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European Association for Health Information and Libraries
Association Européenne pour I'Information et les Bibliothèques de Santé


News from the Nordic States:

Nordic Cooperation - The Nordic Association

The Nordic Association for Medical and Health Information (NAMHI) is an umbrella organisation which draws together the professional health information organisations of the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Nordic cooperation has been self-evident to us for such a long time now so much so that our Association was only founded a few years ago. After years of regular meetings with members from the boards of our respective national organisations, NAMHI was finally founded at a meeting in Finland in 1995 when official statutes were accepted. Nordic languages are similar and inter-communication is possible with little difficulty apart from the Finnish language which is totally different. Consequently English was agreed upon as the language of the Association. That decision has proved to be especially useful lately when NAMHI is expanding its activities to include the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Association Board meets at least once a year and for financial and practical reasons frequently in connection with other events such as EAHIL conferences or workshops.

NAMHI's objective is to increase collaboration in order to strengthen specialist knowledge and professional development of Nordic librarians and information specialists working within the health services.

To promote its objectives, the Association has published a yearly Nordic newsletter for the last ten years but at its latest meeting the Board decided that the the time had come to discontinue the newsletter. Instead we decided to encourage our Nordic colleagues to use MEDBIBL, a Nordic discussion list for librarians and information specialists working with health information.

Nordic conferences have been held every four years alternating between the Nordic countries since 1984 when the First Conference for Medical and Health Libraries was held in Olso. In June this year Iceland hosted the last separate NAMHI conference. The conferences have all been successful but at its latest meeting the Board decided that the time had come for changes. In future, we shall have official NAMHI activities in connection with other conferences - the first being at the ICML in London July 2000 where NAMHI plans to organise a session on the theme "Knowledge transfer: Nordic and Baltic cooperation projects". In 2003 a NAMHI conference will be held in Oslo in cooperation with the Baltic states and together with the EAHIL Oslo workshop.

Eva Alopaeus

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Contents No. 49


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