Medical Library Association Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report




Medical Library Association, Diversity, Inclusion, Task Force


The Medical Library Association (MLA) appointed a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force (DITF) in 2017. Sandra G. Franklin, AHIP, FMLA, chaired the task force and guided initiatives. From 2017 to 2020, the task force completed a review of MLA defining documents—including the mission, vision, values, and code of ethics—resulting in language updates to these documents. As MLA transitioned through the communities process, the DITF contributed to the transition. Other recommended essential changes to MLA profiles to promote awareness included updating pronouns to promote gender inclusivity and suggestions for the Annual Meeting Innovation Task Force. DITF members actively brought diversity and inclusion programming and engagement to MLA members at annual meetings. The task force held a fish bowl conversation, an open forum, and a Diversity Dialogues roundtable discussion; provided interactive discussion boards; and designed an MLA diversity button. Beyond MLA annual meetings, the task force hosted two critical librarianship meetings and a Twitter chat to engage MLA members with diversity and inclusion topics. Task force members promoted diversity and inclusion beyond their task force appointments with presentations at chapter meetings and other non-DITF MLA annual meeting programming. A notable task force accomplishment included completing a survey of MLA members to gather baseline demographic characteristics, including never before collected data about disability, socioeconomics, and caregiver status. This report provides an overview of DITF activities from 2017 to 2020.

Author Biographies

Jane Morgan-Daniel, Community Engagement and Health Literacy Liaison Librarian, Libraries, University of Florida Health Science Center, Gainesville, FL

Jane Morgan-Daniel, AHIP, is the community engagement and health literacy liaison librarian at the University of Florida (UF) Health Science Center Libraries. In addition to her liaison responsibilities for UF’s Departments of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies, she collaborates with community organizations to reduce local health information disparities and increase health literacy. Morgan-Daniel leads her library’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team, was a 2019–2020 MLA Rising Star, and is the chair-elect for MLA’s new DEI Committee.

Xan Y. Goodman, Liaison Librarian, Lied Library, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Xan Y. Goodman, AHIP, currently serves as the liaison librarian to the three schools in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the School of Integrated Health Sciences, the School of Public Health and the School of Nursing. Goodman is a Senior Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) of the Medical Library Association. She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Goodman is a trained Racial Healer Facilitator. Goodman is also chair of the MLA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She relaxes by making jewelry, body care products, and painting.

Sandra G. Franklin, Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Sandra G. Franklin, AHIP, FMLA, is director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, which includes one academic branch and three Emory Healthcare clinical branch libraries. Franklin has been an active member of MLA for many years. She was elected to the Board of Directors, served as chair of the MLA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and is an MLA Fellow. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s College of Library and Information Studies and earned an undergraduate bachelor of science degree from HBCU Hampton University.

Kelsa Bartley, Education and Outreach Librarian, Learning, Research & Clinical Information Services Department, Louis Calder Memorial Library, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL

Kelsa Bartley is the education and outreach librarian in the Learning, Research & Clinical Information Services Department at the Louis Calder Memorial Library, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Her role includes outreach and promotion of library services and resources; she manages the library’s social media platforms and blog, and creates promotional material and digital content for the Calder Library website. She is the library’s EndNote specialist, in addition to providing other library education and research services. Bartley spends her spare time practicing yoga and tending to her patio garden.

Matthew Nicholas Noe, Primary Selector, Health Sciences, and Curator, Specialized Collections, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Matthew Nicholas Noe is the primary selector for the health sciences, is the curator for specialized collections like graphic medicine, and seeks to ensure the humanities play a prominent role in the health sciences. He also teaches part time at the University of Kentucky, is the treasurer for the Graphic Medicine International Collective, and a 2020 American Library Association Emerging Leader. You can usually find him struggling to pet two dogs and read a book all at once.

JJ Pionke, Liaison Librarian, University Library, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

JJ Pionke is the liaison librarian for the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an award winning librarian for his work on disability and accessibility in libraries. In his spare time, he needlepoints, rides his motorcycle, and plays with his two Maine Coon cats.


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MLA Proceedings Editors