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Vol 12 No 1 – July 2013

Keeping Up With New Tech

One of our daily routines is to scan the many blogs from organizations that discuss what is new in technology. We look at two types of blog posts: health related technology and education delivery. Below is a list of some of the more interesting blogs we follow along with a brief description. If you have any favorite technology blogs not listed here, please share them with us.

Health Tech

e! Science News –
This is a great Sunday morning resource. It’s too bad it doesn’t come out until Monday mornings. The web site focuses on practically everything that is new in science, such as: astronomy; biology; environment; health/medicine; math/economics; paleontology; chemistry/physics; and phycology/sociology. Fortunately, they limit what they send you in your email to the top news in each topic. Reading the short articles is sort of a guilty pleasure because they rarely post stuff on health and medicine. However, it is a great place to keep up on what our other scientist colleagues are doing. And a little tidbit of coolness about the site…there is NO human editor who selects the content but rather automated artificial intelligence that scans the web for content.
 FierceHealthIT Logo FierceHealthIT
This is a health IT news site that provides the latest news and information on CPOE (computerized physician order entry), EMR adoption, and HIPPA compliance. This is a great resource for a quick daily scan to learn about new announcements and developments, plus trends and reactions to the changes in healthcare requirements. You can visit their site for archival resources or subscribe to their blog.
 Health Data Management Logo Health Data Management
If you can get over the “in-your-face” ads and having to register anytime you want to attend a seminar or read a whitepaper, this a super site for keeping up with topics such as: HIPPA, EHRs, clinic & hospital info systems, e-health & e-Rx, IT outsourcing, patient safety, mobile tech, and much more. You can also check out their featured bloggers who might be discussing a hot topic, such as patient portals, HIT, and EHRs. The posts are a blend of opinion with data. The newsletters offer the latest news headlines along with a short blurb and links to the full article.
Health IT – American Medical News
Produced by the American Medical Association, the American Medical News ( blog allows you to subscribe to individual sections. This section covers health information technology and EHRs from the physician perspective. It contains current news items on the HIT/EHR industry, physician adoption, legislation, Medicare & Medicaid, vendors, and technical information. Other sections available for subscription include social media, education, patient care, and public health.
Healthcare IT News
This is a commercial site but the ads are fairly subtle. They are a part of MedTech Media out of Maine and they have a strong partnership with the non-profit HIMISS (Healthcare Information and Management System) group. They bill themselves as resource healthcare IT executives, but there is good information for anyone wanting to follow news on: IT strategies and tactics, statutory and regulatory issues, and health IT product news.
 Health IT Buzz Logo HealthIT Buzz
This authoritative blog is produced by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and presents current information about health information technology and the transition from paper to electronic health records. Topics include meaningful use certification, interoperability, nursing use of EHRs and patient involvement. If you’re interested in working with your institution’s EHR, this blog is for you.

Education Delivery

 ACRL Tech Connect Logo ACRL TechConnect -
This is a moderated blog produced by a group of academic librarians covering all aspects of library technology. They describe their site as covering innovative projects, emerging tech tools, computer programming, usability, design, and more. You can subscribe to the blog, or search by one of the numerous categories from the main page. A recent post discussed collecting library data and encouraged the adoption of privacy and retention policies. This is an excellent resource for all librarians, not just those employed in academia.
 ALA Techsource Logo ALA TechSource
Topics covered in posts from this ALA resource pretty much cover the gamut, but are very library centric. You’ll find lots of posts about media tools and resources plus tips on technology instruction. It is sometimes overwhelming, in a positive way, to read all the cool stuff librarians are doing in the area of technology. If you are looking for project ideas or tips on delivering a program, subscribing or scanning the archives is a good use of this resource.
 Dotto Tech Logo Dotto Tech Radio
This is a weekly online streaming radio show out of Vancouver that also has a newsletter. They cover all sorts of technology related topics, mainly for the consumer. They occasionally have guests on the show who are leaders in their field. This is a great site that is an entertaining way to stay on top of consumer related tech news, such as: gadgets, social media tools and usage strategies, mobile apps, how technology can help you be more productive, and much more. They also put their shows on their YouTube channel and have done a nice job of organizing the topics into the categories of productivity, interviews/news, and tips/techniques to help you browse to find what you’re looking for.
Described as the “leading physician review of medical and healthcare apps,” this site helps you keep up with the apps that physicians and medical students are using. It includes app reviews, items on mhealth news and current industry issues (such as a post about medical uses of Google Glass or a warning from the FDA about medical device hacking), and physician commentaries. We’re all pressed for time, and it’s not necessary to read all of the individual app reviews. Just scanning through the posts helps keep you aware of what’s happening in this area of medicine.
 Krafty Librarian Logo Krafty Librarian
Michelle Kraft’s personal blog about medical librarianship is interesting and quite popular. Although she covers general medical library issues, she tends to focus on technology, including industry news, iPads, reviews of apps and online resources, notes on PubMed, and information about educational webinars.
Library Hat
This intriguing blog is written by Bohyun Kim, Digital Access Librarian at the Florida International University Medical Library, and ranges from technical posts on writing code to thought-provoking articles on e-resource licenses and the open Internet. Other topics have included mobile devices in medicine, building relationships with IT, and productivity. With an average of 2 posts per month, it’s easy to fit in your schedule and definitely worthwhile.
PR Daily
This is a daily news site devoted to delivering news, advice, and opinion on public relations, marketing, social media, and what is happening in the media world. The articles are easy to scan/read and presented in an entertaining way. They are full of good tips to improve your communications with your users but tend to be repetitive. You may find these resources most useful when you are actually working on a communication improvement project.
 Tech soup Logo TechSoup for Librarians
Another blog from ALA, this is designed for a general librarian audience with the stated goal to “make technology and technology education available and affordable to libraries all over the world.” The focus is on public libraries, but it’s a good place to start if you’re new to technology. A wide variety of topics are covered, including pc trouble shooting, web design, training and instruction, assistive technology, and innovative programs. This site also includes a list of free webinars, a monthly newsletter, and downloadable Cookbooks containing tips and techniques on computer maintenance.

-John Bramble, Utah/Technology Coordinator
-Rachel Vukas, Kansas/Technology Coordinator

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Computers in Libraries 2013

Anne Heimann
Bryan College of Health Sciences Library
Lincoln, Nebraska

Computers in Libraries Logo

Thanks to the NN/LM MidContinental Region Professional Development Award, I was able to attend the Computers in Libraries (CIL) 2013 conference. The conference was held in Washington, DC April 8-10. (Just in time for the cherry blossoms!) In the past, I have attended professional conferences focused solely on academic or medical librarianship, so I was excited for something new. One of the great things about CIL is it brings together all different types of librarianship. There were government, academic, public, corporate, school and special libraries all represented. Even though our libraries may be very different, we can all learn from each other.

This was especially true in the “Management Metrics That Work” session. This session was moderated by government librarians from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Export/Import Bank and the Agency for International Development. The focus was on collecting and reporting data in a way that best advocates for the importance of the library. Everything from the usual; patron count, checkouts, ILL count, etc., to things I had never thought of; quantify time spent cataloging materials or average hour of computer usage by patrons. They also showed samples of their annual reports. One in particular used a case study outline and infographics. I plan to implement this into my next annual report. I also attended the “Innovative Library Tech: Practice & Services” session. This session was an impromptu panel allowing us all an opportunity to discuss the ways in which we utilize and implement technology into our libraries. Everything from gaming to 3D printing was discussed. Another session, “Negotiating EContent & Tech Licenses” provided a perspective on selling from both the seller and the buyer. This was a very valuable session because it was the first time I heard a salesperson discuss the ins and outs of their sales approach. Because of this session I have a better understanding of the selling process, which will be a tremendous help come renewal time! I also attended the ‘Library Budget Trends & Spending Priorities for 2013’ session. This session reviewed the annual survey of library budgets. As suspected, libraries still face severe budget cuts. I felt lucky to be one of the few people in the room who has not been hit with dramatic cuts.

In addition to the excellent sessions, there were also excellent keynote speakers. The first keynote “Evolving Community Engagement: What would Amazon and Google do?” focused on the importance of customer service and customer relationship management. Because we are all so busy with the responsibilities of our job, we often forget how important it is to not just maintain, but also foster relationships with our users, something Amazon and Google are very good at.

The 2013 Computers in Libraries Conference provided a wonderful variety of numerous topics from technology to reference to management. There was something for everyone. Along with the excellent content of the session and speakers, the conference was also well organized and very well run.  I highly recommend the CIL conference!

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New Dietary Supplement Label Database

This summer a new Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD) was released to reflect information not only for the consumer, but for researchers, health care professionals, and students.

The goal of the new site is to capture dietary supplement information from nearly 50,000 labels. The initial release will have 17,000 – with 1,000 labels to be added monthly. In comparison, the old DSLD site contained information on over 8,000 products. The new DSLD is a partnership between the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services.

Old DSLD vs. New DSLD

Old DSLD Version

– 8,000 labels
– No label images
– Not indexed with controlled vocabulary
– Data not in public domain
– 1,000 new labels per year
– Data from DeLima Associates

New DSLD Version

– 17,000 labels to start, up to 50,000
– Has  label images
– Uses LanguaL controlled vocabulary
– Data in public domain
– 1,000 new labels per month
– Data and images from Therapeutic Research Faculty (TRF)

Side by Side Comparison

 Results page for Chia Seed in the old DSLD site. Results page for Chia Seed in the new DSLD site

Figure 1 Results page for Chia Seed (old site left, new site right)

More on the New Site

Each label entry will provide a thumbnail image of the product label (see below), the product name, serving size, serving size unit, dietary ingredient, amount/serving size, percentage of daily values, and target groups.

 DSLD Search Page for Chia Seed

Figure 2 Results page for Chia Seed (new site)

  1. Search Box The search box is hidden until you click the down arrow on the Quick Search bar. You can enter an ingredient name or a supplement name. You can also browse by an alphabetical list of ingredients or products, or conduct an advanced search.
  2. Thumbnail Placing your mouse arrow over the thumbnail magnifying glass icon will reveal your label. The image below is from the Vitamin World product label (the second entry above).Thumbnail view of label
  3. Product For each dietary supplement product in the new site, the user can search the DSLD for all products with a specific brand and/or by the product names.
  4. Serving Size One serving of a dietary supplement equals the maximum amount recommended, as appropriate, on the label for consumption per eating occasion, or in the absence of recommendations, 1 unit (e.g., tablet, capsule, packet, teaspoonful, etc). If more than one serving size is listed, that information will be provided.
  5. Serving Size Unit A description of one serving’s form (e.g., tablet, capsule, ml).
  6. Dietary Ingredient “Ingredient” refers to the compounds used in the manufacture of a dietary supplement. For instance, when calcium carbonate is used to provide calcium, calcium carbonate is an “ingredient” and calcium is a “dietary ingredient.”
  7. Amount/Serving Size The names and the quantitative amounts by weight of each dietary ingredient.
  8. % DV Daily Value comprises two sets of dietary standards: Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs). Only the percent Daily Value term appears on the label to make label reading less confusing and to help consumers see how a food fits into an overall daily diet.
  9. DV Target Group Refers to dosage information specific to certain populations such as adults, children, infants, etc.  For supplements, the assumed target is Adults and Children 4 or more years of age.

-          -Dana Abbey, Colorado/Health Information Literacy Coordinator

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