Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

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Legislative Committee Report

The Legislative Committee continually tracks legislation in both the Illinois General Assembly, which started its 98th session in January, and the United States Congress, which began its 113th session, also in January. The committee has sent out alerts to HSLI members regarding the following pieces of legislation:

  • Illinois Senate Bill 1900–improves open access to research conducted at public universities and community colleges in the state (sent to the Governor on June 14)
  • Illinois Senate Bill 1950–increases flexibility for local public bodies to invest in municipal bonds, which provide funding for public and school libraries (sent to the Governor on June 14)
  • Illinois House Bill 0214–appropriations bill that includes funding for library systems, especially grants for improving accessibility and technology (sent to the Governor on June 4)
  • U.S. House Resolution 933–general appropriations act that includes funding for LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act, the only federal program devoted exclusively to libraries) and IAL (Innovative Approaches to Literacy, which funds literacy programs for at-risk children in preschool through 12th grade)–became public law

Michael Wold and Eric Edwards, Legislative Committee Co-Chairs

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HSLI is seeking volunteers for several open committee positions. Whether you have served in the past or are new to the HSLI community, we are seeking your ideas and service. There are positions open on the Bylaws and Marketing committees that offer the opportunity to shape how HSLI operates and spread the word about what HSLI does.

If you would like to be a part of conference planning, the 2014 conference planning committee is forming now. As a reminder, conference planning committee chair receives a 50% waiver of registration fees for the current conference. Subcommittee chairs receive a 25% discount on registration fees.

Please contact Stacey Knight-Davis (217-581-7549) to volunteer or for more information.

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Legislative Committee Report – Illinois Library Day – Part 3 of 3

In part 3 of 3 of this report, HSLI president, Fran E. Kovach, M.L.I.S., covers the meeting with Senator Mark Kirk’s office staff representative.

During Illinois Library Day, an appointment occurred with Michael Rasmussen, Springfield staff representative for U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. Two key points emphasized were to encourage the Senator to support LSTA level-funded in President’s FY2013 budget request $184.7 million and to support the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2012 (or FRPAA) (S. 2096). Re-inventing a strong workplace force is imperative as the economy grows to recovery. Libraries support the curriculum of nursing, allied health professionals, and even culinary art careers. In addition, libraries provide Internet access for prospective job applicants. Federal Research funded by taxes should be freely accessible to the American citizens. Digital archives can retain final manuscripts six months after publication with free public access and preserve the research indefinitely. FRPAA would enable smaller institutions access to information formerly cost prohibitive. Having vital health information available to researchers directly links to higher patient care.

I had the opportunity to explain how our organization functions, and that our membership represents 59 hospital, 37 academic, 4 special libraries, and 2 public libraries. Mr. Rasmussen had no idea that hospitals had libraries or librarians. After we discussed how librarians are part of the health care team, he asked if all hospitals had libraries. Now we have opened the dialogue and hope to have more conversations in the future.

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Legislative Committee Report – Illinois Library Day – Part 2 of 3

In part 2 of 3 of this report, Michael Wold, MLIS covers his experience.

Fran Kovach, Eric Edwards, and I attended the ILA Library Day in Springfield on April 17th and 18th, 2012. A dinner was held at the State House Inn with a presentation explaining the process of advocacy with our representatives and senators on various issues.

Pre-arranged appointments were kept with Senators Darin LaHood and Larry Bomke and with Representatives Jim Sacia, Raymond Poe, and Rich Brauer. The Congressmen were cordial and listened to our issues. I was impressed by their willingness to help, but due to financial constraints, the flat level of funding can be expected. In addition, some of the representatives expressed the “bad” times hospitals face with the cuts in Medicare/Medicaid funding. The topic of “tax-exempt” status was discussed with no solution to this problem; however, a formula may be developed.

The representatives seemed impressed that a group of Health Science Librarians was participating in Illinois Library Day. Of course, we were representing all libraries with an emphasis on health science libraries. Overall, it was a good feeling that we accomplished our mission.

In the past, Illinois Library Day attendance was in the hundreds consisting of librarians and library supporters. Now, a distinctively smaller group, about 60, represents these issues. Due to the change of library systems structure and less, support available from the State Library attendance is lacking. Of course, there is no money, but I think now more than ever is the perfect time to ask for support or to ask to maintain the existing support.
For more information on advocacy, the ILA has an Advocacy Toolkit. The toolkit is at:

Again, I thank Fran and Eric for doing such a great job. Our team will continue to advocate for our libraries and all types of libraries.

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Legislative Committee Report – Illinois Library Day – Part 1 of 3

In part 1 of 3 in this report, Eric Edwards, M.L.I.S. Public Services Librarian at Benedictine University summarizes the training for Illinois Library Day 2012.

The training session for Illinois Library Day took place the evening of Tuesday, April 17, at the State House Inn. Approximately 40 Illinois Library Day participants attended. There was an overview of the main legislative issues affecting Illinois libraries. In particular, Senate Bill 2073 and Senate Bill 2862 were emphasized as having the potential to reduce significantly the amount of funding available to libraries, and other public services, in tax-capped counties. Senate Bill 3169 sparked some debate among attendees, as the bill concerns library services for the homeless; some attendees raised the issue of libraries’ having difficulty tracking items checked out by patrons who may not have a permanent address.

The other major legislative issue raised was the Illinois budget, and the likelihood of drastic cuts in pensions and Medicaid, which would affect significantly both employees and patrons at Illinois libraries, including medical libraries. The keynote speaker, legislative consultant Kip Kolkmeier, suggested that participants emphasize to legislators that Governor Pat Quinn and Secretary of State Jesse White have already approved of a budget that lessens the harshest impacts on libraries, and that the legislators themselves should join the governor and the secretary of state in supporting that budget. Mr. Kolkmeier advised that, in advocating for any legislation, including the budget, the goal should be to build relationships with legislators, so that if action on particular legislation becomes urgent in the future, legislators will be more knowledgeable of, and receptive to, the needs of libraries.

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New ‘Member Publications Page’ on HSLI Website: Calling for Contributions

The HSLI Member Publications Page is in development for the HSLI website. If you have published articles, chapters, reviews, books, posters, presentations or obtained grants. Please send your bibliography to Stacey Knight-Davis at Below are the guidelines to follow for submissions.

HSLI Member Publications Listing – Inclusion Guidelines

Citations shall be retained in the listing according to the schedule below:

Grants – Five years

Posters – Five years

Publications – Five years

Presentations – Three years

For book reviews, only the name of the publication for which the member reviews shall be included. Individual reviews will not be listed as publications, unless they are article-length.

Publications from retired members shall be retained for the lifetime of the member so long as they maintain an active membership.

Citations shall be removed from the list if a member is more than two years overdue on dues payments.

Citations from deceased members shall be removed within one year of the member’s death.

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