Organizational Structure: What Really Works?
Happy New Year! My best wishes for a healthy, happy, prosperous year ahead for everyone; and a productive, efficient, effective year to come for your libraries.
Organizational change and its close collaborator re-organization have been on my mind lately. They are always on my mind, as change is constant, even insistent, in library work. Re-organizations happen, often quickly, with operational task refinements, policy development, staff changes, budget changes, and swift pursuit of emerging opportunities. Re-organization can also be a deliberate process, such as succession planning, or a deliberate investigation into organizational options to improve what works but could work even better.
The most basic – and most important – goal in a deliberate re-organization is to remove the obstacles that impede a workplace being productive, efficient, and effective in its entirety. What will work to encourage getting things done in a timely way? Is the current structure too hierarchical, with many steps to climb and then descend to reach a decision? Is it too centralized, with many consultations and reminders from the perimeter to the center before an action is taken? Is it too autonomous or too decentralized, both of which can create siloed units, and therefore requiring too much relationship building, negotiation, and communication to carry out the work in a timely way? Is there an organizational structure that really works? Read the rest of this entry »
The National Agricultural Library (NAL) has unveiled PubAg, a user-friendly search engine that gives the public enhanced access to research published by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. NAL is part of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
PubAg, which can be found at PubAg.nal.usda.gov, is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014. New articles by USDA researchers will be added almost daily, and older articles may be added if possible. There is no access fee for PubAg. Read the rest of this entry »
By Rachel Sindelar
Health Sciences Librarian
Broadlawns Medical Center Library, Des Moines, IA
I manage the library at a county medical center serving 70% or more low income patients, many with low literacy levels and do not speak English. Wait times for overextended hospital translators is a challenge and so is the lack of mobile technology, plus many hospital rooms do not have computers. The hospital’s Clinical Educator had recognized a disconnect between a patient’s bedside need and access to quality health education materials appropriate for patient reading abilities and native language so I was determined to help. I began promoting library subscription and free foreign language and low literacy level patient education materials to the clinical staff. My efforts were bolstered when our institution became a lucky recipient of a 2014/2015 GMR Technology Improvement Award. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you know that the National Library of Medicine provides free access to vocabulary standards, applications, and related tools that can be used to meet US EHR certification criteria and to achieve Meaningful Use of EHRs? Resources either created by or supported by NLM can be used for providing patient-specific education materials, e-prescribing, and creating, exchanging, and interpreting standardized lists of problems, medications, and test results. Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), RxNorm, SNOMED CT® – Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terminology®, and
LOINC® – Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes are all linked from the URL: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/healthit/meaningful_use.html.
By Anna Ercoli Schnitzer
Taubman Health Sciences Library
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan’s Veterans Week this year was better than ever. In addition to the extended (3-day) Marine Birthday Run and the ceremonial flag raising, there was the Army-Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game held at Crisler Center, full of military pomp and circumstance. On hand were an Army band, an honorary marshall, the UM Dance Team and Cheerleaders and a full array of wonderful athletes–both wheelchair users and others–as well an enthusiastic crowd. For the first time, Coach Beilein and a number of the UM basketball team players attended and played a part in inspiring the wheelchair players in the event as well. Read the rest of this entry »
By Tyler Nix
Attending the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association annual meeting was a rewarding and energizing experience. There were so many opportunities to learn and connect with colleagues. The weekend was ideal for engaging in self-discovery.
I was fortunate to attend Continuing Education sessions led by Jacqueline Leskovec, Dr. Diane Rein, and Mark Berendsen and Linda O’Dwyer. Each of the sessions was engaging and informative. The poster session provided a chance to build presentation experience, and the many conversations and helpful suggestions I received there were invaluable. Read the rest of this entry »
By Juan Armijo
What an enjoyable experience! For a double novice in the field of library science and medical/health science librarianship—this was a phenomenal learning experience. Visiting a new state and meeting new people made for great memories. My interest in health science librarianship began with a health science librarianship course I took in my graduate program at the University of Kentucky. When I graduate next semester I hope to use what I have learned in the school library-and from there a possible transition. A reflective view of the conference includes: Read the rest of this entry »
By Kris Glodoski Wolf
The theme of the annual Midwest Chapter Medical Library Association (MLA) meeting, Come west and explore!, was particularly apt for me this year as I wrapped up three and a half years of library school just two months before Bismarck. I began library school with very little direction, yet ended with a dedication to understanding consumer health information in the greater context of libraries and the community. Newly graduated and six weeks into a new job – my first with the title, “Librarian” – the conference was perfectly timed as I embarked on a new chapter of my professional journey.
I will be honest and say that I was nervous to go to North Dakota; I was traveling alone and knew no one else attending the conference. While I was prepared to take in as much as I could from the speakers and sessions and learn from experts in the field, I anticipated spending evenings in my hotel room working rather than networking [translation: I was feeling preemptively shy]. Sitting in the Minneapolis terminal waiting to board the second of my two flights to Bismarck, I soon realized that I was surrounded by other traveling librarians and I had two options: 1) sit quietly disengaged with my iPhone and wait for the formal “meet and greet” or 2) say hello to those around me and begin conversations that might continue over the coming days… Thankfully, I chose that latter option. By taking a moment to introduce myself to individuals in the terminal or start a conversation with the person sitting next to me on the plane (who turned out to be another scholarship awardee), I was suddenly no longer alone. By taking a very small risk, I was actively engaged with colleagues before even stepping foot into the conference hotel lobby. Read the rest of this entry »
University of Kentucky
School of Library and Information Science
Attending the Midwest Chapter Meeting was an opportunity to “Come west and explore!” and it did not disappoint! I was able to gather new ideas, meet new people, travel to new places, explore my chosen career, and discover more about myself and future career.
Thanks to this conference I have obtained a better understanding of all the facets involved in medical librarianship. I had the opportunity to meet outreach, hospital, academic, and consumer health librarians. I attended the keynote speakers, campfire discussion on resume/CV building, poster presentations, and paper discussions. I was able to renew relationships as well as engage with new acquaintances. Don Jason, whom I met last year at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) while completing a spring break internship, presented a paper at a discussion session which I found extremely interesting. I work on outreach ventures as the Marketing and Extension Graduate Assistant for the Agricultural Library on the University of Kentucky’s campus. It was interesting to learn that issues facing outreach librarians are universal. During this paper session, I was also able to listen to how a neighboring library system, the University of Louisville, is partnering with local hospitals to provide health library services. Read the rest of this entry »