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The blog of NNLM Greater Midwest Region
Updated: 1 hour 1 min ago

Stand Up for Health, successful preconference at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries

Wed, 2018-09-19 11:29

On September 12 over 70 library staff members from across the US, including as far as Hawaii gathered for a full day preconference of Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness for Your Community at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) in Springfield, IL. The day is divided into four sections:

  • introduction to consumer health
  • health reference
  • health resources,
  • health and wellness programming and outreach

with break-out sessions and role-playing.

photo of the room at the preconference. Attendees are talking amongst themselves

The in-person version of Stand Up for Health meets for a full-day session and uses a Moodle companion site to assist with introductions, and 2 hours of preconference work, 2 hours of post-conference work, and ongoing discussion.

2018-09-12 10.56.49

The response from attendees is overwhelmingly positive. Including this email:

It was great! I look forward to going through the books that we got and to figuring out the best way to implement what I learned in our community. I’ve already had an occasion to use the line, “it’s not a time to talk about our personal stories, but a time to listen and help others.”

Geoff Pettys presenting at the

The preconference was made possible in part by a funding award from the Greater Midwest Region (GMR). Instructors included:

  • Bobbi Newman, Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist, NNLM, GMR
  • Carolyn Martin, Consumer Health Coordinator, NNLM Pacific Northwest Region;
  • Geoff Pettys, Head, Reference & Educational Services, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, NNLM Partner Outreach Library, Greater Midwest Region; and
  • Debbie Stanton, Public Services Supervisor – Information & Learning, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, KS, Consumer Health Information Specialist, Level 1

All participants who attended the in-person preconference session and complete the required pre and post work will receive a 12 credit Continuing Education (CE) certificate from the Medical Library Association (MLA) and be eligible to apply for the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) from MLA. The NNLM sponsors the application fee.

As part of our ongoing partnership with the Public Library Association and supplement funding from NNLM, the Greater Midwest Region (GMR) has developed a course on health information services for public library staff. To develop this course we partnered with WebJunction and the Public Library Association (PLA) to incorporate feedback from public library participants and best practices for online learning. The final course is designed as a cohort experience for public library staff whether in-person or online.

Categories: RML Blogs

Public Library Spotlight: Erin Lewis, Acquisitions and Interlibrary Loan, McCracken County Public Library

Tue, 2018-09-18 16:45

Picture1Name: Erin Lewis

Title: Acquisitions and Interlibrary loan

Education: Nearing the end of my MSLS degree

How did you become interested in focusing on Health and Wellness?

Exercise and being active plays a vital role in my life. I feel so much better when I exercise and I want to help others realize the benefits of an active lifestyle.

What’s the impact that you hope to make in your community?

I hope to help my community find ways to incorporate exercise into everyday life.

What is your favorite health related program or outreach that you’ve done? 

Pedal in Paducah. I love to ride my bicycle and was so excited when we had over 60 people attend our first library bike ride.

Categories: RML Blogs

Big Data in Healthcare: Finding Your Niche

Mon, 2018-09-17 12:39

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: Brenda Fay, Library Specialist, Aurora Libraries – Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center

For librarians in health science libraries, big data in healthcare might be something of a stranger. Sure, we know that data is being collected about patients, but how do we librarians fit in? Depending on what type of library you work in, whether you’re a solo librarian, and perhaps even your comfort level learning new skills, knowledge and familiarity with data and data practices may or may not be something in your wheelhouse. I work in a large healthcare system within a team of fourteen librarians and library staff. Our institution has a research arm that is growing and growing, and yet none of us have really been involved in big data or data management practices at our institution. I don’t think that’s very unusual for a place that isn’t also an academic medical center. Can healthcare big data be overwhelming? Yes. Is big data in healthcare worth all the fuss? Yes.

Why should health science librarians get involved with big data in healthcare? With the ever-growing interest and use of data all around us, data isn’t going away anytime soon. Librarians are great at continually staying on top of trends and changes in our field, and I truly believe that health science librarians will become more and more involved, in one way or another, with data initiatives at their institutions. It’s better to be in front of the curve and helping guide the conversation, than trying to catch up when the ship has sailed. Learning about big data will keep librarians relevant. If we look at skills librarians already have, like organization and classification, taxonomies and metadata, those could immediately be leveraged into increasing the quality of research data management practices at our institutions by working with researchers on their data management plans, which many need to include on grant and funding applications. We should also get involved because there are so many free training opportunities available to us from MLA, NLM, and others. If MLA and NLM/NNLM think big data is worth supporting on such a large scale, I am onboard, too.

How might health science librarians get involved with big data in healthcare? This is much trickier and depends a lot on the situation you find yourself in. You might not be able to start any of these activities today or even next year, but knowing how other health science librarians work with big data in their institutions can inspire you to find a way where you are. Reference questions might lead you to big data. If you’ve ever been asked to find data, Kevin Read and his NYU librarian colleagues have created a data catalog (NYU Health Sciences Library, n.d.) for those looking for data sets to use, or for researchers to publish their own data. Assisting on systematic reviews or publications might lead you to big data. A 2018 study looked at Google Trends, an online source for accessing trends in Google’s search data, and laypeople’s searches for asthma (Mavragani, A, K, & KP., 2018). It had some methodological issues that a librarian would have likely pointed out right away. Building relationships with library users might lead you to big data. Librarians at NU Health Sciences Library had conversation with basic and clinical researchers at their institution to learn more about their data needs. These conversations allowed them to tailor library services to fill a gap in “community’s data issues including, but not limited to, the challenges they face when collecting, organizing, and sharing their research” (Read, Surkis, Larson, McCrillis, & Nicholson, 2015).

I firmly believe that working with big data in healthcare will raise the profile of health science librarians and the libraries they work in.


Mavragani, A., A, S., K, S., & KP., T. (2018). Integrating smart health in the US health care system: Infodemiology study of asthma monitoring in the Google era. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, e24.

NYU Health Sciences Library. (n.d.). Data catalog. Retrieved August 29, 2018, from

Read, K. B., Surkis, A., Larson, C., McCrillis, A. G., & Nicholson, J. X. (2015). Starting the data conversation: informing data services at an academic health sciences library. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 131-135.

Categories: RML Blogs

Apply Today! Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians

Wed, 2018-09-12 17:06

Health sciences librarians are invited to apply for the online course, Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians, offered by the NNLM Training Office (NTO). The course is a free, 7-week online class with engaging lessons,  practical activities and a final project. The course runs October 15 – December 14, 2018.

The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to data issues and policies in support of developing and implementing or enhancing research data management training and services at your institution. This material is essential for decision-making and implementation of these programs, particularly instructional and reference services. Course topics include an overview of data management, choosing appropriate metadata descriptors or taxonomies for a dataset, addressing privacy and security issues with data, and creating data management plans.

 Applications are due September 20, 2018.

 Additional details and the online application are available here.

 For questions, please contact the NTO:

Categories: RML Blogs

Public Library Spotlight: Tina Viglucci, Hispanic Services Director, Gail Borden Public Library

Tue, 2018-09-11 09:56

photo of the front of Gail Borden Public Library

Name: Tina Viglucci

Title: Hispanic Services Director

Education: MSIS University at Albany, SUNY

How did you become interested in focusing on Health and Wellness?

Through collaborations with partners in our community including the two major hospitals in the area, Presence St. Joseph and Advocate Sherman. They are leading efforts to bring together organizations to actively engage our Latino community in being aware of health related issues including nutrition information and diabetes prevention and treatment.

Why is health literacy important in your community?

We all lead incredibly busy lives and focus our attention on jobs, errands, what needs to be done to survive each day. Yet we know being proactive about our health is essential, so we must look for ways to provide information in relevant, engaging and accessible ways.

What’s the impact that you hope to make in your community?

To prevent disease and promote physical and mental health for ourselves and our children.

What is your favorite health-related program or outreach that you’ve done? 

The 6-week workshops we held with Presence St. Joseph Hospital to help reduce obesity in children were particularly informative and enjoyable. Children participated in cooking and exercise activities while their parents learned about nutrition and healthy eating habits. They all came together at the end of each program to eat what the kids had prepared and talk about what they experienced and learned. The kids received chefs hats at the end and the parents took home binders with all the week’s lessons and recipes. Everyone had a great time!

Categories: RML Blogs

Native Voices: An Exercise in History; Collaboration and Fun

Thu, 2018-09-06 09:49

Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness is a traveling exhibition that explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.  This past summer, The University of Cincinnati had the opportunity to host the exhibit while collaborating with a series of speakers.  Here is an overview of the success of the exhibit and their programming, from Associate Director of Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library & Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, Lori Harris:

The University of Cincinnati was honored to be selected as one of the host sites for the Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness exhibition.  With a planning committee that consisted of faculty from the College of Medicine, Department of Biological Sciences, faculty librarians, archivists and various community partners, our goal was to highlight Native American History and Culture as it related to the Cincinnati Ohio region.

Our inaugural event focused specifically on 3-5 year-old children and was held in the University of Cincinnati’s main library – Langsam Library.  We hosted 24 children from the Arlitt Child & Family Research & Education Center, which serves preschool children from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.  The program included dramatic skits that introduced a brief play about the Iroquois legend of the Three Sisters and its corresponding gardening tradition.  There were also activity stations and multi-media fun held in our Student Technology Resource Center (STRC).

Video was taken of children in front of a green screen and was then superimposed onto an image of the Great Plains and an American Indian village complete with moving buffalo.  The children never once lost interest and each child was presented with a parting gift of the book entitled:  D is for Drum:  A Native American Alphabet by Debbie and Michael Shoulders and Irving Toddy.  There was an accompanying exhibit of Native American children’s books from the University of Cincinnati’s Children’s Collection.

On Thursday, July 26, Dr. Suzanne Singer launched the Native Voices exhibit opening with a keynote presentation.  After introductions by Xuemao Wang, Dean, University of Cincinnati Libraries; Philip Diller, MD/PhD, Chair and Fred Lazarus Jr Endowed Professor of Family and Community Medicine; and Bleuzette Marshall, PhD, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at UC Dr. Singer, an Energy Systems and Thermal Analyst in the Computational Engineering Division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA was introduced.  Her talk focused on the intersections between land, energy, and health in the Navajo community.  Attendees were encouraged to visit the exhibit and enjoy some of the catered hors d’oeuvres after Dr. Singer’s talk. In addition to the Native Voices exhibit, a supplementary poster presentation also ran concurrently with the exhibit and was on display alongside the Native Voices listening stations. The posters were a capstone project from a UC Medical Botany class taught by Theresa M. Culley, Ph.D. and Eric Tepe, Ph.D during spring semester, 2018. The posters examined how Native Americans used indigenous plants to maintain health and hygiene throughout the Ohio Valley.

Throughout the 6-week period the University of Cincinnati Libraries hosted keynote speakers that included professors and historians from the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University; as well as lecturers from the Lloyd Library and Cincinnati Museum Center.

This experience has given the University of Cincinnati an opportunity to broaden current relationships with local universities and colleges as well assisting us in building new partnerships with some of our local and regional community partners who have an interest in the history and relationship of Native Peoples in the Ohio region.

Categories: RML Blogs

Public Library Spotlight: Susan Kroll, Charlevoix Public Library

Tue, 2018-09-04 09:47

Interior of the Charlevoix Public Library

Name: Susan Kroll

Education: MLS University of Buffalo

How did you become interested in focusing on Health and Wellness?

Received my BS degree in education for physically handicapped children which sparked my interest in health issues.  My previous job was at the Health Sciences Library Ohio State University.

Why is health literacy important in your community?

Our small rural community faced serious health challenges. The more the Library can educate patrons with health information the greater the chances of patient compliance. This is especially important in the winter months when the cold, snowy weather isolates members of the community who then must depend upon themselves to make the right health choices.

What’s different with a health reference interview?

Most patrons approach the reference desk with hesitation knowing they want an answer to a health question but not necessarily prepared to hear the answer. The questions I receive are usually very complex and deal with personal issues. I try to provide some initial immediate information and then do follow up research which I either send electronically or meet with them personally depending on their preference.

What’s the impact that you hope to make in your community?

Over the years I have been fortunate to partner with the health department and local hospital on various programs which I believe adds credibility to the Library’s work. The shared goal is to help patrons make better health choices and understand how to manage their health issues.  Since I work part-time, I do in-service programs for the Library staff on identifying quality health information so that knowledgeable librarians are always available.

What is your favorite health-related program or outreach that you’ve done? 

The program was titled Vitamins, Supplements and Medicine, Oh My!

Local physicians were concerned about the number of patients that might be taking supplements but not telling their health professionals. There were 2 goals for the workshop:

  • Educate patrons on potential interactions between supplements and prescription medicine
  • Identify ways to check on the quality of ingredients in the supplement
Categories: RML Blogs

New On-Demand Courses Focus on Serving Diverse Communities

Fri, 2018-08-31 08:05

Three new on-demand courses are now open for registration! The one-hour courses can be taken in one sitting or over the course of several sessions and each offers 1 MLA CE credit upon completion. The courses are part of a series that focus on working with diverse populations. Content may be of interest to health sciences librarians, but also to faculty and students working in areas such as public health, social work, and nursing, as well as public librarians and other health professionals. Please consider taking the courses yourself, and then encouraging others who you think would benefit from the content and resources. Learn more about each course and register using the links below:

  1. Accessing Health Information in Multiple Languages
  2. Finding Data on Health Disparities
  3. Building Cultural Competence and Humility into the Workplace
Categories: RML Blogs

Public Library Spotlight: Juanita Harrell, Health & Wellness Librarian, Oak Park Public Library

Tue, 2018-08-28 16:29

Juanita Harrell holding the book "A People's History of Chicago"Name: Juanita Harrell

Title: Health & Wellness Librarian

Education: MLIS Dominican University

How did you become interested in focusing on Health and Wellness?

I’ve always been interested in Health & Wellness & was given the opportunity to make it my area of concentration.

Why is health literacy important in your community?

Making information available and accessible to the general public about health and wellness is beneficial to both the providers of services and the members of the community.

What’s different with a health reference interview?

In a health reference interview you have to take into consideration the sensitivity of the information that the patron is seeking. You also have to be able to give information without giving actual advice.

What’s the impact that you hope to make in your community?

To introduce our patrons to information and services that they may have not been aware of. Also to introduce providers to a new or different clientele.

What is your favorite health related program or outreach that you’ve done?

I’m new to my position so I don’t have a favorite yet. The month of September will have a lot going on. The local food co-op is doing a presentation on bulk shopping and herbs and spices, a local yoga sanctuary is starting a monthly midday meditation and several physicians are doing presentations on advocacy, gi health, and allergies.

Categories: RML Blogs

Wash and Learn Promotes Health Literacy

Mon, 2018-08-13 16:11
 Libraries Without Borders U.S. and Michigan Radio

Wash and Learn started from an exploratory program with Libraries Without Borders to create pop-up literacy spaces. Laundromats proved to be incredibly popular places to host the program. Photo attribution: Libraries Without Borders U.S. and Michigan Radio

The Greater Midwest Region of the National Library of Medicine awarded a health information outreach award to Libraries Without Borders (LWB), a non-profit organization “striving to invent the 21st century library so that regardless of circumstances, people throughout the world can live with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive through access to information, education and culture.”

Allister Chang, Executive Director, and Adam Echelman, Director of Programs, launched Wash & Learn as a summer learning program that created pop-up library spaces in laundromats throughout Detroit. With the support of several community agencies including the Parkman Branch of the Detroit Public Library, Wash and Learn transformed local laundromats into informal learning spaces where people could access early-learning literacy materials as they waited for their clothes to wash and dry.

Because of the success of the Detroit early-learning literacy program, Allister and Adam considered other community literacy needs. In 2017, they applied for funding from NNLM to add MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine consumer health information website, to the Wash and Learn program. They partnered with the Brainerd Public Library in Minnesota to facilitate trainings at the laundromats so consumers might learn how to use MedlinePlus to find quality health information in order to make better informed health care decisions for themselves and their families.

During this year’s award cycle, funding from NNLM enables Wash and Learn to expand to the Minnesota counties of St. Paul, Anoka, and Scott. In these three communities, they will partner with the local public libraries and laundromats to continue health literacy outreach. The goal for Wash and Learn is to become a sustainable model for low-income and underserved communities to access quality and relevant health information in order to improve their health.

Watch video: Wash and Learn

Categories: RML Blogs

Margaret Hoogland – MLA-RTI Review

Mon, 2018-08-13 13:09


As a participant of the Medical Library Association-Research Training Institute (MLA-RTI), I found my knowledge of research improved and the MLA-RTI was a fantastic way to explore different ways of making an impact on my community and my profession. Along the way, I also learned a great deal about myself.

Our Dean of University Libraries at the University of Toledo completely backed my attendance of the MLA-RTI. I was fortunate enough to receive two scholarships. One scholarship was from the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine – Greater Midwest Region Professional Development Award and a second scholarship was from the Medical Library Association Small Library. As a result, I paid only for food and social activities during the week of training in Chicago, Illinois.

The pre-institute reading and activities are self-directed and set the stage for the week of training in Chicago. If you can, do additional reading beyond the assigned and recommended materials. This is particularly useful, if some of the concepts are new or complicated. Also, participate actively in the MLA-RTI listserv! These conversations make talking with fellow participants much easier and facilitates getting input on your project outside of the scheduled 30 minute meeting with your faculty mentor. Post-institute, your mentor will establish a way to check-in regularly, to assist in troubleshooting your way through any issues, and provide feedback on questions and techniques. Additionally, Susan Lessick and the other Faculty Members will ask for regular updates and participants will complete reports on a quarterly basis.

Research is never easy, but it provides endless opportunities for professional growth and development. At the conclusion of the Institute, I decided to do a new study and incorporate a technique discussed during the training.

If you would like to discuss the MLA-RTI in person, I will be attending both the Midwest Chapter Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 5-8th and also the Michigan Health Sciences Library Association meeting in Traverse City, Michigan, on October 11th and 12th.

Hope to see you this October!

–Guest post by Margaret Hoogland

Categories: RML Blogs

Public Health Department Funded to Make Data FAIR

Thu, 2018-08-02 09:01

The GMR office is excited to announce that Richland Public Health has been granted a Research Data Award to make county-level health data FAIR.


Health assessments at the county-level are resources health professionals and librarians rely on heavily to inform the development of community health programming, interventions, and grant applications to fund efforts that improve the health, well-being, and quality of life of their constituents. These health assessments include, but are not limited to, Community Health Assessments (CHA), Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP), and Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA). These health assessments are expected to be performed and utilized by hospitals, public health departments, and other social service agencies to identify key community health concerns every 3-5 years.

Within Richland County, the raw data collected for these assessments are often siloed.

Project Description

The Making County-Level Health Data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) Initiative will consist of three phases in order to establish and sustain an online interface for local health professionals and librarians to access and analyze county-level health assessment data, as well as educate these individuals on utilizing this resource and creating their own data management plans.

The first phase of this proposed project will be to develop and implement a database where raw data from Richland County health assessments can be accessed and analyzed by local health professionals and librarians.

The second phase will consist of the creation and hosting of a data access and management webinar to introduce Richland County health professionals and librarians to the online interface.

Finally, phase three will provide an additional webinar to 12 rural North Central Ohio Counties in an effort to educate their local health professionals and librarians about data management plans as well as how to access, analyze, and contribute to the Making County-Level Health Data FAIR Initiative database.


A formative and summative evaluation will be used to measure the success of this project. First, the project will use a formative evaluation using the FAIR Guiding Principles to make sure the project meets the prerequisites for proper data management and stewardship. A summative evaluation will be used to determine the success in educating health professionals and librarians about the database.

Categories: RML Blogs

GMR to Fund UC’s 4th Annual Data Day

Mon, 2018-07-30 12:19

The GMR office is excited to announce that the University of Cincinnati (UC) has been granted a Research Data Award to host its 2019 Data Day Event!


UC Data Day is the only event on the University of Cincinnati campus that connects the libraries with researchers and community partners in a collaborative and informative medium. Data Day provides an opportunity to openly discuss opportunities and challenges related to data, and educates the research community on methods for driving discovery through data, a key area of interest for the National Library of Medicine.

Project Description

UC Data Day 2019 will build on the momentum of the three previous Data Day events, and endeavor to promote interdisciplinary learning and collaboration among the University of Cincinnati’s research community and broader Greater Midwest Region. Data Day 2019 will offer a full schedule to engage audience members, reveal solutions to data challenges and foster a community of best practices around improved data management.

The event will offer combinations of engaging keynote addresses, workshops on data analyses and visualization, graduate student poster forums, and panels that provide attendees with knowledge of data practices, usage and services. The official date of Data Day 2019 is in the process of being determined.


The essential goal of Data Day 2019 is to equip researchers with the knowledge and ability to effectively perform data driven research, to better manage their research data across the research lifecycle, to improve their skills in data analytics and visualization, and arm them with pertinent contacts that can address data related concerns.

Categories: RML Blogs

Congratulations to Sandi Htut, Professional Development Awardee!

Fri, 2018-07-27 10:06

The GMR is excited to announce that Sandi Htut has been funded to attend the 2018 CityMatch Leadership and Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Conference. Sandi is the Data Analyst and Evaluation Coordinator at Franklin County Public Health.

Franklin County’s infant mortality rate is higher than both state and national averages. By attending this conference, Sandi will come away with actionable insight that will have a direct impact on her work and, in turn, the residents of Franklin County, Ohio.

For example, Franklin County is experiencing an increase in opioid overdoses. Sandi plans to attend a session on opioid use and its impact on mothers and newborns. Another session, Data Visualization in Public Health Settings: A Hands-on Workshop for MCH Epidemiologists, will assist Sandi in learning new strategies for communicating complex data.

Congratulations, Sandi!

Categories: RML Blogs

Funding Awarded to Charlevoix Public Library

Fri, 2018-07-27 09:50

I am happy to announce that the GMR has awarded funding to the Charlevoix Public Library! Congratulations to Susan Kroll and the staff at Charlevoix Public Library.

front of the Charlevoix Public Library a brick walkway with a large circular planter and brick building

Project Summary:
This request seeks to fund the purchase and support of 20 iPads loaded with NLM consumer health information for adults and children. This proposed project is a partnership between the Charlevoix Public Library and the Munson Charlevoix Hospital Education Department. The iPads will be placed in the Library, the Hospital Wellness Workshop facility, in selected physicians’ and school nurse offices and used in health clinics for American Indians and community senior events. The Health Librarian will train the health professionals to use the iPads and review specific NLM databases. The information will be reviewed semi-annually to ensure that the resources are up to date. The rural counties of Antrim and Charlevoix counties which constitutes the Library and Hospital’s patron base have many health challenges associated with obesity, diabetes, and alcoholism. Access to mental health professionals and specialists is scarce. These chronic health issues combined with a general population that has limited computer skills make this an ideal environment to provide NLM health information for adults and children on user-friendly iPads. The mission of the Charlevoix Public Library is to connect the community to resources that educate, enrich and empower. The Library has been a partner with the Munson Charlevoix Hospital Wellness Workshop since inception, providing community health information based on NLM resources. The Wellness Workshop supports the Hospitals’ mission to improve the health and wellness of the community through health education, nutrition classes, and health screenings.

Project Objective:
Goal: Educate health professionals on how to identify high-quality consumer health information.
Objective: By November 2018, 9 school nurses and 4 physician’s office staff will have completed this training.

Goal: Establish a health corner in the Charlevoix Public Library to complement the iPad project.
Objective In July 2018, the Health Librarian will select NLM brochures and quality health association materials to provide as handouts to supplement health-related reference questions.

Goal: Provide specialized iPads with resources relatable to school-aged children.
Objective: Work with the Charlevoix Youth Librarian and a school nurse representative to select specific resources based on local pediatric health concerns.

Goal: Improve awareness of Wellness Workshop professional staff to specialized NLM resources.
Objective: In Winter 2019, conduct a professional training workshop focused on databases that reflect local health concerns identified while working with patients on the iPads.

Categories: RML Blogs

Congratulations to the Health Science Librarians of Illinois 2018 Conference, Professional Development Awardee!

Thu, 2018-07-26 16:45

The Health Science Librarians of Illinois has been awarded the Professional Development Award through the GMR office.  The award goes towards supporting three separate classes at their annual conference:

  • Building Partnerships with Faculty, Clinicians, and Other Stakeholders
  • Data Management in the Wild: Why It Matters and What You Can Do About It
  • Managing Your Online Scholarly Identity

The HSLI 2018 Conference will be held this fall, September 26-28 in Rockford, Illinois.

Looking to bring in speakers for your own conference or association meeting?  While interest has surpassed our supply for the professional development funds in our second quarter, be sure to check out the GMR’s funding opportunities.  As the year progresses, more funds will become available for professional development awards.  We eagerly await your application.

Categories: RML Blogs

Funding Awarded to The Association of Rural and Small Libraries for a preconference on health reference, resources, and programming

Thu, 2018-07-26 09:47

ARSL logoI am pleased to announce that the GMR has awarded funding to The Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) for a pre-conference focused health information services and programming.

ARSL will host the Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community as pre-conference sessions at their 2018 annual conference in Springfield Illinois. The preconference consists of 2 hours of pre-conference work, an eight-hour in-person preconference session, and 2 hours of post-conference work to provide 12 CE credits from the Medical Library Association (MLA). Participants who complete all the requirements will qualify for the Consumer Health Information Specialization from MLA. NNLM sponsors the $75 applications fee, and the specialization is good for 3 years.

The award provides ARSL with funding to offer scholarships to 50 attendees.

Categories: RML Blogs

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Services @ Your Library

Tue, 2018-07-17 09:48


On May 4, 2018, I was honored to lead a session entitled “Dementia and Alzheimer’s Services @ Your Library” for approximately 40 front line library staff members attending the annual Reaching Forward Conference sponsored by the Illinois Library Association.  In addition to demonstrating how NLM databases such as Medline Plus can provide much needed medical information for those living with dementia and their care partners, I was also able to share some of the knowledge about dementia that I learned during the decade that I cared for my late husband who had been diagnosed with a young onset dementia at age 56.  As a member of the leadership team for the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD) of the American Library Association, I am also aware of many concrete examples of programs and services provided by libraries across the country directly to those living with the disease, as well as to their caregivers.   I was able to share information about programs such as:

  • the Tales & Travel Memories book and reading program which the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, IL brings to diagnosed persons living in over a dozen local memory care facilities,
  • the Library Memory Project of the Bridges Library System, Waukesha, WI that coordinates monthly memory cafes (informal social gatherings) shared among eight WI libraries,
  • thematic circulating kits such as those provided by the St. Charles (IL) Public Library that consist of books, CD’s and DVD’s that can stimulate memories and conversation.

Library support staff often work directly with the public, which increasingly includes those living with dementia and their caregivers.  Audience members indicated that they would appreciate more training in how to communicate and interact with this population, especially as the number of people affected by dementia is expected to grow exponentially in the future.

Although libraries are beginning to become aware of the proactive role they can play in their communities to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia, much more can be done.  I told this attentive and focused audience about a nationwide initiative called Dementia Friendly America that seeks to bring together all aspects of a community, including libraries, in an effort to increase awareness of, and provide services for, those living with dementia.  Libraries can help to truly transform the lives of those living with dementia in their communities.  I hope this discussion is just beginning…

–Guest post by Mary Beth Riedner

Categories: RML Blogs

SUSPECT Before You Download that Health or Wellness App

Mon, 2018-07-09 12:23

While developing content for our public library course Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community on health and wellness related apps I decided we need a clever evaluation tool similar to CRAAP for websites.  Using the criteria I came up with SUSPECT. I hope you find it helpful for all app evaluations!

Seeking – Why are you searching for an app? Does this app do something you want or need?
Usability – How is the app designed? Is it easy to use? Do the menus or icons make sense?
Security – Do you need to make an account? Does the app share your data with friends? Does the developer share your data or sell it to other third-parties? What is the security policy? Is it easy to find? Is it written in plain language?
Price – What is the upfront cost of the app? Are there in-app purchases?
Evaluation – Read the reviews for the application, don’t just look at the stars, what are other people saying about the application in their reviews.
Creator – Who developed the application? Is the developer reputable? Do they have a website?
Timeliness – When was the application developed? When was it last updated?

graphic with the SUSPECT criteria. Same as text below.

PDF version Health App Graphic


Categories: RML Blogs

GMR Funds Innovative Pilot Program to Teach Graduate Students Research Data Management

Tue, 2018-06-26 16:12


The GMR office is excited to announce that Tina Griffin at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been granted a Research Data Award to develop the Research Data Management Best Practice Implementation Program for Graduate Students in STEM and Health Sciences!


Today, data management practices by students are largely learned by conforming to the laboratory culture and adopting habits from the environment in which they work. There is no known national mandatory data management training for students. The recent NLM strategic plan (PDF) recognizes the importance of the role of libraries in advancing open science and data management, and many academic libraries are heeding the call by providing research data management education services.

Project Description

This project will pilot a flipped classroom model to present students with appropriate research data management practices in an eight-week intensive program. In this program, the students are expected to engage with the instructional content outside the classroom, while using the in-person classroom time to engage in activities that demonstrate competency and understanding of the content. The 8-week program will cover the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Data management principles;
  2. Deep Dive – discipline standards, DMP draft;
  3. Project map, project narrative starts;
  4. Folder structure develops;
  5. File naming, table of contents, indexing develop;
  6. Templates develop;
  7. DMP finalized, project narrative finalized; and
  8. Ongoing practice, personal policy developed

The classroom time will be used by the students to systematically develop and holistically integrate these practices in to their research projects. This pilot project is unique in that it addresses both education about data management practices and the integration of best practices into the research workflow in a personalized manner.


The outcome of this pilot may introduce a new method to serve more students in a more effective manner with better long-term adoption of data management best practices. It also begins a longitudinal study to determine how these practices may contribute to successful dissertation/thesis completion and/or how they may prepare students for the workforce.

Categories: RML Blogs