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[A meeting of witches, demons, and enchanted beasts] by Nicolas Remi, 1693

Business Meeting
History of the Health Sciences Section of MLA

History of the Health Sciences Section
Medical Library Association
Minutes - Annual Business Meeting Minutes
May 5, 2003
Town and Country Resort, San Diego, CA

Present: Michael Flannery, Anne Maria Frketich, Patricia Gallagher, Stephen Greenberg, Heidi Heilemann, Diane McKenzie, Susan Marshall, Melissa Nasea, Richard Nollan, Katherine Oomens, Colleen Weum

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:10AM by Heidi Heilemann, Chair.


Individuals attending the business meeting were asked by Ms. Heilemann to give a brief introduction of themselves to other attendees of the meeting.


Minutes of last year’s meeting were read and accepted.

Treasurer Report:

Anne Maria Frketich presented the Treasurer’s Report. The Section checking account balance as of April 30, 2003 was $3,696.64. Section membership as of July 31, 2002 was 46. There was one expected upcoming expense of $180 for MLA’s hosting of the Section Website. Diane McKenzie moved to put this expense on hold because MLA announced at the Section Council meeting she attended that MLA planned on not charging Sections for hosting of their Websites. Patricia Gallagher moved to second the motion. Discussion was also held regarding the number of Section members necessary to be in compliance with MLA’s guidelines – the number needed was 50. It was reported that all Sections were experiencing discrepancy with the number of members because MLA records could not provide an accurate count.


Program Committee Update (Patricia Gallagher)

Patricia Gallagher reported the History of the Health Sciences Section would be sponsoring 2 programs at the 2003 MLA Annual Meeting. The sessions were: Beachcombing for a Cure: History and Current Developments in Botanical Medicine, co-sponsored by the Complementary and Alternative Medicine SIG and Diving for Treasure: Library Exhibits from Idea to Reality. The Section was co-sponsoring one session, Sharing Our Success: From Idea to Impact, with the Health Association Libraries Section and the African American Medical Libraries Alliance SIG.

Patricia Gallagher reported the laptop Stephen Greenberg brought to use for the session presentations experienced a problem necessitating renting a laptop for the sessions. It was suggested the Section Treasury bear the cost of the rental but because most of the presenters for one of the sessions were from Greenberg’s home institution (NLM), NLM agreed to bear the cost of the laptop rental.

Website: (Patricia Gallagher)

Patricia Gallagher reported the heaviest used page on the HHSS Website was the still Web Links page with the Section Home page following. Gallagher distributed statistic on the Website usage generated by WebTrends. The histlink page received 9000 views, History of Diseases 2000 views, and 1000 views for the Section Home Page.

Continuing Education (Patricia Gallagher)

Greenberg reported the History of the Health Sciences BibKit was MLA's best selling BibKit and the second best selling MLA publication overall.

Patricia Gallagher and Stephen Greenberg reported the CE class scheduled for this MLA Annual Meeting, Introduction to Reference Sources in the History of the Health Sciences, was cancelled during Early Bird Registration due to an insufficient number of registrants. Melissa Nasea said she tried to sign up for the course but was told it had been cancelled. The last time the course was taught was in Seattle, WA during the MLA 1997 Annual Meeting.

Gallagher and Greenberg reported they were thinking about offering a half day CE course, History of Medical Libraries, for the 2005 MLA Annual meeting. It was suggested this topic could serve as a panel session as well as a course. Discussion began regarding a possible symposium and the number of people necessary to qualify for a symposium (95) but Heilemann suggested the discussion be moved to the program Section of the meeting.

Listserv (Heidi Heilemann)

Heidi Heilemann reported the Section listserv currently has 62 subscribers. The list is an unmoderated list. There appear to be individuals on the list that are not MLA members. Gallagher indicated she would send a letter to those individuals on the list who are not MLA members notifying them that the list is open to only to MLA members.

Membership (Richard Nollan)

Richard Nollan, the new Membership Chair, attended the MLA New Members Breakfast. Nollan reported approximately 100 people were there. He brought HHS Section brochures and placed them on the tables. He also reported the Section was the only one to have brochures distributed on the tables.

Greenberg stated that it was because of Norma Funkhouser that the Section now has a Section Council table for Section stickers.

Section Council (Diane McKenzie)

Diane McKenzie reported on the three major topics discussed at Section Council. The first topic was the election for the MLA Nominating Committee. McKenzie reported not all Sections managed to get a person sent in for the Committee. The HHSS nominee for the MLA Nominating Committee was Stephen Greenberg. MLA did not really want new people on the nominating committee because they would not have been involved with MLA long enough to know a number of people. Also, if a person had been on the nominating committee during the last 2 years they would not be eligible for the current year. McKenzie distributed a list of names that were proposed for the Nominating Committee. It was suggested that potential members to the Committee should have been active in more than their own Section as well as those with a considerable amount of knowledge regarding how others worked. The group decided McKenzie should vote for the individuals she believed would be best suited to the position based on the suggestions discussed by the group.

The second topic dealt with membership. McKenzie reported each Section must appoint a person to the Membership board. This individual would have to be on a committee and be active in the membership board. MLA is currently defining the role of the membership committee person. The issue of membership has gained significantly in importance with MLA. Currently the Section Council person is the liaison to the Membership Committee and this would be a three year position.

The third topic, McKenzie reported, dealt with MLA’s agreement to host all Section and SIG Websites for free. This was a move that MLA member Jerry Perry had been suggesting for some time. It was also mentioned that the SIGs are not permitted to have a treasury so they would not have the funds necessary to pay for Website hosting. MLA, it was reported, currently host 12 Websites at a cost of $3200 per year at 2 hours of support per month per Website. The move to host a total of 32 Section and SIG Websites would cost $5500 per year but the amount of support required could not be estimated at this time. MLA is still working on coming up with this figure.

The software currently being evaluated for the hosting the Websites is Cpanel which could be viewed on The MLA person working this issue is Sharon Giovanale. MLA, it was reported, is looking at the Section and SIG Websites as a resource. Susan Marshall talked about how areas on the Section Websites could be public vs. private.

During the next year Sharon Giovanale will be heading up a Section workgroup to work on public and private portions of sites. McKenzie suggested Patricia Gallagher might want to contact Sharon about these issues since Gallagher maintains the HHS Section Website.

MLA planned on monitoring the Section Websites and planned on an annual review of the sites to make sure they were live and current. MLA was working on a checklist of items all Sections should have up. Gallagher and McKenzie thought the HHS Section Website could serve as a model. Currently MLA did not have a criteria list of what should be available on a Section Website. There was no discussion about electronic archiving at the MLA meeting McKenzie attended. Melissa Nasea stated that one Section did a January 15 snapshot of their Website. Greenberg suggested a snapshot of the HHS Section Website should go to Mary Langman at NLM because NLM houses the MLA archives. Discussion regarding archiving the Section Website as well as taking an annual January 15 snapshot of the Website ensued.

McKenzie reported no one at MLA takes a snapshot of their Website and that the HHS Section did not have a snapshot of its original site. Gallagher stated she would do a snapshot of the HHS Website. Gallagher also stated the information on the site has not changed that much, only the Section Officers change. Greenberg stated he would speak to Mary Langman at NLM about an archives page.

McKenzie reported MLA ratified several free Section memberships for all new members of MLA for one year and that new MLA members could only join one Section for free.

A new SIG was proposed – a Benchmarking SIG. There was some discussion that every Section should be doing benchmarking. There was some discussion regarding the pros and cons of SIGs – the cons being they took away from Sections, the pros being that they welcomed new members and made them feel welcome. The Sections were being reviewed for membership compliance – Sections had to have 50 members to be in compliance but since most Sections do not know exactly how many members they have. MLA sends out a list in April to each Section so they can call or e-mail people who lapsed to check their status.

The Veterinary Medical Libraries Section suggested Sections should do standards and stated they would be doing standards for academic veterinary libraries. It was suggested that there should be standards for Historical Collections and it was stated standards for History of the Health Sciences Collections already existed.

It was also reported that Norma Funkhouser wanted a copy of each newsletter.

McKenzie also reported on information regarding program planning and speaker time limits for the 2004 MLA annual meeting as discussed at Section Council. Speaker time for each paper would be limited to 15 minutes and sessions would still be required to have 4 papers. It would also be required to have 5 minutes for a Q&A period for each paper. Greenberg and Flannery stated they would speak to Ray Naegle regarding the short amount of time allotted for each speaker. Patricia Gallagher suggested Anne Maria Frketich be part of these discussions because she would be planning the Section sponsored program for the 2004 MLA Annual Meeting.

Susan Marshall pointed out that there were guidelines for posters presented at the MLA Annual Meeting.

McKenzie also reported on the locations for the upcoming MLA Annual Meetings. They were given as:

2004 Washington DC
2005 San Antonio
2006 Phoenix
2007 Philadelphia
2008 Chicago
2009 Honolulu

Section Council also discussed the $3.5 –4 million dollar loss in the Faxon-Rowe issue with NIH sustaining the highest loss.


Programming for 2004

Suggestions were offered regarding program ideas for the MLA 2004 annual meeting in Washington, DC. The theme for the meeting is "Seize the Power." Suggested ideas included the power of history, the past as prologue, history is current, currents in history, seizing the power- a biographical theme, how libraries respond to bioterrorism, the power of disease, transformation of people, power and politics, and power of context-linking the past and the present.

Donation to the MLA for the Lindberg Research Fellowship Program

It was agreed that the Section would contribute $200 to the MLA Lindberg Research Fellowship Program. Heilemann called for a vote – Richard Nollan moved to accept and Stephen Greenberg seconded the motion.

There was also discussion regarding a procedure manual. The HHSS currently does not have a procedure manual so Suzanne Porter is willing to work with Section officers to develop one. All individuals who currently hold or have held an office in the HHS Section should provide information regarding their duties to Suzanne for the manual.


Heidi Heilemann announced that Richard Nollan would be the new editor of INCIPIT, the Section newsletter. Sarah Hook will be working with Richard Nolan. Colleen Weum had served as editor from 2001.


The New Project Director for the Oral History Committee is Victoria Piffalo. She assumes the position vacated by Diane McKenzie.

Heidi Heilemann announced and introduced the newly elected History of the Health Sciences Section Officers. They would begin their term of office at the end of this year’s business meeting. New officers are:

Outgoing Chair – Heidi Heilemann
Chair – Patricia Gallagher
Chair Elect – Anne Maria Frketich
Michael Flannery – Secretary/Treasurer
Richard Nollan – Membership and Editor of INCIPIT
Diane McKenzie – Section Council Representative
Stephen Greenberg – MLA Nominating Committee

Heidi Heilemann adjourned the meeting at 9:00AM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Anne Maria Frketich