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Unconscious, or implicit, bias in medical research and care is well documented—black patients on average receive less pain medication; heart attacks are underdiagnosed in women; and anyone who isn’t a white male is underrepresented in clinical trials. These manifestations of bias have important consequences in the quality of care that different patient populations receive. We offer our experiences and research as health sciences librarians as a starting point for this interactive workshop, which explores methods that librarians can use to recognize and address unconscious bias in ourselves, in scholarly research, and in library systems. While we focus on health information from the viewpoints of both care providers and patients, we invite librarians from all subject specialties to join this workshop and bring their experiences to the class. This workshop includes blended lecture and group discussion, as well as hands on activities. During this workshop, participants will a) define implicit bias and identify bias in health sciences research b) develop techniques to address implicit bias in reference interviews including how to craft research questions and search queries and c) equip librarians to run their own workshops on implicit bias and reference services.

Presenter: Molly Higgins
Molly Higgins, MLIS, is currently a Reference and Digital Services Librarian and the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service. She previously worked as a health sciences librarian at Stony Brook University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She specializes in the intersections of instructional design, technology, and issues of diversity and representation. She holds an MLIS from the University of Washington and a BA in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She loves finding a good deal.

Presenter: Rachel Keiko Stark

Rachel Keiko Stark is the Health Sciences Librarian at California State University, Sacramento. Previously, she worked at Kaiser Permanente as a Library Manager, at the Sacramento Public Library as a Youth Services Librarian, and at University of the Pacific as the Health Sciences Librarian. Rachel is an ALA Spectrum Scholar, an MLA Rising Star, and completed the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship. When she isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time with her dogs and playing board games.


In partnership with TBLC,  webinars originally presented to their membership can now be found and accessed through Florida Library Webinars.

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