Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hurricane Disaster Relief Call for Medical Journals

Medical libraries impacted by the 2005 hurricanes and natural disasters are in need of replacement medical journals. PubZilla the internet auction house for medical journals is offering unlimited free use of its online auction site for donating medical journals to help restore the libraries affected by the 2005 hurricane season and other recent natural disasters. Libraries or anyone with excess, useful periodicals in biomedicine, the health sciences and related subjects may list them as ‘charity’ items at PubZilla for the purpose of donating them for medical library disaster relief.

For more information about donating journals through PubZilla:
http://www.iknosys.com/html/charity.html

For more information on MLA's efforts:
http://www.mlanet.org/hurricane_katrina.html

NLM and PubMed Updates

From the NLM Technical Bulletin, Nov-Dec 2005

Printer Friendly Format Option Added to PubMed
PubMed will soon be able to print search results in a printer friendly format. Use the Printer option under the Send to menu on the search results screen.

MeSH Database Adds Link to Search Headings as Major Topic
It is no longer necessary to go to the Full display use the Send to Search box feature to search for a term as a major topic. While searching the Entrez MeSH database, you click on the Links Menu to select PubMed -Major Topic to retrieve PubMed citations where the heading has been designated as a major topic of the article.

Journal Search Links Added to PubMed Displays
"The journal abbreviation displayed on PubMed's Abstract and Citation formats will soon be available as a search link. If you click on a journal abbreviation search link, a menu will display three options. You can search for this journal in PubMed or in the Journals database."

New Authority Index Feature in the NLM Catalog
The Authority Index Feature provides access to an index of full author names (including dates and name qualifiers), organizations, and conference names, as well as series titles, associated with the bibliographic records in the NLM Catalog. It can also accomodate variant forms of names and titles that may have changed over time.

PubMed Central: New Journals Participating and New Content Added
Cough, Head & Face Medicine, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, Plant Methods, Clinical Biochemist Reviews, Environmental Health Perspectives, Western Journal of Medicine, and Immunome Research are all participating in PubMed Central.

What's New for 2006 MeSH
For all you MeSHy people out in the world, there were 933 descriptors were added for 2006 MeSH, 138 descriptor terms were replaced with more up-to-date terminology, and 50 descriptors were deleted. Publication Types have been assigned Tree Numbers to create a hierarchical arrangement and new Publication Types were also added. Other changes were made to Organisms, Drugs and Chemicals, Biological Fusions, Non-Placental Animal Reproduction, and Vitamins Category.

Technical Notes: Licensees' Research Use of MEDLINE/PubMed Data
"NLM has created a freely accessible Web site containing summary-level information submitted by NLM's registered licensees about their MEDLINE/PubMed-related research projects. The site includes a brief description and summary of the licensee's research; citations and Web addresses of papers or related sites; and contact information."

Technical Notes: New Book Added to NCBI Bookshelf
The book, Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens [Internet]. Dean, LauraBethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), NCBI; 2005. has been been added to the NCBI bookshelf.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

MLA Web Based Instruction

MLA is increasing the availablity of MLA CE courses, by making them web based instruction courses. Not only do they currently offer some web courses on their site, but they offering a development institute to transform MLA approved CE traditional face-to-face courses into web based courses.

The MLA CE Institute: Developing Web-Based Instruction, is a week-long institute on translating classroom continuing education (CE) courses to a Web-based environment.
It will be held March 12-17, 2006. Only 16 scholars will be chosen.

If you have CE class that you would like to transfer your CE course to a Web-based format, this
institute is where you can learn to make your course web based. Scholars will learn instructional design principles and practices to transform the traditional face-to-face CE experience into a richer, more learner-centered online course. Faculty will emphasize course organization and logistics, interactivity, facilitative technologies, and effective teaching methods optimized forvarious learning styles. Scholars will gain techniques for communicationwith and among students and will develop timely and appropriate activities to evaluate student progress and measure student learning, with the goal of continually improving course quality. Development time will be available for scholars to work on their own and with faculty. Scholars in the program must have their completed courses approved forMLA CE contact hours, but will retain ownership of the course.

A scholar's final Web-based CE course must take a mentored approach to teaching as opposed to a self-paced or tutorial approach.

The deadline for to apply for the institute is December 16, 2005.
For more information about the institute go to: http://www.mlanet.org/education/institute/index.html

If you are interested in the current list of web based MLA CE courses go to:
http://www.mlanet.org/education/web/web_courses.html

Monday, November 28, 2005

New Editions and Additions to AccessMedicine

McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing announced the online debut of Schwartz's Principles of Surgery on AccessMedicine.com. The online version of Schwartz's Principles of Surgery will have more than 1,000 new illustrations, monthly editorials on current controversies, reviews of ongoing clinical trials, updates on research. Future updates to Schwartz in 2006 include 800 questions and answers from the Schwartz Self-Assessment & Board Review to assist surgeons preparing for certification and recertification.

AccessMedicione also added the revised edition of Goodman & Gilman Online which provides updated coverage across all the drug classes, organ systems and known diseases and disorders. The new edition includes information on pharmacogenetics, membrane transporters and drug response, drug metabolism, and a new chapter on The Science of Drug Therapy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm Baaaaack

I am happy to report that the dog, the 3 year old, the husband and I made it back from St. Louis without any problems. We had a lovely time and it makes me realize how much I miss my home town and my family.

I will now be back to my regular blogging. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

EBSCO offers Library Database for Free

EBSCO's Library database is available free!
EBSCO's Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database is now available FREE. This bibliographic database provides coverage on subjects such as librarianship, classification, cataloging, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management and more.
To access, go to: http://www.libraryresearch.com

Monday, November 21, 2005

Carnival of Infosciences 16

For those you who are unaware, the Carnival of Infosciences is a traveling collection of blogs in the library and information sciences field. Each week the Carnival is hosted at a different blog and members of the library and information science blogging community submit their posts.

This week the 16th edition of the Carnival of Infosciences is at Library Stuff. Due to the holidays the Carnival is off next week. If you are interested in submitting for the next Carnival send your entries to Rochelle for her entry on December 5th.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Going on Vacation

I wanted to let you all know that I will be going home to St. Louis next week to spend Thanksgiving with my family. On Monday, my husband, son, dog and I will get up bright and early, load up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, and head off on 10 hour drive. Ahhh togetherness.

While I will still be posting next week, it will be a little infrequent. Have a safe and happy holiday.

JAMA and Archives No Longer on ProQuest

(forwarded from Liblicense-l)

JAMA & Archives Journals to Depart ProQuest

We wish to inform our colleagues in the library community that the JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association and Archives Journals will no longer be available on the ProQuest platform effective December 31, 2005.

Two alternative platforms are available: HighWire Press and Ovid. The HighWire platform is our official gateway. HighWire, home to more than 800 of the world's leading journals, offers a variety of features important to researchers that were not available through ProQuest:
* Early-release articles, disseminated prior to the print publication date, provide online-only access to time-sensitive, critical content.
* Online-only content supplements are offered for many articles.
* Free access to cited articles (references) that are in HighWire hosted journals, plus links to full text via CrossRef or to abstracts in ISI or PubMed.
* Citations are downloadable to any of several citation managers including EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite, BibTex, and Medlars formats.
* Collection searches are available in more than a hundred disease and journal section categories as well as by research or review article.
* Automated alerts can be set up for notification of newly published content on specific topics.
* PowerPoint slides are easily formatted from article tables, charts, and images.
* Citing article information is offered from ISI's Web of Science (WoS), even to institutions that do not license WoS

Ovid Technologies also will continue to provide access to JAMA & Archives. Ovid features sophisticated searching capabilities as well as linking to all LWW titles among more than 900 hosted scientific journals.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What Are Your Thoughts on MLA's Patient Safety Webcast?

I watched MLA's Keeping Patients Safe: Roles for Information Professionals webcast yesterday and I was interested in what others who also watched it thought.

Here are my thoughts:
Too much time was spend on background information. Three quarters of broadcast was dedicated to the definition of patient safety, history of patient safety, and culture of safety, specific hospital success stories. Only with a 1/2 hour left in the program did we get to hear about the role of the librarian in patient safety.

Since the title was Keeping Patients Safe: Roles for Information Professionals, I would have thought the librarian role would have had a greater share of the program time. I was interested in the hospital success stories they were interesting, but they did not illustrate how the librarian's role (or the information professional's role) helped these hospitals in creating a successful patient safety initiative.

MLA's participant's manual was extremely frustrating. The presentations in the manual were not in the order presented, and many presenters completely skipped slides, pages, and jumped around within the manual. For example, Peter Angood's presentation did not follow any of his slides in the manual at all. He was the lead of presenter and his material was in the middle of the manual and did not match any of the slides he was showing on screen. It caused a lot of grumbling and confused flipping of pages at the view location.

I did learn a lot of things.

Many hospitals, departments, and organizations used to and still sometimes view safety issues as isolated incidents within a specific department and person. In reality it is an institutional wide issue and there had to be a series of many perfect failures within many departments and people to lead to the adverse event. It is the "Swiss Cheese Model of Adverse Event Causation," the holes (errors) of each slice of swiss cheese (departments) line up perfectly so that one can draw a straight line of errors through to the patient causing harm.

Ways librarians can help with patient safety:
  • Continue to promote Evidence Based Medicine practice through literature searches.
  • Work with your hospital's IRB committee to become the expert searcher. For example at Eastern Virginia Medical School the librarians serves as Ex-Officio member who attends IRB meetings and conducts expert searches and provides information research support. If I remember correctly Judith Robinson mentioned that the librarian takes her laptop to the IRB meetings and can run searches while there. This type of librarian IRB position can be used to help prevent tragedies similar to the Johns Hopkins 2001 tragedy where Ellen Roche (healthy 24 yr. old volunteer) of a failure to do a complete literature search on the drug administered.
  • Have an active role in Consumer Health information. All webcast presenters agreed that patients must become a part of the health care process, taking an active part in their care and safety as well. As librarians we can help patients find more information about their conditions to make informed decisions and have informed questions with their providers.
  • Help patients and hospital employees with the glut of information. There is a ton of information available on every condition (some good information and some bad). There is no way anybody memorize it all. Librarians are excellent at managing large amounts of information. Teach patients and employees the skills necessary to manage the large quantity of information.
  • Professional networking is another way for librarians with patient safety. Get to know your hospital's plan for safety and get to know who your patient safety people are in the hospital. Take them out to lunch, ask them how you can help them, get them to know you as well.

While I did learn a lot of things, I was very disappointed that the time devoted to how librarians can become involved in patient safety was so little. I would love to hear other librarian's thoughts on the webcast.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

RX for Medical Libraries

I just read in Library Journal, the article Rx For Medical Libraries: How can we ensure that small medical libraries continue to provide good medicine? by Cheryl R. Banick.

Banick is concerned over the fate of the community hospital and small university affiliated hospitals. The big academic medical center libraries will always be around stock full of the "fantastic techno-goodie, eresources, and space," but what will happen to the smaller hospital libraries.

She sees four main risks to medical libraries.
  1. Deprofessionalization - Banick believes one of the biggest factors jeopardizing medical libraries is the fact that JCAHO does NOT require a professional librarian for a hospital's library or information services. Even though JCAHO "expects the hospital to provide effective services for other departments with someone from those fields." Banick uses the example that the head of nursing must be a nurse practitioner with experience in the field. Because JCAHO requires this, hospitals meets their requirements. Because JCAHO does not require a degreed librarian, or value towards the hospital is cheapened.

    Where is MLA!??!!? What have they done to lobby JCAHO and the powers that be that we are important and hospitals should have ALA accredited librarians? This standard is nothing new. It isn't like JCAHO whipped it out of a tall black hat and surprised all of us.
  2. Failure to Outreach - This is the era of the informed patient. "There's a consumer health revolution out there, backed by a National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health directive to meet patients' health information needs. Librarians, you must connect with patients." Banick offers some examples as to how librarians can get out of their office and start serving patients. She suggests: have hospital staff refer patients to the library with InfoRx, visit patients in waiting and hospital rooms (Krafty's note: take a wireless laptop and take advantage of the hospital's wireless network), flyers, bookmarks, in-house television and phone system note there is a librarian to help, network with the local public library.

    Don't forget to outreach to hospital staff as well. "Be proactive with the clinical staff, especially those who are involved with quality patient care issues. Often the clinical staff is so busy putting out daily fires they don't have the time to be preventive. Your expertise and assistance can be most beneficial here. Provide information on FDA warnings, best practices, the ORYX performance measurement, standards, guidelines, patient incidents or sentinel events, and torts." Banick suggests: sending a welcome letter to new staff describing your services, visit departments, be there for grand rounds or morning report, hold search clinics, a blog or wiki seminar, and push hot news using RSS feeds.

    I remember one librarian on Medlib (I think) a while ago made the suggestion to celebrate other professions months/days. So if it is heart awareness month, go to the cardiology department bring snacks, show them things that can make their jobs at the hospital easier, and market your services. I thought this was an awesome idea.
  3. Culture Shifts - Banick believes medical librarians "must redesign the medical library experience for the customer. Librarians can shine as the techno-geek resource for computer questions." Medical librarians are a valuable resource for information on databases, the Internet, citation management software, etc. become the tech guru. Banick suggests: establish instant messaging for staff who need questions answered but can't get to the library, send message to their handhelds, loan PDAs, laptops.

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Not with what Banick says, because she is right, we need to be more technology driven and show that we are more than just a book place. The problem is that a majority of these same small libraries that Banick worries about, have serious technology problems and limitations due to their own hospital's IT department. How many hospital librarians are forbidden from even creating Intranet or Internet pages!? How many hospital librarians are prohibited from allowing users to access web mail (yahoo, gmail, hotmail, AOL)!? How many hospital librarians are even allowed to load software on to the library computers?! How many hospital librarians are force to forego certain electronic resources because the IT department combined the IP address ranges for multiple small system hospitals?!!? Many hospital librarians are the kids on the outside looking through the candy shop's window. We desperately want to get our libraries up to the 21st century but our own institution's policies are handicapping us.

    I am one of those librarians. I am the kid looking through the candy shop window. What the candy shop owners (my hospital system's IT department) didn't realize is that I once tasted the sweets of technology and I am going to do my damnedest to get inside that candy store. I just had a very good conversation with my hospital's IT rep. He wanted to tell me that he has been very happy to have me working with him and that he is impressed my knowledge and information. He said I am asking questions and raising issues with things they had never known existed or needed to be addressed. I stood a little taller after that, and it has just strengthened my resolve to get into that technology candy store.
  4. Budget Crunches - According to Banick, "Budgets pressures are bad, but we are worse at justifying them to management. We need to talk in terms of 'return on investment." Librarians are ill prepared and miserable at demonstrating the true market value to their administrators. Hospital librarians are still stuck in a rut of reporting circulation statistics, ILLs, number of reference questions, number of searches. Whoop-de-freaking-doo! If I am a hospital administrator who knows nothing about libraries I am going to be seriously unimpressed or not even care that my librarian just told me the library circulated X amount of books. Banick suggests that medical librarians document how the library services actually reduced hospital costs by using a better drug/procedure, reduced length of stay, saved staff time.

    In my October 30, 2005 post, What Becomes of our Research, I noted that Theresa M. Cuddy wrote the article, Value of hospital libraries: the Fuld Campus study, in the J Med Libr Assoc. 2005 October; 93(4): 446-449. Cuddy was able to determine that her services were used to support patient care 32% of the time, support presentations 14% of the time, and develop policy and procedures 11% of the time.

    Armed with that information, librarians can then assess a monetary figure to their results. Julia M. Esparza and Donna M. Record at the Health Science Library, Deaconess Health System, Evansville, IN presented a poster at MLA 2005, Showing the Money: Utilizing Dollar Values to Show a Library's Value and Increase the Budget! (pg 55 of 80 in the PDF). Esparza and Record used dollar values listed in the Wall Street Journal to assign values to each service they provided. Using this information, they proved that their small 500 bed hospital library (1 librarian and 1.7 paraprofessionals) provided over $74,000 worth of services. Using this dollar value (something that everybody including administrators understand) they received a 13% budget increase.

It is hard for hospital librarians to do this. Most hospital librarians are solo or have few staff. We feel pulled in every direction and there never seems to be enough time in the day. But it is time make time, get out of offices and start doing some of these things. Can we do it all at once? No. But we have got to at least start. It will be hard, but in a race for survival of the fittest, getting fit is going to be hard.

Don't Forget MLA Patient Safety WebCast Today

If you are like me and need several whacks on the head to remember things, here is your whack on the head reminder.

Don't Forget:
MLA Keeping Patients Safe: Roles for Information Professionals Webcast
Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., central time

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Library Space

Library space has been on my mind. Recently architects who are responsible for building a new hospital library came to visit my library. My library was built approximately 2 yrs ago (before I was here) and they wanted to know my thoughts on the space.

So I went into great detail about the pros and cons of my library space. Unfortunately there are a lot of cons. One of the things I mentioned was space. There just isn't enough "usable" space in my library. Technically I think the square footage is slightly bigger than the old library but, I don't have enough room for all my journals and books. For example, I only have room for two tall current journal display shelves. The unbound current journals are on top of one another, overlapping, and fighting to be seen in a very loose alphabetic order. Currently on the shelf you can see the British Journal of Anaesthesia, but behind it poking out just a little is BMJ, like a little child poking its head around it parents to be seen.

I explained to the architects that librarians by nature tend to be savers. There are a few of us who are ruthless in our weeding, but we are far and few between. I am a collection slasher, I take out huge swathes of books and journals whose dates are greater than 5-10 yrs and haven't been touched in two years. Still, I don't have enough shelf space to hold all of my print collection. It is inexcusable that a two year old library does not have enough shelf space on it's current journal display shelves to display each journal in its own spot.

I guess I got their attention. Apparently they are designing the library with quite a few shelves, because a physician from the renovating hospital dropped by to visit my library last week. He introduced himself as adoctor for said hospital and somebody who is very concerned about the new library. He was concerned because he felt the library needed more room. He was concerned that there was not enough room for computers and far too much space given to library shelves. He thought the future is computers and not books. I had to explain to him that I agree that many things are on the computer, however not everything is electronic and the majority of people would rather sit down and read a chapter out of Sabiston's than read it on a screen. He agreed but thought that all you needed were a few shelves for the reference books. After all, most of the journals are all online now ...right? ...Sigh... After a quick lesson on journal prices/licenses and online access and a half hour later discussing other space things, he left at least acknowledging the library still needs a lot of shelves.

Today I just read an interesting post from Lorcan Dempsey, Space, cost and value in which he briefly looks at the issue of space and cost/value of future library resources, especially print. He writes, "It would be interesting to know what the per-use cost of managing a book over time was. Acquisition costs, but then also costs of storage, shelving, air conditioning, and so on." His post also references a story in Update, November 2005 Volume 4 (11). p. 2 on the storage issues at Oxford University where they need three miles of additional shelving yearly for print resources.

After picking my jaw up off the ground (because the concept of needing three miles of shelves every year blows my mind), I thought about library space in a slightly altered light. Does my inquiring physician have a point? Are libraries still devoting too much "space" to our shelves. Granted we can't go to the extreme and only have enough shelves for reference material, but do we really need all of that space for our print materials? Why are we (librarians) keeping so much stuff that doesn't get used or used very infrequently? Are we wasting valuable space, money, time on these things when other resources might deserve more of our attention, money, and space?

Dempsey says the discussion on space and value are "now common, and 'systemwide' approaches are being discussion within regional and national contexts." He expects "that over the next few years, the costs of managing this distributed bookstock will bring about a much more coordinated approach to its collective management." His statement reminds me of a discussion I listened to while attending the OhioLINK HealthSci group meeting a few years ago. Many of the librarians were talking about storage and lack of room. One of the big problems they mentioned was that many academic libraries are unwilling to part with a book because they are judged by the number of volumes they own. So, If you have a state library consortia storage facility, how many copies of a book must be in there and what library should "give up" ownership of a duplicate title for the good of the consortia and space?

I am not in academic libraries. The hospital libraries I have been employed at have never been a part of ACRL. So, I looked up ACRL's Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.
Two suggested points of comparison for libraries in ACRL's Standards for Libraries in Higher Education are:
  1. Ratio of volumes to combined total student (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable) and faculty FTE.
  2. Ratio of volumes added per year to combined total student and faculty FTE.

Are these two suggested points really all that informative when comparing academic libraries? Of those tens of thousands of books which ones have never been used within the last 10 years? How useful are they? How many other libraries that have cooperative sharing agreements have the same useless books? Wouldn't it be better if only one copy was shared by all in the state?

Perhaps those who are looking at consortia agreements for storage facilities can work with ACRL so that the number of books held within and academic library is not a comparison point or altering it so that those contributing to consortia storage facilities are not penalized for dumping their copy of a duplicated title in storage.

It seems that it is as foolish to eliminate all but the library's reference shelves for computers as it is to add three miles of shelving a year for books. There must be a balance.

Volunteers Needed for Website Usability Study

(forwarded from GMRLIST)

The American Institutes for Research is a not-for-profit organization that supports agencies and organization to improve the usability of their products, websites and applications. AIR is
currently recruiting the following types of individuals to participate in a usability study of several medical library websites:
-Medical librarians
-Health professionals, including community-based organization staff members
-Public librarians
-Health consumers

Study sessions will last no longer than 2 hours. AIR will pay study volunteers $100 for their participation. No travel is required. Study volunteers will work at their own computer and an AIR study coordinator will guide the study session over the phone.

The study will take place during the months of November and December 2005.
Participation is voluntary and volunteers may withdraw from the study at any time.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact:
Dr. Christine Paulsen at 978-371-8302 or email usabilitystudy@air.org.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Adding Podcasts to the Library Collection

University lectures are now starting to become available in podcast form. According to the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Lectures on the Go, universities around the United States (Duke, Purdue, American University, St. Mary's, etc.) are experimenting with offering podcasted lectures. Some professors are podcasting their actual class lectures, while others offer supplemenatry podcasts to support the lecture.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor's School of Dentistry has been podcasting its lectures since January. The dental students tap into the lecture-hall sound system to record class sessions, and then they digitize the recordings and put them online. According to the Director of Dental Informatics, Lynn Johnson,"Over 80 percent of the school's 100 or so students say they listen to at least some of the coursecasts."

Unfortunately we libraries are behind yet again. According to the Chronicle article, "For years, students at Purdue who missed an important class headed off to the campus library, where up-to-date cassette recordings of more than 90 courses sat waiting to be checked out. But this fall, Purdue's podcasting project, called BoilerCast, is letting students skip the library: The project's Web site stores recordings made in about 70 different courses. Students can download the podcasts individually or subscribe to have a whole semester's worth of lectures automatically transferred to their portable MP3 players."

I went to Purdue library's course reserve area and I could not find any podcasts. Wouldn't it make sense that these podcasts would be listed in course reserves?! What are academic libraries doing? After all these podcasts are just like the course reserves that libraries collect. The only difference is that they are digital, but should that stop us!?

I honestly believe podcasts are the next wave in audio programs. The offer a ton of flexibility. Users can download them on their MP3 player, iPod, PDA, cell phone, and computer. People can listen to them in the car with the MP3 player/iPod, or they can download it to a CD and listen to it from from their CD player.

There are already some very good medical podcasts out there. Just look at my list or the list at Arizona Health Sciences Library. Additionally, I just discovered that Audio Digest features free MP3 downloads of 5 programs (PTSD as a Risk Factor for Medical Illness, Guiding Principles for Responding to an Emergency, Infectious Disease Issues, The Instant Management System, and Disaster Mental Health: Basic Clinical Principles).

Even though I am not in the academic side of things, I thought...Why wouldn't I want to add medical podcasts to my collection?!?! After all, the library subscribes to medical audio tapes and cds such as Audio Digest. Why am I limiting myself to one type of audio medium?

So I am gathering a list of medical podcasts to add to my collection. I would appreciate if anybody has any suggestions. I am looking at how I can easily add them to the catalog and feature them. I am also looking at promoting them as a new resource (like I would do with any new resource).

My question....What have other libraries done with podcasts? I would love to hear from other medical librarians, but I know I can learn from others like academic librarians, public librarias, special librarians, etc.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Current Medicine Group Acquired by Springer

Springer Science+Business Media (Springer) has acquired the Current Medicine Group (CMG), a publisher for the healthcare community. CMG is based in the United Kingdom and the United States and consists of four different operating units: Current Medicine Group Ltd (London), which publishes books, pamphlets and manuals for primary care professionals, hospitals and physicians; Science Press Internet Services Limited (London), which creates and manages Web sites and produces educational content and news via its portal MedWire; Current Medicine LLC (Philadelphia), which publishes atlases and produces an image library (Images.MD); and Current Science Inc (Philadelphia), which publishes medical review journals. The approximately 100 employees of the units will join Springer. Abe Krieger and Jane Hunter, Managing Directors of, respectively, CMG's US and UK businesses, will also join Springer and continue to run the CMG units.

For more information check out Springer's press release.
http://www.springer-sbm.com/index.php?id=291&backPID=132&L=0&tx_tnc_news=2210

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Cell Phone Cameras Used in Telemedicine

I am back. Some anitbiotics for my son's ear infection and a little sleep and everybody is happy and ready to take our little slices of the world.

I read an interesting post from Medical Informatics Insider, which directed me to a news item in Telemedicine Information Exchange where a pilot project has been launched investigating better ways for wound-care specialists to examine and treate more home health patients with leg wounds.

Visiting nurses take pictures of the leg wounds using a Motorola MPX220 Smartphone and the pictures are automatically uploaded to the Web for a specialist to view and develop a treatement plan. Prior to using the picture cell phones, visiting nurses took digital photos and mailed them. Later the nurse and doctor would discuss the treatment options.

The old process took 2 1/2 days, where as the pilot program takes 20 minutes allowing patients to start the proper treatement quicker. However, there are still questions regarding the quality of the images on the cell phone. The usage of a 2 plus megapixel phone is being planned (an upgrade over their current 1.3 megapixel phone), and project developers believe, "in five years they'll (phones) be as powerful as computers."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Libraries add value to health care

I have been up all night with a sick child so this post is going to be short and sweet before I fall a sleep at the keyboard.

The Librarian Loose on the Web's blog post for the day directs us to an article in Health Information and Libraries Journal (22, pp. 4-25, 2005) which concludes that, "Research studies suggest that professionally led library services have an impact on health outcomes for patients and may lead to time savings for health-care professionals".

It will be interesting to read this article and see how the MLA Patient Safety Webcast will relate to each other.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Community Lists as PubSub...More Information Please

Community Lists, released by PubSub, is list of blogs collected by humans with PubSub's linkranking system used to rank them. PubSub's Community Lists were born from emails and calls from people asking for a list of influencial blogs within various professions.

According to Steven Cohen of Library Stuff (and the editor of PubSub's Librarian List), 'the lists change daily and shows a view of the blogosphere that you haven't seen before: A daily ranking of "influencers" for the previous day (linkranks runs once a day) for specific community. You will also be able to see the highest gainers for that day."

I almost feel that this list is kind of like the blog version of the citation index and impact factors and I don't want it to turn into something like that. I would love to see more information added to the list so that we know a little bit more about these blogs other than the Blog Site name, it's place on the list, and it's LinkRank. Afterall how helpful is it to know that Tinfoil + Raccoon is 9th on the list and has a LinkRank of 3,547? What does that tell us about the Tinfoil + Raccoon? Not much. It is only after I click on the blog site do I know that the Tinfoil + Raccoon is a public librarian who writes about "the new and shiny in libraryland and beyond."

Perhaps a bio button next to each entry would be more helpful. That way somebody interested in the law library, medical library, or cataloging side of things can quickly see determine whether they would be interested in it. Perhaps if PubSub could create something similar to BlogPulse's blog profiles and use it within this list, it would make it more informative and less like a "greatest hits" list. However, BlogPulse profiles is not without flaws. Because BlogPulse profiles many many many blogs in the world, the profiles for many blogs within narrow fields (such as libraries) are incomplete because they do not garner the kind of attention as a Slashdot would. For example many of blogs listed in the Librarian List do not have compete profiles on BlogPulse. (Check out the Tinfoil + Raccoon BlogPulse profile).

If one were able to take PubSub's lists and add information similar to Blog Pulse, then you could have a really neat list that could help get a clearer more accurate picture of the blogging community within that genre.

Wiley Acquires Dialysis & Transplantation

John Wiley & Sons Acquires Medical Journal
Joao-Pierre Ruth
NJBIZ Staff
11/7/2005

John Wiley & Sons in Hoboken, a publisher of scientific and medical journals, acquired Dialysis & Transplantation from Creative Age Publications in Van Nuys, California. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dialysis & Transplantation is a monthly journal with a circulation of 25,276. It provides information on renal care geared to nephrologists, surgeons and other medical practitioners. Wiley will assume publishing Dialysis & Transplantation in 2006.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Library 2.0 Movement

Library 2.0 Movement Sees Benefits in Collaboration with Patrons
By Jason Boog November 4, 2005

At Internet Librarian conference last week over 100 library professionals discussed surviving in the world of web world where people get a lot of their facts from Google, thus emerged Library 2.0.

These librarians noticed that blogs, wikis, Google databases, etc. are all competing against librarians for their library patrons. Only by breaking out of traditional librarian molds (see my post Nov. 2, 2005 It's Time to Leave the Reference Desk) interacting with patrons and using technology (wikis, IM, blogs, tagging) can we better compete and better serve our patrons.

Library 2.0 is an interesting concept and there is no reason that medical librarians can not jump on to the 2.0 train. Depending on your library it may take time to get there. As Jessamyn West of librarian.net mentions, that not every library is ready to "upgrade" to Library 2.0. "Many libraries I work with are in towns where they can't get high speed access," she explained. "How can (libraries) be obsolete when people out there aren't even fully using them yet?"

Rome was not built in a day. You can't take your the beta version of your medical library to Medical Library 2.0 in a day either. It requires work and in some instance where your hospital/institution hampers your growth or services (see October 25, 2005 post, Web Mail for Patients and Visitors? Not Available in Some Hospital Libraries.) it requires a lot of tenacity and creativity. But there is no reason why medical librarians can not hop on the Library 2.0 and create a Medical Library 2.0.

That is my goal, how about you?

MLA Professional Development Survey for Hospital Librarians

(forwarded from Medlib-l)
Today, as never before, the road ahead is filled with "learning curves". MLA strives to map your way through many of them by offering a wide range of professional development opportunities that allow you to obtain and strengthen core skills, to remain updated on new trends and
developments, to exchange ideas, and to acquire new skill sets that support and promote your additional role as leader, advocate, innovator, or researcher.

Overall, medical librarians, working in a variety of settings, do share many similar professional development goals, but the hospital setting can create its own distinct mix of "learning curves", opportunities, and barriers. In support of MLA's mission, the Professional Development
Committee of the Hospital Libraries Section wants to learn more about your specific professional development needs, goals, and preferences, so that we can create opportunities and an exciting
community where you can experience professional growth tailored to your individual needs.

We are eager for your participation in our survey. Just click into the Survey Monkey site: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=920751436920
and follow the directions. You will be done in less than ten minutes!

Please complete the survey by our deadline of November 25, 2005.

Friday, November 04, 2005

FDA Seeks To Create New Drug Database

FDA orders digital drug labels
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

The FDA is creating a drug database. Drug makers will be required to submit electronic versions of their drug labels to the database and doctors and patients will be able search for information on the drugs such as recent warnings, dosages, side effects and contraindications.

Digital drug label updates my be provided to the FDA when there is a label change or yearly. It will take approximately a year to populate the database with the 9,000 U.S. approved prescription drugs. Eventually the FDA will require the same type of information for nonprescription drugs, medical devices, animal drugs, some food products, and biologic drugs such as vaccines.

The FDA says "With this information, physicians will be able to quickly search and access specific information they need before prescribing a treatment, allowing for fewer prescribing errors and better informed decision making." However, I think this will probably be primarily used by the public more than doctors. There are already many online drug databases out there (granted they are not free) which many doctors consult and are comfortable using.

What would make this an even stronger database is if the FDA included the price of each drug. There are already drug database products out there that include the typical cost of the specific drug. Having that information, patients and doctors can compare two similar drugs and perhaps ask for a prescription or prescribe the less expensive one.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

DOCLINE 2.6

DOCLINE 2.6 is now available.
Release Notes are available at:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/docline/docline_rel_info_v2_6.html
Libraries not planning to use the ISO ILL Protocol are not impacted by this release.

The following vendors have successfully tested with DOCLINE and are approved for exchanging ISO ILL requests with DOCLINE version 2.6.
  • Atlas Systems (ILLiad)
  • Fretwell-Downing (VDX)
  • Relais International (Relais)
  • RLG (ILL Manager)
Please contact your ILL management system vendor directly with any questions about how your ILL management system will function with DOCLINE requests.

PandemicFlu.gov

PandemicFlu.gov is intended to provide comprehensive government-wide information on pandemic influenza and avian influenza. In the event of a pandemic, this will be the authoritative site for U.S. government information on the pandemic. This site is intended to provide general information for the general public, health and emergency preparedness professionals, policy makers, government and business leaders, school systems, and local communities. (courtesy of About Us at PandemicFlu.gov)

Information is subdivided into categories:

General Information
  • Key Facts
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Vaccines, Medications
  • Background Information

Health & Safety

  • For Families
  • For Workers
  • For Health Professionals
  • Protecting Birds & Other Animals

Monitoring Outbreaks

  • United States Surveillance
  • International Surveillance

Planning & Response Activities

  • National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Pandemic Influenza Plan
    Federal Agency Activities
  • State Pandemic Plans
  • Risk Communication Resources

Travel & Transportation

  • Travelers' Health
  • Transportation IndustryInformation

Research Activities

  • Pandemic Research
  • Vaccine Research
  • Drug Development

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

It's Time to Leave the Reference Desk

While I was reading T. Scott Plutchak's thoughts on open access, I noticed he column "It's Time to Leave the Reference Desk." published in The Informed Librarian Online.

Plutchak believes we are at time where the role of the librarian is morphing.

"As more and more information takes digital form, we are presented with a profound change and a remarkable opportunity. While our library buildings will continue to be essential elements of knowledge management (not just for housing the important physical collections, but for providing the space in which people come together to collaborate and learn), for the first time in the history of our profession, we need not be tied to a building in order to do our very important work."

Amen. I believe it is an evolutionary time for librarians. We are gradually no longer just the keepers of information, we are the finders as well. How best to find what our clients are looking for.....by getting out and esatblishing relationships discovering how we can serve them.

Open Access Thoughts, DC Principles for Free Access to Science

At the 13th Carnival of the Infosciences, T Scott Plutchak, Director of Lister Hill Library of Health Sciences, directs us to a post on his blog regarding the DC Principles for Free Access to Science, who propose another open access model for scientific/medical research. Plutchak believes librarians need to buy in to the DC Principles model. He believes, the DC Prinicples and librarians share the same goal, "to get scholarly information into the hands of those who need it. My biggest frustration with the whole open access debate is that it has put librarians and the society publishers in opposition. Instead of working together to transform scholarly publishing, we waste time and energy arguing. This proposal is an opportunity to get us all on the same side of the fence -- where we ought to be."

The debate continues into the comments section of his post.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ovid's Resource of the Month

(from Ovid)
Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference
Martindale provides professional and comprehensive information on drugs and medicines used throughout the world. The broad scope of this resource includes drugs in clinical use, veterinary and investigational agents, other compounds used in medicine, pharmaceutical excipients, herbal medicines, toxic substances, and much more. First published in 1883 under the title The Extra Pharmacopoeia, the experienced pharmacists who form the current in-house editorial team build on 120 years' of experience to prepare the highest quality evidence-based information by scanning each new issue of core journals, reviewing product literature and other published information, and searching relevant electronic bibliographic databases.

Try Martindale free for November.

More information about Martindale on Ovid.

ISI List of Most Cited Journals

For all of you who are interested (or have patrons interested) in journal impact and ISI rankings, ISI has released a new report listing the most cited journals regardless of discipline.

Top 5 journals:
1. Cell
2. New England Journal of Medicine
3. Science
4. Nature Medicine
5. Nature

Blackwell Publishing and the New York Academy of Sciences Form Partnership

Blackwell Publishing announced that it has formed a publishing partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences. Under the agreement, Blackwell and the Academy will publish 28 volumes a year of the New York Academy of Sciences, beginning in January 2006.

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The Krafty Librarian has been a medical librarian since 1998. She is currently the medical librarian for a hospital system in Ohio. You can email her at: