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Thank You for a Great MLA ’14!

To wrap up this year’s meeting blog, I’d like to issue thanks to the National Program Committee, Local Assistance Committee, MLA leadership, and everyone else who contributed to planning a terrific 2014 meeting for MLA. Big thanks also go to the bloggers who contributed posts here during the meeting. To everyone who contributed in any way to MLA ’14, we can’t thank you enough for your hard work.

To check out sessions you missed, log in at with your email and MLA ’14 badge number, then locate the programs you’re interested in. Slides, audio, and/or video are available for many programs, as is a searchable gallery of the posters presented.

So, who’s ready for Austin? :)

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Monday and Tuesday Sunrise Seminars Review

There is always a day at MLA when it all gets away from me. I get so caught up in the paper sessions, visiting posters, and meeting with vendors that I forget to blog. Monday was that day for me this year. So I apologize for not getting you an early morning preview. But I did attend two awesome Sunrise Seminars.

On Monday I attended Swets’s Coffee Talk which was focused on patient-centered care. As a clinical librarian, I’m always looking for new ways to get involved indirectly with patient care so this was clearly of interest to me. It turned out to be an awesome session because Swets was interested in hearing what we had to say for once. They did share some information about their products but they really wanted to know what we thought and how we could apply it in our institution. I’ve never been asked to really give feedback like that and I really appreciated it. They also gave out Starbucks gift cards to those of us who were able to contribute to the conversation at 7:00 AM. I thought that was a nice touch. There was a huge breakfast spread which I also really appreciated. Note to vendors: it’s the little things that matter to us – asking us questions, giving us participation gifts, and providing us with terrific breakfasts. :)

The conversation was very good and lots of different sorts of librarians had lots to contribute. I got a couple of great ideas for new ways to get involved in patient care, how to better incorporate myself into IT, and I was very interested in how Swets was helping librarians with their statistics and usage so we can better present it to those that make the decisions and give us money. Overall, I was glad this was the Sunrise Seminar I chose to attend and it was definitely worth getting up so early.

Tuesday I joined pretty much everyone else at the Cochrane Sunrise Seminar. The seminar was presented by a librarian who doesn’t work for Cochrane (although she had in the past). I enjoy hearing from librarians at these sorts of things because I know that the information I’m getting is relevant and not just a sales pitch. I guess Wiley doesn’t really need to pitch Cochrane since it’s so popular as demonstrated by the huge attendance.

I was most interested in Cochrane’s Journal Club. It’s apparently been around for awhile, but since I only just got involved in my hospital’s Internal Medicine residency program’s journal club, I had never heard about it. I think looking at a Cochrane review would be a nice change of pace, plus Cochrane has already put together lots of information like PowerPoint slides, discussion questions, and a podcast. That’s way more than what our normal journal club discussions include, so I’m sure our chief residents and program director will like this idea since it will take some of the burden off of them. I love being able to take ideas like this home and I’m looking forward to sharing this idea.

If you attended any of the Sunrise Seminars on Monday or Tuesday, what did you think? Please share in the comments!

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NLM Theater presentations in booth #326

Today is the last day that the exhibit hall is open (10am – 3pm) so make sure to visit any exhibitors that you have missed.

Yesterday I attended one of the PubMed Update presentations at the NLM theater in the exhibit hall. Some highlights:

-In the last year daily mobile searches have increased from approximately 175,000 to 430,000!

-Affiliations for all authors are now being collected to allow for disambiguation of authors. Additionally, for those who don’t know what an ORCID iD is, authors are being encouraged to register for a persistent unique identifier. Learn more here:

-PubMed now provides a “rescue search” for failed initial searches which searches all fields.

Aside from the 10:30 NLM update in the grand ballroom, here are the times of the NLM theater presentations today:

10:00 am RDA One Year Later
11:30 am MedlinePlus: Usability, Mobile & Responsive Design
Noon Beau-TOX: TOXNET Gets a Facelift
12:30 pm The ACA, Hospital Community Benefit and Needs Assessment: NLM Resources
1:00 pm NLM Resources & Electronic Health Records: MedlinePlusConnect, RxNorm & UMLS
1:30 pm My NCBI Update: SciENcv & NIH Public Access
2:00 pm PubMed Update
2:30 pm PubMed Health Update


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ClinicalAccess: Targeted Answers. Better Patient Care.

The new kid on the point-of-care (POC) block is McGraw Hill’s ClinicalAccess which is making a debut at the MLA conference this year. If you’re interested in seeing a demo of the new product there are three remaining demos left: 2pm and 4pm today, and 11am on Tuesday. I spoke with a representative who gave me a short demo and conveyed a few facts about the resource: ClinicalAccess contains answers to 120,000+ clinical questions which are written by doctors. The tool is designed for doctors and med students to use at the point of care. As expected, most of the answers are sourced from McGraw-Hill content and the company is working on being able to link out directly to the cited source. For example, if Harrison’s is listed as reference for one of the writeups, then you will be launched directly into that chapter or chapter section.

The McGraw-Hill booth.

The McGraw-Hill booth.


The remaining ClinicalAccess are taking place at 2pm and 4pm today and 11am on Tuesday.

The remaining ClinicalAccess demonstrations are taking place at 2pm and 4pm Monday afternoon and 11am on Tuesday.

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Highlights from Sunday’s Poster Session

This Sunday kicked off MLA’s poster sessions.  There were 75 excellent presenters, and only one hour to try to talk to them all!  While I wasn’t able to talk to every presenter in great detail, here are a few highlights from Sunday’s session:

Familiar with flash mobs?  How about FlashClass?  Inspired by flash mobs, Groupon, and popup retail, the librarians at the University of Pittsburgh experimented with ways to revitalize their instruction program by offering “flash classes”, sending out notices of class offerings no more than a week in advance.  Classes were only held if at least three registrants signed up, with the librarian doing just-in-time prep and teaching the class; if minimum registration was not met, the topic was recycled and saved for another date.  Check the poster out here.

Do you work in an academic library, and you’re considering moving to a single service desk?  A Road Map to Creating Capacity in Education and Reference tells the story of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Library’s planning and implementation of a single service desk as well as exploration of different virtual reference services in order to provide better service and support to their constituents. The project resulted in an increase in team productivity as well as efficiency, and an increase in reference statistics!

Interested in learning more about Altmetrics, and how they stack up against standard metrics such as the citation index?  This poster compared the altmetrics score versus Scopus citation metrics of tenure-track faculty publications at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  Articles from 2009 to 2013 that were either peer-reviewed or invited editorials were compared, and the top 25 articles were closely evaluated. The investigators found that articles of a clinical nature had the top altmetric scores, and that there was a slight positive trend between the altmetric scores versus impact factor and Scopus times cited.  Ultimately, it is very difficult to compare altmetrics to traditional metrics, and the impact of altmetrics on scholarly communication will continue to evolve as time goes on.

Thinking about getting a 3D printer in your library? Take a look at Building for Innovation with Library-Hosted 3D Printing and Scanning. The University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries began this project to identify local uses among clinicians, researchers, educators, and students for 3D printing. The library was able to purchase a Makerbot Replicator 2 model, which heats plastic filament to 230 degrees Celsius in order to print 3D models. Hannah Norton, the point person on the project, informed me that their 3D printing services were just rolled out to the public 3 weeks ago, and personally I can’t wait to hear more about what the library users are printing!

There were so many interesting posters within the first session on a wide variety of topics, and I wish I could write about all 75! If you would like to browse through the available posters, check the online scheduler for a list of all available abstracts as well as e-posters.  Take a look, and see what your colleagues have been up to!




Consider Getting More Involved in MLA than Just An Annual Meeting Goer

You know that MLA offers you membership in a professional organization of your trade, ethical code of conduct, certification, CE opportunities, having a mentor and an info-filled packed schedule at the chapter and national level. Taking advantage of all those things, is quite fine, but I suggest MLA would mean more to you if you were more involved, like serving on a committee or taskforce. I have served on many of the Awards Juries, and it was a pleasure to distribute monies to well-deserving people. Deadline for completing the application for MLA Committee work is October 31st. What about moderating or recording a discussion at the ChapterSharing Roundtables? Pick a topic and write a couple of questions to get started and help the flow of the conversation. I have moderated tables on Hospital Librarianship, EBM, and Marketing. You get to meet old friends and make new ones.  My colleagues and I at the Hospital Libraries table today had a lively discussion in which each participated. We all walked away with new pearls of wisdom. Have a good idea that can be visualized in the poster format? All you need is aims, objectives and methods for your project for the abstract judging. If there is space, most poster abstracts are expected. This year there were 226 poster abstract submissions and 225 accepted. Daina Bouquin and I staffed our poster today on using PiktoChart to create infographics. Our sample infographic contained data from the Sollenberger JF and Holloway RG Jr. paper in JAMA and data from the Rochester and King and Values study. We had a steady stream of customers asking great questions and leaving favorable comments. Also this meeting for the first time instead of the Section Shuffle, most Sections and Chapters made a poster about their group. Section Council will welcome your comments. Remember you can sign up for free Section membership for the rest of the year at the Section Council table across from the MLA Scholarship Booth in the exhibit hall. Have something to share that is more complicated and fits into the Programs themes? Submit an abstract for a paper. Indeed this is more competitive, but worth a try. For this meeting 223 papers were submitted and 95 accepted. Sections know to write broad theme statements to attract lots of abstracts. You take from MLA and you give to MLA. Besides if you are more involved you can wear more ribbons on your badge.  People stop me because I have 5 ribbons on my badge. I am delighted to explain I am a Section officer (Chair of the Hospital Libraries Section), Mentor to several through MLA mentoring database and Colleague Connection at this Meeting, an official blogger talking about things from a Distinguished Member point of view, a presenter of a poster and as many of you know I retired from Weill Cornell Medical Library on April 18, 2014. Consider getting more involved in MLA than just than just an Annual Meeting Goer.

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Come see the International Cooperation Section programs!

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This is an exciting year for the International Cooperation Section: it’s our 25th anniversary!  The business meeting was abuzz some of the amazing achievements that have occurred over the years, including this past year.  The plan for 2014/2015 is an exciting one and it’s so much fun to be a part of this section!

If you missed the meeting, I recommend attending the International Visitors Reception this evening Sunday, May 18 from 6-7 pm for a look back at ICS’ accomplishments and eat some birthday cake!  The reception will be followed by a Dining Circle at Bandera for food and live Jazz.  Please email Martha Knuth if you would like to join us at Bandera.

Also, plan on attending the ICS Section Program M-Health and Information Innovations: Making an Impact in Global Health” (Monday, May 19, 10:30-11:55am).  There is a fabulous line up of speakers and a discussion and Dining Circle at the Atwood Café afterwards. Please email Martha Knuth if you would like to join us at the Atwood.

Of particular interest in the upcoming year for ICS is the MLA/ICS International Job Exchange.  There will be an Open Forum to promote the program, answer questions, and get feedback on Tuesday, May 20 at 3:30-4:25pm.  Please plan on attending if you or your institution is interested in participating in the exchange of medical librarians internationally!


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Making the most of MLA: a brief New Members guide

Welcome, new member!

So, this is your first MLA… or maybe your second.  You’ve picked up your badge and are flipping through the program, trying to figure out how to get from one session in the West Tower to the next one in the East.  Right there with you!  So, aside from reading this blog (you’re here, so you already know how much great information there is on here), how do you make the most of this experience?  Here are some brief tips that may help:

  1. Say hello to the people next to you.  Share your interests.  Exchange business cards.  You’re here for more or less the same reason, and you never know who might turn out to be a great mentor, collaborator, and/or friend.
  2. Ditto for the session presenters.  They’d love to know what you are taking away from their presentation.
  3. Ditto for the poster presenters.
  4. Stop.  Go back to 1 through 3.  They bear repeating.
  5. Attend the New Members SIG Business Meeting today (Sunday) at 3:30pm, Columbian Room, Bronze Level, West Tower.  We’d love to meet you and could really use your help in the coming year.
  6. Attend other SIG and/or Section Business Meetings.  Talk to the other members and find a way to get involved.
  7. Take a break every day!  Give yourself some downtime, grab a beverage of choice and recharge your batteries.
  8. Use the #mlanet14 backchannel on Twitter to listen to and take part in conversations about the conference
  9. Use the Healthcare Hashtag Project to get even more out of the backchannel (current feed, top influencers, even a transcript)
  10. Attend at least one social event in the evenings (don’t know about any?  Use the backchannel to ask!)
  11. Keep a conference journal, or at least jot down notes and go over them each evening.  Everything goes by so quickly, this will help you remember the good stuff.
  12. Make a to-do list for yourself for when you get back.  Use the ideas and inspiration you get from being here!
  13. Wander through the exhibits hall.  Thank the vendors for being here.  Take some cool swag.
  14. Start planning for next year’s conference.  Look for calls for posters, presentations, bloggers, etc.  Follow your Sections and SIGs.  Follow up with the people you met.

I’m sure there’s more, but I know the other bloggers have this covered, so scroll on down for more great tips.  Have a fantastic MLA!


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A Library Student at MLA ’14 – Pacing Myself

I have heard several of my medical librarian colleagues commenting on how it is necessary to pace yourself when attending the MLA Conference.

Yesterday I felt like I jumped into the deep end of the pool with a sink-or-swim attitude.  Today was no different, but I am learning to take the time to enjoy being here, while not being in a frenzy.  There is so much to see and do on the MLA Schedule and in Chicago, that it is tempting to try to do it all, see it all and understand it all.  Not possible.

Here’s my rule of thumb: when all three of your mobile devices shut down you should probably lie down too and take a rest while they are recharging.

When you wake up ask yourself what is possible to accomplish during MLA 14?  Here’s what I’m doing: making some connections, having some conversations, taking notes on Google Docs, gathering business cards and emails, and stopping by interesting Chicago places, if only for a moment.

Here’s my list of things that I’ve enjoyed so far, starting with a few tips on Chicago:

Food: I love Indian food and had a great lunch buffet at Gaylord Fine Indian Cuisine about a 20 minute walk north on Michigan Avenue at Walton Street.  The food was well done and there were plenty of vegetarian options.  About 10 people waited on me, but the buffet was only $13.95.  For dessert they had the best gulab jamun I have ever tasted.

Sightseeing:  My nephew who lives here in downtown Chicago said that if you want to view the city from the Hancock Tower, it is a better deal to go to the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor and buy a $10 drink than to pay the same money to go to the observation deck.  We went there last night and the views were awesome, as well as the Tanqueray and tonic!

If you find yourself up by Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine for a hands on CE class, stop by the Museum of Contemporary Art, just across the street.  Right now they have an exhibit of Zachary Cahill’s work which explores the “implications of art as a therapeutic exercise.”  I enjoyed a 30 minute art therapy session after my CE class this morning.

CE Courses:  Technology was the theme of my continuing education courses today.  At 7 am a group of MLA attendees gathered in the lobby and walked about 12 blocks (20 minutes) north along Michigan Avenue (not stopping to shop) to Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.  There I attended CE202: Breaking an Electronic Health Record (EHR) System: a sandbox workshop by PJ Grier from NNLM/SEA.  Once again I was overwhelmed with excellent and idea-provoking information.  Wireless and personalized medicine (a la Dr. Eric Topol)?  The necessity of the librarian to advocate for a defined role in the Electronic Health Record? Meaningful Use 1, 2 and 3? HIMSS? Health Level Seven?  Took notes so I can read up on all this fascinating and important information!!!  Not to mention taking some time to explore a freely available sample EHR system in Practice Fusion.

Then a quick walk back to the Hyatt for CE501-Information at Your Fingertips: Tablet Technology by Emily Hurst of NNLM/SCR.  I did not know about all the mobile sites and mobile apps that the NLM makes available for us: Also going to spend some time looking at Bloomin’ Apps (iPad Apps to support Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy) and the Padagogy Wheel which “shows teachers that the pedagogy should drive the technology and not the other way around.”

So that is why I am now resting and reflecting on the day, while everything recharges.  (Good thing my Chromebook can recharge while I type!)  My second day at MLA ’14 is in the books, and I paced myself – didn’t go back for seconds at the Indian buffet – and satisfied myself with taking notes, knowing that I’ll have time when I get home to review it all at leisure.  Now, let me check my devices to see if they’re recharged yet . . .



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Free Sunrise Yoga Class on Sunday

Sunrise Yoga
Sunday, May 18, 7-8:55, Hyatt Regency, Buckingham Room
Sponsored by the Complementary and Alternative Medicine SIG and co-sponsored by the Hospital Libraries Section
No registration required

Do you want to rejuvenate your mind and body? Attend the Sunrise Yoga Class, open to all and will be oriented toward all levels as a nice respite away from during MLA ’14.

This one-hour class will be led by Daina R. Bouquin, MLIS, CAS. The Data & Metadata Services Librarian at Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University, Daina is also an experienced yoga instructor in Kripalu and Hatha yoga.

Wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat, if you have one.

Three new yoga mats will be given to class participants through a free raffle during class!

Any donations will go toward support of the instructor, but the class is free and welcomes everyone.

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