Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About SCR | Contact SCR | Feedback | Help | Bookmark and Share

Archive for August, 2013

How Clean Is That Screen?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Microscope images of an dirty iPad

Germs are everywhere. Touching dirty surfaces has always been a concern. Disinfection stations for cleaning hands have shown up in schools, restaurants, gyms, and countless other public places. But what about the germs that transfer from hands to mobile devices? The use mobile devices with touchscreens continues to rise but disinfecting these devices can be problematic. According to many mobile device manufacturers the use of liquids, including disinfecting liquids, on the special touchscreen is not recommended. Some manufactures warn that using liquids may damage the touchscreen or void the product warranty.

The use of tablet devices in hospital and healthcare settings poses a unique situation. In clinical settings the use of a tablet device by clinician or patient may occur. The transfer of germs from one patient to another or to the care provider via a tablet screen may occur if tablets are not properly disinfected.

A recent study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that “Normal use of tablet PCs leads to a remarkable amount of microbial surface contamination.” And “every fingerprint on the surface will leave residue on the glass, aluminum, and plastic parts of the device and may contain a large number of bacteria. An increased awareness of this fact is required when those devices are used during patient care.”

In this study ten iPad devices were used and tested during the study period to determine the best method for disinfection of the devices. The study found that the recommended cleaning method suggested by manufactures, a lint-free cloth without liquid cleaning agents, results in a reduction rate of 51.1% bacterial colony forming units. However when isopropanol wipes were used along with proper cleaning protocols reduction and inactivation of residual bacteria occurred.

debacapp logo

Unfortunately recent changes in care policies from device manufactures suggests that the use of any liquid including that found in the isopropanol wipes will result in voiding of the manufacturer warranty.

The study also used the deBac-app as a tool to help devices owners follow proper cleaning protocols to ensure the maximum reduction on bacteria on the devices. The app which is free from the iTunes App Store helps document the cleaning process as well as keep a log of when cleanings occur.

Overall, mobile device owners should take care to minimize the amount of bacteria present on devices to ensure the health and safety of those using the device. One of the best way to minimize bacteria present on tablet devices is to follow methods for proper disinfection of the hands before and after each patient interaction.

Librarians at LSU Health Shreveport Win MLA Research Award

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Guest Author: Donna Timm, Head of Education & Outreach, LSU Health Shreveport Medical Library

Deidra Woodson, Metadata & Digitization Librarian; Dee Jones, Head of Cataloging; and Donna Timm, Head of Education & Outreach, were awarded first place for best research poster at the 2013 Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting. Their poster, “Playing Online Interactive Games for Health Education: Evaluating Their Effectiveness,” describes their research on health-related online games for children. The poster was selected for the award by MLA’s Research Section from among 162 research posters.

Out of the 46 games evaluated for this project, the 22 that met the evaluation criteria were added to the “For Kids” section of healthelinks, which is LSU Health Shreveport’s consumer health Web site. The games are organized into the following three categories — “Nutrition,” “Exercise,” and “Germs” – and are ready to be played and enjoyed! Also included in the Games section is a link to a page for parents, explaining how these games were selected and evaluated.

The healthelinks was originally created under the auspices of a subcontract award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR). LSU Health Shreveport librarians regularly update the site and feature a variety of resources to support outreach projects funded by the NN/LM SCR.

HealtheLinks for Kids Banner

Rise in Diagnoses of Lyme Disease

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Backlegged Ticks

New preliminary reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year—an estimate ten times higher than the yearly reported number of 30,000. These estimates are based on results from three ongoing studies by the CDC that use various methods to define the average number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease. From the CDC brief:

The first project analyzes medical claims information for approximately 22 million insured people annually for six years, the second project is based on a survey of clinical laboratories and the third project analyzes self-reported Lyme disease cases from a survey of the general public.

The high number of Americans diagnosed with this disease highlights the need for awareness and prevention.

Although the backlegged ticks carrying Lyme disease are found all over the United States, most cases are reported in the Northeast and upper Midwest regions.  A tick bite is most often characterized by a “bulls-eye” rash (or erythema migrans) that forms around the location of the bite and occurs in the majority of those infected within 3-7 days. Additional common side effects include fever, headaches, joint aches, and chronic fatigue. You can prevent and control Lyme disease by wearing repellents that contain 20 – 30% DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on both exposed skin and clothing. It is also important to be aware of whether or not you’re in a highly tick-populated area and perform full-body tick checks when you are finished with your outdoor activity.

For more information on ticks, Lyme disease, and the CDC studies, visit the following links:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Lyme Disease:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Newsroom – Press Release –

MedlinePlus – Lyme Disease –

Demonstrating Your Impact: Telling Your Story

Monday, August 26th, 2013

When demonstrating your library’s impact to your institution, you will need to organize all the data that you have collected – gate counts, reference statistics, cost/benefit analyses, anecdotal data, etc. – and present them to your administration in some format.  Your goal is that your presentation gets the attention of your administration, makes the case that your library has a huge positive impact on the institution, and convinces them that support for the library needs to be maintained or increased.

Part 3 in the Demonstrating Your Impact series is called “Telling Your Story.” This section is about exploring the idea of using storytelling as a means of organizing your data and having the most impact.

storytimeAndy Goodman, the author of Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes (free download says that “stories are a terrific way to bring large issues down to ground level where people can get their minds (and hearts) around them.  But after you have told your story, you must back it up with the numbers that prove you have more than one story to tell.”  In this video of a Plenary address for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care, Andy Goodman gives a powerful demonstration of the importance of storytelling in engaging decision makers:

How can you take this concept of storytelling and apply it to the data that you have been collecting on your library?  Cindy Olney, with the NN/LM Outreach and Evaluation Resource Center, describes a very do-able process in her April 17, 2013 SCR CONNECTions webinar, Once Upon a Time: Using Evaluation Findings to Tell Your Project’s Story (recorded webinar: In her description of how to organize your presentation, Olney suggests

  • analyzing the data that you have collected,
  • articulating the key findings from charts and graphs into sentences, and
  • deciding what the most important findings are
  • weave them into one of two story systems: Sparkline or Storybook

Sparkline: This system, described by Nancy Duarte’s in a TED Talk (, is designed for persuasive arguments (like convincing your employers to expand the role of the library). In this system, the presentation goes back and forth between the vision of what could be and the situation as it is now.  The presentation ends with a call to action.  This Sparkline system can be shown to underlay great persuasive speeches, such as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech.

Storybook: Olney suggests the storybook format is best for presenting the results of a completed project.  Three important elements should be included for a good story:

  • a likeable main character in an undesirable circumstances
  • this main character takes steps toward improving those circumstances – their progress is rife with obstacles
  • at the end, the main character is transformed

Whether you use the Storybook or the Sparkline system, to keep your story interesting and memorable, Olney adds “don’t let the data get in the way of a good story – write your story, then weave the data into it.”

Read part 1 and 2 of the Demonstrating Your Impact series (Return on Investment and Collecting Stories).

11th Digital Future Project Report

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Digital Future Project 2013 Report Cover

University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future recently released the 11th Digital Future Project Report. This report is the longest-running study of it’s kind and serves as one of the most comprehensive reports on internet use and internet users in the United States. The 2013 report features new questions about negative attention online such as cyberbullying and harassment as well questions on the impact of mobile devices.

Another area of interest in the report explores the “Millennial Rift”, the vast differences between how Millennials (age 18-34) and non-Millenials use online sites and services.

Some findings of interest from the report:

  • 30% of parents let their children use Facebook unsupervised.
  • Millennials are more involved with mobile shopping and comparison shopping than non-Millennials.
  • 68% percent of Millennials have done a price comparison on their mobile devices while in a store to find if there is a better deal available online, compared to 43% of non-Millennials.
  • More than twice as many Millennials as non-Millennials watch online versions of television shows or music videos.
  • Higher percentages of Millennials (70%) compared to non-Millennials (51%) value social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus as important for maintaining their relationships.
  • Internet access through a wireless handheld device (such as a mobile phone or tablet) is growing significantly, with 56% of users reporting that they go online with a handheld device, compared to 33%  in 2010.
  • The survey found that measurable percentages of users in all age ranges report that they have been bullied or harassed.
  • Modest numbers of users go online at least weekly to look for health information (24%).

Fast and Fun Video Creation Apps

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Looking for fast and easy ways to create fun library videos? Applications Vine, Instagram, and MixBit have been getting attention recently and  offer easy to use video creation options. While Vine has been offering their short video service for Twitter since January, Instagram launched a similar short video option this summer, and while newcomer MixBit offers many of the same features this new app from the creators of YouTube also includes the ability to mix in other videos. This post provides an overview of the features of each service.


Vine logo

Vine is a stand alone app that is owned by Twitter. Vine is available for Apple, Android, and Microsoft devices. Users can create videos that are up to six seconds long. Users can then post their short video directly to Vine or to Twitter. Vine videos loop so that a short video can be viewed over and over again. According to the Twitter blog post about Vine “the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity.”



Instagram Logo

Instragram is a social photo sharing app and site. Beginning in June 2013 Instagram began allowing users to record and post photos. Videos created with Instagram can be up to 15 seconds long and be published to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Tumblr and Email. Instagram also allows users to add filters to the videos they shoot allowing the creation of videos that appear to be shot using specialized cameras or lenses.

For an in-depth look at how Vine and Instagram compare Jordan Cook provides an in-depth review of the two services in his post Instagram Video Vs. Vine: What’s the Difference? published on TechCrunch in June.


MixBig LogoThe MixBit app is latest creation from YouTube founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley. MixBit allows users to sign up for service and create videos up to 16 seconds long and provides additional options such as easier editing options for cutting out clips and mixing in clips from videos created by other users. MixBit was launched in August 2013 and is currently only available for apple devices but the app is expected to be released for Andorid and other devices soon. Videos can be shared via social media or via a link to the video on the MixBit website.


The short nature of the videos have lead to creative concepts for many videos. Because of the way the apps allow users to record segments of video stop motion video animations can be easily created.

For library or organization use these videos may be useful as part of a marketing strategy or campaign or as a quick tour of some interesting aspects of the library. iLibrarian, Ellyssa Kroski recently blogged about 15 Cool Ways Libraries Can Use Vine to Create Social Videos which provides real-life examples of short video use using services such as Vine. The social and sharing aspect of these video services should also be considered. Are your users aware of these apps? Are they already watching short videos and sharing them with friends? Consider using hashtags to promote your video via social networking outlets such as Twitter.

An important note about the videos created by each of these services, the videos that are created are not 508 compliant. Videos created by these services that include captioning my be 508 compliant but should be evaluated for accessibility before distribution.

HHS Launches Healthy Young America Video Contest

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Young Invincibles announced the Healthy Young America video contest in an effort to inform young people about health insurance coverage and new options under the Affordable Care Act.  People can submit entries and vote for their favorite videos at

The Affordable Care Act is making health care more affordable and accessible for 19 million uninsured young adults across the country. Young Invincibles and the Department of HHS have created this competition “to tap into the creativity and energy of young Americans while raising awareness about the new law and encouraging young people to take advantage of the benefits of health insurance.”

Videos can be submitted during the five-week period starting on Monday, August 19th. A public voting period will follow to help determine the Finalists in each category, and a final round of voting and judging will determine who takes home the Grand Prize. The contest features a prize pool worth up to $30,000 and over 100 prizes to be awarded in three categories: You Are Not Invincible, Perform a Song! and Animation. More information, including requirements and important dates for submission can be found at the Healthy Young America website. There is even an Early Bird prize which will go to the best video submitted by September 2nd.

More information is also available from the HHS Press Release on August 19, 2013.

videocontest_banner_HealthyYoung America

Demonstrating Your Impact: Collecting Stories

Monday, August 19th, 2013

To demonstrate your library’s impact to decision makers, it can be helpful to bring your data to life with some great success stories: researchers that were helped by your librarians, doctors’ time saved, or patients understanding their follow-up instructions.  Even better than success stories you tell your administration are stories told about your library by satisfied customers, for example, satisfied doctors whose time is valuable to their hospital as well as themselves, satisfied patients who can recommend your hospital to others, or satisfied researchers who can vote where their city dollars go. In addition, there is evidence that anecdotal data can influence the outcomes of decisions (

Native American woman working with her daughterPart 2 in the Demonstrating Your Impact series is about collecting and telling those success stories.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a publication called Impact and Value: Telling Your Program’s Story document is intended for program managers to provide steps they can use to systematically collect and create success stories: “with attention to detail, a system of regular data collection and practice, this tool can become a powerful instrument to spread the word about your program.”

According to the Impact and Value publication, stories should not be the main method of presenting data, but they put a face to the numbers of research and evaluation data: “What does it really mean when you report that you have provided ‘X’ amount of services to ‘Y’ amount of people? How are the lives of the program participants [or your library customers] changed because of your services?”


A great example of systematic story collection can be found in the article, “MedlinePlus and the challenge of low health literacy: findings from the Colonias project,” ( which describes a project funded by the National Library of Medicine in which community health workers, known as promotoras, were trained to help members of some Texas-Mexico border communities find health information using MedlinePlus. These promotoras were asked to collect up to two stories every week on how they used online resources to help residents with health concerns.  The 157 stories that resulted from this technique were treated as data: thematically coded, checked for validity, and studied to show the degree of success of the promotoras project.

What to do with all this data? Stay tuned for part 3 of the Demonstrating Your Impact series: Telling Your Story


Feedback requested: NN/LM SCR Programming

Monday, August 19th, 2013

woman hand pointing to a positive feedback button on blue background

The NN/LM SCR is extending an invitation for all Network members to provide feedback about the strengths of the program and future directions we should take.

This feedback will help us prepare for an upcoming site review from the National Library of Medicine on October 9, 2013.  The goal of the site review is to help the NN/LM SCR and NLM understand how we are serving our Network members, learn how we can strengthen the program to meet current and emerging needs in the Region, and gather ideas for how NLM can support the national network.

To access our feedback form, please click on the link below. You can answer as many questions as you want or provide other comments:

The responses from this questionnaire will be provided unedited (but without names attached) to those involved in the site review, specifically the site review team along with staff from NN/LM SCR and NLM.  These responses may also be included in the site team’s written report.

Your responses are very important to us, so please take a few moments to send your feedback!  We will be collecting feedback through September 6, 2013.

Google Glass

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Google Glass Headsets

Wearable technology is getting the Google treatment. In development stages since 2011, Google Glass recently made its way in to the hands of many who have been test driving the wearable computer from Google. Google Glass is a wearable headset with built in camera, microphone, and speakers which allows those who wear the headset to use natural language to search the internet and query requests. Feedback is delivered to the person wearing the device through the speakers which can also read text messages and updates from social media sites. The built in camera allows users to capture video from a personal point-of-view. Video capture capability as already been tested by skydivers, mountain bikers, and many more.

The Glass Explorer program is allowing more users to get their hands on the devices. Many users are testing the capabilities in health and medical settings.

Explorer Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS sees various ways for Google Glass to be used in medical education and the health sciences. John Nosta recently wrote more about Grossmann’s work with Google Glass for Forbes in the post “How Google Glass is Changing Medical Education“. Grossmann has used Google Glass to record point-of-view surgical procedures as well as interact with healthcare providers through video. Grossmann as well as other see the power of Google Glass to enhance the field of telemedicine and connect patients with providers.

Two Girls wearing Google Glass

As more applications are developed for Google Glass expect many to be healthcare focused. Fitness and wellness are also important targets of app development. Companies such as Augmedix are already looking into ways to use Glass in medical scenarios.

Augmented reality and real-time access to information through devices such as Google Glass are also influencing how librarians provide services to their users. Marianne Kruppa a librarian and Glass Explorer already sees ways to use Glass to provide information for library users. She was recently interviewed by the South Bend Tribune and brief video is included in the post, “Area woman exploring use of Google Glass“.

Google Glass is also making an impact on the lives of those with disabilities. Mashable recently posted “OK, Glass: I Can’t Walk, So Help Me Explore” which details the experiences of a Google Glass Explorers Tammi Van Sant and Alex Blaszczuk both using the new device to interact and connect with people in ways they previously though impossible. Researchers in various institutions are working on apps for Google Glass that would be beneficial for those with chronic diseases or who are blind or deaf.

Expect to see and hear more about Google Glass use in products and services. Also watch out for new apps that make using Google Glass and interacting with information through the devices even easier.

Are you or someone you know using Google Glass? Let us know what you think in the comments section of this post.