Precious Olalere is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences.
The 2023 Health Science Librarians of Illinois (HSLI) Conference was an exceptional opportunity that profoundly impacted my professional development. From the lightning talks to the keynote speaker’s presentation, I gained a deeper understanding of health librarianship and the space we occupy in public health.
All the presenters and the keynote speakers were experts in their respective fields. They provided detailed insights on healthcare’s most pressing issues and challenges and how we can effect change as custodians of health resources. One of the defining moments of the Conference was during the lightning talk delivered by one of the presenters. This speaker gave a talk about the work she was doing with people with dementia and the lack of research in these areas. In her speech, she demystified the myths that people diagnosed with dementia cannot read. She presented a wealth of information about dementia and reading, including case studies, real-world examples, and practical advice, that has been invaluable in her work and explained how we, as an advocate for health promotion, have a role to play in these fields. This knowledge would be crucial to developing research initiatives and contributing to these fields of study.
The Conference also covered a wide range of other topics, including mobile exhibits for immigrants, research data management, guidelines for weeding nursing materials, systematic review, current challenges in public health, and how to mitigate these challenges through collective partnership. Aside from the presentations by the speakers, the Conference provided me with ample opportunities to network with other professionals from around the Midwest. This networking gave rise to meaningful interactions with other attendees, allowing me to learn about their experiences and perspectives. Through these interactions, I gained a deeper understanding of the complex issues facing healthcare information management and was able to exchange ideas and collaborate with other professionals.
Overall, the 2023 HSLI Conference was a comprehensive and engaging experience that exceeded my expectations. It expanded my knowledge, broadened my perspective, and inspired me to approach my work with renewed enthusiasm and creativity. I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended and look forward to applying the knowledge and insights gained from the conference to my future endeavors.