Nicole Capdarest-Arest: Now a “hip” member of AHIP!

[Posted by Claire Sharifi, on behalf of Nicole Capdarest-Arest]

Inspired by Michelle Lieggi and Michelle Rachal, fellow NCNMLG members who received professional development awards to apply for AHIP status, I similarly was very happy to receive NCNMLG’s support to help me put forward an application for AHIP, Senior Member status. Although I’ve been a medical librarian for over 5 years, the application fee for AHIP credentialing had thus far been a barrier to my putting forward an application. But this year, with the grant received from NCNMLG, I finally had everything it took (medical library experience, publications, CE credits, and the application fee) to apply. I’m proud to say my application was just accepted by the MLA Credentialing Committee, and I can now put “AHIP” in my signature line!

To help others out there who might be thinking about going through the AHIP application process, here are a few tips:

  • Organize! You will need to have evidence of all of your professional achievements. So if you’re thinking of applying for AHIP, start being diligent about organizing and documenting your CE credits, conference attendance, teaching activities, publications, etc. You will have to provide documentation for everything in PDF format. It’s way easier to get it all uploaded into the system if you are very organized and have this all in one place on your computer with a file naming system.
  • PDF compiling software. If you have PDF compiling software (like Adobe Acrobat Pro or similar software), this will be extremely helpful! The submission system asks that you upload supporting documents into as few PDFs as possible. Thanks to having access to good PDF compiling software, I was able to combine all my supporting documentation into one huge PDF, which I then uploaded in one go to the submission system. This made it easier on my end as the submission system can be a little tricky to deal with and, in my opinion at least, it also makes for a more professional looking submission that is easier for the committee to review.
  • Plan time. The submission documentation along with sitting at the computer and actually processing the submission form takes more time than expected. Plan for at least several days (if not months, depending on how much time you can work per sitting), even if you’re already extremely organized as mentioned above. You’ll also need a copy of your diploma or master’s degree transcript, so if you don’t have that already, you may need extra time to contact your university to get that.
  • Self-care. Be patient with the process. Because you may or may not have been organized in the past about collecting evidence for your professional accomplishments, part of the process may be frustrating (i.e., “I know I have that CE certificate somewhere?!). Remember you don’t have to have every single thing you’ve ever done, just as long as you have enough points overall to satisfy the criteria of the level you’re applying for. It’s a good reminder going forward to keep better track of your accomplishments in an organized way. Give yourself breaks when you need to, and know that you’ll get everything done in due time. This credential is for you!

Overall, I’m extremely grateful to NCNMLG for funding my AHIP application. It was a process that, though time consuming, I found extremely rewarding and well worth it.

Nicole Capdarest-Arest, MA(LIS), AHIP

Apply for the MIS/MLA Career Development Grant (Deadline Dec. 1)

The MLA Medical Informatics Section (MIS) awards up to $1,500 to support a career development activity that will contribute to the advancement of the field of medical informatics.  If you’ve been wanting to take a course or attend a conference related to medical informatics but haven’t had the funds, then this is an opportunity worth exploring! MIS membership is a preferred qualification, so as a member you already have a step up on the competition!

The deadline to apply is December 1, 2017. For further information or to apply, go to the grant information page at

Deadline extended for Proposals for the MLGSCA/NCNMLG Joint Meeting 2018

November 15 is the NEW deadline to submit papers, lightening talks, and special content session proposals for the upcoming meeting,  Crossing the Canyon: Bridging Divides and Navigating Waters, January 21 – 24, 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ.

See the meeting website for instruction on where to submit your abstract proposals.

Free Consumer Health Classes for Librarians & Information Professionals

Have you ever thought about pursuing the Consumer Health Information Specialization from the Medical Library Association but didn’t have the money to invest in classes or the time to spend a half-day or a full-day taking courses to reach the goal?

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center is offering a free program to anyone looking to complete the Consumer Health Information Specialization. Made possible by funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region, this program will provide short educational offerings completely ONLINE to help those who may not have time or money to take classes that qualify for the Consumer Health Information Specialization. Through this initiative, participants can obtain all required credits in eight months while taking one or two classes a week, depending on the level of specialization they would like to achieve. For those who do not want to pursue the formal specialization, the program offers an innovative progressive education (discussions) on the general issues of consumer health for librarians, information professionals and any others with an interest.

Here are a few of the discussion topics:

  • What consumer health library services are you ethically and legally able to provide? What you must report, what you cannot report, and what you cannot say.
  • How can your personal beliefs affect your information interactions?
  • How you can work with teachers or healthcare organizations in your community to promote consumer health services?

For more information on this educational initiative, visit, where you can learn more about the primary courses that will be offered by NNLM (all online) and see the full list of the discussion/presentation sessions with NATIONAL leaders.

Public librarians, schoolteachers and others across the country interested in this specialization are encouraged to participate in this specially organized educational opportunity! The one- to two-hour online sessions make it perfect for those with limited opportunity to leave their workplace to further their education.

Those in Louisiana who participate in this program may apply to have the specialization fee waived by following the instructions given on the GeauxConsumerLA program website.For more information, contact Julia M. Esparza, Head of User Education and Outreach Services at LSU Health Sciences Library, at 318-675-4179 or