Monday, April 30, 2007

Customize Your Athens Information

It is spring and love is in the air. I am in love with Athens. (Ok, I probably need to get out a little more often.) Athens has added some nice customization features for libraries and users.

Resource Customization
When a library user logged into MyAthens and clicked on Resources they got generic resource descriptions supplied by the vendor.
For example:
Thomson Gale Databases
"Gain access to your institution's own Thomson Gale online reference and periodical resources, such as InfoTrac (including Onefile/Newspapers), Gale Virtual Reference Library (eBooks), The Times Digital Archive, ECCO and Resource Centers."

Yeah, not very helpful or informative to the general library user. It was also a problem for large journal/publisher sites.

For example:
Oxford Journals
"Research journals from Oxford University Press in the fields of Life Science, Medicine, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law."

I don't know but if I was the average library user, I would assume by that description my library had access to ALL of the Oxford Journals. If a library doesn't subscribe to the entire kit and kaboodle, the library can now change the wording to reflect that.

In fact the library can change the wording to all of the resources to better help the users. Lyn Norris from Athens says, "If you only subscribe to the Cochrane Library through Wiley InterScience, you can change the name of the resource to The Cochrane Library, and amend the text to describe the Cochrane Library. Alternatively, if you have a second STAT!ref subscription, perhaps for Anatomy TV, you can amend the name from STAT!ref Supplemental to Anatomy TV, and give it a description related to Anatomy TV."

Browser Toolbars
Athens now has toolbars for both Firefox and Internet Explorer. The toolbar replicates the features of the MyAthens web page and can be used to access Athens authenticated resources. What is nice is that you just click on the Athens Options to login and once you are logged in you can used the pull down menu on the toolbar to jump to your resources.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Vista Discoveries

I recently purchased a laptop and it has Vista. While I have been playing with it I have notice a few things different from Windows. Most of these things I encountered as I played around, others I discovered while I searched the Internet for issues or fixes to my problems.

Problems requiring downloads or work arounds:

VPN -Vista has some problems with VPN. The most notable, users can have some problems connecting. So if you VPN into your university's or hospital's network, you might have some problems. Download Microsoft's update for Vista and VPN to fix the issue.

FireWires - Digital cameras, external hard drives, old iPods, use a FireWire to plug into your computer. If you let your computer go to sleep, when it wakes up it freaks out and gives you a cryptic "DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE" error message. To fix this problem download an update from Microsoft.

iTunes - If you use iTunes 7.1 and have Vista, do NOT click on the icon that allows you "safely remove hardware." If you do, your iPods files could get corrupted. To fix this problem, just unplug your iPod from your computer after it is done syncing. If you "safely removed your hardware" and ended up corrupting your precious pod, don't freak out there is a fix. First plug it back in to the computer, withinin iTunes go to the iPod's summary panel, click Restore. This should fix it, then unplug it from computer to remove it. Thankfully, I read about this problem before it happened to me, or I would have had to run outside away from the kids to let out some choice words. Because I am a nitwit and I would have been caught in a vicious loop of restoring my songs then "safely removing my hardware" and corrupting them again, only to restore them and corrupt them repeatedly. It would not have occured to me that by "safely removing the hardware" that I was actually corrupting my files.

The look and feel:

Desktop - The first thing I noticed is the start button usually in the left hand corner of my Windows desktop is gone, it has been replaced with the Microsoft Windows logo. Microsoft calls this little window bubble "the pearl," which if you are like me and fan of the show Lost, "the pearl" means something entirely different. The menu list we all know from Windows has been replaced by a tree like structured menu and has a built in Search where you can just start typing and Vista will search for files, programs, etc.

Windows - The window frames appear clear or "frosted glass like" similar to the pearl. The frames are a little larger than the frames on Windows and you can sort of see through them and see your desktop or whatever is behind the window. This design feature is kind of nice if you are somebody who likes to have multiple windows open at a time. The "see through" frame allows you to see other windows on the desktop and larger frame allows you more space to click on them and toggle between windows.

Sidebar - The sidebar is a transparent screen that resides on the side your desktop and allows you drop in various things (Microsoft calls them "gadgets") such as a clock, calendar, notepad, weather, news updates, Internet radio streams. Vista comes with a set of gadgets but you can download more from Windows Vista Gadget Gallery. I am not sure if I like the Sidebar or not. Part of me thinks of it as visual clutter the other part of me likes to have those things easy to see and accessible.

Internet Explorer 7 - Vista comes with IE 7 which is better than IE 6, but in the end it's like putting a pretty dress on a pig, underneath it is still a pig. Firefox is still much better than IE.

So far that is what I have discoverd for now. As I learn more, I will post more.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Don't Let Google and the Pennypinchers Get You Down

(courtesy of Library Stuff)

Don't let Google and the Pennypinchers Get You Down: Defending (or Redefining) Libraries and Librarianship in the Age of Technology. (free online) by Bill Crowley in Proceedings Beyond 20/20 Envisioning the Future: 2007 British Columbia Library Conference, Burnaby (Canada).

What are libraries really about? If libraries and librarians cannot compete with information technology giants like Google, how can they remain relevant to their communities of users? Crowley explores ways to understand how the general public and students view libraries. Bluntly stated, there is no longer any way that librarians and trustees can convince residents of local communities and members of college and university campuses that libraries are their primary information source. Given this reality, Crowley introduces the concept of lifecycle librarianship, offering a useful way of considering library roles and securing the necessary human and financial resources to carry them through. This presentation will encourage realistic and original thinking about the future of libraries and professional librarianship by redefining their primary roles from information suppliers to education providers and self-learning facilitators.

Wow. I am left speachless, it is very interesting and now I have to sit back for a while and chew on those thoughts and see it from the medical library perspective.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Tagging Medical Images

Hardin Medical Library has recently begun applying tags to images from UIHC (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) -example images from the Dermatology Department and the College of Dentistry.

Sometimes I feel like I have been accidently recruited into a large team building scavenger hunt exercise when I am asked to look for a good medical image online. I have previously mentioned how I think tagging medical images online would be one way to possibly help organize and retrieve good medical pictures. However, I have seen little development in this area, which is a little surprising to me. The only reason I can think is that many medical images are located in pay databases such as images.MD which wouldn't take too kindly to having there images tagged, displayed, and freely. But what also is a little surprising is that images.MD doesn't allow people to tag images. You can save images to your account but you can't tag them with your own words or notes. I personally think that would be a helpful feature.

Why should we stop at tagging only our personal and fun photos on sites like flickr? Tagging could make finding medical images much easier. What would be cool is if there was a site similar to flickr only dedicated to medical images.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Google Doesn't Cite Sources

Dean Giustini emailed me the other day about how an interview he had done had made it into Google's annual report, yet failed to provide a citation for where the interview came from. I have been swamped recently at work but thankfully David Rothman published a post on it.

The quote is within the Founders' Letter from Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the beginning of the annual report where they illustrate how Google has affected users lives. There are 22 quotes, each with the name of the person who said it, however there is accompanying reference information. It appears that some of the 22 quotes come from letters to Google, however some do not. Using Google, I found not only Joshua Schwimmer's quote lifted from Dean's interview but others as well.


  • Jo Guldi's quote was originally posted 3/14/2007 on her blog how Google Books helped with her dissertation.
  • Quincy Smith, President CBS Interactive, his quote is from a November 22, 2006 press release stating how YouTube users are "clearly being entertained by the CBS programming they're watching."
  • Arun Shivar quote was from an interview for an article 11/10/2006 on where farmers are using Google Earth in their fight for land compensation rights.
  • Adrian Sannier quote was taken from multiple sentences within his blog post 10/16/2006 regarding ASU and Google.
  • Cosmo Buono quote was taken from an interview by Jefferson Graham for an article 10/30/2006 in the USA Today regarding Google ad sales.

All of these quotations should have included the name of the person the quote was being attributed but it also it should have included where that quote originated from, especially if it was from something other than direct communications to Google. Sloppy Google, very sloppy.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Making Medical Fact Finding Easy

The Dallas Morning News has an article on the value of medical librarians, "Making medical fact-finding easy: Don't trust the Internet? These local experts will help."

The article mentions how we can help people sift the wheat from the chaff and give them reliable and helpful information often at times when they need it the most and are the most vulnerable.

Nice to get a pat on the back every once and a while.

Web 2.0 in Clinical Practice

Judy Burnham gave a presenation to the Medical Association of the State of Alabama on Web 2.0 tools in Clinical Practice.

Her handout and PowerPoint presentation are available. She mentioned that during the meeting her library hosted a CyberCafe where attendees could check their e-mail and/or confer with librarians on accessing knowledge based information. The web site developed for the CyberCafe is at

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My Deepest Sympathies

I want to express my deepest sympathies to the people who have been effected by the shootings at Virginia Tech. You are in my thoughts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

LinkOut Icons Not Ready

The other day I blogged that the library icons could be displayed at the top of the PubMed citation while in Abstract Plus mode. Well it appears that I jumped the gun. Quite a few people have been discussing on MEDLIB-L that their library icons were not displaying according to what the NLM Technical Bulletin described.

Apparently, NLM wasn't ready before it posted the article in the technical bulletin. According to an email posted to the MEDLIB-L list "There has not been an internal announcement yet as to when the Beta version with the LO icon change will be implemented. We are vigorously testing and the hope is by the end of this week. We try to post changes in the Technical Bulletin prior to release to give NLM users warning." We are to look for a red "Try Beta" icon at the top of the PubMed page when this service is available.

Wow this is kind of poor communication and planning. The article in the technical bulletin implies this feature is already done. "We are pleased to announce that the AbstractPlus Display in PubMed has been updated to include one library icon above the list of Related Links." There is no mention of beta nor a mention of it being forthcoming. Why post such an article if it isn't ready yet!?

While I am pleased that this change will be comming, I am equally confused and frustrated that they sort of mislead us to believe it was available and working.

Windows Vista

My little end of the year bundle of joy and last minute tax deduction made it possible for me to get a new laptop computer. For those of you know who know me, I have had this on my wishlist for quite some time, but family life expenses such as brakes, daycare tuition, orthodontia, etc. always seemed to win out.

The computer is not the top of the line anything and it certainly won't blow the doors off of some really cool machines out there, but it has everything I needed. It also has Windows Vista.

I really wasn't thrilled about the fact that my new notebook was going to have to have Vista as an operating system. The main reason was money. Vista is a huge hog and requires more processing power, graphics capabilities, and memory than many machines and that means more $$. The second reason was comfort. I am comfortable with Windows, and like everybody I want what I am comfortable with.

I just got the computer yesterday so I haven't had much time to really "play" with it. I plan on giving my thoughts and opinions but in the meantime check out Windows Vista What You Need To Know and Vista Upgrade Tests both from

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Roundtable Facilitators and Recorders Still Needed for MLA '07

MLA in Philadelphia is just around the corner. If you are attending the conference you might want to consider not only attending the Roundtables but also volunteering as either a Facilitator or Recorder.

MLA is still in need of volunteers for the topics below:

Topics to Facilitate
#4 - Copyright Issues
#6 - Electronic Health Record
#16 - Library Space Planning
#18 - Management/Leadership
#19 - Managing Resources in Emergency/Disaster Situations
#22 - Open Access/Scholarly Publishing
#24 - Strategies for License Negotiations with Vendors
#25 - Talking to Administration/Communication Techniques
#26 - Technology Issues for Hospital Librarians

Topics to Record
#2 - Clinical Decision Making
#5 - Digitization Issues
#6 - Electronic Health Record
#12 - How to Start an Institutional Repository
#13 - Integrating You or the Library into the Curriculum
#16 - Library Space Planning
#18 - Management/Leadership
#22 - Open Access/Scholarly Publishing
#23 - So You Want to Publish?
#24 - Strategies for License Negotiations with Vendors
#25 - Talking to Administration/Communication Techniques
#28 - Virtual / Electronic Library

You do not need to be an expert on the topic to volunteer and facilitators and recorders will earn one point toward membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals.
If you are interested please email: Melanie Cedrone.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Library Icons in PubMed's Abstract Plus

The NLM Technical Bulletin has an article regarding library icons in PubMed's Abstract Plus. One library icon can appear near the top of the page, right above the Related Articles links. All other icons in the AbstractPlus display are displayed near the PMID number.

Important: In order for a library icon to be displayed in the new location, the icon must be no larger than 100 pixels wide by 25 pixels high.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Great Space Debate

Space the final frontier in libraries. No I am not referring to the stars and planets nor am talking about Clingons, Vulcans, and Starships. I am talking about the physical place you call the library. Whether your library is so old that it is a historic landmark or you are in the process of moving to the state of the art building of the future, library space is always an issue.

This month's MLA Focus reminds us that Sunday May 20, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m., the 2007 National Program Committee (NPC) will sponsor the program "Be It Resolved: As Libraries Evolve to Electronic Access Their Need for Physical Space Decreases."

Do you agree with that statement or do you disagree? You are encouraged to start the discussion now by responding to the March 22 post, "Join Us for the Great Space Debate!" on the MLA '07 blog, maintained by the NPC and Local Assistance Committee.

I for one will be interested in reading people's comments and hearing the debate in May.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Innovations in Medical Education Video Library

Andrew Osmond from Ebling Library emailed me about The Innovations in Medical Education Video Library. It is a collection of health science presentations available to students, faculty, community preceptors, public health professionals, and consumers. Major education presentations are digitally recorded and placed on the site along with links to topical areas of interest.

Currently there are 132 videos available or coming soon to the web site. Videos cover a variety of topics including consumer health information, technology, surgery grand rounds, ethics, etc. Some of the examples of titles are: Myocarditis, Maximum Google Reloaded, Clinical Teaching: What They Never Taught Us, Maximum-likelihood Segmentation of Ultrasound Images by Tunneling, and Which Diet Works: A Nutrition Review.

Free registration is required to view the videos.

Browse through and watch some videos. It is another great resource for medical/health videos online. You can also subscribe to their RSS feed so that you are notified when new videos are added to the library.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Roving Reference

The LibrarianInBlack directed me to Roving Reference Mythbusting where Joan Giannone responds to 8 common myths regarding roving reference. It is interesting to read and for me it kind of jumpstarted my thoughts.

In a galaxy far far away when I was in library school I was the electronic resources assistant at the University of Missouri Ellis Library. Part of my job as the electronic resources assistant was to learn every electronic database and help users search for information. Although we sort of had a desk near the reference desk, it really served as an area to store our bookbag and to tally stats. We were expected to wander through the banks of computers to help patrons with their searches. Essentially we were roving electronic reference assistants. There is definitely and art and science to roving computer reference. You don't want annoy them but you also want to be approachable. I found that the simple act of greeting them made all the difference in the world. If they entered the computer area or when my shift started, "Hi, I'm Michelle if you need any help or have any questions let me know. I'll be in the area." If they were already on the computer searching away or if they were leaving I would ask them if they were able to find everything they needed. I did not hover. I wandered and while wandering I did other things that were part of my job such as re-stocking paper in printers, straightening the work desks, troubleshooting computers, etc. I rarely sat down. The reason we wandered and rarely sat down? It was discovered that the patrons were more apt to ask questions as you were passing by rather than getting up from their computer and going to a desk. We were more approachable.

Now that I am librarian in a small community hospital library, roving like I did back then wouldn't work out too well. My library is a good size for a community hospital but, my four year old could throw a baseball the length of it. I think my patrons would get a little creeped out if I just kept wandering in that small space, and I really don't want to personally test out our psychiatric beds. But I can get out from behind my desk a lot more and create my own modified roving reference.

Google’s medical push

ZDNet's article Google’s medical push provides us with a look into Adam Bosworth, Vice President Engineering Google mission where "increased and more targeted use of technology will help improve healthcare for all."

If you ever wanted to know a little more about what is going on at Google regarding health/medicine, he discusses Google health information searching, Google patient health record, and standardization.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ovid's April Databases of the Month

Not only is it opening day for baseball, but opening day for Ovid's April databases of the month.

Biosis Archives on Ovid
Biosis Archives is the online version of the the entire print collection of Biological Abstracts before its online publication in 1969. BIOSIS Archive features abstracts written by Nobel Prize winners and other renowned scientists, and offers fully indexed and searchable bibliographic records covering all areas of the biological sciences.
Try it at Ovid
Learn more about Biosis Archives from Ovid

Zoological Archive on SilverPlatter
Zoological Record is widely respected resource in animal science literature. Zoological Record Archive takes all of the bibliographic records from the first 106 print volumes, streamlines the indexing and formatting features, and adds modern search and linking functionality so that researchers can find information quickly.
Try it at Ovid
Learn more about Zoological Archive from Ovid

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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: