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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

So you want to Tweet your library . . . .

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

By David Midyette, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, NN/LM SE/A Region

Twitter is not for everyone, but a growing number of social media users are joining this arena and it is important to reach them. According to the Statistic Brain website, as of 05/07/2013 there are:

  • 554,750,000 active registered Twitter user
  • 135,000 new registrations every day
  • 58 million tweets each day
  • 115 million active Twitter users each month
  • at least 40% of Twitter users watch but do not tweet

These figures represent a substantial audience, and while not everyone will flock to your site, you can rather quickly develop a following and share crucial information with your constituents who do tweet.

But how easy is it, you may ask? How can I possibly find the time? Well, here is my quick guide for joining and managing the Twittersphere.

Join Twitter:

Go to Twitter and register for an account (set up a Gmail account rather than use a personal work email for the purpose of registration).
Start following:

You can use the search box in Twitter to find people to follow.

Search for NLM or Medical Library or CDC or Health, and follow the ones you like.

You can also follow @NNLMSEA and then follow some of the same accounts we follow.


Start tweeting:

You can either retweet other’s tweets or create your own.

To retweet, just hover over the post you want to share and click on “retweet.”

To create your own tweet, click in the “Compose new tweet” box and start typing.

Remember that tweets are only 140 characters, so use your space wisely:

Use a URL shortener, e.g., or Bitly

Put URLs in the first half of the tweet

Use @ handles to identify yourself (helps develop a following)

Use hashtags (#) to make your tweets searchable by keyword




Advanced Social Media:

Pick a Twitter tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

Personally, I prefer Hootsuite because it is web based and I can use it from any computer.

If you tweet from a smart device, you may prefer the Tweetdeck app.


and a host of other options. This tool has made it much easier to manage multiple accounts, but as a beginner, you can easily run things directly from Twitter.

Nitty Gritty:

With my tweeting tools before me, I scan through the list of tweets at a specific time (usually around 10am). I select five or six tweets that seem of interest to the Region and retweet them. I click on the hyperlinks in the tweets to pull up the corresponding web page. I then take that URL and post it to our SE/A Facebook page with a basic descriptive sentence. If other items of interest appear during the day, I may do additional tweets, but for the most part I try to get information out at a time during the day when most folks have already done several hours of work and might be taking a break to catch up on the latest information. Tweeting for only 15 minutes two or three times a week can reach a large audience and market your library as a quality source of information.

If you have specific question or need help, please let me know ( I love talking about information sharing, especially with social media.


Beyond the SEA – June 19, 2013 – Managing Technology Barriers in the Health Sciences Library – Recording Now Available

Monday, June 17th, 2013

The recording of the June 19, 2013 can be found at

Beyond the SEA: June 19, 2013– Managing Technology Barriers in the Health Sciences Library

Time: 12pm EDT

The NN/LM-SE/A Technology Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) proudly presents “Managing Technology Barriers in the Health Sciences Library”, a panel discussion, in which four experts will share how they’ve intercepted and managed various technological or organizational barriers pertaining to technology within their libraries. The Technology RAC and invited speakers hope to facilitate discussion and inspire solution-oriented ideas among audience members facing similar challenges or barriers in their own institutions.


Kimberley Barker, MLIS               

Kimberley is Manager for Technology Education and Computing at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia and Chair of the Technology Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern-Atlantic region. Kimberley tweets @KR_Barker.


Jean Siebert, MLS, MBA, AHIP  

Jean began as a reference librarian at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library. She now works at the West Virginia University (WVU) Health Sciences Library as the Collection Manager/Reference Librarian and has a secondary appointment with the emerging WVU School of Public Health.  She continues to be interested in how to use technology to help solve library users’ problems and provide better patient care. Jean will present on overcoming challenges presented in teaching EndNote X6 and offers suggestions to others considering offering instruction on this product.  Jean tweets @jeansiebert.

Emily Brennan, MLIS     

Emily is a Clinical Services Librarian in the Reference and Education department of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Library. She is the liaison to the College of Medicine and Physical Therapy Program, and goes on clinical rounds in the hospital with the pediatrics department. Emily teaches students, staff and faculty about mobile device apps through monthly workshops, outreach events, and curricular classes. Emily will present on barriers – technological and otherwise – encountered with mobile devices and on the solutions she created to overcome them. Barriers encountered on clinical rounds and during instruction include: app limitations, improperly functioning webpages on mobile devices, ranges of devices and platforms, complicated download instructions for library-provided apps, and challenges associated with the inability to easily record mobile sessions on the university’s lecture capture software. Emily has managed to overcome these barriers through research and creativity, and will share her experiences with you. Emily’s Twitter contact is @emilybren.

Oliver Obst, PhD             

Dr. Obst, joining the panel from the University of Munster, in Munster, Germany studied biology and has worked as a subject specialist at the University and Regional Library Münster since 1993 and became the director of the Branch Library of Medicine in 1996. Since 1994, he has been a member of the German and European MLA— the European Association for Health Information and Libraries– and has served as the national delegate of the EAHIL for Germany since 2007. His hobbies include horseback archery and acting. Dr. Obst will be presenting on organizational barriers encountered during a 2010 project to develop an tablet lending program where creative budgeting and strategic planning were essential to the project’s success and continued growth. Dr. Obst is on Twitter @obsto.

Alisha Miles, MLIS         

Alisha, (previously a solo hospital librarian who also worked directly with Clinical Informatics and setting up the hospital EHR), is now the Assistant Director for Public Services at Mercer University’s Medical Library.  Alisha will provide tips for overcoming barriers to librarian involvement with the EHR as well as other Meaningful Use aspects. The suggestions are based on her experience as a solo hospital librarian working directly with the Clinical Informatics Department. Alisha can be found online and blogging as Alisha764.

What do you need to join these conferences?
• A computer (with Flash installed)
• A telephone

How do I connect?
Go to this URL:
• Enter as a Guest
• Sign in with your first and last name

Follow the instructions in the meeting room to have Adobe Connect call your phone or call 1-800-605-5167 and enter the participant code 816440 when prompted.


Casting call for June 19 Beyond the SEA webinar

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

by Kimberley Barker, MLIS, Andrea Wright, MLIS

Do you work in a health sciences or hospital library setting? If so, have you, when faced with a barrier to the use of technology, gone around/leapt over/burrowed under or otherwise smashed through it in a creative way? If so, please contact me about participating in a SE/A Technology RAC-sponsored webinar which will feature a panel of fellow smartie-pants (pantses?) who have sneered in the face of technological hardship and lived to tell the tale.

Back in March, Andrea Wright, Technology Librarian at the University of South Alabama’s Biomedical Library presented (on behalf of the SE/A Technology RAC) the findings of our survey which centered around questions of  health librarian work environments, and the needs, interests, and challenges of those working with health and medical information. (If you missed the live event, you may view it here:

The impetus for the survey was the hope that by gathering such information our committee and the RML could help our constituents with their technology needs and interests- that we could use the information to plan future classes and presentations, better direct possible funding opportunities, and determine the best ways to help information professionals overcome perceived challenges related to technologies in specialized healthcare and academic settings.

During the process of creating the survey, the Tech RAC realized that it had an opportunity to offer our community a specific deliverable: instead of merely presenting the results in a webinar, why not create a second webinar that would showcase the brilliant ways in which colleagues from across the region have met the challenges of everything from lack of funding to firewalls to lack of institutional IT support?
And so it’s done: the webinar showcasing our community’s ingenuity is set for June. Unfortunately, y’all are being modest and I have yet to be contacted by a SINGLE PERSON who is willing to share his/her brilliance.

If you or someone you know refused to bow to the constraints of time, environment, or resources and instead displayed mental fortitude in order to deliver technology to your patrons, please tell us.

To participate in the June 19th panel discussion on managing technology barriers, please contact the NNLM-SE/A Technology RAC Chair at:

Twitter: @KR_Barker
Skype: kimberleybarker1

Increasing Public Health Awareness through Technology

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

by Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

The Centers for Disease Control has released a new iPad app called Solve the Outbreak that allows users to “assume the role of a disease outbreak investigator in the agency’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) by navigating three fictional outbreaks based on real-life events, ” per Carol Crawford, branch chief of the CDC’s Electronic Media Branch in a press release (

I downloaded and played the free game and I must admit: it’s pretty addictive. It definitely “delivers in a kind of CSI-meets-public-health-policy mashup,” as the Kansas City Business Journal noted,  ( There’s learning involved, points and badges to be earned, and results can be posted on Facebook and Twitter in the hopes that social media will assist in both promotion and interest. Users get clues, analyze data, solve cases, and save lives, just like real disease detectives, while gaining familiarity with terminology and learning from health tips along the way. Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC Director, noted that people do not need to “experience an outbreak investigation through fictional Hollywood films like Contagion,” since they can now experience it virtually through this game (

This use of technology aims to raise awareness about public health issues and increase engagement with the CDC, along with encouraging young people to enter the field of epidemiology. CDC spokesman Alex Casanova told that “the app was developed in-house and cost $110,000 to develop, minus salaries.”  It appears to be less controversial than the 2011 “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic” campaign that was developed after Twitter users responded to a CDC query regarding the types of disasters for which people are prepared.  The Outbreak app currently has only three scenarios but more are in the works. Who knew epidemiology could be so exciting?

Beyond the SEA: March 20, 2013 – Emerging Technologies in Medical Libraries: Librarian Interest and Perceived Challenges - Recording Now Available

Thursday, February 28th, 2013


Presenter: Andrea Wright, MLIS

Andrea Wright is the Technology Librarian at the University of South Alabama Biomedical Library. She regularly speaks about social media, mobile computing, and other emerging technologies in library, education, and clinical settings.

In September 2012, the NNLM-SE/A Technology Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) conducted a survey assessing technology instruction needs and interests among member libraries throughout the Southeastern-Atlantic Region to offer SE/A staff recommendations in creating appropriate and relevant technology training materials. Survey results have helped identify emerging technologies that could serve as appropriate topics for future technology instruction. Survey responses also provide insight into challenges that librarians may face when learning about or trying to use emerging technologies in their organizations.

Time:  12:-00-1pm ET

What do you need to join these conferences?

  • A computer (with Flash installed)
  • A telephone

How do I connect?

 Go to this URL:

  • Enter as a Guest
  • Sign in with your first and last name

Follow the instructions in the meeting room to have Adobe Connect call your phone or call 1-800-605-5167 and enter the participant code 816440 when prompted.

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