CHLA/ABSC Strategic Plan, 2023-2025

The Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC) is a Canada-wide professional organisation of approximately 300 individuals in the health sciences library field. Membership comprises hospital librarians and library technicians, information professionals in various health-library-related fields affiliated with academic institutions, government, and special libraries, as well as students in library and information studies interested in health librarianship.

The CHLA/ABSC Strategic Plan of 2018-2021 focused on five key strategic directions:
  1. Build competencies: professional and leadership development
  2. Promote knowledge transfer
  3. Demonstrate value/advocacy of health sciences librarianship
  4. Advance the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  5. Strengthen the Associations infrastructure and communications

Over the past five years, the Association has achieved numerous successes, such as hosting annual conferences, including a well-received virtual conference in 2021, providing an equal opportunity for access to the conference and CE offerings; delivering a course on the Business of Libraries; creating an inaugural Leadership Institute for mid-career librarians; releasing the Standards for Library and Information Services in Canadian Health & Social Services Institutions; publishing the JCHLA/JABSC Data Sharing Policy; forming the Indigenous Matters Standing Committee and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Task Force; adapting NAHLA’s Land Acknowledgement, Template for Personalization, Definitions, and Speaker Protocol and incorporating its use in CHLA/ABSC events;  broadening the scope of the Conference code of conduct to include all CHLA/ABSC events; and conducting a comprehensive survey to assess membership engagement at both the Chapter and national levels of involvement. 

Due to the COVID pandemic, the CHLA/ABSC Board paused the strategic planning exercise for one year, and in 2022 the Board embarked on this process by conducting a comprehensive survey to assess membership engagement. After reviewing the strategic plans of similar organisations, interviewing leading thinkers in the health library field, and reviewing survey responses, the Board created a new strategic plan for the next three years that identifies priorities where we will direct our energies. While the Association's mission and vision remain the same, the strategic directions and goals are different to reflect members' needs, changes in the health information landscape, and the impact of the pandemic on the organisation and health library sectors. 

Vision and Mission

The Association aspires to build a community of Canadian Health Library and Information professionals who are valued partners in the improvement of health, health care, research, and education.

We promote and advocate for high quality health information and library services through education, funding opportunities, knowledge sharing, research, and collaboration.


Strategic Directions and Goals

Strategic Directions  
  1. Strengthen the financial and administrative stability of the Association
  2. Increase the benefits of membership to the Association
  3. Promote membership growth
  4. Continue to demonstrate the value of health libraries and library professionals 

  1. Strengthen the financial and administrative stability of the Association
    1. Procure administration management services that meet the Association’s contracted service targets.

    2. Replenish a healthy operating reserve fund

    3. Explore funding opportunities from new sources; e.g., grants for translation activities; sponsorships and advertisements

  2.  Increase the benefit of membership to the Association
    1. Strengthen the accessibility of educational offerings with increased virtual offerings

    2. Implement improvements to the CHLA/ABSC website to facilitate connections among members, improve accessibility, and enhance user experience

  3.  Promote membership growth
    1. Establish an annual target for membership by categories to increase the number of members in the library technicians and students categories

    2. Review membership terms and conditions, including fees

    3. Work with CHLA/ABSC Chapters to encourage health library professionals to hold memberships at the local and national level

    4. Create targeted outreach initiatives to Library/Information Science Graduate students and Library Technicians

    5. Support and encourage  an inclusive community by promoting activities that appeal to a wider audience of health library professionals

    6. Enhance communication strategies to foster a better understanding of the value of the membership and the Association

  4. Continue to demonstrate the value of health libraries and health library professionals
    1. Establish formal recognition for the CHLA Standards for Library and Information Services in Canadian Health & Social Services Institutions by accrediting bodies (such as health ministries, associations or Accreditation Canada)

    2. Update and promote the Library Value & Resource Validation Tool

    3. Create tools for health literacy programs for Canadians, with a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities