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GMR Success Stories

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The blog of NNLM Greater Midwest Region
Updated: 9 min 53 sec ago

Great Lakes Science Boot Camp for Librarians 2017 at Michigan State University

Mon, 2017-10-30 11:19

In late July 2017, 66 science librarians gathered together from across the United States at Michigan State University for a 2.5-day science boot camp. Organized around session themes of Sports Research & Kinesiology, Biogeochemistry & Ecology, and Agriculture and Natural Resources the Boot Camp featured MSU faculty members discussing their research in engaging and understandable terms. Boot Camps are designed to keep costs low by utilizing existing campus facilities such as dining and residence halls help science librarians develop their understanding of current scientific research and provide a low cost learning and networking opportunity.

The Boot Camp kicked off with a series of optional pre-camp facility tours. Attendees were able to select two tours from five options: The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center, the School of Packaging Laboratory, and the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden. The tours not only allowed participants to see and explore the MSU campus, but also highlighted some of our nationally top ranked programs, such as packaging and nuclear physics.

The heart of the Boot Camp experience, however, were the session presentations. Spread over the course of the entire Boot Camp, the sessions featured cutting edge research that not only advance scholarship, but also help to provide solutions to real world problems. Whether it is helping stroke sufferers regain their mobility, developing a method to detect concussions, restoring a river ecosystem after an oil spill, or compiling a data set for inland lakes our speakers have conducted research with useful and practical applications. This is especially true of Dr. Susan Masten’s (College of Engineering) keynote address “Flint Water Crisis: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.” Dr. Masten’s address, which was generously supported by a GMR Express Outreach Award, was a sobering dispelling of some of the common misconceptions of the ongoing humanitarian crisis affecting the people of Flint.

Another highlight was the daylong trip to the MSU Kellogg Biological Station. Our group participated in several tours including the Bird Sanctuary, the dairy center, and the Long-Term Ecological Research site where MSU has been conducting agricultural research since 1987. The dairy center was especially popular with its robotic milking station and automated cow milking, complete with electronic udder mapping with lasers!

The Great Lakes Science Boot Camp for Librarians continues to successfully provide science librarians with a low cost opportunity to improve scientific understanding while also developing a peer network of science librarians. Boot Camp attendance has increased substantially since starting in 2015, with attendees traveling from across the country to participate. The 2018 Great Lakes Science Boot Camp for Librarians will be July 24-27, 2018 at Purdue University.

United States Map

Great Lakes Science Boot Camp for Librarians 2017 attendance by state.

Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary

Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary. Photo credit: Barb Sisolak

Automated milking station

Automated milking station. Photo credit: Alison Ricker


Posted by Helen Spielbauer on behalf of Eric Tans.

Funding Award for Automated ILL Software and Training

Thu, 2017-10-05 15:06

The GMR is pleased to announce that Western Michigan University has received funding in the amount of $4,642 in the form of an NNLM Technology Enhancement Award to implement resource sharing management software at the Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) Library. Congratulations to WMed and applicant Elizabeth R. Lorbeer, EdM, MLS, Founding Library Director on the successful proposal.


The WMed Medical Library is described as a born digital library, serving one of the newest medical schools in the United States. Document delivery and resource sharing requests have increased steadily since the school’s inception (August 2014). Although other Western Michigan libraries operate with automated software, the WMed Medical Library is administered separately. With no dedicated resource sharing department, faculty librarians were monitoring and responding to user requests manually.

Project Description

The GMR will fund the purchase and implementation of ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database), an electronic system to facilitate resource sharing.

Project Objectives

  • Objective One: Implement ILLiad at WMed by coordinating software and technology requirements of satellite instance of ILLiad;
  • Objective Two: Train library faculty to use ILLiad;
  • Objective Three: Provide outreach to WMed community.

Project Goals

  • Goal One: Replace the current manual research sharing workflow with an automated system.
  • Goal Two: Standardize and improve the resource sharing experience for the WMed community.
  • Goal Three: Increase resource availability and data for collection development improvement analysis.

Funding Awarded for Opioid e-Resource Database Development and Outreach Project!

Thu, 2017-08-10 16:39

Indiana Prevention Resource Center LogoThe GMR office is excited to announce that the Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC) has been granted an Outreach Award for its project, Opioid e-Resource Database Development and Outreach.

Like many states across the country, Indiana has seen a significant increase in the number of opioid abusers. The state ranks 17th in the number of overdose deaths, and the number of deaths involving heroin use has increased from 7 in 2005 to 239 in 2015.

Project Description
The GMR office is funding IPRC to develop an e-resources database devoted solely to the topic of the current opioid epidemic, with a particular focus on Indiana, that will feature as subthemes from the homepage educational materials on how to judge the quality of health information resources and links to highlighted National Library of Medicine materials. IPRC will promote the database across the state via multiple paths, including social media, direct mailings, and IPRC staff working in various regions. Outreach efforts will be doubled in Indiana’s 21 medically underserved counties in order to increase visibility to health professionals and community members in these regions.

The implementation of this project aims to fulfill four main goals:

1. Raise awareness and knowledge about the current opioid epidemic in Indiana and nationally
2. Raise awareness about the rich resources available through the National Library of Medicine
3. Raise awareness and knowledge about how to judge the quality of health information to improve decision-making about health care
4. Reach health professionals and the general public, especially in underserved areas

Attending the July Systematic Reviews Workshop at the University of Pittsburgh

Thu, 2017-08-03 12:14

I applied and was thrilled to receive funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) office for the Greater Midwest Region’s Professional Development Award. This award enabled me to attend the 2.5-day workshop, Systematic Review Workshop: The Nuts and Bolts for Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh’s Falk Library of the Health Sciences from July 17 to 19, 2017. As a newbie in the systematic reviews (SR) world, the workshop was ideal—it clarified my confusion in distinguishing among meta-analyses, SRs, and other types of reviews (e.g. narrative review) and the role of librarians as well as the importance of PubMed. We examined several types of reviews. Despite following the same standards (e.g. Institute of Medicine and PRISMA), some SRs may be of poor quality. I am planning on incorporating the information we learned about report bias in SRs in a September workshop in my library at the University of Akron.

At the Welcome Reception, I met my librarian colleagues. The class consisted of 24 academic and hospital librarians who came as far away as California and Florida and included other non-health sciences librarians: one engineering and one instruction librarian. I enjoyed visiting the scenic Duquesne Incline and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  The host city had an extensive banquet of food choices that were in close proximity to the Falk Library. A friend from Pittsburgh told me that the city has over 700 bridges!

 It was clear to us that the SR process is not easy—it is time-consuming, complex, challenging but it can be rewarding in supporting researchers.  Not all libraries represented had a formal SR service. The first day of the class focused on theoretical concepts such as introduction to systematic reviews, study design, advice on the reference interview and communicating with the SR team. The instructors gave us examples and urged librarians to always ask for the protocol from the SR team. Clear and ongoing communication is essential. I was surprised at the number of resources, including open access resources that index SRs. On the second day, we concentrated on the heart of the librarian’s role in the SR process—-the literature search. We identified databases, namely PubMed recommended for SRs and several grey literature sources. PubMed was recommended for its comprehensiveness and currency in lieu of licensed MEDLINE databases. Another take home message for me was the importance of searching PubMed effectively—proficient use of PubMed was a must! We also worked in small groups to brainstorm, build a search string and test it using PubMed.  The instructors shared examples they had completed with SRs teams and their experiences. Overall, I am more confident and prepared to address questions pertaining to SRs than prior to the workshop. Although we don’t have a current formal Systematic Review services program in my library, the foundations for providing SRs research services are beneficial and core aspects of health sciences librarianship. Being familiar with conducting SRs and honing one’s expertise in advanced PubMed searching contribute positively as we help users with their information seeking research and interests.

Submitted on behalf of Marilia Antúnez, Assistant Professor of Bibliography and Life & Allied Health Sciences Librarian at The University of Akron.

The photos below show the Systematic Review Workshop in action and Marilia and other workshop attendees in front of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh dinosaur.

Clinical Research and Patient Wellness Training Session in Sioux City, Iowa

Tue, 2017-08-01 17:22

On July 12, Chris Childs the Education & Outreach Librarian for the University of Iowa’s Hardin Library for the Health Sciences gave a Clinical Research & Patient Wellness Training Session to seventeen staff members of the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation. The purpose of this training session is to introduce the audience to free high quality clinical, evidence-based practice and patient wellness resources that they can access either from the Internet of the State Library of Iowa after they sign up for a State Library Card.  All of these resources are listed on the Free Clinical Research & Patient Wellness Resources LibGuide.  The LibGuide’s URL is

Chris has been giving this training session for several years to different groups throughout the state of Iowa that are not affiliated with the University of Iowa. During the training session, audience members learn how to use Boolean logic and truncation to search PubMed and CINAHL, how to use the filters in PubMed and CINHAL to find free full text articles, the evidence-based practice pyramid and the importance of locating systematic reviews, open access journals, patient education resources from the National Library of Medicine and mobile apps and websites that can be downloaded for free.  Chris has given this training session at hospitals, rural clinics, public libraries and the Newton County Correctional Facility.

Recently, the State Library of Iowa decided not to renew its subscription to CINHAL and other EBSCOhost databases. This news hit Chris pretty hard as most of his training session are to nurses who greatly value CINAHL and appreciate the fact that they could access the State Library of Iowa’s subscription for free just by getting a State Library Card.  After making edits to the Free Clinical Research & Patient Wellness Resources LibGuide to reflect these changes, he decided to make a positive out of a negative and take the time that he would normally use to go over basic searching in CINAHL to go over subject searching techniques in PubMed and the MeSH database.  He would have tried this new version of this training session out in Sioux City, but he was only given 45 minutes instead of the usual hour, so he didn’t have the opportunity.

The map below shows all of the outreach and exhibiting activities Chris has done throughtout Iowa since 2008.