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What are the educational needs of NNLM users? Results of our national training needs assessment

Image: dot plot art

Image: dot plot art

Back in December 2016 we conducted a training needs assessment. You may remember it making the rounds on one of our regional email lists, or for it’s length (50+ questions) and attention to detail (covered 15+ professional competencies and 100+ NLM products). We are pleased to announce the results of our needs assessment. Full report here, and highlights after the jump.

PS: the NEO (National Evaluation Office) did a great post on how to create Dot Plots, a method for visualizing data which we used in our analysis.

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How to get weekly email notifications of new NNLM classes

Librarians love email distribution lists, that is for certain, but they love email lists about FREE STUFF even more. Here’s how to sign up for weekly email notifications about new NNLM classes on our website.


Brain Awareness Week (Was Last Week. Oh Well)

The human brain. You gotta love it. The Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs also loves the brain. They love it so much they created Brain Awareness Week (BAW) March 13-19, 2017. Yes BAW has past now, but the brain remains. Here are some educational brain lessons that you might find a use for. AND to the Dana Foundation’s credit, several National Institutes of Health are on the list, including the National Library of Medicine. The next BAW is scheduled for March 12-18, 2018. See you then!


Here are a couple of my favorite links from the Dana Educator Lesson page:

Through the Virtual Cell: The Movie  (requires Flash)

Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Videos (Goes to YouTube)

Click here to go to the Dana Educator lesson page with lots of cool and useful links.

Things I learned at SXSWedu

SXSWedu 2017 photo collage

SXSWedu 2017 photo collage

Last week I attended SXSWedu, an education-centric pre-conference to South by Southwest Interactive. I came home with 13 pages of handwritten notes and an information hangover.  South by Southwest Interactive is the now seemingly ubiquitous conference of music, culture, tech and hipsterdom held annually in Austin, Texas. SXSWedu is a smaller gathering which occurs the week before the big event, attracting thousands of teachers, entrepreneurs, policy makers and students. It packs a hyperbolic amount of content about teaching and learning into three days, but many sessions are available now to watch for free.

Here’s a list of items of interest to me, a long time librarian in higher education:

Ed tech


  • Future ready librarians: K-12 education uses the term “future ready” to describe goal of bringing districts, schools, and libraries into the 21st century and give kids the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in a fast-changing world. What does it mean to be a ‘future ready librarian’? This infographic explains.  This panel had great online handouts.
  • Library & out of time meet up – This session gathered librarians from higher ed, K-12 and public libraries, as well as vendors, museum curators, and random library fans together for informal conversations & shared brainstorming. It was an introvert’s nightmare, though I did meet the folks behind Mobile Citizen, a mobile hotspot vendor aiming to make wireless access affordable to everyone. They want to work with library systems  to provide mobile hot spots for checkout.
  • Open Educational Resources: At the “Ed Surge Lightening Talks” I heard a university provost describe how librarians and instructional designers at her school located & tagged open educational resources with learning outcomes to develop an OER Commons for their faculty. Here’s their LibGuide.



  • Enterprise embracing the MOOC – Salesforce Trailhead embodies the classic features of a MOOC (badges, online, asynchronous, massive & free) to train up skills for their sales software
  • “Digital Education is the oil of the knowledge economy” – just a neat quote
  • Ed Tech moving into the East & South markets (China & Africa)
  • New tools: DigiExam (digital exam platform), Zzish (mobile learning apps), Open Campus (“campus” (as opposed to course) management system), Practice (video platform designed to empower interactive, individualized learning for mobile, active learners, anywhere, anytime, and on any device – prototyped with surgery residents at UCSF)

Would I attend SXSWedu again? Maybe. It is close to where I live and professional development funding is available. But for the average health sciences librarian, SXSWedu might be one of those ‘bucket list’ conferences. Good for a one time visit, likely not a return customer.

Need More?

The SXSWedu YouTube account includes keynote speakers and spotlights, while the SXSWedu Twitter feed aggregates content from everywhere.

Literature Database from the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) “is dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like combat, assault, or disaster. Most people have some stress reactions after a trauma. If the reactions don’t go away over time or disrupt your life, you may have PTSD”.

What you’ll find on the website:

There’s a public section for veterans, the general public, family and friends.


Returning from war:

Specific to women:


There’s a Professional section that contains training materials as well as information and tools to help care providers with assessment and treatment. The materials are based on the latest research, much of which is conducted by National Center staff.

There is a Continuing Education section where all the courses are free:

Possibly of most interest to health science librarians is the PILOTS database.

PILOTS stands for Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress database and is an index to the worldwide literature on PTSD and other mental health consequences of exposure to traumatic events. Unlike other databases, the PILOTS Database does not restrict its coverage to articles appearing in selected journals. It attempts to include all publications relevant to PTSD and other forms of traumatic stress, whatever their origin without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographic limitations. There is an option to limit a search to peer-reviewed journals.

2 search tips provided on the site:

  1. By default, the database is programmed to look for documents with all the terms entered.
  2. Use “quotation marks” to search for exact phrases.

6 Things to know:

  1. You can use MeSH two-letter subheading codes along with your search terms to focus your results
  2. There is a controlled vocabulary thesaurus, but it is in PDF format.
  3. There is an advanced search option.
  4. Adjacency searching is also an option. See Help:
  5. You can save results
  6. You can setup an alert