Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Author Archive

Kirstin Duffin, MS, MLIS, is a reference librarian in Booth Library of Eastern Illinois University.  Her report about her experience at the HSLI annual conference is shared.

As a recipient of the 2018 Syed Maghrabi Scholarship to attend the HSLI conference this year, I would like to offer my thanks: to the scholarship review committee, to those who donate to the scholarship fund, and to the memory of Syed Maghrabi. HSLI 2018: Rivers of Data, Streams of Knowledge was the third HSLI conference I’ve attended. To me, the highlights of HSLI Annual are: (1) the ease with which I am able to connect with librarians, and (2) the programming that is relevant across sectors – as an academic science liaison librarian, I feel like I fit right in. The theme of this year’s conference – data management – proves this cross-sector relevance.

Librarians, myself included, are needing to add familiarity with data management to our jack-of-all-trades skill set. To this end, Dr. Kristi Holmes’ keynote address discussed ways librarians can assist in the research life cycle. Her suggestions both to set incremental goals (today, next week, this year) to advance one’s awareness about data management and to develop a communication plan resonated with me. I am a firm believer in articulating goals to help focus my work. Today, I might read an article about data management; next week, I might talk with a science faculty member about how they manage their data and whether our institutional repository would be of use to their needs.

In both break-out sessions that I attended, participants were asked to write down our goals. (Yay, more goal setting! I have found that this time for self-reflection really helps in my ability to bring home what I learn at conferences.) In Data Management in the Wild, Erin Foster asked us to consider where there are gaps in the data services we provide and what resources we might need to develop the services we provide. For a more comprehensive view of data management services, I will be browsing the book she recommended, Margaret Henderson’s Data Management: A Practical Guide for Librarians (2017).

In Building Partnerships with Faculty, Clinicians and Other Stakeholders, Gwen Wilson helped attendees develop an action plan to take back to our own institutions. Participants brainstormed opportunities for partnerships and considered suggestions for overcoming barriers and sustaining partnerships. The goals I set for myself are to be strategic and intentional in fostering partnerships. Our teaching faculty are overwhelmed by their workload. Not everyone has the time to devote to developing a relationship with their librarian. By serving on relevant committees, making myself visible by roaming the halls of the departments or attending departmental events, and reaching out to new faculty and faculty developing new programs and courses, I see where I can target my efforts to improve my successes in building partnerships. By engaging faculty in conversations, I can offer more targeted recommendations for appropriate library services for their needs. I also valued our discussion about self-care and recognizing when we’ve burned the candle at both ends; as librarians, we don’t have to overburden ourselves with outreach, but we do need to participate.

New to the conference program this year, four librarians provided quick tips in rapid succession during their lightning talks. Thanks to Cynthia Ehret Snyder, Liesl Cottrell, Emily Gilbert, and Ramune Kubilius for energizing us late in the day on Thursday. I especially enjoyed hearing Emily’s experience in working exclusively with online programs and her suggestions for reaching out to faculty.

This year, I presented a poster, “Improve ILL Workflows with this OA Search Tool,” and I was grateful to have the chance to talk with so many colleagues who stopped by to learn about this research. I will be using feedback from our discussions to inform the manuscript that I’ll be writing on the same topic. As the Legislative Committee co-chair, I presented this year’s legislative report during the board and business meetings. Tracking legislative news isn’t something I’m naturally inclined to do, so serving as co-chair has been a nice incentive to intentionally browse headlines every few weeks and report on pressing legislative issues.

Thanks to the members of the conference planning committee. Rivers of Data, Streams of Knowledge was yet another enjoyable HSLI conference.

Posted in 2018 Conference, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

Enhanced “Library Jobs” Page at the HSLI Newsletter

The “Library Jobs” page at the HSLI Newsletter site has been enhanced with added links and division of the links into two lists, “General Job Boards” and “Specialized Job Boards from Professional Organizations and Services for Librarians”.

To see the page, click on on the “Library Jobs” tab at the top of the home page for the HSLI Newsletter.


Posted in Jobs | No Comments »

HSLI is pleased to be hosting the Midwest Chapter MLA Annual Chapter Meeting will be held in East Peoria, IL from October 4 – 8, 2013. HSL.

At Midwest 2013, participants will focus on “Navigating a River of Information”, appropriately accompanied by the scenic Illinois River that the East Peoria Embassy Suites East Peoria – Hotel & River Front Conference Center overlooks. 

The conference keynote speaker will be  Michelle Kraft, Senior Medical Librarian at the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library and author of the popular blog “The Krafty Librarian.” Michelle will present Emerging Technologies and the Evolving Library. Our plenary speaker will be Sarah Houghton, Director for the San Rafael Public Library.  Sarah writes “The Librarian in Black,” a blog covering library web and digital services.  Sarah will present The Future of the Digital Library.

For registration information, check the conference website at

Posted in Conferences | No Comments »

Past President’s Message – How Can We Be Agents of Change?

I attended the BioMedical Informatics course at the Marine Biological Laboratory(MBL), in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, September 16 – 22, 2012 with 16 librarians, 7 physicians, 6 administrators, and 1 vendor.

The most important trend was the integration of the (electronic health record) EHR into the duties of the librarian. Before this class, I did not realize the significance of this change in duties. Another intriguing development is Semantic MEDLINE beta. A Unified Medical Language License (UMLS) license at is required to access Semantic MEDLINE. Clinical Research Informatics introduced projects such as REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) and ResearchMatch. Consumer Informatics and Disaster Informatics were topics of interest that exceeded my expectations. Also Genetics, Genomics, and Why explained the necessity of Genetic Informatics and DNA testing.

The final project inspired me to walk unknown paths into the world of informatics. Improving the EHR computerized provider order entry (CPOE) provided lively discussions between the physicians, librarians, and IT support. We managed to gain an understanding of the language and processes between our different worlds by working together.

I would highly recommend this program to physicians, administrators involved in informatics, and all health science and hospital librarians. The MBL BioMedical Informatics course 2013 enrollment application is located on the website,
with course dates offered May 26 – June 1, 2013 or September 15 – 21, 2013. The deadline for the application is January 11, 2013.

Fran Kovach, M.L.I.S.
HSLI Past President (2011-12)

Posted in Continuing Education, Member News | No Comments »

HSLI 2012 Annual Conference: Syed Maghrabi Scholarship Winners

The HSLI Awards Committee is pleased to announce three winners of the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship 2012. The Scholarship was created in honor of dedicated HSLI member Syed Maghrabi, and it supports HSLI members’ participation in the HSLI Annual Conference. Please join in congratulating the winners and welcoming them at the conference.

Clare Bonnema, M.L.I.S., Medical Librarian at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois

Elissa M. Cochran, B.A., M.L.S., Medical Librarian at Presence Covenant in Urbana and Presence United Samaritan in Danville, Illinois. She is also a teaching assistant at the UI-Chicago College of Medicine.

Sarah Isaacs, M.L.I.S., Head Librarian at the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse in Champaign, Illinois

Posted in 2012 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Conferences, Member News, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »
Do you know someone you think deserves special recognition a difference she/he has made to the HSLI organization? Nominate them for the Star Fish Thrower Award. The winner will receive a trophy and be honored at the awards ceremony held during the HSLI 2012 Annual Conference in November. Any HSLI member is eligible to nominate any other HSLI member for the award.

Nominations will be accepted through October 19.

The guidelines and nomination forms are at To submit a nomination, complete the official form, and submit by mail, fax or email attachment to:

Fran Kovach HSLI President
SIUSM Library
801 N. Rutledge
Springfield, IL 62794-9625
Fax: 217.545.0988

Posted in 2012 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Star Fish Thrower Award | No Comments »

The HSLI 2012 Annual Conference is only 4 months away, and the deadline to apply for the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship is September 16th. To apply, go to the HSLI Web site and click on the link to the scholarship flyer or CLICK HERE.

Any questions? Contacts are below.

Hope to see you in Chicago!

Posted in 2012 Conference, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

Apply Now for the MLA Murray Gottlieb Prize

If you are a health sciences librarian who has researched a topic about the history of medicine, we would like to read your work. The Murray Gottlieb Prize is awarded annually by the Medical Library Association for the best unpublished essay on the history of medicine and allied sciences written by a health sciences librarian. The author of the winning essay receives complimentary registration to the annual meeting, a certificate at the association’s annual meeting, and a cash award of $100 after the annual meeting. Applications must be received by Nov. 1. For more information and an application, see: or contact Jury Chair, Lee Vucovich

Posted in Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (non-HSLI), Medical Library Association (MLA) | No Comments »

HSLI 2012 Conference – Call for Poster Presentations

A poster session is planned for the HSLI meeting being held on November 1st – now we need the presenters and the posters!!!

For those of you interested, please let me know by October 1st.  Information about the posters can be found on the HSLI website at the following address: .

Linda Thomas | Medical Librarian | Saints Mary & Elizabeth Medical Center Provena Health – Resurrection Health Care | Now joined as Presence Health
2233 W. Division St. | Chicago, IL 60622
tel: 312.770.2219 | fax: 312.770.2221 | e-mail:<> |<>
From Chicago’s Lakefront to Danville, the Largest Catholic Health System in Illinois

Posted in 2012 Conference, Conferences | No Comments »

HSLI 2012 Annual Conference: Syed Maghrabi Scholarship Opportunity

The HSLI 2012 Annual Conference is only 4 months away, and the deadline to apply  for the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship is September 16th.  To apple, go to the HSLI Web site and click on the link to the scholarship flyer or CLICK HERE.

Any questions? Contacts are below.

Hope to see you in Chicago!

Posted in 2012 Conference, Conferences, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »