M.J. Tooey
President, AAHSL 2012-2013 and
Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs
University of Maryland, Baltimore

October 28, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues –

About a week ago I realized that this President’s Message is my twelfth and last one! My first thought was “whew, I didn’t miss a single one!” And then I realized the ramifications. I wouldn’t have the monthly opportunity to share with you all the accomplishments of your organization. And, we have been busy indeed this year!

In a message to our Committee and Task Force Chairs a few weeks ago, I said that I could probably summarize my Presidency in a few phrases:

  1. I signed a lot of things
  2. I met a lot of people
  3. I made remarks
  4. I argued with AAMC
  5. I killed the Matheson Lecture (at least for this year)
  6. And spent a lot of time building partnerships (think Informatics R Us)

But I did not do this alone. I have been so fortunate to work with an excellent Board, fabulous committees and task forces, and responsive members. And I can’t forget Louise Miller, our Executive Director from SBIMS. So actually “we” did it all (so substitute “we” for “I” in all the statements above.) I was only the person fortunate enough to serve as President and be the face of our fine organization. AAHSL is so highly regarded by many people and other organizations that it was an honor to have served AAHSL. Sometimes I felt like a rock star! Or at least as much as you can in an academic health sciences setting. Some former leaders (who will remain nameless) refer to leading AAHSL as being similar to “herding cats.” But the realization that our members are all very busy, smart, excellent leaders, with huge responsibilities who still make the time to serve our organization is energizing. And, we have accomplished much this year.

Thanks to each and every one of you who have made this year such a pleasure.

Enough of the mushy stuff. We do have some announcements.

AAHSL annual meeting and education program – November 1. Philadelphia. Be there! Check the web site for agendas, minutes and annual reports under “About Us.” We have a lot of new directors attending so be sure to welcome them and draw them into the association with our collective wisdom, wit and charm!

Our reception is Friday night at 6:30 at the Thomas Jefferson Clinical Skills Center. Tony Frisby, our host, has graciously sent directions and a very useful restaurant listing! At the reception, we will be recognizing our 2013 Cornerstone Award winner, Carolyn Lipscomb.

Remember on November 15, we are co-sponsoring with AMIA and MLA a pre-AMIA symposium on meaningful use. Paul Schoening is our representative to that endeavor if you have any questions. You might still be able to register and do not have to attend the AMIA meeting.

The new NLM/AAHSL Fellows class starts at this meeting and they will be joining us. Please welcome them. Let’s try to behave and be good role models for them. After all, we probably want to retire some day and they are our best hope! BIG NEWS: I am delighted to report that NLM has agreed to continue to co-fund the fellowship at least through the 2015-16 class. We are so grateful to NLM for their support of this project and their confidence that we are doing the right thing in advancing health sciences library leadership.

Looking forward to seeing you later this week!

Thank you again for being such great and supportive friends and colleagues.


September 30, 2013

Subject: President's Message Number 11 - The "Will the Government Be Here Tomorrow?" Issue

Here in Charm City we are having a beautiful fall day, and are totally consumed by the looming tragedy of government shutdown down the road in DC. In yesterday’s Washington Post I read that 300,000 Marylanders will be affected if the government shuts down. I am sure there are similar stories in all of your states as well. Observing this from only 45 miles up the road brings new meaning to the old adage about familiarity breeding contempt…

One place where familiarity does not breed contempt is in our AAHSL community. We frequently collaborate with each other, advise each other, answer interminable surveys from each other, and support each other in so many ways!

I am very happy to again congratulate the 2013-2014 NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows and their mentors:

Debra R. Berlanstein
Associate Director, Hirsh Health Sciences Library
Tufts University
Mentor: Thomas G. Basler
Director, Libraries and Learning Resource Centers
Chair, Department of Library Science and Informatics
Medical University of South Carolina

Renée Bougard
National Network of Libraries of Medicine Outreach Librarian
National Library of Medicine
Mentor: Pamela S. Bradigan
Assistant Vice President, Health Sciences
Director, Health Sciences Library
Ohio State University

Tara Douglas-Williams
Division Head for Information Services/Library Manager
Morehouse School of Medicine
Mentor: Barbara Bernoff Cavanaugh
Associate Director, Health Sciences Libraries, and
Director, Biomedical Library
University of Pennsylvania

Deborah L. Lauseng
Assistant Director, Academic and Clinical Engagement
Taubman Health Sciences Library
University of Michigan
Mentor: Anne Linton
Director, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
George Washington University

Alexa Mayo
Associate Director for Services, Health Sciences and Human Services Library
University of Maryland
Mentor: Christine D. Frank
Director, Library of Rush University Medical Center

Dongming Zhang
Associate Director for Advanced Technologies and Information Systems
Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Mentor: Gerald J. Perry
Director, Health Sciences Library
University of Colorado Denver

What an exceptionally fine group! For the first time, the cohort will include six fellows and mentors. The class will meet for the first time on October 31st, preceding the AAHSL annual meeting which they will also be attending. Please make sure to give them a warm AAHSL welcome. Hugs are optional. Many thanks to the Future Leadership Committee for all their efforts in selecting this excellent cohort. And of course, thanks to the National Library of Medicine for their ongoing support of the program. We couldn’t do it without them.

Just an aside, this week is the Capstone for the current group of Fellows and Mentors – Donna Berryman and Paul Schoening, Rose Bland and Kate Carpenter, Melissa De Santis and Neil Rambo, John Gallagher and Gretchen Arnold, and Michele Tennant and Heidi Heilemann. Congratulations on completing the program. I will see you on Wednesday! Sadly, this is Carolyn Lipscomb’s last cohort. She has shepherded, nurtured, and cherished this program for 11 years and we are sad to see her go. For all these reasons and more, she is receiving our Cornerstone Award this year and we have an opportunity to celebrate with her and wish her well at our reception on Friday evening at Thomas Jefferson University’s Clinical Skills Center.

Speaking of the AAHSL Annual Meeting, I am looking forward to seeing many of you at our education and business meetings on November 1. If you have not already registered, please do so immediately. The program looks great and the business meeting is always a highlight of any of our meetings.

Speaking of the Business Meeting (it only took me 11 tries but I am finally getting good at this segue stuff!), we will be following the excellent example of our former President , Gary Freiburger and will post all committee reports (get them in!) on the web site prior to the meeting. Please read through them and come with any questions. The business meeting agenda will be posted on the web site soon.

And speaking of the web site, I have received a letter from Marlis Korber, the President of our management firm, SBI Management Services alerting me to the fact that our website and database provider, MemberClicks, has been experiencing problems with their systems. They are periodically taking the systems down and working closely with Oracle to address the issues. We have been assured that our data has been backed up and there should be no loss of any of our information. So if you have been experiencing any problems with the web site, this may be the reason.

And finally, I think we should all be so proud of Julie Sollenberger for her recent article with Dr. Robert Holloway, Jr entitled “The Evolving Role and Value of Libraries and Librarians in Health Care” that appeared in JAMA ( The article has been forwarded everywhere in the library universe and beyond. Thanks Julie for doing such an excellent job – congratulations!

Until next month!

Best – 

August 27, 2013

So here we are. It’s almost the end of August. We have our #2 Pencils, and new backpacks. All our students (average age 14) have pretty much returned and we eagerly await…The Baltimore Grand Prix. Bet you didn’t know we had a Grand Prix. Oh the joy of having street barriers that look like hamster cages, closed streets, and the incessant loud whine of Formula One cars racing through the streets at speeds approaching 180 mph a mere block and ½ from the library. I take the week off.

But AAHSL never takes a week off so here’s the news.

I am very pleased to announce Carol Jenkins will be taking over the job of Program Manager for the NLM/AAHSL Fellows program from Carolyn Lipscomb who will be stepping down after 11 years of exemplary service after this year’s Capstone event. In order to insure a smooth transition, Carol will begin her work on September 1 and will overlap with Carolyn for a bit. What an excellent choice to succeed Carolyn! Carol, a former president of AAHSL, was instrumental in identifying the critical need for developing our future health sciences library leaders and helping to develop AAHSL’s strategy for meeting that need. Many thanks to Barbara Epstein, Julie Sollenberger and Judy Cohn who worked through numerous iterations of position descriptions and agreements and were so instrumental in bringing this to this wonderful resolution.

I hope you have all seen the AAHSL education program and AAHSL events schedule now posted on the AAHSL web page. Please remember to register for the program. One person from each AAHSL institution is entitled to a free registration. Additional registrations are $100.00. Lunch will be provided. And please plan on attending our reception on Friday evening at the Thomas Jefferson University Clinical Skills Center. Thanks to Tony Frisby for his kind invitation and for making arrangements for us to party in this amazing facility.

Enjoy the rest of the summer. Remember no white or seersucker after Labor Day!

Best –

July 25, 2013

For the past two months, I have not traveled anywhere…staying here so others can have fun on their vacations. That’s just the type of kindhearted person I am. But now it is my turn! Off to the family reunion I go. But in the meantime the AAHSL wheels of state turn on!

August 1 is the deadline for applications for the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows. Go to for more information.

Remember, the fellowship does not run on fellows alone. It needs mentors! If you have ever dreamed about making a difference in the life of an aspiring director and future leader and have at least five years of dictatorial (oooops, I mean directorial) experience please contact Carolyn Lipscomb at [email protected]\[email protected]\>.

And speaking of Carolyn, the Future Leadership Committee has been working hard with the Board, HQ, and a possible new project director to continue the fine work of the Fellowship that Carolyn (our 2013 Cornestone Awardee) began lo those 11 long years ago. Stay tuned!

Earlier this month the AAHSL/AMIA/IMLS Project Task Force had a conference call to determine the feasibility of pursuing an IMLS grant to develop an AMIA 10x10 type informatics course for AAHSL members. After about 30 seconds of soul searching, the task force decided we would not apply for an IMLS grant this fall but we would continue talking about an informatics course with AMIA. There will be a survey this fall and we will use one of the hot topic slots at the meeting to gather input from our members. So for now, drop the IMLS in the Task Force name.

Thanks to everyone who responded to Jim Bothmer’s call for committee participation. He is just about done with the process and I believe received a sizable number of volunteers. AAHSL can’t get anything done without member volunteerism so thank you!

In order to check in and make sure all committees and the Board are on track, we have scheduled a phone conference of all committee chairs and/or chair-elects and the Board on September 4th. This should help us be more prepared for the annual meeting. If you are a committee chair or a board member and all this is news to you, please get in touch with me.

And, thankfully, there were no joint statements to sign onto this month.

Until next month –

June 27, 2013

Hello Colleagues –

Okay, last message I was complaining about the busy-ness of May and now no one is around.  No traffic, no calls, no responses to emails (or Out of the Office messages), and no meetings.  And now it is tropically hot in B’more.  There is no making me happy! At least when you are cold you can put on  more clothes.  I certainly cannot take any more clothing off without risking hysterical laughter from observers and certain arrest.  And as many of you have heard me say, I don’t look good in orange jumpsuits and/or horizontal stripes and one of my life goals is not to go to jail.

Onward to AAHSL news…

First, this is a reminder that the Call for Applications for the 2013-2014 cohort of NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows has been announced.  This exemplary program is focused on preparing emerging leaders for academic health science library directorships.  In this one-year program, fellows are partnered with experienced director mentors to develop their knowledge and skills in a variety of learning settings in a program with a wonderful faculty and curriculum.  To date fifty-five fellows have participated in the program and twenty-two have become directors.  Fellow applications are being accepted until August 1.  The program brochure, including information on program design, schedule and application process can be found at  Please encourage any emerging leaders you know to apply.  BTW, this program only succeeds because there are also dedicated mentors.  If you are interested in serving as a mentor and have at least five years of experience as a director, please contact the Future Leadership Committee, Julie Sollenberger, Chair at j[email protected].

Congratulations to our four 2013 AAHSL Leadership Scholarship awardees:
Diana Delgado, Associate Director, User Support, Research and Education, Weill Cornell Medical Library, for the 2013 Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Rikke Sarah Ogawa, Team Leader, Research, Instruction and Collection Services, Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library, University of California, Los Angeles, for the 2013 Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator, NN/LM, Southeastern/Atlantic Region, University of Maryland, for the Health Literacy Leadership Institute, Tufts University
Kelly Thormodson, Assistant Director, Library of the Health Sciences, University of North Dakota (formerly Head, Health Sciences Education and Outreach, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa), for the 2013 Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
These recipients were selected as part of a competitive process, with over a 100% increase in the number of applications from the previous year. AAHSL Leadership Scholarships support career development opportunities for persons interested in leadership roles in academic health sciences libraries. Their institutions share in the costs of supporting participation in the programs. The scholarships are part of the continuum of AAHSL leadership programs.

Last week the AAHSL members of the MLA/AAHSL Joint Legislative Task Force – Cynthia Henderson, Jerry Perry, Neil Rambo, Julie Schneider and I – ventured to Washington, DC for our advocacy visits.  AAHSL Board Member Barbara Epstein was also there representing MLA so we were a formidable group!  After a half day of briefings from AAMC, AACN, and NLM we were well prepared for Capitol Hill.  We were broken up into three groups of four and sent to visit our legislators.  We had two key talking points this year.  One was to request support for the President’s budget support for NIH (and by association, NLM) and the other was a request to support the FASTR (Fair Access to Science and Technology Research) Act.  In general we speak to the health policy advisors (most of them are around 10 years old) for the legislators.  We also leave information packets for legislators with whom we don’t have appointments.  Not surprisingly, the budget situation is grim and there doesn’t seem to be any hope of resolution among the President, the Democrats and Republicans.  One interesting bit of information we heard is that between budget cuts, continuing resolutions, and the Sequester, NIH is essentially at 2001 funding levels.  For FASTR, we were mostly educating the staff about the bill and encouraging legislators to sign onto it and support it.  It is always interesting.  Many thanks to MLA’s Mary Langman, who works hard to organize this event and keep us on the straight and narrow!

I am pleased to report Paul Schoening will be AAHSL’s representative to the planning committee for the joint AMIA/AAHSL/MLA symposium to be held on November 15th as a pre-conference for the AMIA meeting.

We have also put together a task force to explore an IMLS grant to plan, in partnership with AMIA, a professional development program for AAHSL on informatics.  Task Force Members for now (they may change as we get further into the process are:  Jim Bothmer, Gary Freiburger, Mary Blackwelder, Mary Moore, Leslie Schick, Jeffrey Williamson (AMIA) and me.

Finally, I am hoping you all saw the announcement from AAHSL President-elect Jim Bothmer regarding AAHSL’s slate of officers for our upcoming election.  President-elect – Paul Schoening; Treasurer – Kate Carpenter, and Board Member – Neville Prendergast.  An excellent slate.  Good work Jim and Nominating Committee Members: David Boilard and Tom Singarella!

Happy Fourth of July all!  Until next month -
Your Pal –

June 3, 2013


Is it just me or did having MLA so early in May throw everyone off?  There was way too much month of May left over. I actually got to attend our commencement for only the second time in 27 years!

It was delightful to see so many of you at the MLA meeting in Boston. The meeting itself was wonderful and I was able to get my 10,000 steps in every day! The people and city of Boston were so welcoming despite the tragedy and rawness of the Boston Marathon bombing.  A great city, indeed.  Several AAHSL committees met during the meeting and I am sure they got a lot accomplished.  I’m always the last to know. The session on “altmetrics” with a very energetic Jason Priem was very well received.  Thanks to everyone who worked on that excellent program.  

And now the news…

Cornerstone Award – I am excited and thrilled to announce Carolyn Lipscomb as the 2013 recipient of the AAHSL Cornerstone Award.  The Cornerstone Award 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 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.” So many heartfelt nomination letters were sent to the Board.  It was heartwarming to see the impact of Carolyn on the lives of the NLM/AAHSL Fellows not only over the past four years but the past 11 years!  Thank you Carolyn for shepherding AAHSL’s hallmark leadership program, keeping it safe and growing it for us so carefully and thoughtfully.

Fall Education Program – Barbara Kern, Chair of our Program and Education Committee has shared with me that Dr. Kevin Fickenscher, President of the American Medical Informatics Association, will be our keynote speaker at our session on November.  Kevin is engaging and energetic and will start off our program with a bang.  The day is shaping up nicely and in future letters; there will be more news to share.

Partnerships – AAHSL has agreed to partner with MLA and AMIA on a day-long AMIA pre-conference to be held on November 15 in Washington, DC. It’s unfortunate that it is two weeks after the AAHSL/AAMC event but it is a great opportunity for us to partner on a unique program opportunity.

Grant Opportunity – This is really premature but based on a very encouraging meeting the AAHSL leadership had with IMLS, we are mulling over the possibilities around applying for a planning award for AAHSL to work with AMIA and explore the development of an informatics course of study for AAHSL members perhaps similar to the AMIA 10X10 program.  Stay tuned.

Finally, I have not given up on the idea of a “water cooler” teleconference where as many people as are able dial-in and discuss an issue of interest.  If you have an idea or topic you would like to discuss, let me know.  Some that have come to my self-absorbed mind are the evolution of our spaces, how we are supporting the research enterprise, and relationships with the big research libraries (whether we report to them or not!).  Your thoughts?

All the best!

May 1, 2013

Hello again –
You can tell I am clearing my “to do” list before MLA!
For this message I just have two items.

1.    Jim Bothmer has constituted his nominating committee with David Boilard and Tom Singarella.  They will begin their work soon.  If there is someone you would like to recommend for President-elect or a Board position, I am sure they would be glad to listen.
2.    The AAHSL Spring Visits or as I like to call them “Jim, Gary and MJ’s Excellent Adventure.”  I also started referring to us as the Ghosts of AAHSL Past, Present and To Come.  Jim liked the idea of wearing the black hooded robe and not saying anything.  Hmmm.  Get ready for blank President’s Messages next year.  Anyway we had very productive visits which were well organized thanks to our AAHSL HQ staff.  And it was so pleasant to work with such knowledgeable colleagues.  A brief summary of our visits is below:

  • AACN – They were very cordial and happy to see us.  It just so happens that all our deans of nursing are heavily involved with them so we dropped names like crazy.  They talked about their organization and their changes and challenges.  There are LOTS of nursing schools.  They were very interested in the changes in academic libraries and they suggested that we participate in one of their dean meetings and present an educational session on changes and trends in libraries.  Good possibilities there.
  • ARL – We had to walk a whole block to ARL where we saw many old friends.  A very cordial meeting.  We shared our joint MLA/AAHSL Statement encouraging publishers to help authors submit to PMC.  We also shared our concerns about recent OAWG organizational changes requiring members to heavily commit to participation in OAWG activities.
  • IMLS – Perhaps our most intriguing meeting.  We met with Susan Hildreth and Bob Horton who talked about IMLS priorities and programs. Bob in particular shared some thoughts about funding opportunities that might be available to us.  We all agreed AAHSL could look into a planning award to collaborate with AMIA regarding informatics training for AAHSL members.  They wondered who they could partner with regarding the dissemination of information about the Affordable Care Act.  We suggested NLM. Susan Hildreth subsequently contacted me and I gave her contact information at NLM.
  • NLM – We met with Dr. Lindberg, Betsy Humphreys, and Joyce Backus.  Our conversation focused on the budget issues and political situation in DC.  NLM has been given a 5.7% cut.  We gave them an update about the Fellows Program including our plans for our upcoming study.  They are great fans of the Fellows program.
  • AMIA – We met with Jeff Williamson and Meryl Bloomrosen (on the phone) and Krista Martin and Ross Martin (in the room).  They are very interested in working with us on an informatics program for the AAHSL members based on their 10X10 program.  And they would be willing partners in a planning grant proposal to IMLS.  
  • AAMC – AAMC had a large contingent in the room and the time flies by fast. We briefly discussed Up-To-Date (they’ve had more discussions with them).  If you recall about two years ago AAHSL members sat in on an initial meeting with some of the AAMC deans regarding their concern about UTD pricing. Emily Cahill talked to us about enhancements to MedEdPortal (looking to get the peer review part of it indexed in PubMed and are adding all sorts of cool content). Bob Englander shared information about new competency-based directions for medical education.  And our friend Tony Mazzaschi enthusiastically shared thoughts about the newly created Council on Faculty and Academic Societies
  • We had a chance to discuss our dismay regarding the meeting changes with Morgan Passiment.  She shared that this scheduling change has been equally frustrating for the AAMC Groups.  
  • AAMC moves into their new building in downtown DC next spring.

All in all a very successful series of visits.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I will refer them to Gary and Jim!

That’s all for now.  Looking forward to seeing many of you at MLA.

Best –

March 29, 2013


Here in Maryland it finally looks as though spring might be in the air.  I was on vacation in Mexico last week – 84 degrees, sunny – and returned to six inches of snow on Monday.  Is it any wonder there are seasonal affective disorders?  But today it is a balmy 60 degrees and the daffodils and trees are blooming.  I hope all of you are shaking off the drudgery of winter as well!

In my Special Edition President’s message earlier this month, I relayed the plans for our annual meeting.  Thanks for the additional comments and your support of the Board’s deliberations.  I would just like to reiterate that if this doesn’t work, we will try something else.  And, it will be Jim Bothmer’s problem.  Now that we have finalized our schedule, Barbara Kern and the Program Committee are moving into high gear planning for a meaningful, relevant program.

This month, in part due to the sequester issues; there have been a number of letters AAHSL has signed onto in support of increased appropriations for NIH, NLM, and HHS.

Several AAHSL committees and task forces will be meeting at MLA this year, as will our NLM/AAHSL Fellows and New Director Symposium participants.  I hope to have a conversation with the MLA Board regarding the Matheson Lecture being held at MLA. These are only conversations about what a Matheson at MLA might look like.  The Board and membership preference is to keep the lecture at AAMC in order to attract a broader, diverse audience.  But we have to do due diligence in exploring the options.  So I will go on a fact finding mission!

Member Action Items:

  1. Jim, Gary and I travel to Washington, DC for our annual spring visits on April 21-24.  We will be visiting ARL, IMLS (new!), NLM, AAMC, and are awaiting confirmation on AACN and AMIA.  The three of us are looking for input from you regarding the types of issues you would like to see us raise on your behalf so please respond to the list or to any of us.  Thanks.

  2. I am late in requesting Cornerstone nominations.  The Cornerstone Award 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 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.  Both AAHSL members and non-members may be considered for this award.  Past awardees and the process for submitting a nomination can be found on the AAHSL web site at  Please submit your nominations to the Association office at [email protected] by May 1.  I apologize for the short turnaround time.

Best wishes for a fabulous spring – looking forward to seeing many of you in Boston.  Can you believe it is only five weeks away?  Travel safely!

February 25, 2013

Dear Colleagues -

What’s left during the gloomy month of February after the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory and the arrival of the Horizon Report?   Well there’s never a dull moment when you are around AAHSL!

The AAHSL Board meets in Chicago, February 28-March 1 and our agenda is very full.  Our snowshoes are packed and ready.  Since budget discussions take up a lot of time at these meetings, we had a budget teleconference early in February to clear the way for a smooth approval of the budget.  We did find some omissions and are ready for a fast budget approval next week.  A large amount of our time will be spent working on our annual meeting strategy for AAMC in November. The GIR has indicated that a joint reception with us is not one of their priorities and it also doesn’t seem likely the Matheson Lecture will make it into the official AAMC program.  Thanks to those of you who responded to our impromptu survey regarding meeting preferences.  You shared lots of good ideas and we will be looking at all options.

And what a month this has been for AAHSL activism!  We partnered with our colleagues in MLA to issue a letter of support for Dale Askey and McMaster University.  A copy of the letter is on the front page of the AAHSL web site at This action has garnered us quite a bit of positive publicity as we were among the first professional library associations to issue a statement of support.  We were mentioned in February 20th American Libraries Online.  Per my email earlier this week, there were many AAHSL and MLA members working together to craft this statement – thanks again to our Scholarly Communications Committee led by Christine Frank and our colleagues at MLA, Jane Blumenthal, Carla Funk and Mary Langman.

We have also signed on as supporters of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR).  This was mentioned in yesterday’s Library Journal.  A summary statement from the article says, “The law is based on the National Institute of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, as well as the previously-proposed Federal Research Public Access Act, which was introduced last Congressional session (as well as in two previous Congresses), but never made it to a vote. It is co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Doyle had sponsored FRPAA as well.”  The entire article can be found at  So from this point on, forget FRPAA and remember FASTR.  Of course, nothing is certain and GovTrack sets the chance of passage at 9%.  Our colleague Scott Plutchak is quoted in the article.  And of course late breaking news today somewhat related to this came via Christine Frank regarding the White House directive on Public Access to Article and Data found at

No one can deny that we are living in interesting times.  Sounds like the supposed Chinese curse to me!

Everyone be well.  I will plan on reporting on the Board meeting during my next President’s message.


January 31, 2013

Hello Friends and Colleagues;

Somehow the AAHSL President’s Message has again evaded my consciousness and here I am trying to snag an “AAHSL Hour” in my schedule to write this before my January 31 midnight deadline.  But seriously, how can anyone concentrate when everything in town is purple and there are billboards everywhere counting down the minutes to the Super Bowl.  Purple lights on our 200 year old Davidge Hall.  Purple nail polish. Purple signs in windows.  Tomorrow is Purple Friday. It is fatiguing (and exciting) and I AM a Ravens fan.

I digress.  Back to the President’s Message.

I have been surprised how busy the month has been from an AAHSL perspective.

1.    Thanks to those who responded to my impromptu survey on AAHSL and the AAMC Annual Meeting.  To say that we were shocked and taken by surprise by the changes in way AAMC is structuring the meeting is an understatement. In summary, AAMC will not allow any non-AAMC programming on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday of the meeting.  No business or committee meetings.  No educational programming. Social events can be held in the evenings.  As of today, we have not yet heard from the GIR about whether the Matheson Lecture is considered AAMC programming.  Clearly, we need to think of a new model.  A cursory look at the survey has been revelatory.  In a rough summary, our members seem to favor meeting prior to the AAMC.  The comments regarding our educational programming, business/committee meetings, and even separating our meeting from the AAMC are thoughtful and creative.  It is obvious our members care about our organization and about the value of our meetings and networking.  The Board will be discussing the survey results at our meeting.

2.    And speaking of the Board meeting.  This spring we are doing things a bit differently.  We will hold a conference call on Monday to approve the association budget.  In late February we will hold our traditional Board meeting. We wanted to try putting more distance between the annual meeting and the Board meeting in order to allow the committees to get settled in and begin their work.  I am then planning on a late summer/early fall conference call with the Board and committee chairs in order to get our ducks in a row for the annual meeting.

3.    And speaking of committees.  I have been asked to remind any committee that has not yet turned in their 2012 annual report to please do so immediately to Louise Miller, our executive director [email protected].

4.    I am excited to report that Barbara Kern, chair of the Program Committee made an initial contact with Jeffrey Williamson of AMIA to discuss items of mutual program interest.  She and her committee are already hard at work considering ideas for programming at our annual meeting.

5.    On the “Drat” front, Anne Linton and Fran Allegri did not get the feedback they needed for crafting a proposal for the Academic Medicine question on the health workforce.  Thanks to the two of them for giving it a shot with short notice during a busy time of the year.  Maybe next year.

6.    Next, a volunteer opportunity!  Pat Thibodeau has ably led the Research Task Force since its inception.  She is stepping down as the chair and Karen Butter has agreed to take on the leadership of this important group.  She has asked me to seek out another member to serve on the task force to help complete the work.  The task force charge can be found at Please let me know if you are interested.

7.    I am pleased to report our Scholarly Communication Committee is partnering with MLA’s Scholarly Communication Committee to co-sponsor a program on altmetrics during the MLA Annual Meeting in Boston, this May.  It will be held during the first hour of the Legislative and Scholarly Communications Update on Tuesday, May 7 at 1:30. 

8.    The Assessment and Statistics Committee has recommended and the Board has approved the following titles for Beth Layton (now Chair, Assessment and Statistics Committee), and Steve Squires (now Editor, Statistics) in order to clarify their respective roles.

If you have any questions or comments about anything, please get in touch.  I’m off to find purple clothing and purple food for Sunday.

Go Ravens!

Best -

December 14, 2012

Hello Colleagues –

Whether you believe the world is going to end because the Mayans said so, or because we are careening toward the Fiscal Cliff, I thought this might be a good time to write an AAHSL President’s Message…just in case.

And speaking of the Fiscal Cliff (what a smooth segue that was!), I am pleased to say that AAHSL added our association voice to over one hundred organizations as members of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research sharing our concerns about the effects of sequestration on the NIH budget. It is estimated sequestration would result in a $2.5 billion budget cut to NIH.  An analysis by FASEB back in April states, “Since at least 75 percent of the grant budgets are for salaries, the impact on employment and local economies will be immediate and severe.”  I know that within Maryland, there has been a lot of press coverage and appropriate hand wringing over the effect on our state economy.

I am also pleased to report Anne Linton and Fran Allegri have taken on the task of attempting to craft an AAHSL response to Academic Medicine’s call for articles on shaping the healthcare workforce.  But they need your help.  Next week they are going to “draft an article proposal and send it out to the AAHSL list to get reactions and help writing.”  If it doesn’t go anywhere then they will not submit an article.  So please, look it over, give comments, and lend a hand if you can.  Thanks.

Please remember to turn in your Conflict of Interest forms to AAHSL HQ if appropriate and if you have not done so already.

Well, another year is drawing to a close.  How did it get to be 2013?  I still remember Y2K!  Thanks to all of you for being such great friends and colleagues.  My heartfelt wishes for holidays full of wonder, cookies, peace, and whatever makes your heart happy.  And of course, a happy and healthy 2013.


November 4, 2012

So here it is my first AAHSL presidential email.  I kept waiting around for one to come and then I realized that I had to write it!  So I will squeak the November one in right under the wire and hope I have enough content for a December message.

It's hard to believe that it has already been four weeks since we met in San Francisco. It was so good to see so many of you.  The AAMC meeting content was, as always, thought-provoking and invigorating.  We learned about “problemtunities” and that we all need to be “multipliers.”  I have also been practicing wearing a black turtleneck and staring into the eyes of people who resist me, saying “Don’t be afraid, you can do it.”  The AAHSL programming was no slouch either.  From the educational session on Saturday through the Matheson Lecture we heard about technology and learning, new roles in our libraries, and data and the human touch.   Thanks again to the Program Committee who did such a tremendous job pulling it all together.  We said goodbye to Pat Thibodeau and Sandra Franklin who served on the Board of Directors with style, grace and intelligence.  And we welcomed Jim Bothmer and Barbara Epstein to the Board and wished Gary Freiburger well as he steps into his role as past-president.  Well done Gary! Thanks also to Karen Butter who was the “hostess with the most-est” at a stellar reception in her library at UCSF.

During the meeting, committees, including the Board of Directors, met and put together plans and budgets for the upcoming year.  Based on the volume of emails that is coming through my mailbox, everyone seems to be hard at work.  This promises to be a busy and exciting year.  As an FYI, soon HQ will be sending Conflict-of-Interest forms to all committee and task force members.  Remember, having a conflict-of-interest does not preclude anyone from serving on a committee or task force.  However, it does make AAHSL leadership aware of potential conflicts should they arise.  It's really informational in nature.

At the BOD meeting we heard all the committee reports, worked on next year's budget and discussed the upcoming year.  Right now we are working to set up our late winter Board meeting and our spring DC visits.  With MLA being earlier this year it crunches our time somewhat.  However, there will not be a Legislative Task Force meeting until the summer so at least we don't have to work around that.

Lastly, as many of you know for the past two years Academic Medicine has issued a question of the year.  We have been fortunate that AAHSL has been well represented with an article each year in response to those questions.  This year Academic Medicine has moved from that model and issued a call for papers on the health workforce. They are looking for articles "on the role of medical schools and teaching hospitals in shaping the health care workforce. As questions persist about the adequacy of the size and skills of the health care workforce, the journal is welcoming submissions from across the health professions, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and others." The deadline for submitting proposals is Jan. 18, 2013.  I know the deadline is tight but if there are any AAHSL members out there who have thoughts about an angle for AAHSL and are willing to take a shot at writing an article, please contact me.

Thanks again for electing me to serve as your president.  It is a great honor and I appreciate your confidence in me.

P.S.I will try to do better on this AAHSL President's message email thing!