Archive for the ‘Outreach’ Category
Friday, August 17th, 2012
Date: August 15th, 2012
Time: Noon to 1:00 pm (EST)
Presenter: Judy Burnham
Judy Burnham has been with the University of South Alabama since 1989, where she was named Director in 2007. She has worked in reference, instructional services, technical services and outreach, and is liaison to the College of Allied Health Professionals. Judy was a NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellow from 2004-2005 and was recipient in 2001 of the Southern Chapter/Medical Library Association Academic Librarian of the Year Award. In 2002, she was the MLA Estelle Brodman Academic Medical Librarian of the Year. Her research interest is in bibliometrics. In addition to the project with health ministry leaders, Judy has participated for several years in instructional sessions on library literacy skills for minority high school students interested in health care careers. However, one of her favorite roles is grandmother to four outstanding grandchildren.
Presentation: Empowering Health Ministry Leaders
This presentation will focus on the SE/A NNLM funded project that provided health ministry leaders in ten African American churches with the technology, equipment and information needed to help them better serve the health information needs of their congregations.
Please click on the link below to hear the recorded presentation:
Friday, August 10th, 2012
By Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region
In an effort to more effectively reach the public health workforce and the librarians who support them, SE/A has some new training opportunities available. Note that all of our available classes are listed here on our website, http://nnlm.gov/sea/training/classes.html, with those specific to the public health audience in a separate section at the bottom of that page.
Most public health workers do not have an excess of time available for training, so I have created a few one-hour sessions that will hopefully better fit into those busy schedules:
The two Evidence Based Practice classes are taken from my longer course titled And PICO was his Name-O: what to look for in an EBM study. The first uses the PICO model to help attendees learn to formulate an answerable question, and the second takes a close look at the different types of studies represented in the literature and at the importance of evaluating study results. Introduction to NLM Resources is tailored to fit the needs of individual audiences, and includes information about the NN/LM, PubMed, MedlinePlus, the Environmental Health and Toxicology Portal, the Drug Information Portal, the Disaster Information Management Research Center, along with other resources such as the Household Products Database, LactMed, TOXMAP, Tox Town, and WISER.
Research Shortcuts includes a basic introduction to PubMed and PHPartners.org, focusing on the SEQs (Specialized Evidence Queries), a joint project from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. SEQs provide pre-formulated PubMed search strategies to identify research evidence for selected Healthy People 2020 objectives. In case you are not familiar with these, they are highlighted on the PHPartners.org homepage in the top right corner, and can be linked to from PubMed’s homepage: choose “Topic-Specific Queries” from the PubMed Tools section, then choose “Healthy People 2020” from the top section of Clinicians and Health Services Researchers Queries.
Along with these shorter classes geared specifically for the public health audience, I am also offering three classes that are new for me:
- Promoting Health Literacy through Easy-to-Read Materials,
- From Beyond Our Borders: Providing Health Information to Refugee Populations
- TOXNET: Toxicology & Environmental Information
Promoting Health Literacy is a revamped version of Beth Wescott’s much loved class, thanks to Cheryl Rowan, Public Health Coordinator in the South Central Region of the NN/LM, and my colleagues who have created a version for Consumer Health, Terri Ottosen and Nancy Patterson. Also courtesy of Cheryl is From Beyond Our Borders, a two or three hour class designed to assist anyone who is working with refugee populations in locating health information. The TOXNET class was developed by Ruicha Mishra, NN/LM South Central Region, and introduces quality toxicology and environmental resources for beginners. These three classes each provide MLA continuing education contact hours.
Please contact Sheila Snow-Croft if you would like more information or to request any of these classes, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 21st, 2012
By Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows you to discover like-minded people and join discussions on specific topics. In addition to marketing yourself professionally, job seekers can update their profiles and include activities and a full range of interests. However, there is the potential to go even deeper with this professional tool and connect with different interest groups.
Finding groups can be tough but it can be worth your while to seek out like-minded individuals and groups. LinkedIn is a vast network with over 50 million members and more than 16,000 IT-related groups alone. Under the Groups tab, you can search LinkedIn Groups using keywords. Searching the term “library” produced over 1400 potential groups. Joining these groups connects you to many people and allows you to start or participate in group discussions, which helps to keep you updated in the field.
Another great feature of LinkedIn is the ability to search for other groups you may like based on your existing contacts. There is also a Group Directory for searching. Some groups are open and others are members only, but each group that I’ve asked to join has readily accepted my request.
As Consumer Health Coordinator for the Region, I’m interested in a wide variety of consumer health and patient care topics. One of the classes I offer is the Canny Consumer, which contains a variety of resources in eHealth and patient informatics. I strive to keep informed of issues pertinent to the electronic medical record, health care reform, and the revolution of e-patients. If you’re also interested in consumer health or these topics, here are a few groups I have joined that you may be interested in:
- Patient Navigator – With over 1000 members and a number of subgroups, this group discusses many issues surrounding what it means to be a patient today. Some of the recent topics were about speaking up at the doctor’s office, a patient harm Facebook group, the billing process and the new ICD-10 deadline, new tools for navigating cancer information, and many, many more.
- Digital Health – As you can imagine, this group covers a wide range of interests. Recent topics included: medical and health apps, global health innovations, Bluetooth possibilities in the market, the most popular health app per country, and emergency workers scanning QR codes to access health information in Marin County, California.
- eHealth Literacy – Health literacy is a topic near and dear to all of us in the Region. Some topics discussed recently were: how effective communication contributes to health equity, a vote on which sub-agency of the Department of Health and Human Services should be a top priority for plain writing improvement, and usability testing after the PlainTalk conference. Nancy Patterson, Community Outreach Coordinator, successfully received some great suggestions from the group when she asked about national bench marks for health literacy.
- Connected Home Networking – Because I believe there is an upcoming revolution in consumer health and technology, I monitor this group’s discussions of broadband, telehealth, 3D technologies, and home health automation. There are some fascinating ideas being tossed around.
If you are already a member of LinkedIn, please do explore the options for connecting with groups of people with your shared interests. It is still a great networking tool and a place to connect with your peers, but with a little effort, it can be customized and used as a tool for other aspects of your professional life and interests. You may even want to create a group yourself. For more information, please contact Terri Ottosen @ email@example.com.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
By David Midyette, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region
Alas, our friend Meebo is leaving us for good (read more here: http://mee.bo/LvBAJa). It can be a sad thing to see such a reliable service end, but thankfully there are many alternatives. Online chat has a much greater time depth than many people know. I remember, as a college student at Wake Forest back in the late 1980’s, using the messaging capability of the mainframe computer to “chat” with other students in the same room. Of course things are a bit different now, but it’s still the same concept just without the black screen, green text, and single line capabilities.
Jumping back thirty years into the present era, we are facing the loss of a chat service that has become rather ubiquitous in libraries. Meebo chat service will officially retire on July 11, 2012 and that oh, so memorable chirp from the notifier will fall silent. Luckily, chat technology is relatively consistent and there are multiple alternatives; some free and some at a cost. This is a good time to revisit your work needs as individuals and as institutions.
When looking at any of chat/reference products, there are some important questions to ask yourself:
- Do I need a single person to monitor the chat or do I need multiple people to login at once?
- Do I need a widget for people to chat via a webpage?
- Do I want to access chat on my smart device?
- Do I need to customize my widget?
- Do I need a single service or do I need a suite of services?
Over the years, I have used many of the services listed below and I find that the last question in the list above is most important. As the head of reference at an academic institution, I worked to implement LibAnswers (Springshare had not integrated LibChat yet). I found it to be a highly flexible system that worked well with a large, distributed population. We also implemented Libraryh3lp because Meebo caused an issue when someone else logged in (I almost lost a patron in mid-chat). I found that Libraryh3lp solved many issues by allowing multiple people to monitor the chat widget. I also used a Digsby widget in my LibGuides profile to provide specialized reference chat to my health science departments. These experiences are, of course, my own and not intended as a recommendation. Everyone has unique needs and preferences in their institutions, in their daily work flows, and in their patron preferences.
Here are some of the alternatives you might want to consider when looking at a Meebo replacement:
Digsby (http://www.digsby.com/) – This is one of the more popular chat tools, but it does require that you install a client on your computer. It allows you to manage multiple chat services, e.g. Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, etc., manage multiple email providers, and can provide updates from LinkedIn and Twitter. It does have a notifier and widget, and it can even send SMS (phone text messages).
Pidgin (http://pidgin.im/) – An open-source chat tool that allows you to manage your various chat services. It also requires an installation on your computer and covers all of the major chat services.
IMO (https://imo.im/) – An online service much like Meebo which does not require an install. You have the ability to access both chat services as well as other social media tools, e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Additionally, there is an app for this service on Apple, Android, and Blackberry. It interfaces with Skype but does not have a widget.
Zoho Chat (https://chat.zoho.com/) – This is from the Zoho Creators group and is highly flexible. It provides a widget and access to most of the major chat services. You can customize the widget to your liking, select a background for your page, and set the notifications to your desired preferences. It has a unified login for the Zoho suite which allows you to access their plethora of additional services.
Trillian (http://www.trillian.im/) – An older chat aggregator with several levels of service. There is the free version, which requires a download, and allows you to manage multiple chat services. It also has an app for all of the major smart devices, but there is no widget to embed. The service does have a web version, and the upgrade to the Pro version is relatively inexpensive.
Libraryh3lp (http://libraryh3lp.com/) – This is a service developed by librarians in North Carolina to provide a unified chat interface. They have a native chat client or you can use any of the other chat services to access the system. There is a cost associated with this product, but it is based on FTE and is geared towards libraries and non-profits. This makes it a highly affordable solution. They provide a community forum and there is constant support and upgrade notification. This is a solution for people needing multiple individuals covering a chat function, e.g., a busy reference desk or staff spread across multiple sites.
LibAnswers w/ LibChat (http://www.springshare.com/libanswers/) – Springshare is adding a chat function to their LibAnswers product. This adds a chat function to their reference management system which already includes a text-based (SMS) reference service.
Selecting the proper chat tool requires some exploration and seeking the help/input of others. If you have any questions or need any guidance in selecting the appropriate tool, please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
”Our greatest impact is achieved when we are flexible enough to adapt our programs to meet real, articulated needs.”
Manager, Learning Resources & Faculty Technology Services
University of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas & St. Croix, USVI
What is your position?
Manager, Learning Resources & Faculty Technology Services – meaning: manager for University Libraries (both campuses of UVI), and faculty support for the learning environment.
Is there something in your own personal story that led you to do the work you do?
There are three major events that have led to what I do:
- I began my affiliation with the libraries as a paraprofessional in the Greenblatt Library, Medical College of Georgia (MCG). Through this association, I became affiliated with the Medical Library Association, through which I was awarded a scholarship to complete my MLS degree. The attainment of the MLS degree equipped me to return to the U. S. Virgin Islands and take up a professional position at the University of the Virgin Islands Library (UVI) Library on St. Croix Campus
- With my medical library experience at MCG and knowledge of the NN/LM programming, I reached out to the Juan Luis Hospital (JLH) librarian for partnership in a grant to educate health professionals throughout the Territory about Medline and other NLM resources. At the time, St. Thomas and St. John did not have access to a medical library locally. We introduced participants to Grateful Med, and successfully promoted the JLH Hospital and UVI libraries to meet some of their information needs.
- My appointment as the UVI campus librarian opened up several opportunities to grow the library programs through closer collaboration with faculty at UVI. One such opportunity was in chairing an ad hoc committee for faculty development. Through leadership in this position, we established faculty resource centers that are still sustained today through the Libraries as Centers for Excellence in Teaching & Learning.
What do you love most about your outreach work?
I enjoy seeing participants develop an awareness of the vast resources freely available through the NLM and NN/LM SE/A. When you are immersed in the profession, it is easy to assume that information about these resources is being communicated effectively simply because announcements have been made here or there. It is so important to promote our programs actively and continuously using a wide variety of media. Otherwise, folks simply don’t get it!
What is the biggest challenge in what you do?
Developing professional staff who “buy-in” to the vision that effective promoting, teaching and program outreach is very necessary for succession planning. But, that is also our major challenge. In the environment of Internet and social media, some may feel that human interaction for outreach and communicating the value of the profession is diminished. In fact, it is even more important for ensuring that libraries get attention as dynamic entities that meet communities where they are, and provide solutions for their critical needs of daily living.
What has been the most fulfilling part of your work in terms of health outreach to your community’s underserved populations?
Outreach to Juan Luis Hospital and health professionals, including UVI faculty and students, amazingly, continues to produce dividends for the UVI library programs. The library’s strong partnership with the UVI School of Nursing actually grew out of the JLH project, and continues to be strengthened through our outreach to health professionals in the community. I believe the School of Nursing sees us as genuine partners with them in developing students to be effective and nurturing caregivers in the community
What do you see as the biggest health concerns in the communities you serve?
Asthma cases are extremely prevalent here. I’ve experienced this first hand with two members of my own family. Infants, young children and the elderly particularly are impacted. HIV-AIDS and hypertension issues are probably the second and third major concerns.
How did you first come to know NN/LM SE/A?
I learned about NN/LM SE/A as an employee at the Greenblatt Library, MCG. I became more aware of the programs through the visits of various SE/A outreach coordinators who have embraced the USVI since the early 1990’s.
In what ways has NN/LM SE/A been of help to you?
Outreach from SE/A for training and funding opportunities has been especially helpful. In 2010-11, UVI participated in another NN/LM SE/A funded project to provide training for community healthcare professionals and lay persons. In addition to the success with project participants, the activity brought an added dimension to the UVI programs through the services of an additional staff member, and promotion of the library within the community.
Can you share a success story about the impact of health outreach in your community?
In the early 1990’s I was contacted by a physician on St. Thomas as a follow-up to the health information outreach training conducted there. She became quite proficient in locating articles to support her work and used my library as a supplier for the full-text of articles. Although the St. Thomas Hospital had since established a mechanism for supporting physicians there, our relationship continued for over 10 years until she passed away a couple years ago. She often expressed that the benefit of friendly service and understanding towards her needs was worth reaching out across the water when she needed help.
What advice would you give others who are interested in doing health outreach work in their communities?
- Ask your contacts in the community to identify their needs and look for ways to match your ideas/resources with solutions to meet those needs. Our greatest impact is achieved when we are flexible enough to adapt our programs to meet real, articulated needs.
- Be prepared to have back-up plans for every activity.
- Don’t give up, even if the response is weak in the beginning. Health outreach enhances the quality of life in the community and, by association, the work that we do.
For more information, please contact Nancy Patterson (email@example.com).