CHLA eNews - Spring/Summer, 2006

June 21, 2006

Dear CHLA/ABSC Member,

Now that my term as President has begun, one of the first tasks of my position is to update CHLA/ABSC members of Association activities via our quarterly E-News.  Fortunately, there’s plenty of Association news to report on in my first E-Newsletter.


The first item I will report on is the conference.  Those of you who were fortunate enough to attend CHLA/ABSC 2006 in Vancouver will know that the CHLA/ABSC 2006 Conference Planning Committee chaired by Cathy Rayment planned and delivered a high quality conference and CE program.  The conference venue was superb – a fine hotel only a couple of blocks from the water – and you couldn’t ask for better weather!  And, as promised, numerous ‘pearls of wisdom’ were dispensed and received at the conference.  Congratulations to Cathy and her group from HLABC!  In case you missed Cathy’s announcement on CANMEDLIB, PowerPoints for the Keynote Speakers and presenters is available at the CHLA/ABSC 2006 site

For those planning ahead for next year’s conference in Ottawa , don’t forget to visit the CHLA/ABSC 2007 website at http://www.chla-absc.ca/2007/ to keep yourself abreast of conference news.  The theme of the 2007 conference is Capitalizing on Health Partnerships, and a call for papers and posters addressing this and related topics will go out in the Fall. 

Association Awards

The Board was delighted to receive a nomination for the Hospital Librarian of the Year Award from the Saskatchewan Health Libraries Association who nominated Susan Powelson.

During the presentation ceremony at the conference banquet, Marybeth Gaudette outlined Susan’s many achievements including her efforts in getting SHIRP (Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Partnership) off the ground as well as her ongoing work on the Standards Taskforce not to mention her never-ending willingness to lend support to her fellow Saskatchewan health librarians.  Congratulations, Susan!  The award is well-deserved.


The Board was pleased to announce during the 2006 AGM that the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association will become open access as of the Spring 2006 issue.  If you wish to check out the journal in all its OA glory, please see http://pubs.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/jchla/jchla.html

I should also note that we will soon begin to digitize JCHLA’s precursor, Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana.  It will be a slow process, as you can imagine, but we’ll keep you apprised of our progress.

A call for applications for the position of Assistant JCHLA Editor went out earlier this year, and the Board received applications from four highly qualified applicants.  The new Assistant JCHLA Editor is Teresa Lee from Woodward Library at UBC. Teresa will step into the position of Assistant Editor after the publication of the Summer 2006 issue at which time Sandra Halliday will hand over the reins of editorship to Gillian Griffiths, assisting her with the publication of the Fall 2006 issue.  Thanks go to Sandra for her work in publishing our journal. 


I was fortunate to attend the 2006 MLA Conference in Phoenix as the CHLA/ABSC liaison to MLA.  Much attention was given during the conference to the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.  It was heart-wrenching to hear about the damage the hurricane wreaked on many libraries in the south-eastern United States, but at the same time inspiring to hear the stories of library staff who pitched in not only to keep health information services going during the catastrophe but also to help rescue efforts in their areas.  The courage and dedication of these people was honoured several times during the conference plenary sessions. 

It was interesting to note the ‘synchronicity’ between our conference and MLA’s.  Sherrilynne Fuller’s opening keynote address in Vancouver in which she encouraged health librarians to find a means of leveraging opportunities to advance libraries in many ways served as a precursor to Julie McGowan’s Janet Doe Lecture ‘Swimming With Sharks’ in its emphasis on seeking opportunities no matter what the risk. And while attending the health record symposium that closed the MLA conference, I was impressed by how far the integration of online health information resources into patient records has advanced in the U.S. However, not once during the MLA symposium was the matter of patient privacy or security of records even mentioned which caused me to recall the discussion during Dr. Richard Rosenberg’s  endnote session at CHLA/ABSC in which the Canadian concern (some suggested ‘preoccupation’) with privacy and security was cited as one of the impediments to similar progress in Canada . 


Realizing that the people who make up CHLA/ABSC are our strength, the Board tasked PR Director, Sue Fahey, to develop a campaign aimed at bolstering our membership numbers.

The campaign entitled ‘Member-Get-A-Member’ will be launching soon and will provide existing members the opportunity for a discount on next year’s renewal fees for each new member they are successful in recruiting.  Watch for the announcement in your email and on CANMEDLIB.

Many thanks to Wayne Glover, from our Association Office, for providing us with the initial idea for this campaign.

2006/2007 Board Members

It is at the AGM each year that the composition of the Board changes, and at this year’s AGM, the Board bid farewell to outgoing members, Penny Logan who finished her term as Vice President, President and Past President, and Judy Inglis, who finished two terms as CE Coordinator.  While we will miss Penny and Judy, we welcomed new Board members, Susan Powelson from Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region Health Sciences Library as VP/President Elect, and Ilo-Katryn Maimets from the Steacie Science Library at York University as CE Coordinator.  Michel Dagenais, as Chair of the AFMC Committee on Medical Libraries will be joining the Board in the ex-officio position of AFMC rep.

New Ex-officio Board Position Being Developed

The Board is in the process of developing a new ex officio position, that of Development Officer.  We’re still finalizing the terms of reference for this position, but we foresee that the Development Officer would be responsible for maintaining a database of contact information for potential sponsors and advertisers as well as coordinating all Association activities related to sponsorship and advertising.  The purpose of creating this position is to streamline our currently disjointed efforts in these areas.  Once the terms of reference are finalized, we’ll put out a call for applications for this position.  Stay tuned. 

Standards Taskforce

The final report of the Taskforce on Hospital Library Standards, as well as the final version of the standards themselves, were submitted at this year’s AGM by the Taskforce Chair, Susan Powelson.  The Standards are available at http://www.chla-absc.ca/task/standards.html

Many thanks to the following members of the Taskforce for their hard work on this project:  Susan Powelson, Chair, Anna Allgaier, Ana Rosa Blue, Connie Clifford, Karen Darrach, Elizabeth Lamont, Jackie MacDonald, Tracy Morgan, Joanne Radulovich and Lisa Runions.

Although the work of the Taskforce is complete, another group will be struck to develop ‘value-added’ documents to complement the Standards and to look at benchmarking.  A call for participation will go out on CANMEDLIB later in the fall for those interested in joining the group.

CCHSA Representative

I am pleased to announce that Elizabeth Lamont from the Royal Victoria Hospital Medical Library in Montréal has agreed  to continue on as the CHLA/ABSC representative to the Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation, and that Margaret Quirie, Ottawa Hospital Library Services, has agreed to act as Assistant Representative.  Thanks to both of you for being willing to represent the Association to CCHSA.

National Network of Libraries for Health

The NNLH Taskforce has been hard at work, and as a result, there is much to report on their activities.  For those who were not able to participate in the NNLH sessions at the conference, I’ll provide you with a brief overview of NNLH activities. 

Funding was obtained last summer from CISTI, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Nurses Association to hire a consultant to develop a business plan for the NNLH.  An RFP was issued, and TDV Global was selected to work with the Taskforce Project Advisory Team (PAT) to develop a concept of operations (CoO). 

The PAT is comprised of Jessie McGowan from, Judy Inglis, Bev Brown, Wayne Glover and Micheline Jaworski of the Canadian Nurses Association.  A draft version of the CoO was developed outlining a concrete model of how the NNLH will be structured and how it will function.  This CoO was presented to the membership at a session during the conference with a follow-up Round Table session taking place the next day to provide members the opportunity to provide feedback to the PAT. 

Feedback from the round table session has been incorporated into the draft.  The updated draft has been mounted on the CHLA/ABSC Members site and a notice was sent out to CHLA/ABSC members to solicit additional feedback from members, as well as non-CHLA/ABSC stakeholders.  Revisions to the CoO will be made as appropriate based on the feedback received from the survey, with a final document to be produced by June 30, 2006.  Once the final version of the CoO has been developed,  the CoO will be used as the basis for developing a business plan that can be used to secure funding and find a ‘home’ for the NNLH Coordinating Office.

Thanks to the members of the NNLH Taskforce for their ongoing work on this initiative.  Members of the Taskforce are:  Patrick Ellis, Co-Chair, Jessie McGowan, Co-Chair, Liz Bayley, Jim Henderson, Bev Brown, Charlotte Beck, and Linda Slater.  Thanks also to the Project Advisory Team (named above) with particular thanks to Judy Inglis who was instrumental in producing the draft Concept of Operations.

Warm regards,

Linda Slater
President CHLA/ABSC

CHLA/ABSC facilitates and enables credible knowledge transfer in health sciences through leading edge technologies and partnerships. Our mission is to lead health librarians towards excellence through professional development, networking and advocacy.
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