AAHSL Strategic Plan 2020

Goal 1
Professional and Leadership Development
Goal 2
Imagining the Future

Goal 3
Promoting Best Practices 

Goal 4

Goal 5
Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations

Goal 6
Fostering a Community of Colleagues
Goal 7
Enabling a Diverse and Inclusive Association 

Goal 8
Communication and Outreach to Members

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Academic health sciences libraries improve health through essential contributions to patient care, discovery, teaching, and learning.


AAHSL promotes the success of its members through professional development and leadership programs; imagining the future; promoting best practices; advocacy; strategic partnerships and collaborations; fostering a community of colleagues; and enabling a diverse and inclusive association.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Professional and Leadership Development
    As the preeminent association representing academic health sciences libraries, AAHSL will aggressively pursue its obligation to ensure the vitality and relevance of libraries well into the future by identifying and cultivating new leaders and informing its members of the profession’s changing landscape.

    AAHSL initiatives to support this goal:

    • Leadership Development Program (Fellows, New Directors Symposium, Scholarships)
      • Leverage content for whole membership
      • Based on membership feedback, review goals and objectives of program
      • Provide mentoring to new and interim directors
        • Investigate creating a forum for new directors to engage via meetings, listservs, and dinners
      • Actively promote the leadership attributes of the membership
    • Evaluate the annual meeting based on member feedback
      • Investigate adopting new format(s) and/or time of year and/or who is invited to increase networking and education opportunities for members
    • Continue to sponsor the Matheson Lecture and recruit nationally known, preeminent speakers on topics of mutual interest to AAHSL and the AAMC Group on Information Resources (GIR) 
    • Collaborate with other organizations on development of new educational programs based upon members’ needs

  2. Imagining the Future

    The association will develop a shared vision of the future for academic health sciences libraries; one that reflects the changing nature of academic health centers and recognizes the emerging roles and activities among its member libraries.

    AAHSL will realize this goal through:

    • Membership Surveys
    • Strategic Planning
    • Trend Analysis
    • Commission White Papers on Emerging Roles and Issues
      • Example: Services to affiliated hospital systems
    • Expand workforce diversity, recognizing disciplines beyond librarianship
    • Take a broader view of membership categories
      • Explore expanding the criteria for full membership based on ACGME trends

  3. Promoting Best Practices
    The association will provide its members with the tools to make a greater impact within their institutions by employing quantitative and qualitative methods to identify best practices within health sciences libraries and promoting these practices through its media and programming.

    In pursuit of this goal,  AAHSL will

    • Establish Phase II Competency Based Education Task Force to identify exemplars in AAHSL libraries and create a strategy to promote to other professional organizations (i.e. AAMC, etc.)
    • Create a sustainability plan to strengthen the statistics program, provide timely workshops on report generation, data collection, analysis, and visualization
    • Identify research support services provided by academic health sciences libraries and share best practices
      • Charge the Research Services Committee to conduct programming via CE courses, webinars, and other formats to promote the role of libraries in these spaces (i.e., Mobile Biomedical Computable Knowledge, Research Training Institute, etc.)

  4. Advocacy

    The association will continue to lend its voice to issues that directly impact its members, standing as an advocate for health sciences libraries and the idea that society benefits most when health information is freely and easily accessible.

    To meet its advocacy goals AAHSL will

    • Support joint activities such as those of the Medical Library Association, Association of Academic Medical Colleges, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, SPARC, and the Joint Legislative Task Force
      • Members rely on AAHSL leadership and the Joint Legislative Task Force based on their expertise on issues
      • Leverage AAMC, AMIA and other communication channels to publish library announcements for broader impact
    • Continue to maintain awareness of issues relating to open access and open science among AAHSL leadership and members and to assist in conveying AAHSL’s viewpoints on scholarly communication issues
      • Members rely on AAHSL leadership and the Joint Legislative Task Force to do this work due to the expertise on issues and ability to respond quickly and cogently

  5. Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations

    AAHSL will identify specific initiatives to embrace with our partner organizations that will substantially benefit AAHSL members as well as our partners.

    Specifically, AAHSL will seek to better leverage the following partnership opportunities:

    • Formal meetings of AAHSL leadership and partner associations’ leadership on an annual basis in Washington, DC
    • Partnership with AAMC Group on Information Resources on the Matheson Lecture
    • Active participation in AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS)
      • Create liaison program to other relevant AAMC groups including Group on Information Resources (GIR), Group on Educational Affairs (GEA), and the Group on Business Affairs (GBA)
    • Membership in Interprofessional Education (IPEC) Collaborative

  6. Fostering a Community of Colleagues

    Hearing from its members that a community of colleagues is one of the most valued benefits of AAHSL, the association will focus efforts on enhancing the opportunities for its member representatives to learn from one another.

    AAHSL will address this goal through these activities and services:

    • Email lists (AAHSL-all and AAHSL-directors)
      • Increase frequency of communication with members - member to member, committee updates, and SICs
      • Explore more fully involving and engaging with non-LMCE accredited schools
    • Website
      • Develop strategy for continuous updating of the website
    • Networking opportunities at meetings
    • Cornerstone Award
    • Board/New Director/Member dinner
    • Library reception at annual meeting
    • New and Developing Academic Health Sciences Libraries Committee
    • Job postings

  7. Enabling a Diverse and Inclusive Association 

    Provide robust for the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee

    • Explore creating a DEI scholarship for attendance at the AAMC for librarian
    • Partner with Diversity and Inclusion division of AAMC, create liaison 
    • Identify libraries which have diversity initiatives
    • Develop and approve AAHSL Code of Conduct
      • Appoint and train duty officers for public and virtual assemblies
    • Determine approach with regard to land acknowledgement at AAHSL gatherings
    • Recommend a long-term diversity strategy for the association

  8. Communication and Outreach to Members

    The association will develop a communications plan to improve member knowledge and engagement, acknowledging that institutional membership now includes multiple members from libraries

    • Create task force to work with AAHSL headquarters to update website 
    • Ensure timeliness of updates to AAHSL website to make website more dynamic 
    • Provide member library updates and photos
    • Broadly share trends that are happening in member libraries

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