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NLM Traveling Exhibits: Hints to Enhance the Experience from a Veteran Host!

PSR Newsletter - Mon, 2018-10-29 17:07

by Evelyn Kobayashi
Manager, Health Sciences Library
Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County – San Leandro Medical Center
San Leandro, CA

The circus no longer comes to town, but NLM’s traveling exhibits do. At San Leandro Medical Center, we hosted For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform for six weeks beginning September 24, 2018. The educational program of exhibits, ranging from Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter’s World at UC San Diego in 2012 to Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature at UC Riverside last summer, has recently put out a bid for new reservations in the Pacific Southwest Region. The timing is fortunate for librarians who are interested in hosting an exhibit, and who would not be? The beautiful graphics and the bite-size facts on impressive 7-foot panels, the depth of online resource materials, lesson plans, and document images make the exhibits a treat for all eyes and a valuable attention-getter for libraries.

banners of NLM traveling exhibit on display at a library

For the All the People traveling exhibit on display at Kaiser Permanente San Leandro

As a veteran of three hosting experiences, I can offer a few words of advice. The first words are: Location, location, location! Negotiation may be required to secure a spot which naturally has maximum foot traffic in your facility. After location, timing is most important. Can the exhibit co-locate and coordinate with any other event(s) that will draw viewers? These factors play an essential role in maximizing the potential viewership of every topic. Choosing an exhibit that meshes strongly with the interests of your audience is also important. As an example, we found that Pick Your Poison had a certain allure which was well beyond that of For All the People or A Voyage to Health, but reactions may differ in other communities.

After the basics are set, the next stage is to recruit a team and develop a full plan for the run-up to opening day and afterwards. The team should be volunteers (possibly from other departments or student interns) who will study the exhibit’s content and be willing to engage with visitors to answer questions, enriching the experience for both sides. Other parts of the plan may include internal and external publicity, community contacts, and small details such as a distinctive name badge for team members. Added interest can be achieved by venturing into showmanship: a carnival wheel with small prizes is a low-tech but sure-fire attraction for children. Raffles also stimulate interest and can be repeated as often as the supply of prizes allows; t-shirts and book bags make reliable incentives. Serendipity and recycling can also work to an exhibit’s advantage. In the current case at San Leandro, we inherited a large number of helium balloons from another event and have used them, gently swaying in the air conditioning breeze, to draw attention to the entire display. The hospital gift shop has obligingly refilled balloons as they flattened, and in many such instances we have found that help is gladly given if we only ask.

An unpredictable but extremely interesting element in hosting is that we never know who will stop for a visit and conversation. Visitors’ life experiences can be intimately connected to the history displayed on the panels – and they share their stories. Typical comments in our log book include “Thank you for having this exhibit. I appreciate the history that was presented.” and “Brings back memories!”

A glance at the NLM website’s map titled Exhibitions: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going shows that western states have had fewer exhibit events than other regions. With ingenuity and teamwork, now could be the time for Westerners to welcome more of NLM’s excellent traveling exhibits. Try one!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Resources for Coping with Trauma

MAR News - Mon, 2018-10-29 11:05

As many of you may know, NNLM MAR’s offices are located at the University of Pittsburgh, just a few miles from the Tree of Life Synagogue where 11 people lost their lives on Saturday morning. While all NNLM MAR staff are physically safe, we grieve with our friends, neighbors and colleagues.

This morning, we received these resource suggestions from our colleagues at the Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC), National Library of Medicine, and, in turn, we would like to share them with the local community, and the rest of our Network.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has several resources that apply to mass shootings, and to this shooting specifically:

The National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) has many resources that might apply, including:

National Library of Medicine Resources:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) Disaster Distress Hotline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

  • Phone: 1-800-985-5990
  • Text: “TalkWithUs” to 66746

We cannot erase the trauma that we have experienced, but we can take active steps to engage our colleagues, friends, and the public in beginning to overcome this loss.

Categories: RML Blogs

NMLM Feature: Health Literacy Month at the Community Health Education Center

SEA News - Mon, 2018-10-29 05:00

Community Health Education Center







Dana L. Ladd, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
VCU Libraries | Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences
Community Health Education Center Librarian
Community Health Education Center
Richmond, VA

At VCU’s Tompkins-McGaw Library for the Health Sciences, we strive to promote health literacy every day throughout the year; however, Health Literacy Month in October provides us with a unique opportunity to promote consumer health resources to healthcare providers and their patients. The Community Health Education Center (CHEC) conducted several health literacy initiatives in celebration of health literacy month in 2018, including health literacy workshops and a health literacy information display.

CHEC is a library open to the community including patients and their family members where they can find reliable consumer health information. CHEC is located at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health, a large academic medical center and is a partnership among VCU Health, VCU Libraries, and the VCU Health Auxiliary. The library contains books, magazines, Internet accessible computers, videos, a reading area, and a children’s area. The library is staffed by a full-time health sciences librarian, a library assistant, several volunteers, and a student intern.

This year, the CHEC Librarian partnered with two nurses from VCU Health’s Education and Professional Development department to conduct health literacy workshops aimed at VCU clinical health care staff. The librarian along with the nurses created the workshop curriculum and conducted five sessions throughout various locations in the VCU Health system. The goal of the health literacy workshop is to teach health care providers the skills they can use in the clinical setting to help improve their patients’ health literacy abilities and increase awareness of health literacy resources and services including CHEC.

The workshops provide attendees with an overview of health literacy and its impact on patients’ health. The nurses provided an overview of using the Teach Back method for effective patient education communication and taught participants how to evaluate the reading level of written patient education materials, and to assess patients’ reading level. The CHEC Librarian followed their presentation with an overview of reliable consumer health resources they can use to find information for their patients or to refer patients. The librarian followed up with an overview of the CHEC library and encouraged health care providers to refer patients to the library.

In addition to the workshops conducted at VCU Health, the CHEC Librarian was invited to conduct a consumer health class at the local Richmond Public Library (Main library branch) where library patrons were invited to attend. The librarian planned a session for patrons that included evaluating online websites and provided a demonstration of MedlinePlus and an overview of CHEC and its resources.

Throughout health literacy month, we also have a health literacy display at the front entrance of the library. A digital display provides an overview of health literacy and health literacy resources. A variety of topical handouts are available for take-away.

There are many ways librarians can promote health literacy. Health Literacy Month provides an opportunity to not only promote health literacy, but to also demonstrate the many library resources that are available to patients. The health literacy workshops have been successful with many health care providers attending the sessions. The health literacy display has further promoted conversation about health literacy among visitors.

Categories: RML Blogs

Data Flash: RIP PubMed Health

PNR News - Sun, 2018-10-28 17:20

This is not exactly a data post, but, the loss of a trusted source for clinical effectiveness research will have its effects on the dataverse.  PubMed Health is being discontinued as of this coming Wednesday.  As any of my colleagues can tell you, I’m taking the loss of PubMed Health hard– I loved showing it to people at various conferences, and using it myself– I found it a wonderful mid-point between and, and it also had some great methodology resources and a glossary.  All of its content will be findable in other ways though!

In thinking about how to proceed in future with finding clinical effectiveness research searching, I did some exploring and gathered my findings into a poster I presented recently at the Washington State Public Health Association conference.  Below, in list form, is the poster content–feel free to contact me at glusker (AT) if you have any questions! And please send any suggestions for additions to these lists!

Check Out These Ways to Find Research on Clinical Effectiveness:

  • has filters for systematic reviews and guidelines
  • Who cares? Seek out the organizations that care about the topic (Kids? American Academy of Pediatrics!)
  • If you or your local health sciences library have databases, check them out—for example, nursing database CINAHL has great content
  • NLM’s “Bookshelf” is becoming a good resource for guidelines
  • The National Guidelines Clearinghouse will soon be re-released by ECRI and they have said it will be open access!
  • records often link to related publications
  • For public health—try and NICHSR OneSearch (a federated search of four public health databases)

Ramp Up Your Google Search Skills! 

  • Try this string, created by P.F. Anderson for a recent Twitter chat: guidelines|white-paper|standards|report|protocol| procedure|policy filetype:pdf (site:org OR site:gov) [fill in the condition])
  • Try GoogleScholar (

Search for Content from Reliable Guideline/Content Contributors (the Ones PubMed Health used):

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US) (AHRQ)
  • Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH)
  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD)
  • Cochrane
  • Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program from the Veterans Health Administration R&D (VA ESP)
  • German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG)
  • Knowledge Centre for the Health Services at The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH)
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines program (NICE)
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme (NIHR HTA)
  • Oregon Health and Science University’s Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP)
  • Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU)
  • The TRIP database (TRIP)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)


Categories: RML Blogs