Evidence Based Practice Workshop: Two (Very Different) Perspectives

Summer is a busy time for medical librarians but it can also be a time to hone skills that have been lying dormant. This summer, as I continued to transition into a new position I realized that my evidence based practice (EBP) skills were a little rusty. What’s more, I realized that clinicians wanted more from librarians in the area of qualitative analysis than I had training in.

My library supported my attendance in the Supporting Clinical Care: An Institute in Evidence-Based Practice for Medical Librarians workshop held at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Library in Aurora, Colorado. The intensive three day course is led by faculty including Pamela Bagley, Jeff Mason, Angela Myatt, Connie Schardt, Lisa Traditi and many others. Sponsored by BMJ Best Practice and EBSCO Health the intensive workshop provides both small and large group learning on topics essential to EBP.

Overall course content is designed to be introductory which makes this workshop a good opportunity to get started in EBP or brush up on skills. The content for the course was impressive, yes homework was involved. The workshop is designed to be challenging as well as informative and fun, there is even a bit of competition in the form of an EBP Jeopardy challenge.

One of the major topic areas that I had little training in what searching for and evaluation qualitative research. The agenda for this workshop included a large group introduction to qualitative research and small group work. The small group session on qualitative research was informative as it included a review of qualitative search techniques, modified question framing tools, and practice in assessing qualitative studies. The skilled faculty led both large and small group in informative discussions about all the topics covered.

During this summer’s session I was lucky enough to meet librarian and co-author Tobin Magle. An unexpected aspect of this workshop is the community that is created so quickly. From small group to large group, participants share their expertise and skills. Networking and teamwork are encouraged throughout the workshop. It was from discussions in small group was as well as some of the team based activities that I feel I learned the most. Not only about EBP but also about ways to apply what I have learned into other aspects of librarianship.

If you are unable to make the 2016 workshop but are still interested in getting training in EBP or qualitative research, workshop instructor Connie Schardt presented two excellent MLA webinars this summer that cover the topics and provide useful information for librarians and clinicians alike.


Thanks, Emily, for summarizing your experience so well! I’ve only been in health science librarianship for about a year now so I have a lot to learn. Though my primary duties at the library involve working with basic scientists, the EBP workshop was essential to my professional development at the Health Science Library because it allows me to integrate better with the rest of the staff and put our work in a broader context.

My background is in basic science research. One difference between basic and clinical research that has always struck me is the well-defined structure of clinical research. Many of the concepts are the same (5 section paper format, controls, statistics, etc.), but the way clinical research can be divided into distinct study types is very different. I enjoyed learning about study design and hope to use these skills in my work at the library.

I had already been teaching part of a research methods class (DSAD 5502) in the School of Dental Medicine curriculum using my previous research knowledge, but going to the EBP workshop gave me a framework to hang these similarities on and present the material in a way that is more engaging to future dental professionals. For example, instead of taking the time to explain how to calculate a Chi Squared test, I emphasized how to interpret the result to improve patient care. It has also helped me to work on PICO questions during literature search consultations with College of Nursing students.

I am very grateful that the Health Sciences Library supported my participation in the workshop. This type of cross training helps me feel more engaged with our organization’s mission.

– Tobin

Wanted: Librarians With Good IT Relationships and Knowledge

The Southeastern/Atlantic (SE/A) Technology Program Advisory Committee (PAC) has been outlining their goals for the coming year to try and best to meet the needs of their members. One of the Tech PAC’s multi-year goals (based on the results of the survey given in 2012), is to address technology issues some librarians face daily professional lives.  They are planning a series of webinars on the topic and they need your help.

The first webinar will address relationship-building between libraries and the technology departments which support them.They would like to feature the partnerships of one or more librarians and their tech people on the webinar.  So if you are BFF’s with your tech people or just merely have a good working relationship then they would like to use you to serve as models for the medical library community.  **Krafty Note** HOSPITAL LIBRARIANS….You are especially important in this area. Many hospital IT department have vastly different and considerably more strict policies than academic institutions which sometime make being a librarian’s job more difficult. So if you are a hospital librarian with a good working relationship with your IT people, then please, please, please consider contacting the Tech PAC.

The second webinar in the series is tentatively titled, “How to speak IT,” and will focus on defining and contextualizing basic IT terms. We know librarians have our own geek speak; ILL, PDA (not kissing), MeSH, etc. Well, IT has their own geek speak as well and if you two aren’t speaking the same geek it can make communicating a bit difficult at times. For example (not library related): A woman today told me my face look BEAT!  I was bummed. I was well rested (unusual when you have 3 kids) and I actually looked in the mirror and put on make up before I went to work. I thought I looked good.  The woman seeing my confusion said, “That’s a compliment. You look really good.”  She said that makeup artists and others use it to mean on how stunning somebody looks, especially their makeup.  I felt very happy…that is until I realized I am now so old that I don’t know what “kids” are saying these days.

The Tech PAC is looking for a good IT geek speak “explainer” who would be willing to participate as a speaker to help librarians out there speak a little IT geek speak. If your IT guy says to you, “A VLAN configuration issue has surfaced between our new Web app and the SQL back end,” and your brain translates it to, “The network configuration needs adjusting before we go live,” then Tech PAC wants you.

Finally, Tech Pac is also asking for ideas for future webinars and other programs based on librarian technology needs. So contact them via Twitter (@KR_Barker) or email (Grumpy_Cat [atsign] virginia.edu) if you have ideas or can help them with one of their two webinars.

Adding Value to EHRs: Librarians and Infobuttons: Free Webinar

Hospital librarians are asking how they can show their value to administration and how they can show that they are more than just the keepers of the books.  The answer is to branch out and get out of the library and do something that is related to the library but is not always thought of by others.  Participating with EHR team to provide information to caregivers is a great example.  This webinar not only will discuss librarians, EHRs and Infobuttons, but it will also highlight successful approaches for getting relevant information into the EHR and librarians can round with caregivers to help at the point of care.

Not only is this webinar interesting but it is also FREE! So you have little to lose by attending it.

Title: Adding Value to EHRs: Librarians and Infobuttons

Time: March 19, 2014, 10:00 – 11:30 am EDT.

Course length: 1.5 hours

 *Registration Required


(description from the NN/LM NER website)

This webinar is being planned as the first in a series sponsored by the NN/LM, NER on ways librarians can add value to electronic health records.
Additional webinars are in development.  The overall goal of this webinar is to give medical librarians an understanding of clinical decision support mechanisms in electronic health records (EHRs) and to increase awareness of the ways that librarians can contribute.  An understanding of the ways that library resources can be integrated into clinical decision support will empower librarians to pursue this in their own institutions.

Guilherme Del Fiol, MD, PhD, University of Utah, School of Medicine will present results of a systematic review on clinical questions raised by clinicians and tools that help answer these questions by integrating EHR systems with online knowledge resources.  He will also discuss how these tools are being disseminated via the “HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval Standard” (a.k.a., Infobutton Standard) and the EHR Meaningful Use certification program.

Taneya Koonce, MSLS, MPH, Eskind Biomedical Library will share the Eskind Biomedical Library’s successful approaches for integrating highly relevant evidence into the institution’s electronic medical record, outpatient ordering systems, and online patient portal.

Lauren Yaeger, MA, MLIS, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Medical Library will talk about clinical librarianship/rounding with the patient care team, Evidence Based Medicine Quality Initiative Project with the residents, and integrating clinical decision support at the point of care.

CE Stipends for Midwest Librarians

The Midwest Chapter’s latest membership survey indicated a need for better access to continuing education.  What could  help with better access than a stipend for CE?!  The Board of the Midwest Chapter has announced that two $125 stipends are availalbe for 2014 to help fund library skills and CE attendance.

How do you get this stipend!?

  1. Be a Midwest MLA member.
  2. Send email to nreedx[atsign]midwestern[dot]edu to be entered in the drawing for it.
  3. The email must have your name, postal address, and whether you are a solo librarian or not.  (Indication of solo librarian is not used for determining the winner, just for statistics and to help determine the need for future funding.)


All names will be put in a hat and one lucky winner will be drawn and announced Feb 3, 2014.  A call for a new drawing will happen in June and that winner will be selected July 1, 2014.

An individual will only be eligible to win once/year.


The Future of Libraries: Free Discussion

American Libraries Live will be hosting a panel discussion on the challenges and changes within the libraries for the near and distant future.  It is Thursday January 9, 2014 at 2:00-3:00 Eastern.  It is FREE to register and “attend” the discussion.

David Lee King, digital branch and services manager at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library will lead the panel which also includes:

  • Marshall Breeding, Library Technology Consultant, Speaker and Author
  • Buffy Hamilton, Librarian at Norcross High School in metropolitan Atlanta, Library Technology Writer and Speaker
  • Bohyun Kim, Digital Access Librarian at Florida International University Medical Library
  • Joseph Murphy, Director of Library Futures, Innovative Interfaces


Register for this episode so you get email reminders at http://goo.gl/1p5dpV .

Preregistration is not required to attend. You can also attend by simply going to the site at the time of the event. If you’re unable to attend live, it will be recorded and available at http://www.americanlibrarieslive.org shortly afterwards.

Innovative Interfaces is sponsoring this episode. AL Live is the popular free streaming video broadcast from American Libraries, covering library issues and trends in real time as you interact with hosts via a live chat and get immediate answers to your questions. With the help of real-time technology, it’s like having your own experts on hand. Find out more, including how to catch upcoming episodes, at  http://www.americanlibrarieslive.org .


Future 2014 broadcasts will be:

  • February 13: The Library Website
  • March 13: E-Books: The Present and Future
  • April 10: Copyright Conundrum


Sounds interesting.  While they don’t have an medical librarians, I’m sure there will be something that will also apply to us.  Since our ILS is an Innovative Interfaces system, I am curious as to what Joseph Murphy of Innovative has to say.  I often think integrated library systems including Innovative’s are overly complicated and fail to address typical user needs. I am also interested in the March 13th E-Books discussion but I fear this will be more public library related and less related to the unique mess the medical publishers have created.


Needed: Projects for MLA Rising Stars

While the official deadline has past, MLA is still looking for projects to match with Rising Stars.  If you have ideas or would like to mentor a Rising Star for a project you are working on please contact MLA.

Rising Star Host/Mentor Application Information and Form

The MLA Rising Star program has been developed for MLA members who are interested in attaining leadership roles in MLA but who have not yet become active at a national level. The one-year leadership development program matches each Rising Star with a mentor in a curriculum that includes:

  • learning how MLA succeeds through the volunteer efforts of its members;
  • the roles of the MLA Board and staff; and
  • project management skills applied to an actual MLA project.

To get an idea of the kind of projects Rising Stars do, here is a list of the most recent Stars, Menors and their projects.

  • Rising Star: Heather L. Brown
    Mentor: Julia Shaw-Kokot, AHIP
    Project: Work with a Chapter Council team to implement recommendations for interactive web features in the communications plan drafted by 2010 Rising Star Karen L. Hanus, AHIP.
  • Rising Star: Elizabeth V. Fine
    Mentor: Diane G. Cooper, AHIP
    Project: Work with the Federal Libraries Section web committee to evaluate the section’s website.
  • Rising Star: Rolando Garcia-Milian
    Mentor: Mary Riordan, AHIP
    Project: Work with the Awards Committee to increase the number of nominations for MLA awards.
  • Rising Star: Kristi L. Holmes
    Mentor: Jerry Perry, AHIP
    Project: Serve on and work with the Task Force on MATE.
  • Rising Star: Annabelle Nunez
    Mentor: Nancy Allee, AHIP
    Project: Work with the Leadership and Management Section’s New Members/Emerging Leaders Survey Project

For more information on past projects and Stars go here to see a longer list.

So if you are a Section or Chapter leader and you have something you have been working on and would like to have a Star work on the project with you, contact MLA ASAP!

#Medlibs Killing Cows

Join us tomorrow for what is sure to be a lively discussion on killing sacred library cows on #medlibs this Thursday at 9pm Eastern.

As I mentioned in my post on the #medlibs blog

The library environment has changed drastically and is continuing to do so.  The library of 5 years ago is different from the library today.  For example, the iPhone had just been released, there were no iPads and the idea of a “downloadable” ebook had just been introduced by Amazon Kindle.  There were a very limited number of Kindle and certainly not intended for medicine. Yet many of us are doing the same things we did as librarians 5, 10, 15, 20 yrs ago.  We were stretched thin back then, so there is no way we can now add things to our repertoire without giving up something in return.  We must look at what we do in our own libraries and evaluate whether it is necessary, whether it helps our patrons or helps us.  To really evaluate our services we need to look at EVERYTHING including the sacred cows of the library.  We need to ask ourselves, do we need to check in journals, catalog books, make copies, eliminate the reference desk, fuss with circulation, etc.  The right answers will depend on the library. A large academic library might need to still do cataloging but does a small solo hospital library with 4 shelves (not ranges) really need a catalog system much less spend time cataloging books?  Some of these ideas are dangerous and even somewhat heretical librarian thinking, but I feel we need to discuss them.  For more background on sacred cows and heretical librarian thoughts check out my summary of my keynote address I gave at the Midwest Chapter annual meeting.


We need to look at, evaluate and slaughter some sacred library cows.  IT makes no sense for us to spend our time doing things that are no longer relevant or used by our patrons.  That isn’t to say that we should have never done them. Everything has its time and place.  It might be hard to give up, but we can’t just do things because we always have.  We need to think like our patrons and for many of us that means completely taking off our librarian hat and looking at ourselves from a patrons view point.  That may mean we come up with answers that are uncomfortable, that borderline on librarian heresy.  But that is what is needed.

This Thursday’s #medlibs discussion at 9pm Eastern will discuss the idea of thinning the herd of library services so that we can grow healthy new opportunities.

Molly Knapp (@dial_m), Amy Blevins (@blevinsa) and I (@krafty) will be moderating the discussion.  As always we will be using the hashtag #medlibs but if you want to further the discussion before/during/or after the regular Thursday night time use the hashtag #moo.

Deadline for MLA Continuing Education Award Fast Approaching

The final call for Applicants of 2014 MLA Continuing Education Award grants has been sent out.  The Deadline is December 1st (right around the corner).  This grant allows you to receive funding for your continuing education!  MLA members may submit applications for these awards of $100 to $500 to develop their knowledge of the theoretical, administrative, or technical aspects of librarianship. More than 1 Continuing Education Award may be offered in a year.

Visit http://www.mlanet.org/awards/grants/  for more information on MLA grants and scholarships and for downloadable application forms, or email grants[atsign] mlahq [dot] org.

Apply for a Career Development Grant

Are you an MLA member and an MIS member and want/need a little career development support? If so, you might want to apply for the Medical Informatics Section/MLA Career Development Grant!

The Medical Informatics Section/MLA Career Development Grant provides one individual up to $1500 to support a career development activity that will contribute to advancement in the field of medical informatics.

The application deadline is December 1, 2013.

The full grant application, including eligibility requirements, is available at:  http://www.mlanet.org/awards/grants/.

For additional information, contact Michael Newman, Jury Chair, at mnewman[atsign]stanford[dot edu].


I think grants, awards, and scholarships are a great way to help us within the profession.  Committee or jury chairs from other MLA, Chapter, Section, NN/LM, grants scholarships please feel free to email me and I will almost always post your announcement.  I hate to see good money go unused because nobody applied for it and I just hope my posting it helps get the word out.
I do reserve the right not to post your grant if it doesn’t fall within the scope of libraries or medical librarianship in some remote way.

MLA’s Rising Star Program: Apply Now to be a Star or Mentor/Host

(reposted from MLA-LMS)

The MLA Rising Star program has been developed for MLA members who are interested in attaining leadership roles in MLA but who have not yet become active at a national level. The one-year leadership development program matches each Rising Star with a mentor in a curriculum that includes:

  • learning how MLA succeeds through the volunteer efforts of its members;
  • the roles of the MLA Board and staff; and
  • project management skills applied to an actual MLA project.

Application and information can be found online at: http://www.mlanet.org/pdf/awards/20130827_rising_star_app.doc

Applications are due November 1, 2013. 

Also, if your chapter, section, or committee is interested in submitting a project for the program, the host/mentor application can be found online at: http://www.mlanet.org/pdf/awards/20130827_rising_star_host_app.doc

Host/Mentor applications are also due November 1, 2013.