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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Share Your Success: Implementation of an IRB Service

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

EBWritten By: Everly Brown, Head of Information Services,, Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) developed a unique service to review consent forms for researchers on campus that has been running successfully for nearly 4 years. Library faculty serving on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) took note of complaints by fellow IRB members about how difficult the consent forms submitted for their review were to read. IRB forms were required to be at a seventh-grade reading level but rarely met this stipulation. HS/HSL librarians realized that this was a great opportunity to work with principal investigators to create understandable and clear consent forms for human research subjects. As part of the Research Connection: Expertise to Advance Your Success program,, the library staff developed a free service with trained librarians and paraprofessionals who review IRB forms. Investigators submit their review via an online submission form and review staff guarantees a 3-business day turnaround. Library staff members review the form and suggest changes to adjust the reading level and provide suggestions for edits and formatting for clarity and brevity. Since this program’s implementation, we have processed 49 consent forms with 17 so far this year; these have ranged from 1 to 36 pages long.

The work HS/HSL staff completed on this project supporting clear health communication has been very satisfying. It has increased the library’s visibility on campus, facilitated new relationships with faculty and administration, and given the reference staff some challenging projects. We’ve heard back from several grateful researchers and have received positive feedback from our satisfaction surveys. One respondent said she would use many of the librarian’s suggestions on future consent forms, and another asked to meet with the reviewer to learn more about best practices for clear communication. We also have a presence on the Human Research Protections Program’s website with a note that strongly encourages researchers to use this free service, We hope that research subjects have benefited from these efforts as well.

I am proud of this service as it gives our talented Reference Department a chance to interact with faculty beyond the Reference Desk and offers interesting and complicated projects that benefit the University and patients participating in human research.


Share Your Success: Outreach for the Future – Thinking Outside of the Box

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

By: Jeff Coghill, Eastern AHEC and Outreach Services Librarian, Laupus Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC,

coghilljI believe we have made great strides with the Laupus Library Outreach Programs in the past 5 years. After I came on board as the Outreach Librarian in July 2009, I have asked myself “what can we do that we haven’t done before as a library?” It has been a challenge to work “out of the box.” I’ve tapped into my “creativity gene” to get new and innovative programs going for the Laupus Library at East Carolina University. I took it as a challenge to take the program beyond what was done before. The following are but a few of the projects that have reenergized the Outreach program at Laupus Library, East Carolina University (ECU). The expansion of new and non-traditional librarian roles that did not exist prior to 2009 are unique and demonstrate our commitment to present and future outreach programming.
The following initiatives are sponsored by Laupus Library, East Carolina University:

New Service for ECU Users

Systematic Review Service—Beginning this fall, Laupus Library intends to offer this service to our users—primarily upper level graduate students and faculty. A Systematic Review is the highest level of review of the best medical evidence. The library staff will support faculty and upper level graduate students who intend to perform systematic reviews to be published. Not all health science libraries offer this service or currently have the staff to offer this service.

New Service for the Eastern AHEC Region

“Nursing: Finding the Best Evidence”–Experience at Carteret General Hospital (CGH) showcases how our staff can do this training and offer it to the region. Library staff initially offered this as a two hour course at Carteret General Hospital. However, hospital associates asked for us to expand it further into a three hour course based on its popularity. With this success, we’ve offered this program throughout the region’s hospitals. We’re investigating the possibility of establishing contact credit hours for this program. We are approaching Eastern Area Health Education Center (EAHEC) to have this course rated to grant nursing contact hours credit.  This will be the first Laupus Library class given for Eastern AHEC contact hours credit (2-3 hours depending).
strong>New Consumer Health Information Initiative for the Eastern AHEC Region Users Working with Public Libraries and a Hospital
Healthier U” Consumer Health Classes—Since Spring 2013 we regularly offer a one hour class for the public on searching for the best websites to find up-to-date health care information. Since last summer, we have offered the sessions at Sheppard Memorial Library (Greenville), Aurora Public Library (Aurora), Martin County Memorial (Williamston) and Albemarle Hospital, Elizabeth City. This class has been offered in public libraries and hospitals throughout the region. This is our first attempt at consumer health information sessions for the general public. (The basis for this class is the NN/LM SE/A presentation “Prescription for Success: Consumer Health Information on the Web“.)

Pilot Initiative with Public Health Departments Across the State of North Carolina

Health Department Project and the AHEC Digital Library—In coordination with Public Health Department at East Carolina University, we currently have 90 users enrolled to assess public health department staff resource needs. The concept is to train all health department users about library resources and how to use the AHEC Digital Library in a one hour session. We will use Saba online meeting service for online, remote, distance users. This will be a first for us. This project dovetails with a project Christine Andresen, Education Librarian, Katherine Rickett, Brody School of Medicine Library Liaison, and I have to determine the best way to teach users library skills at a distance.  Classes were offered on July 24 & August 28 using Saba Webinar technology. We are offering this trial to 19 counties from Jackson County to New Hanover County.

New Partnerships with Users from the ECU Division of Health Sciences

Public Health Multi-disciplinary Research Group—This group began meeting in May to discuss putting projects together with a multi-disciplinary approach.  We had representatives from Public Health, Communications, Informatics (Allied Health), Allied Health, and the Library discuss ways to collaborate on research projects.  They were very interested in our kiosk project from 2012.  We discussed ways to expand this project and include new kiosk locations to provide more outreach and consumer health information throughout the region. We identified placing kiosks in the following locations: Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), pharmacies, public libraries, public health departments, churches, malls, hospitals, and restaurants.  As the research contact, I will organize the information from a literature review in the upcoming weeks. This group intends to combine public health practice and research to improve a community. We are scheduled to meet with the Dental School in Fall 2014 to get their “buy in.” We plan to publish articles on the outcomes in the future.
PS—if you had told me what I’d be doing as a librarian when I graduated from library school in 1997, I would not have believed it.

Share Your Success: Outreach to a New Population

Friday, October 17th, 2014

DarraBallance1Darra Ballance, MLIS, AHIP
Georgia Statewide AHEC Network
Robert B. Greenblatt MD Library
Georgia Regents University
Augusta, GA

On the health sciences campus of Georgia Regents University, a child care center for children of faculty, staff, and students has been in operation since1988. The Center is licensed by the State of Georgia¬. It is 3-star Georgia Quality Rated (the highest designation) and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). My child had attended day care and Pre-Kindergarten at the center, and I had seen the Director’s efforts to improve nutrition and wellness for the children, families, and teachers. As an Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) librarian I was familiar with outreach awards and had received NN/LM funds for projects in the past. In March 2013, the Director and I partnered to apply for an NN/LM Health Literacy Pilot Project sub-contract award, with a goal to improve nutrition literacy among the center’s teachers.

We received the award funds and went right to work. Our plan was to purchase iPads for the teachers (the center had no technology in the classrooms) and showcase the infant and toddler nutrition pages on MedlinePlus. We also hired a young, energetic dietitian to deliver the nutrition content of our sessions—she was able to use many materials that the center already owned, such as fake food, to demonstrate ChooseMyPlate guidelines to the teachers. I taught the nine teachers how to use the iPads and took them through the NLM’s Guidelines for Healthy Web Surfing.

The teachers were enthusiastic participants in the outreach sessions and asked many questions. We had excellent attendance; all teachers attended at least four of the five one-hour sessions, and were given a small stipend at the completion of the project (sessions took place after the center closed for the day).

Teachers completed a brief assessment test at the beginning and end of the project. Scores on the post-test were markedly higher than the pre-test scores. At the conclusion of the project, the teachers indicated that they gained increased personal understanding of formerly confusing nutrition issues (e.g., how to read a nutrition label, what a whole grain is). Teachers were also able to identify aspects of web sites linked from MedlinePlus that indicated the sites served as reliable sources of health information. The dietician also incorporated content from MedlinePlus into her final session, although she had not been required to do so.

One teacher commented: “I like the fact that going to MedlinePlus for medical and nutrition information will provide information only from secure sites. Also, I was clueless about caloric and water intake needs. Now I’ve transferred my learning from these classes to my practices with my family. Now I try to serve the MyPlate categories and portion sizes. I now read labels on products in the grocery store before making a decision about purchasing items.” Another teacher stated: “I learned a great deal. I found out that a lot of foods I classified as healthy were actually not healthy.”

Childhood obesity is a huge risk for this generation of children, many of whom spend significant time and consume a good deal of their daily food intake at day care centers. Access to technology and nutrition training made a difference in teachers’ knowledge about wellness and healthy food choices. When child care teachers understand principles of good nutrition, and learn how to use technology to share that information with parents and other family members, everyone benefits. Our library is grateful to NN/LM SE/A for this opportunity to partner with a new user population that we have never reached before.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Enter NN/LM SE/A’s “Share your Success” event and enter for a chance to win one of two $1,500 Travel Awards to MLA 2015!

SE/A Advocacy Committee for Hospital Librarians

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

By: Mollie Titus, Librarian, Self Regional Healthcare, Greenwood, SC
Contact Mollie at:

PJ Grier, Outreach/Access Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region
Contact PJ at:

The Hospital Librarians’ Program Advisory Committee (HLPAC) held its first meeting on April 10, 2014 at the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library. The HLPAC was formed under the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Southeastern Atlantic Region (SE/A) and is overseen by the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). The HLPAC’s mission is to collaborate with the SE/A Regional Medical Library (RML) to identify and promote opportunities for the benefit of hospital librarians in our 13-state region.

The Committee recognizes the challenges hospital librarians face in their ever-changing healthcare environments. While mergers and healthcare funding have played a key part in bringing about change, technology has also had a significant impact on hospital library transformation.  As a result, hospital librarians are constantly challenged to re-envision their roles, learn new approaches and respond to the manner in which their customers acquire information. All of these techniques provide library value.

Customers are acquiring patient research, treatment, and care information in new and exciting ways. It is not simply literature searching anymore. It is about data and information management. Methods include results from EHR analytics, information technology initiatives, consumer engagement applications, and applications that work in concert with EHRs, as well as metrics and goals imposed or suggested by government and regulatory agencies, such as the National Quality Strategy (NQS).

NQS is a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Its three broad aims are to provide better, more affordable care for the individual and the community, with a focus on six priorities to guide efforts to improve health and health care quality. Hospital librarians should become proficient in one or more of the nine levers that underpin the six priorities. Hospitals can choose to use these levers to align core business functions, resources, and/or actions that may serve as means for achieving improved health and health care quality. As an example, one of the nine levers is “payment”, which hospital librarians can adopt if they choose to opt-in to a group purchasing initiative such as HSLANJ-GLI. Joining a group purchasing arrangement demonstrates to hospital leadership that the library has a stake in aligning itself with the NQS. And perhaps if your hospital also supports the lever’s design mechanism, there may be a reward or incentive attached. See chart.

Lever Icon Design Example
Payment reward Reward and incentivize providers to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care. Join a regional coalition of purchasers that are pursuing value-based purchasing.

To further explore, the NQS offers free archived educational webinars that explain its aims, priorities and levers in greater detail.

Networking remains an ever-important aspect of librarianship, and ways to collaborate and connect include participation in committees, listservs, association memberships, meetings, and webinars. Budgets are a constant concern; try taking advantage of consortiums, active negotiation with vendors, and applying for grants or awards. When possible, get out of the library. Choose wisely, but do participate in organizational committees that involve research or content organization; volunteer for hospital or community events; network with other departments – be active!

The HLPAC encourages hospital librarians to take advantage of resources currently available through the Regional Medical Library, such as the Hospital Librarian’s Toolkit, SEA Currents articles, Beyond the Sea webinars and the new SEAside webinars, and SE/A funding opportunities. Visit the HLPAC website, for member contact information, as well as the SE/A website, for updates and resources. HLPAC is having its autumn meeting on November 4th; feel free to contact any HLPAC member with questions, comments, and concerns anytime.

Current members of the HLPAC are: Mary Wallace Berry, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Charlotte, NC; Jan Haley, Saint Thomas West, Nashville, TN; Dionne Lyne-Rowan, Columbus Regional Health, Columbus, GA; Mollie Titus (Chair), Self Regional Healthcare, Greenwood, SC; and PJ Grier (ex-officio), NN/LM SE/A. HLPAC is also seeking an additional member from the DC, MD, or VA area to fill a vacancy. If you are interested in volunteering please contact PJ Grier. Members are here to assist fellow hospital librarians with outreach and library promotion, resource maintenance, funding options, and educational growth.

Share Your Success: Outreach Services and Support throughout South Carolina

Friday, September 26th, 2014

cdrBy: Steven P Wilson, MLIS, AHIP, MA, Web Architect and Outreach Librarian, School of Medicine Library at University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC,

As Coordinator of the USC Center for Disability Resources Library, I feel proud to share the many small but significant successes that we have achieved over the past decade. The collection, which is comprised of nearly 5,300 books, videos, DVDs, and brochures focusing on disabilities in general, and especially developmental disabilities, is now being borrowed by families of those with special needs and the professionals that work with them, nationwide.
When I began working as the coordinator for the collection, we lent our items out to just South Carolina residents, mailing the books and videos to the patrons’ homes and offices with postage-paid mailers included, so that even those in far off parts of the state would be able to take advantage of the collection, and without having to make the drive to Columbia. This service, which is completely free and largely paid for by grant monies and collaborative efforts by such organizations as the Center for Disability Resources, BabyNet/First Steps to School Readiness, the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Library, has now lent out thousands of titles and responded to tens of thousands of information requests, to residents of South Carolina, many of whom lack adequate access to up-to-date disability and consumer health resources via their local public libraries plagued by insufficient budgets. Of course the same can often be said of similar patrons from other states who gradually began finding our web presence online and appealing to us to grant them access, as well. With approval from the CDR’s director, about seven years ago we began lending items out to those individuals as well, and I am especially proud of the fact that anyone in any of the fifty states may now take advantage of both our collection and our reference services, whether focused on developmental disabilities or consumer health topics.

Every month, in addition to the approximately 150 South Carolinians that directly benefit from our library, dozens of others outside of South Carolina do as well. For me this represents a wonderful break from the mold of primarily focusing on a single population’s needs, or of narrowly defining our library’s worth relative to just geographical location and regional influence. To be able to lend the collection to anyone, at any time–especially to able to let those selfsame folks know that they can even use us for their consumer health and disability resource needs from extremely up-to-date online resources that they might not be familiar with or have access to, such as MedlinePlus or the many excellent e-resources the USC School of Medicine subscribes to–is such an honor. It makes me really appreciate the “form” of librarianship, and the ideals that we as library students were taught to uphold back in school, learning about service, about finding ways to increase access to quality information for patrons, and to evaluating and championing the best in information in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, for the users that come to us looking for such.

I keep a bulletin board on my wall, chocked full of cards and letters from my patrons, thanking us for providing a much needed information service that they wouldn’t have access to in their own regions. And I am thrilled to see an ever-growing number of post cards and letters and Thank You cards coming from outside my own state of South Carolina. This one small collection represents for me what librarianship is all about. Every new item I affix to my bulletin board with a pushpin feels like a small but significant success, each and every time.

Last updated on Friday, 22 November, 2013

Funded by the National Library of Medicine under contract HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the Health Sciences and Human Services Library of the University of Maryland