With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, I want to share the food and nutrition resources provided by our partners in the federal government, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Within these resources, you’ll find food and nutrition resources, such as Thanksgiving infographics, recipes, food fact sheets, food labeling resources, and important food safety information. All of these resources are organized into an online guide, which was created by Kay Deeney in our Pacific Southwest Region.
One of the tools I’ve found most uprising is the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline – which anyone may call toll-free at 1-888-MPHotline! This hotline has been around for over 30 years, and their operators answer food safety questions through nearly 80,000 calls annually. One of the operators there shared with me her favorite Thanksgiving week story, which involved a caller who left her turkey on the back porch to thaw. While it was out there, a raccoon came and ate half of it! The caller wanted to know if the turkey was still good to cook and serve to guests, if she cut off the part that was eaten from. The answer? You could probably guess… was no.
If you’re interested in learning more about these resources, consider registering for our next Food for Thought course, which will be offered online this spring.
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 by Emily B. Kean, MSLS, Research and Education Librarian, Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, University of Cincinnati Libraries.
I believe that health sciences librarians can positively contribute to big data in healthcare, to an extent. After completing this course, I certainly have a much better understanding of what big data is, and I can also see some overlap between traditional functions of librarianship and several of the concepts of big data. In my opinion, the areas where librarians could most significantly contribute are in areas such as creating and developing taxonomies for machine learning. From some of the readings in the class, it seems like some of the positions which were described as data managers are roles that librarians could easily fill; however, as was also demonstrated in the literature, non-librarian professionals are rarely identifying librarians as capable of filling these roles. I feel that if librarians are striving to fill the role of data managers or data scientists, based on some of the readings from this class and some of the discussion that has taken place, a serious effort would have to be made to educate colleagues and peers about the role that librarians can play.
Overall, I find that after completing this course it seems to me that the approach described by Dr. Patti Brennan regarding nursing in the field of data science is also incredibly applicable to the field of librarianship and data science. I think Dr. Brennan’s approach that nurses have an understanding and appreciation for what data science can do for their profession but also the idea that not all nurses will become data scientists is a very healthy approach and it’s one that is also applicable to the field of librarianship. I can easily see a future where librarians could potentially participate on teams that might involve healthcare professionals and data scientists, but I don’t know that it’s realistic that all librarians will develop the skills of a true data scientist. Along the mindset presented in Dr. Brennan’s lecture, I don’t think it’s desirable that all librarians should become data scientists. As Dr. Brennan describes, there will still be a need for nurses to fill traditional nursing roles and there will still be a need for librarians to fill traditional librarian roles, with a small percentage from each profession adopting the role of data scientist.
Just as the traditional approach to schooling for librarians has evolved to encompass the ideas of information science, I do see a future where a Masters in Library Science program would encompass the ideas of data science as well. One of the areas that was touched upon by this course but we didn’t really get into in great detail are all of the different programming languages used by data scientists. I don’t know that it’s entirely feasible to re-train the majority of current working health sciences librarians, but I do believe that exposing library science students to data science concepts as part of their masters-level education will better prepare future librarians – in the health sciences and other areas – to be perceived as experts in this field and be approached as team members for interdisciplinary collaborations.
The GMR office is excited to announce that Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) has been granted an Outreach Award for the development and implementation of a Health and Wellbeing Workshop Series.
Both nationally and in Minnesota, Latinos experience persistent equity gaps in health and wellbeing. These disparities are not based in biology, but rather are the result of the burdens of poverty falling disproportionately on people of color and immigrant communities. To achieve a state of well-being as a community and reverse persistent equity gaps, Latinos need access to high-quality health services that are culturally and linguistically responsive. CLUES’ new Health and Wellbeing course will address that need by providing a holistic, culturally competent health education program to Minnesota’s Latino community.
The GMR office is funding CLUES to design and pilot workshops to engage families in experiential learning around topic areas of interest. Workshops will also serve to promote social connectedness among participants and cover topics across well-being, including healthy behaviors (healthy eating, active living, tobacco cessation), communication, and dealing with difficult emotions (regulation of feelings and its expression, trauma). Workshops will be led by CLUES Community Health Workers who live and work in the target communities and will include live streaming or pre-taped sessions by CLUES mental health professionals. Additionally, workshops will include familiarizing participants with online resources, including MedlinePlus. To do so, staff will demonstrate utilizing the web-based tool to research information and will provide examples to participants on when/how the resource could help them. Participants will receive a printed handout with key resources for their future use.
The implementation of this project aims to fulfill two main goals:
1. Develop a six-session health and wellbeing curriculum in Spanish, including presentations, materials for clients, resources, evaluation tools, and a short guide on delivery instructions
2. Pilot two workshops in target areas in southern Minnesota
A little history of the project if you are not familiar:
Designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact, and services provided by libraries and library professionals, the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign ensures there is one clear, energetic voice for our profession, showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age. Library supporters can join the campaign to access free resources and tools for spreading the word about the value of libraries.
Earlier this year NNLM staff, led by Lydia Collins from MAR, worked with ALA staff members to develop the Health Literacy Toolkit as part of the Libraries Transform campaign. In September NNLM and ALA co-presented a webinar on the campaign (recording available). This week the GMR added a selection of the posters to our Free Training & Educational Materials!
Event planning is hard, especially when unexpected things happen. It is also fun and rewarding when things go right. Either way it is definitely worth all the work because it is still, even in our iGeneration, the best way to learn, connect with colleagues, and have fun.
One of the main purposes for me to attend #MidwestMHSLA17 was to observe the details of planning a professional conference. I am on the Planning Committee for the next Midwest MLA Conference in Cleveland in October 2018. I am a member of the Publicity Committee, and the Webmaster for the conference site. The Publicity Committee is responsible for getting the word out to the Midwest MLA membership about the conference and promoting the host city and state. We have already been working hard since the spring and the 2017 meeting was our first big milestone in planning. Besides observing and meeting our counterparts at the 2017 meeting, the 2018 Planning Committee sponsored a table with promotional materials, and announced the conference at the MHSLA Business Meeting and the Midwest Chapter Business Meeting.
The 2018 Publicity Committee (consisting of Margaret Hoogland, Theresa Kline, and me) planned out our table and decided to give out buckeyes (chocolate and peanut butter truffles for those non-Ohioans), Cleveland pins, and chances to win a $50 coupon towards the registration cost of the next meeting. We made a banner and decorated our table with rock-n-roll paraphernalia. We encouraged visitors to take selfies and tag them with the official meeting hasthtag, #MidwestMLA18. We benefited from the 2017 Special Karaoke Event which got people thinking in a rock-and-roll mode. The video featuring our 2018 conference chairs Mary Pat Harnegie and Mary Schleicher, and the music of real life rock star librarian Cathy Murch put an exclamation point on our marketing efforts. In a happy coincidence, the NLM in Focus blog has been focusing on “rock-star” medical librarians all month – a gift of free marketing for us!
I am sure that all the 2018 Conference Planning Committee members were watching carefully and learning from the 2017 meeting. Stephanie Swanberg, the chair of the 2017 Publicity Committee, met with us and shared some pointers and volunteered to be available for questions. I spoke with Emily Ginier, the chair of the CE committee, when my CE instructor suddenly cancelled. Probably the most important thing I learned from observing this meeting is how to land on one’s feet when that inevitable something doesn’t go as planned. Switching gracefully to Plan B is a conference planner’s biggest challenge. But the 2017 conference planning committee did an excellent job of moving forward and rolling with the stormy waves. I told Emily that I actually enjoyed the substituted CE class very much as it ended up giving me a full day crash course on Research Data Management. Although I was disappointed at not getting to hear Curt Guyette speak, I did not mind the gap in the schedule as things just moved on gracefully.
In reflecting on my 2017 conference experience, I am very thankful for this opportunity. I am thankful to have received an NNLM GMR Professional Development Award to attend the conference. I had hoped to take some CEs, and learn from the vendors, paper and poster presenters, and the keynote speaker, but what I learned most is how important personal interaction still is and how valuable physical attendance at a conference is. Even the “fun” sessions like the welcome party, karaoke night, and down-time are not just icing on the cake, but opportunities to really build relationships among colleagues, have some great discussions, and even establish some mentor and mentee relationships.
All in all I was very pleased with my conference experience – and that is the goal, after all, isn’t it? I realized that a tight schedule is important, but that just being with and learning from one’s peers is what is most important about conferences. If I want to learn about a topic I can just search for an article, or watch a video online. But there is no replacement for meeting people in person. Even with scheduling snafus, an annual conference still provides that in-person networking and fellowship time that is growing increasingly rare in our society. I will take this realization back to my 2018 planning work. I want to keep in mind that building collegial relationships is the most important thing in a conference, not the production of a perfectly smooth, clockwork event. In that spirit, we can almost guarantee that the Cleveland conference next year will Shake, Rattle, and Roll!!
Posted on behalf of Don Pearson, by Helen Spielbauer