Breakout Session Details

Thursday, June 13

Breakout 1 Session A

Diversity health consciousness: Librarians’ holistic approach to addressing social determinants of health in vulnerable populations


Chandrika Kanungo,, Dawn Melberg, and Ana Macias, Kaiser Permanente


The objective of this poster is to present what our Health Sciences Librarians are doing to support access to authoritative, relevant resources and services for our larger organization including Hospital Policy makers, Community Medicine Residents, clinicians and nurses. Medical centers are reshaping the health care process by identifying the unmet needs of vulnerable populations in the communities they serve. It is important to discern the right resources and learn more about the social determinants of health (SDH). To ascertain the broader determinants of health issues, it is necessary to look at the “cause of the causes,” related to health and socio-economic conditions in which people live and work. Methods: Through critical analysis of organizational needs, detailed review of existing resources and identification of gaps we were able to create and acquire resources to ensure our organization has the knowledge and tools necessary to address unmet SDH needs in the vulnerable communities we serve.


    • Creation of Community Medicine/Public Health and other related Subject Guides
    • Collection development efforts focused on the acquisition of titles on Community Medicine, SDH, cultural competency, healthcare inequality, underserved populations and minority health
    • Sponsorship of National Library of Medicine Exhibits which address various social aspects relating to the health of our communities
    • Research to support related clinical care, corporate strategy and research initiatives


    • Understand the needs and priorities of the communities we serve
    • Understand the organization’s SDH related goals and initiatives
    • Identify and disseminate authoritative, relevant resources
    • Integrate within larger organization groups involved in SDH/health disparities/health inequality programs and research
    • Create resources and training opportunities aligned with the organization’s initiatives to ensure decision-makers and clinicians are effective users of appropriate resources

Everyone Has Something to Share and Something to Learn: Using an LMS to Host Collaborative Reference Training for All Library Staff


Anna Ferri,, Roseman University of Health Sciences

The University Library identified a need to develop better training for the non-MLS holding staff members who were triaging basic reference services and conducting referrals. Since staff and librarians at all levels worked shifts at the service desk, the decision was made that everyone, regardless of previous experience, degrees, or job title, would be included in the training. However, there was a basic math problem: two campuses, two states, two time zones, 16 people to be trained, and only one librarian to manage it all! The coordination problem was solved by using the campus Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas. The LMS might have solved the math problem, but it opened a whole other can of worms in using an unfamiliar system when developing training in an efficient and effective manner for a highly diverse learning group.

With a wide variety of skill and experience levels, as well as learning habits and characteristics, the training program needed to respect and integrate the learner’s experience, create opportunities for sharing and collaboration, and be accessible. Mistakes were made. But we also created a new, continuing, online training program based on adult learning principles, a focus on developing a community of practice, and feedback rich assessment. This session will teach key steps (and missteps to avoid) so you can balance the training equation with available resources, critical reflection of your goals and needs, respect for your staff’s skills and knowledge, and hopefully not so much trial and error!

Critical Information Literacy in Health and Medicine


Kenny Garcia,, California State University-Monterey Bay

The presentation will summarily cover possibilities and limitations for critical information literacy in medical and health science library instruction, and builds on previous presentations that discussed professional degrees and critical pedagogy, as well as critical information literacy for professional students. The presentation will include three areas of focus: Access to information; Cataloging & MeSH terms; and Cultural humility. Students in medical and health science programs need access to health information. Similar to other research projects that critique other controlled vocabulary thesauri, MeSH terms need to be examined for effectiveness and accuracy.

The concept of cultural humility was first introduced by healthcare professionals as an alternative to cultural competence, and adds self-reflection and lifelong learning to the work being done on cultural competence. Along with these possible topics of discussion, there is a need to examine limitations for critical information literacy in medicine and the health sciences. One of the limitations is the value placed on evidence-based medicine. Critiques of evidence-based medicine include: Limited, incomplete, and consolidative nature of research on immigrants and communities of color; Narrow definition of evidence; and Patient autonomy. After this session, participants will be able to: -Define possible areas of focus for critical information literacy in medical and health science library instruction -Incorporate critical healthcare practices in their professional and instructional settings -Begin developing critical information literacy sessions for medical and health science courses

Special Content Session 1

Transgender Allyship in Library Instruction


Amy Gilgan,, University of San Francisco

This session will provide an introduction to transgender identities, terminology, and allyship practices. Participants will explore strategies for making library instruction inclusive and welcoming to students on the transgender spectrum.


    • Review terminology surrounding gender identity
    • Learn how to integrate pronoun go-rounds into library sessions
    • Explore methods for discussing problematic subject terms


    • Group activities
    • Reflection
    • Discussion

Results & Conclusions: Participants will gain an understanding of how to create transgender inclusive classes. Additional resources on gender identity will be provided.

Breakout 1 Session B

Critical Data Studies Meets Critical Health Sciences Librarianship: Biomedical Big Data Hacking for Civic Health Awareness


Bethany McGowan, and Danielle Walker, Purdue University

In 2016, Purdue University Libraries launched the Biomedical Big Data Hacking for Civic Health Awareness Project, an initiative focused on teaching research data management competencies and encouraging participants interested in working with big biomedical data to compete in extracurricular, library-sponsored healthcare hackathons and similar biomedical data challenges. Healthcare hackathons are live or virtual competitive events that rely on a multidisciplinary approach to accelerate the innovation of medical solutions and improve healthcare technology design. The project succeeded in its goal of creating biomedical data hacking challenges that attracted a diverse range of participants, including students in health sciences disciplines, early career health professionals, and members of the public. Across the project’s challenges, 28% of participants have been either health professionals or students majoring in health sciences disciplines, 38% of attendees have been women, and 46% have been members of a racial minority group.

In the next phase of this project, we seek to design and launch a course that encourages an interdisciplinary group of students to apply critical pedagogy to big biomedical data, considering questions such as ‘who collects biomedical data?’; ‘where does biomedical data come from?’; ‘what challenges are associated with combining, formatting, storing, and analyzing big biomedical data from different systems?’; ‘who controls and owns biomedical data?’; and ‘what privacy concerns need to be addressed by health professionals using data from patient health records and hospital information systems?’ The researchers hypothesize that a focus on these issues will allow for robust discussions around algorithmic bias, informed refusal, and similar social justice issues.

In this paper presentation, we hope to engage the audience in a discussion around critical data studies and critical librarianship and seek audience feedback on what a course focused on crit lib and critical data science might look like.

Social Justice and Medical Library Institutional Repositories: Tactics and Outreach


Daina Dickman,, Providence St. Joseph Health

Objective: This paper discusses the experiences of an institutional repository (IR) manager at a multi-state health system. Launched in 2018 the IR aims to gather published articles, presentations, posters, etc. produced across the 50+ hospitals in the system. Since the IR is new, there is the opportunity to build social justice and critical librarianship in to the strategic planning from the beginning.

Methods: How can a social justice lens inform what is added to an IR? If an IR aims to collect the entire body of research at an institution what steps can be taken to make sure works promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (both authors and subject matter) are being found? What happens to the work of colleagues at our rural clinics versus the work of colleagues at well-funded research institutes who have the resources to publish articles?

Targeted outreach efforts undertaken to promote equity and representation will be examined, including successes and failures. Outreach at an individual author level, organizational departments, and employee affinity groups will be discussed. While PubMed searches capture most articles for inclusion, outreach and awareness is the main tactic to collect gray literature.

Results: Without targeted outreach efforts and a social justice framework an IR will not provide representation, equity, and inclusion. Having these as part of the launch and strategic planning for the IR creates the space to devote staff time and energy and sees it as an intrinsic goal in the IR.

Conclusions: There are no absolute conclusions, as this is an ongoing approach to medical library IR management and designed to open a conversation. Time will be included for an interactive think-pair share activity. Participants will be invited to brainstorm ideas to incorporate social justice in to medical library institutional repositories and to share experiences from their own institutions.

Historical Explorations and Connections: An Intimate Relationship Between Imperial Knowledge and Medical Libraries


Raymond Pun,, Alder Graduate School of Education

For over a millennium, libraries have advanced research and knowledge of human science by diligently building and preserving collections and rich content. Historically, libraries have also aligned their institutional responsibilities to adhere to and support the values and virtues of empire-building regimes and colonial practices. The global history of libraries in the health and medical sciences can provide a complex study of how libraries have preserved research collections, scientific records and data on colonial subjects. This lightning talk explores the historical relationship between empire-building and medical libraries, and how the latter has been complicit in upholding imperial values and knowledge. The presentation outlines the complicated roles of libraries in shaping and contributing to colonial studies in medical and health science fields and applies critical discourse theory to explore the power structures of medical libraries and their collections in placing and reinforcing imperial values and priorities over human dignity.

Breakout 2 Session A

A Reflection of an Embedded Nurse-Librarian During a Scoping Review and the Development of an Information Toolkit


Christina Wyles,, Sheila M. Gephart, University of Arizona, College of Nursing 

Objective. A retrospective appraisal of a scoping review highlights tangible examples of community engagement and the subsequent bounty of a toolkit that continues to be fruitful.

This chronicle commences with a bedside clinician but transcends to a vision of many with the aim to make a difference in a vulnerable and fragile population. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an insidious disease that afflicts 5-10 % of babies born weighing less than 1500 grams. Specifically, Hispanic and African American infants are at high risk of developing NEC. The NEC-Zero Project is focused on preventing and improving timely recognition of NEC. Current evidence suggests that some NEC risk factors are modifiable and vary from NICUs.

Methods. A critical theory lens examines a scoping review that was guided by the Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) framework and the development of a toolkit for information seekers.

Results. Critique highlights include lessons learned from the scoping review and the subsequent comprehensive technology-enabled and evidence-based toolkit. Findings discussed include 1. Information access (e.g., Spanish translation vetting & website accessibility), 2. Diversifying stakeholder inclusiveness during the scoping review (e.g., NEC parent stakeholders, librarian, and additional bedside nurses), 3. Expanding perspectives and product quality through partnerships and relationships (e.g., NEC-Society & student mentorship), and 4. Increasing reach (e.g., webinars, dual-audience website, infographics).

Conclusions. A critical lens perspective compliments the Translating Science into Practice (TRIP) framework and offers new insights while supporting and enhancing creative ventures and promoting information access.

Broadening the Pipeline: Offering Evidence Based Information Literacy Instruction to High School Health Sciences Magnet Programs in Underserved Areas


Mary-Kate Finnegan,,University of the Pacific

Objectives – Students in underserved non-white areas frequently do not have access to subscription databases or subject specialist librarians. A 2019 EdBuild report found a 23 billion dollar disparity between funding public schools in white neighborhoods and non-white neighborhoods in America and this discrepancy is particularly acute in California where there is an average difference in annual funding of $3,974 per child in poor non-white versus poor white neighborhoods.

It was thought that a health sciences librarian could address one challenge by teaching disadvantaged students attending health science magnet programs to begin to use evidence-based research methods which might both, ease their transition into higher education in the health sciences and improve the quality of their research now.

Methods – Health science magnet programs from across Northern California are invited to visit our university for tours of our health sciences programs. This project was conceived while meeting with a tour. I began offering to visit each school to present one-shot workshops, teaching methods for research that include the following: building a search strategy, understanding levels of evidence, different types of clinical queries, the PICOT method, and where to find high quality, open access resources. This is presented as a class lecture and group activities.

Results – The students express more confidence in searching for health science literature.

Conclusions – Finding quality, accessible evidence is a challenge for health sciences professionals; how much more so for those students without access to subscription databases or subject specialist librarians? Volunteering to work with area high schools that specialize in health sciences can help students get a leg up on the research process and increase their confidence as researchers. The program is new, beginning in 2019, and it is hoped that the workshops will also correlate to higher quality coursework.

Lightning Talks

Getting Started with LGBTQ+ Resources and Programming at Medical and Health Sciences Libraries


Hannah Schilperoort, Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California, Holly Thompson, Wilson Dental Library, University of Southern California

Do you want to support healthcare providers with LGBTQ+ health and cultural competency resources? Not sure where to start?

A librarian will discuss successful collaborations with a medical library and LGBTQ+ organizations to develop programming and resources for LGBTQ+ health and cultural competency for healthcare providers.

The presenter will review two ways for librarians to get involved with LGBTQ+ health and cultural competency at their institutions.
1. Creation of library guides and other resources.
2. Collaboration with LGBTQ+ organizations to develop programming.

Common Ground & the Teachable Moment: What I learned participating in a longitudinal, evidence-based research study, and how I use these experiences in my library practice


Kelli Kauffroath,, CSU Sacramento

Given the sparseness of current literature examining real word strategies for health literacy education, I would like to offer the opportunity for an open conversation about the realities of teaching health literacy in various clinical settings. As a public health nurse, I employed health literacy strategies, and believe there is transferable value to be gleaned by librarians seeking to foster health literacy, agency and empowerment. Librarians, like nurses, are trusted community members who share like-minded goals and a commonality of skills with the clinician: critical thinking, creative work, information management, transfer of knowledge, teaching, assessing, evaluating, facilitating access to information for an improved quality of life, and pursuit of equitable access to minimize disparity. All skills useful in collaboration and implementation of health literacy education.

In support of this discourse, I plan to deliver a Lightning Talk highlighting my experiences as a public health nurse participating in an evidence-based nurse home-visitation program for low-income, first-time mothers. The program provides the client with a nurse who follows them prenatally through their baby’s second birthday. A curriculum of information and learning activities focus on cultivating positive health behaviors, competent care of children, and maternal personal development. This longitudinal research study has proven to be efficacious, achieving positive and sustainable outcomes and behavioral change. The program is illustrative of how health literacy education is done in the trenches using teachable moments in varying contexts. Contextual variation requires individualized teaching techniques and we, as librarians, can offer research and resources that assist the clinician to effectively maximize their teaching strategies.

Funny you should ask…how graphic medicine found me


Elisa Cortez,, University of California, Riverside

This lightening talk will describe our experience integrating graphic medicine (or comics) as an educational tool, developing a dedicated GM collection, the rationale for the collection, general overview and exploration of the ways to integrate GM into med school curricula, collaboration with faculty to promote GM and narrative medicine in the curriculum.

The students participate fully in the curriculum, selectives and a designated emphasis in medical and health humanities are natural places where graphic medicine as an educational tool can be explored. However there was no blueprint on how to proceed. Our students train to work with diverse populations with a strong emphasis in the communities of this region. This region is also my hometown. This project is a work in progress but I’m approaching it with a different lens than before.

Breakout 2 Session B

Scholarly Publishing, Information Dissemination, and Doctor of Nursing Practice Students

Claire Sharifi,, University of San Francisco Gleeson Library

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduates should be prepared to contribute to the scholarly conversation in nursing. DNP degree requirements often include the submission of manuscripts to scholarly nursing journals. These manuscripts, along with the written final DNP Project report, are used to evaluate student scholarship outcomes. However, DNP students may have varying levels of comfort and expertise with scholarly writing and publishing, and students who have been working in a clinical setting for an extended period of time often need support transitioning to an academic environment with a different set of communication practices. For many DNP students, the acquisition of scholarly writing skills is an ongoing process, and depending on their educational and professional experience they may not be ready to submit a manuscript to a scholarly journal when required to by their academic program.

This paper reports on a multi-step project undertaken by librarians and faculty at our institution that aimed to better understand the scholarly publishing outcomes of past DNP students, and to better support the publishing and dissemination endeavors of current and future DNP students. The project included three main components: the evaluation and analysis of the publishing outcomes of all past DNP students; the institution of a program-wide alternative method of disseminating doctoral student work that utilizes the institutional repository; and the development of a written case study and worksheet that aims to advance the publishing literacy of novice authors.

This presentation will address scholarly publishing and information dissemination through a critical lens, and will utilize critical teaching methods, including small group discussion and reflection.

Satisfying the cultural and linguistic competency requirements of Assembly Bill 1195: How hospital librarians support diverse continuing medical education at a major health care institution

Quincy Dalton McCrary,, Scott Boothe, and Eve Melton, Kaiser Permanente


In 2005, the California Assembly passed AB 1195, Coto. Continuing education: cultural and linguistic competency. The bill mandated that all physicians and surgeons practicing in California demonstrate knowledge in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency in the practice of medicine. This is commonly called continuing medical education, or CME. This research will explore hospital librarian’s support of CME in relation to culturally competent care and AB1195 at a large healthcare organization.


This study gathered examples and data of culturally competent education assistance provided by librarians from 2012 to 2019. The authors focused on assistance provided to CME committees, physician speakers, and CME coordinators. A simple survey was distributed to CME departments at affiliated hospitals to determine their knowledge of library services as it relates to AB1195 and cultural competency.

Results: Pending results of survey and data review.

Conclusions: Hospitals continue to care for increasingly diverse populations shaped by patients with varied social and cultural backgrounds. Health professionals must be prepared to provide effective care that incorporates the patient’s health beliefs and linguistic needs in a manner that is culturally responsive and inclusive. Hospital librarians play a major role in the evidence gathering process by supporting health professional’s education. This is supported through literature searches, health disparities analysis, and document retrieval for CME courses which address culturally responsive care. Providing physicians and surgeons with culturally competent information resources serves to not only improve the quality of care provided for these patients, satisfies the mandate decreed with California Assembly Bill No. 1195, but also provides an environment fostering effective care for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities from across California.

A Critical Examination of Crisis Data and Information Sharing in Support of Disaster Relief


Bethany McGowan,, Purdue University

In the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters, first respondents often aggregate data from social media platforms to better understand community response and to determine where help is needed. This approach is especially useful for humanitarian mapping and crisis map construction. However, scraping public-facing platforms for crisis data presents distinct ontological, epistemological, and ethical issues and can lead to the partial, incomplete telling of a story. This paper will present a critical examination of information-sharing and crisis data use in support of disaster relief efforts.

Critical data studies considers the ethical, legal, socio-cultural, epistemological and political aspects of big data and digital infrastructure. It encourages deeper consideration of democratic and participatory approaches to algorithm design and responsible data management, curation and dissemination. Critical data studies offers an ethical lens for considering crisis data use and information sharing, particularly for ontological, epistemological, and ethical issues.

Ontological. Tracking disasters via social media posts and hashtag analysis provide an immediate but truncated understanding of the disaster relief process. This in-the-moment focus makes it difficult to understand the precursors to a disaster event, the long-term disaster recovery process, and post-disaster implications. How can we find the balance between the immediate, short-term benefits provided by social media and the challenges of accurately capturing the total disaster story?

Epistemological. Social media helps illustrate how people communicate during disasters but is prone to bias. Older, less affluent, and vulnerable voices are often missing or underrepresented; Twitter algorithms favor tweets based on the number of followers or social networks, and people tweet in cultural-specific contexts that can be difficult for outsiders to understand. How do we ensure that the voices of the marginalized are heard?

Ethical Issues. How do we respect privacy and consent when scraping and reusing social data that might include personal information?

Breakout 3 Session A 

Hosting a Student Diversity Center in the Medical Library


James Liu,, Colleen Cuddy, and Heidi Heilemann, Lane Medical Library & Knowledge Management Center, Stanford Medicine

In 2016 a need was expressed by medical students for a place where minority students could gather in times of need for support, companionship and comfort. The Diversity Center grew out of this request. This student-run center, which opened in our library in October 2017, provides a space where any member of our community interested in issues of inclusion and diversity can hold meetings and events, or just hang out. This presentation chronicles how our library helped students develop the space and continues to support the center by serving on the Advisory Council, helping create guidelines for use of the space, and working with students to develop a collection of resources for the community served by the Diversity Center. This presentation will share some of the challenges and expectations, as well as recommend best practices for creating and maintaining student-run spaces in a medical library.


Provide a space where any member of our community interested in issues of inclusion and diversity can hold meetings and events or spend time.


Collaborate with students to develop a space and support it by serving on the Advisory Council, helping create guidelines for use of the space, and working with students to develop a collection of resources for the community served by the space.


Since its opening in October 2017, our Diversity Center has served as a popular venue to host meetings and events related to inclusion and diversity. It has been a worthwhile and mutually beneficial collaboration between the library and the community.


Libraries can help promote social justice and practice critical librarianship by providing a space for inclusion and diversity to the community it serves.

Trippin’ into privilege: Critical library instruction with dental medicine students


Xan Goodman,, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of teaching about privilege, race, and concepts of cultural competence and cultural humility over three-years with first-year dental medicine students. This paper will explore the experiences of a health sciences librarian teaching about these themes in an annual one-shot instruction session for a first-year patient communication course. The paper will explore creating lecture content, in class activities, and dental student uptake of this content.

Words matter: Interpretations and implications of “para” in paraprofessional and paralibrarian


Hannah Schilperoort,, Alvaro Quezada, and Frances Lezcano, Norris Medical Library


    1. To determine the identification term or terms (e.g. paraprofessional or library staff) preferred by non-librarian library staff.
    2. To determine how library staff interpret terms, such as paraprofessional or library staff.

Methods: We conducted a literature review to determine terms used to refer to non-librarian library. We identified terms such as library staff, library support staff, paraprofessional, paralibrarian, and nonprofessional. There are no recent studies attempting to identify the terms preferred by library staff. One 1991 ALA study indicated that library staff interpret “nonprofessional” as demeaning, and are divided on “paraprofessional,” with some participants interpreting the latter as demeaning as well.

We created an online survey in Qualtrics with the purpose of identifying current terms preferred by library staff. We distributed via an anonymous link to medical and health sciences library listservs and social media outlets.

Survey participants include full- and part-time medical and health sciences library staff in any non-librarian position. We did not accept responses from librarians.

Results: Two hundred and twenty two (222) people responded to the survey. Results indicate that the number one choice of participants is library staff, preferred over paraprofessional, paralibrarian, and library support staff. Thirty-three (33) of the 105 participants who completed the comments section specifically indicated that “para” in paraprofessional and paralibrarian is either demeaning, degrading, insulting, strange, or confusing, or had never heard of the terms before.

Conclusions: We conclude that terms like “paraprofessional” should no longer be used to refer to non-librarian library staff in literature or by medical and health sciences library organizations, associations, and institutions. Terms like “paraprofessional” and “paralibrarian” may have once made sense due to past library organizational structures, but these terms are now outdated. Library staff is more inclusive and less divisive, encompassing the wide range of non-librarian and librarian positions.

Friday,  June 14                  

Special Content Session 3 

#critlib@work: How Can We Apply #critlib to Our Jobs?

Nisha Mody,, Bethany Myers, Antonia Osuna-Garcia, and Wynn Tranfield, UCLA

 Format: Unconference – All are welcome!

Purpose: This unconference is an interactive forum to provide structure for generating practical ideas to apply critical librarianship in the health sciences.

Description: This special content session will introduce participants to the format of a participatory-style unconference session as we collaboratively imagine ways to implement critical librarianship in the health sciences. After a brief overview of applied critical librarianship, participants will generate topics of discussion, break into groups, and brainstorm ideas to include critical librarianship in various aspects of the work we do. These groups will be facilitated by the authors and, at the end of the session, each team’s strategies will be documented and shared.

Participants will:

    1. Critique our current practices of health sciences librarianship through the lens of critical librarianship.
    2. Translate our existing knowledge and practices into a health sciences critical librarianship framework.
    3. Strategize and document practical ways to incorporate critical librarianship into our everyday work.
    4. Share small group outcomes.

Lunchtime Session: MLA/NNLM Panel

Lunch and MLA/NNLM Panel with a focus on critical librarianship in health sciences libraries,  Amanda Wilson (NNLM) an Beverly Murphy (MLA), Chris Shaffer (moderator)