The The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has awarded the 2023 AAHSL Oppenheimer Cornerstone Award to Joanne Muellenbach, MLS, AHIP, Health Sciences Library Director at the California Health Sciences University, for her successful advocacy to change the AAHSL bylaws.
Voting rights and eligibility for leadership roles in the AAHSL were restricted to osteopathic institutions who had full member status. That all changed in October 2022 when Muellenbach and AAHSL Osteopathic Membership Task Force members successfully advocated to change the AAHSL bylaws that now enable library leaders of osteopathic and allopathic medicine programs with full AAHSL membership to be on an equal footing.
“With guidance from the Task Force, I surveyed the osteopathic library leadership and received a very positive response. Following their responses, I submitted a letter of recommendation to the AAHSL board of directors,” said Muellenbach. “The AAHSL president made a motion to amend the AAHSL Bylaws, the motion was discussed at the November 2021 AAHSL annual business meeting, a vote took place, and the vote carried.”
The award is given at the discretion of the AAHSL’s board of directors and is given only to an individual, group, or institution for a notable or important contribution when there is evidence of a significant contribution and not necessarily on an annual basis.
“Having worked for allopathic and osteopathic medical schools during my twenty-year career as a health sciences library director, and as a long-time AAHSL member, this change to their bylaws is significant and truly satisfying,” said Muellenbach.