MLA Awards and Grants…Nominate Your Colleagues!

‘Tis the season to be nominating your deserving colleagues for the various MLA Awards and applying for the grants.  Some of these awards  and grants have had no winners in the past.  I know there are great people out there so get out there and start nominating people or applying for them.  They can’t award it if they have no submissions. 

And if you read through these awards and grants and nobody still nobody is coming to mind, go to the MLA Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting.  At that ceremony you will hear about all of the things that the winners did to win these awards and perhaps that will jump start your mind into thinking of somebody who did something similar but sort of different who deserves that award.

Awards: For more information on the following awards go to Double check the application due dates, but it appears most of them are due November 1st.

  • The Virginia L. and William K. Beatty Medical Library Association Volunteer Service Award recognizes a medical librarian who has demonstrated outstanding, sustained service to MLA and the health sciences library profession.  The recipient will receive a certificate and $1,000.
  • The Louise Darling Medal, awarded annually by MLA, recognizes an individual, institution, or group which has made an outstanding contribution in health sciences collection development.   
  • The MLA Estelle Brodman Award recognizes a mid-career academic medical librarian, who demonstrates a significant achievement, the potential for leadership and continuing excellence. Recipients receive a certificate and a cash award of $500. 
  • Lois Ann Colaianni Award for Excellence and Achievement in Hospital Librarianship -Nominate a dynamic and exceptional hospital librarian, a visionary who deserves recognition for his or her outstanding service in hospital librarianship.   Self-nominations are welcome! 
  • 2011 Janet Doe Lectureship— Nominate a colleague who can share insights on the history and philosophy of medical librarianship through an informative yet entertaining presentation as the Janet Doe lecturer at MLA. The Doe lecturer receives a certificate, a $250 honorarium, travel expenses for the meeting, and publication of the lecture in JMLA.
  • The MLA Ida & George Eliot Prize is presented annually for a work published in the preceding calendar year which has been judged most effective in furthering medical librarianship.   The recipient receives a cash reward of $200 and a certificate at the annual meeting. 
  • Nominate a Colleague to be an MLA Fellow or Recognize a Dedicate Supporter of MLA! — For over 50 years, the Medical Library Association has recognized those who have made sustained, outstanding contributions to medical librarianship as Fellows, elected by the Board of Directors. Nominees must have been a regular member of MLA for at least fifteen years prior to nomination and have at least ten years of professional experience in health information science. 
  • MLA/Majors Chapter Project of the Year Award—Does your chapter have a project deserving recognition?  If so, consider applying for the Majors/MLA Chapter Project of the Year Award.  The $500 award and a certificate are presented to the project demonstrating advocacy, service, or innovation that contributes to the advancement of health sciences librarianship.
  • MLA Section Project of the Year Award— Has your Section completed a project in the last three years that has significantly improved the field of health sciences librarianship? Would your Section like to be memorialized as the FIRST recipient of the MLA Project of the Year Award?  
  • The Carla J. Funk Governmental Relations Award recognizes a medical librarian who has furthered the goal of providing quality information for improved health by demonstrating outstanding leadership in the area of governmental relations at the federal, state, or local level.  Nominate a colleague who contributed to information policy, increased awareness of legislative agendas or otherwise enhanced the Association’s governmental relations network. 
  •  The Murray Gottlieb Prize is awarded annually for the best unpublished essay on the history of medicine and allied sciences written by a health sciences librarian or archivist.  The recipient receives a cash award of $100 and a certificate at the Annual Meeting.
  • T. Mark Hodges Award- Established in 2007, The Hodges International Service Award recognizes outstanding individual achievement in the promotion, enablement, or improvement in the quality of health information internationally. 
  • MLA Section Project of the Year Award— Has your Section completed a project in the last three years that has significantly improved the field of health sciences librarianship? Would your Section like to be memorialized as the FIRST recipient of the MLA Project of the Year Award? 
  • The Lucretia W. McClure Excellence in Education Award honors an outstanding practicing librarian or library educator in the field of health sciences librarianship and informatics demonstrating skills in one or more of the following areas: teaching, curriculum development, mentoring, research, or leadership in education at local, regional, or national levels.
  • The Marcia C. Noyes Award is the highest professional distinction of the Medical Library Association, and recognizes a career that has resulted in lasting, outstanding contributions to medical librarianship.  The award jury considers sustained, notable achievement, and distinguished service and leadership. 
  • The Rittenhouse Award, established in 1967 by the Rittenhouse Medical Bookstore, is presented annually for the best unpublished paper or Web-based project on medical librarianship or medical informatics written by a student in an ALA-accredited school of library and information studies or a trainee in an internship in health sciences librarianship or medical informatics. The winner receives a cash award of $500, a certificate, and student Annual Meeting registration.  
  •  The Thomson Reuters/Frank Bradway Rogers Information Advancement Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the use of technology to deliver health science information, in the science of information, or in the facilitation of the delivery of health science information.  The recipient receives a cash award of $500 and recognition at the 2011 Annual MLA Meeting. 

 Grants: For more information on the following grants go to Double check the application deadline but it appears they are due December 1st.

  • Continuing Education Award – MLA members my submit applications for awards of $100-$500 to develop their knowledge of theoretical, administrative, or technical aspects of librarianship.  More than one CE award may be offered in a year and may be used either for MLA courses or other CE activities.
  • Cunningham Memorial International Fellowship – A fellowship for health science librarians from other countries outside of the United States and Canada.  The award provides for attendance at MLA Annual Meeting and observation and supervised work in one or more medical libraries in the United States and Canada.
  • EBSCO/MLA Annual Meeting Grant – Enables MLA members to attend the annual meeting.  Awards of up to $1,000 for travel and conference related expenses will be given to four librarians who would otherwise be unable to attend the meeting. 
  • Hospital Libraries Section/MLA Professional Development Grants provides librarians working in hospitals and similar clinical settings with the support needed for educational or research activities.  Up to two awards may be granted each year.
  • David A. Kronick Traveling Fellowship, one $2,000 fellowship is awarded to cover the expenses involved in traveling to three or more medical libraries in the United States and Canada for the purposes of studying a specific aspect of health information management.
  • Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship (Application Deadline November 15th) – provides a $10,000 grant annually to fund research aimed at expanding the research knowledgebase, linking the information services provided by librarians to improved health care and advances in biomedical research.
  • Medical Informatics Section/MLA Career Development Grant provides one individual $1500 to support a career development activity that will contribute to the advancement in the field of medical informatics.
  • MLA Research, Development and Demonstration Project Grant is to provide support for research, development, or demonstration of projects that will help to promote excellence in the filed of health sciences librarianship and information sciences.  Grants range from $100 to $1,000.
  • MLA Scholarship is $5,000 for a student who is entering a Masters program at an ALA accredited library school or who has yet to finish at least one half of the program’s requirements in the year following the granting of the scholarship.
  • MLA Scholarship for Minority Students  is $5,000 for a minority student entering a Masters program at an ALA accredited library school or who has yet to finish at least one half of the program’s requirements in the year following the granting of the scholarship.
  • MLA/NLM Spectrum Scholarship is to support minority students in their goals to become health sciences information professionals.
  • Thomson Reuters/MLA doctoral Fellowship is for $2,000 to foster and encourage superior students to conduct doctoral work in an area of health sciences librarianship or information sciences and provide support to individuals who have been admitted to candidacy.

Save the Date Reminder for MEDLINE

Just like the “Save the Date” reminders one often gets for weddings, NLM has sent out their own version via the Technical Bulletin for MEDLINE

November 17th NLM will temporarily suspend adding fully indexed MEDLINE citations to PubMed.  Publisher added and “in process” citations will still be added.

Mid December (no exact date yet) PubMed citations, translation tables, and MeSH database will be updated to reflect the 2011 MeSH.

Speaking of the 2011 MeSH.  NLM is working on the MEDLINE year end processing duties which includes cleaning their closet and removing the out dated MEDLINE terms and bringing in the fresh new line of 2011 MESH terms to wear.  So don’t forget to freshen up your own SDI closets with the latest MeSH terms and subheadings for a more precise fit and feel to your search results.

Friday Fun: Can Saturday Night Live Predict Future Technology

Back in 2001 when the iPhone was just a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eye, Saturday Night Live did three skits based on an ultra hip and pretentious store called Jeffrey’s.  The skit centered around two snooty store employees dressed in black making fun of customers as they wanted to buy clothes.  In the end, the store manager, Will Ferrell would come out in some outlandish outfit on a mobilty scooter.  Soon after Will enters the scene a phone ring would ring and he would fish out an incredibly tiny (postage stamp size) cell phone and talk about some “important” event happening.  They would all rush out of the store with their designer man bags to event.  There were three sketches in all and in the second one the cell phone was smaller than the first, requiring Will to don special magnifying glasses and use a toothpick to type.  However, the last sketch the tiny cell phone is absent.  The phone rings and Will pulls out a giant brick phone (circa 1983) and talks on it.  The ultra hip employees are stunned until Will pronounces, “Big is the new small,” then they dash off again.    

Two of the three videos can be found online, unfortunately I could not, for the life of me, find the final sketch with the brick phone, but I did find its transcript.

As I mentioned these skits were written and produced in 2001, well before the iPhone.  Most of the cell phones looked like this and the ability to take pictures with them was new and a big deal.  It wouldn’t be much of a jump though to say phones would be getting smaller and smaller, but to say that they would be getting bigger well that is just for laughs in comedy sketches right?

That is what I thought until I read the article, When Phones Are Too Big For Pockets, on CNNTech.  The article describes how some new cell phones are now too big to fit in a jeans pocket.  I read the article and this quote just jumped out at me:

As mobile phone technology improved, “there definitely was a trend for smaller and there definitely was a trend for thinner,” said Ramon Llamas, a senior research analyst who covers mobile technology for IDC. “But I think we’re seeing the pendulum swinging back in favor of larger phones.”

Immediately I heard Will Ferrell’s voice in my head stating, “Big is the new small,” and for fun I typed the terms Will Ferrell and cell phone into Google. I had hoped to just watch that specific Jeffrey’s skit for a quick laugh and then get on with my day.  But low and behold I found another article, “How Will Ferrell Predicted the Diorphone.” 

It looks like I am not the only one wondering if the writers at SNL have a crystal ball.

Transition from Print to Electronic: Ebooks on the Same Path as EJournals

Yesterday I posted about ebooks and what some of the librarians attending the Springer LibraryZone Virtual eBook webinar discussed.  Today I saw a post on liblicense from Scott Plutchak comparing the transition and the situation to what librarians experienced when journals transitioned from print to electronic. 

Interesting.  I have to admit that just never occurred to me.  But Scott brought up some excellent points saying just like now with ebooks, librarians were very frustrated and up in arms when journals started becoming much more electronic.  Just think, the official version of BMJ isn’t the print any more, it is the online journal.  PubMed citations for BMJ journals no longer include page numbers, just the doi.  Did anybody see that coming when ejournals started going big? 

I wouldn’t say our experiences with ejournals are all rosy now, nor do I think Scott would say that.  But they certainly were a lot bumpier back then.  (“Back then”…. it almost sounds like I am talking about the days before automobiles and talkie films.)  Basically we are farther along in the online process with ejournals than we are with ebooks.  In a few years perhaps much of the issues and confusion over content, ILL, access, etc. will have been worked out a little bit. 

It is an interesting thought, and I am wondering what other librarians might think about the comparison of print journals to ejournals and print books to ebooks.

Finding Past Tweets

Twitter is a nice conversation tool for quickly asking questions among friends/colleagues, sharing quick bits of information and news stories, and is also especially popular among conference goers.  But what happens when you want to refer back to an old tweet?  Is it easy to find?  Well if the person used a hashtag (a hashtag is a word with the number sign in front of it, like #mla) then you can search specifically for that hashtag.  But that can be complicated after a while because tweets seem to fall off the face of the Twittersphere after a few weeks.  Not all search engines are created equal especially when it comes to finding tweets.  Forget about regular Google that doesn’t work.

David Lee King compiled a list of Twitter specific search engines that can find old tweets.  He was looking for old tweets regarding a question on how people get permission to use things.  His search engine list is organized on how well they performed.  He discovered Topsy, twazzup, and crowdeye found most recent tweet plus others, while many other Twitter search engines (including Twitter itself) found only the most recent tweet or nothing at all.

David’s list is helpful for those finding old tweets.  But while I was researching how to find old tweets, I thought, “You know Google has to have gotten into this mess.  After all the dispaly tweets for ‘real time’ searching.”  Sure enough Google has a Twitter search, but it is in development and it is hidden. 

Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land wrote, All The Old Tweets Are Found: Google Launches Twitter Archive Search describing Google’s Twitter archive service.  According to the article it currently works for tweets posted from Feb 2010-Present, but “soon it will be available for all tweets from March 2006, when Twitter was first launched.”

It is a fairly robust search.  You can search via hashtag or you can search for multiple keywords or phrase.  Search Engine Land also mentions a lot of other ways Google Twitter search can be used for data analysis.  Because it is in experiment mode, I haven’t found a very good way of getting to Google Twitter search other than through this link Search Engine Land provides (which is a search for Obama on Twitter).  But if you can change the search term and get results.  Now if you go to the link you will see highlighted in yellow that “The experiment you’re trying to access is no longer available. Go to experiments overview.”  I am not quite sure what that exactly means, because when I search #medlib I get results as recent as August 16, 2010.  So it appears to be working and it works MUCH better than this Google Custom Twitter Search which is what you will find if you type Google Twitter search in the Google search box.  If you use the Custom Twitter Search with the term #medlib you get the Twitter conversations mixed in with other things mentioning medlibs.

So if you are looking for old tweets I would use either experimental Google Twitter search (but it might not be really current) or I would use David’s three he recommends.

Friday Fun: Librarians in the Movies

For those librarians dealing with this really hot summer, what better way to beat the heat than to watch a movie this weekend.  Yeah you could go see Eat Pray Love, but why not rent a movie and stay at home (crank the a/c).  You don’t have to pay extra for your favorite foods, nobody (but you or your significant other) will be talking during the movie, and if you have to go to the bathroom you can hit pause.

If that is up your alley for fun this weekend then have I got a list for you.  The Huffington Postcreated a list of 11 films that “give librarians the center stage.”  There is something for everyone; the sarcastic GenX librarian in Party Girl, adventure themed movies like National Treasure and The Mummy, thrillers like Foul Play and Peeping Tom, and classics like the Desk Set.

Have a good weekend

PubMed Health

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is developing a new site called PubMed Health.  According to MidContinental Region News, “PubMedHealth will focus on consumer-level, evidence-based health information.”  PubMed Health is under development at the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology  Information and  is being introduced in phases, starting with consumer drug information provided by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.  According to the Sheridan Libraries blog post, “The drug information will be integrated with several other NCBI databases, ultimately providing a linked resource for finding information about diseases and conditions, treatments, and other related data.”

I know what you are thinking, “What does this mean for MedlinePlus?”  Personally, I have no clue.  But according to the MidContinental Region News, “PubMed Health does not replace MedlinePlus (, NLM’s premier health Web site for patients and their families and friends. ”

Ok so MedlinePlus isn’t going away, that still doesn’t answer a lot of other questions, like how will PubMed Health integrate with other NCBI resources?  I have been looking for more information on PubMed Health but there just isn’t a lot out there on it.  Apparently, an NLM Technical Bulletin article about PubMed Health will be published once the site is ready to be launched.  (I think it would be nice if they were a little more proactive and write something up sooner rather than when the site is ready for launch because a quick search on some drugs in Google is already yielding some PubMed Health results, like progesterone, amlodipine, and methadone.)

I just worry about possible confusion with this new resource.  If it is for consumers then calling it something very similar to an already established consumer database is going to be confusing IMHO.  I will post more about PubMed Health when I learn more and if anybody has any information on it that they would like to share, please comment.

Friday Fun: Netflix Classification System

Take The Onion and the Chronicle of Higher Education and mash them up and you get CronkNews.  Once you understand that, it isn’t surprising then to see the article, Librarians Abandon Dewey Decimal System in Favor of Netflix Categories.  It makes for a quick fun read just before the weekend. 

It also gets me thinking how the Netflix Category Classification System would work in the medical libraries. ;)

Premium Version of Epocrates Free to Med Students

According to a poston iMedicalApps, the premium version of Epocrates is free for medical students if they download it BEFORE August 31, 2010.  There are some caveats to it, students must have an iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Mobile, or Blackberry.  And to those who are using Androids or PalmPre’s, “No soup for you!” You are out of luck because there isn’t a premium version available to those phones. 

The premium version of Epocrates is normally $159.  Medical students must register by creating an Epocrates account and then selecting the medical school.

WISER Available on the Blackberry

Whether it is due to persoan choices or institutional restrictions, there is a large group of physicians who use a Blackberry.  Unfortunately there is not a lot of medical software for the Blackberry. 

The National Library of Medicine just released WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) for the Blackberry.  WISER for BlackBerry can be downloaded from the WISER Web site and includes “quick online access to WISER’s full database of chemical, biological and radiological substances” as well as “easy access to WISER help identify capability and full suite of tools.”