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


EAHIL Board and Council meeting 20-22 January 2000 in Amsterdam

EAHIL Board and Council meeting 20-22 January 2000 in Amsterdam

On Thursday lunchtime the members of the EAHIL Executive Board met at Hotel Westropa, Nassaukade 387-390, Amsterdam for the half-yearly business meeting. Unfortunately our President could not be present due to serious and sad family affairs.
The main topic of this meeting was the preparation of the Council meeting starting the following day, which had to deal with the revision of the Statutes.
Further on the agenda were financial business and organisation of the secretariat at the ICP.
EAHIL is a sound financial basis, and although there were more expenses in 1999 due to the move to the Netherlands, expenses are within the limits of the overall budget. The costs for the EAHIL Newsletter grew in 1999 and therefore force us to investigate further rationalization of the production. Further attention should be given to persuing payment of membership fees, the major source of income for the association.
On Friday lunchtime alltogether 26 gathered for the Council meeting. Many new Council members could be wellcomed and also we all met the new staff member of the ICP Group responsible for the EAHIL secretariat: Suzanne Laeven.
An extensive discussion about details of the revised Statutes took place, chaired in an efficient, but nevertheless stimulating way by Alice Nørhede. Dinner in the Amsterdam Academic Club with a sightseeing walking tour afterwards, was a nice interlude; Saturday early morning discussion about the Statutes continued.
Another important topic was the (possible) role(s) and task(s) of the EAHIL Council and its members.
As a link to the members, Councillors can be helpful in tracing "lost" colleagues and keeping the membership database up-to-date.
The Council decided upon nomination of Marta Jorda Olives (from Spain) as official representative of EAHIL to join the editorial board of Health Libraries Review. This journal will change title in 2001 to become the Health Information and Libraries Journal. Not only by title will the journal become closer to EAHIL, content and authorship will be more focussed on (continental) Europe.
Of major concern to all are the vacancies in the Board by the end of this year. The term of office of the President and 4 (!) Board members will end and not all will stand for re-election.
Future activities of EAHIL can and must make use of the very powerful information dissemination via EAHIL's website. A taskforce on this was formed for which Jarmila Potomkova and Laura Cavazza will set plans. Françoise Pasleau hopes that EAHIL can support the exchange and dissemination of educational material, either through the web or otherwise.
It was noticed, however, that the role of Councillors and EAHIL depends on the national (medical) library organisations. A strong national association makes it easier to link many colleagues with the activities of EAHIL.
Attention and interest for a code of ethics was renewed, Pirjo Rajakiili and Turid Tharaldsen will make plans how to use and implement the MLA code of ethics into European context.
But probably the most important issue is attracting more colleagues to become EAHIL member. What arguments can be given to persuade colleagues to join? To survive and to persue the aims and scopes EAHIL needs not only more, but also younger members. Tamara Morcillo will look into this subject further. The (financial) barriers that prevent many colleagues, not only from the middle and eastern European countries, to take part in EAHIL activities, might be lowered by finding the right sources that can provide grants. Elisabeth Husem, already active in the Oslo scholarship committee, will widen the scope for funding. Especially the Councillors can be helpful to guide colleagues in the national jungle of funding agencies and grant commissions.
Job exchange, traineeships and library visits on an exchange basis, are in the dreams of many. In this Council meeting we did not yet try to materialize these dreams.
The two days of hard work were certainly worth the effort: getting to know each other and strengthening mutual understanding are the essentials and bare necessities on which to found the Association. EAHIL made a good start in the new millennium!!

Suzanne Bakker

The next meeting of the Board and the Council will be in London on Saturday 1st July.top

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