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Updated: 3 hours 44 min ago

Upcoming Webinar: Using Recovery Coaches in Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Tue, 2018-10-09 16:08

Date/Time: October 18, 2018 1-2 PM ET

PresentersRichard Kenny, CADC Recovery Coach, UMassMemorial Medical Center and Rob Ryan, LADC Recovery Coach, UMassMemorial Medical Center

Abstract: A Recovery Coach is a person who helps remove the personal and environmental obstacles to recovery, links the newly recovering person to the recovering community and serves as a personal guide and mentor in the management of personal and family recovery. In this webinar you will learn what motivational interviewing is and how it aids in the change process and communicates acceptance. Rich and Rob will present an overview of the Recovery Coaching program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. They will also share the data they have collected from their program about the use of recovery coaching in the treatment of substance use disorder.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the UMass Memorial Medical Center’s Recovering Coaching program as a method to treat substance use disorder.
  • Learn what motivational interviewing is and how to use motivational interviewing in goal-centered, and client-centered situations.
  • Understand the data that has been collected about the success of the Recovery Coaching program at the UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Register at:


Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month Feature: Meet Mary Ann Williams and Lauren Wheeler

Tue, 2018-10-09 15:13
Willams and Wheeler

Mary Ann Williams (L) and Lauren Wheeler (R) conducting a workshop

Mary Ann Williams
Research, Education & Outreach Librarian
School of Dentistry Librarian
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Health Sciences & Human Services Library

Lauren Wheeler
Information Services Librarian
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Health Sciences & Human Services Library </p?

Health literacy is becoming a vital issue at both the societal and medical professional level. The Health Sciences and Human Services Library at the University of Maryland, Baltimore offers a Communicating with Patients workshop to help those in medical professions learn effective ways to communicate with their patients. The workshop begins by raising the participants’ awareness of the low health literacy rates in the United States as well as in Baltimore. Confronted with the realization of these rates, health professionals immediately see the need to improve their verbal and written communication with their patients.

Defining health literacy at the beginning of the workshop has been a great strategy to engage participants. We explain that health literacy is the ability to read, understand, and act on health information. The emphasis of this definition is placed on the ability of the patient to deal with the information the healthcare provider is giving them. However, it is the responsibility of the healthcare professional to provide health information that is understandable to the patient.

During the workshop, we highlight several areas where clear health communication is lacking within the healthcare setting. These areas include the language used on prescription container labels, maps, schedules and instructions posted in healthcare setting, as well as the use of unfamiliar phrases, symbols and abbreviations. Many of these things have a high literacy demand and are discouraging to patients. Our workshop brings awareness to these areas then gives suggestions for clearer communication.

While most health-related materials are written at a high school reading level, the average adult reads at a middle school level. This statistic is often shocking to the workshop participants. It helps them see the importance of health literacy. To combat the differences between health materials and average reading levels, the workshop presents simple changes the health professional can use when presenting information to the patient. We talk about using short sentences and bullet points to help focus readers. We also suggest against using polysyllabic words whenever possible. These longer medical terms can often be substituted with a shorter, easier to understand, term. For example, using blood infection instead of septicemia. One approach that often surprises our workshop participants is to use sans-serif fonts like Ariel instead of fonts with serifs, like Times New Roman. We also suggest clear ways to convey numerical concepts. These strategies include rounding decimals to the nearest whole number and using familiar analogies. Telling a patient to eat a serving of meat about the size of their palm paints a much different, and easier to understand, picture than just saying to eat a single serving of meat. Participants seem interested that such a simple change can make a difference in how a patient understands information.

During the session, we encourage active participation by asking participants to share their experiences, or how they might use what we have discussed. An example of engaging the participants is used when explaining how clear health communication is done in active voice instead of passive voice; we ask participants to translate an example paragraph into active voice. Sometimes this is a strange concept to participants because they are used to writing for academic journals, which typically require the use of passive voice.

Another way participation is encouraged during the workshop is by giving participants a few sentences that could be improved in several ways. We ask them to change these sentences to make them clearer, using the strategies talked about in the workshop. If any of the points are missed as participants discuss their changes, we go back and talk about them.

To reinforce the points which were covered, we provide a lengthier sample of text with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score and percentage of passive sentences. They work in Microsoft Word to lower both of these numbers. Oftentimes, there is a “lightbulb moment” where the workshop participants realize that translating medical text is more difficult than they originally thought. Using this exercise makes the lecture more relatable and participants can quantifiably see how the changes they make to a passage affect health literacy.

The Communicating with Patients workshop is very popular. Health providers often see the need to communicate clearly with patients, they just need a little instruction on how to achieve this. From the follow-up survey, we believe workshop participants are happy with the strategies taught in the workshop and, from their comments, hope they are using a few of them in their everyday practice.

Categories: RML Blogs

Get Ready: Hurricane Michael Takes Aim at 300-Mile Gulf Coast

Tue, 2018-10-09 08:27

Hurricane Michael Takes Aim at 300-Mile Gulf Coast

Hurricane Michael is threatening more than 300 miles of the Gulf Coast, prompting emergency declarations in more than 100 counties from Mobile, Alabama through the Florida Panhandle and into the state’s Big Bend region. Residents are encourage to make preparations ahead of potential landfall. It is impossible for us to know the extent to which our Network Members will be impacted by this hurricane.

NOTE for DOCLINE Members: If your library will be closed due to the hurricane, please set your library “out of office” to temporarily deactivate lending in DOCLINE. If your library has never set your “out of office” before, please visit the NNLM DOCLINE website to learn how. Doing so will prevent requests from routing to your library during times of extended absence or special circumstances.

We encourage you to visit the following pages from the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). You can embed the content from both of these pages on your own Website by accessing the Health and Human Services (HHS) Content Syndication Storefront. When we update any of these pages, your pages will be automatically updated as well.

Hurricane Michael



Federal Agency Resources

Agencies and Organizations

Social Media

Crowdsource Resources

Finally, visit the NNLM SEA Page of Disaster Information Resources for Alerts and Feeds, State and National Specific Resources, Multilingual and Evacuation Resources, and more!

Although we are not sure what the full impact of this hurricane will have in our region, please reach out to the NNLM SEA and NDCO if we can be of assistance. We will continue to update this article with more information as the hurricane progresses to the gulf coast. Please keep us up-to-date regarding the status of your library/institution but more importantly let us know you are safe and well.

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month Feature: Meet Brittni Ballard: Gaming for Health Literacy – It’s a thing!

Fri, 2018-10-05 11:45

Brittni Ballard, Future MLIS
MLIS student
University of Maryland, College Park

University of Maryland’s HackHealth is a 12-week after-school health literacy program for Prince George’s County middle schoolers co-founded by Dr. Beth St. Jean and Dr. Mega Subramaniam.

This program featured a specially-designed digital health literacy skills pre-assessment worksheet to be re-administered at the program’s end to gauge student growth. However, participants so openly disliked the assessment, it was not offered again. Realizing the assessment needed to be less test-like, Beth shared the dilemma with her graduate students and word spread through mutual acquaintance to Master of Library and Information Science student Brittni Ballard.

Brittni’s interest in game-based learning, including gamification and serious games, combined with passions for adolescent / young adult education and emerging technologies, presented a mutually beneficial collaboration through Independent Study this past summer: Brittni could pursue her interest in game-based learning and future HackHealth participants could benefit from a more positive program introduction.

As a result, a learning platform with three distinct learning objects was created. These objects are a survey which shares students’ scores on multiple choice questions only upon completion, a discussion forum with modern interactivity features, and a visual novel video game which shares students’ performance history upon completion.

Together, these three learning objects introduce information literacy broadly while comprehensively approaching health literacy development through reinforcement and assessment of students’ functional, communicative or interactive, and critical health knowledge and skills.

For additional information on the learning platform’s development or to learn more about game-based learning, visit this behind-the-scenes site, also developed by Brittni. Alternatively, skip the context and dive right into the game where the real fun awaits! Download the Windows or Mac version, .zip files shared via Google Drive you must extract, and when alerted to an unknown developer of the app “HealthHack_Demo,” click “Run Anyway.”

Learn on, game long, and prosper.

October is Health Literacy Month and National Medical Librarians Month! This month we will feature profiles of health literacy advocates and medical librarians in the NNLM SEA region. There’s still time to participate. If you have a story you’d like to share, please visit this post to learn how.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM SEA Digest News – October 5, 2018

Fri, 2018-10-05 06:35

Welcome to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Southeastern/Atlantic (SEA) Region’s Weekly Digest. This digest includes upcoming events, online training opportunities, news, and past events.  


Celebrating National Medical Librarians Month and Health Literacy Month

Upcoming Online Training Opportunities*

Asynchronous Moodle LMS Course

Webinars October 8-12

Visit the NNLM Training Schedule for all upcoming webinars, scheduled, and on-demand classes. For past webinars and classes, please visit the NNLM on YouTube**

National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM), and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) News

NIH News

NLM News

NLM Technical Bulletin

NCBI Insights

Miscellaneous News

NNLM SEA Communications

Notes on NNLM Training Opportunities

  • All sessions listed are sponsored by a specific regional or national office, but open to all.
  • Webinars are scheduled for 1 hour unless otherwise noted.
  • The NNLM class registration system requires a free NNLM account prior to registration.
  • Visit the NNLM Training Opportunities to register and view a full calendar of training opportunities.
  • Please visit the NNLM Acronym Guide to understand the acronyms.
  • Refer to this guide to claim MLA CE credit.
  • Not all Training Opportunities listed provide MLA CE credit. Please refer to the class page to see if a specific session offers credit.

** Please note that NNLM recordings on YouTube may not have MLA CE Credit available. Please contact the regional office that sponsored the webinar for details.

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar Announcement: In the Shoes of a Fellow: The National Library of Medicine’s Associate Fellowship Program – October 17, 2018

Thu, 2018-10-04 11:33

Fellowship Program

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:00 PM PT/ 4:00 PM ET

Presenter: Shannon Sheridan, MLIS, NLM Associate Fellow

Summary: Having a solid foundation of experience is essential for early-career librarians. For those interested in the health sciences, it may seem difficult at times to find opportunities to grow as a leader and a librarian. The National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program is a one-year postgraduate training fellowship at the NLM in Bethesda, Maryland, with an optional second year component. The program is designed to provide a broad foundation in health sciences information services, and to prepare librarians for future leadership roles in health sciences libraries and in health services research. In this webinar, a current Associate Fellow will discuss the organization of the program, her experiences as an Associate Fellow, and some of the projects she and other fellows worked on.

Upon completion of the presentation, each participant will receive 1.0 contact hour of continuing education credit award by the Medical Library Association. Participants will receive a code to which they will enter in medlib-ed.

Registration is encouraged. For questions, please contact Carolyn Martin.

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month Feature: Meet Kelsey Grabeel and Learn How a Health Information Center in an Academic Medical Center Improves Health Literacy for Patients

Thu, 2018-10-04 09:03

Kelsey Grabeel, MSIS, AHIP
Assistant Director of the Health Information Center
Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee Medical Center
Health Information Center
Preston Medical Library

“One of the biggest misconceptions about health literacy is that only those with a lower education level will have low health literacy.”

1) What inspired you to pursue the work you do today?

Early on as the Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) at Preston Medical Library, I became involved in health literacy projects. Our library has a Consumer and Patient Health Information Service that I participated in and I worked on a Health Literacy Fact Sheet as well. Our health literacy projects grew out of our desire to affect more patients while they were in the hospital and to include our nurses and other staff in a more integrated way. As a GRA, I had an interest in assisting health consumers and when the library moved to a location inside the hospital, they gained a librarian position focused on consumer health/health literacy. It seemed like a great fit and once I became a librarian, I worked on a couple of health literacy research projects. What really caught my interest was being a member of the Patient Education Committee. I was shocked by the complicated language used in some of the titles for the patient education our hospital distributed. I really wanted to make a difference and found purposeful work editing patient education materials to make them easy to understand.

2) Can you share a health literacy success story from personal experience?

A health literacy success story for me would be when the Patient Education Committee made the Health Information Center (HIC) part of the custom patient education review workflow. Our nurses, staff, physicians, etc write custom patient education in house. The Patient Education Committee added the HIC so that we could review the in house resources for literacy and plain language principles. Once we were added to the workflow, I was able to edit patient education materials and make suggestions to lower the reading grade level and make materials easy-to-read, written in plain language. So far, I have reviewed and edited about 70 pieces of custom patient education.

3) Please tell us about the Health Information Center and what you strive to accomplish there.

At the HIC, I strive to make it a place patients can come to relax and learn. They can come to find easy-to-read health information and read about health conditions. I try to have cookbooks for patients and the community as well as caregiving books. We really want people to know about our health information service that provides free health information from reliable resources. We also have computers patients can use to check email or do their own research.

4) In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about health literacy out there?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about health literacy is that only those with a lower education will have low health literacy. Health literacy affects people of all education levels and I think that’s important to remember. Patients will most likely prefer the educational resource that is easier to read than one that is full of medical jargon.

5) What advice would you give someone who wants to follow your career path?

I would advise librarians or IS students to look for other health literacy librarians in the professional literature, at Chapter meetings, MLA CAPHIS, and contacting NNLM for suggestions. MLA offers CHIS certification that is valuable. NNLM provides free classes and resources for improving consumer health, as well. Attending health literacy conferences and signing up for listservs are a great step for those who are already doing consumer health and want to take their careers to the next level. I also would advise making connections in your own institution. You never know who might be interested and it’s important to engage the people in your own institution and get them excited about health literacy. By finding a faculty member equally passionate about health literacy, we were able to add a health literacy rotation to a 4th year medical student clerkship.

HIC Chalkboard by Jennifer Luhrs

       HIC Chalkboard by Jennifer Luhrs

Traveling Health Information Center

          Traveling Health Information Center     










October is Health Literacy Month and National Medical Librarians Month! This month we will feature profiles of health literacy advocates and medical librarians in the NNLM SEA region. There’s still time to participate. If you have a story you’d like to share, please visit this post to learn how.



Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar Announcement: Game On! Motivate and Engage Your Staff with Gaming Strategies

Wed, 2018-10-03 16:03

Title: Game On! Motivate and Engage Your Staff with Gaming Strategies

Guest Speaker: Andrew See, Head of User Services and Experience, and Bridget Rowan, Training Coordinator for User Services and Experience, Northern Arizona University Cline Library

Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Time: 11 am ET / 10 am CT / 9 am MT

Description: In this program, presenters will provide an overview of why your institution should be intentional in creating an immersive and engaging training and development program, and how to go about hiring the right person to lead it.

Attendees will learn how to create engaging staff workshops, integrate gaming into a learning management system, and use specific tools including badges and ready-made free online platforms. Using meaningful game elements attendees will leave inspired to increase staff engagement at their own institutions.

Became a game mechanic and learn how you can transform your training, development, and team building to promote and sustain a truly motivated staff.

Speaker Bio: Andrew See is Head of User Services and Experience at the Northern Arizona University Cline Library; a department which includes 8 classified staff, 2 faculty librarians, and approximately 19 student employees. Andrew chairs two User Experience groups in the library providing UX oversight to both the website and physical building.  He is currently serving as chair of the LLAMA Systems and Services: Management Practices Committee.  Andrew is a national presenter and published author on using technology in management practices.  He received his MLIS from the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science.  Contact him at

Bridget Rowan is the Training Coordinator for User Services and Experience at the Northern Arizona University Cline Library where she trains both student employees and full time staff. When Bridget’s not immersed in the world of library training, you can find her working on the Cline Library website or managing 3D printing in the MakerLab. She earned her Master’s of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Contact her at

For more information: No registration is required for this class.

To Join the Meeting

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the session number: 296 593 189​ and password: webinar
  3. Please provide your name and email address.
  4. You may have to download and install a web add-on or run a temporary application depending on the browser you use.
  5. Select your audio connection preference:
    *Call using computer – Adjust settings and test the connection
    *Call from WebEx – Enter your direct phone number and press 1 when prompted
    *Call in – Call: 1-650-479-3208 (US/Canada toll number)
    Enter access code: 296 593 189​ #
    Enter the Attendee ID on your screen and press #
  6. If you are using a mobile device, your access code is: webinar

For live captioning, please use

For any technical issues, please call: 817-735-2223.

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month Feature: Exhibits and Events: Reaching Your Campus and Community: Meet Beth Auten

Wed, 2018-10-03 12:50

Beth Auten, MSLIS, MA, AHIP
Health & Human Services Librarian
Murrey Atkins Library
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

As we celebrate National Medical Librarians Month, it’s a good time to think about ways to increase awareness of our profession and the many things we do, including outreach to our local communities, and marketing and promotion of all that we, and our libraries, have to offer. Many of you already know that NLM makes traveling exhibits—condensed versions of their exhibits intended for display at medical, university, and public libraries—available free of charge. This is a popular program, with booking periods filling up years in advance, but absolutely worth waiting for.

Our library recently hosted an exhibit focused on health care reform at the grassroots level, For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform. The NLM Exhibition Program provides a wealth of resources, including an online version of the exhibit, lesson plans for K-12 and higher education, images and text that can be used in promotional materials, and more. With so much already available, a small team at your library can plan events to coincide with the exhibition, and promote it to your campus and community.

The timing of the exhibit was a challenge for us—we were able to book it within the year, by taking a booking period that opened up, but it was right at the beginning of a new fall semester. Even with the exhibit on display in August, just as classes began and the faculty and students returned to campus, we were able to schedule events with on-campus experts and advocates for health care reform. The events included a presentation on using data science in community health projects; a film screening; and a panel discussion with several physicians, a health studies professor, and a journalist who has written extensively on health topics. Some faculty members gave their students credit for attending events and reporting back on what they learned.

While you are waiting to book an NLM traveling exhibit, or waiting on one to arrive, you could plan an exhibit showcasing local materials and collections. (This is also an opportunity to supplement the content of the traveling exhibit, if you have related material in your collection.) This past April, I worked with a faculty member in public policy and consulted our Department of Public Health Sciences to put together an exhibit on local public health history to coincide with National Public Health Week.

Initially, we weren’t sure what resources might be available to us, but found that our library’s Special Collections & University Archives department has the records of the local health department from its beginnings in the early Twentieth century through the 1970s, when it’s authority was transferred to the county government. There was a wealth of information in those records, and other local historical collections, about public health crises including the 1918 influenza pandemic and polio epidemics in the 1940s; development of sanitation and environmental health policies; and the work of physicians, nurses, and other health workers in schools and community clinics.

Beyond the campus community, exhibits and events are a great way to welcome the wider community into your library. If your library does any community outreach, or offers consumer health information services, exhibits and related events can provide space and opportunities to promote those services. Take a look at the NLM Exhibition Program website to see what topics might be of interest to your organization and community, and get ideas for events and resources that tie in with the exhibit topics and themes.

Our exhibit guide, featuring information about the exhibit and events, included information for community members as well as resources available to university faculty, staff, and students:
For All the People Exhibit Guide

Reese Manceaux, Research Data Librarian at J. Murrey Atkins Library, introducing speakers from the Academy for Population Health Innovation (APHI) at UNC Charlotte.
They gave a talk on data science and digital health that coincided with the NLM traveling exhibit For All The People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform.

October is Health Literacy Month and National Medical Librarians Month! This month we will feature profiles of health literacy advocates and medical librarians in the NNLM SEA region. There’s still time to participate. If you have a story you’d like to share, please visit this post to learn how.


Categories: RML Blogs

Join the Emergency Preparedness Regional Advisory Committee

Wed, 2018-10-03 09:33

The Emergency Preparedness Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) is a standing committee of the NNLM SEA regional advisory structure. The committee is comprised of a representative from each state/territory in the region.  Committee members will be appointed by the SEA executive director to a three year term. The committee will meet virtually and communicate via e-mail to conduct business.

Committee Charge:

The Emergency Preparedness RAC will provide leadership in promoting emergency preparedness, continuity of service and follow-up reporting for events. Committee members will:

  1. Assist the SEA with developing and implementing a regional emergency preparedness plan to ensure continuity of service for Network members.
  2. Serve as regional coordinators for emergency preparedness activities in the state:
    1. Promote emergency preparedness in individual libraries and the state
    2. When necessary, work as part of the regional emergency team to ensure continuation of services and recovery to affected Network member(s) in the state.
    3. Provide the SEA office with follow-up and reporting of events following a disaster to include a description of the incident, the response, follow-up activities, and lessons learned.
  3. Recommend improvements and new avenues for the SEA to promote and deliver emergency preparedness/disaster recovery support to Network members

To volunteer or to nominate yourself to participate, please contact Tony Nguyen, Executive Director by October 31, 2018

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month Feature: A Day in the Life of Two Community Engagement & Health Literacy Librarians: Meet Terri Ottosen and Jane Morgan-Daniel

Tue, 2018-10-02 10:35

Terri Ottosen

Terri Ottosen, MLIS, AHIP

Community Engagement and Health Literacy Librarian

Health Sciences Library

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Since beginning my position as Community Engagement and Health Literacy Librarian last November, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library, I’ve been exhilarated and energized by the response from the UNC community. I’ve been greatly impressed that many faculty, staff, and students are interested in health literacy, although I wasn’t too surprised. As the nation’s first public university, part of the mission is to enhance the quality of life for all people in the state, and naturally, health literacy skills can do just that. As someone passionate about patient empowerment, this has become my imperative, guiding me in my daily work life.

As most information professionals would attest, there isn’t a typical day but a day could involve reviewing a patient education document from the Cancer Center or the Physical Therapy Department for plain language and reading grade level. I might also be helping to review a plain language summary for a journal submission or a clinical trial. If it’s Monday, I’m probably listening to Your Health® Radio, the Department of Family Medicine’s weekly health radio show, in order to provide links to the Research that Matters part of the show. On most days, I’m usually also preparing for a presentation or class, modifying content or emphasizing select concepts for the particular audience I will be talking to about health literacy. My new Interest Group, Librarians Advancing Health Literacy for the International Health Literacy Association, also requires an investment of time that pays off with a fantastic network of librarians who share ideas, concerns and resources that make us better at what we do.

One of the most ceaseless efforts I make on a daily basis is thinking about and overseeing the website. I work with the Communications Manager, Linda Johnsen, to maintain and continually improve the original “Go Local” site in North Carolina. Linda and a team of volunteer librarians from around the state help to provide reliable and authoritative health information to the citizens of the state. Additionally, the Health Sciences Library is assuming responsibility for, a site focused on the research and practice of health literacy at UNC Chapel Hill. We will be modifying and improving the site to enable the promotion, collaboration and dissemination of health literacy practice and research for the University, the state, and beyond.

Also as any busy librarian will tell you, a lot of my time is spent in meetings, whether it’s a short-term project or grant, or a standing meeting with a committee, or with my Research Assistant or colleagues. I’ve had the privilege of working with other like-minded people across the University, region and state, so I regularly meet with groups or individuals to discuss potential health literacy collaborations, whether it’s other University Libraries, Public Libraries, or Community Organizations.

So, while there is no typical day for me, each day is very purposeful in promoting and supporting health literacy and rewarding, as a result.


Jane Morgan-Daniel

Jane Morgan-Daniel, MA, MLIS, AHIP

Community Engagement & Health Literacy Librarian

Health Science Center Libraries

University of Florida, Gainesville

Like Terri, I’m fairly new in my position as Community Engagement and Health Literacy Librarian, having joined the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries (UF HSCL) in June 2017. I’ve also been fortunate to connect with many clinicians, educators, faculty, staff, and students who all share a passion for a common goal: reducing health disparities through improving the health literacy skills of healthcare consumers and providers.

In practice, my everyday work is extremely varied. As a functional liaison librarian, I collaborate with interdisciplinary partners across UF, UF Health, and local communities to provide health literacy-related information services, instruction, and research support. A typical day involves attending meetings for the Health Literacy Project Team, the Community Engagement Committee, the Alachua County Safety Net Collaborative, or the Partnership for Strong Families Neighborhood Resource Center Group. Associated requests for literature searches are common, in order to provide an evidence base for collaborative research initiatives that evolve from these meetings. Recent search topics include health literacy education interventions for inpatients to reduce readmissions, arts-based communication strategies to improve health behaviors, and competency tests for medical interpreters assisting patients with limited English proficiency.

My workdays often involve collaborative instruction with other UF HSCL librarians. Examples include guest lecturing in credit-bearing courses on topics such as common patient signs of limited health literacy, the importance of using plain language and Teach Back, and online resources for patient education. I also recently co-conducted two workshops, one for public library staff on authoritative and accessible health information websites to recommend to their patrons, and the other for a group of residents from a local retirement community on searching PubMed.

Seeking continuing professional development opportunities is another ongoing priority. For example, I recently joined Terri’s newly established Interest Group for the International Health Literacy Association called Librarians Advancing Health Literacy. Additionally, this summer I hope to attend the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s 18th Annual Health Literacy Conference.

Other upcoming plans include tabling with UF HSCL’s Nursing and Consumer Health Librarian at a community event called Night of Dance, co-creating a webinar that will be hosted by NEFLIN, grant-seeking for a potential UF HSCL project that would focus on creating patient education videos, and further developing UF HSCL’s Health Literacy LibGuide.

As Terri expressed, there really is no typical day but whether I am researching, instructing, or collaborating on a health literacy project, I am working toward reducing health disparities by increasing health literacy and it is very fulfilling work.

October is Health Literacy Month and National Medical Librarians Month! This month we will feature profiles of health literacy advocates and medical librarians in the NNLM SEA region. There’s still time to participate. If you have a story you’d like to share, please visit this post to learn how.

Categories: RML Blogs

National Medical Librarians Month Feature: IRB Service Helps Researchers and Patients

Mon, 2018-10-01 10:17

Everly Btown
Everly Brown, MLIS
Head of Information Services
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Health Sciences and Human Services Library

Since 2011, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) has been operating a successful free service to review consent forms for researchers on campus. The University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been a champion of the service and regularly directs principal investigators (PIs) to submit their consent documents to our online submission form. Although the IRB requires that consent forms be written at a seventh-grade reading level, PIs rarely meet this stipulation. When a consent document is submitted for review, a team of trained HS/HSL librarians and staff from the Information Services department receives an email with the document attached. After taking scheduling and availability into account, one of the team members will then volunteer to review the document. It typically takes many hours over several days to modify the documents to an appropriate level for research participants.

The consent form review team uses Microsoft Word to evaluate the forms. We select an option under “proofing” to show readability statistics after running a spelling and grammar check. This allows us to assess the document’s number of passive sentences, its Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. With this standard to measure against, we use Word’s Track Changes and Comments to suggest modifications to adjust the reading level and replace passive sentences. Typical edits include substituting complicated terminology for simpler terms, breaking up long sentences, using bullet points, and removing redundant and irrelevant passages. If we have questions for the PI or explanations to make, we use the Comment feature in Word. Since this program’s implementation in 2011, we have revised 159 consent forms with 18 so far this year. Consent forms have ranged from 3 to 36 pages long. A few unique submissions were a graphic that was given to study participants and a study requirement flyer. We were obliged to change our turnaround time from 3 business days to 5 as we continue to receive more submissions each year, many of which are 10-20 pages in length.

The HS/HSL staff works rigorously on the consent forms, as we strongly value patient advocacy and clear health communication. The service has increased the library’s visibility on campus, facilitated new relationships with faculty, and given Information Services staff some of our more challenging projects. We’ve heard back from grateful researchers and received positive feedback from our satisfaction surveys. We have been asked to present on best practices for writing consent forms during a monthly research seminar sponsored by UMB’s School of Nursing and plan to develop this presentation into a workshop and an article. Finally, we now have a presence on the Human Research Protections Program’s website with a note that strongly encourages researchers to use this free service. We are confident that research subjects have benefited from our efforts.

October is Health Literacy Month and National Medical Librarians Month! This month we will feature profiles of health literacy advocates and medical librarians in the NNLM SEA region. There’s still time to participate. If you have a story you’d like to share, please visit this post to learn how.


Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Wikipedia FALL Edit-a-thon Training Sessions

Mon, 2018-10-01 08:04

NNLM Wikipedia FALL Edit-a-thon

Are you interested in improving the consumer health information available on Wikipedia? Do you want to utilize your librarian research skills towards making Wikipedia a better, evidence-based resource? Have you always wanted to participate in an edit-a-thon? Join the National Network of Libraries of Medicine on November 7, 2018 as we add citations to existing Wikipedia articles on women’s health using trusted National Library of Medicine resources like Genetics Home Reference, MedlinePlus, and PubMed.

Get ready for our #CiteNLM2018 Fall Edit-a-thon by attending our upcoming training sessions throughout October:

Please note: Even if you cannot attend the sessions, participants are encouraged to register in order to receive a copy of the training recordings.

NNLM staff from across the nation will be available Wednesday, November 7th from 10 am to 8 pm ET to support you as you add your citations. Check out and follow along with the fun on Twitter–check for hashtag #citeNLM2018!

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM SEA Digest News – September 28, 2018

Fri, 2018-09-28 07:14

Welcome to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Southeastern/Atlantic (SEA) Region’s Weekly Digest. This digest includes upcoming events, online training opportunities, news, and past events.  


Upcoming Online Training Opportunities*

Webinars October 1-5

Visit the NNLM Training Schedule for all upcoming webinars, scheduled, and on-demand classes. For past webinars and classes, please visit the NNLM on YouTube**

National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM), and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) News

NIH News

NLM News

NLM Technical Bulletin

NCBI Insights

Miscellaneous News

Focus on Substance Misuse

NNLM SEA Communications

Notes on NNLM Training Opportunities

  • All sessions listed are sponsored by a specific regional or national office, but open to all.
  • Webinars are scheduled for 1 hour unless otherwise noted.
  • The NNLM class registration system requires a free NNLM account prior to registration.
  • Visit the NNLM Training Opportunities to register and view a full calendar of training opportunities.
  • Please visit the NNLM Acronym Guide to understand the acronyms.
  • Refer to this guide to claim MLA CE credit.
  • Not all Training Opportunities listed provide MLA CE credit. Please refer to the class page to see if a specific session offers credit.

** Please note that NNLM recordings on YouTube may not have MLA CE Credit available. Please contact the regional office that sponsored the webinar for details.

Categories: RML Blogs

Upcoming Webinar: Planning, Developing, and Evaluating R Curriculum at the NIH Library – October 12 2 PM ET

Thu, 2018-09-27 12:11

Join NNLM for the next iteration of the Research Data Management webinar series: Planning, Developing, and Evaluating R Curriculum at the NIH Library October 12, from 2-3 pm ET. To register for this free webinar, visit: Can’t make it on the 12th? Don’t worry, the webinar will be recorded!

This webinar will describe a pilot project to evaluate current R training at the NIH Library, and based on an evaluation of the data, revise the library’s R training curriculum. This will include a discussion of the development of a training plan, weekly R check-in sessions, managing documents using Open Science Framework (OSF), and an evaluation of the pilot.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this webinar participants should have a better understanding of:

  1. R curriculum before the pilot project
  2. Our evaluation of data-related training before the pilot project
  3. The components of the pilot project
  4. The development of our training plan
  5. How OSF was used for project management
  6. Format and frequency of classes during the pilot project
  7. Post-pilot evaluation

Instructor Bios:

Doug Joubert joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library in 2004. He is a customer-oriented practitioner with extensive experience in providing comprehensive research and information services support to researchers working in the areas of public health and health care policy. In this role, Doug provides his clients with services that support of the missions of the NIH and select HHS staff divisions. As part of his duties at the NIH Library, he identifies and provides guidance on the effective use of emerging technologies and recommends strategies to capitalize on them. Practice areas include data analytics, data visualization, GIS, and teaching.

Candace Norton joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library as a National Library of Medicine (NLM) second year Associate Fellow in 2017. Prior to joining the NLM Associate Fellowship Program, Candace managed a small corporate library for a pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting company in Bethesda, MD. During her fellowship appointment, she has pursued projects and training in areas related to pharmacovigilance monitoring, systematic reviews, bibliometric analysis, and data visualization.

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar Announcement: An Introduction to Evidence Based Practice: A Librarian’s Guide

Thu, 2018-09-27 08:02

For questions, please contact Tony Nguyen, NNLM SEA.

The NNLM SEA is pleased to offer An Introduction to Evidence Based Practice: A Librarian’s Guide. This three-part webinar series provides a comprehensive overview of evidence-based practice. Essential tools for clinical inquiry are addressed, including: developing PICO (Patient, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) questions, searching the literature, exploring levels of evidence, and critically analyzing and appraising research articles. The series will also discuss the role of the librarian in teaching, practicing, and supporting evidence-based practice.

Registration for each session is required. To access the series, please visit: WebEx details will be provided after registering for each session. Please note that the WebEx log in information is different for each session.

Session 1: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice & PICO

November 13, 2018 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET

After completing this webinar, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the importance and steps of evidence-based practice
  • Identify the role of the librarian in teaching, practicing, and supporting evidence-based practice
  • Formulate a clinical question based on the scope of the requestor’s problem, PICO, and question type

To register for session 1:

Session 2: Searching

December 11, 2018 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET

After completing this class, participants should be able to:

  • Locate background and foreground information
  • Develop effective search strategies in order to find relevant evidence

To register for session 2:

Session 3: Appraisal and Application

January 15, 2019 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET

After completing this class, participants should be able to:

  • Describe study designs and the hierarchy of evidence
  • Choose appropriate study design based on question type
  • Apply descriptive and inferential statistics to understand research findings studies

To register for session 3:


Emily Brennan, MLIS, is a Research Informationist in the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Library. She is the liaison to the College of Medicine students and faculty, as well as hospital nurses and residents. As a member of the hospital’s Value Institute, she teaches evidence-based practice courses for clinicians, and also provides literature for hospital guidelines, evidence briefs, and clinical decision support tools.

Amanda Davis, MPH, RD, CHES is a Senior Evidence-based Practice Analyst with the Value Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She promotes evidence-based practice through the facilitation of hospital guideline development which includes critically appraising research using the GRADE criteria, developing evidence-based clinical decision support tools for transition into the electronic medical record. She also supports EBP education for clinical staff, residents, and dietetic interns. Amanda has 10 years of research experience and 13 years of clinical experience as a registered dietitian.

Categories: RML Blogs

Announcing: Fall 2018 HSLANJ Group Licensing Offer Now Available

Wed, 2018-09-26 11:56






PRINCETON, NJ (September 21, 2018) – HSLANJ members, primarily medical librarians located throughout the state of New Jersey, recently identified the #1 most valuable service that HSLANJ provides: the Group Licensing Initiative (GLI)! This is according to a summer 2018 membership survey conducted by the organization’s Strategic Direction Task Force.

While we are thrilled about this news, we are also excited to continue outreach to librarians throughout the three National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) regions that we serve with the GLI (Middle Atlantic Region (MAR), Southeastern Atlantic Region (SEA), and Northeast Region (NER).

Why do medical librarians value participation in the GLI?

First, there is no membership fee in order to participate in the GLI. All medical librarians in the three regions covering 20 states are welcome to participate as they’re able, as budgets allow, in either or both Spring or Fall Offer periods.

The HSLANJ GLI is recognized by the NNLM as the lead organization capable of assisting health sciences librarians obtain resources.

Deadline to participate in the Fall Offer is Friday, November 9. Due to the online ordering system, no exceptions can be made regarding the deadline. The HSLANJ GLI greatly appreciates and welcomes early orders.

Questions? Please see or contact Robert T. Mackes (570-856-5952 or

Founded in 1972, HSLANJ is a non-profit organization which encourages the professional development and advancement of librarianship to improve the quality of library services provided by health care organizations.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Wikipedia FALL Edit-a-thon Call for Volunteers!

Wed, 2018-09-26 09:20

We’re working hard to make our Fall edit-a-thon even more of a success than April event! To achieve this goal, we are inviting more librarians to join our #citeNLM2018 Wikipedia Help Team. Volunteers are needed for each 1-hour shift from 10 AM to 8 PM Eastern on November 7, 2018.

Want to utilize your research skills to make Wikipedia a better, evidence-based resources? Sign up to provide virtual support to participants by contacting the RML staff listed in the Schedule Table. Plan to attend and register for the following training sessions.

October 3, 2PM to 2:30PM ET

Introduction to the NNLM Edit-a-thon and WikiProject Medicine

Hosted by Elaina Vitale (MAR) and Ann Glusker (PNR)

October 17, 2PM to 2:30PM ET

Editing Wikipedia Articles

Hosted by Alicia Lillich (MCR) and Aimee Gogan (SEA)

October 31, 2PM to 2:30PM ET

Women’s Health Resources

Hosted by Karen Coghlan (NER) and Erin Latta (NDCO)

We look forward to your help!

Categories: RML Blogs

Big Data Science: What Librarians Offer

Tue, 2018-09-25 12:17

In the NNLM Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles course, we asked participants, as they progressed through the course to consider the following questions: Do you think health sciences librarians should get involved with big data in healthcare? Where should librarians get involved, if you think they should? If you think they should not, explain why. You may also combine a “should/should not” approach if you would like to argue both sides. NNLM will feature responses from different participants over the coming weeks.

Written by: Margaret Ansell, Nursing and Consumer Health Liaison Librarian, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Throughout the history of the profession, librarians have questioned the scope and breadth of their role.  With every new technology comes an opportunity for new services and a threat to old ones.  An example: thanks to the advent of electronic resources and searchable databases, librarians spend much less time retrieving materials for patrons now, and more training patrons how to retrieve materials themselves.  Each time a disruptive technology makes itself known, librarians have to collectively decide how to accommodate it.  Whether such accommodation is considered an evolution of the profession, or a mutation, depends very much on your perspective.  Faced with the disruption created by big data technologies, librarians, and medical librarians in particular, must decide how to accommodate it, and in what ways big data is both an opportunity for and a threat to our services.

Many librarians choose to view big data technologies as less of a disruptive technology and more of the same techniques/technologies currently being used, simply at a larger scale.  Data Management has always been an essential research skill, big data just makes the necessity more evident.  And while data management is a newer part of the average library’s service repertoire, it is overall well understood as a natural part of the library’s expertise, if you consider data as just another type of material that libraries can collect, organize, and preserve.  While the specific tools and techniques used to manage data require computer science skills beyond that of most public service librarians, it is not outside the realm of expertise of many technical services librarians and library information technology staff, who, in collaboration with an institution’s researchers, can create tools, repositories, and templates that ease the burden of the data management process.  The California Digital Library’s DMP Tool is perhaps the strongest example of what such collaborations can create.

However, I think that only viewing big data technologies through the lens of data management ignores entirely new potential opportunities for service and outreach.  As library data scientists like Lisa Federer demonstrate, big data is not simply the result of researchers using the same methods on a larger scale, but truly a new type of science, with new challenges.  It is similar to the revolution in evidence synthesis that occurred when systematic reviews emerged as a premier methodology – to conceive of systematic reviews as simply a more expansive kind of narrative review is to misunderstand fundamental differences in their nature.  Some examples of issues to big data approaches include: the creation and management of searchable, multi-institutional data repositories to support big data techniques; the ethics of the kind of surveillance/data gathering techniques required to create big data (this latest report on fitbit heart rate data is a prime example, particularly because it is not published in any academic journal); or whether current statistical methods are appropriate for the kinds of heterogeneous data sets common to big data.  Now, I don’t think that library science has the answer to all of these questions, or that we should be held responsible for answering even one of them.  What I am saying is that the values of librarianship – accessibility, transparency, and accuracy/rigor – give librarians an important perspective on big data initiatives that expertise in Python or R won’t necessarily bring.

Sadly, while I believe our perspective is valuable even without expertise in big data research techniques, I fear that the voice of librarians is likely to be ignored as irrelevant by researchers and administrators as repositories, tools, and analysis techniques are established, if our perspectives are the only things we have to offer.  Tangible skillsets and resources, of recognizable value to stakeholders in the big data process, may be the only way we will be given a seat at the big data decision-making table.  If nothing else, librarians must learn the language of big data, in order to be part of the conversation.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Resource Picks Webinar:

Tue, 2018-09-25 08:03

Date: Wednesday September 26, 2018

Time: 2:00 PM CT/3:00 PM ET

Presenter: Kristina Elliott, MLIS, National Library of Medicine

Abstract: The purpose of this NNLM Resource Picks presentation is to familiarize participants with, a National of Library of Medicine database that provides patients, their family members, health care professionals, researchers, and the public with easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies on a wide range of diseases and conditions.  Join Kristina Elliott, from the National Library of Medicine, as we discover how to navigate the site and understand the nuances and limitations of information available on

Eligible for 1 hour of MLA CE credit.

Register at:

Categories: RML Blogs