HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Archive for the ‘Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI)’ Category

The Conference Process, the Return of the A/V Elf, and the Importance of Shims

The Conference Planning Process

The HSLI conference planning process starts a few weeks after the last conference ends. The past year’s committee looks over the feedback on the conference to make decisions on the next conference. This is why it is important to submit your evaluation.

Sometimes we pick the city based on the conference survey. Sometimes we pick a place close to the current president. Sometimes the tourism board from a city will reach out to HSLI. We try to alternate between sites north of I-80 and south of I-80. Once a city is selected, the search for a hotel begins. The overworked souls that will lead the planning effort self-select early in the process. In 2018, Miranda and Roy, who both have years and years conference committee experience, led the effort.

For the past several years, members of the planning committee have traveled to review potential hotels in person. Our goal is to get the membership a comfortable space with good food at a low cost. We also interrogate hotel staff on special diet options and allergy notices on food.  We ask about options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, and ingredient labels. We ask to make sure our vegan friends won’t be served the same meal several times in a row.  We tour the meeting spaces and guest rooms. We ask about audio visual costs, get meeting room rental rates, and get catering menus. We ask about available dates to book the space. We ask about what kinds of tape we can use on the walls and floor.

Daneen has been our specialist on food for years. She works up a menu and gets food costs. The committee then considers the meeting facilities, guest room rates, A/V costs and rules, dates the hotel is available, and dates of other conferences. The date of the conference is in sometimes  determined by available dates at the chosen hotel.

Once the date is set, I set up the  bare bones of the conference website. At this point, all we have is a date, location, and hotel information. The committee picks the theme and a design logo draft is made. For the past few years I’ve designed the logo and the conference committee suggests changes until we get a mutually agreeable logo. The logo and theme go to Daneen so she can start recruiting exhibitors and vendors. They publicity committee sends out “save the date” notices.

The Continuing Education and Program committees begin working on possible speakers. They look at MLA CE  offerings and conference survey feedback for ideas. Again, it is very important to do the conference survey, especially if you chose not to attend because you didn’t find the programs interesting. We need members to make suggestions so we can find programs that are useful to them. Several rounds of brainstorming, phone calls, and scheduling ensue. Travel costs for speakers must be considered.

Once there is a rough idea of costs, the conference fee is set. The registration form is designed and I fight with PayPal to get the online payment system set up.  Michelle has done an amazing job managing registration for many years. Cynthia joined the registration committee with the 2017 conference. Registration payments are forwarded to Laura to deposit into the HSLI account.

The call for posters and the call for scholarships goes out and the publicity committee pushes announcements to many listservs and newsletters.  A/V needs for speakers and exhibitors are collected. Program information is added to the website. The committee holds conference calls to make sure everything is on track. The silent auction committee solicits donations and gets publicity out. Fran and Ramune found an amazing assortment of items this year.  All this happens in the months and weeks before the conference.

As you can see, there is a great deal of work that goes into the conference every year. Many conference committee members have served in the same role for many years. I encourage all HSLI members to consider serving on the conference planning committee. HSLI survives on members volunteering their time to keep the organization running.

Serving on the planning committee provides valuable event planning experience. If there wedding planning or large party planning in your future, conference planning committee experience is extremely valuable. You will learn how to effectively negotiate with hotels, do meal planning for large groups, wrangle audio visual needs, and possible even how to create table decorations. The beautiful table centerpieces for 2018 were supplied by Miranda. The vases were from her personal collection.

Running the Conference

The first night of the conference involves fine tuning arrangements with the hotel on room setup, getting the registration table set up, and unpacking all the stuff required to run the conference. Many years ago Jerry DeWitt created a conference emergency box that holds an array of office supplies, fasteners, and tape. This year Miranda upgraded the box to a rolling toolbox. The box lets us solve many problems on the fly without tracking down hotel staff.

In the original negotiations with the hotel for 2018, we planned to contract out the audio visual equipment. The hotel did not get a contractor, so Daneen borrowed all the A/V equipment from Western and personally transported it to Rockford. Reprising my role as the A/V elf from 2016, I did the most of the A/V setup. The hotel only had tall tables available to put the projectors on, so all the projectors had to be propped up in the back with impromptu shims. We used stacks of post-it notes and soup bowls. Additionally, some of the tables were missing a foot, so the tables were shimmed up with stacks of napkins.


My Take-Aways from the Conference

The conference committee does all this work so we can learn from each other and from our invited speakers. I greatly enjoyed Liesl’s fire extinguisher presentation. I’ve forwarded a summary to my library’s emergency committee and preservation committee.

From the keynote, I learned that there is tons of stuff happening at the national level that I knew nothing about. Further, from Erin’s presentation, I learned that I had personally defined data management was extremely narrow. Erin did an excellent job explaining how data management is a part of the research cycle.

I enjoyed seeing the creative social media messages that my classmates produced in Karen’s session. There was great information provided on dissemination methods. If you were not able to attend, check out her slides at https://digitalhub.northwestern.edu/files/89543ba0-fb1d-4691-93b1-e19772b577c7

And of course I greatly enjoyed getting to visit with everyone and meeting some new people!


The Conference Committee

Here is the full conference committee roster, give them all a big thank you!

Conference Co-Chairs 
Miranda Shake   Lakeview College of Nursing
Roy Jones   Retired

Continuing Education
Frances Drone-Silvers   Carle Foundation Hospital

Eric Edwards   Illinois State Library
Daneen Richardson   Western Illinois University

Laura Wimmer   Presence Resurrection Medical Center

GMR Liaison
Jacqueline Leskovec NNLM GMR

Linda Feinberg   Northshore University HealthSystem – Evanston Hospital
Charlotte Beyer Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
Mary Pat Gordon FHN Memorial Hospital

Linda Feinberg   Northshore University HealthSystem – Evanston Hospital

Eric Edwards   Illinois State Library
Peg Burnette University of Illinois a t Urbana- Champaign Grainger Engineering Library Information Center
Ramune Kubilius   Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Daneen Richardson   Western Illinois University
Miranda Shake   Lakeview College of Nursing

Michelle Quinones   Graham Hospital School of Nursing
Cynthia Reynolds   University of Illinois at Chicago

Silent Auction
Fran Kovach   Retired
Ramune Kubilius   Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Michelle Nielsen Ott Methodist College Library
Julie Dietrich Blessing Hospital Blessing Health Professions Library
Ramune Kubilius Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Stacey Knight-Davis  Eastern Illinois University


Posted in 2018 Conference, HSLI Committees, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | 1 Comment »

Kirstin Duffin – 2018 Syed Maghrabi Scholarship Recipient: Conference Report

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.

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Although most of the 2018 HSLI Annual Conference will consist of CE sessions and other formal activities, there will also be opportunities to relax and network, especially during the evening of the Conference’s first full day, Thursday, September 27. 

After the end of the day’s CE sessions and lightning rounds, meet in the hotel for a sunset walk. The walk will last 20-30 minutes. Watch the Conference website for more details on where walkers will meet at the hotel. 

Nancy’s Reception will follow the walk. (Check the Conference program for details on the start and finish times as they are posted.) Enjoy food, visit your fellow attendees’ poster presentations, learn about a local museum from a staff member, visit exhibitor booths, and bid on items in the Silent Auction. See below for more information on each. 

Interested in what projects or research your colleagues have undertaken recently? The poster session lasts from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. During this time, attendees will be able to speak with the posters’ authors. The posters will remain up through breakfast on Friday morning. If you are interested in learning about the posters ahead of time, the abstracts will be up on the website shortly before the Conference, and they will also be included with the materials attendees will pick up when they sign in on-site. 

Never visited Rockford before, or have been but missed an opportunity to see the Burpee Museum of Natural History? Betsy Carlson, a member of the Museum’s Education staff, will present on the state’s geological history over the past 450 million years, including the state fossil, the Tully Monster. The Burpee Museum has been a vital part of the Rockford community since 1942 and is known for, among other things, the most complete juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton in the world, nicknamed “Jane”.  

Interested in learning more about some of the latest databases and other products that the Conference exhibitors and sponsors offer? Stop by their tables during the Reception. Exhibitors and sponsors based in Illinois or the Midwest include the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Greater Midwest Region (NNLM – GMR) and the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS). There will also be several commercial vendors, including Wolters Kluwer, Thieme, and Elsevier.  

Want to support the Syed Maghrabi Conference Scholarship, while also bidding on unique items? Take part in the Silent Auction. Donated items include a basket of goodies related to Illinois’s 200th anniversary, a portable DVD player, and numerous pieces of artwork. All proceeds go toward the Scholarship’s fund. Watch the Conference website for a complete list of items, along with photographs. 


The 2018 Health Science Librarians of Illinois Annual Conference will take place from Wednesday, September 26, to Friday, September 28. The Conference, with its theme, “Rivers of Data, Streams of Knowledge”, will feature continuing-education opportunities, invited speakers, poster sessions and lightning talks, and a vendor showcase, along with networking opportunities for library and information science professionals and students alike.  

Other dates to remember: 

  • August 31:  Poster proposal deadline 
  • September 3: Deadline to reserve hotel rooms at Conference rate (Note: This is an extension of the previous deadline of August 31.) 
  • September 12:  Early bird registration deadline 

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Eric Edwards, Chair of the HSLI Annual Conference Publicity Subcommittee, or visit the HSLI Conference website 

–The 2018 HSLI Conference Publicity Subcommittee 


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(via Ramune Kubilius, Northwestern University)

The call for applicants concludes on Friday, August 3 for the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship to Attend 2018 HSLI Annual Conference.

The scholarship, named in honor of dedicated HSLI member Syed Maghrabi (1945-2000), supports HSLI members’ participation in the organization’s Annual Conference and will provide reimbursement for a free 2018 HSLI Annual Conference registration as well as one night’s stay at the Conference hotel.

To apply, one must be a current member of the Health Science Librarians of Illinois (2018 dues paid) and write a brief essay explaining why she or he is interested in receiving the Scholarship. Recipients are responsible for registering and making hotel arrangements on their own. After the Conference, each recipient will write an article for the HSLI Newsletter blog, explaining how she or he plans to apply the knowledge gained at the Conference to her or his professional responsibilities.

Applications are due Friday, August 3. Please fill out the application form and submit it to Miranda Shake, HSLI President <mshake@lakeview.edu>. Applicants will learn by Friday, August 17, whether or not they will receive a Scholarship. More information about previous Scholarship recipients and about Syed Maghrabi can be found on the HSLI Awards page.

Other HSLI 2018 deadlines to remember:

The HSLI 2018 Annual Conference will be held September 26-28 at the Cliffbreakers Riverside Hotel and Conference Center in Rockford, Illinois.  The Conference theme is “Rivers of Data, Streams of Knowledge”.  The conference will feature a keynote talk, poster sessions and lightning talks, updates, a reception, and networking opportunities. Early bird registration will begin August 1. For general questions about the Annual Conference or the Health Science Librarians of Illinois organization, please e-mail Eric Edwards, Chair of the 2018 HSLI Annual Conference Publicity Subcommittee: <EEdwards@ilsos.net>. You may also learn more on the Conference page of the HSLI website.

The HSLI 2018 Publicity Subcommittee

Posted in 2018 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Calls and Requests, Conferences, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

The Health Science Librarians of Illinois (HSLI) Conference Planning Committee is now accepting applications for the 2018 Syed Maghrabi Conference Scholarship.  The scholarship, named in honor of dedicated HSLI member Syed Maghrabi (1945-2000), supports HSLI members’ participation in the organization’s Annual Conference. (This year’s gathering will take place from September 26 to 28 in Rockford, IL.) The Scholarship will provide reimbursement for a free 2018 HSLI Annual Conference registration and one night at the Conference hotel, the Cliffbreakers Riverside Hotel & Conference Center in Rockford.

To apply, one must be a current member of the Health Science Librarians of Illinois (2018 dues paid) and write a brief essay explaining why she or he is interested in receiving the Scholarship. Recipients are responsible for registering and making hotel arrangements on their own. After the Conference, each recipient will write an article for the HSLI Newsletter blog, explaining how she or he plans to apply the knowledge gained at the Conference to her or his professional responsibilities.

Applications are due Friday, August 3. Please fill out the application form and submit it to Miranda Shake, HSLI President, at mshake@lakeview.edu. Applicants will learn by Friday, August 17, whether or not they will receive a Scholarship. More information about previous Scholarship recipients and Syed Maghrabi himself can be found on the HSLI Awards page. Please check the Conference website for the latest updates and other information on the HSLI 2018 Annual Conference. You may contact Eric Edwards, Chair of the HSLI Conference Planning Committee’s Publicity Subcommittee, at eedwards@ilsos.net with any questions.

Posted in 2018 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Calls and Requests, Conferences, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

HSLI 2017 Annual Conference Report: Daneen Richardson

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sponsoring my attendance to the 2017 Health Science Librarians of Illinois conference: The Times are Changing. Attending the conference is generally my one opportunity for health science continuing education where I can interact with those presenting as well as other attendees. I find it hard to express the value that I have received through the HSLI conferences over the years. I hope that I have been able to express that through my work on the planning committee to assist with the organizing so others can benefit as I have through the years.

I found a number of interesting technologies that Gabe Rios discussed in his session on Emerging Technologies for the Busy Librarian. The afternoon session Infographics: Communicating Information Visually introduced the concept of infographics. I personally find pictures to often assist in trying to teach and understand a concept. “A picture is worth a thousand words” comes to mind as an accurate portrayal of why we should include infographics in our presentations or displays. While totally not related to the instruction we did an exercise: Genie stretch which I have shared many, many times among colleagues, friends and family. While we provide access to information to any that request it I think anytime we can also provide information to assist the person holistically we should.

Nancy’s reception is my busy time with being involved with the vendors/exhibiting, food and entertainment as part of my responsibilities with the planning committee. I believe that the reception and all events including the silent auction were well received among the attendees. The addition of Marg Jones and her wit and science were not only entertaining but informative as well.

Friday morning was filled with information. I missed part of the keynote speaker as I was busy networking in the breakfast room and lost track of time. I thoroughly enjoy the updates from RAILS, Illinois Heartland Library System, GMR, Illinois State Library and ICRL. It is good to know what is new and reminded of services that they provide that sometimes we forget about in our busy professional lives. It is also uplifting to see how many organizations there are that continue to assist us as librarians and in general the population of Illinois and beyond.

Thank you again for the financial assistance that assisted me in attending so I could not only have the opportunity learn new skills, network with colleagues but to also oversee my conference responsibilities.

Posted in 2017 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Conferences, Member News, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

2017 Annual Conference Report: Ann Zettervall

I had the honor of being selected as a Syed Maghrabi Conference Scholarship recipient to the 2017 HSLI Annual Conference. As an MSLIS student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, I am relatively new to the field of health science librarianship. This conference not only marked my first health science conference, but also, it was my first-ever library conference.

One requirement in the Scholarship” application was to explain why I am interested in receiving the scholarship. I wrote about my desire to build connections in regional health science librarianship to support a health outreach program in the Vermillion County public libraries and to be shown what and who I need to know to further my studies and future career. The connections I made created more opportunities than I imagined possible.

With degrees in music performance, I approach librarianship as a change in career. I could easily try to follow my education into music librarianship, but I prefer a career where my work can make more significant difference in people’s lives. As a student, I am still constantly learning about aspects of librarianship, but the conference session on emerging technologies showed me new resources for health education and clinician usage, such as virtual reality technology, that I never have the opportunity to experience in the classroom.

In the session on infographics, I was able to create a basic design for a health information poster with more flair than anything I have experienced in my coursework. In school, I am learning the broad strokes of what librarianship is. The HSLI conference showed me how to apply those concepts and how librarianship works in the real world.

I feel confident that I can create an infographic to effectively describe information to use in an outreach program. I also am more aware of the tools available to users, both as health professionals and the public. But most of all, I saw the breadth of knowledge of individuals across medical and academic libraries. I made connections for future job opportunities and for research and practicum work while I am still in school. I learned about career options and about how fulfilling working to support doctors and students with disabilities can be. I even learned that hospitals have interlibrary loan systems! I admit that realization may be due to my own naivete, but the passion and years of study from the librarians I met inspired me.

I now have the basic skills to create educational marketing materials and to present them effectively to an audience. I also know who to contact when I need more help, and ultimately, knowing where and how to get more information is the hallmark of a successful librarian. Thank you to the scholarship committee for the opportunity to attend the conference and to all the attendees for welcoming me and showing me the way to my future. I hope to see you all again in 2018!

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Thank you to the Syed Maghrabi Conference Scholarship Committee for selecting me to receive a full scholarship to the 2017 HSLI Conference “The Times are Changing.” As a new health sciences librarian, I attended my first HSLI conference excited with the prospect learning more about health science librarianship and meeting peers from around the state (as a solo librarian, I needed to develop a network). Both of these expectations were met and exceeded.

Gabe Rios presented on several new and developing technologies in the “Emerging Technologies for the Busy Librarian” session. I was not aware of all the library and non-library apps available for health and how to select and evaluate them. This session really opened my eyes to the possibilities apps (and technology in general) have to enhance learning and research in the health sciences. I have already downloaded several NLM apps and will be promoting the HIV/AIDS related apps when the Methodist College Library hosts the NLM traveling exhibit “Surviving and Thriving” in 2018. I also made a note to actively seek an IT staff member to join the library advisory committee (once I have a library advisory committee).

I thoroughly enjoyed the poster sessions as I had the opportunity to speak to several librarians about their research and what they were doing at their institutions. From this experience, I am now planning to pilot a journal club. Before the HSLI conference I had never heard of journal clubs. My hope is that this pilot is successful and the college can produce and sustain several journal clubs. The resources I received about journal clubs will also help me collaborate with nursing faculty members to redesign a journal analyzing assignment which many of the students struggle with.

My biggest take away from this conference is that I am not alone, even as a solo librarian. I shared my struggles and successes with many attendees and they exchanged insights and ideas. My first HSLI conference was a very valuable experience and I am looking forward to participating in the next conference.

Posted in 2017 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Conferences, Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

HSLI Annual Conference 2017: Silent Auction for HSLI Scholarships

Each year at HSLI annual conferences, Nancy’s Receptions are unique in their own special way and also include traditional events that continue from year to year. The receptions feature the conference poster session, a brief entertaining program, an opportunity to network, and enjoy a good meal. Last but not least, attendees each year look forward to the silent auction. The 2017 HSLI conference silent auction will take place at Nancy’s Reception on Thurs, Oct. 26, 2017. There is something for everyone. Items include those with library themes or featuring items liked by many librarians.

This year’s silent auction features a book, a souvenir cup, pottery, t-shirts and leggings, a wearable Fitbit for fitness monitoring, gift baskets, a hotel stay, and a scanner… Check out the images below to see some of the auction items:

All items in the auction were donated by HSLI members and supporters. Starting bids will range from $5 – $100. Nancy’s Reception attendees are invited to participate in this year’s silent auction (cash or check only). Proceeds go to a good cause, the HSLI Scholarship Fund. We thank all, donors and participants, for your generosity!

For more information about the HSLI 2017, visit the conference website or contact Emily Johnson, chair of the conference publicity committee

Posted in 2017 Conference, Awards, Grants, and Scholarships (HSLI), Syed Maghrabi Scholarship | No Comments »

Nominations Sought for 2017 Starfish Thrower Award

(via Miranda Shake, HSLI President)

Annually, we nominate a member of HSLI for the Starfish Thrower Award. The Award recognizes the efforts and contributions of an HSLI member toward the success of the organization. The Starfish Thrower Award is based on the story of the child who “makes a difference” by throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean, one at a time.

The nomination form can be found on the Awards page. Any HSLI member may nominate any other HSLI member. Nominations are due by Friday, October 13.

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