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Archive for September, 2013

Updated Evaluation Booklets from OERC Now Available

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Guest Author: Susan Barnes, Assistant Director, NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC), Health Sciences Libraries and Information Center, University of Washington

OERC Booklet Covers

The 2nd Edition of the Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects series of 3 booklets is now available online from the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC).

Getting Started with Community-Based Outreach (Booklet 1)
What’s new? More emphasis and background on the value of health information outreach, including its relationship to the Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology topic areas

Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Projects (Booklet 2)
What’s new? Focus on uses of the logic model planning tool beyond project planning, such as providing approaches to writing proposals and reports.

Collecting and Analyzing Evaluation Data (Booklet 3)
What’s new? Step-by-step guide to collecting, analyzing, and assessing the validity (or trustworthiness) of quantitative and qualitative data, using questionnaires and interviews as examples.

These are all available free to network members. To request printed copies, send an email to  PDF versions of all three booklets are available here: .

The Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects series, by Cynthia Olney and Susan Barnes, supplements and summarizes material in Cathy Burroughs’ groundbreaking work from 2000, Measuring the Difference: Guide to Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach. Printed copies of Burroughs’ book are also available free—just send an email request to

Professional Development Award: The Evolving Librarian

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Guest Author: Lisa Huang, Central Park Campus Library, Collin College, McKinney, TX

Logo for Krafty Librarian Blog showing a purse and computer coming out of a large purse

I am grateful to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) for providing the Professional Development Award, which enabled me to attend the all day workshop “The Evolving Librarian:  Responding to Changes in the Workplace and Healthcare” held at the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Library, in Tulsa, OK on April 18, 2013.   The workshop was taught by one of the leaders in medical librarianship, Michelle Kraft, senior medical librarian at the Cleveland Clinic and current candidate for MLA President-elect.  Kraft is also renowned for her Krafty Librarian blog

Kraft discussed current and emerging forces shaping the healthcare landscape such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), electronic health record (EHR), local community benefit, new tax laws, numerous technological changes and evolving expectations of administrators and library clients.  The Great Recession has accelerated these issues as hospitals are being funded differently now.  Non-profit hospitals must turn a profit to stay afloat due to increasing technological costs of the EHR implementation.  Kraft’s lecture was immensely informative and explained why the local hospitals have accelerated their community engagement efforts to maintain their tax exemption.

I was struck by the similarities of funding between Collin College, a community college district, and hospitals.  Collin is no longer being funded by student enrollment numbers; funding is dependent on graduation, completion, and retention rates of students.  For hospitals, funding is dependent on patient satisfaction and success rate of providing health care services instead of the number of services performed or provided to patients.  Compounding these changes is the shrinking number of personnel as institutions have their reduced staffing.  Kraft encouraged the attendees to re-evaluate traditional time honored activities such as cataloging books for hospital libraries with a small print collection.  Libraries must evolve with society and its nomadic client expectations of on demand services and resources.

An issue addressed repeatedly at the workshop is that librarians need to demonstrate value to their home administration because libraries are expensive or as someone calls them, a “black hole.”  Administrators are not sure about the value of libraries because they do not bring in money; librarians need to change the perception of the library as an asset.  Amid fiscally challenging times, the notion of libraries as time honored institutions is antiquated; libraries are up for staff reduction or closure.  Kraft argued that librarians need to re-align library operations and goals with the administration’s goals, regardless if you work for a hospital, academic health sciences center, or a community college.  Libraries need to conduct qualitative research that measures their return on investment and the impact of all their services such as literature reviews, library instruction; or, the value of their books to the clients. ROI calculators and library narratives should be common knowledge for librarians. Librarians tend to shy away from research or simply don’t have the time to conduct research, but they need to conduct mini-research projects to demonstrate value and track impact.  Possible projects include literature searches that lead to improved patient care or decreased length of stay.

Other takeaways from the workshop:

  • The need to be aware of healthcare legislation changes from the local to national level.
  • Staying abreast of new roles for librarians such as data management, emerging roles with the EHR, patient education, and embedded librarianship. The profession is evolving and new identities of librarians are being written.
  • Be flexible as change is constant and inevitable.
  • Understanding when technology is disruptive or you’ve allowed it to be disruptive in your library?

I appreciated the opportunity to attend this workshop and much appreciation goes to Stewart Brower and the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Library staff for their gracious hospitality.

2013 Library Student Awardees

Friday, September 27th, 2013


The NN/LM SCR is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Library Student Outreach Award.  The purpose of this award is to promote the value of outreach to library school students interested in health sciences librarianship.  The six recipients will attend the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SCC/MLA) Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, TX and participate in meetings, conference sessions and other activities designed for them to learn about the importance of health information outreach and services conducted by librarians in the South Central Region.

  1. Alyson Gamble (Louisiana State University)
  2. Tina Huettenrauch (Louisiana State University)
  3. Myriam Martinez-Banuelos (University of North Texas)
  4. Nha Huynh (University of Oklahoma)
  5. Mary Sarkes (University of North Texas)
  6. Marcus Spann (Louisiana State University)

Attending SCC/MLA? Come by the NN/LM SCR exhibit booth and say hello to the students.



Affordable Care Act Updates

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Health Insurance Marketplace Badge
The final countdown to Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace has begun! The list of organizations already in place to provide assistance to individuals with the enrollment process continues to grow, and includes Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, Assisters, and Champions for Coverage.

On September 26, OCLC WebJunction announced some updates aimed to help library staff connect patrons to available resources and community experts that can provide assistance.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has soft launched, where individuals or organizations can enter their geographic location to identify local ACA consumer assistance destinations in their area. This resource is also available in Spanish at

If your state is participating in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace [AR, LA, OK, and TX in the SCR], CMS has an online ordering system for print materials. Libraries are welcome to request these print materials from CMS, however, it is important to note that quantities are limited and stock is constantly changing. You will need to create an account to be able to view and order materials. Once you have an account, search on the keyword “marketplace” to see the available publications.

In the near future, CMS expects to add an option to order and/or download print versions of the Federal Application form (not available until open enrollment begins on October 1). While print forms will be an option, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online because they will see real-time eligibility and available health insurance options.

Organizations and businesses (including libraries) who reach consumers who may need coverage can become Champions for Coverage to provide information and education to help people learn more about the Marketplace and how they can enroll. For more information, see: Become a Champion for Coverage. A list of organizations – current as of August 28, 2013 – is available.

In addition, several libraries and organizations in the South Central Region have already been identified. A partial list is provided below:

VC/UHV Library – Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria (Joint Library Services)
Victoria, TX 77901
Phone: 361-570-4166 or  toll-free 800-687-5006

New Orleans Public Library
New Orleans, LA   70112
Phone: (504) 596-2570

Bell Whittington Public Library
Portland, TX   78374
Phone: (361) 771-0921

Hood County Library (Texas)
Granbury, TX  76048
Phone: (817) 573-3569

Van Buren Public Library
Van Buren, AR 72596
Phone: (479) 474-6045

Van Alstyne Public Library
Van Alstyne, TX 75495
Phone: (903) 482-5991

Internet Connection Speed in the US

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Map of US Internet Speeds

According to several recent studies looking at internet download speeds in the United States vast differences in internet connection speed can be measured across the county. Gizmodo recently posted maps that visually demonstrate the results of several of these studies. The results suggest that the South Central Region (SCR) area includes some of the lower speeds in the US. Typical findings show that in areas of finical wealth internet speeds are higher. In rural areas including parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico speeds tend to be lower as necessary infrastructure is usually not in place to support high speed connections. While areas of high density populations may have access to higher speed connections, the data showed that these speeds were often slowed by heavy use in these densely populated areas.

According to the Akamai State of the Internet report, compared to other developed nations the United States reports some of the lowest internet connection speeds. The study ranks US internet speed at ninth-fastest average internet connection speed in the world. This places US internet connection speed behind that of South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Sweden. In last year’s State of the Internet Report US internet connection speeds were ranked eighth in the word. The report looks at over 200 countries and the US continues to rank in the top 10 for internet connection speeds.

A Tool to Help Visualize Your Data: the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Is a table worth a thousand words?  Sometimes you need an understandable and memorable diagram that will illustrate what you are trying to say.  This Periodic Table of Visualization Methods (a resource from provides examples of 100 visualization methods.

Periodic Table of Visualization MethodsThis table is not just a cool looking list of visualization methods, but it also uses the format that we are familiar with from the Periodic Table of Elements to organize the visualization techniques into different types and purposes.

For example, the chart is color coded from yellow to purple. The colors represent different kinds of visualization types: Data Visualization; Information Visualization; Concept Visualization; Strategy Visualization; Metaphor Visualization; and Compound Visualization (examples below).  Scrolling over each box in the Table will bring a pop-up window with an example in it.

In addition, several other pieces of information about the methods are contained in this table.  There are icons that show if the visualization method is process visualization (depicting a temporal sequence) or structure visualization (depicting conceptual relationships), and whether the different methods show macro patterns (overview) or micro patterns (detail), and finally whether the methods demonstrate divergent or convergent thinking. These can help you determine whether this visualization technique might be right for you.

Here are some examples from each of the main categories of visualization methods:

Data Visualization: example Area Chart

Data Visualization: Area Chart

Information Visualization: example Radar Chart

Information Visualization: Radar Chart Cobweb

Concept Visualization: example Argument Slide

Concept Visualization: Argument Slide

Strategy Visualization: example Fishbone Diagram

Strategy Visualization: Fishbone Diagram

Metaphor Visualization: example Tree

Metaphor Visualization: Tree

Compound Visualization: example Knowledge Map

Compound Visualization: Knowledge Map

Introduction to Health Literacy YouTube Video

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Logo for YouTube

A new video is available on the NN/LM South Central Region’s YouTube Channel! Created by the NN/LM SCR, this brief video aims to inform viewers of some health literacy basics as well as show viewers how to access easy-to-read material and resources.

To view the video, visit: 



New Online Privacy and Security Survey Findings

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Online Security

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently released the results of a survey on Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online. The survey, which sampled 1,002 adults 18 years of age or older, found that “86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.” Actions including clearing cookies, encrypting email, avoiding use of their real name, and even using virtual networks to mask their internet protocol (IP) address, were just some of the wide range of steps that people have taken to maintain privacy online. Despite the many possible avenues for protecting privacy online, the survey found that “59% of internet users do not believe it is possible to be completely anonymous online.”

In the internet age many individuals are posting personal information online. According to the survey “a growing numbers of internet users (50%) say they are worried about the amount of personal information about them that is online.” This figure was only 33% when the survey was first taken in 2009.

According to the survey, many internet users reported experiencing problems with stolen identities, hacked accounts, harassment and victimization by scanners:

  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 13% of internet users have experienced trouble in a relationship between them and a family member or a friend because of something the user posted online.
  • 12% of internet users have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% of internet users have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
  • 6% of internet users have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
  • 6% of internet users have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
  • 4% of internet users have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.
  • 1% of internet users have lost a job opportunity or educational opportunity because of something they posted online or someone posted about them.

With so many reported problems that stem from issues related to online privacy and security it is possibly no surprise that the survey found “68% of internet users believe current laws are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy online”.

For individuals looking for information on steps to take to increase online security provides a good overview on their Protect Your Privacy Online page which is frequently updated.

SCR CONNECTions Presentation Materials Now Available

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Rebecca Miller

The presentation materials including slides, thought provoking questions, chat transcript, and more from today’s popular SCR CONNECTions webinar Mobile Devices and Apps in Education with guest speaker Rebecca K. Miller are now available through the SCR CONNECTions archives.

We are unable to post a recording on our website as captioning was unavailable during the presentation.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the webinar recording please contact Emily Hurst.

1 hour MLA CE will be available through October 2, 2013.


New Subject Guides from NLM

Monday, September 16th, 2013

NLM Subject Guides

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Reference and Web Services Section, Public Services Division, compiled a select set of subject guides: These guides can serve as research starting points for health professionals, researchers, librarians, students, and others. Each guide lists a variety of resources, many of which are Internet accessible and free. These subject guides consist of many resources but should not be considered completely comprehensive.

Released guides cover Health Statistics, Library Statistics, and Conference Proceedings. Two additional guides will be available in late fall covering Drug Information and Genetics/Genomics.  The topics for these Subject Guides are drawn from the most frequently asked questions that the Reference and Web Services staff encounters in e-mails and onsite. The staff plans to update the guides, reviewing them as needed to maintain their links and content.Subject Guides Menu

The Subject Guides are listed on the left side of the screen. Clicking on the ‘plus’ sign will give you the complete list of sub-categories for the Guides. Additionally, you can click “Next Section” at the bottom of each page to move on to the following sub-category of resources.

NLM hopes you find the Subject Guides useful, and welcomes your comments or suggestions.  For comments, use the link on the front page of the Subject Guides.