Newswise — Julia Esparza, AHIP, started her term May 7th as President of the Medical Library Association (MLA), during its 119th premier annual event, MLA ’19, held from May 3 to 8, 2019 in Chicago. She succeeds Beverly Murphy, AHIP, FMLA, MLA’s 2018-2019 President. Julia and MLA’s leadership joined over 1,500 participants in Chicago, including medical librarians and other health information professionals, international attendees, and over 100 exhibitors to participate in exceptional programming, discover the latest industry products and engage in meaningful industry connections.
A highlight of the meeting was President Esparza’s Inaugural Address in which she shared key insights on the current landscape of the librarianship profession from her 26-year career as a professional librarian. Julia, currently Associate Director at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, understands the everchanging dynamic of her LSU role as educator, researcher and mentor in the medical arena, and its intrinsic professional link to meaningful volunteer involvement in relevant, diverse and distinct professional membership organizations, including MLA.
“As we continue to navigate the changes in our profession and evolve as librarians to meet the needs of our patrons, MLA must evolve to meet the needs of our membership,” noted Julia. To remain relevant to its current membership base of 3,000 professionals and 400 institutions in the health information field and to prospective members, MLA is focusing its efforts on an organizational redesign that exemplifies community and collaboration. “To create a more flexible, nimble and responsive MLA, we have determined that MLA’s sections will become caucuses that are all active within a domain hub. The exciting part of our new communities’ framework is that caucuses can continually provide input and align with domains as those collaboration centers change their focus in the years ahead.”
Esparza, one of only several MLA members to have been awarded the prestigious Brodman and McClure Awards, understands the level of unwavering commitment required to align MLA’s organizational structure with the needs of MLA’s mission and membership, while also addressing those in need of guidance from an information professional including physicians, nurses, public librarians and the public. During her Inaugural Address, she referenced a recent study in Harvard Business Review on the nature of smart employees in demand in the future. Individuals must be able to use higher-order critical, creative and innovative thinking. Listening, relating, collaborating and learning will also be crucial in these future employees.
“Our education, our valuable skills in teaching information literacy and critical thinking, our rich opportunities for continuing education, and our understanding of the digital landscape, positions our profession to lead and educate on these critical issues. Because we facilitate the development of these innovative, cooperative skills in the people serve, our work is extremely valuable and welcomed,” commented Julia. “I am confident that MLA, with its new infrastructure, will remain an asset to our profession by expediently organizing and utilizing our membership to contribute to the base knowledge of our organization, enhancing our ability to deliver.”
The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a global, nonprofit educational organization, with a membership of more than 400 institutions and 3,000 professionals in the health information field. Since 1898, MLA has fostered excellence in the professional practice and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance health care, education, and research throughout the world. MLA educates health information professionals, supports health information research, promotes access to the world's health sciences information, and works to ensure that the best health information is available to all. For more information about MLA, visit MLANET.org.