Health Science Librarians of Illinois Update

Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL)

March 12, 2018

Eric Edwards
Illinois State Library

The Health Science Librarians of Illinois had a busy fall, with their Annual Conference taking place in Bloomington from October 25 to 27. The theme of the event was “The Times Are Changing,” with a focus on the latest trends impacting medical and hospital libraries, along with the field more broadly. Conference speakers addressed this topic in a variety of ways. Gabe Rios, of Indiana University School of Medicine, spoke on “Emerging Technologies for the Busy Librarian.” The technologies ranged from fitness apps and other “wearables” to augmented reality and makerspaces. Susan Fowler, of Washington University in St. Louis, gave an “Introduction to Systematic Reviews for Librarians,” covering the latest research strategies useful for reviewing medical research and identifying the most effective health-care practices.

“Infographics: Communicating Information Visually” was the subject of a recorded presentation by the University of Pittsburgh’s Rose Turner. She emphasized the practical applications of infographics, especially for producing educational materials on consumer health. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Merinda Kaye Hensley covered “Moving from Theory to Application: Adult Education and Instructional Design,” focusing specifically on the revisions to the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and how they will change the mindset that instructional librarians should take in working with students.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Emily Knox, Assistant Professor in UIUC’s School of Information Sciences, who gave her perspective on “Providing Ethical Services in Changing Times.” She emphasized that, even though librarians and others in the information-sciences profession have relied on codes of ethics for many years, today’s focus on serving as many users as possible in an equitable manner creates new challenges. Compounding this is that society as a whole is undergoing significant cultural, technological, and political transitions–especially relating to intellectual freedom and censorship–for which libraries must account as they serve the broader public. Dr. Knox gave recommendations for not just reinterpreting existing codes of ethics, but also crafting new ones in response to these widespread changes.

The planning process for this fall’s conference is still in the preliminary stages, but the Conference Planning Committee will determine the location, dates, and theme soon. Please check the Conference page on the Health Science Librarians of Illinois website ( for regular updates. In the meantime, plenty of opportunities for continuing education are available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Greater Midwest Region, which is currently based at the University of Iowa and serves 10 Midwestern states including Illinois. A list of upcoming webinars and in-person workshops can be found on the NNLM – GMR website, at

The Health Science Librarians of Illinois are always looking for new members to join, and for current members to serve on committees. If you are interested in learning more about the organization and the opportunities for professional development and service to the profession that it offers, please contact President Miranda Shake, at, or President-Elect Roy Jones, at

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