Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Last month, the University of Maryland’s iSchool and the University’s Information Policy & Access Center released a report on the future of the master’s degree in library science, at least in the degree’s current form. The report is the result of a year-long collaborative effort, including discussions with the broader community, to determine how an MLS degree can best meet today’s changing economic, demographic, and information trends. In particular, the committee sought to address the issues of what value an MLS degree has, what a program of study to attain an MLS degree should include, and how that program should reflect the skills that library and information science professionals will need in the coming years. Although the report focuses specifically on how to transform the University of Maryland’s degree program, the findings reflect broader trends that likely apply to library and information science programs across the country.

The report identifies the following key trends that will shape the MLS degree.

*         As physical collections decrease in importance, the emphasis will need to shift to engagement with library users and the broader community.

*         Despite these changes, the core values of librarianship-including access, intellectual freedom, and preservation-remain consistent.

*         Future professionals in the information-science field will need to possess skills beyond just familiarity with a collection’s content, including collaborating with co-workers and patrons, familiarizing one’s self with changing technologies and training others in their use, and applying problem-solving skills to a fluid work environment.

*         With the definition of librarianship expanding, an MLS may no longer be necessary if one has training in related areas, such as instructional design or information technology.

*         With socio-economic disparities still prevalent (and, in some cases, increasing), libraries will need to consider how their services can best meet the needs of as broad a range of users as possible, including by forming partnerships with community organizations to address such social issues as education and health care.

*         As information specialists, librarians will need to collect and analyze data, particularly related to the needs of various groups in the community, in order to evaluate how library services can best serve that community.

*         With youth being one of the key groups that libraries can benefit, librarians will need to collaborate with local educational institutions, particularly in promoting pre-kindergarten programs and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities.

*         As data continue to play an increasing role in everyday life, library organizations will need to take the lead in collecting, sifting through, and analyzing those data.


The report also identifies several ways in which these trends will impact the form that an MLS degree takes.

*         The degree will need to prepare librarians not just to work in a back room, but to engage actively with the public and solve problems collaboratively.

*         The MLS curriculum will need to balance the teaching of skills (database-searching, for instance) with impressing upon students the correct approaches (such as teamwork and community engagement) for addressing the challenges of the profession.

*         To ensure that the right mix of individuals will be entering the field, MLS programs will need to recruit students who not only have a love of reading and knowledge, but also are community-service oriented and can embrace change easily.

*         The degree program must give students the ability and confidence for “thinking outside the box” and taking risks, as these attributes will be critical for thriving in an ever-changing information environment.


To read the full report, go to

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(via Gwen Gregory–

Temporary Senior Library Specialist

Job Summary

This person will assist the Resource Acquisitions and Management (RAM) Department with cataloging and processing of a specific group of books for the Library of the Health Sciences (LHS) collection. They will catalog items using OCLC and our Voyager local systems. They will enable subject access using the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classification system and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). They will coordinate transport of the items to LHS for further processing.

Flexible hours, 15-40 hours a week, between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm, M-F.

Salary: $20.56/hour


Job Responsibilities (Essential Duties)

  • Provide cataloging for American Dental Association collection. Use OCLC and Voyager to create bibliographic records.
  • Create NLM call numbers and MeSH headings as needed.
  • Coordinate delivery to LHS-Chicago for labeling and processing.
  • Perform other related duties and participate in special projects as assigned.


Job Knowledge & Skills, Education, Experience

Minimum Requirement:

  1. High school graduation or equivalent.
  2. Any combination totaling 4 years (48 months) from the following categories:

(a) work experience in a library or equivalent setting.

(b) college course work in any field as measured by the following conversion table

 30 semester hours equals six months

 60 semester hours or an Associate’s degree equals one year

 90 semester hours equals eighteen months

 Bachelor Degree (120 semester hours) equals two years (24 months)

 A Master’s or higher degree equals four years

(Note: Only a maximum of 4 years credit for college course work is available.)

  1. A total of 2 years (24 months) work experience in a library or equivalent setting performing progressively more responsible work consistent with the next lower level of this series.

*As required by the position to be filled, education, training, and/or work experience in the area of specialization inherent in the position may be required in meeting credential requirements for #3 above.

Preferred Requirement:

  • Graduate level coursework in library cataloging
  • Experience using OCLC and Voyager ILS
  • Knowledge of NLM classification and MeSH
  • Individuals must have good communication skills and attention to detail. Must be able to work independently.


To Apply

Application will be reviewed as they are received. Position will remain open until filled. Please submit your resume to

*This is a part-time temporary position.

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October 19 Workshop on Health Literacy

The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy (at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) will be hosting an all-day meeting on health literacy this October. The event, titled “Integrating Health Literacy, Cultural, Competency, and Language Access Services”, will take place from 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM CST on Monday, October 19, and will be webcast live from the Beckman Center in Irvine, California. The focus of the meeting will be on the health-literacy needs of various groups, ranging from health providers and patients, to the broader communities that health systems serve. Solutions to the problem of integrating literacy services across these various constituencies will be discussed.

For more information, and to register, go here.

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NLM and Mayo Clinic Libraries Seeking New Directors

Libraries at two of the nation’s major health organizations are seeking new leaders. The National Library of Medicine, at the National Institutes of Health, officially launched the search for a new Director last week. The person will succeed Dr. Donald Lindberg, who retired in March after spending 31 years at the helm and playing a key role in transitioning the NLM into the digital age. The successful candidate will be in charge of an organization with a staff of about 1,600 employees and a budget of over $387 million. Major responsibilities will include managing the Library’s print and electronic resources, providing professional-development opportunities to librarians who specialize in the biomedical sciences, and promoting research opportunities in the biomedical field. Beyond that, the new Director will need to take the initiative in making the National Library of Medicine a major center for biomedical-data science, not just at NIH but across the biomedical-sciences profession. More information can be found here.

The Mayo Clinic, also, is seeking a new leader, having launched the search for an Executive Director of Libraries. The person will lead the 16-campus Mayo Clinic Library System, which includes over 400,000 print books and journals, in addition to more than 6,000 electronic journals and textbooks. The Executive Director’s main responsibility will be to continue the Mayo Clinic’s tradition of excellence in providing clinical care and being a leader in clinical education and research. At the same time, the individual will be required to develop a clear vision for the role of the Mayo Clinic Libraries in the 21st century, particularly in developing innovative technologies to enhance library services and in promoting collaboration and shared decision-making among library staff. The Executive Director will need to work with various constituencies, both inside and outside of the institution, while also providing leadership in the larger field of librarianship and information science. More information is available here.



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Seeking Volunteers for IACRL Committees

The Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries is seeking committee members. Members must currently belong to IACRL. Committees include Awards, Communications, Membership, and Nominations. Brief descriptions of each committee and its activities are below.

Awards–solicits and evaluates nominations for the “Illinois Academic Librarian of the Year” award and related honors

Communications–puts out the IACRL Newsletter twice annually and manages the organization’s website; the website can be accessed here, and old issues of the newsletter can be viewed here

Membership–works to recruit and retain members, including by holding social gatherings and other activities

Nominations–nominates candidates for IACRL offices, which include President, Vice-President/President-Elect, and Secretary/Treasurer

For more-detailed information, you may consult the IACRL bylaws, which can be found here.

If you have any questions, please contact Gwen Gregory, the incoming IACRL President, at Also, if you would be interested in serving on the Communications Committee, of which I am a Co-Chair, please feel free to contact me at for additional information.


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Registration is open for the next offering of the “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI” course in bioinformatics. The class, which is sponsored in part by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), trains participants in the use of online molecular databases and other resources from the NCBI. The course is intended for librarians whose area of focus is health sciences or a related subject, and it does not presume any previous knowledge of molecular biology and genetics. Staff from libraries that already use bioinformatics resources or plan to implement them will be given priority.

The course consists of two sessions, one online and one in-person. The online session, titled “Fundamentals in Bioinformatics and Searching”, is asynchronous and lasts from October 26 to December 11, 2015. This part of the course will familiarize participants with bioinformatics resources and the best strategies for using them in reference and instruction. Participants must complete the online session in order to take the in-person class, which will be held from March 7 to March 11, 2015, at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. The in-person session will focus on how molecular data are produced and used in research.

The deadline to apply is September 14, and those selected will be notified around October 5. Participation is limited to 25. There is no charge for either of the courses (including room, board, and meals for the in-person session). For more information, including instructions for applying, go here.

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“PubMed for Librarians” Training

This December, the National Library of Medicine Training Center will be offering a five-part “PubMed for Librarians” series. There will be one session per day, from Monday, December 7, to Friday, December 11. Viewers may sign up for all five sessions or just particular ones. (Registering for all of the sessions requires signing up for each one individually.) Each webinar will last an hour-and-a-half and will be worth 1.5 CE hours from the Medical Library Association. Topics will include Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), Automatic Term Mapping (ATM), and constructing and narrowing searches.

For more information, including the registration link for each session, go here. Note that the December 7, 8, and 10 sessions currently (as of August 18) have a waiting list. Full registration for the December 9 and 11 sessions is still open.


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Summer Legislative Updates


Due largely in part to numerous citizen advocates, the Senate did not take up S. 754, the privacy-hostile Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). According to the New America’s Open Technology Institute and the Center for Democracy and Technology, the bill would have created “incentives for private companies and the government to widely share huge amounts of Americans’ personally identifiable information that will itself then be vulnerable to sophisticated hacking attacks. In the process, the bill also creates massive exemptions from liability for private companies under every major consumer privacy protection law now on the books.” The bill could still see another resurgence/revision this fall, so stay sharp and ready to respond.


We’re still, unfortunately, in a budget impasse here in the state of Illinois. Court orders are keeping K-12 schools and some social services funded, but everything else is on hold or up in the air. The lack of movement on the budget has negatively affected many agencies, services, and local governments. Some institutions, like Eastern Illinois University, are facing furlough days and even layoffs. The Illinois Library Association has come out strongly against Governor Rauner’s budget ideas, which include a property tax freeze: “In addition to securing library grant funding for fiscal year 2016, ILA is most focused on the possibility of a local property tax freeze.  There is a strong likelihood that Governor Rauner and Illinois General Assembly will eventually agree to a two year freeze on local property tax levies.  All library supporters should make it clear to their local elected officials how devastating a property tax freeze would be for our patrons and residents.” ILA President Jeannie Dilger testified against the freeze earlier this summer, saying: “If the General Assembly were to impose a property tax freeze there is simply no way local libraries could continue to provide necessary service to our residents.” Hopefully the budget will be passed soon; in the meantime, it’s never too late to contact your representatives and advocate for library-friendly legislation.

A quick note: I’m Nicole Helregel, the new Legislative Committee Chair. I’m a Reference & Web Services Specialist in Research & Information Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign Library. Please feel free to contact me with updates or questions about legislative issues that affect health science librarians in Illinois. 


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NN/LM – GMR Community Engagement Award

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Greater Midwest Region is seeking applicants for the Community Engagement Award. The award will fund an outreach program that would allow network members to collaborate with community-based organizations, in order to increase access to biomedical information, particularly NLM databases such as PubMed and Medline Plus. The project should benefit individuals (including librarians, healthcare professionals, and consumers) who work with, or are part of, underserved or unaffiliated groups. Priority will be given to proposals that target individuals in impoverished inner-city or rural areas, or that benefit particular NLM-identified groups, such as K-12 students, seniors, and AIDS/HIV patients.

Anyone who is considering applying for the award should contact Beth Layton, at<>, by Friday, August 21. The deadline for submitting the application is Friday September 4. Any network member is eligible to apply. For more information, including instructions for applying and the scoring rubric for rating proposals, go here. An example of a winning project from 2014-2015 can be found here.

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Webinar on Implementing WorldShare Management Services

OCLC is sponsoring a webinar on one medical library’s experience with implementing WorldShare Management Services. The webinar, titled “Improving Visibility While Simplifying Processes in a Medical Center Library”, will take place on Thursday, August 20, from 1:00 to 1:30 PM CST. The presentation will focus on H.M. Fishbon Memorial Library, at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, which is located in Mount Zion, California. Laura Olson, the Memorial Library’s Web Librarian, will explain the impetus for installing WorldShare Management Services, the ways in which the system has streamlined the delivery of library services to users (students, patients, and faculty), and the benefits to library staff in enabling them to spend less time on system management and more time on other projects.

To register for the webinar, go here. More information on the benefits of using WorldShare Management Services can be found here.



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