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Archive for October, 2012

QR Your Mobile Resources – A Brief How To

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

mobile phone scanning a QR code
1. find QR code by cocreatr

Do you have a mobile-optimized website or other mobile resources to feature at an open house or similar event?

Here is a step by step guide about how we created a quick response (QR) code flyer and introduced students to National Library of Medicine (NLM) Mobile resources at a recent open house for the University of Washington Health Sciences Library. (more…)

Libraries As Brain Health Centers

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

On October 3, 2012 there was a Pre-Conference session at the Idaho Library Association Conference called “Transforming Your Library Into A Brain Health Center.”  Libraries as brain health centers is a concept that can increase the library’s role as a community hub.  Dr. Paul Nussbaum and Stephen Ristau presented a workshop on this topic.  The five domains of the Brain Health Lifestyle are:

  • Socialization
  • Physical Activity
  • Mental Stimulation
  • Spirituality
  • Nutrition

An archive of the morning session, workshop handouts, and summary of the small group work done by participants are available for those unable to attend the workshop here:


Tox Town Releases A New Drought Location Page

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Did you experience drought conditions where you live this summer?  Has your health been affected because of the drought?  Do you wonder if droughts are related to climate change?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should visit Tox Town‘s new Drought location page.  Information is provided on why drought is a concern, how it is related to climate change, and possible health effects related to drought.  Available in both English and Spanish.



Old Dog, New Tricks

Friday, October 19th, 2012

On October 1, 2012 I was thrilled to accept reassignment as Public Health Outreach Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Region.  I had served as the Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator since January of 2003, and was ready to take the skill set and relationships I have built in that position in a new direction. I have always had a heart for Public Health.  While in library school I took a Health Services class as an elective from the School of Public health and found it fascinating.

I also did my Directed Fieldwork experience with Neil Rambo while he was on leave from the NN/LM PNR and working at the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice.  My project was to contribute web pages (a new-ish concept at the time!)  to a portal site that contained information about commonly-encoutered infectious diseases.  I was hooked!  Another experience I had was to take the Medical Informatics Short Course at Stanford University where several of the attendees were participants in the Public Health Informatics Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  It was great to interact with them and hear about their experiences – their enthusiasm certainly rubbed off on me.

Upon graduating from library school, however, I decided to focus on general medical librarianship to start.  I had worked as a social worker in long-term care for 15 years and determined that it made sense to apply my background in the health care environment to my new career.  I worked in a temporary appointment here at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library and served as co-liaison with Janet Schnall to the School of Nursing and also was liaison to the OB/GYN and Nutrition departments.  But, the appointment was temporary, so I had to move on and landed next at Highline Community College Library where I was the Director of Circulation Services for a year and a half.  Medical librarianship was calling me back, though, and I saw the opportunity at NN/LM for the Consumer Health Coordinator position. It was a perfect fit for me!  I have developed wonderful relationships in the position and have learned so much about outreach to a variety of audiences who need access to quality health information and to improve health literacy in their communities. (more…)

The Great Shakeout and Disaster Communications

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

This morning, I was reminded by my cousin about the largest earthquake drill in history, at 10:18 a.m. Pacific Time. Over 14 million people have registered to participate. If you haven’t already, you can join the drill by registering at this website.

Then take at least one more step to increase your readiness for disaster.

As an example of something you can do, develop or update your contact information in a family communications plan. And, be sure to include redundant pathways for reaching people.

My cousin, Dr. Monica Gowan–who is a Natural Hazards and Disaster Resilience Professional–lived in New Zealand for the past several years and personally experienced its recording breaking earthquakes.  But, while she was traveling in Minnesota, the February 22, 2012 Christchurch earthquake hit. A Christchurch colleague lost cell phone connection with his family in the Pacific Northwest, yet he was able to text Monica. She then posted a message for him on his Facebook wall relaying that he was okay, which his family was able to see..

So, you don’t have to live in an area at-risk for disaster to experience one. All you have to do is be a visitor on a holiday or traveling for business. Or, maybe you will find yourself concerned about someone who is in a disaster, or wanting people to know how they might get a hold of you if you find yourself in one.

Final tip from my cousin– be sure to test your plan!

New Resource From The National Library Of Medicine: LiverTox

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), is pleased to announce the release of LiverTox, a new resource for health care practitioners and researchers studying liver injury associated with prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals, and dietary supplements –

LiverTox provides a searchable database of about 700 medications available in the United States.  Drug-induced liver injury is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States.  Some drugs directly damage the liver, while others cause damage indirectly or by an allergic reaction. (more…)