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Archive for October, 2010

50th Anniversary of MeSH Videocast

Friday, October 29th, 2010

On November 18th, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) marks the 50th anniversary of MeSH with a talk by Robert Braude, PhD. The talk entitled MeSH at 50 – 50th Anniversary of Medical Subject Headings will be videocast with captioning at The event is scheduled from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm.

MeSH was first published in 1960; in 2010 we observe 50 years of this subject control authority. The seeds of MeSH were planted in December 1947. The Army Medical Library, the NLM predecessor, sponsored a Symposium on Medical Subject Headings in 1947. Participants, who included Seymour Taine, Thelma Charen, and Eugene Garfield, considered the challenges of the bibliographical control of publications. It was noted that the increasing complexity of scientific literature necessitated increasingly sophisticated approaches to organization and access. The participants recognized that the issue of a subject authority was not an academic exercise. Rather, subject cataloging and the subject indexing of journal articles were acknowledged as the essence of bibliographic control. The needs of the user of scientific information was to be always at the forefront in creating a set of medical subject headings that were made equally for subject description of books and for indexing of journal articles.

That first edition of MeSH  represented a departure from the then usual library practice. MeSH contained 4300 descriptors, and it was designed to be used for both indexing and cataloging. It is likely the first vocabulary engineered for use in an automated environment for production and retrieval.  MeSH continues to evolve and grow. The 2011 edition contains more than 26,000 subject headings in an eleven-level hierarchy and 83 subheadings. Annual revision and updating are ongoing to assure that MeSH remains useful as a way to categorize medical knowledge and knowledge in allied and related disciplines for retrieval of key information. MeSH is 50 years old and new each year.

The speaker: Robert M. Braude received his Masters of Library Science in 1964 from UCLA. In 1965, he attended MEDLARS training at the National Library of Medicine and his talk reflects on his 45 years of life with MeSH.   In 1987 he received a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Nebraska and he was Director of the Mid-Continental RML. His career included positions as director of three academic health science libraries and he has served on many NLM Committees and Panels such as IAMS Review Committees, the Planning Panels on Medical Informatics and NLM Outreach Programs, and the Biomedical Library Review Committee. He is a past  Janet Doe Lecturer, a Fellow of the Medical Library Association and Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Division of the History of Medicine and the Medical Subject Headings Section, National Library of Medicine.

The 50th Anniversary talk on MeSH will be available for later viewing.  A message will be sent later on the availability of the broadcast after November 18.

LinkOut for Libraries FAQ Page

Friday, October 29th, 2010

LinkOut now has a new LinkOut for Libraries Frequently Asked Questions page. On this page, librarians will find answers to questions such as “What is LinkOut?” and “What is the LinkOut Library Submission Utility?” Additional questions and answers will be added in the future.

Another resource for libraries interested in LinkOut is the Training and Educational Resources page.  It includes Quick Tours and other information for libraries using LinkOut.

CDC Releases Health Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

CDC Social Media Toolkit cover image

In an effort to better spread health information, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has experimented with many social media tools. From blogs to Twitter and everything in between, the CDC has tried various forms of social media for communication. With the rise of interest in social medial tools and Web 2.0 ideas, the CDC wanted to make sure that it was effectively using these channels to best communicate health information to people on a global scale. This week the CDC released their findings and recommendations for using social media to communicate about health issues.

The Health Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit provides information on how best to use social medial to share health information. In addition to overviews of various social media tools, the toolkit also provides insights into how inexpensive or costly the tools can be to implement.

This guide provides a great starting place for understanding and using social media to share health information. Information is relevant for health professionals, health organizations and libraries who want to pass on important health information to their patients, users or community.

New Look for NN/LM Emergency Preparedness and Response Toolkit

Monday, October 25th, 2010

current weather alerts mapBased on feedback provided from the Toolkit Usability Report, the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit ( now has a new look. The site now features a “cleaner” presentation of content and some new features, including a section for Emergency Preparedness and Response-related Twitter feeds and easier access to weather alerts and warnings.

A new tutorial has also been created to assist users in navigating the toolkit:

The EP & R Toolkit may also be accessed from the NN/LM SCR homepage through the Emergency Preparedness link under Member Services (

Next Generation Learning Grants

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the Next Generation Learning Challenges, a collaborative, multi-year initiative that aims to dramatically improve college readiness and college completion in the United States through the use of technology. The program will provide grants to organizations and innovators to expand promising technology tools to more students, teachers, and schools. It is led by nonprofit EDUCAUSE, which works to advance higher education through the use of information technology.

The program has released the first of a series of Requests for Proposals to solicit funding proposals for technology applications that can improve postsecondary education. This round of funding will total up to $20 million, including grants that range from $250,000 to $750,000. Applicants with top-rated proposals will receive funds to expand their programs and demonstrate effectiveness in serving larger numbers of students.  The first-wave RFP seeks proposals that address four specific challenges:

  1. Increasing the use of blended learning models, which combine face-to-face instruction with online learning activities;
  2. Deepening students’ learning and engagement through use of interactive applications, such as digital games, interactive video, immersive simulations, and social media;
  3. Supporting the availability of high-quality open courseware, particularly for high-enrollment introductory classes like math, science, and English, which often have low rates of student success; and
  4. Helping institutions, instructors, and students benefit from learning analytics, which can monitor student progress in real-time and customize proven supports and interventions.

The initiative will fund RFPs approximately every six to twelve months. The second wave of funding, anticipated in early 2011, will focus on secondary education.

The pre-proposal submission period for the initial RFP opens October 25, 2010, and closes November 19, 2010.

Augmented Reality: More than Meets the Eye

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

According to the 2010 Horizon Report, augmented reality is one of the top trends to watch in the coming years. EDUCAUSE has created 7 Things You Should Know About Augmented Reality information sheet for educators and professionals interested in the latest emerging technology trend.

Augmented reality provides a way to overlay information and data with the physical world. The real world view becomes “augmented” by the data which is viewable through an application or device. In many ways augmented reality allows users to find out more about their physical environment by tapping into information that already exists in other forms such as online. Using augmented reality brings together the physical world and information that exists in an online context.

While the concept of augmented reality may seem far off, more applications that use augmented reality are being created for mobile devices. Mobile devices such as smartphones often include a built in GPS, compass, Internet access and camera, all tools necessary for interacting with information through augmented reality. As new applications that utilize argumented reality technology are created, we may see changes in the way people look for information.

For library and education purposes, allowing users to be more interactive with information and their environment may create more personalized and meaningful experiences. In a recent online article, the journal Chest explored the concept of augmented reality and what it could mean for medical education and diagnosis in the near future.

To learn more about augmented reality, view the Common Craft video below.

ALA Webinar to Help Rural Library Funding

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office will host a webinar to assist rural libraries with pursuing funding opportunities from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at 2 p.m. ET October 29.

Cheryl Cook, the Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture,  Carla Anderson, the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of e-Copernicus, a Washington consulting firm expert in broadband, and Kevin Cherry, Senior Program Officer for the Institute of Museum and Library Service’s Office of Library Service will participate.

The presenters will discuss the three USDA programs with funds available for rural libraries – the Distance Learning and Telemedicine program, the Communities Facility program and the Community Connect program.

To register for the webinar:

World Statistics Day October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Banner for World Statistics Day October 20, 2010

The United Nations General Assembly has designated Oct. 20, 2010, as the first-ever World Statistics Day to highlight the role of official statistics and the many achievements of national statistical systems. Statistical organizations throughout the world will celebrate World Statistics Day at the national and regional level. The U.S. government has a long history of collecting statistics about the nation’s people, economy and society beginning with the first national census in 1790. Today, 14 federal agencies collect or publish the statistics the United States uses to record progress and plan for the future.

Health statistics are used in many ways, including: to provide indicators of life and health among various groups of people; to gauge health disparities; to measure disease occurence and potential; to identify health prevention targets; and to assist with public health program policy, planning, and evaluation.

Additional information about World Statistics Day and its observance can be found at: .

TOXNET Class in Houston

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The NN/LM SCR will be offering the TOXNET: Toxicology and Environmental Information class at Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library.

Friday, November 5, 2010
9:00am – 12:00 pm

This is a 3-hour hands-on class intended for inexperienced users. It is designed to introduce participants to the different databases available on TOXNET. Attendees will gain experience locating toxicology, chemical, and other hazardous substance information. Databases to be covered include: Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), LactMed, TOXLINE, TOXMAP, Household Products Database and ChemIDplus.

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 3 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Click here to register for the class.

As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone.

Global Handwashing Day is October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Logo for Global Hand washing Day

The practice of handwashing with soap tops the international hygiene agenda on October 15, with the celebration of Global Handwashing Day. Since it’s beginning in 2008, Global Handwashing Day has been echoing and reinforcing the call for improved hygiene practices worldwide.

The guiding vision of Global Handwashing Day is a local and global culture of handwashing with soap. Although people around the world wash their hands with water, very few wash their hands with soap at critical times (for example, after using the toilet, while bathing a child and before handling food).

Global Handwashing Day 2010 will revolve around schools and children. Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year.  To learn more, visit And, don’t forget to wash your hands with soap!