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Health and Biosciences Libraries Section

Strategic Plan


The section acts as a forum for information professionals working in libraries and information centers concerned with health and the biosciences. Its general aims are: to promote cooperation between such libraries, library associations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other relevant bodies; to facilitate awareness and application of new technologies relevant to those libraries and information centers; to assist in the provision of health information to health professionals and consumers; and to promote equitable access to health information for all communities.


1. Continue planning for the International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML 10) to be held in Brisbane 2009.

(Professional priorities: (h) developing library professionals)

1.1 Cooperate with the Planning Committee and contribute to International Program Committee

1.2 Utilize the section's listserv to gather programming ideas for these meetings.

1.3 Utilize the section's listserv to solicit speakers for contributed papers.

2. Provide open sessions and workshops on emerging technologies in health and biosciences information of general interest to the IFLA membership.

(Professional priorities: (f) promoting resource sharing; (h) developing library professionals; (i) promoting standards, guidelines, and best practice.)

2.1 Plan Open Session program for Seoul on new technologies, and continue discussions with IT Section about joint session on Institutional Repositories

2.2 Plan the Satellite Workshop session in Seoul 2006 on indigenous medicine.

2.3 Promote quality of health information as a theme area of the section.

2.4 Begin planning for the Durban meeting in 2007, on a theme of particular relevance to the major health issues of the African continent.

3. Liaise with relevant organizations to coordinate and facilitate greater access to health information in less developed countries.

(Professional priorities: (f) promoting resource sharing; (h) developing library professional.)

3.1 Cooperate with Association of Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) to further develop HINARI initiative, and help them to ascertain training needs and need for promotion of the HINARI project, to ensure benefits are extended as far as possible in health libraries in African continent.

3.2 Support and promote the work of WHO in the evaluation and extension of the HINARI project.

3.3 Obtain reports from AHILA, and the WHO office (Brazzaville) on HINARI, especially its extension to French-speaking Africa, include references to these initiatives in newsletters, and post reports and links to IFLA health list.

3.4 Make reports of the Global Initiative Taskforce of the MLA available through the Section newsletter and web site.

3.6 Follow up on contacts with WHO and PAHO made at the ICML 9 (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil) to promote the Salvador declaration on open access and the ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) statement.

4. Increase and maintain communication between librarians interested in the health and biosciences.

(Professional priorities: (d) providing unrestricted access to information; (f) promoting resource sharing; (h) developing library professionals; (i) promoting standards, guidelines and best practice.)

4.1 Contact all IFLA institutions with a health or bioscience library to promote section membership and encourage new section members.

4.1.2 Promote the directory of medical libraries being developed by the WHO for the Global Health Directory through the Section web site.

4.2 Enhance use of the section's listserv to include general communications of interest to health and biosciences librarians and information professionals.
4.2.1 Refocus the listserv to include interests of other health information organizations.

4.2.2 Contact all IFLA institutions with a health or bioscience library to promote the broader focus of the listserv and encourage its use.
4.3 Work with IFLA HQ to develop a web site to show examples of communicating health information.

5. Ensure members of the section are kept aware of new technologies and their applications which have the potential to enhance health care.

(Professional priorities: (h) developing library professionals; (i) promoting standards, guidelines and best practice.)

5.1 Create a Task force on 'Charting the Future', chaired by the Committee Chair, to monitor developments in health information and informatics and report to the committee annually.

5.2 Develop projects to monitor new technologies and initiatives impacting on health care and health information , e.g. researching use of electronic networks, and institutional repositories in health sector.

5.3 Liaise with other IFLA Sections (IT, S & T) and other library associations around the world to explore these issues.