Posts with category - Announcements

NLM Theater Presentations

The NLM Theater puts on a series of 20 min sessions on a variety of topics. All of the sessions are put on at least twice throughout the conference and some are put on three times. At each of the sessions they had a raffle for a prize. I couldn’t make it to all of the sessions, but I went to as many as I could and will provide a brief summary of the ones I made it to. Here is a list of their sessions.


Using to Find Research Results Not Available Elsewhere
Rebecca Williams gave the presentation on Clinical Trials has over 165,000 registered clinical trials and observational studies with over 12,000 of those available on the website. This collection consists of both private and federal studies at all stages. Studies are registered at the beginning, updated when no new participants are being allowed in, when the study is complete, and when results are available. Each record is made of two sections. The first is the registration section which includes the protocol of the trial and recruitment information. The second section is the results section where the results are displayed on a table. Not all studies will include their results.
Where do these studies come from?
Researchers submit their information when they start their trials. It is important to point out that publishing results in this collection will not interfere with publication in journals as long as the results are published with the registration record. In fact, most medical journals require registration of all clinical trials, and some are mandated by federal law.
What can you do with
  • Find potential trials for you or your patrons to participate in. It could be a place for you to refer patrons who are looking for different treatment alternatives.
  • Track progress of trials.
  • See what kind of trials are going on.
  • Find investigators and centers that are doing research on a particular disease.
When you search clinical trials you can use the advance search option to limit your results in a variety of ways including only studies accepting patients or only those with results.
If you want more information or want to learn more, you can email Your local NNLM also provides classes.

Modernizing History: The New (and much improved) IndexCat interface
This session was about the new IndexCat. Stephen Greenberg told us that there are 3.7 million citations XML downloadable. The new IndexCat is fast! It also has a new record display and format. The collection is made up of five series based mostly on the age of the material. Series 1-3 are complete while series 4&5 are still incomplete.
Stephen gave us an overview of how to search the new interface. The searching is full-text keyword, there is no controlled vocabulary. Some exciting upgrades to the IndexCat searching include Boolean functions, phrase searching, and truncation searching. One thing they are still working on are journal titles. Journal titles would change and often the journal editor would be cited rather than the journal title. This makes for an ugly situation but they are working on ways to make searching for journals in IndexCat easier.

Still Scanning After All These Years: New Digital Projects from HMD
Stephen gave the presentation on new digital projects from the NLM History of Medicine Department (HMD). He started his talk by admitting that the search engine of the Medical Heritage Library is not the best, but it is being upgraded. As for the scanning, that it’s good. They use a Kirtas scanner. These scanners are pretty cool and can turn book pages on its own (check out some videos online, they are fun to watch), plus they have a cold light source so they are safe for the materials. HMD turn the pages by hand since many of their books are fragile and they don’t want to risk damaging the books. The scanner produces a tiff file which is then uploaded as a PDF.
Many people assume that the fragility of the materials would be the major issue, but in reality the main concern is copyright. If the NLM has a document you need that isn’t online they will scan on demand for DOCLINE requests. These requests usually only take about a week. One thing to note is that the entire book will be scanned and sent to you as a PDF even if only a chapter or a few pages were requested.
Due to the complexity of journal metadata, journals haven’t been scanned. This is changing very soon! Some journal scanning will be starting by the first week of June. They are also doing incunabula.

NLM Resources Used In Disasters
Elizabeth Norton, Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, and Maria Collins presented on using the NLM in disaster situations.

We all know that librarianship is a service oriented career. The Stafford Act federally recognized this by making libraries eligible for federal assistance for temporary facilities in case of a disaster.
The NLM Disaster Information Specialist Program provides “support for librarians providing disaster information outreach to their communities.” In the case of a disaster there are roles librarians can take. These include:
  • Aggregate information
  • Develop FAQs
  • Develop helpful apps
  • Act as call centers and charging stations
  • Monitor social media
  • Authenticate news and information
Next, Mary talked about the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) which was started after the Katrina disaster. Many major publishers provide resources for free to be used after a disaster. In order for the Initiative to be turned “on” at least 5 health sciences libraries in the area need to lose access to biomedical literature for at least two weeks. If these conditions are met then there is free access for four weeks with a possible renewal. An example is NYU which actually was not able to take advantage of this resource due to it’s local support. These materials are not open access, they are only for those impacted by the disaster. To date the EAI had been turned “on” five times:
  • Haiti 2010 earthquake
  • Pakistan 2010
  • Haiti 2010 cholera
  • Japan 2011
  • Philippians 2013

After all these occurrences the data was analyzed. It was seen that book literature was used more than journals. The most popular books were drug books and trauma books depending on the event. In the case of Japan radiation books were added. Data is analyzed after each event.

PubMed Update
Marie Collins gave us the update on PubMed. Some stats include: 23.7 records, 5667 journals, and mobile searches have increased to 430,000.
One problem that was talked about is that of disambiguating authors. One solution to this is adding affiliation information for all authors rather than just the lead author. You may not notice this at first since it is a collapsed option. You can easily open them up to find the information. You can also change a setting in MyNCBI to make the default not be collapsed. Another solution to the author problem is the unique author identifier which comes from the publisher. There is a new field to search this identifier. Finally, there is a “computed author” search. If you click on an authors name in an abstract you will get articles written by that same author.
Other upgrades:

  • The history function has been updated with the query now showing keywords rather than the search #.
  • You can now also delete individual searches from the history.
  • Recent activity is stored for six months and can be searched, sorted, and added to collections.
There are interface changes too:
  • Relevance sort!
    • The algorithm is available in Help for anyone to see
  • Cited by systematic reviews
    • In the right hand of results of results display
    • Links to resources that cite a study
  • LinkOut to PubMed Health
  • Schema:all
    • This “rescues zero results searches” by doing a modify search of all terms in all fields
    • Results in two searches showing up on the search history
  • Old Medline can be searched in two ways
    • Oldmedline[sb] searches the subset of 400,000
    • Jsubsetom searches entire two million
  • New catalog filter for journals currently indexed in Medline
  • PMCID-PMID-manuscript ID-DOI converter is available on the homepage

If you need any assistance the PubMed help desk is very helpful. Also keep your eye open for PubMed training classes.

PubMed Health
Hilda Bastian gave this presentation on PubMed Health. PubMed Health provides help with finding systematic reviews and help with understanding them. The PubMed Health collection consists of systematic reviews, knowledge translation, and education materials. Systematic reviews have a few basics that qualify them as systematic reviews:

  • Ask structured, pre-specified question
  • Have systematic methods
  • Methods aim to minimize bias
  • May or may not have quantitative synthesis / meta-analysis
The resources in PubMed Health come from a variety of places including DARE, Cochrane, and health technology assessment (HTA) agencies.


RDA One Year Later
Cataloging is not my area of expertise, so I am just going to provide some key points I got out of this presentation:
  • There were no catastrophic problems!
  • RDA is principle based rather than format based
  • RDA makes a true representation of an item
  • There was lots and lots of prep for implementation
    • Daily upload from LC authority files updated
  • Vocabulary changes were necessary for RDA
  • Guidelines are available in the RDA Toolkit


I really wish I had been able to attend all of the events, the NLM definitely puts on some great sessions.

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NLM Update

The NLM update was started off by the director of the NLM, Dr. Donald A. B. Lindberg. It has been a good year for NLM and MLA! We watched a Look Back- Move Forward video talking about what has been done at the NLM and the future holds. A side note from Dr Lindberg is his belief that patients need to be a full partner in their health.
We next learned about the Native Voices exhibition at the NLM which has been shared with native populations and will soon be available as a traveling exhibition. If you don’t know about the NLM traveling exhibition program check it out here.
Next we heard about the NLM bioinformatics course. The next classes will be September 14-20, 2014 and April 12-18, 2015. There is a new location for these classes in Brasstown Resort in Georgia. Two other events were also mentioned: The Health DataPalooza in DC June 1-3, 2014 and the Joseph Leiter Lecture held in Bethesda June 12, 2014.

The topic of data challenges was brought up with examples of genomic testing with food borne illnesses and community health assessments. We were reminded that the NLM provides supplements to research grants and this may be something some of us would want to look into. Some videos from the NYU health sciences library were mentioned as a good source of information. Check out their YouTube:

Joyce Backus was the next speaker and she started off with resource sharing. As mentioned in the DOCLINE users group blog post, DOCLINE requests have declined but we know that DOCLINE is still vital. See the blog post for more information. The statistic that MedlinePlus has increased in mobile use (26% to 40%) was also mentioned in the DOCLINE users group meeting. Joyce went into more detail talking about usability tests that showed that the mobile site was not meeting the demand. Due to this, the whole website is being updated to be a responsive design site. For those that don’t know, a responsive design site is one that adjusts to the size of different screens. So it is one site that works on desktops, tablets, phones, and laptops. The NLM is performing this upgrade on a variety of site including AIDSinfo, and PubReader already does this.

One of the last bits of the NLM update was a call for help. There is a Request For Information (RFI) on to get feedback and suggestions on the NNLM/RML. We were also reminded about the NLM’s outreach in the form of the traveling exhibitions, digital collections, and the new Circulating Now website.

We were given an update on staff including multiple new staff members and the Fellows. There is one individual retiring – Angela Ruffin. The session ended with Dixie Jones have Dr. Lindberg a framed resolution with a very long list of his many accomplishments.
Keep in touch with the NLM through email, and find them on twitter, and facebook!

All slides will be posted online after the conference.

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MLA is Winding Down, but the Quint Chapter Meeting Submission Deadline is Coming Up!

Registration is now open for the Quint-Essential Chapter Meeting, to be held October 12 through 16, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. This is a joint meeting of the Midcontinental Chapter of MLA (MCMLA), Medical Library Group of Southern California & Arizona (MLGSCA), Northern California & Nevada Medical Library Group (NCNMLG), Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA (PNCMLA), and South Central Chapter of MLA (SCCMLA). We have an exciting line-up of speakers and CE programs.

The first call has already gone out for posters and papers. Submissions are due no later than June 2nd.

Read more and register for this event on our website at

[Thanks to Ann Gleason for providing this information!]


DOCLINE Users Group Meeting

I was a few minuets late to the DOCLINE users group meeting since I couldn’t find the room. The first thing that was being stated when I walked in was who the RML contacts are. It was a repeated theme throughout the session that your RML is a great resource and they will help with questions or concerns. Next, we were told the numbers. Last year there were 1.41 million transactions using DOCLINE with a fill rate of 93% and an average number of routes being 1.3 libraries. The main number of the session was the number of libraries participating in DOCLINE. Participation has dropped by 173 libraries since last year. The number of requests last year also declined. This decline in the use of DOCLINE has been trending. For example, Lonesome Doc requests have declined 73% since 2002. Last year a decision was made to try and figure out what was happening. DOCLINE users participated in a survey and the results were presented at this meeting. Results of the survey point out that libraries have more and more access to full text literature, either through Open Access or through subscription packages. Patrons are also wanting instant access more and more. They go for an article that is full text immediately, rather than wait for DOCLINE, even though the wait isn’t that long. Other things shown by the survey are about library holdings. Ease of updating holdings in DOCLINE is problematic, decreasing its efficiency. This will be changed so that it is easier to update holdings. Other findings have to do with the shift from print to electronic that we all see happening. Only about 50% of DOCLINE libraries permit ILL with their electronic journals, and for many of us understanding the licenses that go along with electronic holdings is hard.
Conclusions to this study:
  • Access to historical literature is becoming more difficult due to the shift to electronic and slow process of scanning and uploading older material.
  • Collections as a whole are moving to be more electronic.
  • Licenses are challenging.
  • Users want “free” full text resources immediately.
  • Clinicians use point of care tools.
  • ILL methods are key for obtaining literature. The use is declining, but they are still key.
The other major part of this meeting was on the changes that are coming, including the release of DOCLINE 5.0 this August. Changes already in effect include an updated summary lender report and Lonesome Doc summary report. There was also a change to the routing table maintenance page to add an alert message reminding people to click “request approval” after updating their routing table. If approval is not requested, the changes entered in the routing table are not made.
The major changes are coming with DOCLINE 5.0. 5.0 will include a default value for the Lonesome Doc ship to field, so that you don’t have to change it every time. You will be able to set your default and then only have to change it when you need a location besides the default. Support for Internet Explorers 8 will continue till the end of the calendar year. Starting in 2015 support will only be for versions 9 and later. 5.0 will also include a monthly summary of institution activity. Reports will still be quarterly, but this summary will be available to see monthly statistics and performance numbers. A long desired change of adding an embargo field to serial holdings will also be included in 5.0. You can enter the embargo length in the field and if there is no embargo you can leave the field blank, or enter 0 months, whichever works best for your record keeping.
There are more changes in store beyond 5.0. Soon network members will have greater flexibility with how often it is necessary to log in. This means that those libraries that are not able to be open everyday can still participate in DOCLINE. There will be a calendar of days of service, and multiple periods of “out of office” can be entered at once. The uploading to serial holdings will become a simple file upload, and there will be short video tutorials for those who need training. Looking into the future beyond these changes are other plans. One idea is e-journal licensing assistance including training, a repository of language clauses, and possibly even group licenses. There will also be improved interoperability between DOCLINE and ILL vendors including ILLiad.
There are some really good changes coming. Remember, if you have any questions or comments, contact your RML!

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3rd Annual MLA Veggie Meet-Up on Monday

It’s that time again, time for the unofficial MLA veggie meet-up! This will be the 3rd annual veggie meet-up at MLA!

Date: Sunday May 18th Monday May 19th
Time: 12:00 CT
Where: Meet at convention center near MLA registration at 12:00 CT
Restaurant: Native Foods Cafe

Are you attending MLA in Chicago? Are you vegan or vegetarian? Or do you just love good food?

This year, due to its’ close proximity, we will be dining at Native Foods Cafe!

The restaurant is about a mile walk from the hotel. Or you can take public transit.

Remember Monday, May 19th at 12:00 central time at the convention center near MLA registration.

I’m also probably going to try out a few other places… like Do Rite Donuts for breakfast. So if you are interested in some other side trips let me know in the comments. I look forward to seeing everyone at MLA and the chance to chow down on some good veggie food!

*Note this is a meet-up invite and not sponsored by a vendor … which means no free food or drinks. Again, maybe next year? ;)

[Thanks to Alisha Miles for allowing us to copy and adapt her post here.]

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Welcome to Chicago!

The Local Area Committee would like to welcome all attendees to Chicago for MLA 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago! Enjoy your conference!

Find the information you need for MLA 2014 at the conference website and here at the MLA 2014 Conference Blog.

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MLA ’14 “Building Our Information Future” Program PDF Now Available

The full program for MLA ’14 is now available as a PDF at

If you are using a smartphone, you may want to save the file in advance for offline reading and easy access during the meeting rather than trying to load the file from the web each time. There are productivity and note-taking apps available for both Android and iOS phones with the capability to show PDF files offline, such as DropBox, GoogleDrive (set file as “Keep on Device”), Notability (especially if you want to mark it up), and Evernote. On iPhones, saving to iBooks is another option.

The online planner is also available and may be easier to read online, although it can be difficult to find the login link from some phones. If you have trouble accessing the login, go directly to to enter your email address and badge number.


2014 MLA Party with a Purpose Silent Auction and Live Auction Items Available for Browsing!

Let the Browsing Begin!!!

MLA 2014 Party with a Purpose Silent and Live Auction Items are up!
(Online bidding is not available).

The National Program Committee has had a generous response from individuals, libraries, MLA Sections and Chapters, and vendors! The auction items donated as of May 9 are listed on the website. Starting May 17 with the opening of the exhibits, bidding sheets will be with each Silent Auction Item and the Silent Auction will be near Registration. The Live Auction at the Party with a Purpose on Tuesday, May 20 (must have a ticket to party to bid) will be around 8:15 with our fantastic auctioneer Clinton “Marty” Thompson, Jr., AHIP, coming out of retirement to lead the bidding.

Live Auction items are:

  • Hyatt gift card $200 – Hyatt Fulfillment of Maryland
  • Kindle and trial access to Scopus – Elsevier
  • Limited edition 12-inch fine art ($495 value) print from artist’s portfolio – Thomas Fallon Photography
  • One Paid Registration with guaranteed spot ($500 value) to University of Pittsburgh’s HSLS Systematic Review Workshop – Health Science Library System, University of Pittsburgh
  • One room, two-night hotel stay ($800 value) – Manhattan Midtown East – Public Services Section

Check back as additional items may be added!

NOTE the following!

  • Closing Bids for some Silent Auction items will be taken at 10:30 am on MONDAY, May 19.
  • Closing Bids for the rest of the Silent Auction items will be taken at 10:30 am on Tuesday, May 20.

If you are the winning bidder, plan to pay for your item and pick it up no later than Tuesday, May 20 at 4 pm!! Cash, checks and Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover will be accepted for payment.

Current donations from Sections for bragging rights are between:

  • History of the Health Sciences Section of the Medical Library Association
  • Hospital Libraries Section of the Medical Library Association
  • International Cooperation Section of the Medical Library Association
  • Public Services Section of the Medical Library Association

Current donations from Chapters for bragging rights are between:

  • Midwest Chapter/MLA
  • Northern California and Nevada Medical Library Group/MLA

Current donations from Libraries for bragging rights are between:

  • University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries
  • Health Science Library System, University of Pittsburgh

Current donations from Vendors for bragging rights are between:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Matthews Medical Books
  • Scopus – Elsevier
  • Wolper Information Services

Which MLA Section or Chapter, Library, or Vendor will come out on top and be listed in the MLA Focus and MLA News? Only your bids will make the decision.

[Thanks to Julia M. Esparza and Erinn Aspinall, Co-chairs, Party with a Purpose Committee, of the 2014 National Program Committee for providing this information!]

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Relevant Issues Section Service Project: Toiletries Donation

The Relevant Issues Section is pleased to announce a project to collect donations for Sarah’s Circle, a non-profit agency that serves women who are homeless or at risk. Located in Chicago’s Uptown Community, Sarah’s Circle has provided support for thousands of women since 1979.

Sarah’s Circle has a Daytime Support Center open to any woman in need, a 50-bed interim housing (shelter) program for women who are currently homeless, and permanent supportive housing for women who have a disabling condition and have been chronically homeless.

Items they need most are:

  • Travel size toiletries (deodorant, soap, etc.)
  • Tampons and pads
  • Denture cleaner

MLA 2014 attendees are invited to pack a little extra and help out Sarah’s Circle. Extra toiletries from your hotel room may also be donated. Donation bins will be located in the registration area. Thanks for your contributions.

[Thanks to Pat Devine for providing this information!]

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Play a Game, Meet New People, Win!

Are you a natural at introducing yourself to new people at MLA? Or do you need tricks and goals to make yourself reach out? This year, you can meet new people by playing a game!

Discussion by the Thursday night #medlibs chat group on Twitter has led to the creation of a Bingo-type game in which you will mark off squares by introducing yourself to people!

Attendees will get Bingo cards and seek out the people on their cards. Those people sign will off when they’ve met. If you sign up to participate, your name will be on the Bingo cards and you will sought out by members old and new.

Although the idea originated via Twitter, it’s not restricted to users of the social network. If you don’t have a Twitter account and don’t want to create one, just enter your real name – you can play at MLA regardless.

Sign up to participate and have people seeking you out by adding your Twitter or real name to this Google form.

Cards will be distributed by Marie Ascher (@mascher) at the Welcome Reception & New Members Breakfast. Beth Whipple (@beffuh) will also have cards.

The deadline for signing up to participate is midnight on Monday, May 12. We hear there might even be prizes. :)

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