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Archive for April, 2009

When a Pathfinder Needs a Pathfinder

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

First, a bit of library jargon: a pathfinder is an organized list of starting places (links or print resources) for research into a particular field or topic. In 2003, The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce created an excellent pathfinder at Since then, it has grown into an incredibly comprehensive and valuable resource. Do you need to find a report, article, or statistic related to public health? Are you looking for information about health policy or legislation? What about continuing education opportunities, funding sources, networking options, or employment? Odds are good that the perfect starting place for your search is listed at PHPartners … somewhere. There are 128 links on the Health Data Tools and Statistics page, 97 links on the Health Promotion and Health Education page, and that’s only the beginning. Exploring those links one by one takes a great deal of patience.

ChunkIt! is a free browser add-on that can help you process the information found in a long list of links and make decisions about how to focus your search. It works with Internet Explorer 6.0+ and Firefox 2.0+.


Regional Emergency Preparedness Page Updated with Swine Flu Info

Monday, April 27th, 2009

The NN/LM PNR Emergency Preparedness page was updated today – it now includes the Health and Human Services/CDC  Swine Flu widget so that you can easily link to updates and information about the Swine Flu outbreak.  The epidemic has already hit the West Coast in Canada and in California so we here in the Pacific Northwest need to be attentive!

There are some simple things you can do to protect yourself: (more…)

Search Clouds for MedlinePlus

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Here’s new feature in MedlinePlus, the Search Cloud.

 graphic of search cloud

The search cloud displays the top 100 search terms typed into the MedlinePlus search box. The search cloud is usually updated every week day. The terms appear in alphabetical order, and their size represents their relative frequency. The bigger the term, the more often it is searched by people who visit MedlinePlus. A term’s exact ranking is found by placing your cursor over the term. Click on any term in the search cloud to conduct a search for that term in MedlinePlus.

ICYou: YouTube for Health?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

There’s just something about video. It is more compelling than text, more personal than still images… or is it? Can you believe that more than ten hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute? More than 100 million U.S. viewers watched YouTube videos last January. At least 126 U.S. hospitals are using YouTube for marketing and patient education. Still, it can be challenging for the average searcher to find health information, not to mention reliable health information, amongst the millions of videos on YouTube.

Enter ICYou,  an online community for health videos and only health videos.


April Rendezvous on Scholarly Communication

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Join us on Wednesday, April 15, at noon Pacific Time (11am Alaskan/1pm Mountain) for this month’s RML Rendezvous:  a Scholarly Communication Update. This is your chance to catch up on recent developments in the Open Access movement and to learn how PubMed Central and the NIH Public Access Policy fit into the larger picture.

This hour-long session will feature something for everyone whether you work in a hospital, at a university, or are a concerned citizen with questions about access to taxpayer-funded research.

Alison Aldrich, Technology Outreach Coordinator for the NN/LM PNR, will introduce the concept of open access, explain how it differs from public access, and discuss why both are important concerns for librarians.

Isaac Gilman from Pacific University’s Health Professions Campus in Hillsboro, Oregon will talk about open access as it relates to evidence-based practice.

Chris Shaffer and Andrew Hamilton of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland will discuss strategies for raising awareness about author rights among university faculty.

Ann Marie Clark and Allysha Eiler from the Arnold Library at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will describe their roles in facilitating institutional compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

For information about connecting to the Rendezvous, go to:

We look forward to seeing you on the 15th!

Call For Proposals: Technology Improvement Awards, Spring 2009

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

We are excited to announce another round of funding from the NN/LM PNR to support purchase, installation, and/or upgrading of hardware and software to enhance access to health information.

Up to three (3) awards of up to $5,000 each are available to NN/LM member organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The purpose of these awards is to enhance the capacity of a library or organization to offer electronic health information services for health professionals or health consumers.

This funding can be used for:

  • computer equipment, scanning or document imaging equipment, or other hardware
  • software for Internet or Web-based transmission of documents
  • Internet access fees
  • trainings or demonstrations related to a new information service

Applications from community-based organizations are especially welcome.

A spring 2007 assessment of libraries in the Pacific Northwest revealed a number of technology and connectivity gaps including the need for wireless Internet access, facilities for computer-based instruction, document delivery equipment, and other hardware and software upgrades. This funding is intended to help libraries and other member organizations to meet those needs. We hope that this funding can also provide an opportunity for network members to collaborate with their institutional Information Technology personnel. In the fall of 2009, we were pleased to award technology improvement project funding to three network member organizations. Those projects are currently underway.

We aim for recipients of these awards to be distributed across our five state region. Priority will be given to proposals that:

1. Respond to a previously identified health information access need

2. Have active support of the institution’s information technology staff

3. Include a clear strategy for evaluating project outcomes

Consideration of requests for funding will begin on May 13, 2009. Proposals should be submitted using the Technology Improvement Awards Application form .

For additional information, see the official funding announcement or contact Alison Aldrich, NN/LM PNR Technology Outreach Coordinator, at , 1-800-338-7657.