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Archive for June, 2009

Greysi Reyna Received DeBakey Award

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Greysi receiving awardGreysi Reyna, MLS, Assistant Director, Mario E. Ramirez, MD Medical Library, University of Texas Health Science Center, was awarded the Michael E. DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award on May 5, 2009 during the annual Friends of the National Library of Medicine Dinner. She was selected as this year’s recipient because of  her many years of dedication to improving access to health information to the healthcare professionals and the underserved populations in the Rio Grande Valley.

To read more about Greysi’s experience, see the article from the Valley Morning Star.

At the Annual Dinner

The award was established to recognize contributions to medical education and librarianship by Michael E. DeBakey, MD, and to honor the work of a health sciences librarian who works in underserved or rural communities.  It has been awarded only ten times since its establishment in 1992. See the entire list of recipients on the MLA Outreach Special Interest Group’s website. Of the ten receipents, five have been in the South Central Region.

See the previous Blogadillo posting to read about some of Greysi’s great work.

Emergency Preparedness and Hurricane Season 2009

Monday, June 29th, 2009

June 1 marked the beginning of the 2009 hurricane season. For those of us living in the Gulf Coast region, little reminder is needed regarding the value of preparing for a potential hurricane before it actually poses a threat. However, preparing ahead of time for other emergency situations and potential disasters (including tornados, floods, extreme heat, and earthquakes) is a valuable practice no matter where you may reside. NN/LM SCR, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and other agencies offer many resources to help individuals, families, and communities stay safe and healthy.

Please see the following websites for more information on emergency preparedness:

NN/LM SCR Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery: http://nnlm.gov/scr/services/prepare.html

CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response – Natural Disasters & Severe Weather:  http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/ (This site is available in Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.)

CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response – Hurricanes:  http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/ (This site is available in Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, German, and Portuguese, and also contains videos in American Sign Language.)

CDC Hurricane Readiness: Emergency Supplies You Will Need: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/supplies.asp (This site is available in Spanish, French, and Vietnamese.)

AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) – Public Health Emergency Preparedness: http://www.ahrq.gov/prep/

NLM Presentations from MLA 2009

Friday, June 26th, 2009
All of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Presentations from the Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Conference 2009 have been posted on the NLM Technical Bulletin.

MLA 2009: NLM® Online Users’ Meeting: Remarks
MLA 2009: NLM® Online Users’ Meeting: Questions and Answers
MLA 2009: NLM Online Users’ Meeting: PowerPoint® Presentations for Meeting Remarks, MedlinePlus®, and DOCLINE®
MLA 2009: NLM® Theater Presentations
MLA 2009: NLM® Update PowerPoint® Presentations

One topic covered in many of these presentations was the PubMed redesign. In developing the redesign concepts, NCBI has the following goals:

  • Make PubMed easier to use
  • Simplify the interface
  • Refresh the look of the site
  • Organize information better
  • Make “power features” readily accessible
  • Promote scientific discovery

SCR Libraries Selected to Take Part in NLM Pilot Program

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library and the Metropolitan Library System have been selected for a pilot program sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and NN/LM. The program, entitled “Community Day,” is designed to assist libraries in becoming active partners in their community’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery planning. Community Day will make libraries part of the nationwide effort encouraging all Americans to take simple steps in preparing for possible emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools and communities.

Title: From Band-Aids to Twisters: Enhancing Community and Personal Preparedness
Lead Library: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library, Oklahoma City
Partner Library: Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City
Project Manager: Shari Clifton

Since there were only three sites selected nationwide, the NN/LM SCR is proud that libraries in Oklahoma will be participating in this important project.

New Look for PHPartners.org

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce website, http://PHPartners.org, has been revised to make public health information easier to find and to highlight public health news and resources.

PHPartners is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health science libraries which provides timely, convenient access to selected resources on the Internet.

Revisions to PHPartners.org include:

  • Access to public health topic pages from the left frame of every page
  • Access to main topics from the left frame of every page
  • Public Health News in center of the home page
  • In the Spotlight section to highlight links of particular interest to the public health workforce. Selected spotlight links will rotate on a weekly basis
  • Featured Resources on the right frame of the home page
  • What’s New on PHPartners.org on the home page allows users to keep up-to-date with news and new resources posted on PHPartners.org by subscribing to the PHPartners email list or RSS news feed.

The PHPartners team wants to hear feedback on the look and usability of PHPartners.org. Please submit your feedback and comments to Lisa Sedlar, sedlarl@mail.nlm.nih.gov, and Hathy Simpson, hathy.simpson@umassmed.edu. Users can also submit feedback using the Contact Us link on the About Partners page.

Make Your PDF Documents Accessible

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

According to U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2007 American Community Survey, 12.3% of U.S. populations aged between 16 and 64 are disabled. Primary conditions that can affect people accessing Web content include visual, hearing, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological disabilities, as well as aging-related conditions. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 suggests that making PDF documents accessible allows users with disabilities to understand and interact with content delivered, and gives them equal opportunities to enjoy your information and education programs published in PDF format. Improved accessibility will also increase usability and help other users such as older people with changing abilities due to aging.

I attended a PDF Accessibility Webinar (recording with printable presentation slides ) on June 17. The seminar covered how to create accessible PDF documents and forms using Adobe Acrobat Pro, as well as utilizing Microsoft Word; how to analyze existing PDF files and make them accessible; and how to add other interactive features to make your documents and forms more accessible. It provides useful and practical tips and techniques for making your PDF documents accessible.

Based on suggestions from HHS Testing Documents for Section 508 Compliance, a PDF document must meet the following criteria before it is accessible:

  1. Be properly tagged
  2. Have a logical reading and tab order
  3. Have alternative text for all images and objects
  4. Have a specified language (language it is written in)
  5. Have bookmarks linked to the sections of the document for files of 10 pages or more

MedlinePlus Health News RSS Enhancements

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

MedlinePlus enhanced its Health News RSS feeds this week. The MedlinePlus Health News feeds now include images and hyperlinks to corresponding MedlinePlus Health Topics. The images add visual interest to the feeds and the Health Topic links allow subscribers to quickly and easily access information on the diseases, conditions, and wellness issues that are discussed in the news stories and press announcements.

You can subscribe to the Health News RSS feeds by copying and pasting the URLs below into your preferred RSS reader/aggregator:

MedlinePlus Health News (English): http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/feeds/news_en.xml
MedlinePlus Health News (Spanish): http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/feeds/news_es.xml

NCCAM Summer Newsletter Online

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) brings you a new issue of the newsletter “Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Focus on Research and Care,” at http://nccam.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2009_may. Among the stories featured:

  • Four out of five American adults will experience low-back pain (LBP). Many will try complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to manage their pain. Given the many choices, how can one approach making decisions about CAM use for LBP?
  • An eminent surgeon and bestselling author delivers the first Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture on the Science of CAM, on “Chinese Medicine, Western Science, and Acupuncture.”
  • A special section for consumers addresses “Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain” and “Acupuncture for Pain.”
  • A member of NCCAM’s National Advisory Board who is a pain researcher and a chiropractic physician offers his perspective.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has, among its goals, spurring advances in biomedical research and the Nation’s health. What are NCCAM’s topic areas for these funds?
  • The National Institutes of Health has a website—including information on CAM—designed specifically for older people.

In addition to this newsletter, you can subscribe to the monthly “NCCAM Update” eBulletin. To learn more, visit http://nccam.nih.gov/news/subscribe.htm.

New Screencasting Class in Houston TX August 6

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region will offer a new class: Screencasting: Creating Online Tutorials at the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library in Houston, TX on August 6, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM.

This hands-on class will provide attendees with a fun, yet informative, overview of screencasting, how you can integrate this technology into your information services and education opportunities, what hardware and software tools will work best for your needs, and how to create an effective screencast using cost-effective tools.

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Screencasting: Creating Online Tutorials
Time: August 6, 2009, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Instructor: Shikun (“KK”) Jiang, Technology Coordinator, NN/LM SCR
Location: Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, Houston, TX

To register, go to our class calendar: http://nnlm.gov/scr/training/. The registration deadline is July 31, 2009.

MiFi: Your Personal Wireless Hotspot

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Are you still trying to figure out the closest Wi-Fi hotspot for Internet access on your business trip?  Maybe MiFi, a personal on-the-go Wi-Fi device that supports multiple connections for you and your teammates, is a better option.

MiFi is a tiny, battery powered Mobile Broadband modem that allows you to turn your wireless carrier’s 3G signals into a small wireless network. The network is password-protected and allows mutil-user access, for up to 5 Wi-Fi enabled devices. It offers a great way not only as your personal wireless hotspot, but also for small groups working together within 30-foot range on their laptops, netbooks, or PDAs.

New York Times’ Wi-Fi to Go, No Cafe Needed provides more information on this new technology.

Currently Verizon and Sprint offer MiFi service in the United States.