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Archive for August, 2010

A Quick Look at QR Codes

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Have you noticed square black and white images popping up on websites, in presentations, on business cards, online or maybe even at your library? Ever wonder what these little images might mean?

Amazingly they could mean quite a lot! QR Codes are a type of barcode that can store data, text or even link to a URL. QR Codes, the QR stands for Quick Response, were created to decode information at high speed. QR Codes have been around for awhile and are frequently used in shipping and manufacturing.

Today QR Codes are moving beyond shipping. Because of their ability to quickly link to information and their ability to interact with cell phone applications, their use is being quickly adopted for information sharing.

An additional introduction to QR Codes can be found through EDUCAUSE’s 7 Things You Should Know about QR Codes.

The important thing to keep in mind about QR Codes is that the codes will have little or no meaning to you without the proper tools for decoding its messages. QR Codes are seeing a rise in use because of the ability for mobile applications that interact with camera phones to decode the information stored in the QR Code. To decode QR Codes, you will need to download an application designed to work with your phone and its camera. Here are suggestions for free QR code scanning applications:

iPhone – ScanLife (free); i-nigma (free)

Blackberry – ScanLife (free)

Android – Barcode Scanner (free); ScanLife (free)

If you have a smart phone, you can download the application then try scanning the QR Code below:

qrcode

This QR Code should link to the mobile version of MedlinePlus. QR Codes provide you with a lot of information without making you do a lot of work. Instead of typing out a URL or data, you can scan a QR Code with the information you need.

To create your own QR Codes, you might try some of the various free QR Code generators available online. Most generators allow you to encode text, a URL, contact information or an SMS message. Here are a few free examples to try:

Kaywa

ZXing Project

Delivr

For more examples of QR Code use in libraries, review Jason Griffey’s ALA TechSource post about QR Codes.

How to Find Your Old Favorite Link on the New MedlinePlus

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

MedlinePlus has released a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) called “Where can I find my favorite link from the old homepage on the new homepage?

You can click on a link on the old homepage to see where it’s moved to on the new homepage. If you haven’t visited the new MedlinePlus yet, check it out. And send your questions and comments to the MedlinePlus team via the Contact Us link that appears on every page.

PubMed Abstract Display Improving

Monday, August 9th, 2010

An update to how structured abstracts are displayed is coming to PubMed. Structured abstracts will soon be reformatted for easier readability. Section labels will remain in uppercase followed by a colon, but will be bolded and each section will begin on a new line. This change affects only the PubMed Abstract display using your Internet browser; it will not be available with other display formats, e.g., Abstract (text).

See the NLM Technical Bulletin article for an example of the new formatting: Ripple AM, Mork JG, Knecht LS. Structured Abstracts: A New Look for the PubMed® Abstract Display. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Jul-Aug;(375):e11.

DLIP and EFTS Awards Recipients

Friday, August 6th, 2010

The Presbyterian Hospital, Robert Shafer Memorial Library (Albuquerque, NM) has been awarded a DOCLINE Library Improvement Award. The library will be purchasing a new integrated library system as part of its project.

The VA Cooperative Studies Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center (Albuquerque, NM) has been awarded an EFTS Assistance Award. The library is in the process of implementing full services and will be available in DOCLINE soon.

Year 5 Express Consumer Health Outreach Award Recipients

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The NN/LM SCR is happy to announce the recipients of the Year 5 Express Consumer Health Outreach Award:

Institution:  St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, Fort Smith AR
Project Title:  Patient and Visitor Health Information Kiosk
Project Manager: Pat Morris

Institution: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport LA
Project Title: HealtheLearning Curves: Making Quality Electronic Health Information Available to Fitness Center Participants
Project submitted by: Dixie Jones

Institution: Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond LA
Project Title: Senior CHAT (Consumer Health Awareness Training)
Project Manager: Mary Lou Strong

Institution: Boys and Girls Club of Valencia County, Belen NM
Project Title: Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Future
Project Manager: Cristina Jaramillo

Institution: Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library, Houston TX
Project Title: NLM by NLM: Nurturing Latina Mothers by the National Library of Medicine
Project Manager: Adela Justice

Institution
: University of North Texas Health Science Center, Gibson D. Lewis Library, Fort Worth TX
Project Title: Consumer Health and Diabetes Education Program for Low Income Communities within Central Fort Worth
Project Manager: Lisa Smith

More information and a brief description of these awards can be found at the NN/LM SCR Funded Projects page.

Social Media Tips from TechSoup Talks!

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

TechSoup Talks! Banner Last month Techsoup.org served up “10 Social Media Tips & Secrets” during the TechSoup Talks! webinar series. Presenter Heather Mansfield provided quick tips for using social media to better reach your library and intuition users. Heather discussed various social media applications including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well as geolocation applications such as Gowalla and Foursquare. The webinar provided useful information about how people are connecting with one another through social media sites and strategies libraries can consider for using these applications more successfully. A recording of the presentation can be found in the TechSoup Talks! Webinar Archives.

TechsSoup Talks! Are free webinars and cover a variety of different technology topics. To view upcoming classes visit them online at http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/webinars.

Year 5 Express Outreach Award Recipients

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

The NN/LM SCR is happy to announce the recipients of the Year 5 Express Outreach Award:

Institution:  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport in collaboration with Sabine Medical Center, Many LA
Project Title:  Reaching Out to Sabine Medical Center Using Electronic Health Resource Information from the National Library of Medicine
Project Submitted by: Dennis Pernotto, LSUHSC Shreveport Library

Institution:  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport in collaboration with Desoto Regional Health System, Mansfield LA
Project Title: Reaching Out to Desoto Regional Health System Using Electronic Health Resource Information from the National Library of Medicine.
Project Submitted by: Dennis Pernotto, LSUHSC Shreveport Library

Institution: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport in collaboration with Winn Parish Medical Center, Winnfield LA
Project Title: Reaching Out to Winn Parish Medical Center Using Electronic Health Resource Information from the National Library of Medicine.
Project Submitted by: Dennis Pernotto, LSUHSC Shreveport Library

Institution: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Library, Dallas TX
Project Title: Outreach and Promotion of MedlinePlus to Underserved and Underrepresented Minority High School Students and Families
Project Managers: Emily Patridge and Catherine Schack, UTSW Library

More information and a brief description of these awards can be found on the NN/LM SCR Funded Projects page.

Japanese Manuscript Added to Turning the Pages

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The National Library of Medicine announces the addition of Hanaoka Seishu’s Surgical Casebook to its growing collection of virtual books and manuscripts available for thumbing through online via Turning the Pages.

The newest addition to Turning the Pages is a magnificently illustrated manuscript depicting the likenesses of the men and women who came to Hanaoka for treatment in early 19th-century Japan. It is the first in the collection in which users will turn the pages according to Japanese custom, right to left.

Hanaoka Seishu (1760-1835) was a pioneering Japanese surgeon who was the first to use general anesthesia to remove tumors from cancer patients. The images in the Surgical Casebook are colorful, often charming, and depict quite graphically the medical and surgical problem to be treated.  Hanaoka studied both traditional Chinese-style medicine and Western-style surgical techniques. At age 25, he took over the family business and began to practice an eclectic style of medicine that combined these two traditions. He was greatly concerned with his inability to treat cancer patients, and over a period of 20 years he developed an herbal concoction he called “mafutsusan,” made up of several highly toxic plants. It did not include opium derivatives which European doctors were only beginning to identify as anesthetics. The narcotic effects of Hanaoka’s anesthetic could last as long as 24 hours, allowing him to surgically remove many different kinds of tumors which previously had been inoperable.

Images from the manuscript were selected and curatorial text was written by Dr. Ann Jannetta, Professor Emerita of History at the University of Pittsburgh.