President's Message

Melissa De Santis, MLIS, AHIP
AAHSL President
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

November 1, 2022

Hello AAHSL -

As hard as it is to believe, this will be my final bimonthly update to the membership on AAHSL happenings. At the Annual Meeting on November 11th I'll be passing the gavel to Nadine Dexter who will take over as the new AAHSL President. 

Meeting registration has closed for AAHSL Annual Meeting however onsite registration will be available. A reminder that meeting registration for Directors is free. The full schedule is posted on the Annual Meeting webpage. Two highlights I'm looking forward to since we will be meeting in person are the New Directors dinner on November 10th and the Reception hosted by Vanderbilt University's Eskind Biomedical Library on November 11th. We have invited all new Directors from the last two years to the New Director dinner so it should be a lot of fun.

During the AAHSL Business Meeting there will be discussion about proposed bylaws changes. Please take some time to review the proposed changes prior to the meeting. Also at the Business Meeting we will be voting for our new officers. The Nominating Committee, chaired by Nadine Dexter (UCF), has put forward the following slate:

- Member At Large: Darell Schmick (Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine)

- President-Elect: Stephanie Fulton (Texas A&M)

- Secretary/Treasurer: Megan von Isenburg (Duke)

The Board knows that for a variety of reasons, not all AAHSL members will be attending the Annual Meeting in Nashville. In support of our host meeting city AAHSL has put together a list of nonprofits that align with AAHSL's mission to improve health through essential contributions to patient care, discovery, teaching, and learning. As you are able, please consider making a donation to one or more of these organizations.

President Elect Nadine Dexter recently shared a survey with the AAHSL membership asking for feedback on when and where to hold future AAHSL Annual Meetings. The survey closed yesterday and Nadine will be sharing the results at the Annual Business Meeting.

If you will be attending AAMC in Nashville, be aware that the AAHSL Scholarly Communications Committee has been involved with planning one of the breakout sessions. "A Transforming Landscape: What's Working and What's Changing in Academic Medicine Scholarly Publishing" will take place Nov 12, from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. This session will explore changes to academic medicine publishing models. AAHSL member Liz Ketterman (East Carolina Univ) is a member of the panel presentation.

After the Annual Meeting in November, AAHSL Committee and Task Force members will turn over. A new Committee that will begin after the Annual Meeting is the New & Interim Directors Committee. As I mentioned in my June Update, this Committee will focus on supporting the needs of new and interim directors. The inaugural members of this committee will be Vida Vaughn, Charlotte Beyer, Nancy Allee, Scott Thomas, Melissa Rethlefsen, Shannon Jones, and Debra Rand who will serve as chair. Please thank them for getting this committee off the ground.

You might not be aware, but AAHSL's fiscal year runs October to September. The AAHSL Board met in early September to set the budget for the new FY. Thank you to AAHSL Committees for submitting budgets requests on time and for being flexible when the Board reached out with questions.

The MLA/AAHSL Joint Legislation Committee made the AAHSL Board aware of a group letter to Congress urging swift work to approve increases in domestic and international program funding, known as non-defense discretionary or NDD funding. As NDD funding includes HHS and NIH/NLM, the AAHSL Board voted to sign the letter.

Congratulations to the NLM/AAHSL Fellows who just graduated and welcome to the incoming cohort! Fellows Erinn E. Aspinall, Saori Wendy Herman, Tony Nguyen, Roger G. Russell, and Donghua Tao graduated at a Capstone Ceremony in Washington, DC on September 16th. Incoming Fellows Diana Delgado, Michelle L. Harrell, Beth C. Whipple, Holly Grossetta Nardini, and Melissa Kahili-Heede will be meeting their mentors, Judy Cohn (Program Director), Janice Jaguszewski (Program Consultant) and Rose Bland (FLC chair) in Nashville this November.

A friendly reminder to submit your AAHSL stats! Even if you can't answer every question, please complete as much of the survey as you can. Members consistently say they find the AAHSL stats helpful. Stats are due December 2nd but we can make the Committee's work easier by submitting our stats early. If you have questions about logging in to the survey site, navigating the site, entering data, or interpreting particular questions, please email [email protected].

If you have questions about AAHSL feel free to reach out to me, any of the Board members, or directly to the AAHSL Office.

Take care,



August 22, 2022

Hello AAHSL -

I hope everyone is having a good end of summer and beginning of fall semester. As summer is my least favorite season of the year I'm definitely looking forward to fall and cooler weather. Here are updates on what has been going on with AAHSL over the last couple months:

AAHSL is a member of IPEC, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative. In late June IPEC held their summer meeting and Judy Cohn (Rutgers) presented on the status of a scoping review project on IPE and patient care. This AAHSL project started in 2018 and at that time the Board decided the project should be led by a team of librarians from Rutgers. The project includes volunteers from six other associations and is in the final stages of being submitted as a manuscript.

The Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislation Committee, chaired by Maggie Ansell (Univ Florida) was very busy in the late spring and presented an update on their work on July 20, 2022. The recording of the presentation is available on the MLA website under the heading for "Fiscal Year 2023". The recording can be viewed whether you are a MLA member or not. Through efficient partnership, MLA and AAHSL work together to develop and promote a joint legislative agenda that supports a consistent position on information policy issues, particularly those relevant to medical libraries and librarianship, and on governmental actions affecting medical libraries, specifically funding for NIH and NLM.

The AAHSL Bylaws Committee, chaired by Zary Kamarei (Arkansas Colleges of Health Education), has submitted draft bylaws updates to the Board. The changes would allow anyone from an AAHSL library to chair an AAHSL committee, not just the library director. Once the proposed changes are finalized, a draft will be shared with the Membership prior to the November Business meeting.

Speaking of AAHSL Committees, President Elect Nadine Dexter (Univ Central Florida) recently put out a call for volunteers for AAHSL Committees. Most AAHSL Committees need new members so there are lots of opportunities! A reminder that those of you who are interim positions are also able to apply to serve on AAHSL Committees. Terms will start in November after the AAHSL Annual Meeting. If you would like to volunteer, or nominate someone to serve on an AAHSL Committee, please reach out to Nadine before August 26th.

A reminder that registration is open now for the AAHSL Annual Meeting! The meeting will take place in Nashville, TN on Friday, November 11, 2022. The preliminary program is on the AAHSL website and the Program & Education Committee has done a great job creating programming. The topic for the Education Program is Compassionate Leadership where we'll be learning how to combine practical wisdom with human compassion. A reminder that registration for the Annual Meeting is very cost effective as there is no registration charge for Directors of AAHSL institutions.

If you have questions about AAHSL feel free to reach out to me, any of the Board members, or directly to the AAHSL Office.

Take care,


June 28, 2022

Hello AAHSL –

I hope you all are having a good start to your summer. I also hope none of you are melting in the summer heat!

I want to share updates on a few items related to AAHSL. Most of the items are from the AAHSL Board meeting which took place on Friday, June 10, 2022.

On a very positive note, AAHSL continues to be financially stable. This is thanks to great work from a number of people including the AAHSL Office and our Secretary/Treasurer Tania Bardyn. At the June meeting the Board received an investment review from our financial advisor Petricic & Phillips Financial Group. As all of us know, the market has been quite volatile. At the moment AAHSL’s investments are down like the rest of the market. However, when looking at the market broadly, AAHSL’s investments are doing the same or better than benchmarks such as the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ. Since AAHSL’s investments are for the long-term we are staying the course with a few minor tweaks.

As I shared back in February, the Board decided to hold the AAHSL Annual Meeting in person on November 11, 2022 in Nashville. At the June 10th Board meeting, the decision to meet in person was revisited due to feedback from members expressing concerns regarding Tennessee’s anti-trans healthcare laws. This led to a discussion about whether AAHSL would want to considering holding its meeting separately from AAMC’s Learn Serve Lead conference so that AAHSL could select the meeting city. There are numerous pros and cons to considering this question and the Board felt they need input from AAHSL members before they would be able to make an informed decision. Nadine Dexter will be working with others to survey the AAHSL membership on this topic in the coming months.

On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion and now over 20 states, including Tennessee, are looking to ban abortion. AAHSL members again questioned Tennessee as a meeting location. The Board discussed and decided to continue with the plan for an in-person meeting in Nashville this November. The Board came to this decision because separate from the topic of Tennessee there has been strong member support for an in-person meeting. Nadine will continue with the previously agreed upon plan to survey the membership and include the broader topic of meeting locations and social justice concerns.

As the AAHSL Office starts the process to secure a hotel and meeting space they will investigate if hotels actively support social justice and healthcare issues. The AAHSL Office is also working with the Eskind Biomedical Library to plan a reception to be held on the evening of November 11th. A reminder that the Annual Meeting will be a one-day event and there will be no in-person committee meetings taking place. The Program & Education Committee is working to finalize a Matheson lecturer and Education program.

Based on a motion from the Future Leadership Committee, AASHL approved creating a new standing committee to focus on supporting the needs of new and interim directors. Nadine Dexter, President Elect, will put out a call for committee volunteers later this summer and when she does this new committee will be included. The charge for this committee is in the process of being finalized and the committee will begin their work in November 2022.

Later this summer the AAHSL Nominating Committee will be asking for nominations for our fall election. As President Elect, Nadine Dexter is chairing the Nominating Committee. At the June Board meeting we approved Nominating Committee members Rose Bland (University of Southern Florida) and Kristi Holmes (Northwestern University). The Nominating Committee will be looking for candidates for three positions: President Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and Member at Large. Start thinking now about colleagues you’d like to nominate for these roles.

The Bylaws Task Force, chaired by Zary Kamarei (Arkansas Colleges of Health Education) has been busy reviewing the AAHSL Bylaws for updates. The Board reviewed an initial draft at its meeting and will provide feedback. The Task Force is on track to share suggested edits prior to the Annual Business Meeting.

Welcome to new AAHSL members:

 - Roseman University of Health Sciences (Developing Library Member) - Tiffany Garrett

If you have questions about AAHSL feel free to reach out to me, any of the Board members, or directly to the AAHSL Office.

Take care,


February 18, 2022

Hello AAHSL -

I hope you are having a good start to 2022.

The AAHSL Board recently met in Albuquerque, NM for our first in-person meeting since February 2020. It was great to be in person and there are number of updates to share with the membership. Brief committee updates included:


  • Assessment & Statistics are finalizing the data for the 44th Annual Statistics of Medical School Libraries in the United States and Canada.
  • DEI will be hosting monthly book clubs April through September to discuss the book Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race by Derald Wing Sue.
  • One of our CFAS (Council of Faculty and Academic Societies) Reps, Anne Seymour, will attend the virtual Spring CFAS meeting in mid-April.
  • The Future Leadership Committee is working on several projects, the largest of which is the Leadership Fellows cohort for 2021/2022. The cohort is planning to meeting for a Leadership Institute in person this April in DC.
  • President Elect Nadine Dexter will be forming the Nominating Committee soon. The Nominating Committee will be creating a slate for three offices: President Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and At Large Member.

Tania Bardyn, Secretary/Treasurer, shared that AAHSL is doing well fiscally. In late 2021 the Board moved some funds to a managed investment that is focused on growth. The account has been doing well. AAHSL has completed our 990 tax form for the IRS. The Board voted to schedule an independent audit of the organization's finances. The last audit was completed in 2017 for the 2016 fiscal year.

AAHSL's Annual Meeting will take place in Nashville, TN on November 11, 2022. The Board decided it will be a one-day meeting consisting of the Matheson Lecture, Education Program, and Annual Business Meeting all taking place on that day. A reception will be hosted that evening by Eskind Biomedical Library. There will not be live streaming for any of these events but there is investigation into recording some of the meeting. Please note there will not be any in-person committee meetings scheduled to take place as all AAHSL Committees and TFs are currently meeting regularly online. A hotel has not been secured yet and the Board will revisit this topic in April.

As I shared recently, the vote to amend our bylaws so that academic health sciences libraries at osteopathic medical colleges and schools will be Full members has passed. This change will go into effect on October 1, 2022. Thank you to recent Past President Sandra Franklin for leading the Task Force that investigated this topic and brought it to the membership.

I'm guessing all of you have seen save-the-date messages for the upcoming Friends of the NLM (FNLM) Library Symposium "Post-Pandemic Libraries: The Upcoming Era of Change". AAHSL is a co-sponsor of this event. The symposium will take place on Thursday, March 17, 2022 from 10:00 am - 3:15 pm EST. The keynote speakers and panelists will share and discuss how libraries can leverage change to create more agile, informed, and impactful libraries and librarians. In January there was a call for scholarship applications and registration is open now.

In case you might have missed it, please be aware that AAHSL is one of the co-signing organizations to the MLA Statement Calling on Hospital and Health System Executives to Fund Libraries and Library Staff. While the majority of AAHSL members are in academic health centers, we often partner with hospital librarians and we are all invested in healthy patient outcomes.

As this has been a lengthy update, I'll end here however if you have questions about AAHSL feel free to reach out to me, any of the Board members, or directly to AAHSL HQ.

Take care,

- Melissa