HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Archive for 2014

Silent Auction raises $265


10805692_10152466149117596_6658070348944853996_nLuggage, gift baskets, homemade jam, and other items were auctioned at Nancy’s Reception on November 13, 2014. The auction raised $265.00 to go toward the

Syed Magrabi Scholarship. This scholarship covers conference fees an lodging to allow as many people to participate in HSLI meetings as possible. If your institution no longer covers your travel, please apply for a scholarship.








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Update on Illinois HB3796

I am happy to report that Governor’s Quinn veto of House Bill 3796, which amends the Freedom of Information Act, has been overridden. This past Wednesday, November 19, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 76-36 in favor of overriding the veto. The legislation now goes to the Illinois Senate, in which a three-fifths majority is required for a veto override.

The legislation, which is sponsored by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Curie (Democrat-25th District, Chicago), amends the Freedom of Information Act by allowing public bodies to charge a fee for information requests that could be considered “voluminous”. The impetus behind trying to limit such requests is that frequent or excessively-large requests sometimes border on harassment. Government bodies have flexibility in determining what counts as “voluminous”, however, and FOIA regulations still ensure that information be distributed as quickly and cheaply as possible. Also, groups that need quick access to information-in particular, the news media, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations-are exempted. The reasoning behind Governor Quinn’s veto was that the legislation would limit transparency by hindering access to government records. Library advocates, including the Illinois Library Association, however, believe that the legislation maintains a balance between transparency and government efficiency.

The legislation also amends the FOIA by encouraging, but not requiring, the posting online of government documents that have been subject to an FOIA request. Also, if an individual does request a document that is already available online, the appropriate government entity can merely refer the individual to the link for the document, instead of actually providing another copy. This part of the legislation, since it clearly promotes transparency at the same time that it ensures efficiency, has not been particularly controversial.

The Illinois Senate will likely take action on HB3796 during the second part of the veto session, which will be held from December 2 to 4. If you have an opportunity, please contact your Illinois Senator before then. Also, to track the legislation’s progress, go here.

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Arlis Dittmer Retires

Arlis Dittmer has retired from the Blessing Health Professions Library in Quincy, Illinois after 26 years of service. Arlis has been a very active member of HSLI, serving as both Secretary and President.arlis_dittmer She was the recipient of the 1998-99 Presidential Award Winner for her service on the HSLI Conference Committee. Arlis served on both the Illinois State Council and the Regional Advisory Council.

Outside of HSLI, Arlis published articles in Nursing Education Perspectives the Journal of Hospital Librarianship, and the QuincyHerald-Whig. She presented in many venues, including HSLI, Midwest Chapter MLA, the Conference on Illinois History, the GMR Technology Forum, OPAL, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Illinois State Library.

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Beth Robb Retires

Beth_RobbBeth Robb retired in October, 2014 from Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL. Beth joined the Presence in 2004 and served as the Manager of Library Services and Institutional Review Board Coordinator. Before coming to St. Francis, Beth served as an Outreach Coordinator and DOCLINE coordinator for the NN/LM.

Working with Joyce Pallinger, Beth served as the co-editor of the HSLI Newsletter from 2006-2014. Beth and Joyce took the Newsletter from a quarterly print publication with simultaneous PDF publication to its current online-only blog format. Beth also worked with Virginia Gale on the HSLI Group Purchasing Committee. In both roles Beth ran surveys of the HSLI membership to establish the needs of the organization and current climate. As a member of the HSLI Board, Beth was an active participant in discussions and a strong advocate for Open Access.

Beth served as the Illinois liaison to the Midwest Chapter Medical Library Association.

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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

I 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’s “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’s 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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2013 Starfish Thrower Awardees Recognized

2013 Starfish Thrower Award recipients Roy Jones and Deborah Rhue were recognized at the 2014 conference for their work on the 2013 joint meeting with the Midwest Chapter Medical Library Association. Roy serves as the HSLI Membership Committee Chair and Deborah served on the Publicity sub-committee fore the 2014 conference. Thank you Roy and Deborah!


Stacey Knight-Davis and Roy Jones

Stacey Knight-Davis and Roy Jones

Stacey Knight-Davis and Deborah Rhue

Stacey Knight-Davis and Deborah Rhue


















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Eric Edwards Wins the 2014 Starfish Thrower Award

Congratulations to Eric Edwards for receiving the 2014 HSLI Starfish Thrower Award. This award recognizes HSLI members who have made a difference withing the organization. Eric’s nomination recognized his enthusiasm and effort that go “above and beyond” in keeping us informed on legislative issues. Congratulations, Eric, and thank you for your service to HSLI.

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President’s Message

YourPhoto_2014-9-4(7-46-53)The past three months since my last report have been full of HSLI committee business. As conference planning chair, most of my time has gone into meeting planning. The committee has put together a great program and made extra efforts to reach out to non-HSLI members. We did attract some non-members this year, so please be sure to tell your colleagues outside of HSLI about what HSLI meetings have to offer.

I am very pleased to have three student interns from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign participating in conference planning and attending the meeting. Please be sure to introduce yourself to Nicole, Rachel, and Taylor if you are attending the conference.

Daneen and I are working on the 2015 conference in Peoria, A Library State of Mind. This is a joint meeting of all Illinois library associations and should be an excellent opportunity to expose more Illinois librarians to HSLI. If you want to join the conference planning committee, please contact me or Daneen.
As a member of the ad hoc Helen Knoll Jira Scholarship committee I worked with Daneen Richardson and Dianne Olson to set up an investment account for the fund through Vanguard. Through the generous donations of HSLI members and the dividends paid to the fund we hope that the fund will soon generate enough income that we will be able to begin offering awards for graduate study in library science and allied fields. Information on a bylaws amendment to make the Helen Knoll Jira Scholarship Committee a standing HSLI committee will be distributed at the Business Meeting on Friday and also to the HSLI Newsletter and Listserv. After the 30 day comment period, we will hold a vote on the question of amending the HSLI Bylaws to add the committee.

Those of you attending the conference will have a chance to purchase an HSLI shirt. Shirts are available in unisex short sleeve, ladies’ long sleeve, and men’s long sleeve. Stop by the table at Nancy’s Reception to purchase a shirt. Short sleeve is $15.00, long sleeve $20.00. I hope that everyone will wear these shirts often to raise awareness for HSLI.

With the upcoming retirement of Rhona Kelly, I have appointed Laura Wimmer to serve as a new Regional Advisory Committee representative. I know Laura will clearly present the issues affecting Illinois hospital libraries. Arlis Dittmer has also recently retired and a replacement for her RAC position will be appointed soon.
The Midwest Chapter MLA has changed their procedures for appointing state liaisons, and we are waiting to see who will be appointed. If you are an active Midwest Chapter member and interested in being included in the selection pool as the HSLI liaison, please contact Mary Hitchcock, mhitchcock@library.wisc.edu.

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Overview of 2014 Illinois Legislation

During this year’s ILA conference, representatives of several statewide advocacy organizations, including the ILA’s Public Policy Committee, gave updates on pieces of legislation from the current Illinois General Assembly session that are especially relevant to libraries. The following bills, in particular, were of special concern to legislative advocates this year.

House Bill 3793-This is a an appropriations bill. It became law on June 30, although the Governor did veto a section. (The section did not cover libraries.) The legislation contains funding for a number of capital projects for libraries at the local level.

House Bill 3796-This bill would amend the Freedom of Information Act by defining what counts as a “voluminous request” and requiring that public bodies respond to such requests, with certain exceptions. The legislation was passed by both the House and the Senate, but it was vetoed by the Governor on June 27. The General Assembly could override the veto during the upcoming Fall Veto Session, which will run from November 19 to November 21 and from December 2 to December 4. (I will send out a separate alert closer to the Session.) Even if the General Assembly doesn’t hold a vote to override the veto, or if it does hold a vote but falls short of an override, the issue of voluminous requests will likely come up in the next legislative session.

House Bill 6095-This is another appropriations bill and was signed into law on June 30. Among the bill’s provisions is keeping library grant appropriations at the levels that have been requested by Secretary of State Jesse White. It is especially encouraging that funding levels were maintained for library grants, as funding for other programs and agencies was reduced.

Senate Bill 1941-This bill, which creates the “Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act”, became law on August 26. The Act improves access to legal materials produced by state agencies. It does so by creating a standardized electronic format, which aligns Illinois with national guidelines.

Senate Bill 2784-This legislation, which has not made it out of committee (it was sent to the Assignments Committee in March), would create the “Internet Screening in Public Libraries Act”. The focus of the Act would be to prevent library patrons from viewing anything that could be considered obscene material or child pornography. This legislation represents the eighteenth attempt by the Illinois General Assembly to require public libraries to install Internet filters on their computers. In addition to being a restriction on intellectual freedom, attempts to impose filters on libraries also represents a violation of local control. Opposition by library advocates was a key factor in this legislation’s not making it out of committee, but the issue of Internet filters almost certainly will not go away and could well be raised again in the next legislative session.

Senate Bill 3071-This legislation, which became law on August 15, makes several changes to the Local Library Act and the Public Library District Act of 1991. Specifically, the legislation stipulates that libraries are not required to accept the lowest contract bid for certain projects if the cost is greater than $20,000. This change is to ensure that the quality of the work being done in a project meets the affected library’s standards and expectations.

Senate Bill 3288-This bill, which became law on August 26, makes electronic copies of materials from General Assembly sessions more widely available.

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