I need a vacation after my co-worker’s vacation…

As I stated in my introductory post, I work in a One Librarian Library. I have a .24 FTE library tech. Time manages us more than we manage it.

I dread the middle of August. That is when my co-worker goes on vacation every year. So, last week I was alone. The time alone caused me to gain a greater appreciation of actual One PERSON Libraries. I don’t know how they manage to get everything done. Everything is important to everybody.

So I sat down each morning and had to decide who I would make happy and who I wouldn’t. Do I do searches or do I process Interlibrary Loans? I think the only thing I new for sure that week was that journal renewals would not be on my radar. Especially after I discovered that EBSCO had migrated us over to their Full Text Finder product.

I finally decided that I should try to make each group at least a little happy. I divided up my day into three parts. I spent the first 3rd of my day doing searches. Spent the next 3rd processing article requests. Spent the last 3rd getting myself up to speed on the new product. Did it work? As best as it could I suppose.

I would love to read in the comments how other OPL’s or OLL’s do it. What are your tips and tricks that keep you sane?

Searching in a Comparative Effectiveness Research Way

I know you have been thinking and searching in an evidence based way, but have you switched to thinking in a broader comparative effectiveness way? The mantra for EBP is “based on the evidence available to me today, I will practice.” The mantra for CER starts there and pays attention to real life settings and can have different sizes to the populations. So, for CER, the mantra chatted is, “what works best for what populations in real world settings.” EPB and CER involve experiences of the health care provider, what the literature shows and the preferences of the patient.

There are 4 main ways to search for CER information, PubMed Health, PubMed Topic Specific Queries-Comparative Effectiveness Research, ANDing effectiveness[sb] to your strategy, or just ANDing the phrase “comparative effectiveness“ to your search strategy.

PubMed Health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/ searches in an clinical effectiveness way. It is geared for the lay public. It has topic reviews, systematic reviews, guidelines and a drug database. When you search PubMed Health, you are searching PubMed at the same time. Be more general in your search topic. It is not a huge database.

Get to PubMed Topic Specific Queries-Comparative Effectiveness Research from the PubMed front page or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/cer/cerqueries.html. Put your topic in the search box and click on All for CER results. Notice also you can select a type of study, health disparities, costs and cost analysis or CER as topic.

ANDing effectiveness[sb] to your search strategy is the same as clicking on the Topic Specific Queries-CER page.

Remember you want to search PubMed with words, phrases and MeSH to retrieve all the citations, including inprocess, supplied by publisher or PubMed Central papers. So the phrase “comparative effectiveness” will bring citations for all of PubMed, including the MeSH term, comparative effectiveness research.

Try out any of these methods and send in your comments and questions.

Helen-Ann Brown Epstein

The Incidental Informationist: NCBI Office Hours

I attended a web meeting last week hosted by NCBI staff member Peter Cooper. These meetings are open to anyone who has participated in the course A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI. This course is composed of an asynchronous web class (Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching) and a week long training at NCBI. The course itself is free, but you have to provide your own lodging and travel expenses.

I attended this course last spring, and it was great. Because of my background, I already knew a lot of the molecular biology background information, but attending the course allowed me to observe and example of how to teach this material to novices.  As far as the content about the databases, the amount of information we received was mind-blowing! I can say with certainty that most of the researchers where you work are not proficient at using these tools (even if they think they are) and that you will be able to use them more effectively than they can if you take this course.

Once completing the course, you will have access to a web forum and monthly web meetings to discuss topics covered in the course and implementing NCBI database services at your library. it’s a great, responsive community that has been invaluable to my work.

Follow the link above if you’re interested in applying. I can’t say enough about how great this course was for me.

In addition to a plug for the Librarian’s Guide, we talked about PubMed Labs: a forum for NCBI to test out new functionality of their databases earlier in the development process. New features are being announced via a new category on the NCBI insights blog. Currently, they have two new features: PubMed Also Viewed and SmartBLAST. Let them know about what you think of the new features by commenting on their respective blog posts.

– Tobin

Plain Language Summaries for Translation in Science

translationalhand1

At MLA last May, I was walking around the vendor hall, like most of us who attended, I assume. I was on a mission, though. I stopped by every vendor table that had anything to do with publishing or translational science, and talked with them at length about the idea of having plain language abstracts. I’ve been a fan of plain language initiatives for a long time, as evidenced by our library’s Plain Language Medical Dictionary app from some years ago. I wish I could say that I was doing this as a direct result of the PNAS article on the topic published in March, but no such luck. That would have helped make my arguments more compelling, I’m sure. I found the article today, thanks to the National Science Communication Institute retweeting Len Fisher.

A circuitous route, but effective enough to reach me. The article in question was this.

Lauren M. Kuehne and Julian D. Olden. Opinion: Lay summaries needed to enhance science communication. PNAS 112(12):3585–3586. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500882112 http://www.pnas.org/content/112/12/3585

The article was short and sweet. It talked briefly (very briefly) about alternative modes of science communication, such as social media and blogs, and how they impact on audience, understanding, and adoption of new ideas. The authors then pointed out that these are limited to the few who choose to follow that channel, and it misses the benefits and affordances of mass media channels, a concept which they illustrated with a diagram of how they perceived the connections between the information channels and the audiences. Here’s the gist of it.

Scientists communicate with the public through these channels:
1) Social media and press releases
2) Journalist contacts
3) Lay abstracts
4) Traditional abstracts

The potential audiences are:
1) Public
2) Managers and decisionmakers
3) Scientists in other fields
4) Scientists in your own field

So far so good? There are obviously many more potential audiences as you subdivide these. In my conversations I was rather fond of mentioning insurance companies and agents as critical links in the chain of adopting healthcare innovations who are perhaps more likely to benefit from a plain language abstract. I also talked about the importance of highly motivated patients who take new articles to their clinicians as a recent and influential loop in the information chain that changes practice. For benefits to come through these channels requires not simply that there be a version of the abstract that is in plain language (a lay summary) but also, and equally important, that those lay summaries not be behind a paywall. One of the publishers was absolutely sure their abstracts were not being a paywall, and then when they went to show me, well (ahem), they found they were. As in, the abstracts were locked behind a paywall. Oops.

The most important part of the article’s diagram was the very subtle sideways dashes. Where do the journalists get the hook, the info that leads them to ask more questions and write those mass media articles that reach such large audiences? What triggers the journalist to reach out for those important conversations with the scientists? Well, the press releases, of course. That’s why our organizations work so hard on them. Seeing something posted and reposted on social media is another good way to reach them. But the traditional abstract? Not so much. The traditional abstract is crafted explicitly for other scientists in your field, and only partly for scientists beyond that. Now, a lay summary, a plain language abstract, that has HUGE potential as a way to reach journalists. It’s another marketing tool, beyond being the right thing to do to help patients, or to help get science into the hands of those who actually use it, or to help influence clinical practice and foster more rapid adoption of new discoveries and treatments.

Value of Libraries: Presentations at IFLA

I went to the session for the Measuring Impact and of course like all conferences there is another session, What is Value, I want to attend is at the same time and on the opposite side of the convention center. I have my walking shoes on today.

Here is the summary of the two sessions I mentioned.

Measuring Impact: This focused on measuring the impact on IFLA’s Lyon Declaration. Interesting to an American because I think we take our access to information so granted.

What is Value: I came late to this program so I only got some of the session. British National Library talked about the value to the cities they serve. They were able to determine that for every pound the government spend on libraries they had a ROI of 4 pounds in business, development and jobs. They had a really good slide on the different values which is on my Facebook page.

Awesome presentation from Elliott Shore, executive director at ARL, Measures of Our Time: The Value of Libraries. Perhaps it is because I’m a big proponent of killing of sacred cows but Elliott’s talk really hit home. The best way for me to describe his talk is to point you to the pictures of his slides on my Facebook page. But here are some memorable quotes.

-The world has changed, have we?

-We need a radical change in how we collect statistics.

-We need predictive analysis rather than descriptive analysis.

He also gave a nice shout out to Becker Medical Library as example of a library that is doing a good job of rethinking and showing their value. Good job Becker!

Live from Cape Town its IFLA

Since most readers will be reading this when I’m asleep, I probably should say this has been previously recorded. I will be posting pictures and thoughts on the fly on my Facebook page so check it out.

So this is my first IFLA conference and so far I’ve attended the U.S. Caucus meeting, Newcomers breakfast, the Opening Ceremony, and the Exhibits Opening.

I will give my quick thoughts on the sessions I have attended.

US Caucus: It is like the business meeting for the Americans.  They summarize IFLA business as a whole. CEO of ALA started everything off and introduced people. The planning committee members for 2016 IFLA (in Columbus, OH) were there as well to try to drum up interest.

Newcomers breakfast: It was very typical of many newbie conference sessions.  They explained the elaborate color coding in the program and encouraged people to talk and meet others. It would have been nice if they explained IFLA structure a bit, but that really did not happen. Perhaps the structure is too complex for a brief newbies breakfast.  There were a lot of people at this session so there was no opportunity to do the speed networking session that we have done at MLA and has been so successful. Instead we were let out “early” to enjoy coffee and “cakes” (muffins) and to get to know each other.

Opening Ceremony: The opening ceremony was huge. There are approximately 3,000 attendees and the reception hall reflected that with three big screens and rows and rows of chairs.  There were beautiful songs and story telling in the custom of Africa to open the proceedings.  The President of IFLA spoke on their Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development. The Key Note speaker, Dr. Rob Adam, spoke on the SKA Project and data. He brought up several interesting things about the big data that will come from the SKA project.

– They will need a super computer faster than anything that has been created in 2015.

–  There will be so much data they will need a network so robust that it can handle the entire world’s data worth.

– The data will be open access but embargoed. While they want to make the data available to everyone, they acknowledge that participating in SKA is expensive and they must recognize those who have the foresight to participate have first access.

Opening Exhibits: There are lots of vendors in the exhibit area with lots of variety. I was amazed by the giant photo and preservation machines displayed (and working) at some booths.

BTW very little vendor swag at the opening exhibit. Not even a lot of pens.

The Accidental OPL

My name is Alexia Estabrook and I am honored to be part of the group of fine librarians assisting Michelle Kraft with her blog during her tenure as MLS President. Some of you may remember me as the Medlib Maven from a while back. It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged and I’m excited to be back.

I am the Librarian at Providence-Providence Park Hospital (PPPH), Southfield Campus, and have been a medical librarian for over 20 years now. When I started at PPPH, the library had a staff of 5 FTE’s and now we are down to 1.5 FTE’s. While I plan to write on a myriad of topics, my mail focus will be on my journey to becoming a one librarian library.

We are also in the process of moving the library and adding a Patient and Family Education Center, so when I’m not talking about being a OPL I’ll be talking about all the fun I’m having planning a new library.

Nice to meet you all!

Another Kraft Worker

It’s an interesting idea to have a communal blog.

My name is Rob Penfold and like one of the other posters (Tobin), I also have a PhD in microbiology and genetics and funnily enough also worked in the malaria area.

I now work in a hospital library setting and hail from Down Under so perhaps can provide a different perspective.

Once, at the forensic library where I worked, we had a Crappy Craft day. My contribution was Krappy Koasters made out of Kraft cheese slices. This rather bemused the lucky recipient. This is my passport for being able to post to the Krafty Librarian blog.

Wearable technologies in a library setting

Next time you are at the gym, take a look around! Look at the people on the treadmills, the elliptical or even in the bikes. How many of them are wearing wearable technologies, like the Fitbit, Jawbone’s Up or the Apple Watch.  Wearables are on the rise. Studies show that the markets for smart watches, smart glasses, personal health and fitness products will be worth USD 101.2 billion in 2018.

Wearables are not just for health tracking either. There are wearables that help companies track worker productivity (http://wearkinetic.com/); perform 3d scanning (https://www.fuel-3d.com/) and electronic glasses that help the blind (http://horus.tech/en/horus.php).

Yet, librarians have not begun to explore how the power of the wearable can be harnessed for use in a library setting. Imagine sending data to your wearable or having your wearable scanned to checkout books.  How is your library preparing for wearables?  Stay current about wearable devices by following: http://www.wearable-technologies.com/network/

 

 

Hello!

I’m Rebecca Carlson, the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences Library  Director at Southwest Baptist University in Springfield, Missouri. I’ll be one of the guest writers sharing Krafty posts with you this year.

I am the solo librarian on the SBU health sciences campus and I work with faculty and students in our nursing and radiology programs. I wear many hats and have a lot of “other duties as assigned,” but I love the challenges and unique opportunities of medical librarianship. This summer I have been teaching an online class with a nursing instructor on professional writing and APA style for healthcare and have learned a lot from the experience.

I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas with y’all and learning from all the fantastic librarians Michelle has assembled here.