Deb Werner, Librarian for Science Instruction and Outreach, has been recognized as a 2014-2015 Rising Star by the Medical Library Association (MLA). The MLA Rising Star Program, now in its fourth year, is a one-year leadership development program designed to identify emerging leaders within its members of health sciences librarians and provide leadership opportunities. Those selected to participate are paired with experienced mentors who guide the mentee through the design and implementation of a project.
Deb’s project is to create and disseminate a Public Policy Toolkit for MLA members. The Toolkit will be a roadmap that members may use to 1) understand the public policy issues important to the health sciences library profession, 2) learn the various ways to become involved in advocacy, and 3) appreciate the effects of advocacy on the health sciences library community.
Deb has been paired with four mentors: the co-chairs of the Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force, the chair of MLA’s Government Relations Committee, and MLA’s Director of Information Issues and Policy. Respectively, they are: Linné Girouard, Hospital Librarian and Director, Professional Education Center, Houston Methodist Hospital; Cynthia L. Henderson, Executive Director, Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library, Howard University; Linda Hasman, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Liaison Services Librarian, Edward G. Miner Library, University of Rochester; and Mary M. Langman, Director, Information Issues and Policy, Medical Library Association.
They have already begun work, attending the Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force annual meeting in Washington D.C. in June and making congressional visits on Capitol Hill. At the Task Force meeting, members discussed legislative priorities, met with government relations colleagues from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and spoke with the Betsy Humphreys, Deputy Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). On the following day, Task Force members and their ‘Rising Star’ went to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional staff to discuss issues related MLA’s legislative priorities, such as the importance of NIH funding and the role of the NLM in disseminating health information.