Educational Opportunities

The Business of Hospital Libraries

Earlier last week people on medlib-l discussed (The  perfect library storm) closures of hospital libraries.  They are seeing a contradiction between Evidenced Based Medicine imperatives vs budget and resource demands on hospital libraries.  Some are seeing how the increase in pricing and bundling practices have caused the hospitals to “throw it back to the physicians and staff” causing libraries to close.  I interpret this statement to be that the hospitals are no longer willing to provide monies for institutional support of resources (the library) and require doctors and staff to buy their own resources.

This email conversation is very timely.  It turns out this week I will be in Tulsa, OK teaching the class, “The Evolving Librarian: Responding to changes in the workplace and in healthcare.”  Technology changes, social changes and healthcare changes have forced hospital librarians to step back and really change the way we do things.

Personally, we hospital librarians need to start treating our library like a hospital department and not a library.  I mentioned this in my medlib-l post. I know this statment sounds odd because you might think we do that already.  I think we could do better.  I think librarians not only need to align their goals to the hospitals, but they need to make the hospital’s goals their goals.

With the Affordable Care Act, hospitals stand to lose 1% of their Medicare payments in penalties if patients with specific conditions are readmitted within 1 month of discharge.  By 2015 it will be 3%.  That is billions of dollars.  To put it in perspective, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis will lose $2 million dollars according to Kaiser Health News. Dr. John Lynch the chief medical officer of Barnes-Jewish says they could absorb the loss this year but not over time if penalties continue to accumulate.

You better believe all of the other hospital departments in your hospital are working toward the hospital goals.  Aligning the library to demonstrate specifically (hard numbers) how it can help the hospital achieve their goals is essential.

I thought long and hard about my post to medlib-l before I sent it.  The reason was I didn’t want to lay blame for hospital libraries closing on the librarians.  I didn’t want to imply that they weren’t doing their jobs or that if they “could’a, would’a, should’a” they would still have their jobs.  That wasn’t my intent.  Although, one person responded on the list saying they found it “disheartening that sometimes when a library staff is downsized or actually closed, that a too common belief is that if  only ‘that library’ had been doing more, building a stronger case, demonstrating their worth in concrete ways, etc., etc., this would not have happened.”

Who knows what the situations were at those hospital library closures or downsizings?  However, I firmly believe if you don’t start looking at your library as a business arm of the hospital and align your goals to support the hospital achieve its goals, then you are going to have a very rough time.  Because if an institution as established and good as Barnes-Jewish is dealing with these things, then it can, and is happening everywhere.  Where do you think the library stands when the institution has to deal with a $2 million dollar loss one year? Repeatedly?  Where do you think it stands if you do not illustrate exactly with hard numbers how your department has helped prevent that loss.

I think everyone (administrators, doctors, nurses, etc.) can agree that the idea of a library is good.  But when faced with money demands, that idea  needs concrete specific support.  That support must be generated from within.  Administration doesn’t care about the library in terms of JCAHO standards. Administration doesn’t care about the Rochester study or newer updated similar published research.  Administration cares about what your library is doing now.  Those studies, standards, etc. aren’t going to change your administration’s mind, you are.  They don’t care if you give them every flipping article under God’s green earth saying that a library will save them money and help them cure every disease known to man.  Administration only cares about you, your library, what you are doing, and how it benefits them.

I am not alone in thinking that hospital librarians need to change they way they think and do “library business.”  The Mid Atlantic Region will be running a CE webinar series starting May 31, 2013, entitled “Running Your Hospital Like a Business.”  Some of the things the series will address are: writing a business plan, art of negotiation, and proving your worth/adding to your value.  All of these things are those business skills that I ran away from in college but now am kicking myself as I realize I really need them today and could’a, should’a taken a business class back then.

Oh well, time to beef up now.


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7 comments - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

Categories: Educational Opportunities, Other Medical Library Stuff   Tags:

Free Webinar on AMA Titles

As you all know AMA moved their online platform to Silverchair recently.  Now you have the opportunity to attend a free webinar to “Discover the New JAMA Network Online”  The webinar is August 2, 2012, 10 am CST/11 am EDT. 

The webinar will have representatives from the AMA and Silverchair to answer your questions about the recent transition to Silverchair’s SCM6 platform and demonstrate the latest enhancements to, including:

  • How to use the Administrator Dashboard
  • How to access usage reports
  • How to maximize search results

Speakers include Matt Herron, Vida Damijonaitis, and Betsy Solaro from the AMA and Kate Nikkel and Joy Moore from Silverchair.

Register at it is free.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - July 26, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Categories: Educational Opportunities, Electronic Access, Journals and Books, Other Medical Library Stuff   Tags:

Free eBooks Webinar

ALA TechSource has a free webinar, “Introducing the Book as an iPad App” on July 23, 2012 at 2:00pm est. 

Brief description from ALA TechSource:

iPads are everywhere. Some publishers are experimenting with a new kind of book, published as an app. These books are distinct from the mostly-text ebooks you might read with the Kindle or Nook apps. Drawing from all the functionality of the iPad platform, creators may extend the book, presenting a new immersive experience for readers. As hybrids mixing elements of film, videogames, and social media in with the text traditional to the book, this new kind of book challenges the notion of what a book is. For librarians, they offer new opportunities in evaluation, selection, and services.

The webinar will probably be more geared toward public library and possibly academic libraries but it is free and might be worth attending to see how ebooks are evolving for libraries.  I think public libraries have a better handle on ebooks than medical libraries so perhaps there are some things that we should be looking at and aware of for our situation. 

If you are interested you need to register.  Go to:

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - July 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

Categories: Educational Opportunities, Electronic Access, Journals and Books   Tags:

Free Class: Teaching with Technology

The National Technology Center will be teaching the free online class from July 23 – August 27 2012, “Teaching with Technology: Tips, Techniques adnd Tools.” 

As I mentioned the class is free and open to U.S. residents, but enrollment size is limited so they ask that you check your schedule to be ensure that you have time to complete the entire class. 

(class description from the MARquee

In this class, you will learn about using technology tools for teaching distance learning courses.  We will discuss options and best practices for asynchronous and synchronous distance classes, as well as “blended” classes that offer both in-person and online options.  Adult learning principles will be reviewed.  We will examine and discuss examples of software and website tools in teaching.

The class is taught “asynchronously” using the Moodle course management system, so you can complete the classwork at a time convenient for you.  Allow approximately 2 hours per week for independent classwork.  There are 4 weeks of assignments, readings, and discussions, with the 5th week saved for a “catch-up” week.  Upon completion of the class you will receive 8 MLA CE credits.

To register:

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - June 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

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MLA Twitter Tutorial Now Open

There was a bit of confusion when I last posted about the MLA Twitter Tutorial, people were all excited and started trying to do the tutorial right away even though it wasn’t live yet.  The wait is over, the tutorial is now open.   Go to and watch the videos, complete the tutorial, tweet, and learn something new while getting a free drink ticket to the MLA Tweet Up.

(One thing to note, most of the videos are on YouTube, so if it is blocked you will have to watch them at home.) 

Each year the discussion on Twitter has grown considerably.   A lot of the pre-conference chatter is about events people would like to attend or questions about the meeting.  During the meeting people tweet interesting points during a presentation, pose questions back and forth among the tweeters, or just tweet in general to communicate.  This kind of discussion is often called the “back channel.”  The tutorial has some great articles for people to learn  about things like the back channel, live tweeting best practices, and a guidebook on Twitter.

A few years ago when Twitter came out, I remember I mentioned I couldn’t think of how Twitter would be used professionally in medical librarianship.  Now I use it daily.  I have a program that is running in the background (just like my email program) that pops a message box up when I get a tweet (again just like my email).  I have used it to answer reference questions, follow speakers/conferences, answer tech questions, and just share information.

It might take a bit of time to figure out your “voice” and know your work flow to see how it naturally fits into the way you communicate.  Take a look at this image of “The Four Stages of ‘Getting’ Twitter” and you can see how it is an evolution as to how it can fit into your life.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 16, 2012 at 10:44 am

Categories: Educational Opportunities, Twitter, Uncategorized   Tags:

Webcast: Leveraging Mobile Technologies for Health Sciences Libraries

Interested in learning more about how mobile technologies can be used in the medical library? If so, register for the Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education webcast Leveraging Mobile Technologies for Health Sciences Libraries on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:00-2:30 (central time)

More information about the webcast (from

Program Goals:
The goal of this webcast is to familiarize information professionals with current practical applications of mobile technologies in clinical and curricular support settings.  Topics will highlight innovative uses of mobile technologies, address technology challenges, and provide best practice guidance for applying in viewers local environments.  

Program Objectives

  • Define how mobile technologies can be used in clinical settings
  • Define how mobile technologies can be integrated into curricula
  • Identify challenges faced when using mobile technologies in different settings
  • Explain challenges faced in clinical and curricular settings that mobile technologies can help solve
  • Demonstrate how mobile technologies can be used in your own setting
  • Plan how to work with vendors and IT support to enable use of mobile technologies
  • Identify opportunities for library resources via mobile technologies in multiple settings
  • Compare different mobile technologies and choose which might be appropriate for your own setting

Go to the MLA Webcast site to learn more about presenters Colleen Cuddy, Heather Holmes, Molly Knapp, Kimberley Barker, and Alisha Miles.

There are two ways to register for this webcast, individual or site.  Individual Earlybird Registration Fee: $75 (nonmember, $150.00).  Earlybird Site Registration is $395 (nonmember $495). 

Keep your eyes and ears open for sites near you that have registered for the program. 

For example:

For more information about the webinar or to register go to:



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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - April 4, 2012 at 9:27 am

Categories: Educational Opportunities, iPad, Technology   Tags:

Free Webinar: Demystifying Research Simplfying the Critical Appraisal

A while back ago Ovid hosted a really good webinar on ebooks and on March 7, 12pm EST they will host the webinar, “Demystifying Research: Simplifying Critical Appraisal.”

The webinar is free, you don’t have to be an Ovid user to attend.  If you are busy that day you can still register and you will be notified when the webinar is archived and available to watch. 

Here is a brief description of the webinar:

 Are you often frustrated when you read research studies? Do you sometimes wonder why they are so challenging? Would you be interested in learning how to use the tool of research to help you improve your patient outcomes through evidence-based practice? If you answered yes to any of these questions, join us for the Webinar: Demystifying Research: Simplifying Critical Appraisal

Anne Dabrow Woods, MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC, Chief Nurse of Wolters Kluwer Health / Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Journals and Ovid Technologies, and Maureen “Shawn” Kennedy, MA, RN, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing, will have a discussion with Dr. Ellen Fineout-Overholt, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN, to address the steps to critically appraise research evidence and demonstrate how to embrace the process of distilling the pearls that research has to offer.

Dr. Fineout-Overholt is currently Dean & Professor, Groner School of Professional Studies and Chair, Department of Nursing of East Texas Baptist University. Additionally, she is one of the authors of AJN’s, award winning, Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step series. 

For some reason everything that is supposed to happen in March for me is happening this week.  I am going to try and attend it live but if I miss it, I will definitely catch it when it is archived and available.

Here is the link to register

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - March 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

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Medicine 2.0 Conference Participation Call

The 2012 Medicine 2.0 conference will be held in Boston at Harvard Medical School. 

If you are doing research on any of the following:

  • Blogs and Twitter in Health
  • Building virtual communities and social networking applications for health professionals
  • Building virtual communities and social networking applications for patients and consumers
  • Business models in a Web 2.0 environment
  • Science 2.0, collaborative biomedical research, academic / scholarly communication, publishing and peer review
  • Consumer empowerment, patient-physician relationship, and sociotechnical issues
  • Ethical & legal issues, confidentiality and privacy
  • Health information on the web: Supply and Demand
  • Innovative RSS/XML applications and Mashups
  • Personal health records and Patient portals
  • Public (e-)health, population health technologies, surveillance
  • Digital Disease Detection and Biosurveillance using Twitter and other social media/mhealth/Internet sources
  • The Quantified Self: tracking behavior and health
  • Search, Collaborative Filtering and Recommender Technologies
  • Semantic Web (“Web 3.0″) applications
  • Go to website for more topics

You can present in one of six ways:

  • Poster Presentation
  • Oral Presentation
  • Panel Discussion
  • Gadget Exhibition & Demos: Tabletop Rental
  • Rapid Fire Presentations
  • Pitch for Medicine 2.0 Start-up Academy: From idea to company

The cost to attend the meeting is a cheaper than last year, but it would be best to try and get an early bird discount at $250 (first 50 to register get this discount).  Go to Medicine 2.0 Call for Abstracts to get more information on guidelines and other information.


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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - February 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

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Free Consumer Health Online Class

Health & Wellness @ the Library: The Essentials of Providing Consumer Health Services is a FREE online 4 week class from February 27, 2012 – March 23, 2012 taught by Kelli Ham and is approved for 12 MLA CE.  

 Course Description (from the website):

This online course defines the core competencies of providing consumer health information services and then dives directly into the essential skills and knowledge that library staff need to build those competencies. The course starts by preparing you with tools to learn the demographics and health status of people in your community. Together we will examine issues of literacy, health literacy, and the health information needs of special populations. By understanding the needs of your own community and the information-seeking behaviors of users, you will be prepared with the right tools and resources even before the questions are asked.

From there we will explore authoritative resources for just about any type of health question, apps and mobile health technologies, how people are using social networking for health questions, and how to create fun and informative health-related programming for different age groups and special populations in your community. Participants will learn about core print reference and other materials for library collections, quality web resources beyond the major sites, and tips for helping library users evaluate health materials they encounter on their own.

A new topic area each week will expand on familiar concepts and provide exposure to new concepts, techniques and resources to take your skills to the next level. At the beginning of Week 2, participants will start to explore topic areas for their final project.

For more information go to:

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - February 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

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Free Webinar on Licensing

The MidContinental blog posted information about the ALCTS webinar: The Black, White, and Gray Areas of Licensing: a review and update for librarians and publishers.

The webinar is FREE and is February 29, 2012 11am Pacific, noon Mountain, 1pm Central, and 2pm Eastern.

The presenters are Becky Albitz, Electronic Resources Librarian at Pennsylvania State University, Bob Boissy, Manager of Account Development & Strategic Alliances for Springer, and Tracy Thompson-Przylucki, Executive Director of NELLCO. 

The presenters will discuss library licensing issues and answer pre-submitted questions.  Webinar attendees will be asked to submit questions upon registration. 

For additional information including links to the registration page, please click on the following link:

ALCTS webinars are recorded and registrants receive a link to the recording shortly following the live event.
For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration by calling 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email
registration[atsign]ala[dot]org. For all other questions or comments related to the webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or alctsce[atsign]ala[dot]org.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by KraftyLibrarian - January 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

Categories: Educational Opportunities, Other Medical Library Stuff   Tags:

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