Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Funny

Every morning I make it a point to check out the comic Unshelved, and it makes me smile often. It is set in a public library but there are themes that every librarian can relate to.

Today's strip (May 24, 2007) is about a medical librarian using the public library's computers to do her job because her IT department blocks all of the medical sites she uses to do her job. It got a big laugh from me especially since that seems to be a particular problem among hospital librarians these days.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I will be on vacation visiting my family in St. Louis. No posts until I get back.

MLA 2007 Wrap Up

I wanted to link to some final posts about MLA for those of you who might be interestd.

From Krafty MLA 2007 Blog:
ThankYou Volunteer Bloggers
Bioscience/Medical Mashup
Hospital Librarian Tool Kit

From omg tuna is kewl:
Impact Factor Session
Mark Funk's Inaugural Speech
Caplan Lecture

From MLA 2007 Blog:
Section Program: Joining the Revolution: Strategies for Marketing Yourself
Medical Library Education Section’s New Voices in the Air: Hearing the Next Generation of Medical Librarians
Section Program: Turning Clinical Students into Evidence-Based Clinicians: The Medical Library's Role

Monday, May 21, 2007

What is going on at MLA

Don't forget to check out Krafty MLA 2007 Blog and the MLA 2007 LAC Blog to find out what's happening at MLA this year.

Recent posts on the Krafty MLA Blog:
The Reason Why CINAHL Will Be Gone From Ovid
Technology Issues in Hospitals Librarianship Round Table
MLA - The First Real Day
Poster Session I
Plenary Session II: McGovern Lecture

MLA 2007 Blog
Section Program: Turning Clinical Students into Evidence-Based Clinicians: The Medical Library's Role
A Great McGovern Lecture
CE - Writing for Publication in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Friday, May 18, 2007

Blogging at MLA

I am out of the library and enjoying MLA. If you were unable to attend this year but still want to know what is going on you might want to check out several blogs.

Krafty MLA 2007 Blog - I and four other librarian bloggers will posting our thoughts on the meeting, programs, CE's, etc. This is the feed to subscribe.

MLA 2007 LAC Blog - Another blog that will have posts from a group of people at MLA.

omg tuna is kewl -Will be at MLA and says she will post some of her thoughts as well.

If you know of any other blogs out there that will be covering MLA please leave a comment and I will add it to the list. In the mean time I will be primarily blogging over at the Krafty MLA 2007 Blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Some Techie Things at MLA

The Medical Informatic Section (MIS) is sponsoring some technology sessions at MLA.

Monday 10:30-noon
Revolutionizing Discovery Through Text Mining -Speaker K. B. Cohen, Center for Computational Pharmacology, University of Colorado and Health Sciences Center -Denver will discuss the basics of text minig and cover language processing technologies and automated knowledge discovery.

Monday 3:00-4:00
Top Technology Trends: Where Is the Revolution Leading Us Next? -A panel of five health sciences librarians from accross the country will provide their insights into the technologies that librairans should track and prepare for.

Tuesday 3:00-4:30
1,776 Uses for Technology -Five presenters discus how they have employed new technologies, including mashups, podcasts, browser toolbars, wikis, and extensible techniques for creating online tutorials.

Check out MLA's Online Planner to see what going on at what time. I hope to hit all of these sessions but it as I create my plan of attack I will have to see what other sessions are out there that might conflict. Unfortunately, I can't TiVo sessions I don't attend.

Which Wiki is Right for You

Library Stuff directed me to an article in School Library Journal, "Which Wiki is Right for You?" by Shonda Brisco. There are tons of wiki builders out there and a question I get asked a lot is what type of wiki somebody should use. I am sorry to say but my answer has never been that great because a lot of it depends upon the person and what they want to do. I usually refer them to the Wiki Matrix, which compares wikis to each other. However, the Wiki Matrix profiles so many that it too can just add to the confusion a little.

So if you are interested in starting a wiki or just curious you should check out the article in School Library Journal. It profiles three popular wikis, PBWiki, WikiSpaces, and WetPaint. Cost, how it works, pros and cons are all discussed, allowing you to get a better idea of what each wiki does and make a more informed decision.


Monday, May 14, 2007

A to Z Lists and Journals

I am slowly but surely adding my journal print holdings in my A to Z list from Ebsco and I keep thinking there has got to be a better way to do this. Right now I have to upload a tab delimited file of all of my journal holdings with their starting date and end date (I leave the end date blank if we have a current subscription). Now I did this once already at a different library 5 years ago (with Serials Solutions) and I would have thought things would have changed and been a little easier or less time consuming since then. Not really.

What would be nice is to have the ability to add my print holdings as I added my electronic holdings. As it is now, I feel like I have gone through my holdings list at least twice. Once to add the electronic holdings and once to add the print holdings. Every time I make a change to my print collection I have to upload those changes. Not too complicated, but it is annoying and time consuming. I feel like I am "touching" each journal at least twice, and doubling my work.

While I was updating my holdings, my mind wondered to another issue that has been creeping up. Wouldn't it be nice to have the ability to search the A to Z list using the PubMed title abbreviation of a journal? My patrons who have a citation listing the abbreviated title get frustrated trying to guess the real title of the journal in order to find out if the journal is available full text.

For example they don't know if Clin Orthop Relat Res is Clinics in Orthopedic and Related Research, Clinics in Orthopaedic and Related Research, or Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (correct title).

I suppose they could browse through all of the "C" journal titles, but if you activated online access to Open Access titles they are are going to be clicking through a bunch of screens before they find the correct result. Speaking of browsing, don't even try browsing through anything with the first word of "Journal" in the title unless you have lots of time to kill. Patrons could also search for the word "Orthopaedic" as a title word, but that assumes that they know that it is spelled "Orthopaedic" not "Orthopedic," which is not the usual spelling here in the States.

Just some thoughts as I gradually update my holdings in our A to Z list.

AskDrWiki Editorial Board

If you have been following the AskDrWiki threads around the blogosphere (David Rothman, Doctor Wiki, AMA News, etc.) you will know that the creators of AskDrWiki have instituted a detailed editorial policy to help ensure that accurate and quality medical information is posted.

Unlike many wiki and blog pages, editors on AskDrWiki are not anonymous and are identified with their name and degree. Now the Who is Dr Wiki Page not only lists the editors but it will also link to their resume or curriculum vitae. Examples: Kenny Civello MPH, MD and Brian Jefferson MD.

AskDrWiki is still a little subject heavy in Cardiology, however they are looking for editors in every specialty. For example the Biomedical Informatics section is currently empty, so if there are any librarians, physicians, medical information systems people who specialize in Biomedical Informatics, you might want to drop them an email and help contribute.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

MLA Next Week

MLA is just around the corner. If you are going don't forget to check out MLA's online program planner and the official MLA 2007 blog to get the inside scoop about things like what to wear and wireless hotspots.

Lots of poster presentations this year, there are three sessions and I have found a lot of interesting posters in every session. One benefit to not presenting a poster, is that I can go around and look at other posters.

Some that I must include on my must see list:
  • Putting Wikis to Work in Libraries by Nancy T. Lombardo, and Allyson Mower
  • Revolutionizing Consortium Access with Athens Single Sign-on by Robin R. Sewell
  • Analyzing Similarity Functions in Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed by Rebecca S. Graves, AHIP, and Gabriel M. Peterson
  • Assessing the Future: Developing Information Technology Skills for New Staff Roles in Academic Medical Libraries by Richard Peterson, AHIP, Carol Perryman, Robert James, and Charlie Lackey

Finally, this is the last call for volunteer bloggers for the Krafty MLA 2007 blog. I have some great people who already signed up, but the beauty of online communications means that there is always room for more. This year I have decided to link the blog to flickr (as suggested by Bart) so if the volunteer bloggers have camera phones and are geeky like Bart and me, they can upload the photos on the flickr account and have them displayed. So if you are interested in blogging at MLA let me know before Tuesday.

If you are interest in reading the Krafty MLA 2007 blog use this feed to subscribe.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Teaching Medline to Medical Students

I am very excited, starting with the new incoming class of medical students I will be teaching three one hour classes on Medline to the medical students. I have noticed that many of medical students coming to us were fairly unfamiliar with Medline (either PubMed or Ovid) and were really struggling to do research. After some questions and some gentle probing I learned that the students were not taught Medline in their first two years at school because they weren't doing the type of research that warranted using Medline. In their third and fourth years the medical students began hospital rotations and were on the medical school campus less frequently. However, this was also the time where they are expected to do a lot more in depth research and writing. From what I could tell, there was no formal training on how to do research once students entered into their third and fourth years. I was teaching them one at a time whenever I could get a chance, fifteen minutes here, a half hour there. But there was no official time to teach them and I was only able to reach the students who sought help.

Well now I am added to the education schedule! Instead of 15 minutes here and there, I get three classes for an hour each class. While I am a very excited about this, I am going to have to sit down and figure out what I want to teach them. My method of teaching Medline to the students has been more akin to speed dating, try and reach as many people as quickly as possible to make a connection. While it is definitely not the best method for teaching, they rarely had time for anything else and at least it got my foot in the door for follow up questions.

I thought I would ask what you would do and teach in three one hour classes on how to do Medline. What are things you have learned that work well, that don't work well? what are some good search questions that illustrate certain aspects of searching Medline? What about mini pre and post test to see how much they have learned? The table is open for discussion, feel free to post your thoughts. We can all benefit from the sharing of ideas.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What Kind of Techie Are You?

Are you an "Omnivore", somebody who has and uses the most information gadgets and services voraciously and participates in many online activitivies such as blogging or managing web pages? Are you "Off the Network," somebody who is content with old media and does not have a cell phone or the Internet? Or do you fall somewhere in between those two extremes?

The report Technology & Media Use: A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users from Pew Internet & American Life Project attempts to classify Americans into different groups of technology users. The researchers determined that Americans fall into one of ten categories; Omnivores, Connectors, Lackluster Veterans, Productivity Enhancers, Mobile Centrics, Connected but Hassled, Inexperienced Experimenters, Light but Satisfied, Indifferents, and Off the Networks.

Elite Tech Users (31% of American adults) are the Omnivores, Connectors, Lackluster Veterans, and the Productivity Enhancers,.

Middle of the Road Tech User (20% of American Adults) are Mobile Centrics and Connected but Hassled.

The "Few Tech Assets" (49% of American Adults) are Inexperience Experimenters, Light but Satisfied, Indifferents, and Off the Network.

The full report is available and describes each of the ten categories including the demographics of people who typically fall into certain categories. Take their Technology Typology Test to determine what type of techie you are. It was kind of fun, I found out that I am Connector. I also found out that I am 7' 3", hairy, argue with my best friend, and I co-pilot the Millennium Falcon...Ooops wrong test results.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Looking to Change

I read Scott Plutchak's blog post Looking for a Ladder, and I thought it was one of the best recent posts on change and librarians. Specifically on librarians looking to start a change within their institution.

I might just make one little addition to his already great post, for people who are interested in changing things up a bit. Don't be afraid to start small. In fact I highly encourage starting small and perhaps continually doing small changes. An avalanche often starts with just a little bit of snow slipping down a slope.

Medical Librarian 2.0

Medical Librarian 2.0: Use of Web 2.0 Technologies in Reference Services, edited by M. Sandra Wood will soon be available this summer. It is considered a supplement to Medical Reference Services Quarterly, Volume 26, Supplement No. 1. and is not a part of the regular journal subscription.

Contents include:
Introduction (M. Sandra Wood)
Library 2.0: An Overview (Elizabeth Connor)
Virtual Reference Services for the Academic Health Sciences Librarian 2.0 (Ana D. Cleveland and Jodi L. Philbrick)
Applications of RSS in Health Sciences Libraries (Alexia D. Estabrook and David L. Rothman)
P.O.D. Principles: Producing, Organizing, and Distributing Podcasts in Health Sciences Libraries and Education (Nadine Ellero, Ryan Looney, and Bart Ragon)
Streams of Consciousness: Streaming Video in Health Sciences Libraries (Nancy T. Lombardo, Sharon E. Dennis, and Derek Cowan)
Social Networking (Melissa L. Rethlefsen)
Content Management and Web 2.0 with Drupal (Chad M. Fennell)
It’s a Wiki Wiki World (Mary Carmen Chimato)
Mashing Up the Internet (Michelle A. Kraft)
Reference Notes Included

You might recognize some names from the above list, such as Alexa Estabrook, David Rothman, Nadine Ellero, Ryan Looney, Bart Ragon, Nancy Lombardo, Sharon Dennis, and Melissa Rethlefsen.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Still Seeking Bloggers for MLA

It is getting closer and closer to MLA and I am still looking for people who would be interested in blogging about MLA.

If you are already going to MLA and would be interested in submitting your thoughts, opinions, and summaries of the programs/meetings you attend, drop me an email and let me know. It doesn't have to be too formal and you don't have to do anything special. Just attend the events you normally would and then when you get a chance you can post about it on the blog.

Last year Jennifer, I. Martinez, and Rachel O. did a great job as volunteer bloggers. I think the blog offered a different side of events and gave a personal perspective that often doesn't come through in newsletters.

Your IT Staff and Accessing Blogs, Wikis, etc.

Andrea Lynch on MEDLIB-L mentioned that an interesting issue was raised during the class, "Incorporating Web 2.0 Tools into the Research Process: Making the Most of Instruction and Outreach Efforts." The issue was about convincing the hospital's information technology departments about the value and need to access blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 tools.

Have you successfully convinced your IT/IS staff at your institution for the need to access these things? If you have Andrea asks that you visit the course blog and provide any advice or strategies that might be of help to other medical librarians.

Ovid's Resource for May

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI) on Ovid
Health and Psychosocial Instruments features material on unpublished information-gathering tools for clinicians that are discussed in journal articles, such as questionnaires, interview schedules, tests, checklists, rating and other scales, coding schemes, and projective techniques. Over 2/3 of the tools are in medical and nursing areas such pain measurement, quality of life assessment, and drug efficacy evaluation.
Try it at Ovid
Learn more about Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI) 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: