Featured Speakers

Dipesh Navsaria, MD

Sunday Keynote

What I Learned In Library School

Dipesh Navsaria, MD

Faculty, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

As a medical student, Dipesh Navsaria suddenly found himself taking a year off to attend library school. Come learn the unexpected discoveries he made there, and why Dr. Navsaria sees the future of medicine as being in the library!

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MS (LIS), MD is regularly introduced as having been "a librarian before going to medical school". This is quickly followed by the confusion that ensues when he points out that he went to library school in the middle of medical school.

A native of New York City, he attended college in Boston and completed his MPH in maternal-child health at Boston University. He practiced as a physician assistant for a number of years before medical school (and library school!) at the University of Illinois in Urbana.

Dr. Navsaria completed his pediatric residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and has remained there as an assistant professor of pediatrics.

He has a long-standing commitment and dedication to community pediatrics and medical education.

As director of the Pediatric Early Literacy Project, Dr. Navsaria directs advocacy training for residents and other pediatric primary care providers. In addition, he holds an appointment at the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies.

He also owns an inordinate number of library-oriented t-shirts that he can't wear in clinic, and admits he really shouldn't still be surprised that he went to library school given that in fifth grade he placed Dewey Decimal numbers on the spines of all his books at home!

Ruth Holst

Monday Keynote

Stepping Forward into New Roles

Ruth Holst, MSLS, AHIP, FMLA

Association Director of the NN/LM, Greater Midwest Region

Health sciences libraries are in the midst of a major transformation brought on by many factors, including technological innovations, evolutionary changes in scholarly publishing, the proliferation of huge data sets generated by medical research, and ground-breaking legislation that promises to address inequities in health care delivery in this country.

Expanding on one of her MLA presidential themes, Ruth Holst will describe some of the new and emerging roles that librarians are playing to assist their respective organizations in addressing the challenges created by this transformation. She plans to engage the audience in a discussion about how we can work together to prepare librarians for these new roles.

As Associate Director of the NN/LM, Greater Midwest Region (GMR), Ruth Holst interacts with hundreds of librarians in various roles and recently edited a white paper for MLA entitled "Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians: Present and Future Roles." Holst was a hospital librarian for more than 30 years before joining the GMR in 2002. She filled a number of "non-librarian" roles for Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee, including as Director of the Women’s Health Core Service and as the Manager of Coordinated Care. Holst is the editor of The MLA Guide to Managing Health Care Libraries (MLA, 2000), an MLA Fellow, a Janet Doe Lecture awardee, and is currently serving as MLA President.

Technology Forum

presentations: Judy Brown Bart Ragon Melissa Rethlefsen

Presented by the Greater MidWest Region/NNLM

Today's mobile devices, whether iPhones, Android-based phones, or even iPads, have a wealth of features that application designers can use: GPS, gyroscopes, cameras, accelerometers, compasses, pressure sensors, and more. Health, medical, and lifestyle applications taking advantage of these features abound for mobile devices. Consumers who want to maintain their own healthy lifestyle can monitor their fitness, their eating habits, their blood sugar, and much more. Consumer-oriented first aid applications, symptom checkers, and medical reference texts enable patients to take charge of their own health and collaborate more closely with their doctors. Health professionals have a wealth of their own applications, including some that can send real-time updates on patients' vitals directly to their physicians to anatomy applications and even medical simulation games. Phones have even been turned into microscopes and other diagnostic tools for resource-poor areas, as well as radiology image viewers for remote diagnosis. 

As mobile technology use increases, medical libraries will need to find ways to integrate services into these new environments. Developing for devices that often have different screen sizes, Operating Systems, and software capabilities is challenging. In the near future, more people will access the Internet through a mobile device than will through a personal computer.Libraries should be investigating, experimenting, and developing today to meet the changing information needs of health professionals, consumers, and educators.

Judy Brown


Judy Brown is an Education Technology Consultant who retired as the Emerging Technology Analyst in the Office of Learning and Information Technology (OLIT) at the University of Wisconsin System Administration in 2006. In early 2000 she founded the Academic ADL Co-Lab with the U.S. Department of Defense at the University of Wisconsin System and became involved in e-Learning SCORM standards as the Executive Director of that Co-Lab. Brown has been involved in technology for learning for over 25 years and with mobile learning since 1996. Since retirement she has worked entirely in the mobile learning area with corporations, schools and the government. Judy served as a MASIE Fellow for the MASIE Consortium on mobile learning and is a frequent presenter at industry conferences and mobile learning workshops. Currently Judy has returned to ADL on the Immersive Learning Technologies Team as the mobile learning lead. She serves on the Army Education Advisory Committee and coordinates the mlearnopedia.com and cc.mlearnopedia.com sites.

Bart Ragon


Bart Ragon is Associate Director for Library Technology Services and Development at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia. He is co-chair of MLA's Technology Advisory Committee and former chair of the Social Networking Software Task Force. Bart speaks regularly on topics concerning the social web, mobile and emerging technologies, web application development, and technology planning in academic health sciences libraries. He received his master of library and information science from the University of South Carolina.

Melissa Rethlefsen


Melissa Rethlefsen is currently working as an education technology librarian at the Mayo Clinic Libraries. She is lead author of the book, Internet Cool Tools for Physicians, and frequently writes articles on social media for Library Journal and other publications. She is a member of MLA's Social Networking Software Task Force and MLANET Editorial Board, and maintains the Web 2.0 resources page on MLANET. She's been a co-instructor in six Learning 2.0 programs, including MLA's Web 2.0 101 course and the series of Dig Deeper with Social Media sessions.