Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Understanding Mashups

The SirsiDynix Institute will be hosting the free seminar Mar 06, 2007 (11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern), Mashups : A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That. Darlene Fichter, Head of the Indigenous Studies Portal and Coordinator of Data Library Services, University of Saskatchewan Library, will be discussing mashups.

"What's a mashup and why would I want one? Whether you're a reference librarian, library trainer, a library webmaster or teacher- librarian knowing about this new breed of web application is important. A 'mashup' mixes content from independent sources to create something new. Many mashups are simple to create and require little technical know-how, allowing library staff and library users of all sorts to wave a magic wand and create something new. Jump on board and take a tour of interesting mashups, including some library examples, and explore the opportunities for libraries to remix library and other data sources to create new and innovative services. Take away tools that you can learn about and build mashups, for users or yourself, and recommended sites to learn more. Jump start your thinking on the new Web 2.0 ecosystem that relies on symbiotic relationships and communities rather than 'monolithic systems' or the 'kindness of strangers'."

This is a free hour long seminar, so make sure you register for it if you are interested.

If you are interested by you will be in a meeting, on vacation, abducted by aliens, or otherwise occupied during that time, rest easy you can download it for free from the SirsiDynix Institute archives. Podcast listeners can Subscribe to the SirsiDynix Institute podcast feed and receive automatic downloads of the audio portion of each Institute seminar (in mp3 format).


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nine Easy Web-Based Collaboration Tools

Are you looking for some ways to collaborate with colleagues and help users that goes beyond the typical way of emailing documents back and forth? If so you might want to check out the's article, "Nine Easy Web-Based Collaboration Tools." Most of the tools are free or low cost. The article is a little Google heavy, five out of nine tools mention are from Google. But it is an interesting article and might help jumpstart your creative juices.

In addition to the nine Forbes listed (Google Apps For Your Domain, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Apps Premier Edition, Google Notebook, Zoho, Bluetie, Basecamp, and Wikis) there are some other that you might consider.

RefWorks -More costly than the freebie (or near free) software in the article, but if your institution already uses RefMan or EndNote you might be pleasantly surprised at how RefWorks can help your researchers share research, citations, and import and organize RSS feeds. If you think of RefWorks as a traditional reference manager program then you are missing out on some its best features that set it apart from other traditional products.

Meebo -Free web messenger that allows you to access IM from anywhere and supports msn, yahoo, aol, google, icq, and jabber. Meebo and the Meebo Me widget can make chat ref a possiblity to some smaller or cash strapped libraries. Some drawbacks are that some institutions block Meebo. However, if you are interested in providing chat ref to your users, why not present your case to your IT department as to why Meebo should be unblocked.

aNobii - Allows you to create, share and explore booklists. Similar to LibraryThing you can catalog, rate, tag and comment on items. Unlike LibraryThing, aNobiii allows you to track your by progress by adding the book into one five categories (Not Started, Finished, Reading, Unfinished, Reference) and has a circulation feature. The circulation feature allow you to keep track of what books you have loaned and to whom but it also allows you to automatically send out reminders for late books. While aNobii might be directed towards avid readers for personal use, it also might work well for very small libraries. Who knows. and - Are two social bookmarking sites. is primarily used by medical researchers and clinicians to track references and academics use to share, store and organize academic papers. Both free, Connotea (created by Nature Publishing Group) and CiteULike are very similar. With the click of a button users can add online papers or websites to their personal library.

What collaboration tools do you like or are using and why?


Monday, February 26, 2007

Fake drug, fake illness -- and people believe it!

Michael Lorenzen's blog directed my attention to an interesting news article on Yahoo News, "Fake drug, fake illness -- and people believe it!" Australian artist Justine Cooper created a faux marketing campaign for a imaginary drug called Havidol an equally imaginary disorder, Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder (DSACDAD), for a media exhibition at the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery in New York.

The catch is that some people don't realize it is all fictitious and it is the artist's view of society and marketing from drug companies.

Cooper states "Havidol taps into our collective desire and expectation that there is always room for improvement, while walking the line between poking fun at ourselves and wondering how to obtain a prescription. The marketing message leaves us with the sense that we are never good enough, nor have enough. Are we a society of hypochondriacs, or are we biologically built and genetically urged to out-compete our peers and former selves? Cooper's works on exhibition comment on our temperamental relationship to western medicine, built upon the idea of a malfunctioning body or mind, and the yearning to believe everyday life can be remedied."

According to the gallery, when the Havidol site first went up, it had 5,000 hits, has since reached a quarter of a million and has been folded into real web sites for panic, depression, and anxiety disorders.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Roundtable Facilitators and Recorders Needed for MLA '07

Are you going to MLA this year? The Chapter Council Roundtables Luncheon is a great way to have lunch and discuss various topics concerning libraries and librarians.

Believe me there are a wide variety topics, enough to interest any librarian.
(Below is just a sample, click here to view all 30 topics)
  • Clinical Decision Making Tools
  • Consumer Health
  • Evidence Based Medicine
  • Evidence Based Librarianship
  • Federated Search Tools
  • Management of E-resources
  • New and Emerging Roles for Medical Librarians
  • Technology Issues for Hospitals
  • Using New Technologies and Instructional Design
  • Wikis, Blogs, and Pods

If you are passionate about topic you might consider being a facilitator or recorder for the Chapter Roundtables. Experience in a topic is not necessary, just a willingness to share your enthusiasm with others. MLA is looking for volunteers to be facilitators or recorders.

Duties for facilitators include initiating discussion, encouraging participation, and collecting evaluations. Duties for recorders include documenting the discussion for posting on the Chapter Council Website. Facilitators and recorders earn one point toward membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals for completing these activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Chapter Council Roundtables Committee Co-chairs Marie Reidelbach, or Melanie Cedrone.

2007 MLA Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2007 MLA Award winners. Individuals are recognized and honored for research, instruction, outstanding service, and leadership. Visit MLANET for a list of this year's awards, fellowships, grants, and scholarships recipients.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Five Weeks to a Social Library

The 5 Weeks to a Social Library course is a completely free and completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and its use in libraries. Eventhough the course is limited to 40 participants (already chosen), everybody may access the course content.

The course will cover Blogs, RSS, Wikis, Social Networking Software and SecondLife, Flickr, Social Bookmarking, and Selling Social Software at your Library.

Week 1: Blogs and Week 2: RSS and Social Bookmarking are available already. In David Rothman's blog he mentions Melissa L. Rethlefsen's screencast to demonstrating some of the cool things that can be done with RSS on a Library’s Web site. *small note* You might have to watch the screencast from home if your institution blocks

For anybody who is interested in how these technologies can be used in libraries, I would recommend checking out 5 Weeks to a Social Library to get some ideas.

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Mastering Google for Health Information

The UBC Physio Info-blog has a very quick online tutorial entitled Mastering Google for Health Information. This 12 minute tutorial can run either run it in a browser window or download it to your machine.
View it see if you learn anything new. One quick thing that I learned was that I can use google as measurement converter, for example lbs to kgs.
Once you watch it tell them what you think. Was it helpful? Too long? Too short? They want to know your thoughts.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BabelMesh and Txt2MEDLINE

Here are two new options for searching MEDLINE courtsey of NLM.

BabelMesh is a cross-language search to MEDLINE/PubMed. Users can search using single terms or complex phrases in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The citations and abstracts retrieved will still be in English only.
To search BabelMesh go to
For more information read:
Liu, F, Fontelo P, Ackerman MJ. BabelMeSH: Developmentof a Cross-Language Tool for MEDLINE/PubMed. 2006.

Txt2MEDLINE, in beta test, a text messaging system for processing incoming Short Message Service (SMS) queries, retrieving medical journal citations from MEDLINE/PubMed and sending them back to the user in the text message format.

To check out Txt2MEDLINE go to:
For more information read:
Fontelo P, Liu, F, et al. Txt2MEDLINE:Text-Messaging Access to MEDLINE/PubMed. 2006


Monday, February 19, 2007

Googling a Diagnosis...Dilbert Style

If you haven't seen this on Medlib-l today you might want to have a look and laugh. 4.0 Launched

In the spirit of new launches, I thought I would mention that 4.0 has launched. provides a unified search of the government’s of scientific and technical information, including but not limited to Biology, Health and Medicine, Biotechnology, and Food Safety.

The new features 4.0 brings are: deep rank, refine results, result sorting, and email.

DeepRank uses information gathered from the full-text document, when available, to perform relevancy ranking. This is a "deeper" search and real- time ranking system that may take a little longer but returns results based on more information.

Refine results Once a search has been run, you have the option to refine your results by searching for another term or phrase within the original set of results.

Result sorting Once a search has been run, you have additional options to sort and view results by title, date or author as well as by relevancy rank and source.

E-mail results Once a search has been run, you have the option to e-mail the results to yourself or another person or listserv, along with an optional comment.

For more information on go to

I'm Baaaaack

I am back from my 2 month hiatus and you might notice some things have changed. The big change is I have my own site and my blog is now located at Please change all your book marks and your feeds. You can get the new feed from the little orange icon on the right side of the page.

While I was away my blog kind went kablooey and I temporarily lost files and some links went dead. That is what happens when your husband accidently deletes files because he believed you had already moved them. Ooops. Rest assured for all you who are looking for the medical podcast list, I have it and I updated the link in the old post to go to the correct file.

So, on 4 hours of sleep (no he is not sleeping through the night yet) and my mega mug of ice cold coke providing the necessary infusion of caffeine I will get back into the posting swing of things.

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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: