At 1:30 PM (EDT), Monday, July 19, 2010, MLA will host a WebEvent featuring Daniel H. Pink, the McGovern Lecturer from MLA ’10. He will summarize and expand on the topics presented during the opening keynote, and the last half of the broadcast will be devoted to hearing from and responding to you. Mr. Pink has challenged us to bring our toughest questions and thorniest problems to this forum for advice. We would also like to use this time to offer best practices and shared experiences in implementing these six senses in our work.

You can shape the discussion in two ways. By the end of the day TODAY July 12th you can complete a short survey. Also, during the webcast you will be able to submit questions and scenarios via email or chat. Please take advantage of this additional opportunity to work with an expert on motivation and creativity in business.

Remember, anyone who registered for the MLA Annual Meeting, May 21 – 26 in Washington, DC, including e-Conference registrants, may participate at no additional charge. Participants in the webinar receive 1 MLA CE Contact Hour. You will need to log in to the e-Conference site with the email address you used to register and the badge number found in your confirmation email.

Wishing you had registered for the e-Conference? Believe it or not, there is still time! Complete and fax this form back to the MLA Office by 4pm Central Time on Thursday, July 15, and watch for your email!

Share your thoughts about the MLA 2010 Blog or the teddy bear gets it.

Just kidding!

However, your feedback on this short survey will help us in creating a better experience next year, when we travel to Minneapolis, May 13-18, 2011!

Click the link below to begin.

What is it that sticks in your mind the most about MLA ’10? One thing that I’ve been thinking a lot about is something from Daniel Pink’s McGovern Lecture.

It was sitting there in my unconscious mind until an incident last weekend. Someone close to me is having an unhappy time. As we were talking this thing just popped into my thoughts. We should do this exercise that Daniel Pink suggested! What is this exercise you ask?

In his lecture (and in his book A Whole New Mind), Daniel Pink talked about “six high-concept, high-touch senses.”  They are design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning.  And here I want to talk about meaning. The exercise he suggested consists of answering two questions:

  • Was I better today than yesterday?
  • What 3 things am I grateful for?

At the time I thought that this sounded really familiar. As I pondered, I realized that this exercise is similar to the Examen of Ignatius Loyola. During the McGovern Lecture we were all moved by helen-ann brown epstein’s letter of gratitude to her professional colleague and friend Carolyn Reid. And as I participated in the rest of the MLA ’10 activities, I realized how thankful I am for all the relationships that my involvement in MLA and Midwest Chapter/MLA has brought to me. During the Nursing and Allied Health Research Section meeting, the NAHRS members in attendance introduced themselves and talked about their involvement in NAHRS. So many of them used the word “nurturing” to describe the role of the section in their professional AND personal lives. I know that if I need advice or moral support in my professional endeavors, I can just ask one of my “MLA friends.” More than half of my Facebook friends are people that I have met through MLA activities. And I added some new Facebook friends after MLA. And I noticed that many of my MLA Facebook friends added new MLA Facebook friends after the meeting as well. I met quite a few new people through the MLA ’10 CrowdVine Site (although I am not sure I met everyone that I wanted to meet) and in my role as an Official Blogger. For me MLA is all about RELATIONSHIPS. And ain’t that great!

So you can be sure that I am looking forward to seeing you all again next year at MLA’11 in our Midwest Chapter city of Minneapolis!

We have all seen the recycle bins or worse the trash cans after a presentation, our handouts that we worked so hard on are left there discarded.  Some people take them home or back to their offices while others might lose or “deposit” them en route.  I think many librarians are looking for ways to keep these documents from getting pitched for both an environmental and informational pruposes.  That is why I was interested in the poster, “Customized USB Flash Drives Used to Promote Library Resources and Services to First Year Medical and Dental Students.” (PDF pg 86).

First thing that came to mind was, “Wow, Cool.”  Second thing that came to mind was I wondered whether or not it was really a “green” way to go.  (Remember we had just seen a picture on a slide during Daniel Pink’s lecture similar to this one which represented the number of cell phones discarded each day.)  Finally the last thing that came to mind was cost, how much does it cost to buy a USB drive with enough memory to hold all of that stuff. 

Unfortunately I couldn’t get any information on the cost of the UDB drives, the man at the poster did not know how much they cost and the woman who did know had walked away.  Additionally, I am not sure if this is the answer to our information distribution needs, only 56% of the 55 survey responders said they viewed at least one of the documents on the drive.  Although 87% of the reponders said they would used the USB drive.  So it looks like they are more interested in the container not what is within the container. 

If you are thinking about distributing USB drives with library materials you might consider contacting the authors of this poster to 1. learn how much it cost and 2. find out if they found any better ways to get people to look at the files on the USB drive. 

It would seem if they are just interested in the drive you might order customzied designed drives to have embossed or printed on the outside of drive the library’s or the document’s URL.  That might save money regarding the size of the drive purchased and it does generate awareness of where help guides/resources would be.  Who knows, comment if you have done something similar or know of a good idea.

I have an iPhone and so my ears perk up when I see things pertaining to iPhones and usage in medical libraries.  This time my eyes perked up, so to speak, when I saw the poster, “Library Support of iPhone/iPod Touch Integration in a Medical School Curriculum.” (PDF pg 77)

A lot of medical schools have begun to offer iPhone and iPod Touch support for medical students.  Medical Libraries are often involved during the licensing of electronic resources for these devices.  Some libraries even circulate “spare” ones in case a student’s iPod Touch is broken, left at home, or just needs to borrow one for some reason.  Georgetown’s Dahlgren Memorial Library is one of these medical school libraries that does this. 

While the medical schools and their libraries are doing this kind of great support, in general hospitals are not.  Working in the hospital side of things I see what happens when the students leave the medical school looking for that same kind of support and are told by IT that their iTouch or iPhone is a great “consumer device” but is not considered an approved device by the hospital. (Yes IT used itallics for the word consumer device.)

So my question for these librarians was whether they had done any tracking or gotten any feedback from their students when they started their rotations at other hospitals as to how well these devices were received and how well they could be used in the hospital.  The librarian freely admitted that those students who chose iPod Touches (students were given a choice between iPhone and iTouch) were having much bigger problems than those who had iPhones.  That is because the hospital networks did not allow the iPod Touch devices to access the wifi network.  If they couldn’t access the wifi, many of their programs were useless.  Those with iPhones had less problems because they could switch off wifi on their device and force it to use 3G.  However, that only worked with apps that worked on 3G, some apps require wifi to function properly.  The librarian said that the medical school had to work with the hospitals to allow these devices because it was part of their curriculum.  It sounded from her tone that some hospitals complied better than others (I do not know this for sure). 

I love the idea of supporting iPhone or other mobile device applications.  I think it would be great if many hospitals could integrate some of the mobile device apps into the “collection,” however we are beholden to what works in our institution.  If our own IT departments are preventing the use of certain mobile devices then we can’t support them.  I honestly think hospital IT departments will come around to allowing iPhones or iPod Touch to be an approved device.  My institution does not prohibit iPhones or iPod Touches from the wifi, we just are prohibited from going on to iTunes (where all the apps live anyway) using the hospital network.  Additionally, we cannot access our work email using anything but a specifically approved Blackberry device.  As a result I see three types of mobile users: 1. Older docs with the Blackberry and nothing else. 2. A small group of docs with both a Blackberry and an iPhone (this group tends to have some older docs and some younger docs) 3. Younger docs who carry the iPhone and have people email them at their non-work address (this is a fast growing group). 

Now my observations are just that, observations, what I see when I am on the reference desk or walking the halls.  It will be interesting how things play out from the hospital perspective.

They’re heeeere….. The next TWO generation of users have already infiltrated your library.  Gen X  users are roughly between the ages of 30-45, and the Millenials (also referred to as Gen Y) have turned 29!  These people are your core users.  Victoria Goode’s poster, “Preparing Our Libraries for the Next Generation” (PDF pg 40) looked at the possible impacts and implications these generations will have on the practice of medical librarianship.  Her primarily discussed communciation through technology and familiarity of using technology to answer questions along with their abilities to judge the source and ethical use of the information. 

Originally I did not have this poster on my “must see” list but thankfully I noticed it while I was walking through the poster session because it touches upon a lot of things that I spoke about last year at the 2009 MLGSCA Technology Symposium in Cerritos, CA.  I gave was the keynote speaker and I spoke about The Evoloving Library.  Many people know that Gen X and Gen Y were raised with computers and we think of them as common place and essential as our cell phones.  But I think a vast majority of people (myself, Gen Xer included) don’t realize the true implications of what that upbringing is like and how it has shaped us and future generations that goes beyond technology.

So it was nice to see Goode’s poster and have a great little chat about the differences between the tech generation (Gen X & Gen Y) and the non-native tech generation (Boomers and Seniors).  Also interesting was even the difference between the two tech generations.  Goode and I spoke about how the Gen X and Gen Y view “experts” and learning completely differently from each other despite both being considered technologically savvy generations.  The younger edge of Gen X and the all Gen Y groups do not see librarians, professors, teachers, etc. as “experts.”  Let me phrase it this way…. A Gen Y does not see the position of a teacher to be necessarily that of an expert.  An expert could be a teacher but they view many people beyond teacher as the expert and may even view somebody else as being a more knowledgeable and deserving of the expert status than than the teacher, especially in the same subject or field.  Gen Y are more willing to trust and ask group mind (peer thoughts and experience) rather than ask the teacher/instructor, even though the teacher is completely reachable by technology such as email or chat.

That mentality along with the technology skills and the method by which they retrieve and judge information really changes the way we librarians need to think of how we teach, help them find information and best serve them.  If you doubt this look at MEDLINE searching classes and how librarians have had to adapt them to keep pace with the different generations now taking them.  We cannot lecture or teach how to search using the same methods we taught the Baby Boomers, it doesn’t work.  We have all experienced the students 3 steps ahead of us on the computers or checking email while we are talking. Some find locking computers down until they are ready to teach the next step effective, I find this just causes them to tune out or fall asleep. 

I am glad to have stumbled upon this poster because I think Goode’s information is important for us to remember when we consider the users of our libraries.

Having MLA 2010 in our nation’s capital provided exciting opportunities; good restaurants, solid public transportation, and a sighting of Magic Johnson.  I missed out on seeing Mr. Johnson, unfortunately, but it was because I was taking advantage of the ultimate unique Washington opportunity: visiting Capitol Hill and stopping by the offices of my Wisconsin government representatives: Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and Senator Russ Feingold.  MLA’s Government Relations committee gave an update to those who had pledged to visit the Hill on key issues pertinent to medical librarians.  The primary focus is/was on stating our support for increased funding for NIH and NLM in the next Appropriations Bill and on promoting the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA).

Although there is basic security in place (your bag goes through an x-ray machine, and yourself through a metal detector), I was impressed with how accessible the Senate and House office buildings (there are multiple on each side) are.  The only issue was that the two are on their respective sides of the Capitol building, and so there was a little bit of a walk in the DC heat…But I had set up appointments with staff members at both offices and made it between the two with enough time to spare to enjoy the scenery, which included the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court.

The appointments themselves went well; I met with office staff members, who were knowledgeable in health issues (and Congresswoman Baldwin’s staff member was also the education person).  I gave the little spiel, after explaining that my own NLM Fellowship was supported by NIH/NLM funding, making it just a little more personal.  It was nice to hear that in Congresswoman Baldwin’s office I was basically preaching to the choir, and I mostly stated that I appreciate and support her agenda.  Sen. Feingold’s staff informed that that Sen. Feingold had not made a decision on the Appropriation Bill, and so I left feeling like I made a tiny bit of an impact in showing my support for it as well as MLA’s.  Sen. Feingold is up for reelection this fall, and the race will be important for Democrats, so I’ll be watching what he does.  In both offices, I left behind a packet of MLA information, my card, and a couple of “ask your medical librarian” pins.  Always nice to bring a little something with you.  Following up with a thank-you e-mail (Congress never really gets snail-mail; it takes months of decontamination in some other state, and then it’s too brittle to read!) is also a good idea.

I can be pretty cynical about government, but this experience has at least temporarily made me feel a little more optimistic.  I’m now more committed to communicating with my representatives to make sure they know how I feel, and I am now much more familiar with the issues that MLA is most concerned with.  I encourage everyone to look at the Government Relations information, and the next time you contact your representatives (why not give them a quick call or send a letter to the editor right now?), use the information provided there.

A’Llyn already covered a bit of the Q&A portion of the vaccine-related section program, so I thought I’d fill in some of the earlier material and mentioned resources.

Raymond Strikas of the National Vaccine Program Office (CDC) spoke about adult and child vaccine schedules (and the fact that many adults don’t know there *is* an adult vaccine schedule), and vaccine safety. He addresses the total lack of evidence that vaccines cause autism, and noted that some who are anti-vaccination say it’s an issue of too many vaccines/antigens, but vaccines now (while more of them) contain much less foreign protein than they did in 1985. He also said that they have recommended a long-term study comparing kids who received all, some, or none of the recommended vaccines and who are the same except for their vaccine status, but that this is very difficult to do.

Some related resources:

Annabelle Nuñez of the Arizona Health Sciences Library spoke about an effort to get information on the HPV vaccines into the community. Annabelle is embedded with the public health department of her university. The project involved partnership with several institutional centers, including the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, National Center of Excellence on Women’s Health, and Women’s Studies Advisory Council, and the Pima County Cervical Cancer Prevention Partnership. They did forums exploring health consequences and social issues around HPV and vaccination, incorporating perspectives on research, health disparities, cultural considerations, other issues.

It may sound like a small thing, but it inspired me that they held their forums at the community center of a public library – it would have been easy to try to get the public to come to the University, but I think their public library choice was probably much more accessible. Annabelle also spoke about the need to include a community pediatrician who was aware of the perspectives of parents on the vaccine and community needs, and to have break-out sessions with experts at the forums for further discussion.

Alexandra Stewart of George Washington University spoke about myths and misperceptions regarding vaccines, including three case examples. These included the idea that autism is related to vaccination, and recent vaccine court cases concluding that those promoting this association between the MMR and autism had failed to provide supporting evidence and relied on inadequate expert witness testimony, lacking adequate scientific evidence to make the case. Another case discussion focused on health care workers in New York State who objected to compulsory influenza vaccination, while a third focused on efforts to require HPV vaccination to meet school entry requirements.

Finally, Kristine Sheedy of the CDC spoke about the challenges of doing communication during the previous influenza season when “swine” or H1N1 influenza was a dominant concern. She noted that the CDC’s site was topping out at 6 million hits per day during the peak of interest, and also described their use of social media to get out the vaccination message.

A couple of final resources:

  • Adolescent and Adult Vaccine Quiz – online self-assessment tool to help individuals figure out which vaccines they may need to talk to a healthcare provider about
  • – influenza info hub with resources for individuals and professionals
  • Call 800-CDC-INFO or email for more information
  • Frontline: The Vaccine War (watch the full program online)

A belated MLA 2010 post: In the NLM Theater this year, Bart Trawick of NCBI/NLM spoke about using My Bibliography (part of MyNCBI) to manage NIH Public Access Compliance. Individuals can use My Bibliography to create a list of publications, including journal articles, book chapters, meeting abstracts, and others, with a feature to add citations directly from PubMed or add additional citations manually.

The system then includes Awards view which allows users to track whether they are compliant with public access policies. For example, if the system detects a PMCID, it is automatically marked as compliant because it has been deposited in PubMed Central. It also detects when an item was published prior to the policy becoming mandatory, and is automatically marked as not applicable. Specific grants can also be associated with publications, and there is a compliance Wizard tool to help users along.

Right now, though, the Awards view of My Bibliography is available only to those with an associated eRA Commons login. In the near future (next week, according to Bart), this feature will expand, allowing users to associate logins from Google, Yahoo, NIH, publishers and certain universities with the tools (some of these login options are visible now). Users can also designate a delegate to manage this list of citations.

I had a couple of questions for Bart, including whether a person could be a delegate to an unlimited number of users, which is the case. Additionally, it is possible to make Bibliographies private or public, and to grab a snippet of HTML code which allows the bibliography to be embedded in a website and will automatically update with the bibliography is updated (go to Edit My Bibliography, choose Public, and then copy/paste the code to do this).

The NLM Technical Bulletin from January includes a lot of the information and screenshots, including the red/yellow/green color scheme which visually cues users about whether each citation is compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy. Video of the slides with audio (and captions) of Bart’s presentation is available at [additional session recordings on other NLM/NCBI products are available at]

At lunch on Tuesday I had a delightful time sharing ideas about “Research for Librarians” at the Chapter Council Presents Chapter Sharing Roundtables. The mix of early and mid-career librarians made for great conversation.

We talked a lot about our own research and particularly addressed the barriers that we face in conducting research in addition to our library duties. Additionally, a couple of the librarians at the table serve on their institution’s Institutional Research Board. They note that this is challenging and that they have a lot to learn. We developed a number of suggestions for continuing education coursework that MLA might want to consider to support research. Once the notes are transcribed, we’ll take our suggestions to the association.

As I review my MLA experience, “research” seems to be the overarching theme. Of course, one of the things that brought me to MLA ’10 was the research project poster presentation “Connecting to the Professional Literature: Profile of Undergraduate Nursing Instruction” that I did with Barbara Schloman. Mentoring and statistical support were two of the things that we discussed extensively in our roundtable discussion. Having an experienced mentor like Barbara is so important! I also had in-house statistical advice and support from the invaluable Tina. I couldn’t have done it alone.

For the most part, I choose to attend sessions that were research oriented. I particularly enjoyed the “New Voices” paper session on Sunday. I was excited to see the great research that is being done by LIS students. Notably that session included discussions that I described in my notes as “spirited” and “lively” between the students and audience following the presentations. Couldn’t ask for more!

In her Inaugural Address new MLA President Ruth Holst talked a lot about research. We need to communicate our value to our institutions. To do this we must “show them the evidence” of our value. Where there is no evidence, we need to create the evidence.  Ask the question “What would give you the answers you need in your workplace?” Building this evidence base for our profession is a major task ahead of us.

And while I am mentioning our new MLA President, I just cannot resist including this wonderful photo of mother and daughter.

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