Hello!

I’m Rebecca Carlson, the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences Library  Director at Southwest Baptist University in Springfield, Missouri. I’ll be one of the guest writers sharing Krafty posts with you this year.

I am the solo librarian on the SBU health sciences campus and I work with faculty and students in our nursing and radiology programs. I wear many hats and have a lot of “other duties as assigned,” but I love the challenges and unique opportunities of medical librarianship. This summer I have been teaching an online class with a nursing instructor on professional writing and APA style for healthcare and have learned a lot from the experience.

I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas with y’all and learning from all the fantastic librarians Michelle has assembled here.

Introducing an incidental informationist

C. Tobin Magle, PhD
An Incidental Informationist

I’m Tobin Magle, the Biomedical Sciences Research Support Specialist at the Health Sciences Library on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. I’m so excited to be a guest writer for the Krafty Librarian as she takes on her responsibilities as MLA president.

My dirty little secret is that I don’t have a library degree: my background is in research science. I have a PhD in microbiology, and my research focused on parasites like Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria.

While working on studying these pathogens is a very worthwhile and necessary pursuit, it just wasn’t for me. I began investigating careers outside the research laboratory and came across the listing for my position at CU Anschutz, somewhat incidentally you might say.

To make a long story short, it ended up being a perfect fit. I can focus on helping others do all the very important aspects of research science that often get short changed. I honestly feel like I won the lottery. I can’t believe I’ve been working at the CU Anschutz HSL for almost a year now! Time flies when you’re having fun I guess.

I primarily focus on bioinformatics, data management and sharing, and scholarly communication (if you can call that focus). These all fall under the theme of providing research support on our campus. I aim to bring a research/informatics perspective to the blog. I hope you enjoy it!

Krafty & Clever, or Just Perplexed? (Introduction)

Patricia Anderson here, one of the cohort of new writers for the Krafty Librarian blog, and delighted to be here. You might know me better as @pfanderson on Twitter (and many other places in social media), or as the person behind the ETechLib blog, or as Perplexity Peccable in Second Life. (I chose that name because both being perplexed and having a less-than-impeccable office are part of what I consider to be my natural condition!)

I am the Emerging Technologies Informationist at the newly renovated Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan. I bet some of you will want to hear about our renovation, so I’ll try to touch on that before too long. Obviously, I have a strong focus on new technologies, and am the leader of the MLA Systematic Review team on emerging technologies. Reporting out on some of that work will also probably interest folk here. I was doing systematic reviews long before I was into emerging technologies, and have been thrilled to see the growth of the profession in that area, and the emerging respect for medical librarians that naturally derives from our inclusion as partners and methodology consultants in the design, data generation, and practice of research methods in information synthesis. Pretty darn cool, if you ask me. Before that, I did a lot of research and writing about search engines, online health information, and so forth. Did you realize that 2014 was the 20th anniversary of the founding of the HealthWeb project? There are still a lot of lessons we could learn from that.

Anyway, those are the types of topics I’m likely to write about — emerging tech or trends or events; research and methods; online health information and searching; and so forth. I am really looking forward to seeing what the other collaborators come up with, and learning from the truly incredible team that Michelle has assembled. Delighted to be here, and I hope you are, too.

Introduction as a Krafty Librarian Blogger

As Michelle takes on the responsibility of the MLA Presidency, I am delighted to join the team of volunteers contributing to the Krafty Librarian. Since I am now at a Community College with 10 Health Professions programs, I look forward to sharing my experiences about how I help the students prepare presentations and do homework. Also, lately, I have been teaching and thinking in a comparative effectiveness research way and am eager to share my knowledge. I look forward to starting many meaningful conversations. Helen-Ann Brown Epstein

Introduction!

I am really excited to have the opportunity to write for this blog! My name is Irene Lubker and I work as a medical librarian at the Tompkins McCaw Library which is the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health Sciences library.

At Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), we have schools of Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. I have liaison duties to the School of Dentistry and Public Health programs in the School of Medicine. I also work with dietetic interns who come to the VCU hospitals for their year long internship because in my previous life I used to be a dietitian. So working with students and faculty in the School of Dentistry, Public Health programs and dietetic interns makes for a very interesting life. To add to the fun, I am also a doctoral student in the School of Education.

New Krafty Writer

Well, this is exciting….thanks Michelle, for giving me the opportunity to write on your blog. To paraphrase Delaware’s own beloved Joe Biden, this is a big deal.

My name is Richard James, and I am currently the electronic resources librarian at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine- I manage databases and online subscriptions, even a few print journals, for our 100-and-change year old medical college. And like most of our professional brethren and sistren, I do a lot of “other responsibilities include” which will probably be more interesting to blog about.

Prior to my position here, I was an instructional librarian at another Philadelphia college, mostly working with student nurses, and before then, the ILS administrator for the Delaware Division of Libraries. Professionally I’m interested in Open Access, wikipedia and medicine, LGBTQ and diversity issues.

Looking for Writers for Krafty Blog

I have mentioned in previous posts that this year while I am president of MLA my blog poses several challenges for me.

The first challenge is time.  Several people have asked me over the years about how I find the time to do things. I am creative with my time.  Sometimes I write instead of watching TV.  If I find myself at a child’s sports practice where there is free wifi, I may write.  When my children go to bed they often want me to sit in the hallway as they fall asleep, they don’t care what I am doing as long as I am nearby to chase away monsters. I get a lot of typing done while in the hallway.  However, as I am traveling more, doing more MLA and work things outside of “normal business hours” I just don’t have as much time to be able to write posts.

My second challenge is my role as president and the role of the blog.  This blog exists to share information and opinions on issues within medical librarianship.  Sometimes the information and opinions are controversial and sometimes they aren’t.  For example, I try to be as objective as possible regarding product reviews, but I realize as president of MLA my product review on this blog may imply an endorsement (or rejection) far beyond the scope of my humble opinion.

Finally, I am looking at ways to make this blog evolve.  The idea of a blog in its traditional format is dead. As the article by Kevin Drum mentions, the conversation that once was on blogs has moved to Facebook and Twitter.  I have seen this with my own blog.  While Facebook and Twitter offer their own opportunities for communicating and connecting with others, it comes with limits.  Twitter has a 140 character limitation.  Facebook offers more than 140 characters but doesn’t lend itself to longer posts that professional blog posts often generate (especially a product review).  So I am trying to figure out the next evolution of my blog. I want to move it from where I am the only writer to where I might have several writers and make it more of a destination for more voices on medical librarianship.  (I am not sure how it will all look or happen, quite frankly I’m wingin’ it.)

So with these three challenges all facing me and my blog, I have decided to ask for people to apply to be a writer for the Krafty Librarian blog.

There are some ground rules…..

1. You don’t have to be a medical librarian BUT this site is about issues within medical librarianship. So you must stick to the overall theme of the site.  I can be very flexible. For example a post about the Apple watch isn’t directly medical library related but we use technology in everything we do, so it could work.  I do NOT want things about the ACA and its impact on society UNLESS you mention how librarians can be a part of it. -Get my drift?

2. Humor and a conversational tone are the primary writing style of this blog, however it will remain professional.

3. I will be creating a Google Calendar for all writers to see.  Depending on the number of people who are accepted, you will be asked to post no more than once a month.  You will be expected to maintain the writing schedule.   If you commit to posting a piece for a certain day you need to honor it.

Additionally, you do not have to be constrained by the calendar.  If there is something late breaking or immediate that you want to write about, feel free to do it. If you want to write more than once a month, then go for it. The calendar is meant to help ensure that we have something relevant posted on regular basis.

4. You will have the freedom to write about any topic or have any opinion, with a few caveats.  First, it must be related to medical librarianship. Second, your opinions must be stated as such.  Please for your sake and mine, you must be very careful about what is considered fact and what is considered your opinion.  Third, it should be professional. Fourth, you cannot post confidential information (personal or vendor related). Finally, I reserve the right to not publish or remove a post.

5. You won’t be getting paid. For various reasons this blog is not a business endeavor. I take no money in advertising and everything comes out of the pocket of a medical librarian with three kids.  I cannot offer AHIP points either. If you do this, you write because you just want to write.

6. You will retain full authorship and ownership of your post and may promote it and link to it on other mediums and sites. You may repost your own post as long as it is not for profit. I retain the right to promote it and link to it. I will not repost it on any other site other than the Krafty Librarian site. While I will do my best to keep the site up and running and retain posts for as long as possible, I cannot guarantee any posts’ permanence.  Technology failure, storage issues, and other unforeseen events may lead to a post being lost.

So if you are interested, please apply here http://goo.gl/forms/OWM1G7S0A9/I hope to have things going before August 1st.  I am looking forward to this new evolution.

How Has NLM Made a Difference to You

NIH Director, Dr Francis Collins, announce the appointment of an Advisory Committee charged to “evaluate the mission and functions of NLM to ensure this critical component of NIH continues to leverage technological advances in information sciences to facilitate scientific breakthroughs and a better understanding of health issues and disease.”

The charge focuses on reviewing “current mission, organization, and programmatic priorities of the NLM and to articulate a strategic vision for the NLM to ensure that it remains an international leader in biomedical and health information.”

To support the work of the Advisory Committee, NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) from stakeholder organizations and individuals. (Librarians you would be a stakeholder)

Comments are due March 13, 2015.

Specifically, the group is seeking input from stakeholders how the NLM should:

  • Continue to meet the biomedical community’s rapidly evolving scientific and technological needs;
  • Lead the development and adoption of information technologies;
  • Facilitate the collection, storage, and use of biomedical  data by the biomedical and health research communities;
  • Continue to lead in promoting open access models for biomedical data and scientific literature;
  • Balance computational methods and human-based approaches for indexing;
  • Maximize the utilization and cost-efficiency of the NLM’s National Network of Libraries of Medicine;
  • Maximize the usefulness of the NLM’s other outreach and exhibits programs in the context of future opportunities;
  • Interface effectively with the broader and expanding NIH efforts in data science; and
  • Directly contribute to addressing the major data science challenges facing the biomedical research enterprise.

The group also seeks information on the current value of and future need for NLM programs, resources, research and training efforts and services (e.g. databases, software, collections). 

 

  • Current NLM elements that are of the most, or least, value to health professionals (e.g., those working in health care, emergency response, toxicology, environmental health, and public health) and future capabilities that will be needed to enable health professionals to integrate data and knowledge from biomedical research into effective practice.
  • Current NLM elements that are of most, or least, value to patients and the public (including students, teachers, and the media) and future capabilities that will be needed to ensure a trusted source for rapid dissemination of health knowledge into the public domain.
  • Current NLM elements that are of most, or least, value to other libraries, publishers, organizations, companies, and individuals who use NLM data, software tools, and systems in developing and providing value-added or complementary services and products and future capabilities that would facilitate the development of products and services that make use of NLM resources.
  • How NLM could be better positioned to help address the broader and growing challenges associated with:
    • Biomedical informatics, “big data”, and data science;
    • Electronic health records;
    • Digital publications; or
    • Other emerging challenges/elements warranting special consideration.

 

So how can the average medical librarian (i.e. stakeholder) make a comment and show their support?

First ALL responses must be sent online via: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=41

Second look at the RFI and answer the following questions:

  1. Current NLM resources/services that are most/least valuable to research community and future capabilities need to support.
  2. Current resources/services that are most/least valuable to health professionals and future capabilities need to enable them to integrate data and knowledge from biomedical research into effective practice.
  3.  Current resources/services that are most/least valuable to patients and public and future capabilities needed to ensure a trusted source for rapid dissemination of health knowledge into the public domain.
  4. Current resources/services that are most/least valuable to libraries, publishers, organizations who use NLM data, software tools and systems in developing and providing value added or complementary services and products future capabilities to facilitate that.
  5. How NLM could be better positioned to help address the broader and growing challenges associated with:
    • Biomedical informatics, “big data”, and data science;
    • Electronic health records;
    • Digital publications; or
    • Other emerging challenges/elements warranting special consideration

Ok I know that seems like a lot, but it is NLM and it is the center piece of our jobs.  How many medical librarians use PubMed? How many of librarians use PubMed Central to get articles?  That is just the tip of the iceberg of how ingrained NLM services are in our medical librarianship lives.

I know the due date of March 13, 2015 is short, but please sit down and carve some time out to respond even if it is just briefly.

If you are somebody whose mind forgets everything as soon as they see a blank page (text box) in front of them then here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Value of NLM’s education for librarians and information specialists (NLM Associate Fellowship, Biomedical Informatics course..aka Woods Hole)
  • Collaboration among NLM, NN/LM, and MLA regarding consumer health, disaster information, scholarships, etc.
  • NLM collections, services, data, PubMed, Loansome Doc, ClinicalTrials.gov, MedlinePlus, PubMed Central, etc.

I know this is a very long post asking you to do something. But really it is something very important to medical librarianship and should be done by all medical librarians.  Even if you don’t have time to create the worlds best RFI, please put something down.  Don’t be silent as the government looks to shape your National Library of Medicine.

Behind MLA Scenes: Updates

MLA Committees:

Once MLA members have applied to be on a committee, MLA sends the President elect the giant committee wish list.  It is a grid like sheet listing every committee and the members’ first, second and third choice.  It also has the committee chairs’ first, second and third choice for members on their committee.  So the President elect looks at this entire thing and assigns people to committees based on their requests AND that of the committee chairs.  As Mark Funk said, it is kind of like “NFL draft done by one person trying to make teams, coaches, and players all happy.”

I just got done assigning everyone who applied for an MLA committee to a committee.  I hope the assignments worked out and they like their teams er committees.  While everyone got onto a committee, not everyone got their choices.  Sometimes some committees only had two spots available and 10 people asked to be put on it.  I sent the information to MLA and they will be sending out letters shortly.

Board Meetings:

In the past I mentioned that the MLA Board gets together a few times a year to discuss MLA and make sure things are moving forward.  Our recent meeting in Chicago was our first meeting with our new Executive Director Kevin Baliozian and we discussed the strategic plan for MLA.  It was a very good meeting and there will be a lot of things going forward with MLA.  I wish I could be more transparent in my description and I think things will be in the next few weeks or so.

That is all for my brief MLA Behind the Scenes update.  Questions or comments feel free to let me know.

I’m Baaaack

Thank you for sticking with me while my blog had some major hiccups.   It got a nasty virus and it made doing things a bit problematic.  I want to send a huge thank you to Blake and LISHost for doing all of the heavy virus cleaning.  Without him I wouldn’t have been able to get this blog back in working order.

In the next few weeks I am going to be messing with the design so I ask for your patience once again as I muck around here.

Starting in mid April I will be taking emails and names of people who would like to write guest posts on this blog.  In May I will be the MLA President and while I will still post on this blog from time to time I feel it would be best if I try and draw a line on what I do as MLA President and my Krafty Librarian musings.

In the past I have posted product reviews, opinion pieces, and other items that are not intended to be the views of MLA.  I still want my blog to be a source of information and publish those type of pieces, but I also realize that something like an online product review written by me while sitting as MLA President might cause a conflict.  That is why I will be needing some people to be guest bloggers for the year.

My intention is to have a group of people so that the writing will not fall on any one person’s shoulders.  My goal is to have 1-2 posts a week.  Authors will mostly have the freedom write what they want about publishing, computers, apps,  librarianship, libraries, medicine, medical libraries, etc.

I will reserve the right to not post or delete an author’s piece.  Authors shouldn’t shy away from writing a good hard critical review of a product but at the same time they will have to have the facts to back up their words and I won’t tolerate flaming.  Same goes with opinion pieces, except the author will need to clearly state somewhere in their post that it is their opinion (and I still won’t tolerate flaming).

If you think this is for you or you know somebody who would be good, keep an eye out because I will be sending something more formal out in the beginning of April.  Somebody asked me if I will continue to have guest bloggers post after I my Presidential year.  I have no clue.  IF it works out then maybe so.  This is an an experiment for me.