HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Archive for 2013

MLA’s webinar “Ready, Set, Influence! Participating in the Business of Your Health Care Organization,” is scheduled for Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 1:00pm-2:30pm, Central Time.

There are two locations in Illinois for viewing the webcast.

The Illinois State Library will be a site. Online registration is available at


Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, 333 N. Madison St., Joliet, is also a host site.

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Daniel Biss’s Presentation

The video of Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss’s keynote address last Friday at Northern Illinois University’s “Open Access Week” event is linked below.


Eric Edwards took the following notes that answer many frequently asked questions about open access and the Open Access to Research Articles Act.

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss’s Presentation During Northern Illinois University’s Open Access Week — October 25, 2013

Daniel Biss

First elected as State Representative in 2011 represents 97th District, with office in Skokie

Author of the “Open Access to Research Articles Act”

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1900&GAID=12&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=73096&SessionID=85&GA=98&SpecSess=0 (hold down “Control”, then click with mouse, to access)


What is open access?

It is a movement built around the core principles of freedom of information.

Its end is for technology to break restraints on information-sharing.


What makes open access valuable?

It creates opportunity for academic discussions among different institutions.

The sharing of ideas, not just information, is what open access promotes.

Open access does this by removing barriers to the sharing of materials.

Being able to share the most current work is very important, especially in the hard sciences.

What are the benefits of open access beyond the sharing of information?

The sharing of information that open access promotes ultimately leads to an intellectual debate.

Related to this, the most current modes of thinking on a subject reach all parts of the globe.

There is a substantial social justice aspect.

In the process of allowing current modes of thinking to reach all parts of the world, open

access increases opportunities for traditionally-underrepresented groups, such as women, to participate in the academic debate. This is especially true in fields such as medicine and mathematics.

The past limits on access to information amounted to systematic discrimination, in some

instances. This is related to the digital divide and the lack of high-speed Internet

access, or, in some cases, Internet access, period in impoverished areas of the

United States and around the world.

Why is open access an issue now?
The faculty senates at top schools nationally have passed resolutions in favor of adopting open


The technology itself has been around for some time, but actually applying that technology has

become more of an issue in recent years.

As of 2013, there is a broad body of research concerning the benefits of, and downsides to, open



What are the current economics of academic publishing?

Right now, scholars conduct research on their own (or with a small group of peers) and then

expect to be paid if that research gets published.

Journals are edited by academics.

Journals are grounded in reputation; prestige is a key factor in how individual journals

are perceived and ranked.

They give academics an opportunity to shape the discourse in a field.

In some cases, serving as an editor or a referee for a journal is a condition of

employment at a college or university.


What kind of competition is there in the market for academic journals?

In some cases, a particular journal must be purchased by a library or another organization. This

leads to remarkable asking power in terms of the price.

Journals covering the same academic discipline are comparable in the types of articles that they

publish. Such journals are not trying to put each other out of business, however.


Who ultimately profits from publishing journals?

The publishing companies benefit the most, mainly because of the costs involved.

These costs are passed along to colleges, universities, and other purchasers of the journals.

This is problematic because the costs strain resources that are already tight.

This is also a bad deal for the public sector.

Most universities, including private ones, are supported, at least in part, by federal funds.

Thus, the high costs of journals represent a bad deal for the federal government.


What are the other problems related to high costs?

All types of funding for colleges and universities federal funding, tuition, endowments are

threatened by the current economic climate.

On top of this, these limited resources have to be divided among various constituencies, some of

whom are in direct competition with each other for funding.

Library budgets, obviously, are affected.

Even within library budgets, it is hard to devote a significant percentage of funds

to journal purchases.


Where does Illinois stand right now?
No institution of higher education in the state currently has open access.

Illinois lags behind some other parts of the country, as there are nearly 50 institutions nationally

that do have open access.


How will the “Open Access to Research Articles Act” help address these problems?

The ultimate goal is to make information as freely available as possible, in terms of both access

and cost, by having faculty publications put online.

The public, as a whole, will also benefit.

Research will be available to anyone with an Internet connection.


What, exactly, will the task force mentioned in the bill do?

Each public college or university in the state will be required to put one together.

The task force should have representatives from various constituencies on campus, including the administration, the faculty, and the library.

The overall hope is that the policy drafted by the task force will fit the individual institution’s values.


What are other long-term issues related to open access?

It does not end peer review.

It adds to the current trend of posting information on the Internet without much restriction.

Anyone can write a blog, for instance.

It will supplement the move towards archival pooling, which is done through the sharing of

institutional repositories.

Ultimately, open access presents an alternative to, not a replacement for, the current methods of

exchanging information and ideas.



How does open access fit into broader changes in higher education?

It will help counter the move towards the depersonalization of higher education via MOOCs and

other large online courses. Some have proposed that all students other than those at the

elite institutions should attend college online, in order to save costs and to allow

standardization of the curriculum.

It will allow a continued to sharing of ideas, which will help overcome the depersonalization of

education caused by large online courses.


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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 (http://kraftylibrarian.com/?p=2480) and Sarah Houghton (http://librarianinblack.net/librarianinblack/) 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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President’s Message

staceyhsliHappy National Medical Librarians Month! I was wonderful to see so many of you at the Midwest Chapter/HSLI joint conference in East Peoria. Thanks to the 2013 conference planning committee for putting together a great event. Be sure to read Michael Wold’s article on the conference in the HSLI Newsletter and keep an eye out for more articles from our scholarship winners.

I extend my congratulations to Starfish Thrower Award winners Roy Jones and Deborah Rhue. They both have worked very hard for HSLI this year.

There are several new stories posted in the HSLI Newsletter this month. Don’t miss the article on the HSLI Helen Knoll Jira Scholarship. This generous and thoughtful gift has been given to HSLI to support education for Illinois health sciences librarians. If you are interested in helping with the establishment of the endowment fund, please contact me.

Sarah Houghton, the plenary speaker at the conference this year, had many important things to say about change, realistic expectations, and running a library. She also had some important observations on how public libraries and health sciences libraries interact. Mainly, be sure the public libraries in your area know that you and your library exist. There are many great opportunities for public and health sciences libraries to work together, but a dialog has to be opened first. So please reach out to your neighboring libraries, let them know what you have to offer and see what services they can offer you.

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Conference Report – Michael Wold

The Practice of Medicine is an art, not a trade, not a business, but a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head.-William Osler, MD, 1849-1919. I think this quote could read “The Practice of Medical Librarianship is an art.”This conference, Navigating a River of Information, reflected so many talented, innovative, progressive, and enthusiastic medical librarians in so many areas. We also face many challenges, healthcare changes, budget cuts, new technology, and stress.

However, we will and must face these challenges. I was inspired by the conference. I was enthused!! However, now I am back, I see the reality of my small medical library. But wait, Sarah Houghton, the Librarian in Black, stated to be realistic and find ways to do something new. It may be something small, but new to you and your patrons. Demonstrate and teach, you can examine what you have and what you need. Find a way, to improve and be a value to your institution, don’t feel sorry for yourself or your situation, and do what you can. Yes, we all what those new and improved items but find a way to plan for them and over time it might happen. If not, go on!

Michelle Kraft, Keynote speaker, gave a useful presentation on how we can build partners. We need to extend our scope and get out there more. You can make your own library app. The library can partner with others in the community or in the hospital setting. We can be problem solvers and not part of the problem!!

The CE course, Emerging Technologies for Librarians, by Gabriel Rios and Melissa De Santis, was very interesting. It covered smartphones, tablets, iPad, phablets, ereaders, etc. I was impressed by the Garnter Group Emerging Technologies chart. It was a graphic presentation of expected and projected technologies. Some of these are being implemented now like 3D printers. Other like 3D bioprinting is down the line, but very possible. Gabe and Melissa gave a useful presentation on Apps. This will be a great help when I add to my library iPad. An overview of social media platforms was also discussed for personal or library related applications.

The CE course, Promoting Health Literacy through Easy to Read Materials, presented by Samathi Hewakapugue, was very useful in identifying sources for patient information. The range of health literacy was discussed from low reading skills to lack of understanding. It was important to realize that many highly educated people do not understand the medical language. Material should be printed in plain language. This class examined examples of different types of material and the reading levels giving to patients. Is the material in our hospital setting confusing or easy to understand, we will have to review all of our material. This class provided various tools that can be used in helping to develop useful material for our patients in all healthcare areas.

I attended six Concurrent Papers. These included: Library instruction and the first-year medical student by Ryan Rafferty; Building EBP skills in medical students with a longitudinal curriculum integrated plan by Amy Blevins; Navigating the social media stream: smooth sailing on twitter for medical librarians, by Mary Jordan; At the beginning of an odyssey with bioinformatics and the NCBI databases by Edith Starbuck; Replicating Rochester: developing a feasible multi-institution study of users information needs in the health sciences by Jeanne Link and Jonna Peterson; and From beached to re-launch while charting a new course: digitization of a retrospective thesis collection by Jan Cox.

Each presentation gave me new insight into these projects and the research involved. New terms like “ethnographic” and identifying new resources in NCBI were very useful. Also, I have already contacted Amy Blevins from the University of Iowa on her EBP graph and presentation.

In conclusion, “That which is painful instructs.“-Benjamin Franklin, each new technology comes with a learning curve. We are frustrated at the start, but soon we can master the program or tool. Keeping current is very, very relevant in our medical library world; this conference provided us with many ways to do this. It presented free Apps to tools. We gained knowledge that all of us are involved with being a major part of our institutions and how to improve patient care!!!

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Health Science Librarians of Illinois Helen Knoll Jira Scholarship

HSLI has received a very generous gift from the estate of Helen Knoll Jira. This gift will be placed into an endowment fund, with the proceeds used to support graduate education in library science or a closely related field of benefit to the profession of librarianship.

An ad-hoc committee is forming to set up initial management of the fund and develop policies and procedures. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Stacey Knight-Davis at slknight@eiu.edu. If you have investment experience or have helped manage an endowment for another organization, please consider joining the committee.

Donations are being accepted to the fund, so if you would like to contribute, please mark the check for “Jira Scholarship Fund.”

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Declaration for the Right to Libraries

Declaration for the Right to Libraries

Declaration for the Right to Libraries is a campaign from the American Library Association designed to build public support for all library types. The campaign includes a toolkit with ideas for hosting a signing of the declaration in your library.

While some points in the declaration fit best with public libraries, the spirit of the document fits well with libraries of all types. Instilling in our users the idea that having a library is a basic right is a powerful advocacy tool.

Please visit the Declaration for the Right to Libraries website for more information and access to the toolkit.

The preamble to the Declaration is reprinted below.

In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries -public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

The Declaration can be signed online at http://www.ilovelibraries.org/declaration/sign

Posted in American Library Association (ALA), Calls and Requests, Library Organizations | No Comments »

Maghrabi Scholarship winners attend conference

Six recipients of the HSLI Syed Maghrabi Scholarship attended the 2013 Midwest Chapter MLA / HSLI conference in East Peoria. We look forward to reading their reports in the weeks ahead.

Virginia Gale
Linda Feinberg
Leslie Menz
Michael Wold
Carmen Howard
Daneen Richardson

Posted in Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

The Starfish Thrower Award for 2013 was jointly awarded to Roy Jones and Deborah Rhue at the HSLI Business Meeting on October 7, 2013.

Roy and Deborah were instrumental in the success of the 2013 joint Midwest Chapter MLA/HSLI conference. Between them, they organized all of the people, resources, time, and talent needed to provide education, entertainment, and comfort for over 160 people. We applaud their work and thank them for their service to HSLI.

In his nomination, Roy was also recognized for the promotion of health sciences librarianship, being a teacher, and a mentor. The nomination letter closed with “Roy has helped so many of us like the starfish being saved from the beach.”

The Starfish Thrower Award was first given by HSLI in 2000. The name of the award refers to a story written in 1967 by Loren Eiseley. In the story, a man is walking along the beach picking up live starfish stranded by the tide and throwing them back into the ocean. Another character asks why such a daunting and never-ending task would be undertaken. The star fish thrower replies that he can make a difference for each starfish he saves. The starfish thrower exemplifies caring and generosity of spirit.

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