HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Syed Maghrabi Scholarship Winners’ Reports on the Annual Conference (Nov. 1-2, 2012)


Clare Bonnema, M.L.I.S., Medical Librarian at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois

Elissa M. Cochran, B.A., M.L.S., Medical Librarian at Presence Covenant in Urbana and Presence United Samaritan in Danville, Illinois. She is also a teaching assistant at the UI-Chicago College of Medicine.

Sarah Isaacs, M.L.I.S., Head Librarian at the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse in Champaign, Illinois


Bonnema, Clare

Clare Bonnema, MLIS

Thank you to the HSLI Conference Scholarship Committee for awarding me one of the scholarships to attend this year’s conference. Once again, the conference offered practical information, a chance to catch up with colleagues, and good food! Here are a few highlights:

Nancy’s Reception on Thursday night provided an opportunity to chat with vendors, learn about the Joanna Briggs Institute from Ovid representatives, and chow down on a prepackaged ice cream scoop (a first for me), covered with every available topping (except sprinkles). Good thing the scholarship allowed me to stay overnight at the conference hotel so I could work off all those toppings with a swim in the warm pool afterwards!

I was grateful for Holly Ann Burt’s PubMed session on Friday morning; regular refreshers on how to use it to its full potential are always valuable. Although I knew about and had used a handful of the government-provided health resources discussed during the afternoon session, Jocelyn Tipton presented many more I was not familiar with. I appreciated the emphasis on practical information in Friday’s courses.

Although it is difficult for many hospital and other health-science librarians to take a day or two away from work to attend the HSLI conference, each one I’ve attended has been worth my time and I encourage anyone, especially those whose institutions are not able to sponsor their attendance, to apply for the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship.

My thanks to the conference committee for the scholarship and for their hard work in planning the conference!

Elissa Cochran, MLS [no picture available]

I would like to begin by thanking the Syed Magrabi Scholarship committee for awarding me the opportunity to attend. The HSLI conference, “Shaping the Future”, is the highlight of my meeting experience in any given year because it most closely matches my needs and interests as a medical librarian.

Since the conference was held at Resurrection Medical Center, it gave me the opportunity to network with my new co-workers. [You may have heard that Provena and Resurrection Health have merged, becoming Presence Health, the largest Catholic healthcare system in the state of Illinois.] It is always fun to see other facilities, particularly the Medical Library, and meet up with Laura Wimmer who graciously welcomed us to the conference site.

The conference had a new format this year; we were treated to Nancy’s reception on the opening night. Before dinner, we visited with vendors such as Ebsco, Rittenhouse, [Elsevier’s] Clinical Key, and others. This is a great chance to find out what’s new, even if you are a long-time customer. Then we enjoyed a wonderful buffet where we could enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed setting. I must tell you it was sheer coincidence that as we introduced ourselves, we discovered that all 3 of the scholarship winners just happened to be seated at the same table. What are the odds? After dinner, Chris Pesce presented an OVID update and Ruth Holst and Jacqueline Leskovec did the always popular NNLM/GMR Update. This is your chance to find out about upcoming meetings, webinars, grants, etc. In sum[mary], I enjoyed the new structure of a networking evening and felt ready to tackle the more intense classes the following day.

As any of you know who have taken CE classes from Holly Ann Burt, she never disappoints with her knowledge and energy level. The PubMed Clinics offered Friday morning was aimed at intermediate/ advanced searchers and, even after 10 years of using PubMed, I learned ways to become a more efficient searcher. Don’t overlook the importance of the “detail box” was Holly’s main takeaway. We met in small groups to do challenging searches by applying advanced strategies, did a scavenger hunt, and after reading an assigned article, became a MESH indexer! That was an eye-opener! The class was a huge success and a great way to earn contact hours.

After the morning session, we recharged at lunch. More great food and an abundance of fun raffle prizes. The business meeting is the opportunity to express your thoughts on “shaping the future” and meet our new officers who will lead us over the next year. I am already looking forward to HSLI 2013 in Peoria.

Sarah Isaacs, M.L.I.S� 

The Health Science Librarians of Illinois is an organization that has not only provided me with outstanding professional experiences, but invaluable connections to other professionals in the field. When I joined HSLI I had no idea how helpful the members and events would turn out to be. Shortly after joining I was informed about the upcoming conference and I was pretty sure it would be too great an expense for my current budget. After learning of the Syed Maghrabi Scholarship, I eagerly applied for the scholarship and was thrilled when I was announced as one of the recipients of the award. I was excited at the opportunity to meet the members of HSLI in person as well as participate the continuing education sessions.

This year’s HSLI annual conference was November 1-2 in Chicago. Nancy’s Reception on Thursday evening provided an opportunity to talk with some of the vendors and network with fellow HSLI members. I really enjoyed the presentation from Ovid demonstrating the expanded resources available with the addition of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) content. As the evening continued, there were presentations by the National Library of Medicine about upcoming GMR continuing education opportunities and by the 2013 HSLI Conference committee with a sneak peak at what to expect next year. Wrapping up the fun on Thursday night, we had an ice cream sundae bar thanks to some of the vendors.

Friday morning, began with a chance to explore the vendor exhibits and enjoy breakfast with colleagues. Elsevier provided a hands-on demonstration of their new online tool, Clinical Key. This dynamic database has a wealth of information in a variety of formats for use in the hospital setting and beyond. This was only the beginning of the valuable information to be learned on this day. There were three opportunities to earn CE credit on Friday. The first class was titled PubMed Clinics of North America: A Problem-based Approach to PubMed Searching which involved a 4-hr interactive presentation accessing the NLM website and its many resources. This was an excellent chance to explore the functionality of this powerful tool with assistance from an expert. Holly Ann Burt provided an outstanding presentation which included a collection of real-life activities and search strategies. I found this session to be of great value because I am relatively new to the health science library field. We worked together in teams and I was lucky enough to team up with Rebecca Raszewski from the University of Illinois at Chicago who has a lot of experience searching PubMed. After the morning session, we got to relax with a nice meal and lots of opportunities to win some raffle prizes. The HSLI fall meeting concluded the lunch and offered a chance to get up to speed on some of the current HSLI issues. The afternoon session (3-hr) was on Government Health Resources. This presentation was helpful in demonstrating the diversity of information available from a long list of government resources. I was introduced to some great websites that I never knew existed. This will help in my daily interaction with patrons back at my own library. I am always on the lookout for family-friendly explanations of some very complex medical topics. Following this presentation, there was a one-hour long discussion on the popularity and value of Open Access journals.

Overall, I found this conference a very valuable event. Not only did I have an opportunity to learn useful information about current trends and practices in the health science library field but I had a chance to meet and reunite with other health science librarians.

I owe a great deal of thanks to The Syed Maghrabi Scholarship committee. Thank you for continuing to offer this valuable service to the members of HSLI. This scholarship provided me the opportunity to grow as a professional and develop essential skills to assist me in my work as a health science librarian.

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