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Gaming in the RML

Can Gaming + Health Sciences Librarianship = engagement opportunity to increase library advocacy and professional skills?

Mission I'm Possible LogoIn 2013, the NN/LM MCR launched a game called “Mission I’mPossible” with the intent of providing a new method to engage Network members (hospital, academic health sciences, public, and corporate librarians) in developing new or improving existing skills essential to health sciences librarianship, and to do this in a fun and competitive way. The game was, by and large, deemed a success. There were over thirty-five play areas where points could be earned with three earning up to nine Medical Library Association Continuing Education (MLA CE) credits. While fourteen players registered for “Mission I’mPossible”, only eight actively played and earned points. The winner was Kitty Serling. (Congratulations, Kitty!). When the non-active players were asked why they were not playing, the general response was that they were too busy, but wanted to play, “if only they could find the time.” One person reported that the game was too confusing. Read more »

Whooo Says…

Dear Whooo,

I am a health sciences librarian, and I absolutely love my job. I’m a faithful attendee at our MLA and MCMLA conferences, and I always come away with useful information and a thousand new ideas to try. Lately however, I’ve been wondering if there is a way to learn more about the working environment and concerns of my users in order to provide them with more targeted, higher quality services. What do you think?


Dear Considering,

Thanks so much for writing! It is such a pleasure to hear from someone who is so happy and involved in their profession and their job. Read more »

Health Tracking Aggregator Platforms

In the last issue, we looked at wearable technology and some of the popular devices used to measure your daily activities, such as number of steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, sleep patterns, and heart rate. All of this data is interesting, but users are unsure of how to make use of it. Technology companies are providing the answer by developing health platforms that aggregate data from multiple devices. This provides a more complete picture of a user’s health habits enabling him/her to make meaningful lifestyle improvements. The two major players developing aggregator apps are Google Fit and Apple’s HealthKit.

HealthKit LogoThere has been a great deal of interest in Apple’s new Health app (comes installed on the iPhone 6) and HealthKit, their software platform for storage and aggregation of a user’s health data, allowing all of it to be stored in one secure place. The Health app can accept data from other apps and users’ input, organizing and displaying it in an easy-to-read dashboard format. Some popular apps that work with HealthKit include Jawbone UP, MyFitnessPal and Run with Map My Run+. There have been problems with the release of HealthKit and iOS8, but they appear to have been corrected and there are numerous Health-Kit enabled apps now available for users. Read more »

Professional Development Award Funding …Still Available

First, congratulations to our first three recipients of the 2014- 2015 Professional Development Awards.

Name   Institution   Event Attending
Anne Heimann Bryan College of Health Sciences Association of College & Research Libraries
Portland OR
March 25-28, 2015
Jan Rice Bryan College of Health Sciences LOEX 2015 (Library Orientation Exchange)
Denver CO
April 30-May 2, 2015
Ben Harnke University of Colorado Health Science Library Systematic Review Workshop – University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh PA
November 3-5, 2014

There are a few more hoops this year as we are requiring applicants to stretch beyond the bounds of their libraries and speak to upper level institutional administration, organizationally placed above the library, before applying for funding. We hope this will create an opportunity for our applicants to meet that administration, talk about their professional development activity, and become more visible within the institution.
For details on how you can apply, see:

-Marty Magee, Education/Nebraska Coordinator

The 2013 Network Member Questionnaire Results

Network members are the heart of the NN/LM MCR and their needs and interests drive our programming. We have, since 2002, sought input about Network member libraries and librarians, their services, resources, likes and dislikes, needs and desires. Responses are analyzed, compared to previous questionnaires, reported, considered by the NN/LM MCR staff and shared with the NLM National Network Office, the overseers of the NN/LM program. The final report is posted on our web site.

Network members have been invited to respond to the Network Member Questionnaire four times since 2002, affording us the opportunity to look at trends over time. In 2002 we asked about connectivity – dial-up, DSN, ISDN or T-1 lines? How many computers were in the library for staff and for users? How many staff were employed, both professional and support? Did the library subscribe to electronic journals? Particpate in consortial buying? What do librarians teach and who do they serve? Which NLM resources are used and, just as importantly, which are not? And, of course, are the NN/LM MCR programs and services meeting our Network members’ needs and what else can we do to support them? Read more »

Communication Advice from the MCR Regional Advisory Board

During the last two meetings the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region staff and the Regional Advisory Board members have explored how we communicate. There are so many different communication media—email, telephone, listservs, blogs, all the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), and we shouldn’t forget in person. How does the RML best get our message across to the audiences we want to influence? There are also many audiences: health sciences librarians, public librarians, school librarians, community college librarians, unaffiliated health professionals, the public health workforce, staff of community based organizations, patients, and family members.

The Regional Advisory Board recommended an audit of each of the groups we want to reach. The assessment, they reasoned, should offer a better idea of what is important to each group. They then recommended that messages be tailored when promoting resources and services. Knowing what is important to the specific audience can result in describing how our products and services differ from our competitors and the added value the audience will receive. For some of the audiences the RML already has assessment data. Key informant interviews were conducted for the audiences that are part of the NN/LM National Initiatives (school and community college librarians). The Network Member Questionnaire results provide us with assessment information for health sciences librarians. The NN/LM MCR will develop an audit plan for the remaining audiences. Read more »

Mobile App Sharing Project:

the 1st quarter reviews are in!

Working with Network members on technology projects is not a new endeavor for the RML. We learned that the cost of apps is a major barrier to accessing and experimenting with apps making it difficult to determine if an app will improve work performance or efficiencies. Most for-fee apps have a free version but those, often times, only provide bare bones functions and work as a tease to get the user to purchase the full versions.

To address this issue, in April, a handful of Network members applied to be apart of the Mobile App Sharing Project. We selected thirteen eager and willing individuals (see box below for a list of participants), representing both academic and hospital settings, and we have at least one person in each of the six states in the region. In exchange for the project participant’s evaluation of four for-fee apps (say that ten times fast), the RML provided each of them with a $50 iTunes or GooglePlay purchase card. Read more »

Wonder Where We’ve Been – And Where We’re Going?

Ever wondered about the reach of the NN/LM MidContinental Region Coordinators? We exhibit at a wide variety of venues each year and thought you might be interested in knowing about them. In addition, if you are interested in exhibit opportunities, contact your state coordinator! Read more »

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