The expansion of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program is one outgrowth of a long range planning report on the education
and training of health sciences librarians commissioned by NLM's Board of Regents. Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, pioneering
heart surgeon and Chairman of NLM's Regents stated: "Health sciences librarians play a vital role in making medical
information accessible to health professionals and, increasingly, to the general public. Society benefits when these librarians are
well equipped to participate in the design, development, and delivery of health information systems."
October 1997 marks the first National Medical Librarians Month sponsored by the Medical Library Association and the
fortieth anniversary of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program. At the National Library of Medicine, Associate Fellows learn
about NLM's operations and research initiatives, use advanced information technologies, and develop analytic and research
skills by conducting special projects. Beginning with the 1998/99 program, the number of Associate Fellows will increase and
an optional second year at another health sciences library or information center will be added to the fellowship program. This
second year will provide Fellows with an opportunity to work with multi-disciplinary teams in designing, implementing, and
integrating information services into the clinical and educational programs of the library's parent institution.
Applauding NLM's decision to expand the Associate Fellowship Program, Rachael Anderson, current MLA President and
former Chair of the NLM Board of Regents, remarked "I perceive a growing demand for librarians who are well prepared to
exercise a more expansive view of their roles and responsibilities. Health care's evolutionary reform and the growth of
managed care call for knowledge-based information and open up opportunities for library linkages to programs that are crucial
to the success of health care institutions."
NLM Associate Fellows are recruited nationally and competitively. Former Fellows have gone on to a range of leadership
positions in academic health sciences centers, hospitals, information service companies, drug companies, graduate schools of
library and information science, and national libraries. Information and applications for the program are on the Web at