Established in 1976, CHLA/ABSC grew out of the efforts of the Canadian Group of the Medical Library Association and the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services. Today, CHLA/ABSC is a professional organization of approximately 250 individuals in the health sciences library field in Canada. Through its programs and publications CHLA/ABSC encourages the professional development of its members. An article by David S. Crawford,"CHLA/ABSC 25 Years On," reproduced from the Winter 2000 issue of Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana, gives a historical look at the formation and first 25 years of the association.

Strategic Plan, 2014-2018


To improve health care and the quality of health research in Canada with the best information. Together we will realize this Vision by building on our Mission and focusing on our Goals


To lead health librarians and information specialists towards excellence through professional development, networking and advocacy


Our strategic directions are informed by the ongoing transformative shifts in the information landscape, what we learned from the Membership Survey 2013 and the SWOT exercise undertaken by the Board of Directors in 2013. This is in the context of our Vision to improve health care and quality of health research in Canada. Our strategies focus on how to support members and partners to positively impact the healthcare of Canadians every day today, tomorrow and into the future.

While the Association will continue to respect its roots and traditions it must move forward progressively and confidently to provide the membership with the services and supports needed to succeed in the future.


Each strategic objective was judged by its ability to

  • Strengthen members,
  • Be sustainable both in terms of funds and volunteer commitment,
  • Align with the Vision and
  • Be responsive to trends and developments.

These principles will guide and underpin the Board's future decisions.


Our three over-arching strategic objectives over the next 5 years are to:

1. Ensure Association viability

Goal: To position the infrastructure of the Association so that it can move forward effectively.

    Objectives are to:

  • Realign governance and structure
  • Develop a financial plan to underpin the goals
  • Deliver a successful conference
  • Build buy-in for the goals and recruit leaders
  • Identify champions and building networks throughout the information sector
  • Clarify the Association's code of conduct

2. To implement CHLA/ABSC member-sourced solutions

Goal: To facilitate problem solving related to our profession and the delivery of health information by leveraging the incredible power of collaboration and innovative thinking within our membership.


  • Establish a pilot project to support members to identify, communicate with and foster the creation of alliances with other stakeholders and employees in the health information arena
  • Provide access to a platform for virtual collaboration
  • Publish the solutions in a Health Information Knowledgebase

3. To strengthen the capacities of health information professionals

Goal: Those involved in health information industry shall be supported by CHLA/ABSC to constantly grow their capabilities, their thought-leadership and their ability to realize their individual and collective aspirations.


a. Support sector events, such as:

  • Annual conference
  • Cross-sector think tanks that involve information decision-makers and suppliers

b. Provide Continuing Education

  • Webinars
  • Accredited courses

c. Instill Mentoring

  • Provide a toolkit

d. Develop and promote evidence based Value Measures

  • Identify and work with decision-makers in the health information areas to understand their challenges and help members work with their stakeholders
  • Provide members with a toolkit of impact measures, stories, case studies and standards


Attachment Size
CHLA_ABSC_StrategicPlan_14_05_2018.pdf 250 MB
PlanStrategique_ABSC _CHLA_14_05-fr.pdf 250 MB