Action plan 2020 – 2021 – updated for IFLA Professional Committee –

Name of Professional Unit: Health and Biosciences Libraries section

Focus Area 1

Advocacy – promoting the role of librarians in improving citizens’ health literacy and enhance librarian skills in emerging areas such as Open Science, Open Access and Artificial Intelligence


IFLA Strategic Direction

Strategic Direction 2. Inspire and Enhance Professional Practice

Key Initiatives


Produce, communicate and distribute key resources and materials that inspire the profession  


Develop standards, guidelines, and other materials that foster best professional practice

Funding Needed


Tasks & Responsibility



1. Promotion of our IFLA book, showcasing inspiring examples of how libraries can help citizens participate in their health care and their communities. This was published in October 2020. [Flyer]


2.  Continue series of joint webinars with E4GDH in relation to health literacy and the impact of COVID-19 – these will continue to be used to promote the special journal issue (published late 2019), and the 2020 book



1.     IFLA book finalised (Pru & Brian Galvin, past HBS Chair)

2.     Key messages/liaise with De Gruyter on communications

3.     Launch IFLA book

4.     Plan and present webinars


Oct 2020







August 2020 onwards



2. Development of related activities to build on our two publications and strengthen their impact. These could include presentations by article or book chapter authors during webinars, resources on our HBS pages and postings/planned discussions on our MedLib discussion list.


Subcommittees to prepare plans with comms subcommittee, informed by our new HBS communication strategy. Launched Twitter channel in April 2020: @ifla_hbs


August 2020  onwards


3. The satellite meeting, in partnership with the Health Sciences Library Group of the Library Association of Ireland and our sponsored SIG, was to be on the role of librarians in improving citizens’ health literacy to coincide with the launch of our Health Literacy book.
As this was cancelled we will investigate similar topics for the joint webinar series


Webinar and satellite meeting subcommittees to

Review the abstracts received for the 2020 Call for papers to determine if we can ask presenters to present their paper in a webinar



October 2020



4. Invited by CPDWL to a joint 2020 WLIC session titled ‘Workplace Morale, Burn Out and Toxic Leadership in Library Environments with other Units, including  Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, Management and Marketing Section, and the New Professionals SIG.

Collaborate with CPDWL to help plan a joint WLIC session.  




5. Our current HBS project focuses on the training needs of health librarians in East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA). We will provide support to the ECSA region’s LIS institutions to continue conversations, for example via a social media platform of their choice. Maria as former HBS Chair will lead on completing the second stage*

Note: *Funding approved by IFLA in 2018-19 funding cycle but event was cancelled for 2020; the funds in 2021 as workshop planned or 2020 were postponed to 2021 – but a registrations fee has been paid to take advantage of the early bird rate.  It is hoped that this will be carried over to the 2021 event.


1. Determine if 2021 SCECSAL

  1. will go ahead 1-day

workshop on findings &

next steps.

2. Review communications to

enable further collaboration

with LIS institution heads

3. Disseminate findings during

ICML-AHILA conference


November 2020






June 2021






6. Prepare planning for WLIC 2021 Open Session on Open Access. Open Science and Artificial Intelligence


This needs to be reviewed with cancellation of WLIC

1. Discuss with IT section to

see if they are still interested

in a joint session

2. Prepare submission

documents for IFLA and if

approved prepare call.

3. Present session at IFLA 2021


October 2020 onwards





7. HBS member to be involved in editing forthcoming book in the IFLA Series ‘Transliteracy across the globe: implementing information, digital, media and visual literacies in the Library’. The primary audience of the book is librarians; promotion of this will continue to build on our information literacy theme  

Ongoing discussions with IFLA

Series editor – to date 4

chapters have been received

October 2020 onwards – date of publication is to be advised

How will you communicate your activities and results? 

Announcements about our special journal issue and 2020 IFLA book plus associated activities via IFLA channels, HBS webpages, social media channels, and mailing lists.

ECSA reports will be added to our project page and highlighted in our communications.

Webinars recorded and added to the IFLA website

Promote Open session via a variety of channels

How will you measure the impact of your activities?

1. Positive reviews of IFLA book and special journal issue, plus potentially book sales.
2. Analytics for related activities e.g. webinar participants, webinar recording stats, resource download statistics

3. Success of ECSA project – ongoing dialogue with / support for LIS Deans and Directors of LIS schools and medical librarians in the region.


Identify other Unit(s) which may be interested in this Focus Area, or with which you could collaborate on projects/activities. 

ECSA LIS curriculum review project: Education and Training section [initial discussions with Kendra Albright] and their sponsored SIG LIS Education.

IT section for 2021 Open Session

CPDWL Section for 2020 Joint WLIC Session


Focus Area 2

Seek to raise the voice and profile of health librarians globally, especially from LMICs (low and middle-income countries)


IFLA Strategic Direction

Strategic Direction 1. Strengthen the Global Voice of Libraries
Strategic Direction 3. Connect and Empower the Field
Strategic Direction 4. Optimise our organization

Key Initiatives

[KI No.]

[Describe how your planned activities align with this Key Initiative]


Show the power of libraries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


Build a strong presence in international organizations and meetings as a valued partner 


Provide excellent opportunities for face-to-face networking and learning


Effectively mobilise our human resources and networks: ensure all committee members are clear about their responsibilities and have the opportunity to contribute to achieving our objectives.


Increase, diversify and engage our membership: in order to better represent our audience


Increase our visibility through excellent and innovative communications: raise the profile of, and so interest in, our work, by implementing a new, sustainable communication strategy.

Funding Needed


Tasks & Responsibility



1.1 Continue to strengthen cooperation and collaboration with national and regional groups, building on strong model with EAHIL [European Association for Health Information and Libraries], which has led to greater reach for our activities.

1.2 Ongoing discussions with EAHIL planned, particularly with regard to the  new EBI SIG – Evidence-Based Information Group


1.     Zoom meeting with EAHIL SIG on Systematic Reviews to discuss partnerships

2.     HBS agreement for continued discussions

September 2021






2.  HBS will act as a valued partner, providing professional support for ICML [International Congress on Medical Librarianship] which is taking place in Africa for the first time, in collaboration with AHILA [Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa].  Theme: “A call for action: Engaging to save lives.” Hosting the conference in South Africa provides a platform for librarians from the region to showcase their research and best practice. 

Several committee members are already on local (LOC) and international (IPC) organizing committees and signed up to subcommittees.


HBS committee members on current ICML 2021 committees – at this stage they are conducting a risk analysis and looking at running the conference in hybrid mode or as an online event – they are looking at other organizations such as MLA who are also running conferences in hybrid or online event.


1. Continued work on ICML


2. Encourage SIG and HBS

members to be involved in

ICML subcommittees

3. Joint ICML+AHILA Congress,

22nd to 25th June 2021 in

Pretoria, South Africa

Sept 2020 –


3.1 Explore grants to support participation at future WLIC plus ICML-AHILA in 2021 for colleagues from LMICs (Low and Middle-Income Countries), working to remove barriers to collaboration.

This will build on discussions in 2018-19 with IFLA sections already offering sponsorship opportunities.

3.2 A joint funding proposal with E4GDH in relation to strengthening evidence-based practice through CPD and workshops at ICML+AHILA 2021 will be submitted

1. Subcommittee extended;

2019 findings reviewed

2. Identify & promote existing

 grant opportunities via HBS


3. Proposal for sponsorship


4. Publishers approached

5. Grant offer finalised



October 2021 onwards



4. Continue to work closely with, and mutually support, our sponsored E4GDH SIG in particular around their work concerning greater equity.

1. Chair’s updates to include

E4GDH news

2. Collaborative work




5.1 Develop a strategy for continuity as both the Chair and Secretary step down next year.


5.2 Identify gaps (geographical region, sector, and language) in the representation of our committee, and plan to strengthen our Latin American / Spanish language representation in the 2021 elections.

By engaging all our committee, and later further diversifying, we can better represent the wider library community.


   1. Bios shared

       2. Approach to forthcoming elections and Officer elections developed to support wider representation and sustainability of section


Oct – Dec 2020

Oct – Dec 2019


  1. Raise the profile of our work by building on our robust and sustainable communication strategy, which creates opportunities for the experience of all our committee and their representative regions to be heard [members from Africa (5), Asia Oceania (6), Europe (6), Latin America (1) and North America (7)].


Communication Plan finalised and available on website in July 2020

New Communication Strategy:

1. Developed

2. Implemented [roles TBC in

Comms Strategy]

3. Reviewed at end of first 

year (2020)


By February 2020


7. Collaborate with 1 or more other sections / SIGs to put together an innovation programme for IFLA WLIC 2020.

Our theme is around OA, AI and OS, to include ethical perspectives.  We are exploring a collaboration with Information Technology section on this session. We have also been approached by the CPDWL to join them in a session on health in the workplace. 

= update

1. Develop open session on

OA, AI and OS

Programme Subcommittee for

open session

2. Explore second session with

CPDWL on health in the


Nov 2019 -, once draft proposal approved



Oct – Nov 2019 initially




How will you communicate your activities and results? 

via IFLA channels, HBS webpages, social media channels and mailing lists.


How will you measure the impact of your activities?

  1. 1 or more new collaborations established. Evidence of benefits e.g. shared annual reports.
  2. Feedback from ICML+AHILA partners: keynote speakers, call for papers, abstracts and registration levels in lead up to June 2021 conference.
  3. Success in offering 1 or more grants in 2021
  4. Our HBS basecamp space is actively being used to strengthen communication and collaboration
    Increased communication in line with our communication plan.
  5. Increase in membership of our MedLib discussion list, and increased number of postings to that list.
  6. Success of our call for papers and final programme for WLIC 2021 (number of applications /diversity of speakers /number of participants and feedback via evaluation forms).
  7. Ongoing discussions with EAHIL SIG

Identify other Unit(s) which may be interested in this Focus Area, or with which you could collaborate on projects/activities. 

IFLA regions – Africa, Asia Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean
Our sponsored SIG E4GDH (Evidence for Global and Disaster Health Special Interest Group)




Project Funding Request 2019 – 2020

Name of Professional Unit: Health and Biosciences Libraries section = for information
New proposal regarding ICML+AHILA 2021 to be submitted on new form


Project or activity

Use your list above



Second stage of our HBS project – ECSA (East, Central and Southern Africa) LIS curriculum review of training needs of health information professionals

Resources and Amount of Funding

For what do you need resources in relation to this task? What is the estimated amount of funding required for these resources?  Refer to the Project Funding Request Criteria.


One-day workshop* with ECSA region LIS institution heads and stakeholders in 2020 to share the research findings and discuss a way forward. This will take part during 24th Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL XXIV). 20 – 24 April 2020

*Funding approved by IFLA in 2018-19 funding cycle: Euros 1000

Estimate time and cost.


Give a breakdown of the tasks in your project that require funding . Give an estimate for the work time and funds dedicated to each task.


Hold a one-day workshop with deans and directors of library schools and medical librarians in the region, to share research findings and advocate for improvements where needed: meals and refreshments, venue, accommodation for one night for HBS SC members [Maria, past chair, and Christine] presenting the project findings, and inland travel for 15-20 Deans and Directors of LIS schools and medical librarians in the region – Euros 1000


When would the money need reimbursement?

Usually reimbursements are made following completion of the work, however, pre-payment can be arranged in some circumstances


Hold a one-day workshop with deans and directors – Euros 1,000. This should be paid before the workshop and will be accounted for afterwards.