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.

Join the #medlibs Discussion on 2016 Meeting Changes

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

Section Programming Changes at MLA Meetings

The MLA Futures Task Force investigated things members within MLA should/would/want to change going forward.  One of the big things that members wanted to see change was the annual meeting, specifically section programming.  Members expressed frustration that section program themes were too narrow or the program themes were too closely married to the overall annual meeting theme (which was sometimes very narrow). Members wanted an abstract submission process that was responsive to the current topics and trends of librarianship, not dependent on any theme.

In an effort to address members concerns the NPC for the 2016 has changed the submission practice for section programming.  Starting in 2016, the NPC will send a call out for papers and posters and they will not be asked to submit to any specific section driven theme.  Once submission deadline has passed members of section programming will select the best overall abstracts then base the themes and categories off of the approved abstracts.

This is a big change for section programming.  As result, the section planners for 2016 will be meeting in 2015 to discuss the changes going forward with programming planning because it will be a completely different process.  2016 section planners should be aware these changes will be happening, Amy Chatfield sent an email to all sections describing things.

Basically instead of forcing a square abstract peg into a round section programming hole, the section programming hole will be shaped around the shape of the abstract peg. This type of responsive programming is often found at biomedical conferences.  The intention is for this type of responsive programming to continue in 2017 and beyond.  Will it be perfect in 2016, no but we can learn from our mistakes and make tweaks to the process so that we can have the type of programming that our members and the Futures Task Force said we need.

**Update**
There will be a #medlibs tweet chat discussing the upcoming section programming for 2016 on May 7, 2015. Check http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/ for more information as time gets closer.

Nominate Your MLA Leaders for MLA Offices

(reposted from MEDLIB-l)
The MLA Nominating Committee is identifying potential candidates for the fall 2015 election. If you would like to recommend someone to be nominated for president or the board, or would like to be considered yourself, please send current curriculum vitae and a paragraph outlining why the recommended person would be a good candidate to one of the members of the Nominating Committee listed below by May 6th.

 

The 2015 Nominating Committee members are reviewing the job descriptions for president-elect/president/past president and Board of Directors members and are discussing desired attributes for candidates, as well as the importance of multiple types of diversity in the slate.

 

You can find the job description for president-elect/president/past president at https://www.mlanet.org/sites/default/files/members/pdf/mla_officer_jobdesc_201002.pdf .

You can find the job description for Board of Directors members at https://www.mlanet.org/sites/default/files/members/pdf/mla_bod_jobdesc_200905.pdf .

Reviewing what is required of people in these positions might help you determine who would be potential candidates.

 

The process for selecting candidates and electing the MLA president-elect and members of the MLA Board is described on pages 2-4 of the MLA Bylaws, https://www.mlanet.org/sites/default/files/members/pdf/2009_bylaws.pdf (log in to MLANET to access). The slate will contain at least two candidates for president-elect (president during 2017/18) and at least four candidates for two Board of Directors positions (2016/17-2018/19 term). The Nominating Committee will meet at MLA ’15 in Austin to finalize the list of candidates.

 

MLA 2015/2016 Nominating Committee:

 

  • Marie Ascher
  • Donna Berryman
  • Michael Fitts
  • Stephanie Fulton, AHIP
  • Emily Hurst, AHIP
  • Dixie Jones, AHIP, chair
  • Latrina Keith
  • Julie Kwan, AHIP
  • Terri Ottosen, AHIP
  • Brandi Tuttle, AHIP

 

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!

Microsoft Killing Internet Explorer: What Will Hospital IT Do?

I just read today that Microsoft has thrown in the towel on Internet Explorer. According to USA Today article, “Microsoft sends Internet Explorer to tech’s scrapheap,”

The much maligned browser that battled Netscape to guide people around the World Wide Web was consigned to history this week by Microsoft, joining Palm Pilots, flip phones and Myspace as relics of a distant digital age.

According to the article, the new Microsoft browser will run on phones, tablets and personal computers and will be specifically made for the “new era of mobile devices.”  The new browser will be launched with Windows 10.

What will hospital IT departments around the US do? I admit I am saying that with a bit of a smile.  Hospital IT departments are notorious for clinging on to old versions of IE and reluctant to install other browsers.  My guess is that in the short term Hospital IT departments will do little if nothing.  I am just speculating, but since the new browser will come with Windows 10, I don’t it will be compatible with older Windows OS.  So, the key item to look for is when Microsoft will stop supporting IE. That will be when the IE/hospital doomsday clock will really start ticking.  As with Windows XP, there will be some hospital IT departments that will wait until the last minute to either upgrade to the new Microsoft browser or load Chrome or Firefox.

Perhaps librarians will be able to use this bit of information to hasten their IT departments departure from IE 6,7,8, etc. and just bite the bullet and go with Chrome or Firefox.

**Update**

Spartan (the new browser but that won’t be it’s name, they don’t have one yet) and IE 11 will coexist on Windows 10.  Microsoft is leaving IE 11 in specifically for legacy applications.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2901701/internet-explorer-11-wont-use-microsofts-new-edge-browser-engine-in-windows-10.html

A little birdie who is directly impacted by the IE change for the products that his company works on gave me this update.

 

MLA Austin Hotel Rooms: BOOK NOW

Unfortunately MLA’s housing block is full, BUT rooms are STILL available outside the block.

If you are going, you can reserve a room by calling OnPeak or by using OnPeak’s reservation system on MLANET at
https://compass.onpeak.com/e/42MLA15/6#hotels

MLA’s dates overlap UT Austin’s pre-graduation activities with commencement scheduled on Saturday, 5/23 and as you can imagine there is a big demand for rooms.

We are are working to get additional rooms for the MLA block.  OnPeak and MLA have requested the additional rooms and when approved, more rooms will be opened in the online reservation system.

Why didn’t MLA and OnPeak get a bigger block of rooms?!  MLA is on the hook (in the form of penalties) if we don’t fill our room block.  MLA has been penalized before for failing to fill our room block.  So MLA and OnPeak are careful about the size of the block due to the high cost of penalties for unsold rooms.  Basically, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  Book a big block of rooms and people don’t stay in the conference hotel and MLA gets financially penalized.  Book a smaller block of rooms and we sell out of our block and people have a hard time getting the block rate.  Neither way is perfect, you just hope you can guess close to size block you need.

According to MLA,  as we get closer to the meeting, rooms open because there is significant wash of about 10% – 20%. These rooms will be shown on the online system as soon as they become available.

Bottom line: Don’t wait any longer to get a room. Anyone who needs a room should make their reservation NOW!

What is Going on at MLA?

If you haven’t had a chance to check out MLA’s new blog, Full Speed Ahead, then you are missing out on all the latest changes that will be happening within MLA as we move into the future.

In the post, MLA’s Culture Revolution, Linda Walton describes  how the MLA has board and staff have spent the past month dreaming big and thinking about what’s possible for the organization. We are looking at the organization as a whole to determine what we are currently doing, what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t be doing.  MLA was founded in 1898, it’s time to take a closer look at how our process and how things have changed and how MLA has to change as a result.

Action is the Secret Sauce, is a post from our new Executive Director, Kevin Baliozian describing how the achilles heel for strategic plans is execution phase. Have you ever noticed how s-l-o-w-l-y things get done at MLA?  Action is the secret sauce for the execution of the strategic plans.  Kevin talks about how have moved away from MLA’s previous strategic plan (which was heavily focused on static words like “maintain” and “continue”) and created a new living and evolving action plan.

I know as MLA begins to change and evolve Kevin and the staff along with the rest of the Board will be posting on Full Speed Ahead to keep you up to date on things.  This is your organization too and this blog will be our way of keeping you in the loop on things.

Who knows maybe there may no longer be a need for my Behind the Scenes posts.

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.