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In This Issue:

NN/LM Pac-Man vs Ghosts:

Librarians Overcome Barriers

Fact. There’s no end of challenges we as health sciences librarians face.
Fact. There’s an abundance of expertise among our colleagues.
Fact. This expertise can help with our own particular challenges.
Fact. Gamification can be fun!

At the recent Joint Meeting on Monday October 24, 2016, the MidContinental and Greater Midwest Regional Medical Libraries of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine took over the lunch time session.  We used crowd sourcing to identify successful strategies that attendees used to overcome Pac-Man ghost barriers identified by the RML librarians.

There were fourteen ghost barriers identified by RML staff. Attendees to the Joint Meeting shared strategies that had worked for them in overcoming these challenging ghost barriers. Voting then ensued for popularity and help-me. Popularity votes were for strategies that would work in member institutions. Help-me! Votes were for strategies librarians would like to try but would need assistance with. Read more »

Updates for Monthly Webinars

The NN/LM MidContinental Region looks forward to continuing to offer live and recorded webinar sessions to support your educational needs. We have a few updates we want you to be aware of for future sessions.


NNLM Login boxWe are now asking attendees to register in advance for our live webinars. This will make it easier for us to send you reminder emails about the specific sessions that interest you, and it also enables us to more efficiently collect demographic data that we need to report. Updates to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) web site now make it easier for you to register for sessions.

You will need to create an account with NN/LM to register for webinars and classes. You can do this by visiting our training schedule page:  On the right-hand side of the page you will see an option to login or create a new account. (Please note: if you have participated in NN/LM classes in the past via Moodle, you do not need a new account. Just request a new password).

After you log in, find the title from the list of sessions on the training schedule, and click on Register. That’s it – easy! Read more »

MCR Voices – NN/LM MCR Launches New Podcast Initiative

podcast graphic with microphoneWatch for “MCR Voices” to appear by the end of January 2017. “MCR Voices” will be a series of short podcasts designed to inform and educate our Network members on excellent practices throughout our region. These podcasts will be short, around 5 minutes each, and will be released on a bi-weekly schedule through the 2017 winter and into spring.

For our first series, we will be interviewing our Partner Library directors on the topic of envisioning a future for their library and how to prepare for that future. All interviews will be conducted by our fearless leader, Claire Hamasu. We hope you will join us as we learn about effective practices from our members. We ask that our members “like” or press the thumbs up icon on each podcast if they learn a new or useful practice. After our first series is complete, we hope to interview additional members from academic health sciences, hospital, community colleges, K-12, and public libraries. We ask you to think about the interesting things you do in your everyday work: the hopeful new, the valuable old, the tried and true strategies that you can always count on. What can you share that will help your colleagues?

Podcasts are an audio-only technology, broadcast through the Internet, which usually contain radio-style discussions. They have seen an upsurge in popularity over the last few years. A June 2016 Pew Research Center survey ( found that 21% of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast in the last month. While many podcasts are distributed via iTunes or other venues as audio files, we will be releasing ours through a YouTube playlist for ease of access.

Look to the RML news for an announcement when our first podcast goes live this January.

-Alicia Lillich, Kansas/Technology Coordinator

-Barb Jones, Missouri/Library Engagement Coordinator

Whooo Says…

picture of owl

Dear Whooo,

I am a hospital librarian, and have only been in this position for a short time. I’m trying to familiarize myself with healthcare and all of the multiple topics and challenges so that I can serve my constituency better. I keep hearing about patient safety in the hospital setting and am starting to understand how much effort is devoted to that issue. I also hear criticisms about safety rates in the hospital environment being so different from the aviation industry. Can you help me understand this?

Interested Wonderer

Dear Interested,

I’m so glad to hear from you. You have asked a question that is of great importance to me and probably one of the most significant in healthcare today. It is also a huge and complex question that would take volumes to answer so I will give you a few basic thoughts and some authors to look for in your readings on the subject. Read more »

Welcome to Our Newest NN/LM MCR Members!

We’re happy to report a grand total of 27 institutions have joined as members in the MidContinental Region during the last year and a half. We thought it was time to acknowledge these newest members. New members included 12 public libraries, seven K-12 schools, two academic libraries, and one hospital library. Five new members fall in the “other” category. These institutions included two public health departments, two health education centers, and one educational service unit. One of the academic institutions also began participation in DOCLINE when they joined the NN/LM. Read more »

Learn the Fundamentals of Data Science

Discuss With Your Colleagues – Earn MLA CE

The NN/LM MCR is strongly encouraging health sciences librarians to support biomedical big data research at their institutions. One of the barriers preventing this support is a lack of knowledge on what data science researchers do and what librarians can do to support them. A relatively simple strategy is to increase knowledge in this exciting topic area. To support the education of non-data scientists, the National Institutes of Health’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative has been delivering free weekly virtual lectures. The series started in September 2016 and will run through May 2017.  The lectures have been excellent and, despite covering a complex field of study, the enthusiastic presenters have been able to deliver them in a way that is understandable. Each lecture has been archived and is available on the BD2K web site. Read more »

The Information Needs of Community Health Center Staff:

Results of a NN/LM MCR Questionnaire

Community health centers (CHC) provide community-based healthcare to high-need urban and rural citizens. CHCs often serve as a patient’s medical home by coordinating medical, dental, mental/behavioral, pharmaceutical, substance abuse, and vision care. The Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) oversees the Health Center Program, a national network of CHCs serving over 24 million patients in areas that have economic, geographic, or cultural barriers to accessing primary health care. In practice for over 50 years, these centers (with 519 sites in the MCR states) have become the largest safety net and most successful primary care system in the U.S.1

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR) identified CHCs as a group they would like to work with and learn more about their access to health information.  The NN/LM MCR partnered with the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) to promote the online questionnaire to 1,085 association members in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. CHAMPS supports community health centers by providing education and training, networking, and workforce development. Read more »

Benefits of Participating in a Mobile App Evaluation Project

The NN/LM MCR became aware that the cost of apps for mobile devices was a barrier that was keeping our members from trying apps that could potentially improve work performance or efficiencies or provide an easier way to locate and share health information. To address this issue, qualified full Network member applicants were provided with a $50 app purchase card in exchange for downloading at least four apps and evaluating them by filling out a Mobile App Evaluation Form. Two cohorts of librarians participated in this project from May 2014 to April 2016 and submitted a total of 122 evaluations.

Participants were required to work at a NN/LM MCR Full Network member institution and be a professional librarian. The application form allowed for potential participants who did not have a Master’s level degree in librarianship to provide an explanation as to why they should be considered. Read more »