our thanks as well.  Be on the lookout for a survey from the program committee in the coming days.  They’re eager to get your feedback which is important to continuously improving the educational program.

On a personal note, I enjoyed meeting the new AAHSL Fellows and Mentors, dining with the new directors, and chatting over drinks at the AAHSL reception at the beautiful Galter Health Sciences Library (Thanks, Kristi and everyone at Galter!).  It was also nice to see Mary Langman, Director Information Issues and Policy at MLA receive the 2014 Cornerstone Award and Dave Moore, AAMC Senior Director of Government Relations, receive a Joint Resolution from MLA and AAHSL honoring his contributions.  Both awards are well deserved!

Hopefully next year we will have fewer complications scheduling around the AAMC’s programs.  In particular, it appears that the Medical Education meeting will be after the main AAMC meeting.  This will make it easier on our members if we stick to the same pre-AAMC meeting format.  The Board will be discussing the details of next year’s meeting more thoroughly at its mid-winter meeting.

At the annual meeting a Chicago Collaborative Update Session was held where Brenda Seago and myself provided information on Chicago Collaborative (CC) activities and answered questions.  In an effort to better inform AAHSH members about the CC and its activities the AAHSL representatives will be sharing the CC meeting minutes directly through the AAHSL email list and soliciting input from AAHSL members on potential discussion topics for future CC meetings.  The goal is to improve the overall transparency of the CC to AAHSL members.  A call for a new representative to the CC will be going out in the spring along with the general call for committee volunteers.  

In other news …

AAHSL signed onto a SPARC letter urging various congressional appropriation subcommittees to retain public access language as they work through the conferencing process.

AAHSL, MLA, the Pharmacy and Drug Information Section of MLA, and the Health Sciences Interest Group of the ACRL, jointly submitted comments and recommendations on the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education’s (ACPE) Draft Standards 2016 urging changes to the proposed standards to recognize the role of libraries and librarians, recognize the financial and legal burdens to providing broader access, and encourage self-directed lifelong learning.

And finally, AAHSL signed the Coalition to Support Research Letter to Congress “to express our continued and strong support for the competitive peer review process used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

In the coming months I will be reaching out to many of you to hear your thoughts about AAHSL’s strengths, areas for improvement, mission and future.  These conversations will be vital in creating a strategic plan for AAHSL that is inclusive and responsive to the needs of our members.

That’s it for now.  Please enjoy a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving Holiday -- eat, drink (not in excess!), and be merry with family, friends, relatives and pets!

Warmest regards,