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Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category


Monday, June 1st, 2015

It is with mixed emotions that I will be leaving the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region this week. My last day will be Tuesday, June 2, 2015. I started at the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School on a learning contract when I was an MLIS student at The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies. In 2012, I was hired into the RML and worked as a project coordinator, where I spent part of my time working on the Public Health Information Project and then moved on to the role of Outreach and Technology Coordinator. I have coordinated the efforts of the Healthcare Workforce Community of Interest, participated in our region’s Focused Outreach effort, hosted multiple PubMed and Technology webinars, and coordinated the exhibits program of the NER. Most recently, I spent a significant amount of my time on moving our website to the Drupal content management system.

While in my position at the NN/LM NER, I have met many people and learned from every one of them. I have been fortunate to meet many new friends and colleagues that have made an impact on me and my career. Thank you for all of the experiences we’ve shared! I am happy to be remaining in the region and will be moving on to the position of Reference Librarian at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, MA. I hope to continue the relationships I have built across the region, albeit in a new capacity. I expect to still see everyone at NAHSL and MAHSLIN and will remain on the MAHSLIN Board. I look forward to keeping in touch and seeing you at the regional conferences.

Thank you.



Stephanie Friree

Outreach and Technology Coordinator


It’s NOT Just About the Technology

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

[Guest post by Sally Gore]

Thanks to the NN/LM NER for supporting me financially to attend the Medical Library Association’s Annual Meeting in Austin, TX last week. It was a terrific meeting, filled with great speakers, papers, presentations, posters, opportunities to network, and a good bit of fun dancing and taking in the live music that Austin is known for. Being a music lover and band member, I loved that part of the trip. It was an awfully nice bonus.

I attended many sessions that left me with much to think about, ideas for projects, and new resources to seek out. One of these was the final plenary session, featuring Eszter Hargittai, the April McClain-Delaney and John Delaney Research Professor in the Communication Studies Department and faculty associate of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Hargittai’s talk focused on the skills people have – and more importantly, need – when it comes to using the Internet.

As she stated from the outset, “It’s NOT just about the technology, it’s about the SKILLS to use the technology.” This sentiment resonated with me as I often notice how our tendency to solve our problems – from health care to communication and everything in between – involves throwing some piece of technology at it, believing that it alone will do the trick. Electronic health records are praised as being the great fix to our health care problems, but the technology behind EHRs is only as good as the skills those using them possess, be they providers or patients.

Hargittai listed five skills that she believes users of technology need to have in order to efficiently and effectively utilize the Internet:

  1. Awareness and understanding
  2. Efficient information seeking
  3. Credibility assessment
  4. Participation
  5. Knowledge of privacy and security

Librarians have talked about the value of information literacy for a long time, taking it on as a charge for our profession. Sadly, however, we remain in a society where the overwhelming majority of Internet users are woefully lacking in these skills. Where are we failing? What are we missing? How can we do a better job of teaching these skills to patrons? These are some of the questions I came away with, as I listened to the talk.

It’s a myth (Hargittai offered up a number of myths around Internet use and understanding) that young people today, those that have grown up with the Internet, intuitively know how to use it. We are not born with these skills, as evident by no shortage of news stories about privacy blunders, jobs lost due to social network posts, people believing celebrities more than scientists when it comes to vaccinations, and so much more. We have a responsibility, as librarians and information professionals, to teach these skills and Hargittai’s lecture, filled with results of her research, left no doubt that there’s much work teaching to be done. I imagine others did, too.

Post contributed by:

Sally Gore, MS, MS LIS
Research Evaluation Analyst
UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science
UMass Medical School

MLA 2015: NLM Theater Presentations

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

The NLM exhibit booth at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services.

The presentation recordings are listed below and are also accessible from the NLM Distance Education Program Resources page.

To listen to the voice recordings and view the captions you may need the latest version of Flash® Player (download for free from the Adobe Web site). Note: To maximize the presentation, use the Full Screen button.

Video Presentations with Voice Recording and Captioning Video Length

  • BibFrame & MeSH RDF (17 minutes)
  • Saturday Morning Revisited: K-12 Environmental Health Animations & Games(26 minutes)
  • Community Engagement with National Library of Medicine Resources (27 minutes)
  • Hosting NLM Traveling Exhibitions: Nuts & Bolts (12 minutes)
  • MedlinePlus: Responsive Design 30 minutes
  • Librarians on the Front Line as Disaster Information Specialists (15 minutes)
  • LinkOut! A User’s View Into Capacity Building & Technical assistance (22 minutes)
  • PubMed Update (26 minute)
  • PubMed Commons & Journal Clubs (17 minutes)
  • Public Access, NIHMS, & PMC (25 minutes)
  • My NCBI Update: SciENcv & My Bibliography (26 minutes)
  • PubMed Health (15 minutes)
  • HSRProj: Easier Searching, Better Research (14 minutes)

Recordings are linked in the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Difficult Conversations at MLA

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

[Contributed by Holly Grosetta Nardini, Yale]

The session on Difficult Conversations at MLA’15, sponsored by the Leadership and Management Section, was excellent. They invited a local professor from UT, Dr. Melanie Maxwell, a communications expert. In a very engaging talk, she reminded us of some of the core principles of talking to others. In fact, this type of presentation is useful beyond the workplace; I think of how to apply it at home – speaking to my “tween” children.

Her core piece of advice was that everyone needs validation (even if you don’t think they deserve it). Our job is to try to interpret the motivation behind their behavior. The real skill is to learn to defuse an elevated situation and not confuse our own opinion with facts.
She made a distinction between a combat and curious mentality, offering warnings that there are often *three* sides to every situation, that we must guard above all against displaying contempt, and that we have to fight our own flight response by probing and fully considering the situation. Of course she emphasized good listening skills, but her focus was on listening to show that you care and to help plan a strategic response. Every situation is complex and you have to know your own priorities.

She encouraged us to respond, rather than simply react, which is easier. Responding requires deliberateness, taking responsibility, describing your own feelings, and being sure that you are opening your mind and not freezing. This approach requires practice so you can think about your triggers and figure out your own priorities and prepare.

One interesting tip is that she discourages the traditional use of the “sandwich” – putting the criticism between two compliments. She encourages putting the agenda right up front since unnecessary pleasantries can make people nervous. She also suggested asking “why” over and over again, almost like a toddler, to get the maximum amount of information about a problem.
MLA’15 has an online component with recorded sessions and slides. I highly recommend a review of Dr. Maxwell’s talk which is full of great tips for talking with the people in your life.

Contributed by:

Holly K. Grossetta Nardini
Research and Education Librarian
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Yale University

This is the first in a series of blog posts from NN/LM NER Network Members who received awards to fund their registration to attend the Medical Library Association National Confererence in Austin, Texas.

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