Spring 2017 Issue, Number 144

Submitted by Abby Thorne, MIDLINE Editor

Welcome to the spring 2017 issue of MIDLINE. Many of our members have recently returned from the MLA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, where our chapter was presented with the 2017 Majors/MLA Chapter Project of the Year Award.  The Midwest Chapter was honored at the President’s Awards Dinner for its project, “Resume/Interview Practice Pilot Program.”

In this issue, you will find much news of interest.  Deadlines for submitting abstracts for our fall meeting and nominating deserving colleagues for awards are coming up soon, so please check out the articles below and consider submitting a nomination or abstract.  Registration for the fall meeting is also now open, so visit the conference website to learn more and register today!

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President’s Message

Submitted by Debra Werner, Midwest Chapter/MLA President 2017 

Happy late spring Midwest Chapter members!  I wouldn’t be a Midwesterner if I didn’t comment on the weather, and even though we are still in the final days of spring, it feels like full-on summer has arrived.

Back in the cold, rainy days of early spring, your Chapter Board held a long, virtual meeting to discuss finances, fundraising, annual meetings, awards, communication, and so much more.  I was happy to announce at that meeting the latest appointed officer, Megan Keller-Young, Instructor & Special Collections Librarian at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as our new Archivist.  Welcome Megan!

Around the same time of the virtual Board meeting, on yet another cold and rainy day, our Chapter’s Annual Report was submitted to MLA Headquarters.  Here are some of the highlights:

Executive Summary:

The focus of the Midwest Chapter in 2016/2017 is to strengthen Midwest Chapter’s finances after having lost considerable savings to an unscrupulous vendor.   The Chapter implemented many cost-cutting measures and initiated fundraising activities.  These efforts, coupled with a highly successful 2016 Annual Meeting partnership with the Midcontinental Chapter, have stabilized the situation and the Chapter is beginning to restoring its financial health.  The Chapter is migrating to a new, more attractive website, scheduled to be completed this fall.  Finally, the Midwest Chapter is the proud recipient of the Majors/MLA Chapter Project of the Year Award for its Resume/Interview Practice Program.


  1. Strengthen Midwest Chapter’s finances.
  2. Migrate to new website to improve online experience of Chapter members by organizing content in intuitive fashion, removing content that is no longer relevant, etc.
  3. Review the Chapter’s annual meetings and recommend changes to their planning and execution in order to increase year-to-year continuity and planning effectiveness.

Your Chapter Board and Committees are hard at work accomplishing these goals!  You will hear more about these goals in the near future.  As always, if you have ideas or input that you’d like to provide, please contact me.  You can read the full Annual Report at: http://midwestmla.org/board/agendas-reports/MidwestChapter_Annual_Report_2017.docx.

Finally, it was great to see so many Midwest Chapter members at MLA’17 in Seattle where the weather was picture perfect.  I hope to see even more of you at the Midwest Chapter Annual Meeting, October 13 – 16 in Ypsilanti, Michigan!  The meeting, held jointly with the Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association (MHSLA) is at the lovely Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest.  Read more about the meeting and register at: http://midwestmla.org/conference2017/.

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Visit Us in Pure Michigan for Pure Information 2017!

Submitted by Merle Rosenzweig, Chair, Planning Committee 

The planning committee for the Joint Meeting of the Midwest Chapter/MLA and Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association (MHSLA) is excited to welcome you to our state for our conference on October 13 – 16, 2017!

Located on the banks of the picturesque Huron River in Ypsilanti (IP-SILL-ANN-TEE or Ypsi for short!), the Ann Arbor Marriott at Eagle Crest will be your home for four days of learning, networking, and taking in the sights and sounds of fall in Michigan.

Here are just a few things to look forward to at this year’s conference:

  • Friday, October 13 – Midwest Board Meeting. A “spontaneous” Happy Hour @ 5pm in the hotel bar for those arriving on Friday.
  • Saturday, October 14 – A fascinating line-up of morning and afternoon CE courses and, finally, an opening reception to finish out the day.
  • Sunday, October 15 – Keynote address, contributed papers, exhibits, and a Special Social Event.
  • Monday, October 16 – Exhibits, posters, and business meetings.

This year’s keynote address features Curt Guyette, an investigative reporter for the ACLU Michigan. Curt has been recognized with numerous awards for his groundbreaking coverage of the toxic contamination of the Flint water supply, a public-health disaster that exposed the city of 100,000 people to lead poisoning for almost two years despite government officials insisting the water was safe. In 2016 he was named Michigan Journalist of the Year by the Michigan Press Association and awarded the Hillman Prize. His work has been recognized nationally on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, the radio program On the Media from WNYC, and the Columbia Journalism Review, and internationally by The Guardian newspaper.

Preliminary program and registration information will be available soon on the conference website.  Please stay connected with us on Twitter #MidwestMHSLA17.

For more information about the surrounding area, visit Ypsi Real.

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Call for Abstracts – Pure Information 2017

Submitted by Merle Rosenzweig, Chair, Planning Committee, 2017 Joint Meeting, Midwest/MLA & Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association 

We want to hear from you! Consider submitting a poster or paper.

logo for MW/MLA Annual Meeting 2017

Abstracts can be submitted online at: https://umich.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e2qUF1cGewJDWHr.

**The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to August 1**

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Midwest Chapter MLA 2017 Fundraiser

Submitted by Edith Starbuck, 2017 Silent Auction Fundraiser Co-Chair

Planning for the second annual Midwest Chapter MLA fundraiser to support scholarships and awards is well underway.  This year it will be a silent auction.

How can you help?  Consider donating a silent auction item, asking a business, author or artist to donate an auction item, and most importantly – bidding on the silent auction items during the upcoming annual conference!

Silent auction donation parameters:

  • High quality and easily packable
  • Register your commitment
  • Send photo of item by September 15, 2017
  • Silent auction coordinators reserve the right to select the final items for the silent auction
  • Donated item must be at the conference – bring the item with you or ask a colleague to bring it

If you ask a business, author, or artist for a silent auction donation:

  • Let us know that you’re willing to ask
  • We will supply the information kit needed (coming soon)
  • Provide a photo of the item by September 15, 2017

A great big thank you to those who have already volunteered to donate a silent auction item!  We will share photos and more information as we get closer to the conference.

Let’s make this scholarship fundraiser a great success, together!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Edith Starbuck (edith.starbuck@uc.edu) and Nicole Theis-Mahon (theis025@umn.edu), 2017 Silent Auction Fundraiser Co-chairs

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Make an Impact! The Annual Meeting Special Committee Needs YOU!

Submitted by Clare Leibfarth and Bette Sydelko, Co-Chairs, Annual Meetings Special Committee 

But Wait! What is the Annual Meetings Special Committee?

Planning our chapter’s annual meetings involves many chapter members and is a lot of hard work! At any one time, the chapter has two (sometimes three!) meetings in the various stages of planning. The current meeting planning policies and procedures, including the nine state meeting location rotation, have been essentially unchanged for over 25 years. See the chapter website Meetings page for more information: http://midwestmla.org/meetings/.

After 25 years, it is a good time to take a detailed look at the planning of our meetings. What are we doing well? What can we do better? How can we make the meetings even more successful? Can the process be made more efficient and effective?

The Midwest Chapter Executive Board approved a recommendation by the Annual Meetings Committee to appoint a task force to examine these issues, the Annual Meetings Special Committee. Here is our Official Committee Charge as approved by the Midwest Chapter Executive Board and posted on the Midwest Chapter website:

Charge of the Annual Meetings Special Committee 2016-2017

Charge of the Annual Meetings Special Committee 2016-2017


Why does the Annual Meetings Special Committee need ME?

Over the next four months, we need motivated chapter members to join us in the research phase of the committee’s work, gathering information to help us recommend ways to improve the planning of our annual meetings. This will entail reading and analyzing the final reports of the meeting planning committees and the meeting evaluation surveys from the last several chapter conferences. Using qualitative research methodology, you will participate in the coding and thematic analysis of these resources. These reports and surveys contain a wealth of ideas for making our meetings better than ever. Your analysis will help us to gather those ideas together and generate concrete suggestions for improvement.

YOU can make a lasting impact on the Midwest Chapter! Join us on the Annual Meetings Special Committee.


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There’s Still Time To Nominate a Colleague for a Midwest Chapter Award!

Submitted by Nicole Theis-Mahon, Chair, Awards and Scholarships Committee, Midwest Chapter/MLA

There’s Still Time To Apply Now for a Midwest Chapter Award

The Midwest Chapter/MLA is pleased to provide its members with the opportunity to receive awards and scholarships in 2017! There is still time to apply for several of this year’s awards:

  • Annual Meeting Grant ($500 and registration) supports the attendance of librarians and library staff at the Midwest Chapter/MLA Annual Meeting
  • Midwest Chapter/MLA Distinguished Librarian Award ($500) recognizes Chapter members at any career level who have provided outstanding service to Midwest Chapter/MLA
  • Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award ($500) recognizes individuals, groups, organizations, and/or libraries for their creative approaches to health information delivery and management of health information.

Complete application and nomination information about all of these awards is available at midwestmla.org/committees/awards/. The application deadline for the Annual Meeting Grant is July 28, so apply TODAY!  The deadline for the Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award and the Distinguished Librarian Award is August 4.

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Chapter Sharing Roundtable “Free Lunch” Winner at MLA ’17

Submitted by JJ Pionke, Applied Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Lunch Roundtable: Diversity is the Whole Package

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the luncheon but I knew that I wanted to connect to others who were either doing diversity work or at least interested in diversity.  My research revolves around disability and the closest areas that I have found for discussion of disability is under the diversity umbrella. It has been hard for me to find other MLA folk who are interested in disability or diversity work so I saw the luncheon as a prime opportunity to meet others with my same interest and passion.

The topic of diversity was somewhat popular as we were at two tables.  I spotted someone I knew at one of the tables so I made a beeline for them.  Our table was made up of a lovely mix of professionals with a wide variety of interests in diversity.  Conversation was jovial and warm in the kind of way when like-minded individuals come together for a rousing discussion of a much loved topic.

Discussion ranged all over the place including talking about the use of cultural competencies, microaggression training, the integration of diversity into our everyday lives (work and otherwise), diversity as a fad/interest of the month by administrations, recruitment and how to retain diverse individuals, positive things that are going on at our institutions, and we shared out resources.  I mentioned my disability LibGuides: http://guides.library.illinois.edu/alacwgdisabilitytoc, Project ENABLE which is a training program around disability out of Syracuse: https://projectenable.syr.edu/, and the Targeting Autism forum: https://targetingautismlibs.com/about/.

We also ended with a call to action.  One of the concerns we had about MLA was that there seems to be less diversity presentations/posters/discussions.  We decided to send letters to the MLA president pointing out this issue (some Special Interest Groups haven’t had a single panel in two years) and asking for a review of procedures to be more inclusive of all interests.

I would like to thank MW/MLA for the “Free Lunch” award.  As a still relatively new professional in the field, being able to meet with others and discuss the topic of diversity was invaluable. I came away invigorated by the discussion and fired up to talk about diversity with colleagues.  I also feel like I made new friends.

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From the GMR – Librarians Supporting Health Equity: We Can Make a Difference

Submitted by Derek Johnson, Health Professionals Outreach Specialist, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, Iowa City, IA 

In April, I had the opportunity to present at the Minnesota Public Health Association Conference. The theme of the conference was Moving Health Equity Forward. As I prepared for the conference, I began thinking about what health equity really means (the American Public Health Association defines health equity as everyone having the opportunity to attain their highest level of health) and wondering how does a health sciences librarian support the attainment of health equity?

As I pondered that second question I thought of two key audiences that the GMR (and other health sciences librarians) provide services to: health professionals and the general public. These two groups play key roles in the pursuit for health equity and both rely on librarians for assistance in finding and accessing health information. Knowing the audience of the conference would be public health practitioners, I decided to tailor the presentation for that audience.

My presentation that day was titled Advancing Health Equity through Evidence-Based Public Health. It introduced many of the attendees to the idea that the concepts of evidence-based medicine can be tailored to public health. The talk emphasized the role that information plays in conducting evidence-based public health and how important it is to find the best available evidence. And, just as health sciences librarians do with doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, here is a clear opportunity for support in teaching, searching, and outreach to those working to achieve health equity.

But, it’s not just public health professionals that need assistance in locating health information to support the goal of health equity. Consumers need it too. Without access to reliable health information consumers can act (or not act) based on faulty assumptions or misinformation. This is especially true for population groups that might be distrusting of health systems, who lack health literacy, or speak a foreign language. This leads to another opportunity for health sciences librarians to contribute to health equity.

From July 3 – July 24 I’ll be hosting an online Moodle course titled From Beyond our Borders: Providing Multilingual and Multicultural Health Information. I invite you to join me for this course to learn more about refugee health, cultural competence, and where to find health information resources to support both health professionals working with diverse populations and the consumers themselves as we all work to achieve health equity.

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