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Updated MedlinePlus Connect Documentation

MedlinePlus Connect recently updated the documentation for its users. Revised pages are the overview, technical information and the users page. New pages include How MedlinePlus Connect Works and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). With these pages, commonly asked questions are answered, and a few new graphics are added.

If you experience problems with ICD-10-CM queries to MedlinePlus Connect, please check that your query is correct and includes this string: mainSearchCriteria.v.cs=2.16.840.1.113883.6.90

GMR Sponsored Sites for 2015 MLA Webinars

Congratulations to the following sites that the GMR is sponsoring for the final  upcoming 2015 MLA webinars:

Webinar: Instructional Design for Medical Librarians
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., CT
More information

  • IL: University of Chicago, John Crerar Library
  • IA: University of Iowa, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences
  • KY: University of Kentucky, Medical Center Library
  • MI: Oakland University, William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • MN: University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Health Sciences Libraries
  • ND: North Dakota State University, Main Library
  • WI: Medical College of Wisconsin, Libraries

Webinar: Precision Medicine: What Is It and Why Should I Care?
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., CT
More information

  • KY: University of Louisville, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library
  • MI: Western Michigan Health Sciences Libraries Association (WMHSLA)
  • MN: University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Health Sciences Libraries
  • ND: University of North Dakota, Library of the Health Sciences

Webinar: Clinical E-Resources and EHR System Integration
Date/Time: Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., CT
More information

This completes the webinars funded for the 2015 MLA Webinar series. For the first events funded, see: GMR Sponsored Sites for August MLA Webinars

Enjoy these webinars and we look forward to offering site sponsorships for the MLA Spring Webcast in 2016.

Louisville: Welcome to the Midwest-MLA

By Samuel Watson
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Seeing that I am still in the fledgling stage of my library science education the Midwest-MLA conference in Louisville loomed large. These conference goers are my soon-to-be co-workers, colleagues, and cohorts. I did not want to make a fool of myself, and fortunately, my worries were unfounded. The librarians that make up the Midwest Chapter of the MLA are a tightly knit and congenial group. Any potential introverts do not stay so for long at a conference like this.

Here are my experiences of the people I met, the knowledge they shared, and the concepts I learned: Xiaomei Gu from Hardin Library was kind enough to take me under her wing as a mentee. Her expertise as a pharmacy school liaison closely aligns with my career aspirations. The breadth of Xiaomei’s research via her numerous posters encouraged me to get involved with publishing. One of her posters: “Introducing Embase to the college of Pharmacy through Active Learning Activities” introduced me to a pharmacy database I didn’t even know existed, Embase. I thank Xiaomei for the generosity of her time.
Amy Blevins, from Hardin Library, and Michelle Kraft, from Cleveland Clinic, offered a wealth of advice for this nearly new library science graduate. There are numerous pitfalls to avoid and any edge I can find in the job application game is greatly appreciated. Getting a job now seems much more attainable with the prolific do and don’t list I received from these librarians. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Community at the 2015 Midwest Chapter MLA Conference

By Samantha Mosby
University of Illinois

This 2015 Midwest Chapter MLA Conference marked not only my first MLA conference, but my first ever professional librarian conference. I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement as I traveled to Louisville, but the nerves quickly dispelled. From my very first introduction to a fellow conference attendee I felt welcomed and encouraged, which I found to be the overall atmosphere of the Midwest Chapter conference. The conference affirmed my intentions to pursue a career in medical librarianship.

Professionally, I hope to work as an outreach librarian, and I paid particular attention to the posters, papers, and presentations related to this topic. They gave me a better idea of what the real-world applications of my knowledge could be like. The different perspectives they offered provided helpful insight into the challenges of health literacy outreach. I especially enjoyed “People Centered Health Care: Consumer Health Librarians on the Front Line.” The community-based approaches for health literacy and consumer health services illustrate important ways librarians can add value to healthcare. I attended the continuing education class “Emerging Technology” and I enjoyed learning about technologies that I could use personally and professionally.

I enjoyed working at the GMR exhibit booth as I met librarians who shared advice and experiences with me. The professionals were eager to meet me and learn about my interests. From the friendly faces at the conference, I learned about the many different paths possible in medical librarianship. The mentor/mentee match up helped me make new connections. My mentor, Deborah Lauseng, went out of her way to answer my questions. I appreciated meeting librarians early in their careers as well as those farther advanced. The early career librarians gave me great information about what my first job out of school may be like and those more advanced in their careers gave me something to aspire to. Read the rest of this entry »

Looking to the Future: Reflections on the 2015 Midwest MLA Chapter Meeting

By Matthew Noe
University of Kentucky

As this was my first experience with a professional conference in the field of librarianship, I came into this year’s Midwest Chapter MLA annual meeting both excited for the chance to learn and a little nervous as I was unsure what to expect. As it turned out, there was little need for the nervousness as those I met and spoke to – ranging from my mentor Jacqueline Leskovec at the National Network to the other students in attendance – were kind, open, and enthusiastic about their work and the future. I daresay the experience has left me with new relationships that will only continue to flourish as time rolls on.Midwest MLA Poster Noe

The conference also marked the first time I have presented my own work to a group of professionals via a poster session, and in this case I was presenting in both a collaborative effort with Robert Shapiro and Teresa McGinley (Information Access and State Public Health: Missed Opportunity or Miscommunication), as well as with my own work (Graphic Medicine and Medical Libraries: A New Opportunity). This was a highly rewarding experience, as there was more interest in my work than I had imagined and some wonderful conversations arose during the poster sessions. Of special note to me was the work done by Mary Beth Riedner with her poster Reaching Out to Persons with Dementia through Library Resources – a perfect example of library outreach done well.

I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a Continuing Education course titled Emerging Technology for the Busy Librarian during the conference as well, taught by Gabriel Rios and Melissa De Santis. While I am myself still a student, I have had to make use of the technology available in my work at the reference desk and this course provided me with some new resources to consider in the future that I may not have known about otherwise. I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that some of this technology surprised me – such as Bluetooth location technology inside the library – and gave me great pause when considering the ethical implications. Read the rest of this entry »

Redefining Medical Librarianship

By Teresa McGinley
University of Kentucky

I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM GMR) provides in the Student Outreach Award. Being able to attend the 2015 Midwest Medical Library Association Meeting allowed me my first glimpse of what this profession is like beyond my internship and courses at the University of Kentucky. It was a chance to network with librarians and other professionals from all over our region – people who I had heard of in passing or those I follow on Twitter. I was even retweeted by Michelle Kraft, which for any health sciences librarian is a total squee! moment.

My mentor was Beth Layton, the Associate Director of the NN/LM GMR, and she took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with me, have tea, and discuss the profession, our backgrounds, and thoughts for the future. This really demonstrated how invested the GMR is in the future of the profession. I also had a chance to present two posters, one on my own and one with two colleagues at UK. The poster session was a wonderful experience; no one was too busy to stop and talk about the posters and give or ask for ideas. Dr. Altman’s keynote echoed a call to arms against the publishing industry and was an eye-opening look from the journalism side of publishing spectrum. Spending time manning the NN/LM GMR booth was a great opportunity to see what services and outreach the NLM is doing. Read the rest of this entry »

My 2015 Midwest Chapter Experience

By Pa Thao
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Attending my first Midwest Chapter/MLA annual meeting was a rewarding, exciting, and eye-opening experience. Through the mentor/mentee program, I met numerous librarians and current students with whom I could share experiences and advice. My mentor, Jennifer Deberg, was an excellent person to talk to. She made sure all my questions were answered and that I was comfortable attending the workshops and sessions.

I particularly enjoyed the poster sessions. I liked that there were a mix of professionals, and it was enlightening to hear their perspectives on some of the challenges we all encounter while working with families or individuals who are not health literate. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the annual meeting to present my very own poster. The poster session was a good opportunity to present myself and my project, make contacts, and get useful feedback. One of the things I really enjoyed about doing a poster session is that the presenter is competing for the audience’s time. This forces the presenter to capture the visitor and communicate the message quickly and succinctly. Presenting a poster was definitely challenging but yet very informative and rewarding. Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming Changes to MedlinePlus Connect URLs

Hello, MedlinePlus Connect users!

MedlinePlus Connect is changing its base URLs from http to https. The new base URL for the web application is The new base URL for the web service is

If you are using either of our APIs with http, please update your code to use https by December 31, 2015. After that date, http access will be disabled.

As before, the documentation for MedlinePlus Connect is on

Thanks for using MedlinePlus Connect!


Rex Robison, PhD, MLS, AHIP
Technical Lead, MedlinePlus Connect
National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

The NExT Project: Phase 1 Finally Complete – Well Almost!

By Carmen Howard
Regional Health Sciences Librarian & Visiting Assistant Professor
UIC Library of the Health Sciences Peoria

Next Logo



In May of 2014, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Library of the Health Sciences was privileged to receive a Target Outreach Award from the Greater Midwest Region. We knew our Nursing Experts: Translating the Evidence project, otherwise known as NExT, was a big undertaking, but we were excited to get started. We had a 12-member team of nurses and librarians ready to begin teaching evidence based public health and how to find high-quality, free government resources. Our idea was to divide the state into regions with a ‘local’ team in each region. After all, we had 2 universities, 4 libraries, and 5 cities with faculty that had agreed to participate. The Western Illinois University School of Nursing would be joining the UIC libraries and UIC College of Nursing in this effort. The plan was to conduct workshops at various health departments, as well as at a conference, and to translate that in-person experience to an online course for anyone that could not attend in person. Each workshop, whether in person or online, would provide 3 free continuing education credits for nurses. As you might already suspect, a project this large has had its fair share of hurdles and successes. Here are just a couple of examples:

A large team meant that we could divide the work, but it also meant that the team was affected by several different careers. So far, we have had seven of our original twelve leave the project. Reasons have included retirements, new positions, new appointments, and one member who won new unrelated project grants that needed her undivided attention. As team members have needed to leave the project, we have missed them but have benefited from the fresh perspective of new faculty. Read the rest of this entry »

Checklist for Applying for the GMR Technology Improvement Award

Whether you are applying this time for a Technology Improvement Award (Reminder: deadline is October 15!), or considering applying in the future, you may find this checklist helpful.

10 Things to Keep in Mind When Applying for a TIA From the GMR

  1. Are you a member or affiliate member? Check here:

    Enter your library or institution name, leave the Membership Level and Library Type blank (so it will search “All”) and click the search button. If your institution doesn’t show up, try a new advanced search (click the link on the left side of the page) using the location (try just city and state).

    If your library/institution is listed: click on the details link and look at the URL in the browser address bar; your LIBID will be at the end of the URL

    If your library/institution is not listed: Go to the GMR Membership page ( to see how to apply. There is a link to our handy online application form at the bottom of the page.

  2. Questions 10 to 17 on the application form are the narrative section of the application.   Note that the summary statement requested in Question 10 should be an “executive summary” or “elevator speech” type of statement (a 200 word limit is recommended). Details should be provided in the rest of the questions. Also note Question 17 (“Additional Comments”) can be used for details rather than putting everything in Question 10.

  3. In question 13, provide the details of what equipment you will purchase. This should be a narrative, not a detailed list (that comes in question 18 –but make sure the details in the narrative match the details in question 18!)

    Before you answer this question, however, make sure your IT department, Institutional Purchasing department, and any other department that will be involved are all on board with your selection. It is always a good idea to include, under the “how it was chosen” section, a note about your institution’s requirements and how you are complying with them.

    If your institution’s IT or purchasing departments have issues with Apple products that you are requesting (which you would probably learn about by involving them in this process), note here how you will handle that.

  4. Question 14 is important: you will need to measure outcomes and report on them once the project is completed. Make sure measureable outcomes are part of the process from the beginning.

  5. Try to be realistic in the schedule for Question 15. Things can change, but if you have everything ready ahead of time (especially understanding any hoops you will face at your institution), you should be able to give a reasonably accurate time line. Important: projects awarded under this CFA must be finished by April 30, 2016!

  6. Note in Question 16 that resumes or CVs will be needed for all key personnel listed. Consider working directly with your IT department and listing them as key personnel as well.

  7. Question 17 is for all the details and narrative that you wanted to include in the summary (Question 10). Make use of the space here!

  8. Question 18: the equipment details. Note that “brief narrative justification” here means just that. The fuller justification should be in Question 13.

    Note subsection “b” requirements for any piece of equipment over $3000, and subsection “c” requiring documentation if your institution uses a single vendor or sole source.

  9. Check (and double check!).   Do you have:

    • A complete application, all questions filled in?
    • A reasonably accurate timeline?
    • All key personnel listed (including IT people)?
    • All required equipment listed (including extra software)?
    • Resumes or CVs?
    • Letters of support from all stakeholders?
    • Equipment pricing documentation?

  10. Submit it!