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In This Issue:


Merge & Converge with the NN/LM MCR

Des Moines, Iowa — October 2016

NN/LM Pac-Man vs Ghosts: Librarians Overcome Barriers

The NN/LM MCR staff always looks forward to the chapter meeting. We get to meet many of you, our Network members, and renew friendships in person. There’s even more to look forward to this year—we’re partnering with our new colleagues from the Greater Midwest Region for an action packed session. Be sure to attend our “NN/LM Pac-Man vs Ghosts: Librarians Overcome Barriers” during Monday’s lunch session.

Join in the fun.

NN/LM staff are the Cherries–  pixelated cherries
helping Pac-Man librarians–  pacman2
vanquish ghost barriers–  pac man ghosts

that they encounter in being effective librarians.

We’ve come up with some challenging ghost barriers, but are confident that the in-the-trenches experience of this crowd will prevail and overcome them. Read more »

New Opportunities for MCR Professional Development Funding

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Midcontinental Region is now offering two awards to support professional development. We realize how essential professional development is to a librarian’s career growth and advancement, and we want to help you reach your professional development goals.

Professional Development Award:

In the past this award was only for librarians working in health sciences libraries. We have now expanded the eligibility to include librarians in non-health science libraries (such as academic or community college) that are providing library and information support to those involved in health sciences programs. We hope this change will enable additional librarians to enhance their ability to support the health sciences. Each award is $1,500 and the activity must take place by April 30, 2017. For more information about application requirements, visit

Consumer Health Information Specialization Certification Funding:

This is a new funding award for librarians interested in consumer health information services. It is open to all librarians in any type of library. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine provides free consumer health classes that provide CE credit towards the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) certificate provided by the Medical Library Association. Even though the classes are free, there is a fee to become certified. In order to help remove that financial barrier, we are happy to provide this CHIS Certification Funding. It can only be applied to CHIS certifications between May 1, 2016 and April 30, 3017. For more information about application requirements, visit

We still have money available for both awards, and we are looking forward to your applications. If you have questions, please contact Christian Minter, Education Coordinator at or 402-559-7226.

Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Lisa K. Traditi, MLS, AHIP
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

July 31-August 5, 2016

I was privileged to attend the 2016 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (LIAL) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, through the generous support of the NN/LM MCR Professional Development Funds, a AAHSL Leadership Development Grant, and my library administration.  As part of the Professional Development Fund application process, I met with Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Resources and Services Regina Kilkenny, PhD, who encouraged my attendance and with whom I have shared this report.

Started in 1999 at the suggestion of Maureen Sullivan, then president of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), this Institute is geared for those who want to learn more about leadership in general and, more specifically, their own aptitude and skills for leading at any level of an organization. Read more »

Emergency Planning – Everyone!

Librarians need to be ready for disasters – I think we would all agree. It is true that a disaster has or will happen at all our institutions at some point. I vividly remember coming into work at my library one morning. The associate dean explained how she received a phone call at 2 a.m. from the campus police. Water had gushed from a broken water pipe on the 6th floor of the building and leaked all the way down to the basement. She called in other staff and they worked in the wee hours to sweep and mop-up water in the stairwells along with moving affected shelved items. Eventually many ranges of books had to be moved so that carpeting and drywall could be replaced. A few years ago the NN/LM determined that a significant number of its member institutions did not have emergency plans. If you are one of those institutions we hope you take action. A good place to start is with the One Page Service Continuity Plan Templates provided by the NN/LM Disaster Ready Initiative web site. One of our members, Angela Spencer, wrote about an experience at her institution and submitted it to the MCMLA Express Newsletter in their Winter 2016 issue – Hospital Planning for Communications Outage (page 8) It’s worth a view!

-Jim Honour, Member Services/Wyoming Coordinator

How to Talk Tech (Support):

Helpful hints for working with your IT department

Angela Spencer
St. Luke’s Hospital

If you work in a library you most likely have to have some relationship with your IT department. This is especially true in a smaller or hospital setting. I work in a hospital library that is an independent stand alone hospital and have been at my institution for four years as a job share. These are some of the tips I have learned while working with my IT department.

  1. Know how the process works, both formally and informally. This includes political factors that may be at play. My IT likes it when I go through the help desk. That being said, I know the key people to talk to, so I might start with the help desk but I may follow up directly with key people to say, “Did you get my request for x and where does this stand?”
  2. Know what you have done so far. If it is an issue with your computer, have you restarted, cleared cookies or cache, etc? This is helpful. Also, be specific. Screen captures, identifying the version of IE/Windows/Chrome etc. you are running is all helpful.
  3. Know the lingo. Know what a firewall or a proxy server is. If you can at least let them know that yes, you know the basic IT, IT staff will respect you for it and work with you. Also know when to be willing to stand up for what you need and how it will affect the IT department.
  4. Develop a buddy. We have a favorite person to work with, and it doesn’t hurt that she uses the library as a reading space. I know I can ask her who to talk to or how to approach something and she will let me know.
  5. Realize what the IT department is dealing with. My IT is dealing with hackers. Yours probably is, too. While I don’t like seeing web sites or attachments blocked, I understand and try to be patient.
  6. Be patient. Keep trying. I have been asking for an “Ask a Librarian” button for my EHR for over a year. Besides hackers, IT has to deal with changes in multiple platforms and interoperability and the EHR and many other things.
  7. Have a champion. I had to get my ER doctor to say that we needed an “Ask a Librarian” button in the EHR before they really started working on it.

Biomedical Big Data is The Next Big Thing! Are you ready?

If you are new to data science or want to increase your knowledge, we strongly recommend that you attend Fundamentals of Data Science  webinars, which take place each Friday through May 2017 (past sessions are archived).

Research Enterprise is one of our new project areas. One of the focus areas for this project is to support Network members increase their awareness of issues related to biomedical big data. One of the key resources we are interested in sharing with our Network members is the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program. BD2K is leading the country through their support of funding innovative biomedical data science-based research, methods, and workforce development. You may have noticed the recent funding announcements and educational offerings coming out of this office.

Read more »

Whooo Says…

Dear Whooo,

I am a hospital librarian in a new position. I attended MLA in May, learned so many things and got so many good ideas for new programs in my hospital. I want to dive right in and get started, but the “voice of caution” tells me to be careful. Considering my recent hire into this hospital system, and my relative inexperience I realized that I should ask for help before I make a mess of this. Do you have any advice for me?

Thank you!

Enthusiastic Ellie

Dear Ellie,

Congratulations on your new job! I hope you will continue to feel the same enthusiasm you have now for many years. Starting a new position and recognizing the possibilities and opportunities that are available is exciting. It is easy to let that excitement take over and get carried away without carefully evaluating your options. Read more »

Learning Elevated – Library Instruction West 2016

Rachel Vukas
University of Kansas Medical Center

Library Instruction West Logo

Due to the NN/LM MCR Professional Development Award, I was able to attend this excellent conference on library instruction. As our School of Medicine is going through a curriculum change, my instructional responsibilities have increased and I found this conference very helpful. Health sciences librarians were well represented at the meeting. If I counted correctly, there were ten of us!

Library Instruction West is held every two years and has existed since 1994. Previously known as the LOEX of the West conference, the name was changed in 2012 to avoid confusion with the LOEX Clearinghouse for Library Instruction at the Eastern Michigan University Library. Read more »