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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

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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!

Report from Midwest Chapter: Technology Forum 2015

First, a huge thank you to our panelists, Ann Farrell, Stevo Roksandic, and Billie Ann Gebb.  They graciously shared their experiences with Technology Improvement Awards, especially highlighting some of their “things I wish I’d known beforehand” reflections.

The good news is we were able to record the session, and it is now available at:

The bad news is the powerpoint did not show up in the recording, so it is available here as a download: 2015 Tech Forum.  Since the important information is in the recording, however, feel free to skip the download, and just listen to the recording!

A few of the highlights from the session include:

  • Problems encountered with an institution’s IT support or IT purchasing procedures, especially with Apple products
  • The recommendation to give short, informative answers to the questions on the application
  • The feedback process, which may involve refining the application, is very helpful
  • Understanding the evaluation and reporting requirements help with writing the proposal

One excellent suggestion (from Ann Farrell) was for the GMR to include information on the CFA about the potential pitfalls of working within the requirements of one’s institutional IT department, especially when purchasing equipment.  We will be working on sharing helpful tips about common pitfalls in the process; in the meantime, please listen to the recording of this year’s Technology Forum.

Another important question that came up was about the timing of the awards.  Since this is the last year of our contract, we cannot offer any predictions about the future.  Beth Layton, however, had excellent advice for being ready to take advantage of CFA’s:  Keep a “wish” list of potential projects you could implement if there were funding.  Funding opportunities come from many sources, sometimes from within your own institution.  Having projects (more or less) ready to act on when a funding opportunity comes up reduces the time needed to prepare a proposal.

Thanks to all who showed up and participated (it was a large audience, probably over 50).  We appreciate all of the feedback we received!

Taubman Shines in Outreach

By Anna Ercoli Schnitzer
Informationist–Disability Issues and Outreach
Taubman Health Sciences Library

The University of Michigan’s Taubman Health Sciences Library had excellent representation at the Health Professions Education Day held in the Rogel Ballroom of the Michigan Union on the morning of September 16, 2015. In addition to a number of accepted posters by our informationists, the Library (represented by Jingyi Wang, our previous student who is now a School of Public Health graduate, and myself) staffed a table demonstrating activities that Taubman presents for GMR Outreach in collaboration with other University of Michigan units: (Give Kids a Smile, Asian-American Health Fair, Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Diabetes Conference, etc).

Dr. Catherine D. DeAngelis was an outstanding keynote speaker on “Patient Care and Professionalism.” reminding the audience of physicians, nurses, social workers, dentists, epidemiologists, pharmacists, kinesiologists, all their students, and other professionals (not health care “providers”–a term she objects to) that the primary focus of their attention should be the patient. She also pointed out that medical care is being adversely affected by marketing and pharmaceutical big business, as well as concomitant legal ramifications. Read the rest of this entry »

A Cool Time in Louisville for Midwest Chapter 2015

Tiffney A. Gipson, MHA
Clinical Library Intern, Outreach Coordinator
Kornhauser Heath Sciences Library
University of Louisville

This time tomorrow many of you will be arriving in the city of Louisville for the 2015 MWMLA Meeting. This is just a reminder as you’re packing for your trip, it looks like a cool and rainy weekend is in store for us so please keep that in mind.  We look forward to seeing you, have a safe trip!


Counting Down to Midwest Chapter MLA Louisville!

By Tiffney A. Gipson, MHA
Clinical Library Intern, Outreach Coordinator
Kornhauser Health Sciences Library
University of Louisville

We are just a few days away from the 2015 MWMLA Conference in Louisville, KY. Are you ready? Here are a few things you may want to check off your to-do list before Friday.

  • Double check your conference registration
  • Have you made transportation arrangements?
  • Have you made hotel reservations?
  • Do you still need a roommate?

Here are a few tips to remember about Louisville.

We are in early fall, our lows are about 50 degrees with the high usually in the low 80s
The Galt House is in downtown Louisville, and there is a lot of bridge construction-related traffic in the area. Visit this page to help you navigate the area: http://midwest
Looking for something to do or somewhere to eat near the Galt House? Follow this link for more information

Finally, we want to thank all those who responded to the call for live bloggers. Want to keep up with the conference on social media? Use the hashtag #MidwestMLA15 on Facebook and Twitter!

See you soon!

AIDSource: a Redesigned, Mobile-Optimized HIV/AIDS Information Website

The National Library of Medicine’s web portal for HIV/AIDS information has been redesigned
and given a new name. The new website, AIDSource, offers access to a comprehensive
collection of HIV/AIDS-related information resources that are reviewed and selected by expert
information specialists and librarians.
Visitors to AIDSource will now be able to view the website content on their mobile device. The
website is now automatically optimized for display across all device types, including desktop
computers, tablets, and smartphones. The new design of the website was constructed by user
feedback received through a website survey in 2014. In addition to responsive design, the new
AIDSource design also includes the following new features:

  • Addition of a slider feature that highlights resources of interest
  • Addition of images for topics
  • Improvements in website navigation, including a menu on all pages of the website that provides access to all topic areas

The mission of AIDSource is to serve as a reliable source for access to HIV/AIDS-related
information from federal and non-federal sources. Resources included on the AIDSource website
are organized by both topic of interest and audience, and information is available in English and

NLM welcomes your feedback on the AIDSource website. Please send your comments to:

What is Technology Improvement?

The GMR sent out a call for Technology Improvement Award applications last week. To support network members in applying for these awards, we developed a mini-series of events.  The first was part of the GMR Tech Talks series, with the recent session held Friday, September 11.  Guest speaker Rachel Sindelar explained how she developed the idea for her library’s Technology Improvement Award, Interdisciplinary Point-of-care Patient Health Education Initiative, and how she leveraged partnerships within the hospital to ensure success.  The recording is available and highly recommended!  See the Tech Talks page on the GMR website for details.

The next event will be at the Midwest Chapter meeting, where the Tech Forum will feature a discussion of the ins and outs of applying for and administering Technology Improvement Awards.  Ann Ferrell, Billie Anne Gebb, and Stevo Roksandic, who have all recently been through the process, will discuss their experiences.  We will also discuss ways to make the process smoother, from application to reporting.  Participation in this session is highly recommended as well!

Technology is always changing and can always be improved.  Think about how you can improve your library’s use of technology and perhaps use technology to increase your library’s visibility in your institution.  Remember: What constitutes Improvement depends on where you currently are!

Midwest Chapter Call for Bloggers and Photographers

By Tiffney A. Gipson, MHA
Clinical Library Intern, Outreach Coordinator
Kornhauser Health Sciences Library
University of Louisville

We’re less than a month away from the Midwest MLA Conference in Louisville, Kentucky! Lots of folks have taken advantage of early bird registration and will be heading down to our chapter’s southernmost state. Please join us and consider sharing the sights, sounds and events of the Louisville conference through a blog or photo stream.

This is our call for Bloggers and Photographers

  • 3 AHIP points available for completing 3 short blog posts about the conference.
  • 1-3 AHIP points also available for photography (Dependent on quality and quantity—25 photos minimum).
  • No experience necessary!
  • Great way to network.

See examples from past conferences:

Please contact Vida Vaughn at if you are interested or would like further information. We look forward to seeing you and your blog/photo contributions at the Midwest MLA Conference 2014!”

Still haven’t registered for the conference yet? Curious about what there is to do in the city? Take a few minutes and watch this short video, all you need to know about Louisville in 4 minutes or less!

There’s more room at the Midwest Chapter inn!

By Tiffney A. Gipson, MHA
Clinical Library Intern, Outreach Coordinator
Kornhauser Health Sciences Library
University of Louisville

Hurry, this offer won’t last long! Five more rooms have been added to our sold-out block of rooms reserved at the Galt House Hotel for the 2015 meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association. So if you are still in need of a room, make your reservation NOW: