Conference Speakers


Program: “Understanding Work Practices to Improve Information Services in Health Sciences Libraries                                                                                        

Nancy Fried Foster


Libraries enjoyed a long period of stability, when a new library could look and work just like an older library, but over the past few decades this has ceased to be the case. As things change, we can try to convince people to keep using library resources, spaces, and services as before; or we can make a “best guess” about what they need and make some changes; or we can go out into the community and talk to people to find out what they are really doing and what they really need. In this talk, Nancy Fried Foster will describe how this last approach has been used in academic and medical libraries and the benefits that can come from it.

Nancy Fried Foster, Senior Anthropologist at Ithaka S+R, pioneered the ethnographic study of libraries at the University of Rochester with Susan Gibbons and David Lindahl. Her books include The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem (with Patricia A. Steele and others), Studying Students: A Second Look, and Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester (edited with Gibbons). Nancy has extensive experience facilitating technology and space design projects at colleges and universities in the US and abroad, including Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, and many others.

Program: “Humour and creativity in library marketing”

Sandy Iverson, MEd, MLIS


This talk will explore the value of stepping outside of the box, and possibly your comfort zone, when planning library marketing campaigns.  Drawing heavily on her own experiences at St. Michael’s Hospital library the speaker will explore the value of using humor to engage people in the library’s message.  She will demonstrate a number of practical tools, unique branding samples, and humorous videos and discuss her library’s experience using creative marketing techniques to improve both staff and client engagement.

Sandy Iverson is Manager of the Health Information and Knowledge Mobilization program at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto where she has been employed since 2010.  She holds graduate degrees in Library Science and Adult Education.  Her career in library and information services has included positions as diverse as managing learning centres for English as a second language students; selling library information and technology services to libraries; writing eLearning curriculum for public librarians; managing academic and health sciences libraries; and providing information and communication consulting services to non-profit organizations.  She has presented on library marketing at the Ontario Library Association Superconference in 2015 and 2016 and at the Library Marketing and Communication Conference in Dallas in 2015.  The St. Michael’s Hospital Library won the 2014 Wolters Kluwer “Secrets to Successful Rollouts” video contest.  Her other research interests include health and information literacy, measurement and evaluation, and bibliotherapy.  Sandy is also a practicing psychotherapist in the province of Ontario.

Program: Reach Out Across Your Organization with Information and Compassion

Jill Hurst-Wahl, MLS

jill-hurst-wahlAs librarians, we’re working to get out of the library and bring our knowledge, skills and abilities to those who need it.  As humans, we are working in organizations that are stressed and with people who are under pressure.  While we need to be empathetic, we also need to give ourselves the physical, mental and emotional space we need, so that we can do our work well.  We will explore outreach and the need for self-care, which goes with it.

Jill Hurst-Wahl is an associate professor of practice in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and the director of its M.S. library and information science program, which includes MSLIS: School Media.  A former corporate librarian, Jill has always been an advocate for expanding career opportunities for those with a passion for information.  She is a member of the USNY Technology Policy and Practices Council.  Her interests include copyright, the use of social media, and the future of the profession.  She can be found online at

Program: “The Inside Track on Wikipedia for Medical Librarians”

Lane Rasberry


Wikipedia has been one of the most consulted sources of medical information for a generation. Despite popularity among readers, Wikipedia has a challenging relationship with libraries in its place among other reference works. This talk explores the extent to which Wikipedia matters in health science communication and what precedent exists for medical libraries responding to Wikipedia in a way that complements other library resources. Examples for general new media concepts are illustrated with Wikipedia’s own medical content as a way of critiquing Wikipedia’s scope, depth, and accuracy.

Lane Rasberry is Wikipedian-in-residence at Consumer Reports, a United States-based non-profit consumer advocacy organization. His interests include clinical research, access to science information, public health, and consumer rights.

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