Discussing Health and LIS Research & Education


  • Noah Lenstra
  • Deborah Charbonneau
  • Christine D’Arpa
  • Beth Bloch
  • Abigail L. Phillips
  • Jenny Bossaller
  • Emily Vardell
  • Bobbie Long
  • Sandra Belz




health, mental health, wellness, engagement, health informatics


Interest in the intersection of health research and education and LIS research and education has perhaps never been higher. 2023 opened with a special issue of Library Quarterly on the topic of “Libraries Confronting Pandemic Disinformation,” and on February 2, 2023, Reference Services Review published “Libraries advancing health equity: a literature review,” authored by staff of the National Library of Medicine’s Office of Engagement and Training.

It is our goal to accelerate these conversations by facilitating an engaging and collaborative panel in which both the panelists and audience participate in a dialog that highlights our research and our engagement with our students on health and LIS.

This non-traditional panel focuses on health research/education and its impacts. The session aims to provide an opportunity for both the organizers and the audience to share their research/teaching and/or research/teaching agendas and engage in conversations and feedback that can contribute to a cohesive understanding as to what we are doing in the domain of health.

Panelists will discuss the following in 5–10-minute lightning talks:

  • Beth Bloch. Librarians working with biomedical researchers often help them find literature that is interdisciplinary in design. The findings from a content analysis of articles found in these databases suggest such indexing presents epistemological implications. Most notably, that the terms used by PubMed, when compared to Scopus, better identifies the scientific discipline (e.g., biology, chemistry), as well as experimental methodology used by article authors.
  • Abigail L. Phillips. Empathy and Compassion for Our Students: The Well-Being and Mental Health Needs of Information Studies PhD Students. In this lightening talk, we want to discussion and present upon the ways in which information studies doctoral students take care of their mental health and what supports are needed to improve their well-being.
  • Christine D’Arpa, Deborah Charbonneau, and Sandra Belz. Health Programming in Public Libraries: A Survey of Public Library Directors in Michigan. This brief talk discusses the scope of health programming in public libraries in the state of Michigan. This study has the potential to build a better understanding of the challenges reported by library directors related to efforts to support the health of their communities.
  • Jenny Bossaller, Emily Vardell, and Bobbie Long. Most librarians are aware of vulnerable people who frequent their libraries, including individuals with addictions and mental health issues. Not all people struggling with addictions are visible, though. There is a growing Alcohol Free (AF) movement which encourages people to rethink their relationship with alcohol. Libraries can play a key role in this movement by expanding on their traditional roles as meeting places, information hubs, and literacy circles.

After these presentations, the audience will be invited to share their own perspectives, work, and thoughts. Throughout this process, participants will be invited to offer constructive feedback on each contributor’s ideas. Through this process, we hope to create an exciting, interactive session in which both current SIG members and all interested members of the ALISE community will have the opportunity to share research and teaching strategies and potentially find new collaborators.