Report from the Medical Library Association’s InSight Initiative Summit 3: Bridge Building: What Bridges to Build and How


  • Katherine G. Akers Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the Medical Library Association, and Biomedical Research and Data Specialist, Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI



Access to Information, Libraries, Publishers, Information Seeking, Medical Library Association


At the Medical Library Association’s Insight Initiative Summit 3, held June 12–13, 2019, academic and hospital librarians joined with publishing industry partners to identify vexing problems in publishing and accessing health sciences information. Through a mixture of panel discussions with health sciences faculty, librarians, and information providers; small-group problem-solving exercises; and large-group consensus-building activities, the summit program invited participants to appreciate each other’s viewpoints and propose a collaborative project leading to tangible outcomes that could ultimately benefit end users. Several vexing problems were identified, including poor communication and mistrust between librarians and publishers, complexities in product pricing structures and licenses, and users’ difficulties in accessing and using vetted information resources. However, librarians and publishers agreed that building a better shared understanding of users’ needs and behavior would be the most useful bridge toward regaining trust, establishing more effective partnerships, and designing and delivering quality information resources that are easily accessible and maximally useful to health sciences researchers, educators, clinicians, and students.


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MLA Proceedings Editors