Mellen Drops Lawsuit against McMaster and Askey

According to this article from CBC News Edwin Mellen Press says it is dropping at least one of its lawsuits against Dale Askey.  The article does mention that EMP filed two lawsuits against Askey and McMaster for a total of $4.5 million in damages. 

EMP told the CBC that it “discontinued the court case against McMaster University and Dale Askey,” citing in a statement “financial pressure of the social media campaign and press on authors is severe. EMP is a small company. Therefore [it] mus choose to focus its resources on its business and serving its authors.”

So it appears according to this article that at lest 1 of the 2 lawsuits was dropped.  I couldn’t find any information on whether they planned to also drop the second.

If anybody knows please leave a comment with a link to the information.

Emerging Technology and Hospital Libraries

Thursday #medlibs will discuss the 2013 Horizon Report- Higher Education edition, “a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe   emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.”

When we are talking higher education it is barely just a hop, skip, and a jump to think of how all of it will impact libraries in higher education.  While academic libraries will see the impact quicker, hospital libraries aren’t immune to the changes.  Because what is considered trending technology by medical students will be common place when they enter their residency programs in the hospitals and will be outdated when they are staff physicians.

So what kind of technology does the Horizon Report list and what will be talking about on #medlibs?

Happening in one year or less according Horizon:
(I say it is happening now)

  • Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • Tablet Computing

Happening 2-3 years:

  • Big Data and Learning Analytics
  • Game Based Learning

Happening 4-5 years:

  • 3D Printing
  • Wearable Technology

As a hospital librarian I have to say that tablet’s have exploded and it is in our world now.  Big Data is the next “big money” thing that hospital librarians need to be aware of.  There are already academic librarian positions for data management dealing with research.  Hospital librarians might think that they don’t need to worry about data management because their institution doesn’t really do research. WRONG?!?!

If your hospital has an EMR, it has tons of data that it needs to manage and most likely that data is either just sitting there in the EMR or communicating poorly with a few of the hodge podge of other computer systems within your hospital.

Hospitals eligible for Medicare EHR Incentive Programs must demonstrate meaningful use of the EHR technology. “Eligible hospitals and CAHs that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology will be subject to Medicare payment adjustments beginning in FY 2015.” Read that as penalized.

Personally I see data management as a natural extension for libraries that have already been involved with IT and the EMR.

Here are two examples of many where hospitals are mining the data within the EMR to improve care.

  1. The Value of Data: It’s How You Use It.
  2. Health Fidelity Receives Grant from National Science Foundation to Support Use of EHR Data to Improve Quality of Care.

Perhaps I am old and my memory is failing but weren’t librarians talking about data mining in 2000? IT was mining for data withing bibliographic databases, but aren’t the principles the same?  Data mining and the EHR are one avenue that hospital librarians who are interested in the future of librarianship need to consider.

The Horizon Report lists other technologies, how do you see them impacting hospital librarians and when?  Feel free to comment below or better yet, join us Thursday at 9pm est. for the #medlibs discussion on Twitter.  (The easiest way to follow a discussion on Twitter is go to TweetChat, login using your Twitter login, then follow the #medlibs hastag.)


Libraries are Horrible at Marketing

The Results Are In and They Aren’t Good: Library Marketing” caught my eye a few weeks ago and it has been bouncing around in my head ever since.  The article reports on a marketing survey about how public libraries market themselves, effectiveness of marketing initiatives, and engagement within their communities. 

The results aren’t pretty.

The results clearly indicate there’s a disconnect; a canyon between what should be happening and what is happening within the marketing schemas of public libraries. In an era when the value of libraries are under scrutiny and library budgets are under siege it is essential that libraries communicate their value to users as well as non-users. A failed marketing practice is failed communication.”

While this article is specifically about public libraries, I can’t help but read it with medical librarian eyes.  I found myself nodding and talking back to the computer screen like a crazy librarian hopped up on caffeine.  I just kept thinking that medical libraries are probably just as bad or worse. 

How many institutions make it difficult to send out targeted emails to user groups?  How many institutions have decent front pages or information pages on their Intranet or Internet sites that employees actually read to stay informed?  How many of these same institutions only fill that information up with the institution’s marketing information and don’t allow departments (such as the library) post information? 

How many medical libraries rely on the website to post news?  The article clearly states that libraries don’t feel this is the most effective way to reach people.

Not only do we do a crummy job of marketing to our own users, we surely aren’t reaching non users.  I found an interesting article the other day, “Exploring factors in non-use of hospital library resources by healthcare personnel.” (Library Management. Vol 34. No. 1/2, 2013. pp.105-127.)  The study found out that the hospital libraries did a poor job of getting their message out.  Many people didn’t know there was a library, thought it was only for doctors or didn’t think it had information to help them. Those that knew about the library were misinformed at what exactly was in the library. 

After reading those articles my mind kept thinking, we have a serious uphill trek to make and we are wearing roller skates for it. 

I don’t have the answers but I know there are others who have ideas that have worked (and didn’t work) and might be willing to share them in the comments section.  Perhaps somebody can share how they can email large groups of people without falling afoul of the institution’s rules on mass emails.  Additionally, somebody might be able to share ways of getting their message out to people who may not think the library is for them like secretaries, nutritionists, social workers, etc.  How do you get your online message read? Where besides the library website do you post them?  Finally, one small plea… if you are using Facebook or Twitter to reach users please have engagement numbers beyond “Likes” in addition to your strategies.  I am tired of hearing about librarians who say they have a million “likes” on their Facebook page but nobody besides librarians are posting on their wall.  One way communication isn’t communication and isn’t engaging users.  That is no different than posting a flyer about library classes in the library staff break room.

Askey Lawsuit: Blogger Sued by Publisher

Dale Askey, an associate librarian at McMaster University is being sued by Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. for post on his personal blog that he made three years ago. 

Articles on the Askey lawsuit:

This has become quite a hot topic among librarians, including medical librarians.  Tomorrow’s #medlibs chat topic will be the Askey lawsuit and discussing the line between opinion and libel.

You don’t have to be a medical librarian to participate in the #medlibs chat.  The chat is open to all who are interested.  It is held every Thursday at 9pm est.  If you don’t chat a lot on Twitter or use a program like TweetDeck or Hootsuite, an easy way to participate is use the website TweetChat. On TweetChat you sign in to your Twitter account and choose to follow the #medlibs hashtag.  You will see the conversation in real time and all of your tweets will automatically contain the #medlibs hashtag so others can follow along too. 

I look forward to seeing you there and please feel free to invite non medical librarians to the chat.  It would be interesting to hear how this impacts academic librarians and here from anybody else with an interest on the topic. The more people with diverse backgrounds the better the discussion.

MLA Statement Supporting Blogger & McMaster Being Sued by Publisher

I wanted to forward along a press release issued jointly by MLA and AAHSL.

(reprinted from MLA press release)

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AASHL) and the Medical Library Association (MLA) share a commitment to intellectual freedom and access to information.  We strongly oppose the suppression of opinion and censorship of ideas. 

We believe that librarians must be able to openly assess publisher products or practices without intimidation.

We strongly support Dale Askey and McMaster University as they face the lawsuit brought against them by Edwin Mellen Press.

“The free exchange of ideas and opinions is essential to academic work,” said Jane Blumenthal, President, Medical Library Association. “This exchange is often critical and sometime intemperate, but regardless, the assessment of information is an essential part of the work of librarians, faculty, libraries, and universities. Academic publishers, as partners in the process of scholarly communication, should not only expect but also welcome critical appraisal. The filing of a lawsuit in response to an expression of professional opinion will work to suppress free and open discussion and hinder the growth of knowledge.” 

“Though we may work in different library environments, one common foundational and critical element of our work is the appraisal of information resources in support of our academic communities,” said M.J. Tooey, President, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries.  “These resources support the creation of new methods, of new theories, of new cures, and new pathways to knowledge.  Any attempt to stifle professional opinion is an impediment to the scholarly process and a violation of freedom of speech in support of the advancement of scholarship.”

We urge Edwin Mellen Press to drop this suit.

MIS Members Vote NOW!!

MLA MIS members don’t forget to vote for your future Chair Elect and Secretary/Treasurer. 

Here are the people: Vote before today Thursday 11:59pm


Chair Elect:

Michael Garner
Medical Informatics Librarian
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Science Library

 Why are you interested in running for MIS Chair-Elect?

I am interested in running for MIS Chair-Elect because of the importance of medical informatics in the medical community. Medical informatics promotes the systematic use of data to support the goals of the medical community and I believe that the MIS chair works as a bullhorn letting people know about medical informatics and why they should care about it and I would like to continue the work of past officicers of the section.

 What kinds of things would you like to see happen in the Medical Informatics Section?

First and foremost I would like to ensure that the members of the MIS would have access through the MIS website to information that would be useful to them in their day-to-day jobs as well as current items of interest. Due to the importance of outreach I would also like to broadcast to potential members the resources that the MIS offers. This should further burgeon our ranks and hopefully increase both interchange, community, and collaboration.


Emily Hurst
Technology Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region

 Why are you interested in running for MIS Chair-Elect?

 My interest in running for MIS Chair-Elect comes from growing and learning more about the section through participation. Working with MIS, first as a regular member, I was able to learn more about the goals and focus of the section. Serving as the section  by-laws committee chair and working with leadership on programming topics has broaden my interested in the section and its mission. Support and connection with colleagues across the country has helped to see that MIS members are leaders in various in health science and medical librarianship.  I am interested in running for MIS chair-elect to continue the mission of MIS and promote goals which will keep the section active as well as attract new membership.

 What kinds of things would you like to see happen in the Medical Informatics Section?

I would like to see MIS continue to be one of the most cutting edge, relevant, and collaborative sections in MLA while also growing membership and embracing new ways of involving others in the section. Through continued sponsorship of MLA annual meeting programming including the popular Top Tech Trends panel MIS demonstrates it is a section of leaders as well as tech-savvy librarians who are willing and able to provide new insights on upcoming technology trends. I would also like to see MIS work in collaboration with groups outside of MLA such as LITA and ACRL’s Health Sciences Interest Group to put forth new ideas, programming, or educational support for one-another. By growing and learning together in this era of big data and quickly changing technologies I believe the MIS can provide an educational and supportive environment for librarians facing today’s challenges.


Secretary Treasurer

Kristi Holmes
Becker Medical Library
Washington University School of Medicine

Why are you interested in running for Secretary-Treasurer?

I am honored to have the opportunity to run for Secretary-Treasurer for the Medical Informatics Section (MIS). We see an increasing influence of informatics in the work of the researcher, clinician, and in the way that the general public is able to consume information about health and wellness. I think that the MIS is a great resource for librarians – through their education and programming offerings and also by supporting collaborative communications with their members.  I am excited to have an opportunity to possibly support the work of this section in a more formal way and I certainly look forward to the work of the section as it fosters efforts around informatics and libraries in the clinical and research environment. I work as a bioinformaticist at Washington University’s Becker Medical Library. I am involved in developing and implementing the library’s [email protected] program and my professional interests include  a number of topics that may align with MIS, including education and training efforts across biomedicine; collaboration tools and support; open science; the Semantic Web, and understanding the impact of research efforts.


Brandi Tuttle
Research & Education Librarian
Duke Medical Center Library & Archives 

Why are you interested in running for Secretary-Treasurer?

 Though a newer member to MIS, she is interested in running for the position of Secretary/Treasurer as she is sometimes a “jump in with both feet” kind of gal.  But don’t worry; she’s familiar with taking notes as well as planning and moving monies.  She has four years of experience as a Secretary/Treasurer for (EMTS 2009-2013) as well as two years of experience as Treasurer for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of MLA (2010-present).  She has worked for the past several years to help select and disperse funds for the EMTS Annual Meeting Attendance Grant award as well as recently helped see the introduction of EMTS support for board member MLA attendance.  MIS is one of those sections that has caught her eye enough times.  She looks forward to working with another exciting group of people for the next few years to conjure up some awesome programming, create new initiatives and connect with other MLA members! Thanks for reading this far!

Host a #Medlibs Discussion

Due to Valentine’s Day there will be no #medlibs Twitter discussion this Thursday.  But the discussion will continue in the Thursdays to follow.  What started out as an experiment in discussing medical library issues with others via Twitter, has grown considerably.

Previous discussions have been on:

  • Disaster Planning (with participation from NLM Disaster Info
  • Embedded Librarianship
  • Data Management
  • Single Service Desk
  • Library Education

People are online every Thursday at 9pm Eastern time and it is always a lively informative and entertaining discussion. 

Now that the discussion has grown, it is difficult for one person to play host every week.  Nikki Dettmar (@eagledawg) has done a great job but she needs help.  She needs people willing to host the discussion on a Thursday.

Speaking as somebody who has hosted a few times, it is VERY EASY!!!!!  Nikki has done the heavy lifting.  She has created a hosting calendar and she has a service that already records the #medlibs tweets posted during the hour long discussion.  So all you have to do is sign up for a day to discuss a topic.   You don’t even have to do it alone!  February 28th will be on the Horizon Report and it will be hosted by @pfanderson, @kr_barker and a few others. 

Thursday Feb. 21st is still open as well as a whole bunch of other dates.  So if you are a #medlibs participant go to the calendar and pick a date.  If the date is somewhat far out then don’t worry so much about the topic, you can always add that as it gets closer.  *Please note the calendar is set on West coast time…so make sure you adjust your private calendar for your own time zone.

On the day and time of your hosted #medlibs chat, you just welcome people, state the topic and have 1-3 questions available to pose should our loquatious group fails to talk.  That is it!  See easy peasy.  Hope to see you hosting.


Seeking Virtual Projects

The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) has a new annual column describing innovative and notable virtual projects in health sciences libraries. This column will focus on library virtual spaces. “In an increasingly digital world, the library’s virtual space can be as much of a hub as the library’s physical space. Digital content and technology-rich library services are moving the library presence outside the physical building to support users in their digital spaces wherever and whenever needed.”

JMLA is looking for submissions of recent virtual projects for the Virtual Projects column.  The column will be published in October 2013.

Examples of projects that could be submitted include:

  • projects that improve the quality of the library’s virtual presence through webpages or its catalog
  • development of technologies that facilitate information discovery and content delivery (e.g., federated searching products and portals)
  • mobile-friendly resource and service initiatives
  • development of web 2.0/Library 2.0 initiatives (e.g., social networking applications)
  • hosting and preserving digital content activities
  • projects that demonstrate the use of library resources and services through the institution’s electronic health record (EHR)
  • collaborative ventures with campus or other partners to develop new digital resources and services


To be considered for this column, please submit a 200-word abstract of your virtual project or a link to your project web page that describes the project and why it is innovative/notable. Send your submissions to Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, by March 15, 2013.

Volunteers Needed

MLA Research Section Needs YOU!

(courtesy MEDLIB-l)

They are coordinating the MLA-wide effort to characterize the literature that informs the 15 questions MLA members identified in 2011 as the most important research questions facing health sciences librarianship.  With your help, the Research Section will identify several teams of librarians with varied research experience to conduct systematic reviews for the questions using a standard protocol with results stored in a centralized database.

 They envision that each team will have at least one member with systematic review experience. However, this is also an opportunity for those seeking to learn more about systematic reviews to grow their knowledge through hands-on practice.

 Please consider volunteering for one of the systematic review teams being assembled to review our literature.  One tangible outcome for each contributor will be the opportunity for co-authorship on a published article; additional ways to build skills and share knowledge will arise throughout the process.

 Apply online by Friday, January 25, 2013.  

For more information on how the questions were identified, see the JMLA article at 


Questions about applying can be directed to Jon Eldredge, Chair of the Research Agenda Committee, at [email protected].  Details of the plans for the systematic reviews and processes will be shared with the medical library community broadly once teams are finalized and workflows are developed.  Thank you for your consideration!

Consider Adding a Librarian to the Editorial Board

The most recent issue of Nurse Author & Editor Newsletter, December 2012, “Editors Cannot Know (and Sometimes Even Find!) It All:  Making a Case for a Medical Librarian on Your Editorial Board” (requires subscription to read) by Judith S. Young and Tina M. Marrelli is an interesting case for having a medical librarian on the editorial board. 

Full Disclosure:
I am currently on the editorial board for the Annals of Family Medicine and on the library advisory board for Silverchair (hosts several publishers), and I was on the Library Advisory Board of the New England Journal of Medicine.  So I am kind of familiar with the role of a librarian on the board of a publication or publishers group. 

Young and Marrelli describe the benefits having a medical librarian on the editorial board for a nursing journal.   

“Working with a medical librarian and having access to this librarian as a sounding board is an untapped source of support for nursing journal editors– as well as authors, reviewers, and publishers.  An experienced, professional medical librarian can bring value to a peer-reviewed journal and its nurse editor.”

The authors state that not only are medical librarians familiar with evidence based nursing but they can also serve editors as peer reviewers, verify international or unusual references, and conduct content specific search to see what extent certain topics are covered which is helpful for originality of journal content but also when compling subject specific issues. 

As I mentioned, I have some experience being on various journal and publication boards and I think they are EXTREMELY helpful to both the organization as well as the librarian.  I have learned more about the publishing side of things than I ever knew before.  I also am able to experience their perspective on things such as what it takes to get a issue out and the part of the inner works of a journal from editors, advertising, peer review, market, web site demands, etc.  I think the journals and the boards learned a lot from my presence on the board as well.  In various board meetings I have been able to explain how their journal is primarily accessed by institutional users, web site issues/enhancements, budgets of libraries, and networking issues/opportunities.  Recently I have been getting a lot of questions about the use of social media and how journals and publishers can use it effectively.   For many on the boards, the idea of social media is something that they know is growing and is important but they don’t exactly have a concept of how they can use it because all they see about social media are Ashton Kutcher tweets. 

So why am I posting this?  Two reasons. 

First: To inform librarians that there is another opportunity to get involved.  Sure you have to be asked to be on a board, but if you are asked know that you have some good things to contribute. Keep your ears open and you will find your niche.

Second: To inform publishers and library vendors that don’t already have librarians on boards that we can be very helpful and provide a slightly different perspective on things.  The worst thing to have on a board is a group of individuals who are all the same.  You need people who use your product but who are a bit different from each other or have different strengths and backgrounds to compliment your board. 

Librarians aren’t just in libraries.  We actually do some things that can be helpful that is beyond the traditional library.