NETWORKING FOR HUMAN AND ANIMAL HEALTH; MEDLIG AND HICSA REMINISCENCES
Erica van der Westhuizen
Veterinary Science Library
University of Pretoria
3rd HICSA conference, 24 November 2008, Onderstepoort
An association of medical librarians in South Africa was formed in the 1980’s, called MEDLIG.
I remember those early meetings, with Maureen Brassell as secretary and Elizabeth Robinson, Lily Battaglia and later Glenda Myers, as Chairs. Maureen was from the medical Library of UP, and Elizabeth was the Head of the Wits Medical Library.
I can still recall the meeting at the Wits med library where Elizabeth told us of her frustrations when the new medical library was designed and built, with architects following their own ideas instead of listening to the wise librarians. I had exactly the same experience a few years later when our new veterinary library was built.
After Elizabeth, Glenda became chair and inspired us in those years with all her overseas visits to libraries and medical librarians conferences. When SAILIS became LIASA and little interest groups were encouraged to join the mother organization MEDLIG kept a low profile, the idea of paying membership fees and following rules of other controlling bodies seemed not very attractive to such a small group.
To this day, like SAOUG, MEDLIG/HICSA has maintained this independence.
MEDLIG started in 1981.
The Regulations 3 September 1981
The files show documents regarding Regulations adopted on 3 September 1981, where members agreed to only share information of a strictly non-confidential nature.
Fees – R8.00 1980’s, 1990’s
- R30.00 2000-2006
- free – 2007, 2008
By 1991 there were 31 paid-up members. The fees were R8.00 per annum.
The membership list includes members who are still with us today;
Magriet Lee, David Swanepoel, Maureen Brassell, Lily Battaglia, Neil Heslip, John van Niekerk, and Erica vdWesthuizen.
Louise Temkin, a well known librarian / KM expert today, was the treasurer.
Berry Pflugler (HICSA)
OTHERS OF SIGNIFICANCE
Neil Heslip (Treasurer)
Some fascinating topics were covered in those early days
AIDS (1988) (Surely a rather unknown subject for library meetings at the time? But with what foresight, arranged by Elizabeth Robinson.
Betrayers of the Truth (1988) a review of a book with this title, by Magiet Lee. It dealt with fraud in medical literature and medicine.
Forensic odontology (1991) This was a fascinating lecture by an expert, Prof Ligthelm, at the Premedical library, UP
Eating disorders (TARA) (1992)
Edblo Sleep Clinic (1993)
Roodeplaat Research Lab (1993)
Human Genetics Lab, SAIMR (1993)
Intellectual property, Glaxo-Wellcome(1999)
MLA (USA) reportback, Myleen Oosthuizen and Annamarie Young, UPMed (1999)
THE END OF MEDLIG
The change from SAILIS to LIASA
16 April 1998 meeting at Wits Health Sciences Library. MEDLIG quo vadis?
23 Feb 2000 last MEDLIG meeting
CHANGING TO HICSA
24 – 25 November 1999 –
1st National Meeting, Bloemfontein
HICSA national body with 2 branches:
Gauteng and KZNatal
Berry Pflugler (Chair)
Neil Heslip (Treasurer)
Erica vd Westhuizen
Norma Russell (KZN)
Eugenie Sohnge (Cape)
Huibre Lombard (Free State)
Designed by Margaret Crampton’s artist daughter.Margaret is director of NISC, Grahamstown. The 3 figures are linked, to show they are a community. The open book represents information/knowledge. Their African look places them in context. And if you look closely you will see the 2 outer figures are female, with a male in the middle.
HICSA IN THE 2000’S
2 meetings held in 2000
2001 – 2nd National Meeting, Sept
Gauteng meeting at Intervet, Spartan
THE DECLINE OF HICSA MEETINGS (decline in number held)
2003 Nov, UPVet library (Human/animal bond)
2004 2nd Conference
2005 April at ARC Irene
November at Abbott Lab. (COPs)
2006 CSIR (Conservation medicine)
2007 Abbott Lab. (on being a researcher)
2008 May at UPVet (Camel anatomy atlas)
(plus workshop – on Flickr)
All agree it should continue
Not more than 2 meetings per year
Workshops are popular
Bloemfontein (1st national meeting) 24/25 November1999
Bloem again (2nd national conference) 8/9 November 2004
Pretoria (Onderstepoort) (3rd national
conference) 24/25 November 2008
THE 2nd NATIONAL CONFERENCE
8-9 November 2004
Caring and sharing:
information support for a healthy nation
The second National Conference of the Health Information Community(HICSA) is an opportunity for Health Information workers from all over South Africa to meet and share knowledge and expertise.
This conference will be held at the Main Library of the University of the Free State.
THE THIRD NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE HEALTH INFORMATION COMMUNITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (HICSA)
24 & 25 November 2008
Onderstepoort, Pretoria, Gauteng
THEME: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Towards a new future for health libraries.
Newsletter THE MEDICAL LIBRARIAN
Editor: John van Niekerk
HICSA also had a newsletter , first edited by Judith Shopley. When she retired from SANCA the newsletter stopped. It needs to be resuscitated!
The HICSA blog serves as a newsletter in the meantime.
Listserv (Hosted by UP)
HICSA CONFERENCE WIKI
by Marguerite Nel
a blog you can visit to read about previous conferences –
Run by Erica van der Westhuizen
THE WEB PAGE OF HICSA
For some background on HICSA please visit the web page at http://www.library.up.ac.za/vet/hicsa/
By Marguerite Nel, University of Pretoria
(originally hosted by the UOFS)
This is the Association of Health information and Libraries in Africa. You will hear more about it in a later presentation by the new president, Vimbai Hwange later during this conference.
MEDLIG / HICSA members’ participation
At conferences of the Association of Health Information
Some HICSA members were able to attend AHILA conferences. They are held in African countries every 2 years. E.g. 1996, Brazzaville, Congo, 1998 Lusaka, Zambia, 2000 Swaziland.
South Africa has not yet hosted one – maybe the time is approaching when we should also participate in such an event in our own country! Showing our involvement with health information beyond our borders.
MEDLIG / HICSA members’ participation
conferences of the Association of Health Information
To end, I would like to point out the link between human and animal health issues. Overseas, especially in the USA, there is now a shift to the concept of ONE MEDICINE, or ONE HEALTH to focus on the inter-relationship between the various species and also the environment..
This is why we veterinary librarians have always tried to play a role within HICSA, formerly MEDLIG. Without healthy animals, there cannot be healthy humans!