I heard someone say, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” This is easier said than done, especially for librarians. The results from the Pew Internet and American Life survey “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities” were recently released. I have seen many in the library world praising what are definitely good results. Such as:
- 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed
- 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community
- 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere
These are definitely things to be proud of. However, there are some statistics that concern me and I don’t seem to be hearing about them from the library world as much.
- 52% of Americans say that people do not need public libraries as much as they used to because they can find most information on their own, while 46% disagreed.
- 54% of Americans have used a public library in the past 12 months
- 77% of those who have ever used a public library said they know only some of what it offers. (Of that 77% about one in five say they don’t know very much about what is offered, and 10% say they know “nothing at all.”)
If 94-95% believe libraries are so important then why have only 54% used a library in the last year? Doesn’t quite make sense. So while people love their libraries, they don’t know much about their offerings and they don’t use them very often.
This is frustrating because it seems as though people like the idea of the public library as it exists in their heads, but have no idea what it does in practice. Sounds familiar medical librarians? I think in order for us to survive we have to do a better job of changing their perception of the library. Thankfully they like us….but liking us isn’t going to get the tax levy renewed or the keep administration from cutting our budget. We need to do a better job of demonstrating to our users and non-users how we can help them. Informing users is tricky enough, but non-users…yikes! But that is needed for us to turn the perception of a library and the know more about our other services and resources (not just that we have books).
This Thursday #medlibs will discuss the what we see coming to libraries in 2014 and beyond. What is the future of the library? What do we need to do and where will be going?
Some ideas for the discussion are:
- What do you see as the future for medical librarianship? (revisit our May 2013 chat on this topic)
- How about for the future of medical libraries?
- Have you identified some sacred library cows to slaughter?
- Maybe found opportunities for collaboration, such as our combined medical librarians & medical educators chat?
- Remember One Health in Boston this year? How will you build your information future in Chicago next year?
These are all important things to consider, but I also believe part of our future rests with changing perceptions. If we don’t do that we are going to be the Norman Rockwell of professions. Nice to remember, or as somebody on Twitter said, “an emotional remembrance.”So tune in on Thursday http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/ as we discuss the library of the future.
Join us tomorrow for what is sure to be a lively discussion on killing sacred library cows on #medlibs this Thursday at 9pm Eastern.
As I mentioned in my post on the #medlibs blog…
The library environment has changed drastically and is continuing to do so. The library of 5 years ago is different from the library today. For example, the iPhone had just been released, there were no iPads and the idea of a “downloadable” ebook had just been introduced by Amazon Kindle. There were a very limited number of Kindle and certainly not intended for medicine. Yet many of us are doing the same things we did as librarians 5, 10, 15, 20 yrs ago. We were stretched thin back then, so there is no way we can now add things to our repertoire without giving up something in return. We must look at what we do in our own libraries and evaluate whether it is necessary, whether it helps our patrons or helps us. To really evaluate our services we need to look at EVERYTHING including the sacred cows of the library. We need to ask ourselves, do we need to check in journals, catalog books, make copies, eliminate the reference desk, fuss with circulation, etc. The right answers will depend on the library. A large academic library might need to still do cataloging but does a small solo hospital library with 4 shelves (not ranges) really need a catalog system much less spend time cataloging books? Some of these ideas are dangerous and even somewhat heretical librarian thinking, but I feel we need to discuss them. For more background on sacred cows and heretical librarian thoughts check out my summary of my keynote address I gave at the Midwest Chapter annual meeting.
We need to look at, evaluate and slaughter some sacred library cows. IT makes no sense for us to spend our time doing things that are no longer relevant or used by our patrons. That isn’t to say that we should have never done them. Everything has its time and place. It might be hard to give up, but we can’t just do things because we always have. We need to think like our patrons and for many of us that means completely taking off our librarian hat and looking at ourselves from a patrons view point. That may mean we come up with answers that are uncomfortable, that borderline on librarian heresy. But that is what is needed.
This Thursday’s #medlibs discussion at 9pm Eastern will discuss the idea of thinning the herd of library services so that we can grow healthy new opportunities.
Molly Knapp (@dial_m), Amy Blevins (@blevinsa) and I (@krafty) will be moderating the discussion. As always we will be using the hashtag #medlibs but if you want to further the discussion before/during/or after the regular Thursday night time use the hashtag #moo.
The #medlibs chat group will be hosting a five week series presented by the University of Massachusetts Medical School Lamar Soutter Library.
Here are the weekly chats:
- August 15th: Host: Donna Kafel Topic: e-Science portal
- August 22nd: Host: Kevin Read Topic:e-Science thesaurus
- August 29th: Host: Andrew Creamer Topic: New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum
- Sept. 5: Host: Sally Gore Topic: Role of the informationist on research teams
- Sept. 12: Hosts: Lisa Palmer & Kate Thornhill Topic: Institutional repositoriesand open access
Discussing e-science issues on #medlibs is a great way to learn more about the topic, but the icing on the cake is that these chats have been approved for free (or near free at $5) MLA CE!
While this is a cool opportunity, there are rules for getting the CE.
- No partial CE hours will be awarded.
- Participation is measured by at least 3 tweets during each #medlibs chat session as shown by the chat transcript discussion AND/OR a reflective summary paragraph about the chat transcript discussion posted as a comment to each week’s blog post at http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/
In her post Nikki says that MLA pre-approved this e-science series for CE. If there are costs they would go directly MLA according to their Discussion Group Program. Nikki has graciously volunteered her time to be the convener for the program, verify participation, administer evaluations, and issue the CE.
The CE may or may not be free. If it is not free, it will be extremely cheap. It will only cost $5! Whether the CE is free or $5 will be clarified soon by MLA and announced when known.
If there is a fee for the CE, please note the following:
- Participation will not be tracked or awarded to those who indicate they will only take it for free if a cost is required.
- PayPal will be used to collect funds if there is a cost for CE. The convener (Nikki Dettmar) will email all participants who have indicated they will pay a cost for CE with further instructions.
- If there is a cost for CE and you have not paid by the end of the series, no CE will be awarded. There will not be followup/reminder emails.
What a great opportunity. Kudos to Nikki for all of her hard work coordinating this. Thank you to the weekly hosts. I have a lot to learn about e-science and I am going to sign up.
Join me tomorrow April 25th for a #medlibs Twitter chat at 6pm Pacific/9 Eastern on the topic of the business of hospital libraries, hosted by yours truly (@Krafty).
The Affordable Care Act has changed the way hospitals are reimbursed for medicare patients. In the past hospitals made more money off of patients who were readmitted for things they were orginally discharged with. Now, they are penalized for readmissions happening within 1 month of discharge for certain conditions. This means that a lot of hospitals are going to be seeing losses of millions of dollars.
Where does the library stand in the face of these losses when technology has changed the way we search for things and users often search Google before asking a librarian. The librarian needs to get lean and mean and start operating his/her library like a hospital department that is responsible for achieving the specific goals of the hospital. So if the hospital’s goal is to reduce readmissions by x% then the librarian needs to figure out specifically how the library can help the hospital do that. (If your answer is I can give them more literature searches, then think again because that won’t help you keep your job because administrators think they can do that already.)
This tweet chat will discuss the various ways librarians can specifically show their worth to their own administration instead of passivley pointing to some standard or study illustrating the need for a hospital library. We will be discussing ideas of what we can do to answer our administration’s always constant question “What have you done for me lately and why should I give you money instead of another department?” The game has changed and we need to change our strategy.
If you are new to Twitter or the idea of tweet chats then I highly recommend participating using the website http://www.tweetchat.com. Login to the site using your Twitter username and password then type in the word medlibs into the box at the top of the page next to the go button. You will be able to follow the discussion very easily and you won’t have to worry about adding #medlibs to every post because it already does that for you. For more information about tweet chats check out this quick guide.
The last month we have had some really good #medlibs discussions on Twitter. Many have been moderated by guest #medlibs who host the discussion on a specific topic.
- March 11, 2013 Chat with Ambulance Riding Librarian
- March 6, 2013 Apps and Tablets
- February 28, 2013 The Horizon Report
- February 20, 2013 Opinion vs Libel
I hosted the Apps and Tablets discussion (as well as several previous ones) it is not only fun but pretty darn easy to do. You welcome everybody to the group discussion and then you get the ball rolling with a question, thought or talking point that you post. From there the discussion almost takes on a life of its own. If there are specific points or topics you want to make sure you hit, then you monitor the discussion and throw them in either when the discussion moves that way or after a certain amount of time.
One important thing you need to know is you don’t have to be an expert in the topic to moderate. You just have to have an inquisitive mind and the ability to ask questions. The rest of the group will take the discussion and move with it. Often there are several people with many different perspectives that can help educate you and the rest of the group.
So if there is a topic you are dying to discuss, please become a #medlibs moderator. (Remember I said it is very easy.) Go to the #medlibs Calendar and click on a date that works for you. Then enter your topic and information in the details link. Once you have done that, you are on the schedule and we will look forward to tweeting with you.
Tomorrow (Thursday 3/7/13) at 9:00pm est, I will be hosting the #medlibs chat on apps and tablets. What are you doing with apps? Are you creating a library specific app, catalog app, etc? Or do you have a good app guide that you want to share with others? Is there a push for tablets within your institution, if so which one? Can tablets access the EMR so that your docs & nurses can treat patients and do research with one device?
What other trends do you see or want discussed about apps and tablets? Let me know?
Here are some sites you might be interested prior to the #medlibs chat.
- Nova Southeaster University Health Professions Division Library http://bit.ly/HApZqW – tips, resources
- University of Groningen Central Medical Library http://bit.ly/15vCVqE -finding medical apps, information on adding bookmarks, (side bar has a lot of info)
- Setting up a library iPad program: Guidelines for Success – http://crln.acrl.org/content/72/4/212.full Full text article in ACRL News by Sara Thompson at Briar Cliff University
- Continuing the conversation: Integrating iPads and tablet computers into library services http://bit.ly/wgnMRS -ALA Tech Source article by Daniel Freeman
Policies and Procedures
- Duke http://bit.ly/kcRLCz
- KOC University http://bit.ly/YU7mCZ
- University of California Irvine http://bit.ly/cqwAuk
- University of Chicago http://bit.ly/XUoB5K
- University of Utah (iPad, Xoom, Kindle, Nook) http://bit.ly/wuIW2s
- Virginia Tech http://bit.ly/99151e
- Wake Forest http://bit.ly/Zm1JNS
- ZweigBibliothek Medizin in Münster, Germany, What to consider when borrowing English Translation http://bit.ly/15vDOjd
- iMedicalApps.com -One of the best review sites. Are there other good ones?
- Journal Reading Apps
- Browzine, ReadQx, Docphin, DocWise
- Other medical libraries –See what they have & how they organize them
- University of Michigan http://guides.lib.umich.edu/healthmobile
- University of Washington http://bit.ly/Nbzc9y
- University of Iowa http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/mobile
- Weill Cornell Medical College http://bit.ly/13EJUQ4
- Norris Medical Library http://bit.ly/eaPRxO
- Dahlgren Memorial Library http://bit.ly/u7mbHH
- Florida International University http://bit.ly/102A45z
Hope to see you on the chat tomorrow! If you haven’t participated in a chat before, the easiest way to do it is use the cite TweetChat, login with your Twitter password and the follow #medlibs.
Thursday #medlibs will discuss the 2013 Horizon Report- Higher Education edition, “a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.”
When we are talking higher education it is barely just a hop, skip, and a jump to think of how all of it will impact libraries in higher education. While academic libraries will see the impact quicker, hospital libraries aren’t immune to the changes. Because what is considered trending technology by medical students will be common place when they enter their residency programs in the hospitals and will be outdated when they are staff physicians.
So what kind of technology does the Horizon Report list and what will be talking about on #medlibs?
Happening in one year or less according Horizon:
(I say it is happening now)
- Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- Tablet Computing
Happening 2-3 years:
- Big Data and Learning Analytics
- Game Based Learning
Happening 4-5 years:
- 3D Printing
- Wearable Technology
As a hospital librarian I have to say that tablet’s have exploded and it is in our world now. Big Data is the next “big money” thing that hospital librarians need to be aware of. There are already academic librarian positions for data management dealing with research. Hospital librarians might think that they don’t need to worry about data management because their institution doesn’t really do research. WRONG?!?!
If your hospital has an EMR, it has tons of data that it needs to manage and most likely that data is either just sitting there in the EMR or communicating poorly with a few of the hodge podge of other computer systems within your hospital.
Hospitals eligible for Medicare EHR Incentive Programs must demonstrate meaningful use of the EHR technology. “Eligible hospitals and CAHs that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology will be subject to Medicare payment adjustments beginning in FY 2015.” Read that as penalized.
Personally I see data management as a natural extension for libraries that have already been involved with IT and the EMR.
Here are two examples of many where hospitals are mining the data within the EMR to improve care.
- The Value of Data: It’s How You Use It.
- Health Fidelity Receives Grant from National Science Foundation to Support Use of EHR Data to Improve Quality of Care.
Perhaps I am old and my memory is failing but weren’t librarians talking about data mining in 2000? IT was mining for data withing bibliographic databases, but aren’t the principles the same? Data mining and the EHR are one avenue that hospital librarians who are interested in the future of librarianship need to consider.
The Horizon Report lists other technologies, how do you see them impacting hospital librarians and when? Feel free to comment below or better yet, join us Thursday at 9pm est. for the #medlibs discussion on Twitter. (The easiest way to follow a discussion on Twitter is go to TweetChat, login using your Twitter login, then follow the #medlibs hastag.)
Due to Valentine’s Day there will be no #medlibs Twitter discussion this Thursday. But the discussion will continue in the Thursdays to follow. What started out as an experiment in discussing medical library issues with others via Twitter, has grown considerably.
Previous discussions have been on:
- Disaster Planning (with participation from NLM Disaster Info https://twitter.com/NLM_DIMRC)
- Embedded Librarianship
- Data Management
- Single Service Desk
- Library Education
People are online every Thursday at 9pm Eastern time and it is always a lively informative and entertaining discussion.
Now that the discussion has grown, it is difficult for one person to play host every week. Nikki Dettmar (@eagledawg) has done a great job but she needs help. She needs people willing to host the discussion on a Thursday.
Speaking as somebody who has hosted a few times, it is VERY EASY!!!!! Nikki has done the heavy lifting. She has created a hosting calendar and she has a service that already records the #medlibs tweets posted during the hour long discussion. So all you have to do is sign up for a day to discuss a topic. You don’t even have to do it alone! February 28th will be on the Horizon Report and it will be hosted by @pfanderson, @kr_barker and a few others.
Thursday Feb. 21st is still open as well as a whole bunch of other dates. So if you are a #medlibs participant go to the calendar and pick a date. If the date is somewhat far out then don’t worry so much about the topic, you can always add that as it gets closer. *Please note the calendar is set on West coast time…so make sure you adjust your private calendar for your own time zone.
On the day and time of your hosted #medlibs chat, you just welcome people, state the topic and have 1-3 questions available to pose should our loquatious group fails to talk. That is it! See easy peasy. Hope to see you hosting.
Last Thursday the #medlibs group met on Twitter to discuss social media and medical libraries. As usual it was a fun and interesting discussion. We primarily discussed three areas of social media and medical libraries. The transcript can be found here.
It should come as no surprise that companies monitor what is said about them on social media. What used to be a word of mouth activity, “Did you read that blog that blasted that company” has now become quite automated and much easier to find even brief mentions. Twitter is a perfect example. Personally, I have TweetDeck and HootSuite set up to look throughout the Twittersphere to find any tweets that say krafty. I want to know if anybody is asking a question, has an issue, or just how my re-tweets are represented. I also have those two programs looking for any tweets that mention the terms medlib, medlibs, or mlanet. The reason I have the term medlib or medlibs is because medical librarians often send out a tweet about medical library stuff by using the hashtag #medlibs. We are all human and we sometimes mistype it as medlib and there are always new people who don’t remember to use the hashtag, so my search filter catches those as well. You can do this for any number of words, people, hashtags, etc. It may sound complicated but it is extremely simple to do using either of those two Twitter programs.
So if I am doing it for my own personal reasons, you can bet your bottom dollar that library companies are doing it. It honestly is easier set Twitter to catch all of the tweets on a company’s name than it is to monitor Medlib-l for a company’s name. The reason, TweetDeck and Hootsuite automate it, and to my knowledge there is no automated way to monitor the listserv. As a result, a company like SpringShare is notified as soon as somebody tweets their name. If I mentioned SpringShare on MEDLIB-l either a company rep has to read the post or somebody has to forward it to them.
Here is what I am talking about:
So companies like SpringShare can do something very similar to what I do (depending on their Twitter software) and instantly become aware of anybody talking about them. This results in fairly quick communication between twitterer and the vendor. For me it is often faster than when I have posted in MEDLIB-l
Don’t get me wrong, MEDLIB-l definitely has a purpose and Twitter can’t replace the longer discussions that happen there. However, if you are looking to state a quick question or comment such as “What is going on with Ovid Medline? @WKHealthOvid” or “Having problems with stats @SpringShare LibGuides, anybody else?” Twitter is an excellent way to get quick answers.
As with all companies, there are ones who “get it” and ones who don’t. Regardless of the method of communication; email, MEDLIB-l post, Twitter, Facebook, etc. there are companies that have poor communication skills or take every critique as an attack. As I mentioned, in my post “Embrace Your Critics,” there are some companies who don’t see criticism as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Yet there are other companies that are open to hearing from their customers. For the most part the same companies that I have encountered as open to hearing from people (good and bad about their product) on MEDLIB-l are also the same on Twitter.
Companies that have responded in positive ways to tweets directed at them:
- NLM -Did not provide link because there are ton of different NLMs for different things. Often NLM librarians (not tweeting as NLM but as themselves) respond as well.
I follow A LOT of other companies, the above list are just ones I have had very good conversations with via Twitter regarding their product, services, etc. Note, I didn’t always lavish praise either. There were a few times where I complained about something not working correctly or suggested an improvement and still they responded in a very positive manner.
Some librarians monitor their own library feeds and respond to patrons questions or provide information. Many on the list mentioned that their hospitals or institutions had people in marketing or PR who were monitoring the institution’s name. This area of discussion wasn’t explored as much as I think it could have been. Perhaps it is because this sub-topic often seems to creep into other #medlib discussions. I know @CarolinaFan1982 does a lot with Twitter and his School of Nursing users.
Professional/Personal Information Bleed
Finally the group ended with a discussion on whether there was a need to keep professional/personal divide when tweeting. I think it depends a lot on who is following you, what you primarily tweet on, and your institution. More and more institutions have social media policies so it is best to read through those and adhere to them.
For me, I let some of my personal life bleed into my professional life. So far it seems to be ok. If I decide to make the official split I can always have two accounts. One personal and one professional. I know several librarians who have two Twitter accounts.
I think it is also important how you respond to tweets. For example if I tweet:
@EagleDawg Great to see you on #medlibs chat
Only people who follow both me AND @EagleDawg will see that conversation.
BUT if you put an character, even a period at the beginning of the tweet then everyone can see that tweet.
.@EagleDawg How was the mocha milkshake?
#medlibs @EagleDawg How as the mocha milkshake?
Those two tweets can be seen by everyone. The #medlibs just ensures that the tweet can be seen by people following the #medlibs discussion. Knowing this information might be helpful regarding personal and professional tone within Twitter.
It was a very interesting and fun chat last Thursday. This Thursday is Thanksgiving, so there will be no #medlibs chat. We always welcome new people to the group, so feel free to join us November 29th. Twitter isn’t just wasting time, it can be used for professional communication and we who chat on Thursdays are the perfect example.
Last week the #medlibs chat focused on disaster planning and @NLM_DIMRC (NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center) participated in the discussion. Disaster planning seemed to fall into 2 primary types, personal and professional. You need a personal disaster plan so that you and your family are safe. Once you are safe then you can deal with your professional disaster plan. In this case since it was the #medlibs chat most of the professional disaster plan stuff dealt with medical library disaster plans. The #medlibs chat transcripts can be found online.
This Thursday the #medlibs chat will be on social media.
Website? Check. Facebook page? Maybe… is it your library’s or your public relations department’s? What about Twitter? Are you using Twitter solely for your personal professional development (and fun)? As an automatic electronic news channel? Engaging with your users via their hashtag chats?
Come to the Thursday, November 15, 2012 #medlibs chat at 6pm Pacific/9 Eastern as we explore together how things are evolving for medical librarians and libraries in social media, including these chats!
Never participated in a Twitter hashtag chat before? Check out this overview and come on in, we’re a supportive community.
Believe it or not I use Twitter to communicate with medical librarians now more than I use the listserv MEDLIB-L. I get quicker responses from librarians AND library vendors. If I posted something on MEDLIB-L about a database flaw, it would often be several days before I heard from the vendor’s rep. However, when I tweet about it I get a response within a day (usually within a few hours). When the government was about to shut down I had a patron ask mewhat would happened to PubMed if the government shut down. I sent the question out to MEDLIB-L as well as Twitter. I got a response within an hour from somebody working at NLM via Twitter.
So if you are interested in discussing social media within libraries, join us tomorrow on Twitter.