HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

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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