The Medical Library Association's professional development program: a look back at the way ahead.

Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA 94(1):8 (2006) PMID 16404465 PMCID PMC1324767

Reflecting patterns evident in past Janet Doe Lectures, the 2005 address reviews the Medical Library Association's (MLA's) professional development activities from their beginnings after World War II. A group of related but separate activities is traced through the establishment of an integrated professional development program. A further objective is to introduce newer members of MLA to their heritage and to remind others how the association has reached this point in its history. The lecture provides an overview of the evolution of MLA's professional development program-with emphasis on certification and continuing education in the early years. It further reflects briefly on some of the more recent MLA activities that have greatly impacted professional development and underscores some new initiatives. The efforts of a virtual who's who of MLA's membership have been responsible for the convergence of the association's efforts over more than half a century to provide a comprehensive professional development program. As a participant in MLA's professional development activities for more than forty years, the 2005 lecturer provides a personal view of the growth and expansion of the program. Professional development has been a hallmark of MLA for many years. The association's challenge is to continue to develop creative and innovative programs, to continuously review and revise existing programs, and to have the vision and vitality to maintain a viable program that will provide the membership with the knowledge and skills needed to function effectively now and in the future.