Strange But True

Mary Pat Harnegie sent us a list of funny/strange requests that she has compiled as a medical librarian.  You will see some of them attached below, and we would like to expand the topic into a regular column highlighting the Strange But True questions received by Midwest MLA Librarians. We’ll be including a few questions in each issue. Please send us your Strange But True (or just flat-out funny) questions that you receive as a medical librarian!

  • What is the chemical composition of flatulence?
  • Can you treat headaches with belladonna?
  • How to do homework without throwing up? (And yes, there is actually a book by that title.)
  • What is the effect of a full moon on hospital admissions?
  • Ice cream headaches.

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Fall 2019 Issue 153

Please note: This is the November 15th issue published on January 7th, 2020 due to Midwest Chapter website issues.

Welcome to the latest issue of Midline! Although this is technically the fall issue, it definitely feels like winter with the Arctic blast bringing recording-breaking low temperatures for most of the Midwest. Stay warm!

This issue includes highlights from the 2019 Midwest Chapter/MLA Meeting in Milwaukee and updates from our Midwest Chapter members.

Our winter issue will be posted February 15, 2020. Please send any articles to Joyce McFadden at by the submission deadline of February 1s, 2020.

Think warm thoughts and have a wonderful holiday season! Liz Lyman and Joyce McFadden

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President’s Message

Hello, Midwest Chapter/MLA!  I’m honored to serve as the President of the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association this year alongside our dedicated Executive Board and countless member volunteers. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or ideas for our association! 

I made the same offer at the Annual Business Meeting and ended up fielding questions much sooner than anticipated. Mere hours after the transfer of the gavel, a TSA officer questioned me about our association as she examined the gavel and block from my carry-on luggage. As she passed them back to me, she expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the important work we do as health sciences librarians. I felt a surge of pride in our profession that I hope to pass along to all of you.

I want to thank everyone who contributed to making the 2019 Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a success. From the inaugural Research Retreat facilitated by Margaret Hoogland to the closing CE course “Finding Leadership and Management Opportunities Where You Are” by Stewart Brower, the conference was engaging and fostered connections amongst attendees! As you may recall, this was the first annual meeting led by standing Midwest/MLA committees in addition to Conference Committees of persons in the host state. Special thanks to Annual Meetings Committee chairs, Clare Liebfarth (outgoing) and Liz Weinfurter (incoming); Professional Practice Committee chair, Angela Tucker; and 2019 Conference co-chairs, Karen Hanus and Brenda Fay.

In the coming year, I will work with the Executive Board to continue our progress toward re-establishing sufficient financial reserves. These efforts include the Fundraising Committee, which was approved as a Standing Committee at the August 2019 Executive Board meeting, and the implementation of the membership dues increase that was approved at the October 7, 2019, Midwest Chapter Business Meeting by a majority vote of the members present. Starting with the 2020 membership year, Regular Membership dues for the Midwest Chapter/MLA will be raised from $30 to $40. 

Another goal for my presidential year is to lead the Executive Board in reviewing the Midwest Chapter/MLA Procedure Manual. Officers and Committee Chairs will review our documentation to ensure our practices are aligned with the manual and also reflect the Chapter’s needs. This review and the resulting discussions at Board meetings will keep our Chapter vibrant and facilitate smooth transitions as future leaders and volunteers take on new roles.

I hope to connect with you at the Midwest Chapter/MLA Annual Meeting October 3-5, 2020, in Bloomington, Indiana! 

Submitted by Emily C. Ginier, Midwest Chapter/MLA President 2020

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Midwest Chapter/MLA 2019: Post Conference Wrap-Up

The 2019 Midwest Chapter/MLA, WHSLA and SWHSL meeting is a wrap! Our conference turnout exceeded expectations with 118 attendees, CE instructors and presenters. Despite the rainy weather on Saturday, guests were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Milwaukee, the good land. In fact, when conference attendees arrived at the hotel, they were met with the sounds of Oktoberfest – polka bands.

Photo of Registration Table including Mary Ann Reilley, Melinda Orebaugh, Deb Knippel
Registration Table: Mary Ann Reilley, Melinda Orebaugh, Deb Knippel


Keynote speaker MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, aka Comic Nurse gave an amazing address that highlighted how she got started as a comic, and how comics can be used to improve patient care and medical education and promote discussions on challenging topics like palliative care and end-of-life goals. She also provided the audience with resources for developing graphic medicine collections in their institutions.

Photo of Keynote Speaker MK Czerwiec
Keynote speaker: MK Czerwiec

A panel discussion called “Social Determinants of Health: From the Patient to the Community and Beyond” was held on Monday morning and featured local healthcare providers and educators and researchers. The panel gave insight into how the conditions of where we live, work, learn and play can affect health outcomes. Attendees came away with better insight of the unique issues faced by residents of Milwaukee, and resources that librarians and healthcare providers can access to learn more about the health of their communities. 

Finally, Janice Curnes, MLS, VA Medical Librarian, gave a historical overview of one of the original three “Old Soldiers Homes.” Established in 1867, the Milwaukee VA is in its 152nd year of providing veteran care.  Jan was instrumental in creating the Historic Milwaukee VA walking tour and the internal history website and was well equipped to provided attendees with a virtual tour of the site. 

Papers & Posters

The conference featured 15 contributed posters and 14 contributed papers. Copies of the papers and posters are available on the conference website. Congratulations to the winners of the Midwest Chapter/MLA 2019 Paper & Poster awards!

Research Poster Award Winner

Research Poster Honorable Mention

Research Paper Awards Winner

Research Paper Awards Honorable Mention

Social Event

Conference attendees had a chance to channel their inner maverick persona at the Harley- Davidson Museum. Attendees bonded over dinner and drinks and we had access to the museum after-hours.

Submitted by Liz Sueltzer

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Continuing Education at Midwest MLA 2019

As usual, the annual Midwest MLA conference offered some great opportunities to expand our professional horizons through networking, programming and continuing education. This year the conference offered six continuing education courses on Saturday, October 5, and one free course on Monday, October 7. The Saturday courses touched on building partnerships, copyright skills, scoping reviews and biomedical scholarly publishing. There were also two course options sponsored by the GMR for those who wished to work on their disaster information specialization. The free class on Monday, “Finding Leadership and Management Opportunities Where You Are”, was attended by almost 40 people.  All of the classes were well attended and received positive reviews.

The Midwest Chapter of MLA Professional Practice committee would like to thank our instructors and the GMR for helping us to provide such a variety of diverse and interesting educational opportunities.

Submitted by Angie Tucker, Chair, Midwest MLA Professional Practice Committee

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Reflections on the Inaugural Midwest Chapter Research Retreat

In December 2018, Margaret Hoogland had the idea to make an affordable but beneficial opportunity for Midwest Chapter members to gain experience with research design and research methods. Margaret was inspired by her participation in the Inaugural Medical Library Association-Research Training Institute. 

Margaret recognized that colleagues may have ideas for research projects, but they are not sure how to proceed. Other colleagues may present a poster or a paper at a conference, but then put the project on the back burner while moving onto new things. Keeping these barriers to completing a research project in mind, she organized a Research Retreat that was held during the Midwest Chapter/MLA meeting, where participants could have dedicated time for their research projects. 

Participants had the opportunity to sign up for the Research Retreat when they registered for the 2019 Midwest Chapter/MLA Annual Conference. Before the Research Retreat, participants were asked to complete a survey, which provided facilitators with information about their experience in presenting at conferences and conducting research. Additionally, participants identified up to three goals that they hoped to accomplish during the Research Retreat.

Four facilitators: Julie Esparza, Emily Ginier, Merle Rosenzweig, and Liz Suelzer; assisted in the inaugural Research Retreat. The facilitators had experience with research and could potentially guide participants away from obstacles or dead-ends they encountered while doing research. Each facilitator led round table discussions in one or more of the following areas:

  • Think Tank: Participants had ideas for research project(s), but they sought direction and pointers to take the next step.
  • Literature Searches and Reviews: Participants had issues with locating literature to support their proposed project or they wanted to try a new type of review.
  • Lessons Learned: Facilitators used examples of what worked and what caused problems in areas such as designing a study or writing an Institutional Review Board proposal. By talking through these examples, facilitators hoped participants could avoid the same or similar mistakes.

After the conference, comments were collected from Research Retreat participants. Participants benefited from chatting with other colleagues, who shared a mutual interest in research, and got ideas from facilitators on how to move forward with an existing project or to begin a new project. 

From the feedback received, modifications will be made for next year’s retreat: the morning session will be a bit more structured and the afternoon session will remain as time for self-directed learning. Handouts and contact information for all the facilitators will be available for both sessions.

We hope to make this a regular part of the Midwest Chapter/MLA Annual Meeting and Conference. 

Sign up today to be a facilitator for the 2020 Midwest Chapter/MLA Research Retreat. In January or February and in mid-August 2020, we will meet online to discuss the Research Retreat schedule. 

Many Thanks,

Submitted by Margaret Hoogland

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News from Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library

Fall 2019

Noreen Mulcahy, MLIS, AHIP, published the following review:

Submitted by Noreen Mulcahy

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Happenings at The Ohio State University Health Sciences Library


  • Stephanie Schulte has been named Assistant Director for Research and Education. Stephanie is associate professor and has been at the HSL since 2008. Stephanie directs health sciences research, education, and clinical information services and is leading several space planning initiatives.
  • Missy Creed has been named Consumer Health Librarian at the HSL’s Library for Health Information, located in the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Having recently completed both levels of the MLA Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) program, Missy is leading a variety of expanding consumer health programs.


In May, the HSL received an All of Us Community Engagement Network Ambassador Program Award from the Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.  With this $95,000 award, the HSL will serve as a link between the NIH All of Us Research Program, area public libraries, community organizations, hospitals, and individuals from underrepresented populations in Franklin County, Ohio. The HSL is leading these efforts in collaboration with partners including the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) and the library at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 


The HSL physical space is also changing. The HSL occupies space on five of seven floors in Prior Hall. Over the last year, the HSL has been gathering current and future space-related ideas from students, staff and faculty. In August, all general collection books and journals were moved to an OSU Medical Center space located just off-campus.  Materials will be delivered to the HSL customers via campus courier. This move allows the HSL to provide a full floor of quiet study space complete with new carpeting, updated furnishings and lighting, and a prayer/meditation area. This renovation is scheduled for next year along with renovations to the busier, more collaborative spaces on the first and fourth floors.  

Submitted by Missy Creed

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News from Western Michigan University

Recent publications

  • Key P, Neelakantan M, Jain K, Diaz M, Lorbeer E. Assessing the Validity of Published Data on Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty as a Benchmark for Infrainguinal Endovascular Procedures. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2019 Sep 1;70(3):e79.

Submitted by Liz Lorbeer

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