October 2023, No.163


We recently met for our annual CAHSLA Executive Committee transition meeting at Dusmesh restaurant in Clifton, which has become a fun tradition.
  We haves several new faces on the Executive Committee, which leaves me feeling very confident about the future of our little stalwart organization. With the new faces, come lots of new and exciting ideas as well.

For our kickoff membership meeting, we’re going to tour the Rubenstein Library at Cincinnati Children’s on November 1st. If you’ve not yet been there, it’s such a fun, unique medical library – you’re in for a treat! And, of course, we will enjoy good food and great community, as well.

We typically talk about the benefits of “networking” as a reason for joining CAHSLA, but I think I’m going to start referring to the benefit of our community. CAHSLA is more than just “networking.” One of my first roles in CAHSLA was on the program committee with Val Purvis, who recently passed away. I was young and nervous to step out of my comfort zone volunteering for something new. Those of you who knew Val know that I had absolutely nothing to be nervous about. She was so welcoming and gave me a tour of one of the iterations of the Children’s Library space. Val served so many roles over the decades for CAHSLA, and she will be deeply missed.

The people and the CAHSLA community are what keep me coming back year after year. Whether you are a new or a returning member, I hope that you consider joining us at an upcoming meeting.

Emily Kean, President

Treasurer's Report



as of 06/16/2023:



1 Membership









as of 10/23/2023:



as of 06/16/2023:







as of 10/23/2023:



as of 10/23/2023:



Regular (Paid)


Students (Paid)


Life Members





Respectfully submitted,
Emily Kean, Treasurer

CAHSLA Membership Meeting

Please join your CAHSLA colleagues on Wednesday, November 1st for our annual membership kick-off meeting for the 2023-2024 Association year. Dinner will be courtesy of CAHSLA! Our host will be Matthew Cooper, MLIS, Library Director, The Rubinstein Library at Cincinnati Children’s. If you did no receive your invitation, please contact Emily Kean.

WHEN: November 1st, 2023 at 5:30 PM
WHERE: The Rubinstein Library
3430 Burnet Ave., 3rd Floor Cincinnati, OH 45229 Phone: 513-636-4626

Midwest Data Librarian Symposium 2023 Hosted at University of Cincinnati

Amy Koshoffer, Assistant Director, Research and Data Services, UC Libraries

Together with The Ohio State University Libraries and Miami University Libraries, UC Libraries hosted the Midwest Data Librarian Symposium from October 9 to October 11, 2023.  The symposium is an unconference focused on practical approaches and knowledge sharing.  The attendees (54 total represented by 46 information professionals and 8 students) came from coast to coast with the majority of people coming from the Midwest and Plains states.

1- MDLS 2023 Attendance by State – map credit – Amy Koshoffer

The conference featured many short presentations, lightning talks, lessons learned discussion, and a keynote talk entitled “When Data Is People: Ethics and Ownership in Research and AI Uses of Public Data” presented by Casey Fiesler, Associate Professor at University of Colorado Boulder.  The conference featured so many sessions that Day 2 had two concurrent tracks held in two separate spaces. Many of the talks including the keynote were live streamed so that colleagues who could not travel to Cincinnati could also participate. 

The joint sponsorship of the conference made it possible for the conference to be free and many of the meals were provided as well as swag such as stickers and heat activated pencils.

2 - MDLS 2023 sticker – design credit- Ana Munandar

Our visiting colleagues had much praise to offer our city, the UC campus and library spaces, and the conference itself.  Many presentations from the conference are in the OSF for Meeting instance. I personally presented the workshop “A Crowd-Sourcing Examination of Challenging Data Management Use Cases “where I highlighted some of my own difficult data management consultations as well as resources for new data services librarians to connect into the knowledge and experiences of our regional colleagues. 

The conference also saw the return of Jamene Brooks Kieffer and her insightful conference closing.  This year’s closing was entitled “Mentorship is a verb” where mentorship is defined as “professional working alliance, supporting partners through career and psychosocial support”.  Jamene took attendees on a deep dive into their mentorship practices and the network that supports their work. 

It was so great to have our colleagues come in person.  Every attendee was fully engaged, making for great conversation, networking and new friendships forged.  The MDLS 2024 will be hosted by the University of Kansas libraries. 

3-Presentation in Visualization Space - GMP Library – photo credit – Marcia Johnson

4-Student Presentation to MDLS 2023 - photo credit- Amy Koshoffer

Reflections on a Library Survey
Jennifer Pettigrew, MLIS, AHIP and Lisa A. Raney, MSLS

In 2022, The Christ Hospital Health Network’s James N. Gamble Library staff noticed low engagement from The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences (TCCNHS)1 students, faculty, and staff.,2. Usage of the Library’s services and resources had not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Library staff decided to create a survey to measure students, faculty and staff’s awareness and usage of the Library’s services and resources; perceived and actual barriers to accessing the Library’s space and services; and learn what we could do that would be most useful to users (for e.g., create a library app to help users more easily access Library resources, increase our presence at the college, etc.). Additionally, we wanted to know whether the survey data would support the purchase of a single sign-on solution to replace IP-authentication, a known barrier to accessing electronic resources.

To start, our Library Manager reached out to TCCNHS’s Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness to ask for assistance with designing a survey. Before our initial meeting with the Associate Dean, library staff conducted a literature review to get an idea of what questions to include in the survey. It was helpful to work with someone with more experience creating surveys and a non-Library staff member who provided a slightly different perspective. The Associate Dean created the survey using SurveyMonkey and emailed the surveys to the appropriate groups.

The surveys developed for students and faculty/staff were identical aside from the demographic questions and two different open-ended questions. The open-ended questions for students asked what they would change about the Library and what additional services they would like the Library to provide, while the open-ended questions for faculty/staff asked how library resources have supported teaching and/or student learning, and what additional services would be helpful to support teaching and/or student learning.

In November 2022, the surveys were sent to each respective user group with a two-week submission window. Students who completed the student survey had the option to submit their e-mail address to be entered into a drawing to win a gift card.

Follow-up surveys were sent in April 2023 to gauge the impact of our Library interventions following the results of our initial survey.

In October 2023, we sent out both surveys again with only minor changes, with plans to send out follow-up surveys again in spring 2024. The only changes we made to the survey were adding two additional proposed interventions.

If your library is thinking about making a library survey, here are some lessons that we have learned along the way. We hope that they help you avoid some of the same issues that we experienced.

SurveyMonkey is not completely anonymous because it records IP addresses. Our first two Library surveys were created by the TCCNHS Associate Dean of Institutional Effectiveness in SurveyMonkey. When we received the data, it included the information for each response including IP address, time stamp, and survey answers on the same line. Because students submitted their email addresses to be entered into the prize drawing, we could have matched responses with email addresses. We did not do that because we did not want to infringe on their privacy. If we were to use SurveyMonkey again, we would have worked to find a creative solution to separate email addresses from survey data – such as having a link to an external form where participants could enter their e-mail address.

Send out the survey during the middle of the semester. We were delayed in sending out the survey as early as we would have liked due to time constraints following our long-time manager’s retirement. We believe that we did not have as many student responses in April 2023 because the survey was sent out at the end of the semester. Ideally, the survey would have been sent out in the beginning or middle of the semester to capture more responses, because that is a time when students, faculty, and staff are more regularly checking their e-mail.

An understaffed library cannot implement as many interventions. After the first survey results were collected, our long-time Library Manager retired. As a result, we did not have the capacity to do as much classroom instruction or webinars and we could not be as present at TCCNHS as we had planned. What we were able to do was create and post flyers advertising the Library’s resources and services in the College and Commons3 and host a Library Open House during National Library Week in April 2022. We also found that the Library survey itself served as an intervention. By listing all of the Library resources and services, the survey raised awareness of our offerings to students, faculty, and staff who may not have known what the Library offered or that the Library services and resources were available to them.

Timing can foil the best laid plans. We came so close to purchasing Open Athens, a single sign-on solution in the beginning of 2023, but did not receive final approval due to uncertainty about the Library’s future following our Library Manager’s retirement. Administration asked us to put the project on hold while they pursued all available options. We were given permission to resume our pursuit of Open Athens in fall 2023; our argument for purchasing the product was strengthened by the results of the Spring 2023 survey.

Make sure that you have administrative access to the survey. After the Associate Dean who initially helped us create the survey found a new job outside of TCCNHS, we no longer had access to the backend of the survey. For the third survey, Library staff took ownership of creation of the survey. We decided to use Microsoft Forms to more easily update the survey questions and have immediate access to the data.

Another set of eyes catches survey mistakes and omissions. Triple-check the survey questions before sending it out.

We hope our experience helps your library create a well-thought-out survey. We are happy to talk more about it you have any questions! 

1. For most of 2022, the Library Staff consisted of one full-time Library Manager and two Electronic Resources Librarians (one full-time and one part-time). Beginning mid-December 2022, the Library Staff consisted of two Electronic Resources Librarians (one full-time and one part-time).

2. The Christ Hospital and The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences are part of The Christ Hospital Network in Cincinnati, Ohio.

3. The Christ College Commons is an additional location of The Christ College of Nursing & Health Sciences, located approximately one mile from The Christ Hospital and The Christ College of Nursing & Health Science’s main campus. It consists of classrooms, faculty offices, a kitchenette, and a gathering space. 

In Memoriam


Val Purvis

CASHLA Picnic, Daniel Drake Park. Val is in the back row, third from the right

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of long-time CAHSLA member Val Purvis. Val most recently was the Circulation Desk Supervisor at the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library of the University of Cincinnati.

Val had a long history of working in medical libraries having spent time at the Deaconess Hospital Library and Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center Library. Additionally, she was a most welcome volunteer at The Jewish Hospital Mercy Health Sciences Library for a time as she was transitioning between jobs.

Val had many interests including being a well-respected dog trainer in Cincinnati and Hamilton dog clubs. She also showed her dogs and had trained several of them for agility competitions. She also enjoyed horses and was always up for a trail ride. She loved skiing with friends at Perfect North Slopes. For many years, Val was involved with the local community theater group, Footlighters.

We will miss Val’s quick and quirky sense of humor, her warm and welcoming smile, and her kind and generous spirit. We extend our sincere condolences to her family and her many friends. No services are planned at this time.

In Other News

According to the UC News website  “ Elizabeth Kiscaden, MLIS, AHIP, has been named dean and university librarian of the University of Cincinnati Libraries, effective Aug. 14, pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees.”

Kiscaden may sound familiar to some active in the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association. She was associate director of the Greater Midwest Regional Office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.  She also served as the Library Director of the Luise V. Hanson Library at Waldorf College and was Medical Librarian at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa.

Prior to her appointment at UC, Kiscaden was the university librarian and assistant vice provost of library services at Creighton University.

NLM’s LitVar 2.0 Provides More Accurate & Comprehensive Way to Search for Genetic Variants in Biomedical Literature

June 07, 2023

A team of researchers from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Broad Institute developed an improved web-based system, LitVar 2.0, to help researchers and clinicians search for genetic variants and related information in the biomedical literature. A paper about this powerful LitVar 2.0 system was published in Nature Genetics.

... In addition to improved variant recognition accuracy and the inclusion of variant information from article supplementary data, LitVar 2.0 features more powerful search capabilities, and a redesigned user interface for more convenient results navigation compared with its original system. As of May 2023, LitVar 2.0 indexes approximately 15million unique variants found in the entire biomedical literature and is linked in resources such as dbSNP, ClinVar, and ClinGen.

To learn more about LitVar 2.0 and its features, watch this video.


June 2023, No.162

I’d like to thank everybody who was able to come to the summer picnic at Mt. Storm Park. Like last year, it was a beautiful, windy day with great company. Thank you to Emily for all of your work in planning the event, and to everybody who brought all of the food!

Amy was right when she said that President is the easiest job at CAHSLA. It’s the work of the Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President that keep CAHSLA together and alive. Thank you Lisa for taking notes and effectively maintaining our structure and history. Thank you Emily for pulling double duty as Treasurer and Vice President this past association year. You managed our bank accounts, arranged meetings, coordinated dinners, and most importantly, brought the plates (inside joke!). Thank you to Barbarie and Lisa for continuing to publish the Chronicle, for your reminders for articles, and for being nice to me even when I’m late.

It's been a joy to serve as CAHSLA President for the last year. Please join me in welcoming the new CAHSLA officers: Emily Kean (President), Lynn Warner (Vice President), Emily Kean (Treasurer (she really likes it!!), and Matthew Cooper (Secretary). I’m excited to see what’s in store for the new association year!


 Secretary Report

Date: April 27, 2023
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Walnut Hills Branch Library, Cincinnati, Ohio
In Attendance: Alex Herrlein, Jim DaMico, Lynn Warner, Matthew Cooper, Lisa McCormick, Emily Kean, Alex Temple, Edith Starbuck

The annual CAHSLA business meeting was held at the newly renovated Walnut Hills Branch of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library.

Attendees enjoyed ‘create your own’ Chipotle burrito/bowl bar courtesy of CAHSLA.

A brief business meeting was led by Emily Kean. As treasurer, Emily is concerned about the fee we incur from PayPal to process membership dues. The fee will begin to cut into the treasury in the next 1-2 years. Several alternative payment options were discussed, as well as, increasing the convenience fee we charge members to use PayPal. No decision was arrived at after the discussion.

Emily announced that the election for 2023-2024 officers would be conducted within the next month. Emily described the responsibilities for each office. In addition, it was stated that holding a leadership position has benefited those seeking AHIP certification and academic promotions. Those interested in running for office are encouraged to contact Emily.

Lisa McCormick invited contributions to the Chronicle and announced the deadline date will be June 26; 2023.

A round-robin commenced with those in attendance sharing information about programs and activities at their libraries. 

Date: June 15, 2023
Time: 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Location: Mt. Storm Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
In Attendance: Jennifer Pettigrew and guest, Abrams Pari, Regina Hartman, Edith Starbucks, Sharon Bressert, Barbara Slavinski, Lisa McCormick, Alex Temple, Emily Kean, Lisa Raney

The annual CAHSLA end-of-the-year pot luck picnic was held at beautiful Mt. Storm shelter.

After enjoying fried chicken courtesy of CAHSLA and a variety of side dishes and desserts, we addressed business items. Emily Kean announced the results of the election. Lynn Warner (UC Libraries) is president-elect and Matthew Cooper (CCDD) is secretary.

Emily presented out-going president Alex Temple with a gift certificate and the gratitude of CAHSLA for his leadership and service. Alex presented Emily Kean, president-elect, and Lisa McCormick, secretary, with gifts in appreciation for their support and service.

Concluding the announcements, those in attendance enjoyed more conversation and desserts (the drumsticks and popsicles were a huge hit!)

Respectfully submitted by Lisa McCormick, Secretary

Treasurer Report

2023-06-16 CAHSLA Treasurer Report


as of 04/10/2023:



1 Membership












as of 06/16/2023:



as of 04/10/2023:









as of 06/16/2023:



as of 06/16/2023:



14 Regular (Paid)

0 Student (Paid)

14 Life Members


Respectfully submitted by Emily Kean, Treasurer

Hi, I am Lynn Warner, Research and Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Cincinnati. I
recently celebrated my one-year anniversary at UC. I support the College of Nursing and the College of Allied Health Sciences with research assistance, as well as literature searching, including systematic reviews. What this looks like day to day varies, but mostly it can be instructional sessions, digital learning/object creation/maintenance, and individual consultation. I am also involved in other duties like collection development and resource management. I am happy to say that the first systematic review I assisted with was just published! [Ramai D, Smit E, Kani HT, Papaefthymiou A, Warner L, Chandan S, Dhindsa B, Facciorusso A, Gkolfakis P, Ofosu A, Barakat M, Adler DG. Cannulation rates and technical performance evaluation of commercially available single-use duodenoscopes for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Dig Liver Dis. 2023 Mar 30:S1590-8658(23)00513-3. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2023.02.022. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37003844.]

I was excited to attend the MLA/SLA 2023 conference in Detroit in May. I presented a lighting talk titled Redesigning LibGuides for Better Student Support, describing using instructional design principles to update my resource guides for nursing and allied health. I had a great time meeting people in person that I had previously “met” in webinars and meetings, and I have to say I have never been to a conference where people have been so friendly, open, and welcoming. Hopefully I can attend Portland next year!

In my free time, I do a lot of running and knitting. I also host a trivia night at Brink Brewing in College Hill on Tuesday nights; come join us sometime!

Lynn Warner, MLS
Assistant Librarian
Research & Health Sciences
University of Cincinnati Libraries
Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library

The end is in sight to the years of classwork and research for Emily Kean, President-elect and Treasurer for CAHSLA. Emily's dissertation defense occurred in late June. Congratulations on persevering through the arduous work for a Doctorate (PhD) in Nursing Research.

Moving On

We wish the best of luck to Amy Hughes, Library Program Manager, The Jewish Hospital Mercy Health, as she relocates to the Columbus area.

Can AI ChatGPT “Script” Compassionate Communication?

A recent New York Times article by Gina Kolata, detailed an unexpected way physicians are using AI ChatGPT to communicate with patients. When facing difficult news to share or challenging conversations with a patient, physicians are turning to ChatGPT.

One example in the article described how ChatGPT helped a physician have a difficult conversation with a patient regarding their drinking. The physician asked for a script that they could use to effectively communicate to the patient that the patient needed help to stop drinking.

Some individuals in the AI-field speculated that AI-driven chatbots could help clinicians with mundane tasks – from writing chart notes to appeals letters to insurers – and had not considered that physicians would want help with the challenges of communicating empathetically with patients. Patients want compassionate and clear communications from their caregivers, and clinicians at all stages of practice continue to find this aspect of their practice challenging.

Mentioned in the article that an editor at the New England Journal of Medicine wants to start a new journal for AI in medicine. Remember that routine task of having ChatGPT compose an appeals letter to an insurer? According to the article, one physician turned this difficult and time consuming task over to ChatGPT. The appeals letter ChatGPT crafted – in a few minutes - succeeded in advocating for the patient in its first attempt, and the insurer ruled in favor of covering the off-label medication the physician prescribed.

The article contains some discussion on the ethics and transparency dilemma the usage of this technology poses in the patient-physician relationship. It also talks about the concern some in the medical profession have about mis-usage of the technology and potential errors that could harm patients. It is really worth the read.

[When Doctors Use a Chatbot to Improve Their Bedside Manner. Gina Kolata. New York Times. Published online: June 12, 2023. Here is the link to the gifted NY Times article]

The Risk of Bias in AI

AI in medicine needs to be carefully deployed to counter bias – and not entrench it. Ryan Levi and Dan Gorenstein. June 6. 2023. NPR – National Public Radio. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/06/06/1180314219/artificial-intelligence-racial-bias-health-care

According to a recent report on NPR, racial inequities and health disparities could become more entrenched if AI developers do not root out biases in the data that are the underpinning of algorithms they develop. Instead of helping advance the care of, for example, pediatric patients at risk for developing sepsis, clinical algorithms could mislead clinicians and result in harm. The example given in this article described how the data sets did not account for the delays in care that black and Hispanic children with sepsis encountered -a factor the developers only uncovered once they began to examine all the factors that impacted the care and outcomes of minority patients. According to the article, using poor data sets to develop care algorithms would further risk the health of minority children rather than improve it.

“The data these algorithms are built on, however, often reflect inequities and bias that have long plagued U.S. health care. Research shows clinicians often provide different care to white patients and patients of color. Those differences in how patients are treated get immortalized in data, which are then used to train algorithms. People of color are also often underrepresented in those training data sets"

I would encourage you to read the full article for its reporting on the need for structural and policy level guardrails to help regulate this emerging technology and for the cautions the authors raise about adopting AI generated guidelines without transparency regarding the data sets used to develop the care algorithm.

ALA 2023

Judy Blume Offers a Rousing Defense of the Freedom to Read 

The professional program at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference was packed with information to help librarians and advocates battle book bans and other challenges to the freedom to read.