SALIS Conference report

We are passing on a conference report from Barbara Weiner, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Library. If you are attending a conference, or any type of training, we would be interested in hearing from you!

Beautiful Worcester, MA was the setting for the 39th annual conference of SALIS (Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists), May 3-6, 2017.  SALIS is an international network of information professionals working in or interested in the alcohol/drug/addictions field.  SALIS ( and AMHL (Association of Mental Health Librarians) joined forces for continued learning and networking.  Held in the invigorating UMass Medical School teaching hospital, 25 information professionals from four countries had two and one-half days of presentations, with business and committee meetings to round out the busy days.

Barbara Weiner (librarian for Hazelden Betty Ford, Center City, MN) and Sonja Mertz (librarian for MPRC, North Branch, MN) were in attendance.  Sonja also did a fantastic job of planning and co-hosting the conference.

With a conference theme of “Real Health: The importance of professionals in today’s information climate”, presentation topics included:

  • Public research vs. private profit Vaughan Birbeck, EMCDDA
  • Open for comments: Information literacy competencies for addiction studies Nita Bryant, VA Commonwealth Univ.
  • Activist librarian II: Engaging in LGBTQ cultural competencies Juan Carlos Vega, Activist Librarian
  • Misperceptions and the misused language of addiction: Words matter Richard Saitz, Boston University
  • Public health echo chambers in a time of mistrust and misinformation Brittany Seymour, Harvard
  • Creating a SALIS legacy: Building an ATOD archive with knowledge for all Andrea Mitchell, SALIS; Sheila Lacroix; Barbara Weiner, Hazelden Betty Ford
  • Information requests from external audiences Karen Palmer, CCSA
  • Reaching military veterans with an evidence-based online intervention for problem drinking and PTSD symptoms Eric Helmuth, Boston University
  • Power Session: Mindfulness as therapeutic intervention Judson Brewer, UMass Medical School; Nicholas Olendzi, UMass Medical School; Madeleine Charney, UMass
  • Bibliotherapy: A brief tour of mental health literature from early asylum libraries to graphic novels Len Levin & Matthew Noe, U Mass Medical School
  • Opioid addiction and treatment Amy Harrington, UMass Medical School
  • Implementation of the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School: Closing the gap between families and evidence-based treatment Zlatina Kostova, UMass Medical School; Genevieve Kane-Howse, UMass Medical School
  • Building the SALIS Collection at the Internet Archive (IA): How we do it Barbara Weiner, Hazelden Betty Ford; Sheila Lacroix; Andrea Mitchell, SALIS
  • Finding authoritative sources …  for free! Claudia Dold, USF-Tampa
  • Designing a web portal for persons with serious mental illness: Design considerations based on the literature, focus groups, and an expert users survey Len Levin, UMass Medical School; Zlatina Kostova, UMass Medical School

One treat was that as a group, we toured the nearby American Antiquarian Society museum (  Fascinating! Founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society is both a learned society and a major independent research library. The AAS library today houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, music, and graphic arts material printed through 1876 in what is now the United States, as well as manuscripts and a substantial collection of secondary texts, bibliographies, and digital resources and reference works related to all aspects of American history and culture before the twentieth century. AAS was presented with the 2013 National Humanities Medal by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House.

If you are interested in the SALIS organization, please drop me an email : )

Barbara Weiner, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Library,