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!

Privacy is Dying Fast, Are We Slow to Respond

Privacy is dying or already dead. People (myself included) freely tell the world about our activities through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  But we have given up our privacy in even more subtle ways than social media.  I currently have 3 loyalty cards on my key chain, my grocer, pharmacy, and pet store.  That doesn’t include the several loyalty cards I have in my wallet, hardware store, shoe store, sports store, and sandwich chain.  Additionally I have 2-3 apps that are loyalty cards like Shopkick and Cartwheel.  All of these cards and apps give me discounts (some very substantial).  In exchange these stores know exactly what I buy, how often, whether I use coupons, and probably a bunch of other things.

I know there are a lot privacy advocates in the library world.  Along with finding information and connecting people to resources, privacy is important to our profession, especially in the medical world.  Of my friend and colleagues make statements that they would never give out information to people or companies yet the post on social media and they shop at Costco.  We as society have been gradually giving up our privacy in return for convenience or money (discounts and cost savings).

This type of behavior is not going to change any time soon, in fact the next generation is even more willing to give up their privacy.  What is interesting (disturbing?) is that they don’t even think of it as privacy.  A few months ago I saw the Frontline report, “Generation Like.”  The report primarily looked teenagers and the complicated relationship between themselves and the big-name brands they like and actively promote on social media. Not only are the brands are constantly working to target them but the teenagers are actively trying to target their own peer group in the form of likes and comments to gain popularity and fame.  The teens told FRONTLINE that social media makes them feel empowered. The most successful or most popular social media teens are rewarded with all sorts of free products to the point a few have been able to make a living off of their social media posts just from the brands they mention.

I am by no means new to social media, and this was a huge eye opener to me. While I realized the brands mined the data and rewarded those who mentioned them on social media, I had no idea how extensive and deep the rewards went.  But the biggest eye opening moment wasn’t specifically a moment but the repeated sight of these teenagers who so completely bought into it all and didn’t think twice.  In fact after the Frontlined aired the show, most of the teenagers reportedly were excited about getting even more popularity online because of their presence on the show. None of the teenagers blinked twice about the fact that they were giving so much of their privacy away. One interviewer asked the kids about whether they felt like “sell outs” by promoting everything, and the kids didn’t even understand the question.  One even mentioned they didn’t know what a sell out was.

As disturbing and fascinating as this Frontline report was, it made me realize that the concept of privacy is either dead or it will be by the time the teenagers of today are in the workforce tomorrow.  So why is this important? Aren’t we librarians the champions of privacy?  Yes but should we?

I am not talking about disclosing financial data, medical information, or blabbing to the next patron about another’s circulation record.  I am talking about our own information systems working with data to provide a more customized and convenient experience.  Our ILS immediately clears the record of a book from a patron’s record once it has been returned.  That protects our patrons privacy.  But how many of our patrons want a record of what they borrowed for their own purposes?  I have been asked many times in my library career if I could “just look up the last book they checked out because they forgot the title” or a variant of that question.  Personally I love how Amazon knows what I was buying, looking at, and can link my purchases to what others have bought.

My question for librarians is whether our own information system’s restrictions on privacy will ultimately hurt us as the next generation comes to expect more connectivity and convenience.  Like the current teenagers now, will they be fine with giving up a certain amount of privacy so that their experience is better?  If so what kind of systems do we design (or should we) that can balance the privacy line of information that people are willing to give up (or no longer consider private) vs what we still consider private.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating libraries drop their privacy stance, but I am wondering as society’s views on privacy change, how are we going to change.  Obviously education is key.  People don’t always know what they information they are giving up and how it is being used.  However, there things are changing where people don’t care about certain once private things.  So how are we to respond in the future and will that response help us or hurt us?

I’m just thinking out loud, what are your thoughts? (BTW if you leave a comment think about how you are relinquishing some of your privacy and how you are ok doing that now and whether there was a time when you weren’t….you don’t have to put that in your comment, just something to ponder.)  As I tell my kids anything you put online is there forever. Sometimes that is good, sometimes not.

Splitting My Personality

Long ago when I started playing with Twitter, I was really just testing things out to see how they worked and how I might use it in my day to day personal and professional life.  Well we have long since passed the tipping point.  My little endeavor has moved beyond experimental, more professional people are contacting me through Twitter. More people are following me for information about libraries, information resources, and general biomedical information.  So I have decided to split my Twitter personalities.

@Krafty will focus primarily on libraries, medicine, healthsci, and more professional type of things.  Don’t worry, I will not be a robot. My personality will still come through. I will still participate on #medlibs chats and library conference tweets as @krafty.  I will still send out posts from the Krafty Librarian blog and Facebook page via the @Krafty account.

@Michelle_Kraft (Don’t forget the underscore, there are a lot of Michelle Kraft’s out there) is now my personal account.  Many #medlibs may still want to follow me at this account b/c I will still be tweeting library stuff, but this account will have more personal stuff.  For example: Based off of the successful silent auction bidding on the zombie doll made by @blevinsa I am willing to be there are some #medlibs out there who are interested in discussing Walking Dead on Twitter with me.  However, there are probably a few people following @Krafty who could care less about Walking Dead and don’t know the difference between Sanctuary and sanctuary.  These people might find my Walking Dead posts to be clutter.  Likewise with my posts about the Browns…of course you could probably convince me that my own posts about the Browns are clutter to me.

So if you are a follower of @Krafty please know I am going to be more “professional” and if you don’t mind my personal tweets then you probably want to start following @Michelle_Kraft.

It might be a bumpy transition because I know many friends are used to following @Krafty.  I will try and follow everybody through @Michelle_Kraft but the easiest way for me to do that is just follow the people who follow me…so it might take some time.

 

What Does Successful Use of Twitter Look Like? Follow NASCAR and Find Out

A friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to this post, “NASCAR knows more about Twitter than you do.”  A title like that just begged me to read it.  You know what?  Stephanie Foster’s post is right on the money.  NASCAR is doing everything right with Twitter while so many companies, organizations, and sporting leagues have failed.

Some of NASCAR’s keys to success:

  • A very open and liberal Twitter policy.

NASCAR not only allows their people to tweet they want them to do it.  Foster states, “Unlike other professional sports leagues, NASCAR allows — even encourages — its drivers to tweet, right up until “game time,” the moment the driver gets in the car. In a November 2012 interview with ESPN, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said, “We encourage our drivers to participate in social media. We feel we have the most liberal social media policy in all of sports, and the access we provide is the best in all of sports.”

I am very curious as to whether they have some sort of Twitter boot camp available to their drivers, teams and specialists.  NASCAR is not adverse to fining drivers or others for inappropriate behavior or tweets, but it seems with their very open policy we would be more controversy and inappropriate tweets compared to other leagues that have stricter policies.

  • Full scale integration of Twitter.

NASCAR didn’t just say it was OK to tweet, they assimilated it into their sport. Foster writes, “NASCAR became the first professional sports league to sign an official partnership with Twitter. The largest initiative was the launch of a platform that collected tweets from drivers, media and fans that allowed even faster engagement on the site. NASCAR also made Twitter a real marketing priority, painting drivers’ Twitter handles on the cars, hosting Twitter-only contests and race day “tweetups,” and allowing fans to tweet questions to race analysts during pre- and post-game programming.” (Read an article about NASCAR’s Fan and Media Engagement Center on race day…kind of interesting.)  Now compare that with MLB’s social media policy prohibiting the linking to or use of images, MLB sites, etc. without obtaining MLB’s permission. MLB missed the mark entirely, you want people to go to the MLB sites, you want them to see your product. Twitter is a conversation, if you must get permission to link to an MLB site then the conversation is stunted.  I get MLB’s thinking, they are worried about brand association.  However, I would think NASCAR is equally concerned about their brand, yet the two organizations approach to their bran on social media is vastly different.

One thing that Foster doesn’t directly mention but is the whole driving force between successful Twitter campaigns and languishing ones is engagement.  Foster describes the engagement with the fan when she discusses NASCAR’s policies and integration with Twitter.  The liberal policy opens up the opportunity to engage people.  The integration is important but not everyone is NASCAR and have the ability to integrate so fully with Twitter.  The engagement with the fans is the reason why NASCAR went for full integration with Twitter.  Engagement is such a tricky area for many companies, hospitals, librarians, and others to master.  Until recently, engagement with consumers was not so immediate and usually did not lend itself to be so public at the press of an enter key.  Companies, hospitals, universities, and regular people were used to having far more control over the discussion and message.  Not so on Twitter.  Twitter is all about engaging with people and also giving up some control on how your message is disseminated and perceived.  That is why organizations or people who only promote their activities fail at getting their message.  They are no better than spam.  Organizations or people who don’t RT or respond to tweets, whose Twitter or Facebook accounts are black hole where only messages are posted but never replied to miss the point.  You must engage with people for them to stay interested and keep following.

While the post talks about NASCAR’s use of Twitter to engage its users, the principle of engagement is still applicable to librarians, hospitals, universities and library vendors.

 

New Year, New Job Directions?

Don’t think of it as a New Year’s resolution, think of it as just taking inventory of your career path.  Whether you are looking to find a new job in a new organization or just trying to add a new direction to your current job, it is a good idea to think about, evaluate, and discuss (pick people’s brains) your ideas and options.

So tune in to #medlibs on Twitter tonight at 9pm Eastern.

See you there. :)

 

Reposted form (Medlibschapt.blogspot.com)

Join Heather Holmes (@LaMedBoheme73) and Michelle Kraft (@Krafty) for this week’s #medlibs talk as we discuss all good things related to jobs, such as: looking for a new job, preparations to move (yourself, your family, etc), learning or brushing up on skills, transitioning to a new position in the same institution, or transitioning to a related but totally different position. What are some of the positive reasons you are looking for or have accepted a new position or are seeking new skills and abilities? This won’t be a rant session, we want it to be a positive and constructive discussion so please join us and spread the word – we’d love to welcome library students and others interested in learning more about the field!

Some resources to consider:

NEJM Publishes Erratum After Social Media Peer Review

I stumbled across this blog post a week ago and thought it was a wonderful example of the way social media can be used to better biomedical science.

The New England Journal of Medicine published an article in June on the prevention of MRSA in the ICU.  The study was very large, 74,256 patients, and the results looked impressive, BUT nobody could get the stats didn’t add up.  The numbers given in the published paper didn’t correlate with the Number-Needed to Treat (NNT)

A blog post on Intensive Care Network posted the following about the stats in the NEJM article:

ARE THE STATS CORRECT?

We were hashing this out in our journal club, but could not get the stats to add up.

If you can PLEASE COMMENT HERE!

The NNT’s of 54 and 181 seem impossibly small, with huge clinical implications.

Please try it yourself; look at Table 3. Frequency and Rates of Outcomes during the Baseline and Intervention Periods, According to Study Group

With bloodstream infection from any pathogen, the Group 1 (standard care) number of events per 1000 patient days is 4.1. With Group 3, the number of events is 3.6 per 1000 patients days. Even taking change from baseline into account and assuming these NNTs have been calcuated AFTER randomization, between Group 1 and Group 3, we get nowhere close to their NNT’s.

PLEASE have a go and see if you can match their NNT’s.

IF you can’t there is a serious problem, with practice changing implications.

It’s too late to write letters to the NEJM, so a robust discussion in a peer reviewed forum seems a good way to go.

 

The authors of blog post intention was to discuss the problem in “a peer reviewed forum” and according to them “there was lots of insightful commentary from around the globe.”

The fact that they were able to discuss problem with others around world is big but not unheard of, more and more scientists are discussing issues online.  To me the biggest thing is that the paper’s lead author, Susan Huang engaged in a discussion with the social media reviewers with a “prompt and gracious reply” agreed the published calculation was an error and showed “true scientific and academic integrity by contacting the NEJM as soon as there was a suggestion that the stats were incorrect.” NEJM responded by publishing an correction to the paper.

It is very cool how scientists discussed online a paper’s validity and work together to essentially provide world wide peer review.  However, what I find even cooler is that the author was engaged with the social media process AND a respected journal addressed and responded to the findings.  This is an example of everything that is right with social media and professional communication.  It will be interesting to see if we will see more of this type of world peer review in the future especially now that  PubMed Commons can also foster this kind of scientific inquiry and discussion.

NEJM is a big journal with lots of very smart authors contributing papers that are subjected to very peer reviewers, but still there can be mistakes.  World peer review via social media could help improve the process.  One question I keep wondering is, if we have this type of world peer review, could this cut down on the academic fraud that sometimes eludes the careful eyes of publishers’ peer reviewers?  What would have happened had Wakefield’s fraudulent study linking vaccines and autism (published in 1998) been published today?  Would that paper have had a chance to make it the general public’s consciousness and be as unfortunately influential as it still is today?

 

Perception of Libraries

I heard someone say, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  This is easier said than done, especially for librarians.  The results from the Pew Internet and American Life survey “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities” were recently released.  I have seen many in the library world praising what are definitely good results. Such as:

  • 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed
  • 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community
  • 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere

These are definitely things to be proud of.  However, there are some statistics that concern me and I don’t seem to be hearing about them from the library world as much.

  • 52% of Americans say that people do not need public libraries as much as they used to because they can find most information on their own, while 46% disagreed.
  • 54% of Americans have used a public library in the past 12 months
  • 77% of those who have ever used a public library said they know only some of what it offers.  (Of that 77% about one in five say they don’t know very much about what is offered, and 10% say they know “nothing at all.”)

If 94-95% believe libraries are so important then why have only 54% used a library in the last year?  Doesn’t quite make sense.  So while people love their libraries, they don’t know much about their offerings and they don’t use them very often.

This is frustrating because it seems as though people like the idea of the public library as it exists in their heads, but have no idea what it does in practice.  Sounds familiar medical librarians?  I think in order for us to survive we have to do a better job of changing their perception of the library.  Thankfully they like us….but liking us isn’t going to get the tax levy renewed or the keep administration from cutting our budget.  We need to do a better job of demonstrating to our users and non-users how we can help them.  Informing users is tricky enough, but non-users…yikes!  But that is needed for us to turn the perception of a library and the know more about our other services and resources (not just that we have books).

This Thursday #medlibs will discuss the what we see coming to libraries in 2014 and beyond. What is the future of the library?  What do we need to do and where will be going?

Some ideas for the discussion are:

These are all important things to consider, but I also believe part of our future rests with changing perceptions.  If we don’t do that we are going to be the Norman Rockwell of professions. Nice to remember, or as somebody on Twitter said,  “an emotional remembrance.”So tune in on Thursday http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/ as we discuss the library of the future.

#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.

Get MLA CE for Participating in #medlibs Chat

The #medlibs chat group will be hosting a five week series presented by the University of Massachusetts Medical School Lamar Soutter Library.

Here are the weekly chats:

  1. August 15th: Host: Donna Kafel Topic: e-Science portal
  2. August 22nd: Host: Kevin Read Topic:e-Science thesaurus
  3. August 29th: Host: Andrew Creamer Topic: New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum
  4. Sept. 5: Host: Sally Gore Topic: Role of the informationist on research teams
  5. Sept. 12: Hosts: Lisa Palmer & Kate Thornhill Topic: Institutional repositoriesand open access

Discussing e-science issues on #medlibs is a great way to learn more about the topic, but the icing on the cake is that these chats have been approved for free (or near free at $5) MLA CE!

While this is a cool opportunity, there are rules for getting the CE. 

  1. No partial CE hours will be awarded.
  2. Participation is measured by at least 3 tweets during each #medlibs chat session as shown by the chat transcript discussion AND/OR a reflective summary paragraph about the chat transcript discussion posted as a comment to each week’s blog post at http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/

In her post Nikki says that MLA pre-approved this e-science series for CE.  If there are costs they would go directly MLA according to their Discussion Group Program.  Nikki has graciously volunteered her time to be the convener for the program, verify participation,  administer evaluations, and issue the CE.

The CE may or may not be free. If it is not free, it will be extremely cheap. It will only cost $5! Whether the CE is free or $5 will be clarified soon by MLA and announced when known.

If there is a fee for the CE, please note the following:

  1. Participation will not be tracked or awarded to those who indicate they will only take it for free if a cost is required.
  2. PayPal will be used to collect funds if there is a cost for CE. The convener (Nikki Dettmar) will email all participants who have indicated they will pay a cost for CE with further instructions.
  3. If there is a cost for CE and you have not paid by the end of the series, no CE will be awarded. There will not be followup/reminder emails.

To learn more about the e-science series go to the #medlibs blog. To register for the CE go to this link.

What a great opportunity. Kudos to Nikki for all of her hard work coordinating this.  Thank you to the weekly hosts.  I have a lot to learn about e-science and I am going to sign up.

#Medlibs Tomorrow: Using Social Media for Consumer Health

Tomorrow I will be moderating the #medlibs chat and we will discuss the use of social media for patient education and consumer health.  72% of adults seek medical information online, and between 26-34% (depending on various reports) of people use social media to find health information.  The thought is the trend will continue to grow.

I will be asking these questions (I’m giving them to you ahead of time so you can think about them):

  • How are librarians using social media to provide consumer health information or patient education?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of a social media health information campaign?
  • What are some barriers to providing patient education/consumer health information via social media?

#medlibs is a active group with lots of ideas and opinions so I am sure we will have more questions as we discuss things, but this is these are the main ones to get us started.

See you all online Thursday July 11, 2013 at 6pm PST and 9pm EST.

*Disclosure Notice*
I am writing a book chapter on this topic and this #medlibs discussion will help me with it.  I may use some tweets or reference parts of the #medlibs chat in the chapter.  I don’t want to squelch the overall fun chattiness of the group.  If I use anything I will only refer to tweets that are specifically related to the discussion topic and I will make every effort to let you know I am using your tweet.