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Health Insurance Literacy Tools

or “What good is it if I don’t know what I’m doing?!”

Navigating health insurance can be a difficult and confusing process for even the most experienced health care consumers. For someone who has never had insurance before and never needed to navigate the health care system, it can be overwhelming. A patient cannot benefit from having insurance if they do not understand their benefits, or how to access services. This includes people who are unsure of where to go for services, how to make an appointment, or how to prepare for their visit with a health care provider. The following tools and websites can be helpful for librarians who work in public, hospital, school or health sciences libraries and need to assist patrons with insurance questions or finding appropriate care. Read more »

In This Issue:


Quint*Essential Update of the NN/LM

Remember the Quint*Essential Meeting held in October 2014 in Denver, Colorado? One of the sessions, Quint*Essential Update of the NN/LM, was sponsored by the four regions of the NN/LM (MidContinental, South Central, Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest). Instead of the Regional Medical Libraries updating members we wanted members to update us. Over 120 librarians discussed two key questions. NN/LM staff and librarians from the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and the University of Washington Health Sciences Library facilitated the conversations and took notes for the first question.

Participants discuss the key questions

Participants discuss the key questions

Participants  score "Bold Ideas"

Participants score “Bold Ideas”

Critical Issues

Read more »

Mobile App Sharing Project:

 the 2nd quarter reviews are in!

the 1st quarter reviews are here!

Wow, we have already seen the second quarter come and go! And with it comes another set of mobile app reviews by your fellow trusty and reliable colleagues. To learn the context of this project plus last quarter’s app review, you can click on the link up near the title of this article.

All app evaluations will provide you with: basic information (app name, operating system, sponsor/publisher/creator, cost, web links, etc.), who the primary user is (professional/layperson), creator’s credentials, bias, currency of information, and ease of app’s navigation/access, etc. We also asked the evaluators to rate the app from excellent all the way down to “don’t bother wasting your money.”

Take a look at the summary of the app evaluations below and perhaps it will help you select an app that is right for you or your clients. Read more »

Peggy Cummings: Engaging Teachers and Students with the History of Medicine

“When school librarians collaborate with classroom teachers to enrich curriculum content, they help create more authentic learning experiences.”
—Dr. C. Beth Fitzsimmons, National Commission on Libraries and Information Science Chairperson (2004-2008)

Douglas County High School (DCHS) in Castle Rock, Colorado recently served as host to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine exhibit. The only high school west of the Mississippi to receive the 6-week exhibit, Peggy Cummings, the school’s Library Media Specialist, had to make a strong case to NLM to bring the exhibit to her site.

Cummings, who has been with DCHS for eleven years, was no stranger to planning exhibits and programming. She worked closely with the school’s social studies teaching staff to bring the Gilder Lehrman Looking at Lincoln: Political Cartoons from the Civil War Era exhibit to the library, and she has hosts an annual two-day event, “Remembering Our Veterans” – in conjunction with the Douglas County public library archival staff. Cummings interest in hosting the George Washington exhibit was peaked with a listserv posting announcement, noting that resources like this can serve as a bridge between the classroom and the library. “There were so many facets to George Washington that were not as well-known as they should be. This would provide a way to work with different academic departments.”

Peggy Cummings, Library Media Specialist

Peggy Cummings, Library Media Specialist

Read more »

A Big Thing Now: Member Involvement

The people in our NN/LM member institutions may very well be our richest resource! The MidContinental Region uses the gifts of those people every year in support of our goals and mission. In 2014 more than 60 people participated and contributed their time and talent to MCR activities. “How so?” you may ask and the answer is “in many ways!” Here’s a list, although not comprehensive, of contributions made by our Network members in the past: Read more »

Whooo Says…

Dear Whooo,

I recently accepted the position of Library Director in a mid-sized health system. I am very fortunate because my predecessor was skilled at recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities for librarians to be involved in system wide committee work and various system initiatives.

My major concern right now is that several of the library staff members and librarians are expecting to retire within the next few months. I really want to hire replacements who will be able to work at a high level with other librarians/staff as well as members of other departments, committees, etc. Of course I want any new personnel to do excellent work, but I think I have a chance to solidify a highly functional team as well. Do you have any ideas for me?


MidContinental Mary Read more »

Regional Advisory Board: Final 2014 Meeting

Whether they knew it or not, the Regional Advisory Board was part of an NN/LM MCR experiment this year. All our board meetings were held online instead of having a full day face-to-face meeting. We were hoping that it would alleviate trying to figure out how to fill out a full day’s agenda, save time and money, but still result in useful ideas. We used Adobe Connect and were able to do the normal activities that are included in face-to-face meetings such as breakout sessions, full group summaries, and informative presentations. The staff agrees that this is an efficient way to interact with the board. We asked our board members what they thought of using desktop videoconferencing as the way to conduct meetings. Although not all board members have responded, the majority agreed that the meetings were productive. Read more »

Online Office Visits/Consults with Your RML Staff

The NN/LM MCR staff is offering a new way for you to connect with us. Come to one of our online offices for pretty much anything: maybe you would like a fresh pair of eyes on a problem you are trying to solve, a consult on a project, one-on-one training, or maybe come for a simple no host coffee break with your favorite RML staff member.

Screen shot of Johns online officeWe have created online offices (mine is pretty cool…just saying) where you can come and meet with us to talk about pretty much anything under the sun or on something in our work expertise (or hobby) area.

We know what you’re thinking…you have always been able to connect with MCR staff just by picking up the phone or by shooting off an email, but can a phone or an email share a live view of a webpage, download a document right there and then, or allow you to see how messy John’s office is? NO! We didn’t think so! Go check out our staff web page and see the many expertise areas of our staff plus when our office hours are throughout the week.

Some examples of what we can help with… Read more »