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NAHSL 2023 Conference: Member Contributions

Paper Session #1

November 15, 1:00pm-2:00pm


Salary Survey 2023

Stephanie Friree Ford, Mental Health Sciences Library, McLean Hospital 

Lisa Adriani, Karen Alcorn, A’Llyn Ettien, Jessica Kilham, Lisa Philpotts, Meredith Solomon


Objectives: In order to improve knowledge of salaries, the 2023 salary survey will examine health science information professional’s salaries within the New England region. The data will be assessed for revelations about the profession across health science libraries. Results will also be reviewed and compared with those of the 2019 salary survey and with the national data. 


Methods: A survey tool was created and adapted from the 2019 salary survey, which was based on a survey conducted in 2013/2014. It was distributed through three regional librarian Listservs to approximately 228 health sciences librarians in the New England region. It was distributed multiple times to ensure saturated coverage of the region. The data will be collated for all six states and compared with the earlier data and all states will be compared with the rest of the nation. The mean salary by institution and position type will be determined as well as a review of full-time jobs vs. part-time jobs, and analyzation of types of libraries and positions across the region. 


Results: 95 librarians from the six New England states (and one from NY) responded to the survey for a response rate of 41.6%. Data is still being evaluated at this time. 


Conclusions: Not complete at this time.

Logic Models for Planning and Evaluation

Sally Gore

UMass Chan Medical School


A logic model is a visual representation of a theory of change. They are useful tools for thinking about, structuring, and visually communicating how a program will get results. Logic models are often used in grant proposals, but they are equally effective in program planning and evaluation at all levels. They are also underutilized in the evaluation of library programs and services.


The management team at Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Chan Medical School is currently exploring the use of logic models as part of our overall strategic planning. This paper presentation will describe the Research & Scholarly Communication Services department’s process and outcomes in developing its logic model as part of this larger initiative. It will highlight the practical applications of the work, insights achieved, and next steps for both the department and the library, as a whole.

History of Medical Librarianship Book Discussion

Margot Malachowski

Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 7



In 2023, Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 7 (NNLM R7) hosted a webinar on the History of the Rochester Study: Literature Discussion. We identified the Rochester Study topic by watching discussions on the Medical Library Association’s Hospital Libraries Caucus listserv. On the listserv, librarians expressed curiosity about this historic research. During the webinar, the chat discussion was lively, creating 16 pages of commentary that was saved, anonymized, and distributed to the registrants. 



In 2024, we will deepen our conversation on this history of medical librarianship by taking three months to read the book "A History of Medical Libraries and Medical Librarianship" by Michael and Jennie Kronenfeld. The Moodle course starts in February and closes at the end of April. Participants can choose to join discussion forums and Zoom meetings to share ideas with their peers. 



This presentation will hit the highlights of the Rochester Study literature discussion. This includes participant remarks about the historic changes in federal requirements, information access, aspects of care as well as commentary on future research directions. The presentation will conclude with a synopsis of the Kronenfeld book, with surprising details about the history of medical librarianship. 



The NNLM training program had 162 registrants for the History of the Rochester Study: Literature Discussion. Judging from these counts, health sciences librarians are interested in the history of their profession. NNLM supports the work of health sciences librarians and looks forward to providing a learning opportunity for this population. 

Opening a Path to the Future with an MLA Research Agenda

Jon Eldredge, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center

Margaret Hoogland; Marie Ascher; Karen Heskett, and Heather Holmes



To identify, prioritize and build consensus within MLA about the most important research questions facing our profession. 



Delphi Technique. The Research Agenda Committee (RAC) identified all MLA leaders at the national, chapter, and caucus levels. RAC emailed all MLA leaders with the request to list their “single sentence, most important answerable research question facing the profession.” RAC members organized these questions by subject and then sent them to MLA members with recent research experience. The researchers selected five of the most important questions that could be feasibly answered through research. The top-ranked questions identified by the researchers were then sent to those MLA leaders who participated in the first survey who were asked to identify their top five most important, answerable research questions. 



A representative from the MLA Research Agenda Committee will provide a status report on the MLA Research Agenda at the MLA NAHSL virtual Annual Meeting on November 15, 2023.

Paper Session #2

November 15, 3:00pm-4:00pm


Clarity of definitions in medical misinformation research: a call for more rigorous reporting by authors and critical appraisal by librarians and other readers

Kate Nyhan

Yale University


Misinformation researchers often define misinformation by what it is not. In such “negative definitions,” misinformation is understood as any statement that deviates from the positions of recognized experts or consensus-stating organizations, such as the World Health Organization. Vraga and Bode (2020) describe this as a “bounded” definition: “that which contradicts the best expert evidence available at the time.” Medical misinformation literature routinely identifies the “best expert evidence” sources against which authors have evaluated possible misinformation. But other important methodological information is often missing: the time boundaries and the contemporaneous positions of the best expert evidence sources. The result: methodological ambiguity and epistemological confusion. In this paper, I will show that multiple COVID-19 medical misinformation papers (including Sule 2023) use negative definitions of misinformation – definitions that would, if taken literally, encompass true statements about SARS-CoV-2 transmission. I will compare the specific misinformation themes discussed in each paper with the broad misinformation definition used. Finally, I will use Vraga and Bode’s concept of “boundedness” to argue that misinformation researchers should explicitly define the topic and temporal scope of the expert positions they are using to operationalize their negative definition of misinformation. In the face of an infodemic, “we know it when we see it” isn’t enough – and such reliance on in-group consensus might actually undermine trust in medical misinformation research. 


Sule, S., DaCosta, M. C., DeCou, E., Gilson, C., Wallace, K., & Goff, S. L. (2023). Communication of COVID-19 Misinformation on Social Media by Physicians in the US. JAMA network open, 6(8), e2328928.  


Vraga, E. K., & Bode, L. (2020). Defining Misinformation and Understanding its Bounded Nature: Using Expertise and Evidence for Describing Misinformation. Political Communication, 37(1), 136–144.

Oh, HSLAP! Forging a Path to the Future for Health Sciences Librarianship

Eugenia Opuda, University of New Hampshire

Rachel Lerner, Rebecca Morin


The NAHSL Health Sciences Library Apprenticeship Program (HSLAP) is a regional 4 month mentorship program for students in MLS programs who have already completed a partial course of formal study. The program helps bridge the gap between MLS education and entry level health sciences library jobs. HSLAP combines 12 weeks of didactic learning interspersed with regular meetings for discussion, expert practitioner lectures, and program review. Mentees also complete a one-week, full-time work placement in a health sciences library with experienced librarians. Mentors and faculty volunteering their time are pulled from the NAHSL membership. This group of skilled health sciences librarians guide learners through the course materials and provide feedback, opportunities to network and learn from other librarians in the regional association, and career advice. The program includes developing artifacts that can be modified or repurposed as part of the job interview process as well as attendance at the annual NAHSL meeting. This presentation reviews the inaugural pilot year of HSLAP, including lessons learned and future plans for the program.

Opening a Path to the Future with an Evidence Based Practice Guide

Jon Eldredge

University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center



To produce a peer reviewed, open access guide to Evidence Based Practice (EBP) for health information professionals and those new to the profession. 


METHODS: Case Report. The MLA Lindberg Fellowship has provided protected time and paid personnel to produce the Evidence Based Practice: A Practical Guide for Health Information Professionals. The recipient conducted a comprehensive inventory of EBP practices in the health information professions’ peer reviewed and grey literature relating to the U.S. This inventory was further informed by the recipient’s 25 years of experience in librarianship and informatics along with their teaching EBP continuing education courses throughout the U.S. and in four other countries. 



The Lindberg Fellowship recipient will present a status report, a peek behind-the-scenes, and previews of the six-chapter EBP Guide at the MLA NAHSL virtual Annual Meeting on November 15, 2023.

Slump: Find Funding and New Friends in a Bad Year

Dina McKelvy



The MaineHealth Library has funded its repository with crumbs for several years. 2023 was supposed to be the year to create a permanent repository staff position. In a severely challenging financial year, we used supportive data and created new partnerships to find sweet success.


Poster Presentations

Available November 13-17


Supporting Health Literacy and Library Programming through the NNLM Reading Club

Bennie Finch

NNLM Region 7 - Lamar Soutter Library at UMASS Chan Medical School


The NNLM Reading Club serves as an online resource for health literacy outreach and engagement with an emphasis on reaching diverse communities through the familiarity of a book club. This online toolkit supports the mission of the National Library of Medicine to promote access, use, and understanding of health information so people can make informed decisions about their health. When selecting health topics and recommending books, the Reading Club aligns with the initiatives and priorities of its sponsoring agency and the important health needs of the communities served. The NNLM Reading Club provides a curated list of health-themed books to facilitate conversations on health and wellness topics. Book suggestions include fiction, memoirs, graphic novels, young adult, and even poetry and short stories. For each topic the team curates free health information from NLM and other trustworthy resources. Using our selection criteria, we choose three books related to that health topic. For each book, customizable marketing materials and a discussion guide are available for download from the NNLM repository making it easy to host a discussion. A new group of books is released about once per month. The team continues to evaluate the success of the program through an IRB approved feedback tool and through tracking the number of downloads and page views, demonstrating the wide reach of these freely available resources. 

Expanding a Graphic Medicine Collection to Reach Nursing and Allied Health Patrons

Kelli Kauffroath, Laura Haines, Alice Stokes

University of Vermont


This poster will describe our experience augmenting a graphic medicine collection through a NNLM Region 7 Collection Equity Award. Prior to receiving the grant, our academic health sciences library possessed a core collection of graphic medicine materials originally designed to support the College of Medicine curriculum and student interest. The grant allowed us to expand our collection to further goals of meaning, inclusivity, and relevance for nursing and allied health students, faculty, and practitioners. We will reflect on our experience of applying for the grant and subsequent application of the funds. The authors will report results from outreach to the College of Nursing & Health Sciences faculty and students, marketing of the updated collection, activities and events designed around the collection, and qualitative and quantitative library statistics such as circulation numbers of titles purchased with grant funds and event attendance. 

Path Unknown: mapping the health information landscape for Mullerian Anomalies in NNLM Region 4

Alyssa Grimshaw, Bethany MacCarter, Nicole Holt, Alla Vash-Margita, Miranda Margetts

Yale Cushing/Whitney Medical Library


Background: Mullerian Anomalies are congenital birth defects affecting reproductive tract found in approximately 5.5% of the general female population. These patients often experience lifelong gynecological comorbidities, so access to accurate and timely information regarding treatment and care for the condition is crucial. Due to inherent challenges with rural healthcare access, those patients in rural areas face greater difficulties in obtaining comprehensive care, highlighting the crucial role of appropriate health information for this population. 


Description: Our project sought to identify health information gaps and opportunities to support education of females diagnosed with Mullerian Anomalies by performing searches of the medical literature, health care system and provider websites, medical association websites, social media, and freely available consumer health resources, such as Medline Plus. The information was compiled, and the NLM’s Health Education Materials Assessment Tool (HEMAT) and Flesch-Kincaid Calculator was used to assess the readability of the resources.


Findings: There was sparse information available to women in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming with 83 websites and 21 online patient social media groups identified. Of the information available, the majority (73.8%) failed to pass HEMAT and 91.3% of the resources found was written for an audience that had a college reading level. 


Conclusion: There is a gap in consumer health information available to women with Mullerian Anomalies in rural parts of the United States. Librarians can leverage expert searching skills to have a key role in public health information and outreach projects. 

NAHSL Health Sciences Library Apprenticeship Program: 2023 Mentee Reflection

Sabrina M. Brown, Elena Schnerr

University of New Hampshire


The NAHSL Health Sciences Library Apprenticeship Program (HSLAP) is a pilot mentorship program for MLS students interested in developing the knowledge and skills to prepare for future opportunities in health sciences librarianship. HSLAP supplements formal library curriculums and minimizes barriers to hiring new graduates in health sciences library positions. This program includes exposing mentees to the basics of evidence-based practice, building skills for search and instruction in a health sciences library setting, introducing mentees to the various roles and responsibilities of a health science librarian, and preparing mentees for a first job/early career interview experience. This is achieved by providing each student with a local mentor; a week of on-site practical education at a mentoring library; and resources such as readings, videos, online courses, professional organization memberships, continuing education opportunities, and projects to facilitate professional development. Mentee deliverables include instructional mini workshops, videos, and guides. This poster will describe current mentees’ reflections on the experiences and outcomes of the program.

A new path to collaboration: the clinical librarian team’s involvement in developing hospital-based care signature pathway

Alyssa Grimshaw, Melissa Funaro, Alexandria Brackett, Janene Batten, Zsuzsanna Nemeth

Yale Cushing/Whitney Medical Library 


Background: Care Signature Pathways (CSP) are an important way for health care systems to provide consistent recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and care management across a wide range of medical conditions and clinical scenarios. Every CSP starts with Clinical Consensus Medical Group gathering relevant medical evidence and practice guidelines. The evidence is then used to map a clinical pathway that Yale New Haven Hospital clinicians can take in order to provide quality health care to patients. 


Description: To systematize the evidence process gathering for the CSP, the clinical librarian team collaborated with CSP leadership to develop a multi-step workflow. A Qualtrics form was developed to track, triage, and better understand the reference requests. The service has led to closer partnerships with quality improvement teams and has increased awareness of library services at Yale New Haven Hospital. 


Conclusion: These pathways ensure that patients receive the best standard of care based on current evidence. Librarians play a key role in the clinical pathway development and ensure evidence-based rigor. 

Reaching Out, Building Up, Moving Forward: DEI Collaboration and the MCPHS Libraries

Natalie Hutchinson

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


In 2021, MCPHS hired its first Chief Inclusion Officer, who introduced a number of DEI initiatives. As these early initiatives were in the planning stages, opportunities arose for the MCPHS Libraries to make connections and to contribute. Among these opportunities was an invitation to collaborate with others on campus to plan, promote, and hold book discussions for the University’s inaugural Juneteenth celebration. This collaboration has led to positive, productive, and ever-growing working partnerships between the Libraries, the Office of Inclusion, and other departments at the University. The Libraries are currently contributing to University DEI efforts around inclusive teaching, program-specific DEI best practices, and co-curricular learning, as well as moving internal DEI projects and initiatives forward. Through this work, the Libraries have become a valued partner in meeting the University’s DEI goals.


Opening a path to the future: introducing the NAHSL Impact Grant

Mike Mannheim, Jessica Kilham, Rachel Lerner, Eugenia Opuda, Paige Scudder,

NAHSL Professional Development Committee

NAHSL will be offering a new professional development award opportunity beginning in 2024. The NAHSL Impact Grant is intended to provide NAHSL members with funding to undertake initiatives that will have a positive and sustainable impact on their libraries or the profession. Initiatives should fall into one of these four impact areas: diversity, equity, inclusion & justice; wellness; accessibility; and open access/open educational resources. A maximum of $1000 may be awarded per project per year, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning January 1, 2024.