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Archive for December, 2010

Happy Holidays to all our members and friends!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The holiday preparations look especially bright and appealing this year, perhaps in contrast to the blanketing of snow that we have enjoyed so far this winter. Economic reports for retail are improving, with expenditures five percent above what they were at this time last year.

The positive trend for holiday shopping is good news for consumers and the businesses that cater to their wants and needs. Unfortunately, such a positive view cannot be transferred to the current economic state of affairs affecting health sciences and hospital libraries in the GMR, especially in our publicly funded institutions.  Revenue shortfalls at the state and local level are having a significant impact on staffing and accessibility of information resources at our member organizations.

In addition to position elimination, ongoing hiring freezes, and non–renewal of licenses and subscriptions, institutions are showing the strain by reorganizing and combining libraries and their constituent units and by repurposing space for non-library, revenue-producing functions.  Such strategies reduce the accessibility of information resources.  For example, when the ILL unit is combined with its general university counterpart, the importance of using DOCLINE for transacting ILL and of keeping SERHOLD records up-to-date to facilitate DOCLINE may diminish.  When library stacks are repurposed for patient or student functions, legacy print collections may be the first to go to free up space for these new functions.

The GMR is attempting to take a proactive stance to soften the long-term impact of reduced budgets on our membership. The E-licensing Working Group of the Regional Advisory Council (RAC), in collaboration with the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services serving as agent for consortial licensing by hospital and smaller academic libraries, identified two candidates for selection in 2010. The GMR convened an ILL task force to review trends, issues, and factors that affect ILL services and to make recommendations on ways to improve this essential function. The task force met with NLM representatives to convey their suggestions for DOCLINE enhancements. (more…)

GMR Print Retention Task Force Update

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

By Ruth Holst
Associate Director
NN/LM GMR

Both university and health sciences libraries (HSLs) are feeling pressure with regard to their collection space, with other campus units pressing them to remove print materials and release the space those collections occupy for other uses. Many HSLs have already begun to withdraw print materials that they have available in electronic format. Large resource libraries (RLs) that have not yet taken this step are concerned that they will become the preserver of print collections by default.  Hospital libraries are concerned that they will lose access to needed materials within the region.  NLM is concerned with similar issues as they apply to the medical literature in general and to health sciences libraries nationally. (more…)

Season’s Greetings from the GMR 2010

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

holiday card 2010

Photo Credit

University of Minnesota Celebrates America’s Women Physicians

Monday, December 13th, 2010

By Erinn Aspinall, MSI, AHIP
Special Projects Librarian
Health Sciences Libraries
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

The University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries hosted the National Library of Medicine’s Changing the Face of Medicine traveling exhibit from October 25-December 5, 2010.  This exhibit celebrates the many contributions of women physicians.  The Libraries planned several events in concert with the exhibit to honor the past, present and future of women in medicine.

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Would You Like That in Mobile or Regular?

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

To the fair readers of The Cornflower: you now have the option to read our blog in a traditional web browser on a desktop computer (as you are undoubtedly doing right now) or on your smartphone using a mobile browser.  The blogs of the NN/LM were built with WordPress, an open-source content management system that is often used as a blog publishing tool.  The architecture allows for plug-ins (little add-on programs to hopefully enhance functionality) and custom templates (the design).  The blog editor turned on a plug-in called WPtouch.  WPtouch “…formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.”  Some members have told us that our blog is blocked in their hospitals even though it comes from a .gov domain.  It will be interesting to see if this still happens when viewed on a mobile device.

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New Americans Health Information Day Planned

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Heartland Health Outreach Refugee Health Programs will be hosting a Health Information Day with their Chicago Public Library (CPL) partners as part of their New Americans Library and Internet Access Project. Heartland Health Outreach has been working with the University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences outreach librarian, Lisa Massengale, to expand access to quality health and medical information for both older and newly arrived immigrants and refugees through a Consumer Health Subcontract that that is funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region.

This is the second of two Health Information days and will take place at the Rogers Park Branch of CPL at 6907 N. Clark Street, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. (more…)