Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Google Survey

According to the October 26th Google Librarian Newsletter, "Google is listening." Google would like to hear your opinions on Google tools featured on the Librarian Center, whether the librarian newsletter has been helpful, and what else you would like to see next.
The Google Librarian Center survey closes today, October 31st so if you haven't taken the survey go to:https://survey.google.com/wix/p0346970.aspx.

One thing I noticed as a Google Librarian Newsletter subscriber and while taking the survey, they seem to have forgotten about medial librarians. The survey lists almost every type of librarian except medical and in the newsletters Google mentioned they attended ALA. I would like to fill out a library survey where I am not "other" and I would sure like it if they attended MLA. After all, our users, medical professionals, are using Google and Google Scholar to find medical research and they aren't going to stop using it. I think we (Google and librarians) could learn a lot from each other. There are some neat things that medical librarians are doing with their link resolvers, their catalog, and Google. I am sure there is more we could be doing too.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Growing Popularity of the Web to Solve Medical Questions

Like it or not librarians and doctors, "Millions find health tips a Web click away." According to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 113 million adult Web users in the U.S. who have gone online for medical advice and research. About 10 million Americans search the Internet each day for health information, making it as common an activity as online bill paying, reading blogs, and looking up phone and address information. "Just 15% of health seekers say they 'always' check the source and date of the health information they find online, while another 10% say they do so 'most of the time.' Fully three-quarters of health seekers say they check the source and date 'only sometimes,' 'hardly ever,' or 'never,' which translates to about 85 million Americans gathering health advice online without consistently examining the quality indicators of the information they find."

Which brings me to the article "Want to See the Sites? Better Find a Better Guide: Do Popular Search Engines Return Librarian-Recommended Sites? " in Internet Reference Services Quarterly 2006 v. 11 (3) by Tyler, Childers, McNeil, and Dostal.
This paper presents the results of a study of the utility of several popular search engines and of two newer search engines with respect to librarian-selected lists of Web resources and internet searching behaviors. This study addresses whether said resources are returned where internet searchers could reasonably be expected to find them and whether the search engines employed serve as acceptable substitutes for the expert advice of librarians. Search engines included in the study were Google, MSN.com, Yahoo, Lycos, AskJeeves, Icerocket, and Acoona. Searches for the study were based on the topics/titles of the “Internet Resources” columns from College and Research Libraries News for 2004. Finally, the paper addresses methodological concerns and proposes possible directions for further research.

Reading both articles librarians and researchers are able to get a better understanding of searchers methodologies and the web tools (search engines) they choose.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Athens Update

Several people have asked me to update them with my experiences using Athens. So here is a progress report (of sorts).

Athens has been extremely helpful setting up and coordinating access to my databases and journals. Athens is used extensively in the UK but is very new in the US. As a result some United States vendors are a little unsure of how to progress or if they can allow us to use Athens authentication. Athens has been very helpful by communicating to those vendors what they do and how they are used. For the most part each database vendor has been very helpful and willing to set up Athens access. All of my databases except for UpToDate has allowed Athens authentication.

Journals, ah well that is another beast (aren't they always). Some journals allow Athens authentication while some do not. I have asked our journal vendor to look into whether they can ask all of our ejournals about Athens authentication. After all if they (the journal vendor) is activating my institutional online access to the journals they might as well activate Athens. They are investigating to see if this is feasible. If it isn't then I must go to every online journal and ask them to activate our Athens authentication. We don't have a large online journal collection, but it is enough to be time consuming and keep me busy. We all know how responsive online journal publishers are. My favorite (sarcastic tone) is Wiley Interscience. They make it very difficult for you to contact them regarding your online access. You have to fill out a form, that in my experience has never worked. If you try and call them you get somebody in England, despite dialing a United States phone number. Nothing wrong with the folks in England, but it is more helpful to have somebody in the United States (during United States business hours) to answer my questions. For example: I still have yet to find out whether Wiley Interescience allows Basic Access License (BAL) institutions to make their journals available using Athens offsite authentication. The help webform returned an error and the lovely person in the UK was uncertain whether Athens would be allowed for BAL institutional users in the United States but she would forward my information to somebody in the United States office and they would return my call. Still waiting.

Basically if my journal vendor cannot help with Athens authentication to my subscribed titles, then it is going to take a while to get all of these little boogers up and running. My plan of action will be to do the most expensive and popular ones first, the easy ones second, and the difficult ones last.

My first plan of action was to get the resources into Athens. Now that is comming along and all that is left is the journals, my next step is to start registering my users. I haven't started that, once I do I will give you another progress report.

Taylor Francis Changes Electronic Platforms

Taylor Francis announced the beta launch of its new electronic publishing platform, www.informaworld.com. Taylor Francis will transfer its online content (ejournals, ebooks, ereference works, databases and online archives) from T&F, Routledge, Psychology Press and Informa Healthcare.

Taylor Francis www.informaworld.com will run in parallel with T&F's existing platforms whilst customers are invited to try out the beta site and provide feedback. All current subscriptions and recent usage information will be maintained and transferred to the informaworld platform. It will not be necessary for subscribers to re-register institutional accounts or sign new license agreements. Information on updating URLs and IP and ranges can be obtained at www.informaworld.com.

Usernames and passwords are now in the process of being issued to registered administrators, and librarians with questions about the transition to informaworld can contact the Online Customer Service Helpdesk at [email protected] for more information.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chat Reference in the Literature

When it rains it pours. While driving down the information highway, I ran into quite a few articles on the use of chat reference that I would mention.

The first article I found was mentioned on medinfo blog, "Is the collaborative service always superior to the single library service? A project for evaluating the chat reference services in the USA." (in English and free) It is a preprint article in Bibliothek Forschung und Praxis.
Brief blurb:
Chat reference services provided by four types (single academic, single public, consortia academic, and consortia public) of libraries were observed and evaluated. The advantages and disadvantages of both collaborative and single library chat reference service are discussed.

The other three articles I discovered are from Internet Reference Sevices Quarterly. (subscription required)

Using Canned Messages in Virtual Reference Communication by Joseph Straw, 2006 v. 11 (1) 39-49.
More and more libraries are providing virtual reference services for their users. Virtual technologies like e-mail, chat, and instant messaging allow reference librarians to create canned messages to potentially use in different reference situations. The ease and speed in which canned messages can be created is providing ready-made answers to a greater number of reference questions. This article will examine the opportunities and pitfalls of using canned messages in the virtual reference environment, and propose some principles for when to use canned messages in the context of the reference interview.

Instant Messaging and Chat Reference by David Ward, 2006 v. 11 (1) 103-6.
Instant Messaging (IM) is seeing renewed interest among libraries trying to reach out to users and increase their chat reference volume. Younger patrons especially are using IM software as a routine part of their online lives. This article suggests methods and directions libraries can pursue to incorporate IM into their current chat reference services.

Combining the Best of In-Person and Virtual Reference Service to Meet In-Library Patron Needs by Amy VanScoy, 2006 v. 11 (2) 15-25.
When patron workstations are located far from the reference desk, service suffers because patrons can't easily contact staff. While in-house chat services offer a partial solution to this problem, these services fail to provide the face-to-face element that the literature shows is critical for effective reference service. This study analyzes NCSU Libraries' method for solving this problem, a hybrid service that combines features of in-person and virtual reference service.

All of these articles look at the different aspects and issues librarians might encounter when providing virtual reference services such as chat ref. I particularily how NCSU libraries investigated the face to face element. That is an area that we all too often "forget" about when we are looking virtual library services.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Multilibrary Network Federated Search

WebFeat launched WebFeat Enterprise Edition, a custom, configurable, federated search solution for multilibrary networks. WebFeat Enterprise Edition combines the capabilities of WebFeat's independent library solution with the profiling, authentication tools, and usage tracking required to meet the needs of modern library networks.

WebFeat Enterprise Edition supports all major site authentication methods, including IP and referrer URL, to solve the challenge of discrete multilibrary identification and authentication into the federated system. WebFeat Enterprise Edition also offers networks the ability to set up an infinite number of profiles. These profiles may include different database lists, authentication credentials, and even completely different interface looks and feels. WebFeat Enterprise Edition also offers the ability to seamlessly augment common networkwide database collections with those from individual member libraries. The Enterprise Edition of WebFeat’s SMART usage tracker can report enterprisewide usage or usage by each individual member library.

WebFeat currently serves dozens of major library networks, including 12 statewide networks. WebFeat is used by more than a dozen state library/multi-library networks, including: CARLI – Consortium of Academic Research Libraries in Illinois; GALILEO – Georgia's Virtual Library; INCOLSA – Indiana's Virtual Library; LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network; NOVEL – New York Online Virtual Electronic Library; OPLIN – Ohio Public Library Information Network; SEFLIN – Southeast Florida Library Information Network; and the State Libraries of Arizona, Louisiana, New York, Nevada and Oregon. eiNetwork, a collaboration between the Allegheny County Library Association and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, is the newest member of WebFeat's family of library network systems. eiNetwork, which serves over 80 public libraries in the Pittsburgh and Allegheny County area, has contracted with WebFeat to deliver a custom designed federated search solution that enables its member libraries to simultaneously search more than 115 shared databases through the eiNetwork website.

Ok I get that it is a multilibrary federated search product. What I am wondering about is the profiles and authentication. "WebFeat Enterprise Edition also offers networks the ability to set up an infinite number of profiles. These profiles may include different database lists, authentication credentials, and even completely different interface looks and feels." Just curious about this authentication system and how it could be used in multi hospital library systems (which don't always have the same resources) and whether this could also be used for off site user authentication. Perhaps somebody can enlighten me.

Ebook and Ejournal News

Blackwell and ebrary announced the launch of ECHO, a new e-content hosting platform for libraries. ECHO allows librarians to purchase and manage e-book and print collections within their current acquisitions work flows. Powered by ebrary, ECHO provides a way for librarians to preview a growing selection of full text ebooks, select from either multiple or single user access for the majority of titles, and purchase titles instantly through Blackwell’s Collection Manager.

Key features and benefits of the ECHO platform include the following:
  • Access to a growing selection of tens of thousands of titles from more than 220 publishers
  • Selection of either single or multiple user access for the majority of titles
  • Collection Manager work flow integration and consolidated billing
  • Access to a full-text preview of a title before making a purchasing decision
  • Integration with other digital resources in the library and on the Web through InfoTools
  • Copying and printing text with automatic citations with a URL hyperlink back to the source

Ovid announced that it will offer the LWW Journal Legacy Archive. The archive will be available exclusively on Journals@Ovid, (as is the case with all institutional LWW online journals). The LWW Journal Legacy Archive will be available in fourth quarter 2006. The archive will features more than 800,000 articles of original research, reviews, notes, letters, and case studies, from 220 journals in a wide range of medical, clinical, and healthcare specialty areas, including nursing, cardiology, infectious disease, and surgery. Coverage for each journal begins with Volume 1, Issue 1 and runs through the final issue of 1999.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Continuing Education and MLA

FYI the early-bird registration deadline for MLA's Emerging Technologies Webcast has been extended to today, Friday, October 20. Register now for "Moving at the Speed of Byte: Emerging Technologies for Information Management," November 8, 2006, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., central time. The early bird fee for members is $75. If you wait any longer you will need to pay $125!
Don't miss out!

Web-Based Courses:
Sixteen MLA CE Institute Web-based courses are being readied for e-learning opportunities for members. Visit MLANET to preview the listof offerings, instructors' names, and course descriptions. All of the courses look interesting. There are your consumer health classes (including No Comprende: Spanish Health Information Resources for English Speaking Librarians), nursing resources classes, and evidence based library classes, but there are also some classes that are little different from typical library classes (Surveys Made Easy and Thinking Like an MBA: Time, Money, Resources, and Management in the Library) which also sound great.

Only two courses are ready for member participation according to MLANET. However, it is not real obvious which two are ready and how one would go about registering for them. In fact only one course has date, CE hours, cost, and minimum attendence information. I am sure that information will be comming soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What To Do With One Million Dollars

Dean Giustini asks "what would you do with a cool million dollars if it dropped from the sky?" Give myself and my assistant $500,000 raises. There done.

Seriously though, if there were no restrictions on the money. I would first bring my library up to snuff, meaning I would investigate technologies (computers, services, etc.) that I think our library is lacking and decide whether they are logical and feasible for our library. I am a small library, 1 million dollars may get laughs from people listening to Dr. Evil's ransom demands but it is big money for me and the idea of creating an endowment that yields a nice little yearly interest income might be nice as well.

What ideas do you have?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Health Videos

About.com and Healthology have teamed up to offer visitors to About.com Health access to more than 1000 physician-generated videos on medical/health topics including asthma, heart disease and cholesterol, depression, cancer, nutrition, hair loss, sleep, as well as many other conditions. About.com will offer the Healthology videos in addition to its existing library of health videos.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Tech-NO Patrons

This morning I just took a call from a nurse who needed information on congestive heart failure for a paper she plans to write this weekend for her class. She is a night shift nurse and won't be able to make it in to pick up the information until late at night. (I usually will stay late to help patrons, but even this librarian needs to sleep.) Originally she asked if Thursday night would be too soon to get the information. Ninety nine percent of the time I have search results back to patrons within 12-24 hours, so Thursday night wasn't going to be a problem. What sent alarm bells off in my head is that if she got the search results on Thursday night that leaves her precious little time to retrieve the necessary articles from her citation list (especially if we had to get them from ILL). I mentioned to her that I could save her a lot of time and energy by emailing the search results to her. She could then email me back what articles she needed. Those I could get online I would email back to her and those I couldn't I would copy and have ready to pick up one evening this week. Easy right? Wrong. She responded that she didn't use email, she didn't have an email account and didn't even know what her email address would be at work. So it would be just easier for her if she picked up the information in the evening.

Ok now that makes time even more of an issue. I explained to her that I can print of the citations to articles and have them in a pick up box outside my office tonight, but she will have to go through the results and then determine what articles she wants. Based on the print out she will know whether we own the article in the library or if it is available online. I also explained that if the article was not owned by us we would have to get it from the outside and that could take anywhere from 2-7 days.

As it turns out, a majority of the articles I retrieved were not available in print in our library but they were available to our library online. Given the fact that she was so technophobic about email, how good are her chances that she is going to know how to get the online journal article? Even my best and most savvy users can get tripped up finding some online journal articles. How is this patron going to know to get the online article she has to use a hospital computer to go to the library's intranet page (unavoidably buried on the hospital's intranet site) which directs her to the online journals link? Or is she just going to hop on to Google and hope for the best?

Usually, I sit down with patrons at the computer to show them how to get online journal articles. It is not rocket science but the procedure is not always intuitive and can be frustrating for those not familiar with technology or the quirks of electronic journals. However, I can't do this for this patron. So I ended up writing a detailed instruction sheet on how she could access the online articles from the list of citations. Yet I still worry that she might not get the information she needs.

What else could I have done? We are in the process of getting a link resolver to better organize our electronic journal access and provide direct links to full text articles within our databases. But, a link resolver doesn't help in this situation since she didn't want an email of her search. In our quest to provide the best service through technology, there are patrons who just don't even use the basics that we have come to regard as common place, such as email. How to we reach them and get them the information they need when they are (intentionally or unintentionally) leaving themselves behind the technology curve? By utilizing library and web technology are we participating in a sort of information Darwinism? If so what is our obligation to help prevent those users from being naturally selected out of the information revolution?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Flu Shots

Oh it is that time of the year when flu comes around like a bad house guest, and according to CDC officials there should be enough to go around to those who want it.
The CDC has a page entirely devoted to the flu. The page includes information for patients as well as health professionals.

For patients
What You Should Know About the Flu:
Includes: Key facts, Prevention and vaccination, Questions and answers, What to do if you get sick, Flu activity, and Information for specific groups.

For healthcare providers
Information for Health Professionals:
Includes: Vaccintation, Infection Control, Antivirals, Diagnosis, Surveillance, Patient & Provider Education, Training, Background, Bulletins, References & Resources

You might want to bookmark http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/flushot.htm which lists who should get a flu shot.
According to the CDC people who should get vaccinated each year are:

People at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
  • Children aged 6–59 months,
  • Pregnant women,
  • People 50 years of age and older, and
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions;
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above)
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
  • Healthcare workers.

Some people are fortunate to have employers who have people come in to give flu shots to employees. But for those who do not have that perk and their doctor's office doesn't have them, you can find flu clinics in your area at http://flucliniclocator.org/. Other options are to call your local or state health department. Children vaccinations are different than adults, so it is important to call ahead and specify interest in children's vaccinations.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Blogging and RSS A Librarian's Guide

A new book out on the market.... Blogging and RSS A Librarian's Guide by Michael P. Sauers will soon be available.
Book info: (courtesy of books.infotoday.com)
"Libraries increasingly use blogs and RSS feeds to reach out to users, while librarians blog daily on a range of personal and professional topics. The way has been paved by the tech-savvy and resource-rich, but any library or librarian can successfully create and syndicate a blog today. In this readable book, author, Internet trainer, and blogger Michael P. Sauers, M.L.S., shows how blogging and RSS technology can be easily and effectively used in the context of a library community. Sauers showcases interesting and useful blogs, shares insights from librarian bloggers, and offers step-by-step instructions for creating, publishing, and syndicating a blog using free Web-based services, software, RSS feeds, and aggregators."Sounds interesting. I will have to either buy it or get it from my local library.

Blackboard Teams Up with Google

The UBC Academic Search Google Scholar Blog first alerted me to the Blackboard and Google partnership announcement. Blackboard's learning system will be integrated with Google Scholar, providing quick access to millions of scholarly references directly from courses within the Blackboard system. Blackboard software is used by millions of students and educators to access academic materials and resources. According to the announcement "Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, book abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other organizations."

On Blackboard's site under "Extend Blackboard" the Google Scholar Building Block (under New Building Blocks) "enables Blackboard instructors to: construct queries for their students to execute in Google Scholar, and - browse Google Scholar from within their course environment and contextually add content directly from Google Scholar INTO their course with a single click."

I am all for making getting information as close to "one stop shopping" as we can get, but I am also a little nervous of about Google Scholar integrating into Blackboard. Google Scholar is a great tool for some things, we medical librarians all know that it has some serious limitations when searching the medical literature, specifically things indexed in PubMed. Heck we don't even know what specific resources Google Scholar covers so we don't know what we are missing when we search it. Many students just simply/blindly hop onto Google Scholar and retrieve whatever they can get freely. Depending on how you have your library links and resources set up, they might be missing a lot of information that you have and paid for.

This new partnership means a lot of thing for libraries and online resources. What is essential is that libraries must have their link resolvers and their catalogs work with Google Scholar. Serials Solutions, Ebsco and SFX all work with Google Scholar. No brainer right? Well you would be surprised at some of the academic medical libraries who are NOT listed within Google Scholar's Library Links (located under Scholar Preferences to the right of the Search button), take a moment and look for some. Without mentioning any names I was surprised that some very well known academic and medical libraries were not listed.

Additionally, we librarians have go to get the message out better about linking to our resources through Google Scholar. Often we think we have communicated the message until we are blue in the face, but we haven't and what we say is often a little verbose and confusing. We need to be clear, concise and repeat the message often. We are trying to reach students who may not be coming into the library and now will be using Blackboard to get the full text articles, not the library's website. Perhaps a statement on the Blackboard page would be helpful.

The integration of Google Scholar and Blackboard is a great opportunity to reach out to and educate current and new users.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Baaack....Nature's Confidential Pricing

In August I blogged that Nature Publishing would be removing their confidentiality pricing clause in their license agreements. I was wrong. It turns out the sales rep was "mistaken." Rick Anderson's email on SERIALST provides a rather in depth description of his conversation with Nature's management.

While T. Scott reminded us that Nature's confidentiality pricing clause is not about fairness it is about business, Rick brings up an equally good point about public institutions who might be legally obligated to have their expenditures (as well as income) a matter of public record. How does one deal with that? Is something like that covered under the "subject to local law" language that Rick mentions is at the beginning of the Nature's confidentiality clause?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Five Weeks to a Social Library Course

Five Weeks to a Social Library
Cost: FREE
When: Between February 12 and March 17, 2007
Where: Online
Who: 40 librarians interested in social software and it use in libraries
(Course content will be freely viewable to interested parties and all live Webcasts will be archived for later viewing)

The course will be taught using a variety of social software tools so that the participants acquire experience using the tools while they are taking part in the class. The course will make use of synchronous online communication, with one or two weekly Webcasts and many IM or Skype chat sessions made available to students each week.

By the end of the course, each student will develop a proposal for implementing a specific social software tool in their library.

Applications for course participantion are currently being accepted (deadline Dec. 1, 2006). The application process is designed to ensure that the course will benefit those librarians who have the most to gain from learning about social software and who would not otherwise have access to conferences or continuing education.

So all of you medical librarians who complain that you do not have time or insitutional support to attend conferences or continuing education should be very interested in this, because this class is for you!

The course will cover the following topics:
  • Blogs
  • RSS
  • Wikis
  • Social Networking Software and SecondLife
  • Flickr
  • Social Bookmarking Software
  • Selling Social Software @ Your Library
Participation Requirements:
Each participant will take part in a weekly small group chat (either via VoIP or IM) with four other participants and a facilitator and will have the opportunity to chat with social software experts throughout the week. They will also attend at least one of two live Webcasts offered weekly. There will be weekly readings, podcasts, and Webcasts for the users to peruse and discuss. Each user will have a blog on which to post reflections on what they are learning and will be able to read and comment on other participants' blogs. The final assignment for the course will involve developing a proposal for implementing a social software tool at their library.
Applicants must be self-directed, passionate about using social software to benefit their library, and willing and able to invest the time required to take part in the course. While it is not necessary to have had exposure to social software tools in the past, general comfort in the online medium is strongly recommended.

Users must have the following items to participate:
  • An AOL Instant Messenger account (free).
  • A Skype account (free).
  • Windows 2000 or XP or Mac OS 10.3 or later.
  • A recent version of IE, Firefox, or Safari.
  • A headset or microphone that connects to your computer (not sure if we will be using this -- we'll keep you posted).
  • A reliable and relatively fast Internet connection. While broadband is not required, it is strongly recommended as it may not be possible to fully take part in the course without it.
  • Time to invest in learning, discussion and reflection.

For more information including application guidelines please go to: Five Weeks to a Social Library

Monday, October 09, 2006

Changes to AbstractPlus

Currently, AbstractPlus shows full text icon links for the publisher and PubMed Central top right above Related Links. All other link icons are displayed at the bottem below the PMID. NLM said that while they have not seen any decrease in the usage of library icons since the new AbstractPlus format was introduced, they understand librarian's concerns regarding the position of their icon. So NLM has decided to allow one library icon to be located above the Related Links area. Expect this change around March 2007. Libraries are limited to only one icon for top placement and it must be no larger than 100 pixels by 25 pixels.

The NLM Technical bulletin states that the library icon should be "no larger than 100 pixels high by 25 pixels wide," which doesn't make sense since the Wiley Interscience icon I just pulled off of the top right corner of an abstract displayed in AbstractPlus is 117 pixels wide and 35 pixels tall. I am not going quibble that the publisher's icon doesn't even match NLM's 100x25 rule (why even have a rule), but I am saying that I think perhaps you might want to double check with the LinkOut people regarding the sizing before you make an image really tall and narrow.

NLM will continue to display other icons near the PMID and will provide more information as it gets closer to March 2007 when changes will take place.

Patients and Online Health

The eHealth blog has two interesting links to articles about eHealth and whether providers are ready for it. The October 6th post references an editorial by Henry Potts of London, questioning, "Is E-health Progressing Faster Than E-health Researchers?" eHealth's October 3rd post, "Are Physicians Ready for Patients With Internet-Based Health Information" examines in the age of the Internet how physicians deal patients bringing Internet health information to their appointments.

Both articles deal with health information in the Internet age and how doctor's patients (our library patrons) are accessing to become more educated about their health and are using the Internet as more than just a delivery system for information but also as a social networking resource providing peer group support. Competition has sprouted up between the EBM resources and the consumer created resources. "While clinicians value EBM quality criteria to support such choices, these are not used by the public. Whether we like it or not, online health consumers are using untested, amateur resources or commercial sites with financial motivations. Moreover, they appear to be making greater use of such resources than 5 years ago. Many of these amateur websites, online groups, blogs and all, seem valuable and safe, but is there enough ongoing research to demonstrate that?"

What is the answer for physicians and librarians? I am not exactly sure but it is essential that both physicans as well as medical librarians, should at the very least explore and be somewhat familiar with these Web 2.0 resources that their patients/patrons are using.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Library Journal Looking for Movers and Shakers

It is that time of year again when Library Journal is looking for the library world's movers and shakers. The sixth annual Movers & Shakers supplement will profile fifty-plus, up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field, Movers & Shakers 2007 will celebrate the new professionals who are moving our libraries ahead. The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2006.

You can use the online form (warning: print out a copy before you submit, in case your submission fails and everything you wrote vanishes). Or, if you prefer, print out the PDF version (PDF, 180KB; this version has an incorrect submission deadline) and return it to: Ann Kim at LJ, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, or fax to 646.746.6734.

Let's have some representation from the medical library world.

MLA Surveys

Did you attend MLA in Phoenix this year? If so you might be interested in learning what others who attended thought of the meeting. MLA has posted the results of their survery on the Pheonix meeting.

Speaking of surveys... MLA is conducting a survey on Academy of Health Information Professional (AHIP) membership. Input from all chapter members, not just those who are members of MLA, is desired. Members of the Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter and North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries chapter are encouraged to participate again because there have been slight refinements to the survey. The survey is available through October 31 and will take about 5 to 7 minutes to complete.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Future Users Technology and Internet Savvy

The times they are a changin' and the college (and medical) students are increasingly technology and Internet savvy.

To have an idea of what they expect and what their knowledge background you might want to look at:

How Choice, Co-Creation, and Culture Are Changing What It Means to Be Net Savvy. George Lorenzo, Diana Oblinger and Charles Dziuban. courtesy of EDUCAUSE.Interesting snippet from the paper:
"Although Net Geners easily navigate instant messaging, email, Facebook, YouTube, del.icio.us, and Flickr, their apparent technology savviness may be deceptive:
'It is wrongheaded to think that undergraduates -because the have grown up in a digital age- are better at understanding the technology they use as it relates to researching information. They are at sea, drowning in a pool of information, looking for life preserves. Libraries have taken on the task for years of educating our undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors about where information resides, how to access it, and what can be done with it. This the vestal flame of libraries, and is really important task that cant' be surrendered under the assumption that undergraduates know about this because they have grown up with technology.'
The presumed savviness of the Net Generation (or their naivete) is not the only reason that information literacy becomes more complicated in this environment; it is the do-it-yourself independent approach to information literacy."

OPAL presents: Meet the Millennials: Risk Takers and Rule Makers

Friday October 6, 2006 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific, and 8:00 p.m. GMT

Like the generations before them, millennials are defined by their experiences. They grew up with video games, cell phones, the Internet, and online communities. Know teens and college students, learn how they use the Internet, and what library services can meet their needs. Presented by millennial Jami Schwarzwalder.

Ovid Resource of the Month and Other News

This October we welcome Inspec and International Bibliography of Social Sciences as Ovid's resources of the month.

A social and behavioral sciences indexes the information contained in over 2,600 social sciences journals and 6,000 books each year. Coverage includes both core and specialized material from over 100 countries in more than 90 languages. Approximately 70% of the records are in English, and articles in other languages are displayed with both the original language title as well as with an English translation.

Try it for free at Ovid
Learn more from Ovid about Inspec

International Bibliography of Social Sciences
This database covers approximately 1000 print resources and more than 2000 selected Websites, including federal and state agencies, national labs, academic research centers, research hospitals, organizations, associations, foundations, foreign governments, and many other sources. The full text statements in the database contain statistical evidence on social, economic, political, health, and environmental issues - including demographics, agriculture, and education

Try it for free at Ovid
Learn more from Ovid about International Bibliography of Social Sciences

Ovid News:
Ovid Expands Publishing Partnership with Oxford University Press
Ovid announced that it has expanded its partnership with Oxford University Press (OUP) to add more than 180 titles in medicine, neurosciences, social and behavioral sciences to Books@Ovid. Key titles in this collection include Neurobiology of Mental Illness, The Science of False Memory, Human Brain Anatomy in Computerized Images, Fifty Neurologic Cases from Mayo Clinic, and The Middle East: A Cultural Psychology. With the addition of these new titles, Ovid offers more than 200 OUP books on Books@Ovid, including the Oxford Textbook of Medicine.

For more information about the OUP books at Ovid contact your Ovid rep.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Happy Medical Librarians Month

It is October which means it is also National Medical Librarians Month. MLA created National Medical Librarians Month to "raise awareness of the important role of the health information professional." They are suggesting that you "use October to promote your skills and boost your library's visibility so that those in your community and institution know where to turn for quality health information."

Great idea and I am all for it, but let's try and take it a step further and boost your visibility 12 months out of the year. How about celebrating and recognizing other hospital department's months. (I can't take credit for this on my own, I read this from an email on Medlib a few years ago and it stuck with me.) Go to the National Health Information Center's 2006 National Health Observances Calendar and print it off. Select a specific observance that corresponds to departments in your hospital, then recognize that department that month by sending out a flyer to the department highlighting the services you can provide them. Perhaps take a laptop up to the department and show them what cool things you have for them...don't forget cookies to draw them into your clutches.

For example:
  • January: Cervical Health Awareness Month and National Birth Defects Prevention Month. -Go to the OB/GYN department.
  • Februrary: Heart Month -Go to Cardiology
  • March: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, National Nutrition Month, National Kidney Month, National Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month -Go to Oncology dept, Nutritional Services/Dietary dept, Urology dept, and HR.
  • April: Counseling Awareness Month, National Occupational Therapy Month -Go to Psychiatry department and Pastoral Care, Occupation Therapy

You get the drift. Start out small and see how it goes. There are multiple national observances each month, so there are a lot of opportunities to spread the word. Obviously you can't take your laptop and do a dog and pony show to a bunch of departments all in one month. But you can easily send out flyers. Perhaps you rotate. One April you go to Psychiatry and next April you go to Occupational Therapy, but each year they get a flyer.

Think out of the box and who knows maybe you can get a little more attention and visibility the whole year.

List of MeeboMe Libraries

I have mentioned MeeboMe as a possible cheap low tech way to provide basic chat reference in hospital libraries, depending on your hospital's firewall. The Shifted Librarian has created a list of libraries using MeeeboMe on the Library Success Wiki. Currently there are ten libraries using it, not just public libraries either! Four colleges/universities are using it including one medical library. The University of Colorado Denver and Health Sciences Center - Denison Memorial Library has a link on their main page to "Ask a Librarian - Live Online Reference" when clicked on directs you to their Meebo information.

I would be very interested to hear from anybody at Denison Memorial Library to hear about their experiences with Meebo and it usage.

Share Your Library 2.0 Projects

I am slowly digging my desk out from under mounds of papers. Man, you spend three days at home with a sick kid and dog recovering from surgery and every employee decides to put a paper on my desk. Ok, look on the positive side of things, I was missed, they needed me.

For all of you medical tech minded library 2.0 people out there doing some nifty things please consider contacting Ellyssa Kroski of Columbia University who is writing a book about Web 2.0 and Libraries for Neal-Schuman Publishers. She would like to hear from libraries and librarians who are using the technology in different and interesting ways. Tell her about what you or your library is doing, lets make sure the medical library world is represented. :)

Her contact information is:
Ellyssa Kroski
[email protected]http://infotangle.blogsome.com

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Linking to Del.icio.us From Webopac

The Web4Lib email list has a lot of interesting things with the web, libraries, technologies, and such. Some of it is over my head because some of the people are way better programmers than I. Other topics mentioned are interesting things that get me thinking in a different direction and also might be possible for me to do.

One of these things that I don't think I can do currently with my Webopac, but I find interesting none the less, is linking to del.icio.us from the webopac.

Del.icio.us is a social tagging/bookmarking site to store and share online bookmarks that you can access from any computer anywhere. You can use tags to organize and remember your bookmarks, similar to organizing them in folders but more flexible. For more information about del.icio.us and what it can do check out, about del.icio.us.

There are some definite taggers out there or else this site and others like it wouldn't be growing as fast they are. I understand the concept of social bookmarking and tagging in the webopac. Whether I think this phenomenon is technologically the next best thing since slice bread or whether it goes becomes as popular as betamax is up for argument from the users and the critics.

Still it is an interesting way to expand and stretch the library webopac. What I am most curious about is what the outright benefits are to the average (not super techie) library patron of tagging or using something like del.icio.us in the webopac. Are patrons, regular average every day patrons, ready and wanting to do this? Or is social bookmarking and tagging in the webopac kind of like a "Field of Dreams" project, where people laugh at you for building a ballpark in your cornfield but when all is said and done they line up for miles to see/use it.

Read/Write Web has an interesting look at the estimated number of users that sites like del.icio.us might have. Based on the statistics at the time of the del.icio.us acquisition (by Yahoo) in December 2005, and its subsequent growth, the authors estimate del.icio.us has approximately 500,000 users. Impressive, but when you look at the total number of library users in a state, it makes you wonder if adding social bookmarking to the webopac is more bleeding edge than cutting edge for now.

I don't think we should squash the idea of tagging in webopacs right now. We wouldn't get anywhere in libraries or society if we killed every new emerging technology before it got out of the box. But is it an automatic and obvious benefit to our users or is something that still has some time to go before our users are thinking of wanting it?

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The Krafty Librarian has been a medical librarian since 1998. She is currently the medical librarian for a hospital system in Ohio. You can email her at: