ALIA Health Libraries Australia


Health Libraries Australia (HLA) is the national professional organisation representing librarians and information professionals working in all health sectors including: hospitals and other clinical facilities, research institutes, regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government departments, regional health services, professional colleges, universities, cooperative research centres, not-for-profit and community organisations, and parts of public library services.  The vision of Health Libraries Australia is that all Australians benefit from health library and information professionals’ expertise that is integral to evidence based health care.

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Community page ALIA Health Libraries Australia members community

Contact Gemma Siemensma
Sharon Karasmanis

Elist aliaHEALTH

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Who are Health Librarians? 

Health Librarians are health information professionals who focus on the services and systems that deliver research-derived data, information and knowledge to healthcare clinicians, managers, policy-makers, educators and researchers. They contribute to the development of knowledge through research services, from reference consultations and literature searching to advanced forms of evidence synthesis. They manage the research knowledge base published in all formats, as well as grey literature. Their responsibilities extend to advancing the application of evidence-based practice through health literacy and teaching, knowledge management and translation services, facilitating the links between clinical decision-making, policy/guideline/protocol development, and health research, i.e. translating evidence into practice. Health librarians are responsible for the delivery of services that are the only dedicated, secure, permanent and trustworthy source of authoritative information, critical and fundamental to an organisation’s information governance structures.

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HLA Advocacy, Research, Marketing, and Awards

HLA Membership

HLA Partnerships and Collaborations

HLA Professional Development Education and Training

HLA Publishing and Communications

HLA History and Archive

HLA Journal-JoHILA

NSQHS Standards-Live Literature Searches

COVID-19 Live Literature Searches  

ALIA Health Libraries Australia Alerts


2021 Events

View the upcoming professional development events organised for this year here

Did you know? HLA Archive

HLA maintains an extensive archive which has recently been updated.

New Issue of JoHILA available

The latest edition has articles on the Polyglot search translator, search filters, library Chat implementation, words for wellbeing and more

Future Gazing – Innovation, Disruption, Transformation!

Watch the recording (access code is 2x2xX=Y1). View Program.

Publishing - Nicholas Talley (4:00), Education Pathways (43:40), Digital Health (48:30), HeLINS (1:27:20), Managers Group (1:32:00), Anne Harrison Award (1:34:00), Digital Health Award (1:37:50), HCL Anderson Award (1:40:40), NZ Update (1:45:20), Staff wellness (1:55:20), Study designs (2:02:30), Tweet preservation (2:08:17), Search tools (2:13:15) Virtual health care (2:20:45), Library access (2:29:30), Services to regions (2:36:55), Service design thinking (2:45:23)

Interested in digital health? Become a CHIA leader!

HLA members are now eligible for a discount to the Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA) course. Contact Gemma Siemensma for discount information

Two hour Online Event - Automation tools for systematic searching

Tuesday 20th Oct, 2-4 pm with a limit of 30 participants *BOOKED OUT. Please contact [email protected], if you would like to go on the waitlist for a second session

Cheryl Hamill Wins Award

Congratulations to Cheryl Hamill for winning the HCL Anderson Award 2020 (scroll to bottom of page); the highest ALIA honour

Now, Next, Beyond COVID-19 – Health Librarians Experiences

Watch the recording / Access the 32-page Guide to the new PubMed
(Video timestamps: National Taskforce I 4:10, II 15:20; PubMed 24:30; Wolters Kluwer 37:15; Redeployment 43:45; COVID Survey 51:30)

Joint health library associations letter to ICMJE

International health library associations (including HLA) urge the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) to seek information specialists as peer reviewers for knowledge synthesis publications

Visit the new HLA journal JoHILA (replaces HLA News)  

Contributions and suggestions welcome

Leadership exchange bursary

Congratulations to Helen Baxter (Austin Hospital Library) who has been awarded the HLA Leadership Exchange Bursary

2020 HLA/MedicalDirector Innovation Award

Congratulations to Daniel McDonald (Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service) who has been awarded this for his podcast initiative: Shoosh : a podcast about health libraries (coming soon)

Updated HLA Competencies are now available


  • Special Libraries and COVID-19 : Lessons learned and future directions

This event was held on Dec 3 2020. View the recording and presentations.  

  • COVID-19 Live Literature Searches

This page provides automatic PubMed searches on a range of COVID-19 topics.   

  • COVID-19 Key Resources

COVID-19 Key Resources provides core resources for busy clinicians, along with reasons they might be useful.  

  • COVID-19 and Health Libraries Reseach - Call for Input

ALIA Health Libraries Australia (HLA) are excited to announce the funding of some research into Library Spaces. Monash Health librarians are undertaking a specially funded research project called “What Place has the Library Space? Lessons & reflections from COVID‐19”. When the COVID-19 health emergency began health libraries in the special sector were challenged to ensure meaningful service continuity at a time of increased and urgent patron need, complicated by rapidly changing working conditions. This study will reflect on the sector’s experience and report on the ongoing role and function of Library spaces in a digital and socially distanced world. The researchers are keen to speak with other health librarians about the role of library space and how this been changed by COVID‐19.

Please reach out to Tanja and Alice at [email protected] & [email protected] if you are keen to be involved.  

  • ALIA HLA has made the below statement in relation to COVID-19

ALIA Health Libraries Australia (HLA) Executive: Statement of Support to Health Libraries and Health Library Workers

The HLA Executive committee:

The HLA Executive committee:

Convenor: Gemma Siemensma (VIC), Treasurer: Sharon Karasmanis (VIC), Secretary: Meena Gupta (VIC).

Committee: Jeanette Bunting (WA), Tanja Ivacic-Ramljak (VIC), Daniel McDonald (QLD), Megan O’Connor (WA), Jane Orbell-Smith (QLD), Rob Penfold (QLD), Ann Ritchie (WA), Rolf Schafer (NSW), and Angela Smith (NSW).


In support of our vision, and in line with ALIA's policy direction and priorities, HLA undertakes strategic initiatives in five key areas (portfolios): Professional development, education and training; Advocacy, Research, Marketing and Awards; Partnerships and collaborations; Publishing and communication; Membership.

NSQHS Standards – live literature searches

These PubMed live searches provide updated results for 12 topics aligned to the second edition of the Australian National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. They have been developed, tested and endorsed as part of the HeLiNS (Health Libraries for the National Standards) Research Project, a joint initiative of HLA and HLI (Health Libraries Inc).


Join now! Health Libraries Australia membership is open to all ALIA Members.  Here are ten benefits to joining HLA. 


To find our list of contacts in our executive committee click here. 

L-R: Rolf Schafer, Ann Ritchie, Rob Penfold, Catherine Voutier, Kieran Hegarty, Taryn Hunt, Diana Blackwood, Tina Lavelle, Jane Orbell-Smith, Gemma Siemensma, Angela Smith


The Health Libraries Advisory Committee brings the work of ALIA Health Libraries Australia Group to the fore at Board level. The members of the committee advise the ALIA Directors about topics of interest and concern to health libraries and nurture relationships with allied associations in Australia and internationally.

Chair: Gemma Siemensma ([email protected])

HLA Advisory Committee Annual Report 2020

HLA Executive Terms of Reference 2018