To determine the need for medical book reviews, we conducted a focus group of 12 – 15 director of Chicago area medical libraries. The two most prominent participants in that focus group were the then Directors of Northwestern’s Galter Library and Loyola University Medical School’s library, Jim Shedlock and Logan Ludwig.

Following the initial focus group, we had several informal conversations with Shedlock, Ludwig and others focused on the finer details of the review process and on identifying potential members of an ongoing LBA. Shedlock became a charter member of the LBA and served energetically and with distinction for 20 years until his retirement at the end of 2012. He was also the first Editorial Review Group Chair in the specialty of Library and Information Science, a post now held by David Nolfi of Duquesne Univesity.

With a list of potential LBA candidates gathered from this consultation, I attended the annual meeting of the MLA in May 1993 (for the first time in my career!), which, conveniently, was being held in Chicago at the Palmer House. I had contacted each of the potential candidates in advance of the meeting asking if I could have a private 30-minute meeting, during which I would invite them to consider becoming a member of the LBA, fully explaining the duties, term of the appointment and time commitment involved. The basic value proposition was that being a member of the LBA was a volunteer commitment of at least three years, requiring preparation for and attendance at one 90-minute meeting each year at MLA’s annual meeting, plus occasional conference calls with the entire Board to discuss narrowly focused issues. The expectation was that the Board would have a major influence on the products and services DPI offered the medical library market. We marketed DPI’s products and services as “created by librarians for librarians,” a slogan and aspiration to which we still adhere.

Those initial recruitment meetings proved exceptionally fruitful and our inaugural LBA consisted of nationally prominent and up-and-coming leaders in the MLA.

Our three longest-serving Board members have been Mark Funk, the head of collection development at Weill Cornell College of Medicine in New York City, a charter member of the LBA who continues to serve three years post-retirement; Margaret Bandy, another charter member who served until her retirement in 2015 as the Director of St. Joseph’s Hospital Library in Denver, and Nalini Mahajan of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center in Wheaton, IL, who joined the Board in 1998 and is still a member.

Other major contributors to the LBA over the years include Linda Walton, formerly of Northwestern but now the Director of the Library at University of Iowa School of Medicine (and now back for a second stint on the Board), Beth Schneider of Massachusetts General Hospital and Ada Selzer of the Rowland Medical Library at the University of Mississippi. Among the many responsibilities all these individuals juggled, a significant number of LBA members became elected officers of the MLA, and at least 10 have served as MLA’s President.

Below is a list of all the librarians who have served on the LBA.
Key: Bold = current members; Italics = charter members
Margaret Bandy, St. Joseph Hospital, Denver, CO
Vicki Bakowski, Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, IL
• Jacqueline Bastille, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
• Marlene Bishop, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA
• Deborah Blecic, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
James Bothmer, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE
• James R. Bulger, Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Minneapolis, MN
• Jeffrey Coghill, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
• Suzanne Crow, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, NY, NY
Kristen DeSanto, University of Colorado, Denver, CO
• Arta Dobbs, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Gale Dutcher, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD
• Amy Frey, Hospital for Special Care, New Britain, CT
Mark Funk, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY
Patricia Grundke, LaGrange Hospital, LaGrange, IL
Lynda Hartel, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
• Louise Hass, St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
Linda Hulbert, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO
• Lisa Jacob, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
• Aletha Kowitz, American Dental Association, Chicago, IL
Michelle Kraft, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
• Janna Lawrence, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
• Jie Li, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
Nalini Mahajan, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, IL
Ann Markham, Illinois Masonic Hospital, Chicago, IL
Andrea McLellan, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Lucretia McClure, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
• Heidi Niekisch-Duggan, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Dianne Olson, Loyola University, Maywood, IL
Donna O’Malley, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Gerald Perry, Rush University, Chicago, IL
• Kimberly Pierceall, Medical Library Association, Chicago, IL
• Chester Pletzke, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Daniel T. Richards, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
• Elizabeth Schneider, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
• Ada Selzer, University of Mississippi, Jackson, MI
James Shedlock, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
• Eileen Stanley, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Minneapolis, MN
• Terry Sulymko, Michener Institute, Toronto, ON
Linda Walton, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Kay Wellik, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Az
• Sandra Worley, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL