SALIS Committees: Advocacy

Chair: Andrea Mitchell, SALIS Executive Director, email:

Communicaton: SALIS-A listserv (members only:

History & Purpose:

The Advocacy Committee was created informally in 2004 with the fight to SAVE ETOH, the NIAAA Alcohol Science Database. It was formally approved by the Board in 2007 at the Strategy Planning Meeting in Reno, Nevada.

It's purpose is to:

  • Promote matters of common interest and other information issues of the Alcohol and Other Drug Libraries and Information Centers.
  • To make these issues known in the larger alcohol and drug field.
  • To promote the need for digitization and preservation of alcohol and other drug materials and literature currently owned by our member libraries.

Communication: The committee communicates by email and phone.

Projects & Activities:

Addiction (journal)The Advocacy Committee has been monitoring the downsizing and elimination of ATOD libraries and databases. It endeavors to increase awareness of this situation in the AOD field by making presentations at conferences, and encourages the development of resolutions be made by other AOD organizations to recognize the importance of information collection, organization and dissemination to the strength of the field. action to halt the closure of addiction specialist libraries and databases, before valuable resources and expertise are lost forever. An editorial by members of the SALIS Advocacy Committee outlines the problem and recommends action. "Collective Amnesia: Reversing the Global Epidemic of Addiction Library Closures" was published free online in the journal Addiction. along with an Editorial and Press Release. SALIS members and others are encouraged to share this important issue with colleagues in both the addiction and library communities.

Presentations on this issue were made at meetings of the Kettil Bruun Society (KBS) in June of 2008, and at the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE) in September, 2008. A third presentation was made at the Elisad meeting in 2008 entitled "Threats to Our Intellectual History" This paper was co-authored by seventeen scientists and librarians, and discusses the larger political and social issues surrounding the elimination of our libraries and their gate-keepers. This paper was originally presented at the 2008 KBS by Dr. Kaye Fillmore.

SALIS Digitization Project

SALIS is collaborating with the Internet Archive to develop The SALIS Collection -- a digital collection focused on substance abuse within the Internet Archive. To facilitate that project, we set up a project database to help us organize the books added or nominated for addition by SALIS members, so that we don't duplicate the selections made by other members.

Future Goals:

A meeting of scientists at the KBS encouraged the idea of digitization of materials which may be lost in this period of downsizing. A group was formed on this issue, and to date a small funding has been received to explore the challenges of co-ordinating a project on ATOD digitization. Members of Advocacy Committee will meet to discuss this exploratory project at the Halifax SALIS meeting.