Newswise — CHICAGO, IL, April 23, 2020 —Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19, thousands of medical librarians and other health information professionals across the country, have committed countless hours of support to teams of health care professionals on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients. Medical library professionals have done so remotely in many cases, using various information and communication technologies (ICT) platforms, enabling researchers, clinicians, and the public to have access to biomedical data and public health information.
Members of the Medical Library Association (MLA), 3,000 professionals and 400 institutions, are trained to identify, decipher, and share clinical information in the health sciences communities they serve, including remote access to credible, up-to-date information on COVID-19 for their administrations, clinicians, and staff.
“In response to this public health crisis, our MLA members in academic health settings are providing rapid evidence-based searches and synthesis services on topics ranging from treatment support for high-risk COVID-19 patients to recommendations on personal protective equipment (PPE) sanitation,” said MLA President Julia Esparza, AHIP.
To aid in its members information-sharing efforts, MLA has developed a vital COVID-19 evidence-based resource, crowd-sourced by member-led caucuses and individual members and curated by academic and hospital medical librarian MLA members Jess L. Callaway; Angela Spencer, AHIP; Kristin LaLonde, AHIP; and Ellen M. Aaronson, AHIP. The resource page can be accessed here.
MLA’s resource guide includes relevant, real-time summaries, guides and articles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and other agencies and organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO).
An article from the US NLM this month, “Answering the Call: Academic Health Sciences Libraries and COVID-19,” explains further the urgent call on academic health sciences libraries to assemble virtual libraries to meet users’ needs in research, patient care, education, and outreach.
“This is a critical time for tracking COVID-19 information and for lending our expertise, utilizing ICT, in clinical and research science,” noted Esparza. “Supporting our members with vital, at-a-glance resources they need helps each and every one of our communities in urban or rural areas, in every state nationwide.”
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.