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March is National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. We exhibited alongside this organization at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Houston in 2013, promoting NLM resources such as MedlinePlus’s Nutrition page.

Although the month of March is coming to a close, it is always a good time to review your nutrition habits and evaluate them. There are so many quality nutrition websites out there, such as:

These websites are a good educational start in your mission to eat well. Don’t forget about helpful apps that are available for your smartphone and devices. There are several of us here in the NN/LM SCR office that are using the Fooducate app, for example, which allows you to scan barcodes of food items and learn everything you wanted to know (and didn’t want to know!) about potential purchases.

Happy and healthy eating to you all!


AAMC GIR Leadership Institute

I just returned from the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Information Resources Leadership Institute. The AAMC GIR Leadership Institute is a four day highly interactive workshop on how to support academic medical centers through IT leadership.

Founded in 1876 and based in Washington, D.C., the Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Learn more about the AAMC.

Some of the most useful sessions for our work at the NN/LM South Central Region office at the Texas Medical Center Library had to do with resource and strategic management, organizational change, and decision making.

One of the problem solving techniques we practiced each day was peer consulting. Peer consulting is a group problem solving method where an individual narrator takes five minutes to describe an problem issue, the group then has five minutes to ask clarifying questions, the final five minutes involve the group discussing options for solving the problem with the initial narrator with his or her back turned. The four roles are narrator, recorder, time keeper, and facilitator. After four days of practice, we all found this to be an extremely useful problem solving tool.

Out of 30 fellows and eight faculty, The University of Michigan Medical School had the greatest single institution representation with four fellows and one faculty member. New York state had five fellows and two faculty members. California had four fellows. The South Central Region had representation from three institutions; two IT directors from my former institution, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, one faculty member from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and me from the NN/LM South Central Region office at the Texas Medical Center Library.

The AAMC GIR works to support IT professionals in academic medical centers. Although its focus is not libraries, libraries and IT share many goals and skill sets. Previous years have had more librarian involvement but I was the only librarian in the 2015 class. If you have an opportunity to attend an AAMC meeting, I would highly recommend it.

Jon Goodell, MA, AHIP
Associate Director
NN/LM South Central Region
Texas Medical Center Library

Community Health Status Indicators 2015 (CHSI 2015)

The National Library of Medicine has partnered with the CDC on the implementation of Community Health Status Indicators. (CHSI 2015) The purpose of CHSI 2015 is to provide heath profiles for the 3,143 counties in the United States. Social factors and the environment can have a direct correlation on an individual standard of living, especially health. If you or someone you know is interested to know about various factors that affect or influence health care outcomes, this is a good place to start. In addition, CHSI 2015 follows the directive of Healthy People2020 by seeking to inform the public about their social and physical environment which in turn, is a catalyst for healthier lifestyles for all.


chsi logo



New Environmental Health and Toxicology Game

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for iPhone and iPad. It is available from the Apple Store (

TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, the environment, and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus Web sites.

The game consists of four fast-paced levels, in which a launcher is used to annihilate toxic chemicals falling from the sky and earn protective shield points by capturing “good chemicals.” To move on to the next level, players must take a brief quiz about the chemicals. These dynamically generated tests provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental health and toxicology from the game’s chemical information sheet and from NLM Web sites. Quiz questions and answers can also serve as a starting point for classroom discussions, as well as for Tox Town, TOXMAP, and Environmental Health Student Portal activities and experiments.

Medlibs and Liaison Roles

Crossposted from


Medlibs and Liaison Roles
Thursday, March 26th, 2015

9:00 pm Eastern/ 6:00 pm Pacific
Led by TMC Librarian Rachel Helbing (@rhelbing)

Liaison librarianship is a strategy that encourages the provision of customized and relevant services to defined user groups. The most important – and challenging – aspects of this model are making contact and establishing meaningful relationships with potential library users.

See this article for tips on successful liaising

Never participated in a Twitter hashtag chat or #medlibs chat before? Check out this overview and come on in, we are a supportive community and especially welcome students and newcomers. Some questions to consider as we meet to chat on Thursday:

  • Do you act as a liaison between your library and its users, formally or informally?
  • To whom do you liaise? i.e. academic departments/institutions,  student groups, clinician groups (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc.), committees, professional organizations, others? 
  • How did you initiate contact?
  • How did you build your list of contacts?
  • How do you keep users up-to-date on library news and services?
  • Do you advocate for users’ needs within your library?
  • Has your library done team-based liaising?
  • How do you maintain relationships in the midst of personnel changes?
  • How do you measure return on investment (ROI) on the resources put into liaising?
  • What strategies have been most/least successful?
Not So Dangerous Liaisons

Image Modified by Rachel Helbing


NLM and the Internet (National Library of Medicine, 1994)

This short video chronicles the National Library of Medicine’s introduction to, and use of, the internet via Gopher, MOSAIC, and other early internet-driven resources for information search and retrieval.

NCBI and the NIH Public Access Policy Webinar

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, recently gave a webinar on PubMed Central submissions, My NCBI, My Bibliography, and SciENcv.

A YouTube video recording of the webinar is embedded below.

New Associate Director of Library Services at UTMB in Galveston

Rebecca “Becky” McKay Johnson has been appointed Associate Director of Library Services at the Moody Medical Library at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. She will support the Associate Vice President of Library Services and Academic Resources, Pat Ciejka, in overseeing the daily operations of the library, managing the library’s human resources program and assisting in strategic planning and budgeting. Prior to joining UTMB in March 2015, Johnson was with the Texas A&M University Medical Sciences Library for eleven years where she served as Outreach Librarian and Library Services Coordinator for two off-site locations. She has a particular interest in recruiting, having chaired the University Libraries standing search committee which filled over twenty library faculty positions at Texas A&M during her three-year tenure. Becky is active in the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association where she served as treasurer, chair of various committees and on the local arrangements committees for three past meetings and the 2016 meeting to be held in Galveston.

Texas Medical Center Women’s History Project Reception

The administrative office of the NN/LM South Central Region is located at the Texas Medical Center Library, the center of the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center. We are delighted to share this invitation for The Texas Medical Center Women’s History Project Reception.

The Texas Medical Center Women’s History Project will hold a reception today from 4:00 to 6:00pm, Thursday, March 19, at the Texas Medical Center (TMC) Library to recognize women during Women’s History Month who have made contributions to the development of the Texas Medical Center (TMC). The event is free and open to the public.

The Women’s History Project is dedicated to capturing the voices and stories of the women who have profoundly affected health-related research and health care in the Texas Medical Center. The project ensures that the interviews are preserved and accessible to the public and to researchers through the archives at the TMC Library.

The TMC Library is proud to present the second annual installment of oral history interviews with women in science who have made lasting impacts on the TMC. The women being recognized are Dr. Patricia Starck, dean of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing; Dr. Katherine Stream, a former senior vice president at the Texas Medical Center; Dr. Edith Irby Jones, Baylor College of Medicine; Dr. Ritsuko Komaki, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Dr. Margaret Kripke, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

This year’s collection of oral histories for the TMC Women’s History Project is sponsored by the Faculty Wives & Women Faculty of the UTHealth Medical School, Friends of the TMC Library, the Texas Medical Center Library, and private donations.

For more information about the project, the March 19 event, to nominate women who have influenced the history of the TMC for inclusion in the next installment, or to financially support the project, please contact Philip Montgomery at

TMC Women's History Project Reception

March is National Women’s Health Month

Every March we celebrate National Women’s Health month. Some of the best health websites for women’s health are from dot-gov’s. is a product of the Office on Women’s Health, Dept. of Health and Human Services, and contains sections on A-Z Health Topics, ePublications, News, and more.WomensHealth homepage







The CDC also has a Women’s Health webpage. It features an A-Z Topics section, Women’s Health Initiatives, a section on Healthy Living, and also has lots of statistical information, as you would expect from the CDC.

CDCgov home



The National Library  of Medicine’s premiere consumer health website, MedlinePlus, has an entire Health Topics page devoted to women’s health. You will find lots of helpful links to vetted websites, links to Related Topics, Overviews, Latest News, and much more.

MedlinePlus women's health