December 2020, No.152



Humor is one way I have tried to cope with loss and uncertainty this past year. My current favorite meme includes the Grinch saying, “2020. Stink. Stank. Stunk.”

Connecting with family, friends, and colleagues, whether virtually or masked, has also helped me feel steadier this year. That is why CAHSLA’s recent Holiday Meeting lifted my spirits. A big thanks to Amy Koshoffer for organizing this event and thank you to everyone who attended! I was inspired by the generosity of CAHSLA members and Melanie Moore, of Cincy Book Bus, to donate over $2,000 worth of books to Lighthouse Youth & Family Services. I loved that we were able to partner with two local organizations for this event. In the socializing part of the meeting, Amy led the group in sharing stories about our treasured holiday items. While we didn’t get to meet in person, Emily Kean made a good point that we would not have shared these windows (aka: screens) into our home lives otherwise.

Although we are physically separated, we can still offer our expertise and assistance to each other. In CAHSLA, we support each other; and for that, I am grateful.

Cheers to a better year!

Jennifer Pettigrew, President

Secretary’s Report

Holiday Meeting

Date: December 8, 2020

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location: Webex

Attendees: Jennifer Pettigrew; Amy Koshoffer; Emily Kean; Cara Yurkowski; Alex Herrlein; Barbarie Hill; Lisa McCormick; Regina Hartman; Barb Slavinski ; Edith Starbuck; Melanie Moore [guest]

Amy Koshoffer welcomed everyone to the holiday gathering. The meeting this evening includes: a presentation by Melanie Moore about her business, The Book Bus and CAHSLA’s 2020 holiday book drive for Lighthouse Youth Services, and one or more holiday themed games.

Melanie gave us an overview of her now two-year old business, The Book Bus. As a teacher facing retirement, Melanie always wanted to own a book store. The book, Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley, a story about a ‘spinster’ who buys a book shop on wheels in the early twentieth century was always a favorite of Melanie’s. So, when she saw the old VW minivan/bus sitting in the driveway, her book store on wheels took shape. Her desire not to be tied down to a brick and mortar store after decades of teaching and her decision to have a book bus worked in her favor when the pandemic hit. Still, her business model has changed greatly by the pandemic. In addition to selling books, Melanie has expanded her reach beyond Cincinnati through a book club on FaceBook.
At the heart of her business is a commitment to give back to the community through her book donations and collaboration with other like-minded entrepreneurs such as the Blue Manatee book store in Oakley. Her most significant donation of books has been to Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). You can read more about Melanie and the Book Bus in a June 2020 Forbes article by Rachel Kramer Bussel, Why a Retired Cincinnati Teacher Started the Book Bus, A Mobile “Bookstore on Wheels”.

Melanie explained how her donation model works. Currently CAHSLA members have purchased 34 books in the amount of $557.34. Melanie will match that amount in donations to Lighthouse Youth Services (LYS). As the conversation continued, Melanie began to think that LYS could be the recipient of her monthly donation based on her December sales. She will keep us posted on this possibility.

The program turned to individuals sharing significant Christmas items from their homes with an accompanying story. We also shared our favorite Christmas/holiday book, album, song, or movie/television special. Standouts include: Jingle, the Christmas Clown by Tomie De Paola; The Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore; A Christmas Album Socks by J D McPherson; Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers performance of I'll Be Home for Christmas; and the upcoming Call the Midwife annual Christmas Special on PBS. Additionally, people shared about significant decorations from their home, everything from a rock ornament to a clock that plays Christmas carols on the hour.

A discussion about a local candy and ice cream shop, Schneider’s in Bellevue, KY ignited the idea for a 2021 gathering on Schneider’s patio, preferably when it is “ice ball season.”

As the evening began to wind down, Emily noted that our sharing of personal stories as we did this evening would not have happened if we had our traditional, in-person holiday gathering.

Respectfully submitted, Lisa McCormick, Secretary

Book Drive - Update

The annual holiday book drive exceeded expectations – in spite of or because of the pandemic. Our holiday gathering has traditionally been the time we gathered children’s books from members for our designated non-profit. The holiday gathering was an opportunity to revisit some much loved classics and discover new gems in children’s literature in between eating and holiday games.

The 2020 book drive was in doubt. If we wouldn’t be gathering in person, how could we collect books? Enter Melanie Moore and The Book Bus. CAHSLA members purchased 37 books for $595.95. Some of the books purchased were for personal use, while others were purchased specifically to donate to this year’s recipient, Lighthouse Youth Services. Typically, Melanie will match in donations dollar-for-dollar the amount of books purchased when a book donation is sponsored. At our virtual holiday gathering, however, Melanie offered to make Lighthouse Youth Services her monthly donation recipient along with CAHSLA.

We are delighted to learn that Melanie delivered approximately 350 books to LYS. Our annual holiday book drive was a catalyst for nearly $3,000 worth of books donated to the children who receive services from LYS.

Sarah Elam, Lighthouse Youth Services, accepts donated books from CAHSLA and The Book Bus

 Treasurer/Membership Chair Report

2020-12-18 CAHSLA Treasurer Report


as of 10/02/2020:



Membership Dues (2)






Memorial Gift






as of 12/18/2020:



as of 10/02/2020:









as of 12/18/2020:



as of 12/18/2020:


















7 Regular (Paid)

0 Student (Paid)

11 Life Members


Respectfully submitted, Emily Kean, Treasurer



Congratulations to Don Jason (UC Donald Harrison HSL) on the publication of his “I Am MLA” profile. Don was CAHSLA president for the 2016/2017 association year.


COVID-19 Information for Health Information Professionals

The Medical Library Association is maintaining a curated page on information of interest to librarians regarding developments and updates related to COVID-19. “This list has been created from crowdsourced suggestions from MLA members and other health information professionals on the front lines of providing information.” The list is updated at least weekly.

Midwest Chapter MLA Launches Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Action Committee

According to the MC/MLA webpage:

The newly created Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Action Committee is made up of six members and is currently setting goals and planning for 2021. We hope to begin our work by evaluating the demographic make-up and needs of Midwest MLA and using that information to inform our future projects. [

Our committee meetings are open for non-committee members to attend: please reach out to Caroline Allen at Caroline-Allen@uiowa.edu for the meeting link. We welcome the insights and ideas of our chapter members. [Posted on December 10, 2020 by Liz Lyman]

COVID-19: Library/Librarian Impact

The Krafty Librarian blog published several insightful articles on the impact of COVID-19, including: Hot Financial Mess, Things I’ve Learned Managing a Library During this Crisis, and Working From Home During a Pandemic. Some of the reflections may sound familiar and/or may offer support for those navigating their work from home. However, reading the Hot Financial Mess article sparked feelings of dread and fear. Health sciences libraries, especially in hospitals, have lived with financial threats and uncertainty for decades. According to Hot Financial Mess hospitals and health systems are facing unimaginable financial losses. Librarians used past changes to demonstrate their worth and significance to the organization and its faculty or staff in a myriad of ways – just visit an MLA poster session to see librarians from academia and hospitals detailing their research and data for value-added services. But this time, this change seems different – libraries ARE at a tipping point.

Confronting the tipping point for libraries is just what the article Visions of Success: Academic Libraries in a Post COVID-19 World by Christopher Cox and Elliot Felix on the LJ – Library Journal site does. As the authors point out, the virus is accelerating changes libraries had already initiated.

Cox and Felix have taken on the task of envisioning the future of academic libraries in a post-COVID-19 world. They offer six visions (scenarios) of expanding the library's role as "centers of student success; making archival materials, research assistance, and programming more accessible; and foregrounding collaboration between students, faculty, and librarians." 

Ohio Library Systems Receive National Recognition

Ohio is rich in libraries and library patrons love their libraries. A Columbus Dispatch article reported that 31 of Ohio’s library systems received a star rating in the 13th annual Index of Public Library Service. The ratings report, released by Library Journal, uses data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to measure “measures libraries and library systems across the country and rates them on a three-to-five-star scale based on circulation, visits, program attendance and internet use to provide an overall indication of how libraries stack up to their peers nationally.” The library systems recognized are in central Ohio. New York was number one in the rating system, Ohio second, and Iowa third.

Oxford Word(s) of the Year

Annually, we anticipate that the lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary will announce the word, or sometimes, phrase of the year. However, 2020 with the pandemic, social unrest , and natural disasters, it was impossible for OED to select a single word or phrase. “I've never witnessed a year in language like the one we've just had," said Oxford Languages President Casper Grathwohl in a statement. "It's both unprecedented and a little ironic — in a year that left us speechless, 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other." Instead, OED chose to highlight dozens of terms including "Black Lives Matter," "Blursday," "coronavirus," "lockdown," "social distancing" and "systemic racism." Read more about the Word of the Year at NPR.org.

Game Day – Fun with Online Games and Puzzles

LJ – Library Journal wants to help you keep your mind active by providing a list of online puzzles and games. Most are free, but some may have a charge, so look carefully at the small print. Check out the list: Enjoyable Games and Puzzles

Garbage in: dodgy academic journals
Economist Espresso, December 23, 2020 

"...some authors seek to pad thin résumés by publishing underwhelming, repetitive or fake research. This mostly appears in “predatory” journals, which make use of the popular “open-access” model—charging fees to authors, rather than to readers—to publish any old tosh for money. Cabells, a firm that maintains a blacklist of such journals in English, reckons some 1,000 existed in 2010. Today there are at least 13,000. Cabells uses criteria such as missing back-issues to spot frauds. Poor spelling or offers of speedy publication prompt further investigation. The average predatory journal publishes less than half the output of a reliable title, according to Bo-Christer Björk of Helsinki’s Hanken School of Economics. And 60% of papers in such journals receive no future citations, against 10% of those in credible ones. That still leaves 250,000 questionable articles per year that do get cited. "

Male ego: self-promotion in research papers
Economist Espresso, December 23, 2020

"A recent study in the BMJ , a medical-research journal, suggests men are more likely to promote themselves than women are. By examining the language of the titles and abstracts of more than 100,000 clinical-research articles, researchers separated those in which both the first- and last-named authors were women from those in which one or both were men. (The first is often a more junior researcher who led the work, while the last is usually a senior scholar who guided it.) They found articles with either a first or a last male author were likelier to describe their work in positive terms. “Novel” was the most common self-applied positive term, and those papers with a male first or last author used the word 59.2% more than women-women papers did. “Promising” was even more skewed. The researchers further found that self-promotion can help careers, being associated with a greater number of subsequent citations."

You’ve got mail – 2020 style


Final Thoughts

"Nobody who has gone into medicine ever thought they would be providing care in a parking garage," said Jacob Keeperman, an intensive care unit doctor at Renown Health. [Nevada Hospital Treats Patients in Hospital Garage

Image of the Great Conjunction, AKA, the Christmas Star

December 21, 2020 – Solstice. The Light will win.