I Love My HSL!

This site shares success stories of Health Affairs students, faculty, and staff, and ways in which Health Sciences Library staff helped. We hope the stories you find here will inspire you, and that your story will be an inspiration for others! Tell us about your favorite place to study (or sleep!) in the HSL. How the resources of HSL helped you with your research or paper. How a librarian helped you. Just tell us what you love about the HSL!

What Is a Story?

“Story” can be defined many ways. One way is to think of a story as a retelling of a sequence of events in which a person confronts a problem, finds a way to overcome it, and learns something new as a result.

A story can be any length. It could be as short as something like “I was under deadline and needed to find a key reference for my paper. The HSL librarian helped me find it… I got my paper in on time and it turned out great.”

What’s My Story?

What if you’re not sure what your story is? If you’ve got a project to do (such as a paper or presentation) and you’re not sure how you want to it, we would be happy to meet with you to help you brainstorm ideas and put together a story that will engage your audience. Just go to HSL’s Submit a Question / Schedule a Consult form and request a consultation.


Stories are one of the primary ways that people make sense of the world. Stories, or narratives, provide a context for information. This helps teachers, learners, and researchers to understand and more effectively communicate with each other and with people everywhere.

Stories play an important part in Appreciative Inquiry, which is an important approach to organization development. (See the Appreciative Inquiry page of this blog.)


For more information about stories and why they are important, here are some good sources. Let us know if you have suggestions for references to add to this list.

Bernard, Sheila Curran. Documentary storytelling. Amsterdam; Boston, Focal Press, 2007. 2nd ed.

Bernard, Sheila Curran. Archival storytelling: a filmmaker’s guide to finding, using, and licensing third-party visuals and music. Amsterdam; Boston, Focal Press, 2009.

Clandinin, D. Jean, Ed. Handbook of narrative inquiry: mapping a methodology. Thousand Oaks, Calif. Sage Publications, 2007.

Fields, Anne M. Fostering community through digital storytelling: a guide for academic libraries. Libraries Unlimited, Westport, Conn., 2008.

Heath, Chip & Heath, Dan. Made to stick: why some ideas survive and others die. New York: Random House, 2007.

Sanders, Lisa. Every patient tells a story: medical mysteries and the art of diagnosis. New York: Broadway Books, 2009.