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Advisors to the NN/LM MidContinental Region

The Regional Advisory Board serves as an additional source for the staff of the NN/LM MidContinental Region to hear from our constituency. We usually have some non-librarians on our board, but this year we decide to jump out of the library box and heavily recruit from among library and information users. Five of the members represent schools (pre-school to higher education) and a non-governmental organization. Their professional interests include patient safety, online education, bio-informatics, and electronic health records. We still have two librarians on our board. Lori Phillips, from the University of Wyoming Libraries, represents our Resource Libraries and Darrel Willoughby, Library Manager for the VA in Nebraska, represents the Midcontinental Chapter of the Medical Library Association. Read more »

NN/LM MCR 2014-2015 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 2014-2015. The objectives encompass services to our Network members as well as our outreach services. These objectives are also on our web site.
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Whooo Says…

Dear Whooo,

Because of the budget cuts at my hospital, I was unable to attend MLA this year. I really missed seeing all of my hospital library colleagues and hearing the new things that others are doing. However, what I really wanted to hear about is what MLA is doing to help hospital librarians. We really need someone to help save our jobs. I am too busy doing my daily work! I can’t add anything else.

Shakin’ in my shoes
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MCR Membership Update

Through the years NN/LM MidContinental Region has had a diverse institutional membership including hospitals; academic health sciences institutions; special and public libraries; and information centers. More recently we’ve had a surge in K-12 school and community college libraries joining the Network. Read more »

Wearable Technology Trends:

From Fitness Tracking to Clinical Applications


The phrase “wearable technology” may bring to mind fitness trackers, smart watches or Google Glass, but it includes a wide variety of devices for both consumers and health care. The wearable technology industry is an increasingly lucrative market and experts predict it will continue to grow. A new market research report “Wearable Electronics Market and Technology Analysis (2013 – 2018),” expects the global wearable electronics market revenue to reach $8 billion by 2018 with the total number of devices shipped to exceed 130 million units. This includes all types of wearable technology such as gadgets, headgear, wristbands, and smart textiles.

Montage of wearable technology

The most popular consumer wearable devices are fitness wristbands equipped with sensors that track a user’s physical activities. These self-tracking devices gained popularity with the quantified-self movement which employs technology to increase self-awareness by tracking data related to exercise, diet, and health and then using that information to encourage behavior modification to improve the quality of life. Read more »

In This Issue:

Libraries and Medicare Bonuses, Penalties

Background on Medicare Bonuses and Penalties

For the past two years, Medicare reimbursements have been tied to how well a hospital meets effective care and readmission metrics. If the hospital does better than the quality care standard, it gets a bonus. If the hospital doesn’t meet the standard, it gets a penalty. The hospital can get a bigger bonus or bigger penalty based on how well it meets the standard or not. For the readmission metric, institutions want to stay below the set limit of hospital readmissions. If they exceed this limit, they receive a penalty.


The NN/LM MCR distributed a questionnaire through our listserv to hospital Network members. We wanted to hear what members are doing to assist their hospitals in addressing the Medicare metrics since this can translate into dollars gained (bonuses) or dollars lost (penalties). Activities of our members would then be shared with others in the region to stimulate ideas of what librarians can do.

The questionnaire was a very short one. Members were asked if they were involved in programs looking at readmission rates or quality control at their institution. If they answered “yes,” they were asked to describe their activity. They were also presented a list of the Medicare metrics and were asked to check off all the ones to which their activities relate. Read more »

Best Practices for Resource Sharing

When you see or hear the phrase best practices for resource sharing what comes to mind? Ten Network members recently shared their favorite resource sharing best practices during the February 2014 Breezing Along with the RML webinar. (Session recording: Every one of these people have many years of experience with resource sharing. Read more »

Supporting Effective Systematic Reviews

Assako N. Holyoke
St. Louis University
St. Louis, Missouri

The Professional Development Award I received from the NN/LM MCR allowed me to attend “Systematic Review Workshop: The Nuts and Bolts for Librarians,” in October 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My experience was very positive and I have been able to use this training to more effectively support the execution of systematic review research for my liaison departments’ faculty, residents, and students. Learn more about the workshop here.

systematic review cloud

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Library Support for Researchers

This article provides a recap of what the NN/LM MCR has done to help librarians become better informed about methods to support researchers at their institution and discusses current initiatives devoted to supporting e-science (big data, data curation/management, and cyber infrastructure). It also discusses a research question being addressed by the MCR’s Library Support for Researchers Advisory Group. The article ends with a description of resources that can help librarians become more knowledgeable about e-science and provide guidance on starting an e-science program at your library.


For several years the MCR has conducted activities with the intent of helping Network members be better able to support the researchers at their institutions. In 2012, we hosted an in-person workshop providing an introduction to e-science with many Network members in attendance. This was followed later, by a webinar discussion about the librarian’s role in supporting e-science efforts at their academic institution. The webinar resulted in an article, written by Claire Hamasu, Barb Jones, and Betsy Kelly, titled, “Discussing ‘eScience and the Evolution of Library Services,” which was published in the Journal of eScience Librarianship. Read more »