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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

SE/A Advocacy Committee for Hospital Librarians

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.

NLM Associate Fellows Program Accepting Applications

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program for recent MLS graduates and librarians early in their career.

In the first half of the year, a formal curriculum offers exposure to library operations, research and development, intramural and extramural research, development and lifecycle of NLM’s web-based products and services and the extensive outreach and education program reaching consumers, special populations, health professionals and librarians. In the second half of the year, Associate Fellows have the opportunity to choose projects based on real-world problems proposed by library divisions and work with librarians and library staff over a six-seven month period. Successful projects have led to peer-review publications and to services that have become a regular part of library operations.

The September through August program also offers professional development and an introduction to the wider world of health sciences librarianship that may include:

• Supported attendance at national professional conferences, often including the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting, the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting and others
• Additional brown bags, seminars, field trips and learning opportunities available on the National Institutes of Health campus
• Opportunities to meet and interact with senior management at the National Library of Medicine
• Experienced preceptors from National Library of Medicine staff
• Potential to compete for a second year fellowship at a health sciences library in the United States

The Fellowship offers:
• A stipend equivalent to a U.S. Civil Service salary at the GS-9 level ($52,146 in 2014)
• Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
• Some relocation funding

Who is eligible?
All U.S. and Canadian citizens who will have earned a MLS or equivalent degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited school by August 2015. Both recent graduates and librarians early in their career are welcome to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens.

Applications and additional information are available on the Web at Application deadline is February 5, 2015. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.

Feel free to contact Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Program Coordinator at 301-435.4083 or

October issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

NIH News in Health: A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services





Check out the October issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research:

Sweet Stuff
How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health

Is sugar really bad for us? How about artificial or low-calorie sweeteners? Learn more about the sweet things most of us eat and drink every day.
Read more about sugars and sweeteners.



Cold, Flu, or Allergy?
Know the Difference for Best Treatment

You’ve got sniffles, sneezing, and a sore throat. Is it a cold, flu, or allergies? Learn to tell them apart so you can choose the best treatment.
Read more about cold, flu, and allergy.



Health Capsules:

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.


Grey Literature, the deep end revisited.

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

Online or printed works that are of scholarly or research value and not formally distributed by commercial publishers fall into the category of grey literature. These materials are considered “grey” because they are not readily discoverable via databases or other acceptable indexing mechanisms. They are also considered grey because a peer review process has not vetted their credibility and therefore the content must be thoughtfully evaluated.

Why is grey literature important? It is especially important in the area of health policy where assessments, economic evaluations, and comparative effectiveness research are of special interest. Grey literature is vital for developing a more complete view of research on a particular topic and can be a good source for data, statistics and for very recent research results1. Because there are no publisher enforced limitations these materials can be more detailed than the journal literature. Furthermore, they can help to offset issues related to publication bias1.

The Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature in 2010 arrived at this definition:

Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats that are protected by intellectual property rights, of sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by libraries and institutional repositories, but not controlled by commercial publishers; i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.

Grey literature includes works that are not generally available for purchase, may be difficult to locate, have erratic availability but its content may include significant research information. While not exhaustive, grey literature may include reports, datasets, dissertations, newsletters, blogs, wikis, white papers, bulletins, social media, electronic listservs, informal communications and institutional repositories, such as the UMB digital archive.

Institutions often collect grey literature produced by their employees including researchers, scientists and policy analysts. The following denote some aggregated academic and health repositories worldwide. The OpenDOAR is a directory of academic repositories, the Virtual Health Library is a worldwide compendium of country and organizational health repositories and the Registry of Open Access Repositories, which is a subsidiary of EPrints, aims to promote the development of open access.

An assortment of grey literature resources useful to health sciences information professionals include: (a) MedlinePlus: contains a collection of organizations providing health information arranged by topic, (b) F1000 Posters: is an open access repository providing a permanent environment for the deposition of posters and slide presentations, (c) AHRQ: contains information on finding grey literature evidence, (d) The Grey Literature Report: is a service of the New York Academy of Medicine, (e) National Technical Information Service: is the largest resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information, (f) WHO: contains World Health Organization publications, (g) Grey Net International: facilitates dialog in the field of grey literature and (h) searches over 60 databases and 2200 websites from federal agencies and includes research and development results. Also, performing a search on the topic at the LibGuides Community website will yield rich results from academic libraries hosting all types of information on grey literature.

How does someone objectively evaluate grey literature? It is similar to how one would evaluate any resource. Consider the author’s or organization’s authority, the source of the material, the clarity of methodology used in the analysis or research and of course the material’s timeliness.

Following are tools for evaluation of grey literature. The AACODS Checklist by Jess Tyndal of Flinders University is designed to evaluate and critically appraise grey literature and its sources. Another tool that is available from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health is the CADTH Peer Review Checklist for Search Strategies, which can assist with assessment of database search strategies. AcademyHealth has an excellent archived grey literature three-part webinar series that can be watched at your convenience. For social media addicts, while it is not a good idea to cite Facebook or Twitter as evidence these tools may help alert you to up-to-the-minute issues germane to your research topic.

The MLA Clearinghouse offers a 4HR class on grey literature, entitled Grey Lit – Google for it and more and the instructor is happy to teach the in-person class in our region. Last month, the class was promoted to the Chairs of health sciences library associations throughout SE/A. If you are interested in attending, please contact the leadership at your local health sciences library association. It is also an educational opportunity for state library associations to embrace while planning their annual conference events to satisfy the interests of public librarians.

By thoughtful exploration, you will discover that grey literature is not a muddy swamp. Armed with the correct tools for constructing searches and evaluation of results, you will realize the area is full of opportunity in shaping a “balanced” view on a topic.


  1. Penn Libraries. Health and life sciences guides: Grey literature in the health sciences. Accessed September 19, 2014.

Disaster Information Specialists Program monthly conference call/webinar – October 9, 2014

WHEN:  Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM ET

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE:  The Disaster Information Specialist monthly meeting is open to everyone – please spread the word and invite others in your organizations, send to your email lists, and post to your social media accounts.

TOPIC:    Ebola Outbreak: Managing Health Information Resources

The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak has resulted in an explosion of information on many aspects of managing the disease from a clinical and public health perspective. There is also considerable interest in related topics such as legalities of quarantine; ethics of vaccine development; shaming and isolation of Ebola survivors, family members of the deceased and Ebola orphans; food security; and the effects on healthcare for other medical conditions in areas with extremely limited resources. How does one make sense of the outpouring of information from news media, social media, publications and guidelines from international agencies, national governments, NGOs, and professional associations; situation reports; maps and other tools for visualizing the outbreak? What about health messaging materials like infographics, radio jingles, banners, TV interviews, and webinars? Join us to discuss the nature of information flow during an infectious disease outbreak, with a special focus on Ebola-related resources from the National Library of Medicine.

Presenter:  Cindy Love is a medical librarian with over 20 years’ experience in public health information management at the National Library of Medicine. As part of the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center, Cindy has developed information resources for every major U.S. and international disaster in the last 5 years. She first co-authored a bibliography on “Viral Hemorrhagic Fever” in 1996. It ranks #8,569,688 on Amazon’s list of bestselling books.

LOGIN:   To join the meeting at 1:30 pm ET, Thursday, October 9, click on

Enter your name in the guest box and click “Enter Room”.

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Enter your phone number and the system will call you.

For those who cannot use this call-back feature, the dial-in information is:

Dial-In:  1-888-757-2790

Pass-Code: 745907


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Or, if you are in the area you can attend the meeting in person at our offices at 6707 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD, Suite 440. Park in the visitor’s parking lot (we will validate your parking), walk to the middle building (Democracy Two) and take the elevator to the 4th floor. Suite 440 is around the corner behind the elevators.

MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on this and past meetings, see

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