The MLA Educational Media & Technologies Section: A Twenty-Five Year History
By 1978 the AV exchange list idea was still on the burner. The MLA Exchange Committee had not changed their previous ruling against handling this project. The lack of acceptance of non-print materials seemed to be a dominant sentiment among HSAG members. A HSAG committee entitled "Members of the Special Interest Health Sciences Audiovisual Group/MLA Section to Study Exchange of Surplus, Current Materials on National and International Level" was established. Yes, our SIG drew a mighty group of activists!
During the late 1970's various correspondence makes a reference to our group as the "Health Sciences Audiovisual Section (HSAS)," but the designation HSAG (SIG) remains as well. This is explained by the fact that MLA began the task of restructuring the organization (as mention before). There must have been some confusion until it was cleared up by Fred O'Bryant in a letter to the HSAG Chair, Janette Closurdo. It suggests that,
"...as part of the bylaws revision that were proposed, the group should be called Health Sciences Audiovisual Section of the Medical Library Association..., ...the term 'section' must appear in the name, as this term is the one used to designate special interest organizations under the proposed new [MLA] group structure."
Although work had begun on the HSAG bylaws in 1976 and submitted to MLA in 1977, we were asked put off this activity until after the Annual Meeting that year when MLA restructuring would be announced. So, in June 1978 at the annual business meeting in Chicago, the first section bylaws were presented and our new name became official, "Health Sciences Audio-Visual Section (HSAVS)."
The year 1978 was also significant as the year we initiated the first "Media Festival." There were 19 programs which ran from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Topics were heavily clinical but also included patient education video.
As the years passed, Section bylaws were revised (see our current version on the EMTS Bylaws Archives Page), handbooks were created, newsletters were published, programs were planned and we generally consolidated our organization.
In 1986 our first "Core List of Audiovisual Programs" by Janis Brown and Margaret Tomkins was published as a special issue of the HSAVS Newsletter in July. The "core" lists were the result of HSAVS surveys and became very popular. In 1991 a "Computer-Assisted Instruction Core List" by Pat Thibodeau was added to our newsletter. Pat continued to survey our section for the most recommended AV and CAI programs until May of 1993. The return on surveys were poor and so the practice was almost abandoned.