December 2022, No.160

Happy Holidays!

This time of year, always brings on some reflection, and I can't help but to allow COVID to be part of the conversation one more (hopefully last!) time. I personally think about COVID so much, especially in regards to CAHSLA, because I joined in early 2021 while the meetings were still virtual. I didn't know anybody, and although everybody else was welcoming and friendly, I still felt like I was dropped into the middle of somebody else's bigger story. That is, the relationships existed long before my arrival, and the bonds stretched all the way to California. I could also tell that there was anxiety about maintaining those relationships as COVID marched on.

In addition to the lives hurt and lost by COVID, I also started to recognize COVID as a disruptor. It made people (rationally) afraid to share spaces with one another, and stuck around long enough to break routines and force people into new ones. Before CAHSLA, I was president of the Cincinnati Preservation Collective, a young professional social group focused on historic preservation. We were unable to survive the social toll of COVID, and had to dissolve. Despite meeting more and more people at CAHSLA gatherings as time went on, I began to worry that CAHSLA would share the same fate. That is, until the December Holiday meeting at Wiedemann's Brewery. I realized that I no longer felt like I was sitting down with new friends, but with old friends. I also realized how many other people were sitting and laughing with old friends, and that COVID didn't break any bonds. I'm glad CAHSLA didn't have to find a new normal, and is still going strong after the disruption!

The last couple of years have been about recovery and accepting new norms. But, now, I think that 2023 can be a year of optimism and intentionally keeping the things that matter. Thank you for showing me this at our last meeting!

And if you couldn't make it to our meeting, you can still join us in spirit by visiting Wiedemann's, grabbing a bottle of Tum's, and ordering one of every appetizer on the menu. 😊

See you next time!

Secretary’s Report

Holiday Happy Hour Gathering
Date: December 12, 2022
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Temple, Alex; Kean, Emily; Pettigrew, Jennifer; Pari, Akram; Hartman, Regina; McCormick, Lisa; Slavinski, Barb; DaMico, James; Raney, Lisa; Dean, Elaine Grigg

CAHSLA celebrated the winter holidays by gathering at Wiedemann's Fine Beer and Brewery in St. Bernard, Ohio on the evening of December 12, 2022. Attendees enjoyed appetizers, drinks, and the fine company of colleagues.

This year's annual book drive for a local organization promoting literacy benefitted the Queen City Book Bank. CAHSLA collected 34 books. The mission of the Book Bank us to promote literacy by distributing books to community organizations, foster literacy, and support Little Free Libraries. https://queencitybookbank.org/

Treasurer’s Report 

2022-10-10 CAHSLA Treasurer Report


as of 06/27/2022:



5 Memberships






Web Domain Registration






as of 10/10/2022:



as of 06/27/2022:



1 Membership






as of 06/27/2022:



as of 10/10/2022:






8 Regular (Paid)

0 Student (Paid)

12 Life Members


Respectfully submitted by Emily Kean, Treasurer

Congratulations to Regina M. Hartman, Manager of the James N. Gamble Library at The Christ Hospital Health Network on her retirement. Regina began her career at the library in 1987 as an evening library page. She has been the Library Manager since 1995.

Regina oversaw the merger of the medical and the college of nursing libraries and was instrumental in the creation of the TCH/Gamble Deaconess Home Association archives.   She had many hospital-wider leadership roles that impacted patient education; diversity, equity and inclusion; and the patient and family advisory council.

Regina has held numerous leadership roles for CAHSLA, and we look forward to her continued involvement as a Lifetime Member.

2023 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association

The Medical Library Association (MLA) and the Special Libraries Association (SLA) will hold a joint meeting in Detroit, Michigan May 16-19, 2023. The theme is "Looking Back, Forging Ahead."

According to the MLA conference website: "The collaboration means access to sessions on topics that transcend medical librarianship, like leadership and management. It means the chance to network with colleagues who face similar challenges in different settings."

Former MLA president Michelle Kraft, AHIP, FMLA is this year’s Janet Doe Lecturer. Kraft is Director of Library Services at the Floyd D. Loop Alumni Library at the Cleveland Clinic. She is widely known in the medical library field for her blog, The Krafty Librarian.

There is still time to submit an abstract for consideration for either a poster or lightning round talks. The deadline is January 26, 2023.

Free Webinar

Want to Be a Medical Librarian? How to Land Your First Job! January 27, 2023, 1pm – 2:30 pm CT. This webinar is sponsored by the Early Career Librarian Initiative and Region 3 NNLM.

Book Review
Lisa McCormick

I approached reading Kim Michelle Richardson's The Book Woman's Daughter (2022) with reluctance: would it live up to my expectations? I was totally enthralled with the The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Richardson, a writer of historical fiction focusing on female protagonists, introduced Cussy Mary Carter, an-unschooled young woman living in the remote and rugged hollers of central Kentucky in the 2019 book. In TBWTC, Cussy Mary becomes a mule-riding "Packhorse Librarian" through a WPA (Works Progress Administration) program instituted during the Great Depression.

Cussy Mary's acceptance to the Packhorse program is an amazing accomplishment due to Cussy Mary's status as a "Blue." A rare genetic condition, methemoglobinemia, causes individuals with the disorder to have a distinctive blue hue to their skin. Since the cause of the condition is unknown to the majority of the population, "Blues" are feared, rejected, shunned, and discriminated against socially, legally, and economically in their communities. As you can imagine, they are also the victims of violence - emotional, psychological, and physical - frequently to the point of death.

The Book Woman's Daughter is not a sequel to TBWTC, according to Richardson, although it is the story of Honey Angeline Lovett, the book woman’s daughter. Honey finds herself alone and running back to the isolation of her Kentucky family ancestral home when Cussy Mary and her husband, Jackson Lovett, are arrested for violating miscegenation laws.

Out of desperation to survive on her own while her parents are imprisoned, Honey finds allies in many of the people her mother served as the beloved Book Woman who delivered books and hope to families in the hollers. Luckily for Honey, a special grant has resurrected the Pack Horse Librarian program. Honey has her mother's loyal but cantankerous mule, Junia, to guide her into the hills as she becomes a paid librarian continuing her mother's vital work in promoting literacy and reading.

As Honey takes on the role of book woman, she becomes entwined in the lives of the people she serves. Various women in the book play an important role in telling the story of Honey's fight for freedom and agency. Each has a story resulting from their struggles to be employed in traditionally male only fields or to live free from violence from husbands and families. The book has both covert and overt scenes of violence as the story unfolds through the stories of these women - some as young as a grade school girl – which can be disturbing.

Mainly, Honey's fight is of a legal nature - as a teen without relatives to care for her, she fights the system that would confine her to a work house because she is a minor and 'morally corrupt' due to being a Blue. There is a dramatic courtroom scene that has a direct tie to Cussy Mary’s long-ago role as the original Book Woman.

As I ventured further into Honey's story, I found myself enjoying the book despite my misgiving. The setting for the book - the isolated and rugged hills of Kentucky - is as much a character as Honey and Junia. The story is shaped by the natural habitat - its creatures, plants, and mountains – and the spiritual, emotional, and cultural connections it forms for the inhabitants. My sole criticism of the book is that I perceived the character of Honey as more of a reflection of her mother than her own unique person. That being said, the story of Honey overcoming her own fears to challenge unjust situations that she and her “patrons” endured does not disappoint.

Final Thought