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Business Meeting
History of the Health Sciences Section of MLA

Medical Library Association
History of the Health Sciences Section Business Meeting Minutes
Seattle, WA

Monday, May 21, 2012
7:30am – 9:00am

Meeting Attendees

Ruth Holst, Joan Stoddart, Diane McKenzie, Susan Sanders, Lucretia McClure, Erich Meyerhoff, Donna Hirst, Melissa Nasea, Stephen Greenberg, Patricia E. Gallagher, Heidi Heilemann, Maureen Molly Knapp, Julie Adamo, Jeff Rezwick, Mary Kreinbring, Gale Oren, and Deidra Woodson.

Chair, Joan Stoddart called the meeting to order at 7:30am.

Gottlieb Award

Ruth Holst, MLA Board Representative, discussed the Section’s motion to revise the criteria for the Gottlieb Award. Among the revisions proposed by HHSS members were to change “essay on the history of medicine” to “paper on the history of the health sciences” and to allow electronic submissions. After reviewing the proposed changes by the Section, the board suggested allowing video or other format submissions and questioned the ineligibility of students.

Stephen responded that the Rittenhouse Award is intended for students, while the Gottlieb is meant for working librarians and archivists. He also proposed a new award that would encourage a variety of submissions, including videos and websites. Lucretia commented that one purpose of the award is to publish history-related articles in JMLA, so she suggested offering two awards: one for print submissions and the other for media formats.

The new award motion was tabled for further deliberation, and the discussion returned to the exclusion of students from applying for the Gottlieb. Since well-written papers could be submitted by anyone, including working and non-working librarians and archivists and even students, the consensus of the Section members was to allow any MLA member to apply for the Gottlieb award.

Then, discussion ensued on the lack of submissions for the Gottlieb in 2012. Stephen commented that the award was not promoted at all this past year. Ruth responded that HHSS should promote the award and not completely rely on the award juries to announce the awards.

2011 Minutes

The minutes of the 2011 meeting in Minneapolis were motioned for approval by Patricia, and Steve seconded. The minutes were approved.

Chair’s Report

Joan Stoddart reported that the Section has 76 members and approximately $7,000 in the budget. Susan attended the New Members Breakfast, where she promoted the Section.

Treasurer’s Report

Deidra Woodson submitted the 2011 – 2012 Treasurer’s Report showing a balance of just over $7,000. The Section contributed $250 to participate in the Section Shuffle, which was held at this Annual Meeting.

Diane expressed her concerns that the treasury has increased too much. She suggested spending funds on promotional materials or raising the prize money for the Gottlieb award. Molly proposed offering travel grants, and another suggestion was to supplement travel costs for officers or new members.  

Membership Committee Report

Susan Sanders reported that the HHS Section currently has a total of 77 members.

  • She contacted new members via email and mailed them HHSS pins and bookmarks.
  • She also contacted lapsed members to remind them to renew or to determine their reasons for not renewing.
  • Susan will gladly continue to serve as Membership Chair or work with someone new to train him or her to become Chair the following year.

Continuing Education Report

Stephen Greenberg and Patricia Gallagher gave the Continuing Education report.

  • No CE classes were presented this past year.
  • Stephen suggested offering a half-day history of medicine reference class, and Joan mentioned the possibility of teaching CE classes in two hour blocks.
  • Suggested classes included how to create exhibits, manage a rare book collection, develop finding aids, and work as an archivist in general.

Section Programming Report

Joan reported on the Section Programming meeting.

  • She announced that MLA received more poster and paper submissions for the 2013 international meeting than ever before.
  • However, HHSS received no submissions for the program “The Role of Alternative and Indigenous Medicine in Global Health: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.” Susan reported that there are two professionals who are interested in being invited speakers.     
  • Joan proposed developing a tour of a local historical library in Boston. Lucretia commented that she could set up a tour of the Countway Library.  

Section Council Report

Joan also reported on the Section Council meeting.

  • 300 to 400 people were expected to attend the Section Shuffle. However, the number of attendees was more likely around 250.
  • The board is contemplating raising the limit of fundraising from $2,000 to $4,000.
  • Also, MLA Headquarters gets information for sending invitations, etc. from the Sections’ websites. Therefore, all Section websites need to be updated.

Oral History Committee Report

Patricia reported on the 2011 meeting, since the 2012 meeting will be held after this meeting.

  • There was discussion that the Oral History liaison should become a two year term.
  • Five histories were published in the past year.
  • There was discussion about revising the manual.
  • Four new interviews had been finished
  • The indexing project is progressing and only a few are left to complete.
  • There was discussion about other Sections and Chapters conducting oral histories.

Website Update

Patricia gave the website report.

  • The newsletters are up to date on the website.
  • MLA is encouraging Sections to update the design of their websites, and Patricia asked for assistance and advice concerning the redesign of the HHSS website. WordPress was suggested as a free and easy software application to use for managing a website.

Advocacy Committee Report

Since time was quickly diminishing, Lucretia opted to send her report to the Section members via email, rather than discussing it at the meeting.

Listserv Update

Donna was concerned because she did not know how to get information about new and lapsed members so that she could add and remove names to and from the listserv. Advice was given about getting a list of new members, and Patricia suggested removing people from the listserv who are no longer members of the Section or MLA.

New Business

Gottlieb Award

A task force was created to develop ideas for a new award. Joan, Stephen, and Melissa volunteered to participate in this task force. Patricia suggested that the new award be named for Erich Meyerhoff.

Nominating Committee

Joan stated that a Nominating Committee was needed this year to develop a ballot for a new Chair-Elect and a new Secretary/Treasurer.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:00am.>

Minutes submitted by Deidra Woodson, Secretary/Treasurer of the MLA History of the Health Sciences Section.