BACKGROUND: Health librarians should keep up-to-date in a dynamic environment and accept the importance
of continuing personal development (CPD) and growth in their critical reflection and creative thinking
skills. They also need to acknowledge the potential value of research activity and the challenges of
ongoing improvement and development. Conference programmes may prove a useful source of stimulation,
especially if supplemented by creativity techniques, action research and the ideal of ‘finding flow’.
OBJECTIVES: The article analyses the themes and papers presented at the 10th International Conference on
International Medical Librarianship (ICML) to identify opportunities for further research, literature
reviews, assessment of practices and services, etc.
METHODS: Content analysis approach to conference papers and suggestions for further action including
supplementing with techniques of creativity and group input.
RESULTS: A fairly extensive list of further actions (although not intended to be exhaustive) is suggested for
the sixteen conference themes. Although subjective, the list might help to stimulate growth in research on
health librarianship and demonstrate how one source of stimulation – conference programmes (regularly
presented to medical library communities) – can be used.
CONCLUSIONS: Content analysis has proven a constructive means of generating research questions from a
conference programme. Content analysis and other methods aimed at stimulating creative and progressive
thinking, including brainstorming, force field analysis, De Bono’s 6 hats, creative swiping and creative visualisation,
may prove equally useful and require further investigation. To ensure an ongoing cycle, these
can be linked to action research.