Thursday, April 23, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to be an Official Blogger at MLA

This Friday, April 24th is the last day to apply to be an Official MLA Blogger at the MLA Annual Meeting.

If you are on the fence about being a blogger here are 10 good reasons why you should be an Official Blogger.

10. Snappy Official Blogger ribbons to attach to your meeting badge. Consider it one of your 15 pieces of flair.

9. You can to kill two birds with one stone. Turn the notes you already have to take for your report back at home into blog posts that will get you AHIP points.

8. Free WiFi. Stop using your laptop as a digital divining rod to find a hotspot.

7. You don't have to have a laptop to be an Official MLA Blogger. Type 2 bloggers (those without their own laptop) can post to the blog and earn AHIP points.

6. Where else can you sip Mai Tais and tan on the beach while writing about libraries?

5. It is an easy way to call attention to your award winning photography skills by enhancing your post with your MLA flickr photos.

4. Your experience might give you some great ideas on outreach, technology, and communication that you can apply at your home library.

3. What else are you going to do when you are up at 2:00am fighting jet lag?

2. If we get enough bloggers our numbers might just rival those of the knitting librarians at the conference.

1. Great way to help connect those who had to stay home with the news and information from the Annual Meeting's programs and events.

Hurry, the deadline is April 24th!Follow the blog using the following RSS feed

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McGill Library Global Health Resource Guide

I discovered from SHR Medical Library blog that McGill Library has developed the Global Health Resource Guide. The guide is to promote collaboration and to share and organize knowledge about health resources within the McGill community and the world.
Members of the McGill community as well as those from outside academic community can edit and add to the wiki. If you are from an academic community outside of McGill, you can email one of McGill's librarians below to obtain a user ID if you would like to contribute to the wiki.

The information on the wiki is divided into three sections: Resources, Map + Tools, and In the News. They do a good job of listing a lot of the medical and health databases one would use but the list has the potential for confusion because they do not list what is McGill access only. They do a could job of specifying what electronic journals and legal sources are free and McGill only.

It is an interesting site and I think if there is good buy in from the McGill and the outside academic community it could be a very helpful resource guide for those interested in global health issues.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Annual Meeting Questions? Just ask.

When I go to MLA's Annual Meeting I always ask coworkers to browse through the program (including the posters and sections) to let me know if there is anything specific they want me to try and attend or ask questions about.

This year I am also asking all of you in the blogosphere who can't attend the meeting to do the same. MLA's Online Program Planner is up and running. (Currently it seems to be missing some key events such as the Plenary Sessions, hopefully that will be resolved soon.) In the meantime you can browse the poster and section programs as well as other events and tell me what you want to know more about.

Is there a poster addressing some key issues that your library is facing? Are you interested in a certain new product from a vendor? Do you have questions about a library service or how a librarian accomplished something? Please read through the program and submit your comments below. You can remain anonymous. I only ask that if you do so, please number your anonymous posts (anonymous1, anonymous2, etc.) so that I can keep track of the questions.

Think of me as your blogger in the field. I can't promise that I will get to all of your submissions, but if I have the opportunity I will try. Relevant questions and answers will be re-posted on the MLA 2009 Official Blog.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Online at MLA

You have just one week left to apply to be an Official MLA Blogger for the Annual Meeting in Hawaii. If you are going to the meeting and are interested in blogging, please consider applying. Your colleagues who are unable to attend will benefit from your experiences. Being an Official Blogger is a great way to get free wifi courtesy of MLA for the duration of the conference. Not traveling with a laptop? Don't worry, you can still be an Official Blogger if you don't have your own laptop. Hurry, the deadline is April 24th!

Follow the blog using the following RSS feed

The Official Blog is just one way to follow the events at MLA. A Twitter account has been set up for the meeting as well. The MLA 2009 Twitter account is mla2009. Following MLA 2009 on Twitter is very easy.

You can follow without signing up for a Twitter account. You can either go to the website and watch the posts, or you can subscribe to the RSS feed at

If you want to interact with people, comment, or pose questions then you will need to create your own Twitter account. Simply go to and join. Once you have joined and created a username go to Find People and type in mla2009. Click on the icon and then click Follow.

Just a few days before meeting mla2009 will "follow" all of its followers. That will allow everybody following on mla2009 to see each others posts and to view what is going on at the convention. If you plan to post about the convention please try and remember to use the hashtag #mla09 before you type. The hashtags index the thread so that it can be found and easier to follow.

Note: The Twitter website does not automatically refresh, so you will either need to hit the browser's refresh button every once and a while or you might want to look at some Twitter clients like twhril or TweetDeck which make managing your Twitter account a little easier.

Are you going to the meeting and are you planning on taking a lot of pictures? Please consider uploading to the MLA 2009 group on flickr. This will allow us to pool all of our photos into one group so everybody can see them.

Anybody can view the photos if they go to

If you want to post your photos to the group here's how:
  • You must have a flickr account
  • Once you have a flickr account and logged in you must join the group
  • Click the Groups tab and then Search for a Group. Search for MLA 2009
  • Click on the MLA 2009 Group and then click "Join?"
Once you have joined the group it is very easy to post your photos to the group. The easiest way to add a photo to a group is to go to your account home page and click on your photo stream. Then click on the photo you want to send to the group. Next, click the "Send to Group" button (located above the photo, between the photo title and the photo). Then choose the group you want to send it to, and you're done!

If you are sharing photos on the MLA 2009 Group please remember to tag them all with the term mla2009.

If you aren't going to the meeting this year, we will miss you. But at least you have some options for staying in touch and following some of the activities and staying up to date. Additionally if there is anybody else on the NPC or any of the Section Programs who is doing something online that will allow folks at home to follow along to, please leave a comment.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Midwest Chapter MLA 2009

Since I am in the Midwest Chapter I thought I would re-post this as reminder for all you other Midwest Chapter librarians.

Plans for the 2009 Midwest Chapter annual conference are firming up, and a lot of information has been added to the web site at Check it out and start making your plans to come to Columbus to Seek, Explore, Discover with us October 3-6, 2009.

If you are unable to attend the MLA annual meeting this year, the Midwest Chapter meeting may be your only chance to meet with colleagues from across the region and recharge your professional batteries by engaging with stimulating speakers and attending top-quality CE courses. And you’ll get all of that at a bargain rate! Even if your institution pays only a part or none of the cost for you to attend professional meetings, you’ll get the most for your money at a regional meeting.

Registration for the conference has not yet opened, but you can still begin now to prepare by …
· Checking out the conference web site
· Submitting your travel request to your administrators
· Submitting a paper or poster abstract (May 31 is the deadline)
· Choosing CE courses of interest to you
· Making a reservation at the Hyatt on Capitol Square in Columbus for Oct. 3-6
· Talking to your colleagues about attending

See you in Columbus in October!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nursing educators' perceptions of collaboration with librarians

There was an interesting article published recently in JMLA, "Nursing educators' perceptions of collaboration with librarians." This article discusses the recent changes in nursing education to include evidence-based practice (EBP) into the curricula. Unfortunately it appears that some are not prepared for this change. The article cites a 2005 study by Pravikoff, Tanner, and Pierce which showed current nurses did not appreciate research and lacked the skills necessary to find research. Librarians are perfectly suited to collaborate with nurses for information research and evidence-based practice skills. The authors of this article conducted survey on collaboration, evidence based practice, and instruction. The survey was sent to nursing faculty leaders, deans, and directors from nursing schools.

The results from the survey are interesting.

  • Very few faculty indicated they saw librarians as partners in the educational process or research pursuits
  • While faculty view the librarian's role in EBP as the search expert, only four respondents thought librarians could help with evaluating literature

There is a disconnect between the respondents perceived searching skills and their actual knowledge of search skills.

  • 72% of the respondents thought they were excellent or good at using library or knowledge-based resources.
  • The majority use PubMed/Medline and CINAHL yet few noted using these database's special EBP searching features.
  • Only a quarter of the respondents use MeSH and of that group 33% use subheadings.
  • Less than 20% used the explode feature
  • The most common method of searching was by keyword (86%).

All of this should be ringing alarm bells to librarians. This illustrates what great opportunity librarians have within nursing schools and nursing programs to position ourselves and collaborate with nurses, faculty, administration to be a part of the evidence-based practice process.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

National Library Week Video Competition

Those of you who have created some videos for your library might be interested to know that in recognition of National Library Week, Gale has launched its third annual YouTube video contest. Library fans are invited to create a one minute video promoting their library. The video should explain how the library brings "power to the users."

The winning entry will be awarded $2,500 to the individual and an additional $2,500 will be presented to the winner’s favorite library. Results will be announced at this year’s American Library Association's Annual Conference in Chicago , July 9 -15, 2009. Finalist videos will be available for viewing at Gale’s booth.

This year’s contest, “Power to the User” Ad Madness, runs from April 12th to June 1, 2009. A panel of judges will determine the top five finalists and the winner based on the creativity of the video, the originality of the sentiment and its connection to the “Power to the User” theme. The videos will be featured on

Video entries should be no shorter than 30 seconds and no longer than 60 seconds in length. Entrants must load their videos to the Librareo group on YouTube (
Deadline: midnight EST on June 1, 2009.
Participants may submit as many videos as desired, provided each entry is entirely original. All entries must comply with the complete contest rules which can be viewed, along with video samples, at

So pick up your Flip camera and start shooting. Not only would it be nice to see some medical libraries portrayed but who knows, your video just might be the $5000 winner.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Interactive MLA Posters

In the past the posters from the annual meeting have been available in PDF form on a website. Well this year MLA is introducing interactive posters.

This year, MLA is excited to have partnered with Trapeze Media Solutions, a small business out of the University of Utah, in an exciting new effort to display your poster electronically. In addition to presenting in the regular poster session, the PDF of your poster will be displayed on interactive kiosks at the conference. These kiosks will allow other attendees to view your poster throughout the conference.

The kiosks will allow attendees to browse posters, search for keywords, and even ask questions and provide feedback. When an attendee selects your poster, they will be presented with a full view. When they click on any section with the mouse, that section will zoom in and allow the attendee to read the detail. Another click will zoom the poster back to the full view. A menu allows the attendee to switch between your poster and abstract and the text from both your poster and abstract will be indexed for searching. In addition to this new way of presenting your poster online, this new service can allow for more interactivity than printed posters, so you will also have the ability to include additional functionality.

The following things can be added to posters:

  • Movies, audio, PowerPoint presentations, and animations and attach them to specific parts of your poster

  • Include datasets and attach them to graphs or charts on your poster.

  • If a method and dataset is available, other researchers will be able to use that data and method to validate the results. Or they can use the data and their method. (Before making any dataset available, ensure that it is HIPAA compliant and allowed by your institution and IRB.)

  • Additional documents can be attached to specific parts of your poster.

Wow this is like the posters are beefed up and on steroids. I really like this idea. In particular I like the idea of being able to ask questions ahead of time. All too often the poster sessions are chaotic and inevitably I never make to all of the posters I want to make it to. This allows me to contact and ask questions of all the posters I am interested in.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

MLA PR Swap 'n' Shop

Do you have some great library promotional items and ideas? The MLA's Public Relations Swap 'n' Shop will feature samples and giveaways of successful library promotions. Consider submitting your samples of your promotional ideas with your colleagues. You don't even have to attend the annual meeting to submit your samples.

Contact Tomi Gunn at MLA headquarters for the submission form. If you are not attending the meeting but would like to submit samples, please send them to MLA headquarters by May 4.

Those who are attending the meeting and interested in learning more about promotional ideas and what type media to use, a PCI representative will also conduct a free marketing seminar, followed by a question-and-answer session. The seminar, "The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Social and Traditional Media," will cover the best ways to use blogs, Twitter, local television, radio, and newspapers to get your messages to the right audiences.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Twittering All Over

It seems you can't go anywhere recently without hearing about Twitter in the news. Astronauts are tweeting, a hospital tweeted updates during a hysterectomy, and even President Obama has a Twitter account.
USA Today reports traffic to Twitter has soared within the last few months. "Worldwide visitors neared 10 million in February, up more than 700 percent in a year. In the U.S., Twitter hit 4 million visitors -- up more than 1,000 percent from a year ago." This isn't just for the young. The article reports 45-54 year olds are the 36% more likely to visit Twitter.

I ran across two interesting articles on Twitter, "How to be a Better Tweeter," on cnet news and an article in BuisnessWeek, "Twitter: Building Businesses Tweet by Tweet."

I have a Twitter account and I tweet. I like it but I just don't seem to feel a connection with Twitter as I do with blogging or using email. I feel a like I could be a better tweeter. I enjoy following my friends. But as Twitter has become more popular more people have found me and asked to "follow" me. As a general rule I usually accepted people I knew or who had something to do with medicine or libraries. My smallish group of friends on Twitter has become a larger group of people, some I have met once, some I know of only by name, and others I have not met nor may never meet. As my Twitter world expands I have begun to question whether my tweets about a finding a good fish fry one Friday evening were really Twitter worthy. The cnet article has confirmed my personal suspicions, I could be a better tweeter. Not only do I need to start thinking about what I tweet but also remember to re-tweet interesting tweets within the Twitter stream and to use hashtags for hot topics.

Twitter is not just for individuals. A whole slew of groups, organizations, media outlets, and businesses are creating a presence on Twitter. Twitter is just another method for businesses to reach out to current clients or potential clients. The BusinessWeek article mentions how one consultant found 10 new paying clients within the last six months through Twitter and how a t-shirt company uses Twitterpic to help ordering customers see their designs ahead of time. Businesses aren't the only ones using Twitter to reach clients. Large group of libraries have also set up Twitter accounts as well. Curiosity got the better of me one day and I decided to search Twitter for all accounts with library in the name. There were 605. The vast majority were public libraries but I ran across 4 law libraries and 3 medical libraries. The two medical libraries I found were ucsf_library -UCSF Library Academic health sciences library, MDAndersonLib - MD Anderson Library The Research Medical Library serves the staff at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, fiumedlib - FIU Medical Library Medical Library of Florida International University College of Medicine.
There are a lot of hospitals and medical schools on Twitter, just a quick search on medical yielded 169 accounts and a search on hospital found 81. While not all of those accounts were medical schools or hospitals, a vast majority were. This got me thinking about medical library vendors, I did a short brainstorming session and did a search for as many companies and vendors that are used in medical libraries.

Here is what I found:
  • MHMedical -McGraw-Hill Medical Updates, news, special offers, and other tweets from McGraw-Hill’s Medical Editorial team.
  • McGrawHillTweet -McGrawHill Tweets Latest updates and news on publications from McGrawHill.
  • mdconsult -Medical news from MD Consult
  • 2collab - Elsevier's 2collab The research collaboration tool from Elsevier
  • SciTopics -Elsevier's SciTopics Research summaries by experts
  • elsmedstudents -Elsevier Med Student Resources for Medical Students from Elsevier, Student Consult & USMLE Consult, Netter
  • ELSORTHOPAEDICS - Elsevier Orthopaedic Elsevier produces the world's finest selection of health care textbooks, reference books, review books, periodicals, electronic titles, and online resources.
  • ELS_RADIOLOGY - ELSEVIER RADIOLOGY Elsevier produces the world's finest selection of health care textbooks, reference books, review books, periodicals, electronic titles, and online
  • pubmed
  • ncbi_pubmed -ncbi pubmed
  • cochranecollab -Cochrane Collab The Cochrane Collaboration: The reliable source of evidence in health care
  • BMJ_latest -BMJ - British Medical Journal aims to lead the debate on health, and to engage doctors, researchers and health professionals to improve outcomes for patients.
  • Scopus -Scopus (Fabian)Literature research database for everyone with a passion for Science
  • BiolSciNews -Wiley-Blackwell Sci The latest updates & news from the books, journals & online resources available from the Wiley-Blackwell Biological Sciences subject.
  • unboundmedicine / Unbound Medicine
  • NatureMedicine - Nature Medicine Nature Medicine is a biomedical research journal devoted to publishing the latest & most exciting advances in biomedical research for scientists and physicians
  • lippincott -Your medical, nursing and allied health resource.

Don't forget your fellow medical librarian Twitter accounts.

  • medlibs - Medical Librarians Group Tweet for Medical Library folk
  • mla2009 - Group Tweet for MLA2009 Annual Meeting
This by no means a complete and thorough search. Twitter's Find People Search is very limited and you are limited to doing only a certain amount of searches. I found their lack robust searching to be the most frustrating. The limit on searches was fairly high and I only ran in to it after to doing A LOT of searching for medical vendors on my brainstorming list.

So what does all of this mean? First I want to say if you aren't in to Twittering, don't worry you don't have to be. It isn't for everyone, even I am not sure if I am quite in to it. Should medical libraries start a Twitter account? For most libraries, no. I know, shock and awe that I said no to something so techie and 2.0ish. Even though Twitter is experiencing some rather large growth with people and businesses jumping into the Twitter stream, it still may not be the most effective place for most libraries yet. That doesn't mean it should be ignored, on the contrary, keep your eyes open and watch for if and when the time is right for your library. If you have a personal Twitter account, it might behoove you to follow another medical or academic library to see how they are using Twitter and think strategically before you implement. It is ok to experiment and play with technology, but I don't believe in adopting technology just for technology sake.

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Is UpToDate Evidence Based?

There has been alot of discussion and debate on MEDLIB-L about UpToDate. Interestingly a discussion about UpToDate has been going on withink Twitter as well. I totally missed this discussion so I was glad that Laika followed the discussion and wrote an excellent post summarizing the debate about UpToDate.

Five points were discussed in Twitter.

  1. Is UTD evidence based?
  2. How useful is UTD?
  3. Disadvantages / Alternatives of UTD?
  4. Do hospitals using UTD score better?
  5. Incentives for using UTD?

Each of these topics were discussed and Laika gives a very interesting summaries and thoughts to the discussion.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Usage, Value, and Impact of E-journals

Peter Scott's Library Blog directed me to the Research Information Network (RIN) report E-journals: their use, value and impact which looked at how researchers use ejournals and the impact and value to intitutions and the contribution e-journals make to research productivity, quality and outcomes.

According to Peter, many surveys have been done on how much researchers welcome access to online journals but until now there hasn't been an evidence based study giving a detailed potrait of the information seeking behavior, usage of online journals, and benefits of that use.

This report examined the log files from journal websites and data from libraries in ten universities and research institions in the UK.

The full report is available here:

E-journals_use_value_impact_April2009.pdf 2.09 MB
Aims_scope_methods_context_CIBER_ejournals_working_paper.pdf 490.02 KB
Journal_spending_use_outcomes_CIBER_ejournals_working_paper.pdf 1.44 MB
Bibliometric_indicators_CIBER_ejournals_working_paper.pdf 254.68 KB
Information_usage_behaviour_CIBER_ejournals_working_paper.pdf 1022.12 KB

I am still going through the report but here are some bits of information that I found interesting or bears repeating.

  • E-journals are used HEAVILY - The 13 yr old me that wants to say, "Duh we know that already." But I think this important to repeat because I have had conversations with librarians who don't think anybody is going to use the electronic journals. This report stated in four months the users of the 10 institutions visited nearly 1,400 ScienceDirect journals half a million times and viewed 1.5 million pages! This type of usage isn't limited to ScienceDirect. Users accessed Oxford Journals over 750,000 times and viewed over 600,000 pages in a year.
  • The vast majority of users get access to journals from third party sites such as PubMed and stay long enough just to download the full text. I think this is extremely important information for libraries and journal publishers. Libraries need to make sure their link resolvers and the PubMed linkouts are working correctly and publishers need to make sure they make it easy for third party sites to access their journals. LWW titles come to mind. If people are searching on Google or Google Scholar they are never going to hit the full text of an LWW title in Ovid.
  • Users are accessing the journals during non-working hours. Nearly a quarter of ScienceDirect use occured "outside the traditional 9-5 working day." Weekend use accounted for 15% of total use.
  • Google is a major player. Once journal content is opened up to Google for indexing, Google is then used by large numbers. Four months after ScienceDirect opened physics content to Google, more than a third of the traffic came from Google. Google popularity and usage further illustrated with Oxford Journals. Oxford Journals have been open to Google for quite a while and over half of their traffic comes from Google.
It is a very interesting report. I can't wait until I am finished reading all of it.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mergers Create Uber Publisher - April Fools Fun

The Scholarly Kitchen has a fun little April Fools post that I thought I would forward along.

"Publishing giants Springer, Elsevier, and Wiley-Blackwell will merge, according to a leaked document that made its way into the Scholarly Kitchen late last night.
Continuing the trend of consolidation, the heads of the largest STM publishers will form a single, publicly-held company. While details are still being worked out, the name of the publisher will be be Springer-Elsevier-Wiley-Blackwell, or SPEW for short."

Read more

The post is pretty funny but the comments are equally funny. My favorites are the other acronyms and one about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Unfortunately I think they need to add another W and making SPEWW, because they forgot to include Wolters Kluwer as one of the "publishing giants."


Follow a Conference on Twitter

Next week I am going to try a personal experiment. I am going to try and follow the HIMSS '09 conference on Twitter. I have a Twitter account and I used the "Find People" feature to find the HIMSS Twitter feed and I subscribed to it. There are over 1300 followers and 750 updates so far, and the conference has yet to start.

I am especially interested in following anything on the HIMSS Social Networking 101, Meet the Bloggers, and HIMSS Virtual Conference sessions.

HIMSS Social Networking 101
Facebook...Twitter...Linkedin...SharePoint...HIMSS Connect! With the numerous, and seemingly ever-growing, social networking sites available to us where does one go online to find HIMSS members? Join us for an in-depth exploration of the sites currently being utilized by HIMSS staff (and members) and learn how each provides their own unique way for you to connect online with your peers.

Meet the Bloggers
You've read their posts, you've commented on their ideas, now is the time to meet face-to-face. Join this uncommon experience and hear from bloggers themselves on what it takes to create, maintain and locate blogs regarding healthcare IT. This moderated roundtable is intended to discuss the responsibilities and dedication required to run a professional blog.

HIMSS Virtual Conference

What happens when you can't get away from work or simply don't have the budget to attend large, national conferences? Does it signal the end of learning, networking and professional development? No! Join us for a demonstration the attendee experience at a HIMSS' Virtual Conference & Expo as well as a discussion of the benefits of virtual conferences, such as: Synchronous online learning and live chat Dynamic, real-time participant movement in and out of exhibit booths and educational sessions Interactive attendee networking opportunities Vendor presentations.

The MLA has been working toward making meetings more virtual and available to those unable to attend. In 2008 the Annual Meeting had Webcast one of the Plenary Sessions, they had 10 Official Bloggers dedicated to blogging the meeting, and some some industrious fast fingered librarians started unofficially Twittering the conference which if my memory is right helped bring about the medlibs Twitter feed.

This year MLA will be trying to reach out to non-attendees again. Some of the developments that I know of are:

MLA 2009 Blog -I am still looking for more people. You know who you are, and you know you can blog. Applications are still being accepted so hurry up fill one out and blog.

MIS Top Technology Trends III Program Session - Has plans to have a virtual presenter, will be Twittering the session, and plans to accept Twittered questions.

MLA 2009 Twittered - You can follow the conference on Twitter using the MLA 2009 Twitter feed. It is an experimental method for us, twitterers will be your peers who happened to like to Twitter.

I am not sure of other plans, perhaps those who are in different areas of programing can share some of their methods to making the conference a little more available to non-attendees.

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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: