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Seton Hall University

IHS Librarians' Presentation is a First at National MLA Conference  

Kyle Downey smiling and standing behind a podium at the 2019 MLA National Conference in a conference room. The librarians for the Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) Campus Library brought elements of Seton Hall's pioneering healthcare approach to a national audience at the annual Medical Library Association (MLA) Meeting 2019 in Chicago. Their attendance and individual presentations were firsts for the team of four and provided an opportunity to demonstrate how the University is contributing to the next phase of healthcare innovation.

Christopher Duffy, associate dean of the library, is chair of the NY/NJ chapter of MLA and views the groups' presence at the conference as a "foot in the door" for the medical library that serves the School of Health and Medical Sciences, College of Nursing, and the new Hackensack-Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University. According to Duffy, some of what he and his staff are doing is unique in the realm of medical libraries.

Team photo of the four members, Kyle Downey, Allison Piazza, Christopher Duffy, and Andrew Hickner, who work for the IHS University Library and attended the National MLA Conference in 2019 to present.Kyle Downey, health sciences librarian, has dedicated responsibility for the School of Health and Medical Sciences and College of Nursing and presented his formal abstract on teaching evidence-based practice to first year physical therapy students. According to Downey, the subject matter was not previously taught to students in the program. "Essentially, it's about improving lives, money, and limiting mistakes as we go further toward increasing positive outcomes and reducing disparities," states Downey.

Downey's presentation at the conference was also significant for the fact that his abstract as a relatively new member was chosen through a strict review process among some of the most prestigious medical and health sciences institutions in the country. "It really elevated IHS and the libraries’ reputation among some of our most respected peers," he stated. Downey continued, "I came from a hospital library but always wanted to be in academia. That I'm part of something new and innovative is a high point in my career. That my first submission was accepted is even more rewarding." He noted that the travel grant awarded as part of his accepted proposal was only given to twenty members in the country.

Allison Piazza smiling and standing behind the podium at the National MLA Conference in a conference room.The creation of a book club at an Interprofessional Sciences Campus was the focus of Health Sciences Librarian Allison Piazza's presentation. The book club was initiated to foster interprofessional discussion between three health/medical schools situated on one campus. Through discussion of health/medical texts (both non-fiction and fiction), the intention was to mimic the coordinated approach to care of patients by a collaborative team of health care providers. The launch of the club began with a dialogue on Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and The Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy. The book club is ongoing, and encourages participation from students, faculty and staff representing all three schools.

Health Sciences Librarian Andrew Hickner organized an interactive panel on implicit bias and microaggressions. A highly active member of MLA, he also attended the Governmental Relations Committee meeting as incoming chair-elect, attended the Social Justice Caucus business meeting as current chair, and will now begin a three-year term on the MLA/AAHSL Joint Legislative Task Force.

Duffy asserts, "I could not be prouder of this team and the work they are doing. The fact that our little library of four people was able to showcase nationally is a high watermark for us and Seton Hall. We may be small, but we're pretty robust given our size."

The IHS Library contains over 3 million e-books and is also distinctive for being one of the only medical libraries in the country to be open 24/7. Visit https://library.shu.edu/IHS to learn more.

The librarians for the IHS Campus Library brought elements of Seton Hall's pioneering healthcare approach to a national audience at the annual Medical Library Association (MLA) Meeting 2019 in Chicago. Their attendance and individual presentations were firsts for the team of four and provided an opportunity to demonstrate how the University is contributing to the next phase of healthcare innovation.

Categories: Health and Medicine

For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Giorgio
  • (973) 275-4953
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