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A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Send in Your Application to Participate in a New Bioinformatics Training Course: “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI”

In sponsored partnership, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC), are pleased to invite participation of health sciences librarians in a new bioinformatics training course: “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI.” Instructors will be NCBI staff and Diane Rein, Ph.D., MLS, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Liaison from the Health Science Library, University at Buffalo.
The course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons use online molecular databases and tools from the NCBI. Attending this course will improve your ability to initiate bioinformatics services at your institution and/or extend current initiatives. Prior knowledge of molecular biology and genetics is not required. Participants who complete the class will be eligible for MLA Continuing Education credits. The course is free but travel costs are at the expense of the participant.

There are two parts to the course and applicants must take both parts:

• Part 1: “Fundamentals in Bioinformatics and Searching,” a three week, online, (asynchronous) self-paced pre-course, March 4-18, 2013.
The aim is to provide, from a librarian’s professional perspective, the fundamental knowledge and background information necessary for the subsequent, more intensive, hands-on second portion of the course onsite at NCBI. Bioinformatics will be introduced both as a discipline and as a research practice. Select NCBI databases, tools (including search tools) and bioinformatics records will be previewed. A beginning working knowledge of the necessary molecular biology vocabulary necessary to enable successful NCBI searches will be developed.

• Part 2: A 5-day in-person course offered on-site at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, April 15th-19th, 2013.
Topics will include using the BLAST sequence similarity search and Entrez text search systems to find relevant data. This portion of A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI describes the various kinds of molecular data available, and explains how these are generated and used in modern biomedical research.
Applications are open to health science librarians in the United States. Applications will be accepted from librarians currently providing bioinformatics services as well as from those desiring to implement services. The application deadline is January 25, 2013. Applicants will need to fill out the application form, submit a supervisor letter of support form, and provide a curriculum vitae (CV). Applicants will be notified of acceptance on or about February 15, 2013.

Please view the application form at: The course page with additional information is at:
Please direct any questions to:

[From NLM Technical Bulletin, Dec 13, 2012]

Community Engagement Research Symposium

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

In her blog, A Librarian By Any Other Name, Sally Gore from the University of Massachusetts Lamar Soutter Library, shares her personal perspectives and insights about her new role as an Embedded Librarian for an ongoing breast cancer screening intervention study. Her post on December 4th, titled In Theory, chronicles her thoughts on the University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translation Science’s Community Engagement Research Symposium. To learn more about the Research Syposium, you can view the posters from the event on Lamar Soutter Library’s eScholarship.

Erika Sevetson featured in Brown Magazine

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Erika Sevetson, Health Sciences Librarian at Brown University, is featured in the Fall 2012 issue of Brown Medicine Magazine. This fun article highlights Erika’s professional and personal interests, and features a picture of Erika playing the viola. “Erika says playing in a string quartet is a great place to learn diplomacy.” As a fellow violist, I agree! Erika is a NN/LM NER Resource Library Director. Congratulations Erika on your article in the Brown Medicine Magazine!

Pew’s Mobile Health 2012

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

On November 8, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released Mobile Health 2012. This report gives us the latest findings on health information seeking by smartphone owners. Most notably, this report gives us data about the fast adoption of health apps by Latinos and African-Americans. These findings are the result of a nationwide telephone survey of 3,014 adults living in the United States. The survey was done in English and in Spanish, utilizing landline and cell phone connections.

Mobile Health 2012 finds that these groups of health consumers are more inclined to use their phones to look for health information: people who act as caregivers to others, people who went through a recent medical crisis and people who experienced a recent, significant change in their physical health.

These populations are more likely to use phones to find health information:

• 18-49 years old
• Blacks and Hispanics
• Household income exceeding $50,000
• At least some college education

These populations are more likely to download a health app onto their phones:

• 18-29 years old
• Women
• Whites and Blacks
• Household income exceeding $30,000
• At least some college education

Exercise, diet and weight control apps are the most popular. Other apps include those that track menstrual cycles, blood pressure, pregnancy, blood sugar or diabetes and medication. The WebMD app was listed by 4% of those with health apps on their phones.

Margot Malachowski
Health Literacy COI Leader

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