Thursday, March 17, 2016

WHSLA History

Did you ever wonder how WHSLA came to be? Check out this article from our About Us page.

"In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the development of health science libraries in the United States changed dramatically. In 1957, the National Library of Medicine took over the indexing service that had been published from 1906 through 1956 by the American Medical Association known as Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus. In 1962, NLM was dedicated as a member of the National Institutes of Health. And in 1965 Congress passed the Medical Library Assistance Act, which authorized establishment of the Regional Medical Library Network.

In Wisconsin in 1968, the Medical Library Service at William S. Middleton Library of the University of Wisconsin Medical School initiated what was then called simply, "The Newsletter." The first issue of "The Newsletter" was dated April 1968. The 1968 issues of "The Newsletter" make reference to libraries complementing each other to avoid duplication of efforts, workshops held, teleconferences planned, and the new multi-state regional medical library for the Midwest-the John Crerar Library in Chicago.

Health science librarians in Wisconsin acted informally as a group throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1970, the Newsletter contained an article entitled "Time to Organize?" The article suggested that it might be time to abandon informality and organize a statewide organization for people operating health science libraries.

In 1973, two statewide coordinators were hired by the UW Medical School. The coordinators worked at Middleton Library and were also traveling consultants. They visited almost every health science library in the state to determine what health science collections were available and where they were located. Where they found good collections, they encouraged the librarians to consider the sharing concept and to move toward regional organization. In 1974, it was announced that one of the coordinators would stay at Middleton all the time and the other would do all the traveling.

Also in 1973, six consortium areas were established in Wisconsin. Sharing activities were coordinated by the state Health Science Library Coordinator and six area reps from each consortium. Between 1974 and 1977, the area representatives attended meetings at which they discussed various issues including formal organization. In March 1977 in Eau Claire, a meeting was held by the state coordinator, area representatives, Virginia Holtz, and others. The group received a motion to form a state organization and the motion was passed. A Bylaws committee was set up. more at WHSLA History

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