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Site Visit Report:

Innovation, Creativity, Enthusiasm

The MCR staff received the report for the site visit conducted in July. We loved the first sentence, “The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) MidContinental Region (MCR) is characterized by innovation, creativity and enthusiasm.” All our anxiety drained out; and we breathed a sigh of relief.

Strengths of the Region

In addition to the compliments for the staff, the team highlighted accomplishments. These included an increase in membership among public libraries, an increase in readers of the Bringing Health Information to the Community blog and a new publication system incorporating postings contributed from four other RMLs. They acknowledged our strengths: the commitment of the Resource Library Directors to the distributed model and that MCR is one of the few regions that has an advocacy coordinator. Read more »

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Whooo Says

Dear Whooo,

I’m an academic librarian who has also recently worked in a hospital library. I follow your column with interest, and have also taken the Measuring Your Impact class to learn how to value and promote my library services and collection. I’m not quite sure what is happening in our institutional environment, but the approach of demonstrating the librarian’s value to the institution is not working well. Managers and administrators keep talking about Lean principles and Six Sigma but I’m not sure how this translates to demonstrating the worth of my library.

Puzzled Read more »

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Veteran’s Health Information Resources

Veterans and their family members need reliable health information resources sensitive and pertinent to their needs. They are unique community members with unique life events and experiences. Many of the skills and coping mechanisms veterans developed during service may prove counterproductive or be misunderstood in civilian life. This, in addition to physical injuries and mental health issues, can make readjustment challenging for the individual, family members, and health providers.

Military Health Issues

Our nation’s nearly 24 million veterans have greater rates of obesity and diabetes, and over one-third suffer from arthritis. Suicide rates among veterans are 7-8 times higher than the general population – 1 nearly every 65 minutes. Military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan survived wounds in numbers far greater than in previous wars – some 48,000 – due to advances in body armor, combat medicine, and improved evacuation procedures. However, the injuries sustained – traumatic brain injury, amputation, blindness, spinal cord injuries, and burns – require sophisticated, comprehensive, and often lifetime care. Mental health issues, like post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), are being reported in high numbers of returning service members. Veterans injured in these two wars were more than twice as likely as those uninjured to have difficulty readjusting to civilian life, and nearly half stated strains in family relationships and frequent outbursts of anger. By the end of 2010, 2.15 million service members had been deployed, and of those returning:

  •  23% suffered from mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  •  20% from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  •  37% from depression
  •  39% reported problems with alcohol Read more »
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Calculating the Value of Libraries

In 2008, Barb Jones and Betsy Kelly, the Library Advocacy and Assessment and Evaluation Coordinators respectively, developed a calculator ( for demonstrating the economic value of library services. The concept had been used by state and public libraries to show the benefit, in tax dollars, the user received during a visit to the library. Our calculator turned that idea on its side to allow librarians to use data they were likely already collecting to illustrate the value they return to their institutions. We thought it would be interesting to try to get a picture of the value of services provided by health sciences libraries nationwide so we decided to invite librarians to enter their data in the online form and submit the results to us. Over the past five years we have received usable data from 213 libraries across the U.S., in Canada, and a few other countries. Read more »

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Overcoming Barriers:

Strategies for Increasing Internet Access to Restricted Resources

Social media has become an important part of health care for both clinicians and patients. Over half of the smartphone owners in the United States have gathered health information on their phones.1 According to a study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, one in four U.S. physicians now use social media at least daily in clinical practice and 33% found devoting time to social media was an essential use of time, more beneficial than risky, and with high quality information returns.2 Medical libraries are using Web 2.0 technologies (blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter) to promote their libraries, teach and engage students, and support the research and informational needs of clinical professionals. These activities enhance the library’s visibility and enable them to reach a greater number of users. But there are many health care organizations that limit or completely restrict access to these technologies and hospital and specialized medical libraries are those most affected. Read more »

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In This Issue

NN/LM MCR 2013-2014 Objectives
Why Go to Charleston in November?
MedPrint: Saving the last print copies together
Whooo Says
Information Literacy at ACRL
Keeping Up with New Tech
Computers in Libraries 2013
New Dietary Supplement Label Database

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NN/LM MCR 2013-2014 Objectives

As part of the MidContinental Region’s contract negotiation with the National Library of Medicine, we develop a list of objectives for the year. We want you to know what to expect from us too! The following is a list of our intended objectives for 2013-2014. The objectives encompass services to our Network members as well as our outreach services. These objectives are also on our web site.

Assessment and Evaluation

  1. Assess needs of health sciences librarians and other organizations in the Region for NLM and NN/LM products and services and share data with NLM and NN/LM.
  2. Monitor and evaluate NN/LM MCR programs to assess their effectiveness in improving access to health information.
  3. Inform NLM of regional, state, and local activities that contribute to improved connectivity, access and health information resources as a result of NN/LM MCR programs.
  4. Prepare reports for NLM site visit and participate in the NER site visit team.
  5. Reconstitute Regional Advisory Board and assess the impact of the Board on RML programming and the experience of Board members.
  6. Work with Resource libraries, including signing and monitoring implementation of subcontracts for basic services, and assess Resource Library and Coordinator experiences.


  1. Develop and teach a class for faith community nurses.
  2. Write and distribute articles for faith community nurses.
  3. Manage and promote EBSCO E-Book collection.
  4. Develop resources and train members on preparing continuity of service plans.
  5. Investigate opportunities for librarians to become expert searchers.
  6. Promote history of medicine resources within the region.
  7. Offer “Measuring your Impact” class online.
  8. Identify and contribute classes to the MLA Educational Clearinghouse.
  9. Provide training on NLM and NN/LM resources and tools.
  10. Submit program proposals at local, regional, state, or national events.
  11. Use the RML communication tools to promote education opportunities.
  12. Provide training on NLM and NN/LM resources and tools to public library audiences.
  13. Teach technology classes and learning sessions.
  14. Establish a work group to research e-science current practices for librarians and prepare an article for publication.

Health Information Literacy

  1. Award public libraries who have had the best K-12/public library partnerships involving health information.
  2. Contribute to “Bringing Health Information to the Community” blog.
  3. Exhibit at local, regional, state or national events.
  4. Become further involved in the Health Care Education Association.
  5. Promote the use of NLM resources to support K-12 school health curriculum.
  6. Inform refugee health staff about multiple language resources.
  7. Encourage and/or support health information literacy collaborations that reach other networks and relevant organizations.
  8. Maintain state library collaborations.

Library Advocacy

  1. Provide resources for librarians to support and improve their business practices in the hospital setting.
  2. Support librarians to become change agents in their institutions in health information literacy.
  3. Support librarians to become involved in patient safety activities in their institutions.
  4. Investigate the value of librarian services in the cost of patient care.
  5. Support member librarians and libraries through publications appropriate for and communications with health care organization administrators.
  6. Working group members contribute gaming paths for the region.

Member Services

  1. Conduct drills or exercises to test the continuity of service plans on a regular basis.
  2. Involve Network members in RML activities.
  3. Manage portions of the NN/LM Resource Sharing Plan.


  1. Provide consultations and assist Network members in developing strategies that address barriers to access.
  2. Support the appropriate personnel at Community College Health Information Technology (HIT) institutions to integrate evidence based medicine and consumer health information into their program offerings.
  3. Investigate and implement communication technologies.
  4. Regularly monitor and disseminate technology developments.
  5. Process data and report on the community based organization
  6. under-connected pilot project.
  7. Maintain NN/LM MCR web site.
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Why Go to Charleston in November?

 Charleston Conference Logo

Deborah Carman, a librarian at the University of Kansas Medical Center, received a Professional Development Award from the NN/LM MCR to attend the Charleston Conference, Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, described on the web site as “an informal annual gathering of librarians, publishers, and vendors in Charleston, South Carolina to discuss issues of importance to them all.”  A few days ago, I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her experience and wanted to share her responses with you.

– Rachel Vukas, Kansas/Technology Coordinator


RV: Why did you choose to attend the Charleston Conference?

DC: Charleston is the only conference devoted entirely to acquisitions and collection management. My goal was to attend sessions which enable me to make intelligent recommendations on the integration of e-books into our broader collection, including dissemination on campus; to learn from other librarians’ institutional practices and experience in creating a lean and relevant collection; and to explore publisher models. This conference is built on the premise that publishers and librarians need to talk to one another about one another’s practices. Finally, Charleston is one of those conferences where you wish you had a clone to attend more concurrent sessions. Real “bang for the buck” for those of us with slim budgets for travel and professional development! My director was supportive and the RML provided funding to help with the costs. I appreciate both sources for their support of professional education.

RV: What concepts or ideas most interested you?

DC: All libraries have (at least) three things in common, acquiring, delivering, and justifying. So, I’ll hang some of my favorites on those themes. Acquiring and delivering share some common frustration points, and that’s without considering patron access. In the resource market now, we have multiple vendors with multiple platforms, multiple standards for metadata, tagging, and delivering, and multiple solutions which involve their particular tools. In acquisitions and delivery/discovery, we attempt to navigate multiple usage, archiving, and licensing agreements, as well. We would love for our resources to be available to anyone, working anywhere, on any device. One speaker called it the trend toward the “user-centric” resources. We are supposed to make acquisition choices and provide and maintain delivery systems in the midst of the maze. Craziness! The good news is the whole environment is evolving. The down side is evolution takes time. We need to be thoughtful about embracing a short-term “solution” to our long-term issues.

When it comes to justifying our existence, one of my favorite sessions was “What Provosts Want Librarians to Know” (and be able to communicate to their provosts at budget time). The relevant issues discussed by the presenter provosts were: Budget – what do you spend it on? Space – do you really need all of that square footage? Mission – Are you aligned with what goes on here? Students – Are they getting what they need? We have all heard those four questions, I’m sure. But, have you ever been called “the GPS to resources” or the “impresarios of inquiry”? Thank Bradley Creed, of Stamford University in Birmingham, Alabama, for those!

RV: How did the programming apply to medical libraries?

DC: We all deal with collections. The sizes, specialties, degrees granted, etc. may all contribute to the snapshot of an individual collection at a point in time. We all have stakeholders, shifting responsibilities, and differing amounts of money. However, the underlying principles of collection development, legal responsibilities, and stewardship of resources apply across library types.

RV: What one thing from the conference would you like to implement in your own library?

DC: The top position on the list, and one that is in process, is producing a thoughtful combination of digital and print resources into a findable, relevant, and usable collection for our students, faculty, and researchers. We have been evaluating every journal title on the shelves, shifting the collection, and attempting to make our e-resources obvious to our users. We will be embarking on an extensive monograph weed and shift, as well. The best guesses from the publication side say we are trending to collections which are 80% digital and 20% print. We are in the middle of determining what our collection will be, as we continue our evaluation.

RV: Would you recommend this conference to other medical librarians? Why?

DC: Would I recommend it? Absolutely! Without any reservation. As I mentioned in the beginning, this conference is uniquely focused on collections and acquisitions. You can be part of vendor feedback sessions, how-to sessions, plenary sessions (I mentioned you need a clone.) and meet fellow professionals from the US, Canada, Scotland, Hong Kong, Sweden, Australia, India, and Germany (that’s just my list). The 2012 Charleston Conference was the 31st meeting. It began in 1980, with 20 participants who met to begin the conversation among librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials. It has grown to over 1,400 in 2012. Try it. You’ll like it!

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MedPrint: Saving the last print copies together

As more and more libraries began transitioning to digital collections there arose a growing concern about preserving the printed copy. Organizations such as the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), in the Midwest , organized to establish print repository consortia. The National Library of Medicine built upon the National Network of Libraries Medicine and in 2011 inaugurated MedPrint, a national medical serials print retention program.

What are we saving?

To refresh your memory, MedPrint focuses on 250 core clinical journals, seeking to obtain commitments from at least 12 libraries in the Network to hold on to the full run of a title for 25 years, which will take us into 2036. The National Library of Medicine will hold the 13th copy for each of the 250 titles.

National participation

To date libraries have committed to preserve 244 of the 250 titles. You can see this list at titles have reached the goal of 12 commitments. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine is being held by 20 libraries, more than for any other title. Six titles, two that started in the 1800’s, have found no libraries that are prepared to ensure their print survival…yet. The list of titles with no commitments is available at

In the MidContinental Region

Here in the MidContinental Region we have a few participants. Two Resource Libraries, Creighton University Health Sciences Library and University of Wyoming Libraries, signed agreements to officially retain selected print journal titles. Three additional libraries in the region have marked in DOCLINE the titles that they are willing to retain, however agreements with NLM have not yet been signed. DOCLINE shows that 60 titles held by these five libraries will be retained until 2036.

Consider participating

1.   Review all the documentation on the MedPrint web site. (

 2.   Change the DOCLINE record for each of the titles.

Check your holdings against the list of titles. In the DOCLINE record for each of the titles you will retain go the Adding Format screen. 

MedPrint Screen Shot

Change the completeness field from “N/A or Limited Retention” to “Complete (95%-100% held).”

MedPrint Screen Shot

Click the radio button for holding the title for the National Print Retention program.

MedPrint Screen Shot

3.   Sign or have the MedPrint agreement signed. It is available on the MedPrint web site.

PAPR (Print Archives Preservation Registry)

The latest development is MedPrint’s participation in PAPR. PAPR is a product of the Center for Research Libraries. It is a database with information about titles, holdings, and archiving terms and conditions of major print archiving programs. When you sign the agreement to participate in MedPrint, your holdings for these titles will be made available beyond the health sciences library world through PAPR.

For more information on MedPrint you can view a recording by Martha Fishel, Chief of NLM’s Public Services Division, November 2012 ( or consult with your state coordinator.

–Claire Hamasu, Associate Director

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