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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Padlet: A Free Virtual Bulletin Board and Brainstorming Tool

A recent AEA365 Evaluation Tip-a-Day featured a review and several hot tips for Padlet, a freely available web-based bulletin board system. The hot tips include the use of Padlet as an anonymous brainstorming activity in response to a question or idea, and as a backchannel for students or conference attendees to share resources and raise questions for future discussion. Padlet’s bulletin board configuration settings are intuitive and easy to use with various backgrounds and freeform, tabular, or grid note arrangement display on the bulletin board. Free Padlet accounts can be created by either signing up directly or by linking to an existing Google or Facebook account. Padlet includes many privacy options that are clearly explained, including “Private” mode, requiring the use of a password for you and those you invite to participate to access the Padlet, and “Public” mode to view, write or moderate. A new update feature includes a variety of ways to share Padlet data, ranging from choosing the icon for six different social media channels to downloading data as a PDF or Excel/CSV file for analysis. For a trial run of this resource, visit the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center’s Padlet about the OERC Evaluation Series booklets and leave your input! Posts will be moderated on the Padlet before they display publicly.

NLM Recruiting for 2015-16 Associate Fellowship Program!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its 2015-16 Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program designed for recent MLS graduates and early-career librarians. All U.S. and Canadian citizens who will have earned a MLS or equivalent degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited school by August 2015 are eligible to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens. Applications and additional information are available on the NLM web site. The application deadline is February 5, 2015. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.

In the first half of the fellowship year, a formal curriculum offers exposure to library operations, research and development, intramural and extramural research, development and lifecycle of NLM’s web-based products and services, and the extensive outreach and education program reaching consumers, special populations, health professionals and librarians. In the second half of the year, Associate Fellows have the opportunity to choose projects based on real-world problems proposed by library divisions, and work with librarians and library staff over a 6-7 month period. Successful projects have led to peer-reviewed publications, and to services that have become a regular part of library operations.

The September through August program also offers professional development and an introduction to the wider world of health sciences librarianship that may include:

  • Supported attendance at national professional conferences, often including the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting, the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting and others
  • Additional brown bags, seminars, field trips and learning opportunities available on the National Institutes of Health campus
  • Opportunities to meet and interact with senior management at the National Library of Medicine
  • Experienced preceptors from National Library of Medicine staff
  • Potential to compete for a second-year fellowship at a health sciences library in the United States

The Fellowship offers:

  • A stipend equivalent to a U.S. Civil Service salary at the GS-9 level ($52,146 in 2014)
  • Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
  • Some relocation funding

CDC Program Evaluation Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a freely available ‘how to’ resource Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self Study Guide. Examples of public and community health programs that can be considered for program evaluation include direct service interventions, community-based mobilization efforts, research initiatives into issues such as health disparities, advocacy work, and training programs. The guide is available online or as a PDF document that consists of a six-step process (from Engaging Stakeholders to Ensure Use of Evaluation Findings), a helpful Glossary of program evaluation terminology, and Resources for additional publications, toolkits, and more to support public and community health program evaluation work. A related CDC guide A Framework for Program Evaluation is one of several resources featured in the Evaluation Planning section of the NN/LM OERC Tools and Resources for Evaluation web page.

HSICT Library Value Toolkit

October is both Canadian Library Month and National Medical Librarians Month, making it an ideal time to celebrate and promote the value of our work! It is an excellent time to launch the HSICT’s (Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto) Library Value Toolkit. This resource is the creation of the HSICT Task Force on Evaluating Library Services. Task Force members, from a cross section of HSICT member libraries, distilled and organized the information in the toolkit which includes tools, examples, recommendations, as well as samples and strategies from various work settings.

National Library of Medicine Joins The Commons on Flickr!

Nurse wearing a uniform

The National Library of Medicine has announced that it is now a participating institution of the Commons on Flickr. The Commons on Flickr was launched in 2008 as a pilot project in partnership with the Library of Congress in order to increase access to publicly-held photography collections and to invite the general public to provide information about the collections. The National Library of Medicine now joins a distinguished, international group of nearly one hundred cultural institutions in providing greater access to its collection and inviting public use of and engagement with these images held in the public trust through The Commons on Flickr.

Images from the historical collections of the History of Medicine Division, including public health posters, book illustrations, photographs, fine art work, and ephemera, have always been available through the Images from the History of Medicine database, which includes over 70,000 images illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine dated from the 15th to the 21st century. Now, they can also be accessed through the Commons on Flickr via a photostream, where visitors can contribute information about the images by adding comments and tags. By adding a new way to see its collections through Flickr NLM hopes to learn more details about its collections, create dialog about its holdings, and share knowledge with the public. The collection of images on Flickr will continue to grow so visitors can check back regularly for new content!

Qualitative Data Visualization

An innovative and compelling approach to creating qualitative data visualizations with illustrations is provided by Fresh Spectrum. The process begins by taking a long narrative such as a focus group transcription, and chunking it into a few paragraphs per concept with a unique illustration for each one. One option is to use your organization’s existing images or Creative Commons-licensed images for illustrating concepts. The next step for the visualization uses the images with brief captions as an online data dashboard, where visitors can click on the captioned image of interest to them to access the more detailed narrative. One example describes how to do this within a WordPress portfolio blog template, or a simpler strategy of creating HTML anchor links to each individual section within a longer text, which then leads to the longer narrative.

The NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) has more resources available from the Reporting and Visualizing tab of the OERC Tools and Resources for Evaluation Guide.

NLM Releases Rare Footage of President Franklin Roosevelt Speaking at NIH

On October 31, 1940, just days before President Franklin D. Roosevelt would be elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the United States, he traveled to Bethesda to dedicate the National Cancer Institute and the new campus of what was then the National Institute of Health (NIH), before it would eventually become known in plural form, National Institutes of Health, as multiple units were established over subsequent years. That late October afternoon, Roosevelt stood on the steps of the new main NIH building, ready to address a crowd of 3,000 people. Still relevant today, in a variety of contexts, are the subjects he discussed: the need for preparedness in light of war and for research into deadly diseases, recent improvements in public health and health care, and hope that the research conducted at NIH would lead to new cures for and even the prevention of disease.

The National Library of Medicine is making the film of Roosevelt’s speech publicly available online for the first time, nearly 74 years after the President made his speech. Sound recordings, transcripts, and photographs of this event have been publicly available for many years. Research suggests, however, that this rare film footage has not been seen publicly since its recording and may no longer exist anywhere else. The recording does not appear to have been professionally produced, since the camera is unsteady in places, a hand sweeps across the lens, and the filming starts and stops, though it isn’t known whether this is a result of the original filming or of later editing. The film is publicly available via the NLM’s Digital Collections archive of over 10,000 biomedical books and videos, and its YouTube site. Read more about this historically significant film footage on the NLM blog, Circulating Now: From the Historical Collections of the World’s Largest Biomedical Library.

American Evaluation Association’s Potent Presentation Information

The American Evaluation Association (AEA) sponsors a Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) that has a stated purpose of helping evaluators improve their presentation skills, both within a conference setting and as part of individual practice. P2i challenges evaluators to hone in on three concepts: Their message, their design, and their delivery.

There are a wealth of handouts available as PDF files, Word documents, and Powerpoint presentations available from the p2i tools website that sometimes include AEA conference specifications in addition to many great messaging, designing and delivery principles. For an example of each principle be sure to check out the Presentation Preparation Checklist, How to Design a Research Poster, and the Delivery Glue Handout.

NN/LM OERC Announces New Webinar: “Evaluation 2.0!”

The NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) has developed the new webinar Evaluation 2.0: Trends, New Ideas, Cool Tools,” which debuted on August 21 as one of the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region’s monthly Lake Effect webinars. The new webinar presents emerging trends in evaluation practice that emphasize stakeholder interaction and social engagement. It also covers popular tools and methods that allow you to draw others into the evaluation process and raise the visibility of your program or services. A recording of the one-hour session is available for viewing.

Designing Library Data Dashboards with Tableau Software

At this month’s Library Assessment Conference held in Seattle, one panel featured assessment librarians presenting data dashboards they created using Tableau software, Tableau Unleashed: Visualizing Library Data. This presentation includes views of dashboards from University of British Columbia Library (by presenter Jeremy Buhler), UMass Amherst Libraries (by Rachel Lewellen), and Ohio State Libraries (by Sarah Murphy). All of the presenters used Tableau software to produce their dashboards.

Tableau may be the most popular software for creating dashboards right now and the company offers a free version that has a great deal of functionality. In fact, at least one presenter (Sarah Murphy) included dashboards she created using Tableau Public. However, users must be cautioned that any data entered into Tableau Public become public information. That means anyone can see and download your raw data. So, if you use it, be sure all identifying information about individuals is stripped from your files and that you are comfortable with other people downloading your raw data. The presenters also mentioned tips for dashboard design. For additional design guidance, check out the freely downloadable resource A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use by Juice Analytics.