I need a vacation after my co-worker’s vacation…

As I stated in my introductory post, I work in a One Librarian Library. I have a .24 FTE library tech. Time manages us more than we manage it.

I dread the middle of August. That is when my co-worker goes on vacation every year. So, last week I was alone. The time alone caused me to gain a greater appreciation of actual One PERSON Libraries. I don’t know how they manage to get everything done. Everything is important to everybody.

So I sat down each morning and had to decide who I would make happy and who I wouldn’t. Do I do searches or do I process Interlibrary Loans? I think the only thing I new for sure that week was that journal renewals would not be on my radar. Especially after I discovered that EBSCO had migrated us over to their Full Text Finder product.

I finally decided that I should try to make each group at least a little happy. I divided up my day into three parts. I spent the first 3rd of my day doing searches. Spent the next 3rd processing article requests. Spent the last 3rd getting myself up to speed on the new product. Did it work? As best as it could I suppose.

I would love to read in the comments how other OPL’s or OLL’s do it. What are your tips and tricks that keep you sane?

Plain Language Summaries for Translation in Science

translationalhand1

At MLA last May, I was walking around the vendor hall, like most of us who attended, I assume. I was on a mission, though. I stopped by every vendor table that had anything to do with publishing or translational science, and talked with them at length about the idea of having plain language abstracts. I’ve been a fan of plain language initiatives for a long time, as evidenced by our library’s Plain Language Medical Dictionary app from some years ago. I wish I could say that I was doing this as a direct result of the PNAS article on the topic published in March, but no such luck. That would have helped make my arguments more compelling, I’m sure. I found the article today, thanks to the National Science Communication Institute retweeting Len Fisher.

A circuitous route, but effective enough to reach me. The article in question was this.

Lauren M. Kuehne and Julian D. Olden. Opinion: Lay summaries needed to enhance science communication. PNAS 112(12):3585–3586. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500882112 http://www.pnas.org/content/112/12/3585

The article was short and sweet. It talked briefly (very briefly) about alternative modes of science communication, such as social media and blogs, and how they impact on audience, understanding, and adoption of new ideas. The authors then pointed out that these are limited to the few who choose to follow that channel, and it misses the benefits and affordances of mass media channels, a concept which they illustrated with a diagram of how they perceived the connections between the information channels and the audiences. Here’s the gist of it.

Scientists communicate with the public through these channels:
1) Social media and press releases
2) Journalist contacts
3) Lay abstracts
4) Traditional abstracts

The potential audiences are:
1) Public
2) Managers and decisionmakers
3) Scientists in other fields
4) Scientists in your own field

So far so good? There are obviously many more potential audiences as you subdivide these. In my conversations I was rather fond of mentioning insurance companies and agents as critical links in the chain of adopting healthcare innovations who are perhaps more likely to benefit from a plain language abstract. I also talked about the importance of highly motivated patients who take new articles to their clinicians as a recent and influential loop in the information chain that changes practice. For benefits to come through these channels requires not simply that there be a version of the abstract that is in plain language (a lay summary) but also, and equally important, that those lay summaries not be behind a paywall. One of the publishers was absolutely sure their abstracts were not being a paywall, and then when they went to show me, well (ahem), they found they were. As in, the abstracts were locked behind a paywall. Oops.

The most important part of the article’s diagram was the very subtle sideways dashes. Where do the journalists get the hook, the info that leads them to ask more questions and write those mass media articles that reach such large audiences? What triggers the journalist to reach out for those important conversations with the scientists? Well, the press releases, of course. That’s why our organizations work so hard on them. Seeing something posted and reposted on social media is another good way to reach them. But the traditional abstract? Not so much. The traditional abstract is crafted explicitly for other scientists in your field, and only partly for scientists beyond that. Now, a lay summary, a plain language abstract, that has HUGE potential as a way to reach journalists. It’s another marketing tool, beyond being the right thing to do to help patients, or to help get science into the hands of those who actually use it, or to help influence clinical practice and foster more rapid adoption of new discoveries and treatments.

Getting Ready for IFLA Meeting

I leave for South Africa in two weeks for the IFLA meeting.  I will spend the first week traveling with my husband, sister, and brother in law.  My brother in law is South African so we are fortunate to have our own personal tour guide to take us around.  August is winter in South Africa (highs of 60-70 degrees and lows of 40-50 degrees).  It is chilly but coming from Cleveland, that ain’t winter, that’s  spring weather in my mind.

As excited as I am about touring around the country that first week, I am just as excited about going to my first conference outside of North America.  Along with this excitement comes some uncertainty.  I pulled up the conference program this weekend to map out my conference plan of attack.  As I was making my schedule I began to feel like I did when I was making my schedule to attend my very first MLA meeting back in 2001 in Orlando.  I had no clue what to expect back then and I have no clue as to what to expect at IFLA.

Similar to MLA they have a newcomer session where I will be introduced to IFLA and meet people.  Like MLA they have A LOT of sessions, too many for me to attend all of them.  Thankfully some are out of my scope like “Access to Legal Information and Legislative Data in Africa: the Role of Libraries and Librarians – Library and Research Services for Parliaments, Africa and the Law Libraries” making it a little easier for my schedule.

I am sure there were will also be opportunities at IFLA for events and parties where I will be able to meet new people.  I just don’t know about them yet, my guess is that like MLA these aren’t on the official schedule.  As MLA President I am going to IFLA to represent MLA and its members to a large diverse international library audience.  I would like to use this opportunity to speak with and meet as many biomedical, health sciences librarians as possible to get a better understanding and perspective on MLA’s international presence.

Right now MLA’s international presence has been rather scatter shot.  I would like to understand things better so that we as an organization can determine our international role in a more cohesive and strategic manner.  My hope is that by attending IFLA, I will not only learn library things for my regular job but also learn about the role of medical, health science librarianship in the world and what part MLA can have in that.

It kind of feels like a lofty goal as I stare at the IFLA program and feel like a conference newbie again.  I just need to remember the advice from the MLA New Members & Attendees breakfast, “just talk to people, librarians are nice.”

New Writers For the Krafty Blog

In the next few days and weeks there will be several posts by people who have agreed to write for this blog.  I have asked them to write a short paragraph about themselves for two reasons.

  1. So I know I set everything up correctly.
  2. So you can get to know the new authors.

For years the Krafty Librarian has been about me and what I find interesting in medical librarianship and technology.  Through the years of going to conferences, workshops, and meeting with other medical librarians I have learned that all medical librarians are a little “krafty.” We try and do whatever we can to get the information to our users and we think outside of the box.  So the next phase of this blog will be not just about me (I will still be posting) it will include other krafty librarians and their thoughts.

I look forward to reading about each author and I look forward to the new direction that we are taking this blog.  I hope you all do too. There may be some bumps along the way but we will get it all figured out.  :)

Medlibs Chat: Presidential Priorities, I Have No Priorities

Join us tomorrow (6:00pm Pacific / 9:00pm Eastern) on the #medlibs chat as I try to successfully balance watching the Cavs in the NBA playoffs and moderating the discussion on the changes happening within MLA, specifically the MLA strategic plan.

(reposted from #medlibs chat blog)

In the past each MLA President has presented their list of priorities for the upcoming year for MLA.  This year is a little different. I have no priorities.  OK, that sounds a lot different. But it really isn’t.  Instead of coming up with priorities each year the incoming president will look at MLA’s strategic plan and evaluate the goals within the plan.  If we are near accomplishing a goal, then the incoming president looks at other potential goals that we should add to the strategic plan. The idea is that these goals live long enough for accomplishment and are not specifically tied to the president’s term. They are part of the entire MLA strategic plan which is tied to MLA, the board, staff, etc. As in the case of MLA’s technology goal, a goal could be accomplished in less than a year.  In the case of the Education goal, it may take more than a year.  However, steps toward accomplishing that goal will be continually happening.

Speaking of continually happening… In years prior the time line for getting things done always seemed to be centered around the meeting in May.  Why? There are probably a lot of reasons, but I think (total guess on my part) is that it is a legacy of when we (librarians) did less business electronically.  We live in a time of email and other forms of online communication. Now days things can happen faster because we can communicate more easily and more often. We agree to take on projects at MLA then scurry around next March/April to make sure something was accomplished before the meeting again in May. We don’t even read and approve the prior meetings minutes until a year later at the next meeting. This has given us the nimbleness of an AT-AT in regards to change.

We need to look at ways to speed up processes and work towards the evolution of our organization as well as the groups (Sections, SIGs, Committees, etc.) within our organization.  So this Twitter chat will focus on ways that we as a group can work toward improving the speed at which we accomplish things.  Because waiting a year to approve something makes any organization sluggish and less adaptable to responsive change.

What are your ideas for making us more nimble?

Come share your thoughts and perspectives! Never participated in a #medlibs or other Twitter chat before? Check out this overview and come on in, we’re a supportive community and are especially keeping an eye out to welcome and support your participation if you’ve just heard about this community for the first time during the meeting.

 

 

Join the #medlibs Discussion on 2016 Meeting Changes

Join us tonight May 7, 2015 at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern for a chat on Twitter regarding changes to the 2016 Annual Meeting and brainstorming what changes we could do for future meetings.
(reposted from #medlibs chat blog)
The 2016 meeting will be in Toronto and will be a joint conference with CHLA-ABSC and the International Clinical Librarian Conference (ICLC).  This gives us the perfect opportunity to work with the conference structure and see where we can make some changes that better fit the needs of members.  The Futures Task Force listed several suggestions for changing the annual meeting.  So tune in to the chat this Thursday May 7, 2015 at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern to learn about some of the changes that will be happening.  Also help us brainstorm any changes that we can work on for future meetings.  Just like Rome was not built in a day, planning a conference takes years. So some great ideas may take a while to get in the system but we are listening.

Get to Know the New Executive Director of MLA

Kevin Baliozian, the new Executive Director of MLA, has graciously agreed to be the special guest for the weekly #medlibs Twitter chat the evening of Thursday, April 16. The chat starts at 9:00 PM Eastern / 8:00 PM Central / 7:00 PM Mountain / 6:00 PM Pacific. Teresa Knott and I are regular participants; we agreed to facilitate the chat. Information about the chat is outlined in a blog post at http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/. If you want to get a feel for how conversations flow, please take a look at the transcripts from the previous chats.

If you are interested, please join us. You’ll need a Twitter account. Typically, I use TweetChat.com when chatting in Twitter since it groups all the tweets with the same hashtag (#medlibs) into the same room. In addition, if you tweet into the room, the chat box automatically adds the #medlibs Twitter hashtag so your tweets are seen by chat participants.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Hope you can join us!  Lurkers are welcome too!

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.

Discussion About #Medlibs Discussion

Last week’s #medlibs chat was about conference codes of conduct and it was co-hosted with officers from the MLA Relevant Issues Sections.  http://bit.ly/1mkgcnB

I was on vacation when I participated in the chat so forgive me for the tardiness of this post.

Increasingly, professional and tech conferences are adopting anti-harassment policies and codes of conduct. The Relevant Issues Section of MLA would like to explore having one for MLA meetings.

 

For background, check out:

The discussion centered around previous incidents at library meetings (including MLA) where attendees felt harassed (by fellow librarians and/or vendors). The moderators asked the #medlibs participants about having a code of conduct at MLA meetings.  It was noted that some speakers no longer will speak at meeting without a code of conduct policy and that those who have been harassed need to know they can report problems.

For some reason the code of conduct discussion slid into a discussion about breast feeding at meetings and the need for child care at meetings.  I can kind of see how the topic of breast feeding sort of made it in the discussion because that could be something is harassed about.  However the issue of child care at the meetings was kind of out of left field for me given the pre-determined code of conduct topic.

There was a group of people who thought that MLA need to provide child care at the meetings for working single parents.  I did note that MLA usually includes information from the hotel on finding a sitter during the meeting. But, this was not what they meant, they wanted to child care.  While I am not a single parent, I do have three kids and those three kids were all in child care at one time and I can tell you first hand that it is flipping crazy expensive and I am living in Cleveland where our cost of living is pretty reasonable.  I can’t imagine the costs of providing child care at an annual meeting.  When I brought up the cost barrier there were some who thought we could get a vendor to sponsor it or that we could add it to the cost of registration. (The registration aspect confused me, I wasn’t sure if they meant the person who selected it paid or if it was spread across the entire registrants to supplement those who needed it.) After being on two NPCs and fundraising for one of them, I personally don’t see a vendor paying for it.  It took a lot of work to get the conference wide wifi to get paid for.

So my questions for you, readers…..

  • What are your thoughts on a code of conduct policy for MLA meetings?
  • What happens if somebody violates the code of conduct? (Are there teeth to the policy?)
  • Is child care needed at MLA’s annual meeting and how should it be paid for?
  • Instead of having official MLA child care, is there a better child care option for single parents to attend meeting other than the hotel babysitter info that is provided?
  • What about the MLA online annual meeting conference package? Would that help single parents who couldn’t travel to the meeting?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments and don’t forget to join tonight’s #medlibs chat.  The chat will be open mic (meaning no moderator?) on whether existing CE meets what we need for research http://bit.ly/1lzS8h3.

Become an Embase Screener

The Cochrane Collaboration is looking for people to help identify reports of randomized control trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs from Embase for publication in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL).

The Cochrane Collaboration wants to develop and implement a screening task that is crowd sourced.  A web-based screening tool has already been created.  No prior experience is necessary.  “A quality-control system has been developed so that all records will be viewd by at least two screeners. Records viewed by ‘novice’ screeners will need three consecutive agreements on the record’s relevance for it to then be either published in CENTRAL or ‘rejected.”

This project has been designed to work with people’s “busy lives” in much the same way as other crowd-sourced endeavors.

For more information go to http://bit.ly/1hrI9qX