It is a pleasure to be invited to write a few words about the U. S. veterinary medical library scene. As many of you may know, there are 27 veterinary libraries in the United States and 4 in Canada. Most of the librarians, representing these 31 libraries, are active members of the Veterinary Medical Libraries Section/Medical Library Association (VMLS/MLA). Additional members in the group represent the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, primate libraries and zoo libraries.
The VMLS meets at the annual meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA). In 1995, the annual MLA meeting was a joint meeting held in conjunction with the 7th International Congress on Medical Librarianship, and it was held in Washington, DC on May 7 12, 1995. The attendance was the largest ever recorded for a MLA meeting (2000+). A record breaking 27 people, including Carole Meerschaert, veterinary librarian at the Universite de Liege, and a member of the EVI,G, attended the VMLS business meeting. Only Mitzi Williams and Trenton Boyd had previously met Carole so everyone was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Carole in person since many had corresponded with her on VETLIB-L. Highlights of the VMLS program included a presentation on U.S. Presidential pets, a tour of the world famous National Museum of l-Iealth and medicine at the Walter Reed Medical Center, and of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. A banquet dinner was held at the Red Hot and Blue, a restaurant famous for its mouth-watering barb-que! From the 10 committee reports given during the business meeting, the two most salient points for the EVLG are:
In the "new business" portion of the meeting, Vicki Kok, veterinary librarian at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, was recognized for founding and moderating the VETLIB-L, which is a listserv for veterinary librarians on the Internet. Vicki Kok announced the completion of a new project for the VMLS. She has produced a Home Page about the VMLS on the World Wide Web.
The veterinary library world is remarkably better as a result of Vicki's efforts, and her name will certainly go down in the annals of veterinary medical librarianship. We are all indebted to her.
In June 1995, four members of the VMLS (Vicki Croft, Carolyn Kopper, Isabel McDonald and Trenton Boyd) travelled to Onderstepoort, South Africa to attend the 1st Conference of African Animal Health Information Workers, held July 3 6. This conference was hosted by Erica van der Westhuizen, head of the Veterinary Science Library, University of Pretoria, and her super staff. Every minute was a learning experience for those of us who had never been to the African continent before. Many excellent papers were presented.
I would encourage you to purchase the proceedings book, which will be published in 1996. Most importantly though, it appears that the African countries will form an association to be a counterpart to the EVLG and the VMLS/MLA. A second conference is planned for 1996 or 1997 in Zambia.
Let me end by congratulating the editors, Linda Warden and Rosemary Warner, on their hard work in producing this inaugural issue of the'EVLG newsletter. I am sure it will be the first of many, many more issues to follow.