|Medical societies and their libraries evolved in response to social and economic conditions and to changes in health care. The Medical Society Libraries Section (MSLS) was founded by librarians from these organizations together with librarians from independent medical academies.
In 2000, the MSLS membership voted to rename the setion "Health Association Libraries Section" to more accurately reflect its membership and purpose.
Health association libraries perform a range of services for two major groups of clientele administrative staff and members. Services generally include, but are not limited to, research, information delivery, and information management.
As the health sciences expand to more completely incorporate research, education, administration, and health care delivery with the more traditional information of clinical practice, the collections of health association libraries have also expanded to include information to support all these areas, some of which are unique to their specialty or geographic locale.
Providing services to support a health association's decision-making is an emerging role that brings the library closer to management and to the goals of the organization.