OHSU Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K)

Open Educational Resources (OERs) Project

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Medical Library Association - Professional Competencies for Health Sciences Librarians

The MLA outlines seven areas to promote success for Health Sciences Librarians throughout their careers.

  • Competency #1

    Understand the health sciences and health care environment and the policies, issues, and trends that impact that environment including:

    • current management and business practices
    • the parent organization's (academic medical center, hospital, government, corporate, etc.) major policy and program sources
    • the health sciences professions
    • the clinical care, research, medical education, cultural, ethical, economic, and legal issues and environments
    • various health and health-related organizations
  • Competency #2

    Know and understand the application of leadership, finance, communication, and management theory and techniques including:

    • understanding the institution's mission and planning processes and the role of the library in the institution
    • forging and maintaining alliances with universities, public libraries, public health services, community-based organizations, and others to meet users' information needs
    • human resources management including recruitment, retention, staff development, and mentoring
    • facilities planning and space allocation
    • budgeting, cost analyses, and fund-raising
    • public relations, marketing, and advertising
    • library programs and services administration
  • Competency #3

    Understand the principles and practices related to providing information services to meet users' needs including:

    • the information needs of health practitioners, researchers, administrators, educators, students, patients, consumers, and the general public
    • the institution's information policies
    • methods of information delivery and access including consideration of the specific information needs of diverse populations
    • information services management
  • Competency #4

    Have the ability to manage health information resources in a broad range of formats including:

    • selection, acquisitions, and control of resources including the licensing of resources
    • scholarly publishing, copyright, licensing, privacy, and intellectual property issues
    • conservation, preservation, and archiving of materials in all formats
    • cataloging, classification, abstracting, and thesaurus construction and knowledge representation
    • national and international standards and conventions
    • trends in information formatting, production, packaging, and dissemination
  • Competency #5

    Understand and use technology and systems to manage all forms of information including:

    • basic principles of automated systems, data standards, and systems analysis techniques including design and evaluation
    • acquisition, use, and evaluation of information technologies
    • integration of systems and technologies
    • technological solutions for permanent access to electronic information
    • applications in emerging areas of biomedicine computational biology and health information, including electronic health care systems and records
    • communications and information infrastructure including the Internet and Web
  • Competency #6

    Understand curricular design and instruction and have the ability to teach ways to access, organize, and use information including:

    • adult learning theory and cognitive psychology
    • educational needs assessment, analysis, and evaluation
    • instructional methodologies, technologies, and systems design
    • management of education services
  • Competency #7

    Understand scientific research methods and have the ability to critically examine and filter research literature from many related disciplines including:

    • using quantitative and qualitative methodologies and techniques and their interpretation
    • locating, organizing, and critically evaluating the research literature
    • using principles of evidence-based practice to support decision making
    • conducting research and reporting and disseminating research findings either individually or in interdisciplinary research teams