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Archive for 2005

Universal Health Symbols for Limited English Proficiency

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

People with limited English proficiency face many challenges; one of the most significant can be navigating hospitals and other health care facilities. Complicated directions and confusing terminology can make it difficult for non-English speakers to get the care they need in a timely manner. Hablamos Juntos, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has developed and tested 28 universal health care symbols representing important hospital destinations.

Three hundred participants from four language groups: English, Spanish, Indo-European and Asian languages provided input on the comprehension value of candidate symbols. Seventeen of the 28 symbols could be understood by at least 87% of the multilingual testers. The results were impressive:

  • More than 75% of people tested felt the symbols were more effective than text: -symbols were easier to see and understand.
  • More than 80% of hospital staff tested felt that symbols would ease the process of giving directions to patients and visitors.
  • To read download the workbook and symbols: Universal Symbols in Health Care

    First aid instruction offered via podcast

    Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

    Kuamedia Corporation has launched a series of podcasts offering emergency first aid instruction based on Beechwood Healthbooks. These enchanced instructions feature animation, graphics and audio, and they include the recent international revisions to CPR.

    Humanities Texas Announces Grants For Hurricane-Affected Texas Libraries

    Wednesday, December 28th, 2005

    Humanities Texas is pleased to announce book replacement grants for the Texas libraries recovering from Hurricane Rita.

    As part of the book replacement grant program, public and school (K­12) libraries may request as much as $1,500 to purchase books, media resources and other educational materials in such humanities fields as literature, history, and the study of other languages and cultures.

    Because some of the grant funds have been made available through the National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” initiative, some purchased materials must support the teaching, study and understanding of U.S. history and culture.

    Applications will be accepted through July 1, 2006, or until grant funds have been exhausted. Application information is available on the Humanities Texas website:

    The state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Texas has sponsored diverse programs across the state for more than three decades.

    Is LinkOut Necessary? When Link Resolvers Collide.

    Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

    From the NN/LM MAR Middle Atlantic Perspective comes a great explanation of the use of LinkOut and the use of OpenURL services.

    Is LinkOut Necessary? When Link Resolvers Collide.

    ALA offers Complimentary registration to Katrina and Rita Librarians

    Thursday, December 15th, 2005

    ALA offers complimentary registration for Annual Conference 2006 to members in zones impacted by Katrina and Rita

    As part of the American Library Association’s (ALA) ongoing support for member librarians and library staff impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, ALA is offering complimentary registration to our Annual Conference, June 22-28, 2006, in New Orleans to ALA and ALA Chapter members from the severely impacted Gulf Coast counties and parishes.

    Information and eligibility criteria are available at

    Press Release:

    Adult Literacy Study Released Today

    Thursday, December 15th, 2005

    The National Center for Education Statistics released today the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy. The report found little change between 1992 and 2003 in adults’ ability to read and understand sentences and paragraphs or to understand documents such as job applications.

    Department of Education Press Release:
    2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy Report:

    Information Links

    Thursday, December 15th, 2005

    Two public health organizations in the South Central Region were among the awardees of grants designed to support the participation of state and local public health agencies in health information exchanges.

    Funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the new program, InformationLinks, is designed to accelerate the innovative and effective use of information technology by state and local public health agencies. The grants of up to $100,000 were awarded to state and local health departments and public health institutes for 12-month projects. The grantee sites will work with health care providers to improve the use of regional data sharing networks or health information exchanges.

    Grantees in the SCR:
    City of Austin Health and Human Services Department, Austin, TX
    Louisiana Public Health Institute, Baton Rouge, LA

    For more information: Information Links

    Racial and Ethnic Minorities Receive Poorer Care Than Whites

    Thursday, December 15th, 2005

    A new poll by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released today finds a majority of Americans (68 percent) are unaware of the disparities in health care problem. The lack of awareness is greatest among whites, with only a quarter (25 percent) believing health care is worse for racial and ethnic minorities. In comparison, almost half (44 percent) of African Americans and more than half of Hispanic Americans (56 percent) said racial and ethnic minorities received worse care than whites.

    For more information: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    News from the SCR: “Physicians Find Librarians Vital”

    Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

    A great story about a Network member from the South Central Region, Methodist Dallas Medical Center

    From Dallas Morning News: a story about the services provided by Dr. William Smith, Medical Librarian at Methodist Health System.

    Physicians Find Librarians Vital

    7 Things You Should Know About Instant Messaging

    Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

    From EDUCAUSE:

    7 Things You Should Know About Instant Messaging

    From the abstract:

    “Instant messaging (IM) is a form of online communication that allows real-time interaction through computers or mobile devices. Although typed text remains the primary convention for IM, the technology now allows users to send images, audio and video files, and other attachments. Hundreds of millions of people use IM to stay connected. In many ways, it epitomizes the notion of the always-connected, multitasking student, sending and receiving messages at all hours, from a wide spectrum of devices, while doing several other things at the same time. IM has become such an integral part of students’ lives that many colleges and universities are working to move it beyond the social sphere into teaching and learning.”