Established in 1976, CHLA/ABSC grew out of the efforts of the Canadian Group of the Medical Library Association and the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services. An article by David S. Crawford "CHLA/ABSC 25 Years On" reproduced from the Winter 2000 issue of Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana, gives a historical look at the formation and first 25 years of the association.

CHLA/ABSC is a registered charity organization in Canada. It is a professional organization of approximately 300 individuals in the health sciences library and information field. Through its programs and publications, CHLA/ABSC encourages the professional development of its members.

Vision and Mission

The Association aspires to build a community of Canadian Health Library and Information professionals who are valued partners in the improvement of health, health care, research, and education.

We promote and advocate for high quality health information and library services through education, funding opportunities, knowledge sharing, research, and collaboration.


This strategic plan provides guidance and direction across a wide range of topics from professional development, to knowledge transfer, enhancing the value of our professional services,  responding to Calls to Action, completing organizational review of CHLA/ABSC, and finally, to improving further communications among our membership. 

It is important to clarify that the goals span the next three years. The CHLA/ABSC Board has outlined the following priorities to be addressed in Year 1. This will lay a strong foundation on which to begin work on the remaining goals over the following two years.

  1. Officially adopt an Indigenous Protocol for use at board meetings and the annual conference and provide guidance for members who wish to create protocols specific to where they live.

  2. Strengthen accessibility to educational offerings through on-line and virtual options, joint conferences, leveraging partner education programs; co-location partner conferences and travel support

  3. Align leadership development offerings into a comprehensive, multi-year curriculum strategy to continually build leadership capacity

  4. Expand and refine the approaches/ mechanisms for sharing of knowledge (e.g., CHLA/ABSCs website, listservs, newsletters, and Journal)

  5. Broadly share advocacy materials created by members for use in their own institutions

  6. Assess the organizational structure, governance, membership structure, relationships with Chapters, and financial model