The Yin and Yang of NAHSL 2015

November 5, 2015 at 11:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lucinda (Cindy) White is another of our NAHSL winners to receive a Professional Development award to attend our annual conference.  Cindy writes a unique and untraditional blog post about her experiences at the annual meeting.

The Yin and Yang of NAHSL 2015

Blog post by Lucinda (Cindy) White

Eastern Maine Medical Center

Maybe it’s because I’ve been studying t’ai chi for almost two years now and I’m increasingly aware of the presence of yin and yang in my life. Or maybe it’s the seasonal transition and the stark contrast of light and dark that seems to assert itself at this time of year.  Yes, I know the NAHSL conference had a theme, Anchored in Excellence, and I think the conference planning committee did an excellent job using this theme throughout the meeting.  But what I experienced at the conference was a feeling of contrasts.  Here are some examples:

The elegant historic Dorrance restaurant with its amazing stained glass windows and ornate ceilings where we enjoyed meeting up with new and old friends at the Welcome Reception.


The pink and bling of the Providence Place Mall attached to the Omni Hotel. I snuck away for a quick peek (I’m from the boonies of Maine, after all) and felt like I was in a different world.


The pile of cute and fun kids’ books donated to Reach Out and Read RI by conference attendees.


Frances Groen’s (Tuesday’s plenary speaker) reference to the The Leopard, an historical novel set in 1860s Italy, by Giuseppe di Campedusa.  She quoted from it, “If we want things to stay as they are, things have to change.”  I loved that quote.


Michelle Kraft, president of MLA, in black leather jacket and black boots, giving off more energy than 95% of the audience (IMHO).


Amy Dickinson, the first plenary speaker, dressed in old-fashioned shirtwaist dress, and comparing herself to Bunny Watson,the librarian in Desk Set.


“A Book on Every Bed,” the program Amy Dickinson started in Ithaca, NY, which aims to have every child receive a book on Christmas (or holiday celebrated). Amy said,  “The children [wake up] to a gift that will far outlast any toy: literacy.”


Holly Nardini and Lei Wang’s amazing Yale MeSH Analyzer which they released and demonstrated at the papers session. It is amazing!  Check it out at


Of course, contrasts, like all good conferences, are thought-provoking. I think these contrasts (and there were many more) truly reflect the fact that we can be “Anchored in Change.”  As Erika Sevetson said in her welcome, we can be rooted in our values, yet serve as agents of change.

Thank you, NAHSL, for the grant which helped me to attend this meeting.



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  1. Hi Cindy- I like your comparisons but fail to understand the yin & yang of a book on every bed (literacy) and MESH analyzer. I was unable to attend that session, but did see the online link. Sue

    • I meant to show basic vs complex. (Kind of a stretch)

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