The first BQSI bylaws stated:
… The purpose of the Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island Health Sciences Library Group is to bring together persons of this constituted geographic area, engaged in health science library services for the following purposes: for furthering their specialized knowledge, for exchange of information, for improvement and development of resources, for identifying special needs, for making known the needs of the group to the New York Regional Group/ Medical Library Association and for coordinating all Library services and activities with existing area groups, libraries and programs.
It was also stated that:
… Membership is open to persons who are actively interested in providing library and information services to the Health Science Libraries of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
It was decided that BQSI would have an Executive Board consisting of four executive officers: President, Vice-President/ President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer, plus three additional members; the consortium would have a few committees, such as Nominating, Membership, Programming, Publicity, and any other committees considered useful to further the aims and objectives of the group. Mary Buchheit from the Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital (Brooklyn) became the first BQSI President.
Throughout the more than 30 years since then, BQSI has developed from a small group of hospital librarians to a large organization including medical libraries from all five boroughs of NYC (it incorporated many libraries from the Manhattan-Bronx Health Science Libraries consortium that was finally disbanded). For this reason, in 2005 the name of the group was changed to Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx Health Sciences Librarians (BQSIMB). The organization offers individual membership only and currently contains over 50 members, including retirees.
Besides sharing resources, the consortium sees its primary goal as sharing knowledge and expertise among the members. The bi-annual meetings always include an educational program along with a business meeting. As the group activities have expanded, new committees have been established, such as Archives, Political Action, Website, and Cooperative Purchasing Committees. The last one was set up in 2006 to investigate opportunities for making cooperative agreements for purchasing by member libraries. During these meetings the members have the opportunity to meet various vendors presenting the latest information products and to discuss these products with their colleagues.
For many years the consortium published a newsletter; in 2001 BQSIMB members decided that the group needs more publicity over the Internet and a website was created. It was developed by Luda Dolinsky who remained a webmaster till 2008 when she relocated to another state.
The membership of BQSIMB is what makes this organization so successful. Many members were with the consortium from its early years and remain active today, participating in all group activities, chairing committees, serving as officers, and generously sharing their knowledge and experience with new members: Mary Buchheit – the first BQSIMB President and past Secretary; Carol Cave-Davis – past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and permanent member of the Nomination Committee; Lydia Friedman – permanent Chair of Sharing Resources Committee; Laraine Tursi - past Secretary, Treasurer, and current President-Elect; George Wahlert - past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and newsletter editor for many years, who also created the Policy & Procedure Manual; and many, many others that have made a great contribution to the group. With their help and that of the members, BQSIMB keeps growing, changing, and providing benefits to all its members.