Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

HSLI New Officers

Daneen Richardson, Western Illinois University, assumed the duties of President of HSLI at the close of the Business Meeting. Daneen has been at WIU since 2012 and was previously at Grahm Hospital. To offer congratulations, ask a question, or talk about HSLI, Daneen can be reached at D-Richardson2 (at) wiu (dot) edu.

Sarah Isaacs, Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse Librarian, was elected as the new HSLI treasurer.  Thanks to out-going Treasurer Dianne Olson for her 4 years of service.

Congratulations to Daneen and Sarah!


Passing the Gavel: Daneen and Stacey


Sarah taking notes Friday morning.























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Conference Report, Eric Edwards

Eric Edwards photoI would like to thank the Scholarship Committee for awarding me a Syed Maghrabi Scholarship to attend the HSLI 2014 Annual Conference. I greatly appreciate HSLI’s generosity, especially given that I also received the scholarship to attend the 2011 conference. Being able to attend the 2011 conference allowed me to become more fully involved with the organization, first as a member of the Legislative Committee, and later as Secretary. Attending HSLI conferences since then, including the 2014 one, has given me the opportunity to continue growing professionally, both within the organization and in the field as a whole.

A session at this year’s conference that I found particularly helpful was Mary Ellen Bates’ “Information Alchemy: Transforming Information into Insight”. Although the presentation focused on a topic—providing information to library users—with which I was already familiar, the ideas and strategies that Ms. Bates discussed are forcing me to reconsider many aspects of my approach to serving patrons. While it may be obvious to us, as librarians, that we provide a vital service, our patrons may not think the same way, especially if other sources, such as Google and Wikipedia, provide information (albeit sometimes of a lower quality) more quickly. We have to show users, including administrators who make budget decisions, that the type of information we can provide, and the ways in which we can convey that information (through bullet points, charts, or graphs, for instance, instead of through simply handing them an article or sending them a link, as I have done), will help them reach their goals more quickly.

On a related note, Ms. Bates argued that we need to demonstrate to library users that, in providing them with information, we can play a significant part in their academic and professional success, and that we also have a crucial role to play in the larger organizations of which libraries are a part. Doing so requires building a long-term relationship with users, beyond just answering a question or retrieving an item. While I already do this, to some extent, by following up with patrons to make sure that they have been able to locate the sources they need, I have not gone further, as Ms. Bates suggested, by asking patrons how the assistance I provide fits into their long-term academic and professional growth and, more importantly, what the library can do to help users further their goals. Building these deeper relationships, especially with virtual users, while it may be a bit awkward initially, not only convinces clients to keep using a library, but also encourages users to inform others of the services the library provides, enabling the library to expand its client base further.

Another session that I found particularly useful was “Keeping a Professional Presence in Times of Change”, given by Faith Roberts. Her main theme, that resistance to change—particularly technological change—while presenting challenges, can also provide opportunities, seems relevant not just to staff within an organization, but also to customers. (By the same token, if an organization’s customers will not use technology, then its employees will be less inclined to see technology’s value and promote its use.) In the case of the library, many users, including those who may already be familiar with a particular technology outside of the library, may still be hesitant to embrace that technology within a library setting.

One instance I have seen firsthand, and that has proven frustrating at times, is a reluctance among users to embrace e-books. This is an especially-challenging issue because so many of my library’s resources are available in that format, and for some searches, e-books make up a large portion of the relevant results. Ms. Roberts’ suggestions of taking an incremental approach to solving the problem is one that I had not considered, but that I think would be extremely useful, particularly for students who may be new to an academic library and have a mindset about “doing things a certain way” that may not work as well in a college environment as it did in, say, high school. Explaining to students how to find print books, and then suggesting e-books as an alternative that can fill in the gaps in one’s research (instead of directing them to e-book results right away and expecting them to use those results), might be one of those incremental steps.

Again, I greatly appreciate having received a Syed Maghrabi Scholarship to attend this year’s HSLI conference. Being able to attend HSLI conferences and take advantage of the educational and networking opportunities has been one of my most worthwhile experiences, not just during my time with HSLI, but as a member of the library and information science profession. Also, as the recipient of this year’s Starfish Thrower Award, I am truly grateful to the organization for the acknowledgment it gives of its members’ efforts. Through providing financial assistance and recognition to its members, HSLI clearly values the individuals involved with the organization and considers their professional growth to be at the heart of the organization’s mission.



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Hungry in Urbana-Champaign?

Urbana-Champaign is filled with unique and delightful restaurants.  Nationally acclaimed Black Dog features some of the best BBQ in the USA.  For authentic Thai cuisine try Siam Terrace in downtown Urbana.  Located in the heart of campus, The Red Herring serves up vegetarian dishes.  If you’re looking to unwind in a modern atmosphere with creative cocktails and dishes, locally owned Radio Maria is waiting for you in downtown Champaign.  The historic Courier Cafe is known for their burgers, milkshakes, salad bar, pasta, fresh fish, and welcoming staff.


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Explore Urbana-Champaign

While in town for this year’s HSLI’s conference, be sure to check out unique Urbana-Champaign attractions.  Of course, no trip would be complete without a quick stop at the Library of Health Sciences Urbana.  A satellite campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School, LHSU is the number one stop for information by health professionals. Ryan Rafferty, Interim Director, is looking forward to meeting you! Next, the Urbana Free and Champaign Public Libraries offer a positive environment to work and unwind with a cup of coffee. Enjoy the fall colors on a scenic nature walk through Meadowbrook Park.   For a fun evening out, catch a film at the Art Theatre in the lively downtown Champaign.  Check out over 45,000 cultural artifacts at Spurlock Museum.


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IACRL Conference Open to HSLI Members


Register Now for the IACRL Conference

Advanced Registration Closes Friday, March 14

Register today for the 2014 IACRL Conference, which will be held Friday, March 21, at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook

IACRL President Pattie Piotrowski, Illinois Institute of Technology, hosted an informational webinar on the conference last Friday. You can access the webinar recording here for full details.  
IACRL Attendees will hear keynote luncheon speaker, 

Moe Hosseini-Ara, Director of Culture, Culture Services

for the City of Markham, Ontario and former Director of Service Excellence at Markham Public Library speak on “Telling the Impact Story – It’s Not Just in the Numbers.” Telling Our Story is important in our institutional lives and for our institutional futures. The full conference preliminary program is available online.


You do not have to be an IACRL member to attend the conference, although membership is free when you join ILA. Come and visit with us in Oak Brook in March where you’ll find a great group of your peers seeking to learn, teach and expand on what we know about assessment and preparing you to Tell YOUR Story, about your library.


For more information on the conference and to register, please visit the conference webpage.

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Conference Report – Linda Feinberg

I want to thank the scholarship committee for choosing me as one of the recipients of the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship.  This enabled me to attend the meeting with less financial worries.  The educational funds through my hospital are a lot harder to come by, as I’m sure everyone is aware and experiencing.


Of immediate use to me for my job was the Supporting Systematic Reviews workshop by Janis Glover.  After this CE, I had more confidence in my training skills, and used better examples and terminology.

When I returned to work I had a training session scheduled with a Family Medicine resident to work on his Help Desk Answer for FPIN which went well.  Last year I changed from group training classes for Evidence Based searching to one-on-one (or two) sessions.  This way I can work with each person on their specific question, and tailor the class to their skill level.  The training is more useful  and timely than having it all at the beginning of the year, which results in the possibility that they’ll forget everything by the time they are assigned a time slot in their schedule to work on research.  While the class was aimed at involving librarians in the systematic review process, I felt I got a lot out of it to improve my teaching skills.


Working on the planning committee to organize this meeting was an almost 2 year adventure.  Usually HSLI meetings take only a year to plan, but this being the regional meeting with the Midwest Chapter it involved much more detail and advance planning to make everything run smoothly.  I thought our monthly phone conference call meetings were informative as well as set the stage for what each person/subcommittee needed to accomplish in the next time period.  I think the networking between librarians went extremely smoothly with everyone pitching in as needed.  Anticipating and planning for problems resulted in a higher comfort level as we approached the actual meeting.  I would recommend as many people as possible get involved with planning HSLI meetings each year – you’ll learn a lot about the organization as well as working with others, and the more people involved means the less work each has to achieve, because most of us are being challenged with more to do.


Overall, the CE’s I attended were very good, meeting all the speakers and poster presenter inspired creative thoughts, the vendors were informative as usual, and I enjoyed the whole experience.


Linda Feinberg, MSLS – Director
NorthShore Libraries

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Conference Report – Virginia Gale

The message I heard over and over again was technology in service of the library user and library staff. There is no substitute for knowing what your users want, but, as I’ve always said, we have to stay at least one step ahead of some our users and show others that technology has moved beyond what is familiar to them. I was especially inspired by Melinda Orebaugh’s expansion of library services to apply traditional library concepts of collection development to a patient engagement network. At PSJMC, the Library implemented an updated patient information and education closed-circuit TV network, and I will use some of her ideas as we look to expand on delivering educational videos. Elizabeth Moreton showed some examples of how libraries can incorporate Six Sigma methods, which corresponds to the new Breakthrough Improvement program at Presence Health. Sarah Houghton’s statement that the core of a strategic plan is “What can I do to make your life easier?” is a concept I can relate to and need to make more explicit in my interactions with my users. I took the CE course “Supporting Systematic Reviews: the Basics”. I’m not sure I will ever be a part of a systematic review, but I’m glad I have the tools if I need them. What I most remember from that course is that all the academic librarians had their tablets on the table, while the hospital librarians had none. Does this speak to adoption of technology, funding, or both? I did bring a borrowed iPad with me, much easier than toting a laptop. Attending this conference, and listening to how librarians are expanding their roles, pushing boundaries, all the while applying basic concepts of collecting, organizing, and disseminating knowledge resources gave me a new perspective on what I need to do to serve my users.

Virginia Gale

Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, Joliet, IL

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2014 HSLI Conference November 13-14, Champaign Illinois

Mark your calendars for November 13-14, 2014 for the HSLI annual conference.  The 2014 meeting will be held in at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, Illinios.  The theme for the meeting is Communicate and Advocate.

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Conference Report – Carmen Howard

The 2013 Midwest Chapter/MLA and HSLI conference was a new experience for me, and I would like to thank the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship committee and all of HSLI for giving me the opportunity to attend.  Although I have been a librarian for many years, I am relatively new to the health sciences and this was my first medical library conference.  I was definitely impressed!


I started my conference experience by taking two continuing education classes on Saturday.  Samanthi Hewakapuge’s health literacy course included the basics of easy-to-read literature design and up-to-date information on current topics like the Affordable Care Act.  The discussion was lively and everyone shared their experience with the group.  In the afternoon, I was able to attend the Emerging Technologies course, which was taught by Gabe Rios and Melissa DeSantis.  The survey format of this course was terrific.  They introduced us to several new technologies – summarizing what they did and how they could be used.  Now I can take this knowledge and explore those technologies that I’m interested in further.


Sunday and Monday were filled with many terrific sessions.  The Greater Midwest Region/NNLM’s Technology Forum, the Health Information Practice Summit, the contributed papers, and the posters all provided a wealth of information from a wide variety of librarians in an assortment of settings.  Thanks to all who shared their experience and research.  I was impressed by the quality and the breadth of the topics covered.


As you might expect, the keynote and plenary speakers were highlights of the conference.  Both Michelle Kraft ( and Sarah Houghton ( gave inspiring speeches reminding us about the importance of thinking in new ways, trying new things, and knowing that some failure is inevitable.  They encouraged us to embrace our passion for what we do and to make that work for us in our ever-changing environment.


I ended my conference with another continuing education course, Jan Glover’s Supporting Systematic Reviews: The Basics.  Jan gave us lots of practical advice and pointed us to some resources to help us in the future.  I have already had a chance to use one of her pieces of advice – if possible have more than one librarian on the team.


Finally, I would just like to say that this conference was a great opportunity to meet with several people that I work with by phone or e-mail but never see, to meet librarians from my city that I have not had a chance to work with yet, and to make entirely new connections that I would only have a chance to make at a conference like this one.  And by the way, the food was fabulous too!


Carmen Howard, MSLS

Visiting Assistant Regional Librarian & Visiting Assistant Professor

Library of the Health Sciences – Peoria

University of Illinois at Chicago

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Conference Report – Daneen Richardson

I want to thank the committee for awarding me one of the Syed Maghrabi Scholarships for the 2013 Joint Midwest Chapter MLA/HSLI Conference. This assistance allowed me to attend the conference as a participant as well as a member of the planning committee.

I attended the Saturday morning CE Planning, Conducting, & Publishing Research.
Our instructors, Nancy Allee & Jo Dorsch guided us through the steps in preparing oneself to enter the world of research. In the beginning the steps resembled a murky river our fears were diminished with their guidance, hands on activities and assuredness that we could navigate the path on our own. They also sincerely offered to coach us along the path if we have questions.

As the Chair of the Exhibits and Welcome reception, I spend the remainder of Saturday working with the Exhibitors as they registered and prepared for the Welcome & Exhibit reception.  I hope all conference registrants were able to attend and enjoy the time with their colleagues and talking with the exhibitors.

Sunday arrived with a bit of sun but a bit chilly. Amongst Sunday’s activities I attended Michelle Kraft presentation, there were also two more exhibit times. We combined the posters with the exhibit times on Sunday to allow the posters to be viewed for a longer period of time. Many interesting topics were covered throughout the 20+ posters. I left with contact information for follow-up questions and discussion concerning a couple of the posters.

Sarah Houghton was very inspiring. She encouraged us to walk outside of our comfort zones to be partners with our local public libraries, introduce ourselves and ask how can we help you. Assist them by educating their staff in how to best retrieve free medical information. Even though a majority of us are under financial constraints we can create spaces & services in new ways without a lot of money being spent.

I found the lightening rounds very interesting. Hearing what others are doing right now in their libraries. The South Dakota conference appears to be shaping up to be beneficial to all that attend.

I appreciate the scholarship which allowed me to attend this regional conference without a huge out of pocket expense.  Thank you and I look forward to serving HSLI as the President – Elect for this upcoming year.


Daneen Richardson

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