Hospital Libraries Section – 65th Anniversary Celebration

June 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Professional Development | Leave a comment

I was both an attendee and a presenter at the Hospital Libraries Section’s 65th Anniversary celebration on May 6, 2013.  The celebration began with an ice cream and cake social, sponsored in part by donations from McGraw-Hill, Ovid, and Rittenhouse.  The event was extremely well attended: the line for cake and ice cream/yogurt with assorted toppings, fruit, and coffee/tea stretched 25-deep out into the hallway for at least 30 minutes!   According to one of the wait staff, there were tables and chairs for 120 people, and they were all full.  More librarians stood at the sides of the room.  In addition, there were many others who came for short periods and left in order to attend late-afternoon events.  Helen-Ann Brown Epstein estimated that attendance could have been as high as 250 people!  The group was congenial and everyone was in a celebratory mood.  Each attendee received a pin to commemorate the Hospital Libraries Section’s 65th Anniversary.

One wall of the meeting room was decorated with the HLS Scroll of Exemplary Service, which displayed the names of 200 individuals who have made significant contributions during the period of 2002-2013.  A table of beautiful afghans and children’s books which were crafted and donated by HLS members was placed in one corner of the room.  These special gifts will be taken to the Ronald McDonald House in Boston.

Claire Joseph, outgoing Chair, opened the meeting and welcomed attendees.  There was a very brief business meeting, during which Claire pointed to the Scroll of Exemplary Service and asked members to nominate their colleagues.  She also announced the names of the 2013 recipients for several awards.  Sharon Easterby-Gannett, Carole M. Gilbert, and Maura Sostack received the Publication Award.   S. Layla Heimlich received the Leadership Award.  Donna M. Belcinski was presented with the “Catch a Rising Star” Award; this award includes a free one-year membership to the Medical Library Association’s Leadership and Management Section.  At this time, Claire Joseph handed the gavel to the incoming Chair, Helen-Ann Brown Epstein.  Helen-Ann thanked Claire Joseph for her leadership during the past year and presented her with an award as a token of appreciation.  Helen-Ann also announced that the MLA Board has endorsed the establishment of the Ysabel Bertolucci Annual Meeting Scholarship Grant, which will award up to $1,000 to a librarian with interests in consumer health, hospital librarianship, international cooperation, or nursing informatics.  She urged members to contribute to endow this grant by making donations at the MLA Scholarship Booth in the Exhibit Hall.

At the end of the festivities, Helen-Ann Brown Epstein introduced Sheila Hayes and Barbara Davis, who, along with nurse and librarian colleagues, presented selected segments and scenarios from three plays that were written to teach about difficult topics in nursing.  Sheila introduced Margo Coletti and Mimi Guessferd, who were librarian co-playwrights; she also introduced nurses and co-playwrights Joyce Coryea and Jackie Skeith, who came from Portsmouth, NH in order to participate in the afternoon’s play production.  A scene from a play on MRSA and infection control was presented first, followed by a longer scene from a play on lateral violence in nursing (bullying).  Both of these plays have been published in the Journal of Hospital Librarianship.  These two scenes were followed by two vignettes that were taken from the HIPAA Soap Opera, which playwrights hope will be published in 2014.  Interspersed between play segments (during costume changes), Sheila and Barbara gave a history of how these plays came into being.  They gave a birds-eye view of the series of twelve performances that have been done in the last six years. They discussed their success in working with nurses and other hospital staff and the important relationships that were formed when nurses and librarians worked together.  They listed some of the lessons they have learned from using the play format as a teaching tool for education on difficult topics that have been selected by hospital staff as being important for their work.

It was an interesting experience to be both an attendee at the HLS 65th Anniversary event and a presenter.  I would encourage anyone who has an interest and an idea for hospital outreach to consider presenting it at a Medical Library Association meeting or at a Hospital Library Section event.

Barbara B. Davis
Newport, RI


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