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Archive for September, 2010

NLM Launches New Free Digital Repository

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The National Library of Medicine® (NLM) launched a new free digital repository, Digital Collections, which is complementary to the PubMed Central® digital archive of electronic journal articles. The content in Digital Collections is in the public domain and freely available worldwide. Digital Collections provides unique access to NLM’s rich, historical resources. Digital Collections uses a suite of open source and NLM-created software.  The repository currently provides search, browse and retrieval of monographs and films from the NLM History of Medicine Division. Additional content and other format types will be added over time. Users can perform full text and keyword searching within each collection or across the entire repository.

This first release of Digital Collections includes a newly expanded set of Cholera Online monographs, a portion of which NLM first published online in PDF format in 2007. The Cholera Online now available via Digital Collections includes 518 books dating from 1817 to 1900 about cholera pandemics of that period.

More information on this resource can be found in the NLM Technical Bulletin.

The Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities Is Now an Institute

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) has been re-designated as an Institute of the National Institutes of Health: the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). This transition gives the Institute a more defined role in the NIH’s research agenda against health disparities, which it defines as differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups.

The move authorizes the NIMHD to plan, coordinate, review and evaluate all minority health and health disparities research activities conducted and supported by the NIH institutes and centers, and it reaffirms the authority of the NIMHD director as the primary federal official with responsibility for coordinating such activities. Under its previous designation, the center coordinated the health disparities research activities of NIH’s other institutes and centers. The re-designation was made possible by the Affordable Care Act.

For more information, please go to the NIH News Release:

NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows in the SCR

Monday, September 27th, 2010

AAHSL (American Association of Health Sciences Libraries) recently announced the 2010 – 2011 NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows.  The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program is designed to prepare emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries.  Sixteen fellows have assumed director positions to date.

This year, three of the fellows are from the South Central Region.  Congratulations to:

  • Keith Cogdill, Director, South Texas Regional Information Services University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Kelly R. Gonzalez, Deputy Director, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Library
  • Deborah Sibley, Interim Director of Libraries/Associate Director of Libraries Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library (Debbie’s mentor is Brett Kirkpatrick, Associate Vice President for Academic Resources and Director of Libraries at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston)

Congratulations also to a former SCC librarian, Tania P. Bardyn who worked at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from 1996 – 2004.

New CDC Report on Public Health Preparedness

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Cover of ReportPublic Health Preparedness: Strengthening the Nation’s Emergency Response State by State highlights progress in preparedness and presents data on a broad range of preparedness and response activities occurring at state and local levels across the nation. The report features national data and individual fact sheets for the 50 states and four directly funded localities (Chicago, the District of Columbia, Los Angeles County and New York City). An overview of the preparedness activities and challenges in the U.S. territories, commonwealths, and freely associated states funded by CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement are also included.

Fact sheet data expand and update those presented in CDC’s first state preparedness report (2008), and cover activities conducted in 2008 and 2009. The report also highlights state and local preparedness and response activities occurring during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The  table of contents, as well as a link to download the complete report, may be accessed at:

10 Usability Tips Based on Research

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Image of a URL being typed into an Internet browser windowCameron Chapman of Six Revisions: Useful Information for Web Developers & Designers recently posted 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies which demonstrate how current research is actually providing useful data which can be used to improve website design and usability. Research data is providing support for some long-standing design principles while proving others to be myths.

According to research studies, common design ideas once thought to be crucial to usability and user interactions are actually not as important as once thought. Research proves that design tips such as pushing all content above the “fold” to reduce scrolling and the “three-click rule” are not as important as once thought. More important to users is the ability to access a page quickly and to understand the content while also having clear navigation features which are not overwhelming.
Tips include:

  1. Forget the “three-click rule”
  2. Use an F-shaped patten to enable skimming
  3. Speed up your website
  4. Make content easily readable
  5. Don’t worry about “the fold” and vertical scrolling
  6. Place important content on the left of the web page
  7. Use white space appropriately
  8. Small details are important
  9. Don’t rely on site search – Do improve navigation
  10. Your Home page isn’t as important as you think

Being familiar with new research and findings in the area of web design and usability may be helpful for anyone looking to redesign or improve their current website. Additionally, becoming familiar with user trends and expectations can help web designers and their co-workers have an informed discussion about the direction of website redesign projects.

Today is Get Ready Day 2010

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Get Ready Day Logo

Happy Get Ready Day, Everyone!

Today is Get Ready Day, an annual observance designed to encourage Americans to prepared for all health emergencies. Held annually on the third Tuesday in September, Get Ready Day is timed to coincide with National Preparedness Month.

The Get Ready campaign, sponsored by the American Public Health Association, provides information, resources, and tools to ensure that individuals, families, and communities in the United States are better prepared for a potential influenza pandemic, emerging disease outbreak, natural disaster, or other hazardous health situation. There’s even a new video about the importance of emergency preparedness, based on the story of the ant and the grasshopper, which can be downloaded and distributed: .  

National Preparedness Month (observed annually in September) encourages Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities: “Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.” Additional information on National Preparedness Month can be found at .

IMLS Sparks! Ignition Grants

Friday, September 17th, 2010

The Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums initiative is a new funding opportunity developed by IMLS to expand and test the boundaries of library, archive, and museum services and practices. It provides small, targeted investments in high-risk, innovative responses to the challenges and opportunities facing cultural heritage institutions in a rapidly changing information environment.

These grants will support the testing of specific innovations and foster broad sharing of information about what works and what does not. Because innovations can emerge in a variety of settings, the Sparks! Ignition Grants initiative is structured to encourage participation by organizations of all types and sizes.

Examples of projects that might be funded by this program include, but are not limited to:

  • exploring the potential of highly original, experimental collaborations,
  • testing inventive new workflows or processes that may result in substantial cost savings,
  • rapid prototyping and testing of new types of software tools, or creating useful new ways to link separate software applications used in libraries, archives, or museums,
  • research that involves the deployment, testing, and evaluation of a specific innovation, and
  • offering innovative new types of services or new service options to library, archive, or museum visitors.

Health and the Mobile Difference

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This week Susannah Fox addressed the Mayo Clinic’s Transform 2010: Thinking Differently about Health Care event and provided commentary on health care and Internet access, including mobile and social trends.

Mobile access is changing the way people seek and interact with information. Recent reports from the Pew Internet and American Life Project explore how mobile access to information is transforming the way people look for health information and support. Statistics show that more people are going online to look for health information. Information also suggests that many people seek health information and advice from social network sites. Becoming a part of the online conversation regarding health care will be important for health information providers in the coming years. Providing useful links to reliable online health information is a one way to become involved in the online health conversation.

For additional information and a summary of Susannah’s presentation visit The Power of Mobile report.

SCR CONNECTions September 15 Webinar Recording Available

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

The recording for the September 15, 2010 SCR CONNECTions webinar, NCBI Overview, is available online at

There will not be an SCR CONNECTions in October due to the South Central Chapter/Medical Library Association 2010 meeting. The next SCR CONNECTions will be held on Wednesday, November 17, at 10:30am CT.

50 Excellent Public Health Websites Worth Bookmarking

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Anyone who works in the public health sector may know that public health concerns local, regional, national and international health concerns. This list of 50 Excellent Public Health Web Sites Worth Bookmarking provides links to sites which are worth bookmarking if you need sources that offer assistance, news and information at all levels and in all topics from the flu to how the environment and animals contribute to public health issues.

The list is posted on the Health Sherpa public health blog. Websites are divided into several categories: Government Public Health; Public Health Associations and Organizations; Public Health Policy and Law; Public Health Websites and Libraries; and Journals.