A message from the NN/LM NER Director, Elaine Martin DA
Some of you may have been hearing about the threaded discussion on MedLib-L about library closures. There was some mention of the work done by NN/LM NER regarding hospital library advocacy. There have been other comments about the RMLs, NLM, and MLA doing something.
In case you didn’t see it, this is what I wrote and posted to the list on 1/29/14:
I have been reading with interest the various comments and concerns regarding the many recent hospital library closures. As director of the New England Region, I want to acknowledge the tireless efforts that many of our local librarians have played in developing advocacy programs and tool kits, and attending on site meetings with administrators to try to stem the tide in our region. Many also worked with me on a study of the perception of the hospital library by interviewing their administrators and educating them on the tangible benefits of having a hospital library. These efforts as reported met with mixed results. Even some of the participants were eventually let go. The New England Hospital Library Advocacy group now is refocusing its efforts at trying to identify new models of hospital librarianship; knowledge management being one but there may be others.
I think the efforts in New England show that we as a profession whether hospital or academic we are in real trouble. Even our academic medical library colleagues are losing staff, space and collections. While it is true that hospitals are needing to respond to the new funding model of not being reimbursed for every procedure and rather being funded on a model of low cost high quality, the academic side of the house is losing research dollars, struggling with keeping tuition reasonable and reduced philanthropy. In the past for those of us with both hospital and academic entities to serve, when one side of the house was having financial difficulties, the other may have been able to help them out. Today both sides are hurting financially and we all are seeing reductions in libraries every where.
Frankly, it is my opinion that we can not go on as we have, trying to save or hold on to medical librarianship as we have always known it. We need to totally reinvent ourselves. That is not to say that we do not have a very important role in providing quality evidence based health information. This is more important than ever. But the ways we do this, the settings in which we do this in, perhaps even the payment models and more, all need to change. Otherwise the bleeding will continue.
There are professions that have successfully done this. HIMSS is one. Presently the Academy of Family Physicians is embarking on a reinvention of itself called Family Physicians 2.0. There are probably other such efforts. We could learn from them.
In order for this to happen in medical librarianship we will need to challenge everything we have held dear in the past and perhaps no longer do these things. But do new things, in new ways, under new conditions. And as we design our new profession our support systems would also need to change. This would take enormous effort on the part of us as individuals, our associations and local groups. But most importantly I think we will need the Will and the Perseverance to do so. I don’t think we have been ready for the radical changes I would see necessary for us to move towards to ensure the future of medical librarianship. Are we now?
Elaine Martin DA
Director of Library Services
Director NN/LM, NER
Lamar Soutter Library
University of Massachusetts Medical School
[Forwarded from NLM]
The National Library of Medicine (NLM), located on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus, in Bethesda, Maryland is recruiting recent library science graduates for paid internships to fill entry level librarian or information science positions. The positions offer a unique opportunity to work at the world’s largest biomedical library, with a mission of acquiring, organizing, and disseminating the biomedical knowledge for the benefit of the public’s health.
Positions are available in:
Health Services Research, Public Health and Health Information Technology
- Engage with the public health and health services research communities in order to create and manage health information resources that serve their needs
- Support development of knowledge and information resources to promote interoperable exchange of data and information using standardized vocabularies and codesets, standardized survey tools and assessment instruments, and common data elements and measures
- Assist with acquisition of materials for the NLM collection and management of licensed electronic resources
- Apply medical subject headings and supplemental metadata to citations from specialized scientific and technical materials
Preservation; Digital Preservation; Rare Book Cataloging
- Provide proper management, preservation and care of historical and non-historical collections, including monographs, serials, archives, manuscripts, oral histories, prints, photographs, posters, ephemera, motion pictures, video recordings, sound recordings, and other materials
- Participate in digital technology, digital imaging and preservation of analog and digital formats
- Cataloging of rare books in the NLM’s History of Medicine Division
- Organize consumer health information about diseases, conditions, and wellness, in both English and Spanish through MedlinePlus, the NLM consumer health web site
Web Site Development and Social Media
- Support site development, or new responsive web design for MedlinePlus
- Contribute to social media initiatives of NLM
Data and Literature Management
- Design qualitative and quantitative assessments of tools and processes used in the indexing of biomedical literature
- Provide technical and research support for automated (machine-assisted) indexing initiatives involving biomedical literature
- Assist with data content review and editing of bibliographic citations, including HTML or XML tagging and metadata application, to ensure data quality and consistency
- Test and evaluate NLM search systems, including the content in the systems and the interfaces used to access the systems.
Communication & Outreach
- Research and write articles for internal and external publications
- Assist with tours, digital signage and other outreach activities
- Assist in developing social media strategies and content
Pay: GS-9 level with a pay rate of $52,146
Benefits: health insurance, and other benefits
Eligibility: Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; must have graduated on or after 12/27/10
Apply through USAJobs at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/360145900
NLM is participating in the NIH Pathways Recent Graduates Program. NLM and NIH are dedicated to building a workforce that reflects diversity. NLM hires, promotes, trains, and provides career development based on merit, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity), parental status, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, or political affiliation.
Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Coordinator
National Library of Medicine
Would you like to learn more about the environmental health resources available from the National Library of Medicine? Join the NLM Training Center (NTC) from March 3-25 for Module 2 of the new online class, called “Discovering TOXNET: From Paracelsus to Nanotechnology.”
TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Module 2 covers the following resources: Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), Household Products Database (HPDB), Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), LiverTOX, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), TOXMAP®, and Haz-Map. Note: modules are independent of each other; you do NOT need to complete Module 1 before taking Module 2. (Module 1 will be offered again at a later date). You’ll learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, discovery exercises, and solving real-life reference questions.
Who should take the class? Health sciences librarians and health sciences professionals interested in unlocking the information in the following resources: Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), Household Products Database (HPDB), Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), LiverTOX, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), TOXMAP®, and Haz-Map.
How much time? Plan for nine hours of work over three weeks (3 hours per week) on your own time followed by a 1.5 hour synchronous session using Adobe Connect. Participants who complete the class requirements are eligible for 10.5 MLA Continuing Education credits.
When? Asynchronous work on your own (total of 9 hours, allow 3 hours per week): March 3 – 20, 2014 Synchronous Adobe Connect session: March 25, 2014; choose one of two times: Noon – 1:30 pm Eastern Time; OR 3 pm – 4:30 pm Eastern Time. You will be asked to choose a time after the class opens on March 3.
To Register for this or other New England Region and NTC classes/events visit: http://tinyurl.com/p3nxmq9
New OERC Blog posting! This is to let you know that a new OERC Blog article has become available. You can find this article online here. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve posted the article below:
“Evidence” — what does that mean?
In our health information outreach work we are expected to provide evidence of the value of our work, but there are varying definitions of the word “evidence.” The classical evidence-based medicine approach (featuring results from randomized controlled clinical trials) is a model that is not always relevant in our work. At the 2013 EBLIP7 meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Denise Kaufogiannakis presented a keynote address that is now available as an open-access article on the web:
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Evidence” Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice 2013 8.4
This article looks at various interpretations of what it means to provide “evidence” such as
theoretical (ideas, concepts and models to explain how and why something works),
empirical (measuring outcomes and effectiveness via empirical research), and
experiential (people’s experiences with an intervention).
Kaufogiannakis points out that academic librarians’ decisions are usually made in groups of people working together and she proposes a new model for evidence-based library and information practice:
1) Articulate – come to an understanding of the problem and articulate it. Set boundaries and clearly articulate a problem that requires a decision.
2) Assemble – assemble evidence from multiple sources that are most appropriate to the problem at hand. Gather evidence from appropriate sources.
3) Assess – place the evidence against all components of the wider overarching problem. Assess the evidence for its quantity and quality. Evaluate and weigh evidence sources. Determine what the evidence says as a whole.
4) Agree – determine the best way forward and if working with a group, try to achieve consensus based on the evidence and organizational goals. Determine a course of action and begin implementation of the decision.
5) Adapt – revisit goals and needs. Reflect on the success of the implementation. Evaluate the decision and how it has worked in practice. Reflect on your role and actions. Discuss the situation
with others and determine any changes required.
Kaufogiannakis concludes by reminding us that “Ultimately, evidence, in its many forms, helps us find answers. However, we can’t just accept evidence at face value. We need to better understand evidence – otherwise we don’t really know what ‘proof’ the various pieces of evidence provide.