MLA Party With a Purpose

At this year’s annual meeting the final party will be slightly different.  It is a “Party with a Purpose.”

National Planning Committee is hosting a Silent Auction and the goal is to highlight the creative talents, passions (rare books, memorabilia) and other interests of attendees. Proceeds will benefit the MLA Scholarship fund, Section Project of the Year award, and the Chicago adult literacy organization Literacy Works (www.litworks.org/mission_and_history.html).

Ways you can donate…and what the NPC is looking for:

  • Do you have gift cards from places that you will never use? Example: I hate coffee, Starbucks gift cards are wasted on me, so I would donate any I have.
  • Do you have season tickets to the theater, orchestra, sports teams?  Are you really able to make every one of those dates? If not consider donating them.
  • Time shares, frequent flier points tickets/stays, etc. might also be good to donate.
  • Are you crafty (no not Krafty) and have jewelry, clothing, art, etc. that you can donate? Come on MLA I know there are a ton of knitters out there. How about donating a knitting basket or a cool throw?
  • Did you get an extra iPad or some other new technology that you don’t use for Christmas/birthday that you just haven’t gotten around to selling on eBay. Donate it to the the party.

Be creative! Fill out the donation form by May 5th.

YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO BE GOING TO MLA TO HELP!
You can still fill out the form and ship your item(s) to MLA (to arrive before May 6th) or ship them directly to the winner!

If the item is to be shipped directly to the winner you will want to take a picture or do something visual so that people can see what they are bidding on.

Examples:

  • If you have season tickets that haven’t been distributed yet, be creative an make dummy versions that indicate the event, location, seats, and date/time with a note that the official tickets will be shipped to the winner.
  • If you have a time share, include pictures of the time share and information including it location, dates, time and any other important information.

For more information read the FAQ from the NPC about donating items to Party with a Purpose.

Get Your MLA 2014 Schedule Figured Out

The online program planner for MLA 2014 is available.
http://www.eventscribe.com/2014/mla/index.asp

Either I am getting used to working with the online planner or it is getting a lot better.  Perhaps a little bit of both.

As we have noticed in the past, your browser could impact your experience with the program planner.  So I want to let you all know that primarily I used Firefox 27.0 as my browser when I went to the planner site and logged in.  I did also call up my schedule using Explorer 9.0 and Chrome 33.0 but I only called them up once I had selected things.  While they displayed just fine in Explorer and Chrome I did not have the opportunity to play around with how it worked in those two browsers as I selected things.

Register first so that as you make selections it saves them to your account.  Once you are done selecting events click on My Plan – Sessions, then you can download it as an iCalendar file which can be uploaded to your favorite calendar program.  I use Google Calendar.

*Tip* Between 2 adults in a family with 3 kids, work schedules, other shared calendars, and other life events my Google Calendar has A LOT of information.  So I don’t clutter up the rest of my calendar I created an MLA 2014 calendar under My calendars in Google Calendar.  I gave it a really obnoxious purple color too so that it is obvious it is MLA stuff.

I imported the iCalendar file into my Google Calendar under MLA 2014 calendar and everything went in nicely in bright purple.

Things To Know:

  • You need your registration badge to login every time.  I understand this to verify meeting attendees to access the planner, but I do wish we could later change this to a customized password for use later.  I will just get to know my badge number for a while.
  • Posters are treated different than Sessions.  I recommend first selecting all of the sessions you wish to attend (click the star) then go into posters (I personally like viewing them by Session Time) and select the posters.  There is no way to get the posters to download as an iCalendar file to upload into your calendar.  In the past I have put poster numbers in my calendar but it really clutters things up, I am experimenting with uploading them as an Excel file that I will save in Dropbox and call up as needed.
  • You cannot add an events to the program planner that are not already on the site.  In other words you cannot add that killer vendor party that you are dying to go to.  HOWEVER, you can easily add the killer vendor party to your calendar.  So after you have imported the program planner into your calendar of choice, go into your calendar and simply add that party yourself.  I already did this in Google Calendar for a few after parties and it is easy. Hardest thing for me was to add it under my MLA 2014 calendar I created not my default calendar.
  • If you are not in Central Time, then watch out for your calendar automatically switching times to “help” you.  I wish I could give you pointers on how to make sure this doesn’t happen but I am only successful at preventing this about 50% of the time.  I am able to fix it once it happens but it usually involves some swearing and random troubleshooting.  Perhaps somebody will leave a comment as to how to prevent this problem.  I only bring it up so that you are aware.
  • Sync your calendar one last time before you leave for the meeting.  I noticed that some of the sessions I want to attend don’t have room names yet.  I know that information will come.  The main reason I am already fussing with the program planner is to figure out any conflicting sessions.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to chuck your schedule at MLA. If you are having a great in depth conversation with a vendor or librarian then feel free to stick with it and not run off to the next session.  If you are dog tired and need to take a nap during the middle of the day so you can finish out strong…sleep away.  I see way too many people with their heads buried in their planners running to the next meeting.  The programs, meetings, and posters are important, but it is also important to stop and smell the roses or talk to somebody.  Another big part of MLA is the people and if you are busy running off to every event, you miss the people.

 

See you in May. :)

 

Tips to a Cheaper MLA

I just renewed my MLA membership and registered for the annual meeting in Chicago.  While my annual meeting expenses will be reimbursed, my membership is not. Quite frankly it always hurts to see that much money leave my account at one time regardless of whether it is work related or fun like a vacation.   I am cheap.  My kids know all too well I am always looking for deals or ways to save money.

First: If there is no way on God’s green Earth that you can afford or physically be able to attend MLA in Chicago, seriously consider attending online by registering with the e-Conference attendance. At $120, it is a pretty good deal and is half the cost of one night in the hotel.

Second: Find a roommate.  Even though my institution reimburses me, I am asked to find a roommate.  I find the majority of the meeting expense is the hotel and splitting it with at least one person helps a lot.

Third:  While I love staying at the conference hotel, I also realize that isn’t always an option.  Sometimes the rooms are too expensive or sometimes they are sold out. Find a cheaper hotel or go on AirBnB. I found several places to stay on AirBnB in Chicago from $10-$150.

Fourth: Get a conference only registration.  This saves about $160 off of the registration price.  Now that means you will not be able to attend some of the receptions that include food and networking opportunities.   So you will need to figure out your own cheaper food and networking opportunities to make the savings count. Don’t let your conference package savings get lost on the cost of getting meals that the receptions normally would provide.

Fifth: There are a lot of ways to eat well and save money at MLA. Buy snacks and breakfast stuff at CVS, Walgreens, or a nearby grocery store.  That food is always cheaper than what you pay for at a restaurant or in the hotel.  Go to Sunrise Seminars. Not only are they informative but they often have food.  There are also some vendor seminars that are during lunch time that have food. There aren’t a lot of them and they are trickier to find and often require an RSVP in advance.  Go to vendor parties for your dinner.  I love food, I don’t skip meals and I found I have never gone hungry at MLA and my food budget is very very small.  I also have stopped buying snacks and breakfast stuff at the local grocery store. I found I often didn’t eat it because there were other food events for me to attend that sounded more appetizing than my CVS bagel.

Sixth: Apply for a travel award from every section, group, etc. that you belong to.  Many travel awards are graded based on the applicants’ need to be at MLA.  So submit a paper or poster to MLA to show that you are contributing to MLA as well as needing financial assistance.  Obviously it is too late to submit a paper or poster for this MLA, but do it for the next one.  If it gets accepted and you still can’t go (btw institutions are more apt to fund somebody presenting) then you can ask to be removed. It sucks but it isn’t the end of the world.

Seventh: Try budgeting a year in advance. I have Browns season tickets…they cost me a pretty penny each year.  Every May like clockwork the Browns organization wants their pound of flesh.  If I had to come up with that money all at once I would be dead.  Instead I have created a Browns account that I put $200 in every month.  By the time May rolls around I have $2400 ready to send and while I hate to see it leave my account, I don’t feel the pinch.  If people buy my tickets, I direct the deposit to that account. I have also created an MLA account that operates much the same way as my Browns account.  I auto deposit a relatively small amount every month into that account and by the time MLA rolls around I am set.

I love going to MLA.  Not only do I consider it a professional activity but it is also fun.  While it isn’t a vacation exactly, I find I am refreshed and looking at librarianship in different ways….almost as if I was on a real vacation. OK I’m a nerd…I kind of think of it as a vacation.

Adding Value to EHRs: Librarians and Infobuttons: Free Webinar

Hospital librarians are asking how they can show their value to administration and how they can show that they are more than just the keepers of the books.  The answer is to branch out and get out of the library and do something that is related to the library but is not always thought of by others.  Participating with EHR team to provide information to caregivers is a great example.  This webinar not only will discuss librarians, EHRs and Infobuttons, but it will also highlight successful approaches for getting relevant information into the EHR and librarians can round with caregivers to help at the point of care.

Not only is this webinar interesting but it is also FREE! So you have little to lose by attending it.

Title: Adding Value to EHRs: Librarians and Infobuttons

Time: March 19, 2014, 10:00 – 11:30 am EDT.

Course length: 1.5 hours

 *Registration Required

http://nnlm.gov/ner/training/register.html?schedule_id=2751

(description from the NN/LM NER website)

This webinar is being planned as the first in a series sponsored by the NN/LM, NER on ways librarians can add value to electronic health records.
Additional webinars are in development.  The overall goal of this webinar is to give medical librarians an understanding of clinical decision support mechanisms in electronic health records (EHRs) and to increase awareness of the ways that librarians can contribute.  An understanding of the ways that library resources can be integrated into clinical decision support will empower librarians to pursue this in their own institutions.

Guilherme Del Fiol, MD, PhD, University of Utah, School of Medicine will present results of a systematic review on clinical questions raised by clinicians and tools that help answer these questions by integrating EHR systems with online knowledge resources.  He will also discuss how these tools are being disseminated via the “HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval Standard” (a.k.a., Infobutton Standard) and the EHR Meaningful Use certification program.

Taneya Koonce, MSLS, MPH, Eskind Biomedical Library will share the Eskind Biomedical Library’s successful approaches for integrating highly relevant evidence into the institution’s electronic medical record, outpatient ordering systems, and online patient portal.

Lauren Yaeger, MA, MLIS, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Medical Library will talk about clinical librarianship/rounding with the patient care team, Evidence Based Medicine Quality Initiative Project with the residents, and integrating clinical decision support at the point of care.

Presidential Priorities

I am starting very early on my priorities as President. I am not yet officially President elect (that happens at this MLA) and the current President elect (soon to be President) Linda Walton has not officially released her priorities. But, ever since I was nominated I have been thinking about my priorities.

As I mentioned I am early to the Presidential priority party, but I want to start early because I think it will take me a while to refine them.

Here is very unofficial rough timeline of the Presidential priorities.

  • President Elect year – Attend MLA Board meetings to get familiar with current issues happening within MLA. Work with the rest of the Board to help the current President and with his/her priorities.  Start thinking of and create my own Presidential priorities and present them to the Board.
  • Presidential year – Present the priorities to the membership and create task forces or have committees assigned to help achieve the priorities.
  • Past Presidential year – The priorities work from the task forces, committees, etc. either wind down or evolve.  With the help of the rest of the Board, work with the task forces or committees as they wind down or evolve.

In a nutshell I have one year to think of my priorities, one year to get them started and see them to their completion or evolution.  In reality not every Presidential priority is able to finish in that timeline.  It would be difficult and unwise to abandon unfinished priorities from previous Presidents. Some priorities can be finished within a year, but others require several years to finish, or they evolve into regular, ongoing MLA activities (committee charges, HQ staff assignments, etc.)

While I am looking at my predecessors’ Presidential priorities I want to also take into account the MLA membership’s thoughts on what my priorities should be.

I am asking MLA members to think about what my Presidential priorities should be as they relate to MLA’s mission.  Please keep in mind, I will also be working on previous priorities AND there is a bit of time crunch unless I go mad with Presidential power and throw the bylaws out the window and declare myself the Monarch of MLA. (Just kidding…but it is a catchy name)

Rome was not built in a day. My ultimate goal, independent of any priority, is to help others and inspire them to be active and work to better MLA and medical librarianship.  I think of it a bit like this…. One snow flake is small and easily melts by itself, but when it is packed in a snowball with other snow flakes as it rolls down a hill, it becomes a stronger force to be dealt with.  I cannot do it alone.

 

Call for Virtual Projects for JMLA Column

(cross posted in a lot of places)

Virtual Projects for JMLA Column by March 15, 2014

The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) Virtual Projects Committee is seeking innovative and notable projects for the upcoming JMLA Virtual Projects column. The annual column which was launched in October 2013 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3794676/) focuses on library virtual spaces that extend the library “presence” outward to support users in their digital spaces, wherever and whenever needed.

The JMLA welcomes submissions of recent projects for the Virtual Projects column that will be published October 2014. To be considered for this column, please submit a 200 word abstract of your virtual project or a link to your project web page that describes the project and why it is innovative/notable. Send your submissions to Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, [email protected], by MARCH 15, 2014.

Some examples of virtual library projects :

  • projects that demonstrate the integration of evidence and/or digital content and library services into the institution’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) as part of the treatment and care process
  • projects related to providing new technologies, such as libraries providing collections and tools to support 3D printing or offering 3D services (‘makerspaces’)
  • projects that improve the quality of the library’s web presence through the implementation of a new web design, feature, or tool, such as animation, user interactivity or webpage/site builders
  • projects that facilitate information discovery and content delivery (e.g, use of web-scale discovery or knowledge bases)

Please consider sharing your knowledge and experiences with implementing virtual projects in your library to inspire and encourage your peers, partners, and communities!

JMLA Virtual Projects Committee:

Kimberley Barker
Janis Brown, AHIP
Michelle Kraft, AHIP
Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA
Eric Schnell
Elizabeth Whipple, AHIP

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.

 

#Medlibs: Love & Hate in Medical Libraries

(post duplicated on http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/)

One day you are Katrina and the Waves and you are “Walkin’ on Sunshine” everything is good and falling into place.  Your searches are matching up just perfectly with MeSH, patrons are writing thank you emails, the CEO just praised you, and a new project is going like gang busters.  Life in the library is perfect.

BUUUT the next day (or week) you are Joan Jett growling, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” as nothing you do seems to be working.  PubMed keeps crashing, patrons are upset because you can’t get the article from the  Journal of Big Toe Science written in Hindi rushed the same day and translated into English, your budget was cut more than expected, and administration or IT (take your pick) throws cold water all over your pet project.  Life in the library is like a bad relationship.

Like any career, medical librarianship has its ups and downs.  Friday is Valentine’s Day and to get in the spirit the #medlibs Twitter chat group will be having fun discussing our love/hate relationships with medical librarianship.

So grab some wine and chocolate, after all it is the day before Valentine’s Day and curl up with your laptop and chat with us this Thursday 9pm eastern.  Don’t forget to follow the word #medlibs to watch and participate in the discussion.  Lurkers and late arrivals are welcome.  Nikki Dettmar and I will be moderating and we look forward to seeing you online.

For more information or questions tweet @eagledawg or @krafty or drop us an email.

Friday Fun: Get Happy

I haven’t done a Friday Fun post in a really long time.  These last two weeks have been rough.  Discussions about library closings and the weather playing havoc with work and school days, we are overdue for some fun.

This has nothing to do with libraries, but it puts a smile on my face and that is all I am trying to do.  So enjoy.

 

Behind the MLA Scenes: MLA and Government Relations Committee

Many have been wondering what MLA has done for them regarding government lobbying and trying to advocate for the profession.

IF you are a member of MLA, it isn’t hard to find out what MLA is doing in this area.  Simply go to the Annual Reports and look for the Government Relations Committee (GRC) report. I have posted edited versions of their full report (edited due to space) here.  Check out their entire report, which shows how much more they are doing.

In the 2009/2010 report they…

  • Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NIH funding, patient safety, health information technology, etc.
  • Distributed three action alerts urging support for NIGH funding and FRPAA.
  • Planned a legislative update day for the 2010 meeting. Where MLA’s Washington representatives and Health Medicine Counsel of Washington provide key issues and information to members participating in MLA’s Capitol Hill Day.
  • Planned Capitol Hill Day for 2010 Annual Meeing. MLA members were given briefing packets, fact sheets and other information resources to use in their Hill visits.
  • Connie Shardt wrote Senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman expressing support for S. 1373
  • Requested opportunity to present testimony in Washington DC on behalf of MLA in support of NLM’s Fiscal Year 2011 appropriation
  • Hope Barton co‐chaired, along with J. Michael Homan, a working group of the task force to develop the statement, “Health Sciences Libraries and Health Care Reform: Providing Quality
    Information for Improved Health.” http://www.mlanet.org/government/gov_pdf/2009_july_hlthcarerefrm.pdf
  • Educated Congress and relevant federal and international agencies about importance of maintaining fair use in digital environment in support of health care, education and research

In 2010/2011 they some of the things they did were…

  • Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NIH Public Access Policy, America COMPETES, meaningful use of electronic health records.
  • MLA and AAHSL prepared testimony in support of NLM’s appropriation which was submitted to the House and Senate L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittees
  • Requested opportunity to present testimony Washington, DC on behalf of MLA in support of NLM’s Fiscal Year 2012 appropriation
  • Educated Congress about the role that funding for the National Library Medicine plays in support of our nation’s health care, education and research and the role health sciences librarians play
  • MLA sent a joint letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Science and Technology expressing concern about the public access provision section 123 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
  • In response to GAO September 2010 report (GAO-10-947) MLA, AALL and SLA wrote a to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Protection Agency (EPA) library network.

In 2011/2012 the GRC reported they…

 

  • More than 30 public policy updates have been distributed through the GRC and Legislative Task Force listservs
  • Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NIH and NLM funding, EPA’s Strategic Plan for its library network, Rederal Research PUblic Access Acts
  • An Action Alert was distributed on the Research Works Act
  • Submitted House testimony in March and Senate testimony in April on NLM Fiscal Year appropriation
  • Developed of the association’s annual testimony to the House Labor -HHS-Education Appropriation Subcommittee  and distributed current fact sheets, statistics, and anecdotal information with Congressional staff during Legislative Task Force Capitol Hill meetings each year.

In 2012/2013 the GRC reported they…

 

  • Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NLM funding, impact of sequestration, Orphan Works, Meaningful use of Electronic Health Records.
  • Provided updates on FRPAA legislation, the Research Works Act, and OSTP initiatives related to public access policies
  • MLA and AAHSL submitted a joint statement to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies in March and to testimony to the Senate in April supporting NLM funding
  • Signed two group letters to Congress expressing concern about the impact of continued cuts on the NIH, urging Congress to support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that avoids further cuts.
  • MLA and AAHSL wrote to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations; Labor -HHS-Education and Related Agencies Submicommittees, etc. over concerns about the sequestration.
  • MLA signed onto an Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research letter expressing the research community’s concerns with several provisions related to the NIH appropriations bill
  • MLA signed onto a Coalition for Health Funding letter to Congress

 

As I mentioned this is just a snap shot of their submitted reports.  My fingers could not type everything and this blog is too small for the reports in their entirety.  To read the GRC’s complete annual reports, detailing their activities go to MLA’s Annual Reports page, click on a year then click on Committees and look for the Government Relations Committee.  Also click on Add Hoc Committees  and Task Forces to see what the Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force is also doing in this area as well. To get a better idea of what MLA had done in ways of advocacy and policy check out their Information Issues and Policy page.

All of the MLA staff work to help advocate for medical libraries and librarianship, but they do have one staff person who is responsible for government relations and she works with the Government Relations Committee and MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force.  If you are concerned about medical libraries and librarians and would like advocate for them to the government and other political agencies then I am sure the Government Relations Committee would love to have your help.  Although the deadline to officially join a committee has past (October 31st), perhaps you can contact somebody on the committee for more information on how you can be of help advocating for the profession.