Conference Speakers

Program: “From Bringer of Doom to Bringer of Hope”
R. David Lankes, PhD

David LankesBy embedding librarianship directly into patient support and engaging patients as more than symptoms and diseases medical librarians can help the entire field of medicine transition to true patient centered care. In this talk Lankes will draw upon his experience as both a professor of library science and cancer patient to outline a future for librarians in healthcare.

R. David Lankes is a professor and Dean’s Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse. His book, The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. Lankes is a passionate advocate for librarians and their essential role in today’s society.

Program: “JUMP! You’ve Got a Parachute”
Sally Gore, MS, MS LIS

Sally GoreWith the ever-changing face of librarianship, it’s easy to feel anxiety over losing one’s professional identity and place in medical librarianship. The good news, though, is that the skills and expertise of information professionals are incredibly versatile and a big parachute for anyone willing to jump off, out, and into new roles and experiences. The real challenge is being able to recognize both one’s skills and opportunities, and then bringing the two together. It takes some practice, but it can be done.

Sally Gore, MS, MS LIS, is the Research Evaluation Analyst for the University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science, where she leads the assessment efforts and tracks the impact of the Center’s cores and programs, and coordinates the dissemination of this work to different stakeholders. Prior to joining the Center in December 2014, Sally worked for ten years as a librarian in the Lamar Soutter Library, UMass Medical School. She writes a weekly blog of musings about our evolving profession called, “A Librarian by Any Other Name.” (

Program: “Changing Roles, Changing Perceptions: Using Research to Explore and Promote Value”
Melissa Rethlefsen, MLS, AHIP

Melissa Rethlefsen200x444
As librarians, we know our own value. We know what we can contribute to research, education, and clinical care, and we work to promote our value to our colleagues and students. Though we inherently know that we are critical members of our institutions, how do we prove it? Using the case of a growing role for medical librarians in systematic reviews, we will discuss how research can be designed to prove our value. We will also consider the role of librarians in research teams, authorship, and librarians’ own perceptions of their value.

Melissa Rethlefsen is the Deputy Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. Previous to her position at the University of Utah, she worked at the University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library, the Minnesota Department of Health R.N. Barr Library, and the Mayo Clinic. An avid writer and researcher, she has written dozens of articles for magazines and journals, including five research papers in the Journal of the Medical Library Association and her most recent article, “Librarian co-authors correlated with higher quality reported search strategies in general internal medicine systematic reviews,” in Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. She is also lead author of the book, Internet Cool Tools for Physicians. In 2015, she was awarded the Estelle Brodman Award for Academic Medical Librarian of the Year. Her current research is on systematic review methodology and bibliometrics.

Program: “Save Some Nickels: Using Lean Six Sigma to Make Change”
Heather Holmes, MSLIS, AHIP

Heather HolmesThere’s a lot of buzz around Lean Six Sigma these days, and it continues to make its way into healthcare. The basic principle of Lean Six Sigma is to eliminate waste (lean) through a systematic process (Six Sigma). Libraries can learn a lot from looking at their processes through the Six Sigma method of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) and the Lean method of 5s (or 6s) to make things more “lean”, and therefore more efficient – and ultimately end up saving money while providing better service. Doing more with less is nothing new to libraries, but by implementing Lean Six Sigma we will find that things can be efficient and even better for our customers – and for us. This talk will focus on some basic ideas around Lean Six Sigma and hopefully provide some food for thought of how it can be implemented in health science libraries.

Heather N. Holmes, AHIP, is the Clinical Informationist for Summa Health System’s Akron City and St. Thomas Hospitals in Akron, OH. She received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998.  Holmes is a clinical faculty member at Northeast Ohio Medical University in the department of Internal Medicine. She is also a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals and the 2014 recipient of the Lois Ann Colaianni Award for Excellence and Achievement in Hospital Librarianship.

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