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Archive for October, 2013

Project Spotlight: CTSA Community Engagement Award

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Guest Author: Pegeen A. Seger, Head of Outreach Services, UT Health Science Center San Antonio Libraries

In August of 2012, in partnership with the South Central and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), the University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries was granted a CTSA Community Engagement Pilot Project Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR). The project was intended to allow librarians to participate in brainstorming about how librarians can take a more active role at CTSA Institutions particularly in the area of community engagement.

The proposed project had two components: 1) to host two Asset-Based Community Development workshops at UT Health Science Center Libraries in San Antonio and Harlingen in order to support community engagement efforts in these areas and in the other CTSA funded areas within the NN/LM SCR region by training CTSA librarians and others in the concepts of Asset-Based Community Development and 2) to host a strategic planning session for CTSA librarians in the NN/LM SCR region with the goal of developing a strategic plan to promote librarian interactions with their CTSA Key Function Groups, especially the Community Engagement Key Function Groups.

Workshop attendees sit at a table and create a map

On February 21, 2013, the UT Health Center Science Center Libraries hosted an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Workshop as part of the pilot project. Attendees of the workshop learned how to build community connections and partnerships in support of medical research, education and practice in order to impact community health. Participants included CTSA librarians, researchers and administrators, public health workers, area health professionals, public and academic librarians, community health workers, and AHEC Translational Advisory Boards (TABS).

Librarians sit at tables and discuss topoics

On the following day, a Strategic Planning Workshop was held for librarians and other personnel from CTSA institutions to brainstorm about how librarians can be actively involved with CTSA key functions, CTSA administration, grant applications, research output and impact tracking, community engagement, and other CTSA initiatives.

Out of the strategic planning session came a roadmap for librarian contributions and engagement with the work of the CTSAs. A report based on the strategic planning session was prepared and distributed to the librarians who attended the planning workshop; library directors at CTSA funded institutions in the NN/LM SCR, and to CTSA administrators.


SCC/MLA Library Student Demonstrations

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


Are you attending the SCC/MLA Annual Conference in Fort Worth? Do you remember the good old days of library school?  Want to support the future library students and learn about NLM databases?

The NN/LM SCR will be bringing six library students to the SCC conference as part of the annual Library Student Outreach Award. As part of their conference experience, the students are required to demonstrate an NLM database in the SCR exhibit booth.  They have the knowledge – they just need an audience.


  • 9:00 am – 9:15 am: NLM Traveling Exhibition (Myriam Martinez Banuelos)
  • 9:30 am – 9:45 am: Circulating Now (Nha Huynh)
  • 10:00 am – 10:15 am: Dietary Supplement Label Database (Mary Sarkes)
  • 10:30 am – 10:45 am:  NLM Traveling Exhibition (Tina Huettenrauch)
  • 2:15 pm – 2:30 pm: Dietary Supplement Label Database (Alyson Gamble)
  • 2:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Circulating Now (Marcus Spann)

While you are wandering the exhibit hall during the conference, take a few minutes and stop by the NN/LM SCR’s exhibit booth to learn about an NLM database and meet your future co-workers.  We look forward to seeing you there!


Cutting Edge Technology in Libraries

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Cutting Edge Technology in Library Services Logo

Does your library offer technology engagement that is on the cutting edge? If so the American Library Association (ALA) wants to know. Since 2009 ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy’s America’s Libraries of the 21st Century subcommittee have been soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology. This award seeks to recognize libraries serving their communities with novel and innovative methods, as well as to provide the library community with successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways.

ALA is currently accepting submissions for the best library practices using cutting-edge technology. Nominations must be submitted by November 15, 2013, and winners will be announced at the upcoming 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting, which will be held January 24-28, 2013. Libraries selected for the recognition will be featured in a program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, highlighted through ALA publications and publicized via ALA web channels.

A joint selection committee of members from the Subcommittee on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century and the Library & Information Technology Association will review all nominations and may conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service.

Nomination guidelines include the following:

“Cutting edge” refers to tested and successful implementations of technological advancements used in services such as:

  • Improvements in traditional services and processes by inventing/re-inventing/twisting technology
  • Introduction of new, innovative services that are flexible and responsive to community needs
  • New technology-enabled methods for connecting libraries to their communities
  • Funding initiatives or organizational models that ensure library information technology will remain current


  • Must involve the use of technology
  • Must be a novel idea or implementation of a service
  • Must be able to be documented for replication by other libraries
  • Must be for a library that has been involved in the development of the service or product (can’t just buy something off the shelf) or has significantly enhanced the product for added value

A full list of guidelines can be found online at the application/nomination page.

To find out more about past Cutting Edge winners the ALA has produced case studies which follow the latest technology trends and how libraries on the cutting edge are embracing technology. The case studies provide overviews of projects by other libraries which can be replicated by other libraries.

The First Bookless Library- It’s Here in the SCR!

Monday, October 14th, 2013

IMG_3150Staff members at the newest branch of the Bexar County Public Library System in San Antonio, TX are calling it the first “bookless library.” In addition to its catalog of 10,000 e-books, BiblioTech also provides a digital lifeline to a low-income neighborhood. BiblioTech opened its doors Sept. 14 on the south side of San Antonio, a mostly Hispanic neighborhood where 40% of households don’t have a computer and half lack broadband Internet service.

Although the library houses no printed books — and members can even skip the visit by checking out its e-books online — BiblioTech’s staff says the library’s physical presence is still key to its success. BiblioTech’s efforts have attracted 7,000 members so far, and staffers relish sharing anecdotes about the people who walk through their doors.

The 4,800-square-foot space looks more like an Apple store or a Google breakroom than a library, with brilliant orange walls and a playroom for children (of all ages!) with plush seats and big screens. The space houses lots of devices for in-library use: 45 Apple iPads, 40 laptops, and 48 desktop computers, and more.


The initial idea for BiblioTech came from Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a self-described book fiend who felt libraries aren’t evolving with technology. Wolff gathered about a half-dozen county employees to brainstorm ideas for a library that would help an underserved neighborhood in a truly modern way. Last October, the group began researching to find other libraries that had gone completely digital — but they couldn’t find any. So, they worked to create one.

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit BiblioTech last week, while in the San Antonio area — and even have the T-shirt  to prove it! If you’re in the area, check it out!

To read more, see the October 8 story on CNNMoney and the article in American Libraries Online.


Project Spotlight: Vaccines, Epidemics and Ethics

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Guest author: Kate Krause, Digital Projects and Institutional Repository Coordinator, Texas Medical Center Library, Houston, Texas

Medical Ethics Series Banner

The Texas Medical Center Library received the Regional Symposium Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) in 2012 to expand our annual Medical Ethics lecture series.

The Regional Symposium Award enabled us to expand from one lecture in one auditorium to a year-long series of six lectures at four venues. The series was on Vaccines, Epidemics, and Ethics, a very pertinent topic in Texas right now with many new research programs and faculty. The award allowed us to attract national speakers, host an archival exhibit, and advertise the events. We also were able to promote a fun interactive quiz for students to learn how to use National Library of Medicine (NLM) databases.

Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, M.D.One of the speakers was Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, M.D. Acting director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health. National Center for Immunization and Diseases.  Actress Kate Winslet’s Oscar-winning character in the film Contagion is modeled after Schuchat.

We learned a lot during the course of the year. Our main take-aways were:

  • It’s difficult to plan a year-long event. Airfare and other prices change, lecturers change jobs and locations and have to cancel, media contacts change, other campus events are scheduled that compete with our events.
  • One of our speakers changed jobs and cancelled at the last moment. We had to scramble to find a replacement speaker for him and change all our advertisements. From now on we will create lists of B-list speakers and other back-up plans.
  • Because a speaker cancelled, we had to recalculate our costs and submit a revised budget to the NN/LM SCR. Luckily this happened only half-way through the award period and we had plenty of time to develop new plans. The NN/LM SCR was very understanding and helpful.
  • Speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are free! They pay their own way and are not allowed to accept honoraria. They are also very good speakers with interesting stories to tell. We will definitely be inviting them again in the future.
  • Emailing students directly and reaching out to faculty and research groups involved in our topic really bolstered attendance. These advertising approaches were much more worthwhile than the money we spent on traditional advertisements in newsletters and other media.
  • As expected, location played a very large part in attendance. For example, when we did a presentation on the south side of campus most of our audience came from institutions nearby on the south side.

We very much appreciate the opportunity the NN/LM SCR gave us to expand our lecture series and learn how to give better ones in the future.

Don’t Just Fundraise: Crowdfund

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


Fundraising in the 21st century is not just about the bake sale anymore. Today technology is helping to open up fundraising opportunities to many. Crowdfunding is harnessing the power of technology and helping people around the globe donate to projects they might not have heard about before.

Crowdfunding “is a collective effort by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to invest in and support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.”Crowdfunding allows individuals with a common interest or goal to raise money while also allowing other individuals, no matter how near or far, to get involved and contribute if they support the goal.

Crowdfunding is being used by libraries for many different purposes. A look at some online crowdfunding sites finds projects for repainting a local public library, purchasing books for a library in South Africa, building little lending libraries across the country, and many more. Many libraries have turned to crowdfunding as a way to boost donations, especially from individuals who may not be able to get out to a typically library fundraising event.

While online donations have been possible through credit card and PayPlay links, crowdfunding allows an organization to focus on a specific project or goal and use the crowdfunding platform to more widely promote the project. Online services for crowdfunding typically include the ability for creators to upload videos and share details about their project. Many crowdfunding sites also allow creators to offer incentives for contributors. Creators may offer t-shirts or hand written notes as an incentive to people to contribute to their project.

In additional to libraries, other industries are also turning to crowdfunding to boost funding. Crowdfunding projects for everything from digital thermometers, cell phones for everyone, research support, and even college tuition are seen online.

While crowdfunding is taking off, it is important to be familiar with the terms of service associated with the many online crowdfunding sites. The Library Journal article Crowdfunding the Library explores some of the ins and outs of crowdfunding for library purposes. The article includes information about some library projects and first person experience with crowdfunding for a library.

It is important to consider that online funding sites typically keep a percentage, usually very small, of the funds raised as overhead for platform use. For most sites this fee is only charged when a specific goal is met.

An overview of some of the most popular crowdfunding sites is provided in the list below (alphabetical order):

  • Crowdtilt – Legally certified in securing fundraisers for non-profit organizations. Users are allowed to contribute to and create campaigns of their choosing. A 2.5% fee is charged only if a campaign successfully reaches its goal.
  • Funding4Learning – Helps students raise financial resources for study, volunteering and education related initiatives. Uses PayPal as their main provider for all the fundraising payment’s processing and transaction services. Collected funds are disbursed only if the fundraising campaign is successful. However, a contributor is allowed to make a “direct contribution”, which is guaranteed to be paid whether or not the campaign is successful. Funding4Learning charges 5% of funds disbursed from a successful campaign, and 5% of all direct contributions.
  • Fundly – Makes it easy for non-profits, charities, politics, clubs, schools, teams, churches, and many other causes to quickly raise money online from friends, family, colleagues, donors, and other supporters via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and social media networks. It is also an app for social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. It uses WePay to process donations. Donors are charged when they make a donation.
  • GoFundMe – Allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses. Allows users to share their project with people through integrated social network links and email. A special section of GoFundMe is dedicated to users who are trying to raise money to cover their tuition costs.
  • Indigogo – Disburses funds immediately, when the contributions are collected through the user’s PayPal accounts. When your campaign raises funds, Indiegogo charges a 9.0% fee on the funds you raise. If you reach your goal, you get 5.0% back, for an overall fee of 4.0%. Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits qualify for a 25% reduction in platform costs.
  • KickStarter – Provides tools to raise funds for creative projects. Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected. Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised.
  • – Civic crowdfunding website. Focused on helping local governments raise money for civic improvements. Designed to accept projects only from local governmental and civic-natured entities including; constitutionally chartered municipalities, county and metro-conglomerate government entities, public / private partnerships, and institutions, private, or non-profit organizations whose mission caters primarily to civic infrastructure (e.g. bike share startups).
  • PetriDish – Crowdfunding for scientific research. Aimed at projects that might not be eligible for government funding as well as projects that need funding not typically covered by grants such as translating research into educational papers or projects. Charges a percentage of funds collected

A comparison of crowdfunding services can be found on Wikipedia.

Has your organization used crowdfunding? Let us know in the comments.

October is Health Literacy Month

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Books and Stethoscope with notepad

October 1-31st is Health Literacy Month! Did you know health literacy goes beyond the ability to read (although reading does play a large role)? Health literacy is the ability to get the health information you need, and to understand it. It is also about using the information to make good decisions about your health and medical care.

Here are some great resources that address health literacy!

MedlinePlus Health Literacy page (

  • This health topic page from MedlinePlus, a National Library of Medicine resource, not only gives a clear overview of health literacy but also does a nice job of breaking down some of the more specific issues that individuals face. MedlinePlus offers links to tutorials such as “Understanding Medical Words”,  “Creating Easy-to-Read Materials”, and deciphering prescription drug labels.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine Health Literacy Page (

  • The NN/LM page on health literacy takes the basic information from MedlinePlus one step further. In addition to providing a clear and basic definition, this resource also gives users some statistics regarding the specific populations most affected by low health literacy. Information on research and initiatives being done to improve health literacy is also provided.

NN/LM SCR Health Literacy video (

  • Created by the NN/LM SCR, this video aims to give a brief overview of health literacy as well as shed light on resources that may be useful when working with low health literacy individuals or groups.

Health Literacy Out Loud (

  • From the Health Literacy Out Loud website: “Health Literacy Out Loud (HLOL) podcasts are a lot like radio shows. You can listen in as Helen Osborne interviews those in-the-know about health literacy. You will hear why health literacy matters and learn practical ways to help. Unlike radio shows, you access Health Literacy Out Loud podcasts from the Internet. You simply download the files to a computer, iPod, or other MP3 device and then listen to the podcast whenever, wherever, and however you want.”

Project Spotlight: Preserving Pasteur

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Guest Authors: Robert O. Marlin, IV, Archivist, Truman G. Blocker Jr. History of Medicine Collections and Mira Green, Head of Technical Services, Moody Medical Library, UTMB

Drawing of Pasteur with rabbits

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine South Central Region’s Digital Preservation and Access (DiPA) Award enabled the Truman G. Blocker Jr. History of Medicine Collections (Blocker Collections) at the Moody Medical Library at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX to create a digital repository containing materials from the personal library of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). The goal of this project was to increase the awareness and accessibility to the thoughts of one of the world’s most celebrated scientists through the digitization and translation of unique materials such as original letters, manuscripts, and a number of rare offprints of articles originally published in French medical and scientific journals.

The material covers a variety of topics: a description of the process for the “pasteurization” of wine; a plea to the French government for the reimbursement of 2000 francs for research paid for personally by Pasteur; and a request for funding to build a new bio-chemistry laboratory at the École Normale. The remaining items are: rare offprints that were prepared in editions of fewer than 100 copies, one of which covers his early work on crystals; and a five-page lecture given by Pasteur in 1850 in which he presented his research results on molecular dissymmetry.

The Louis Pasteur Collection has been added to the Blocker Collections website, and contains original handwritten letters and their translations that are accessible as viewable and downloadable PDF files. This site also displays additional documents including journal articles that date from 1861-1889. Included are two items written by Pasteur, Theories Des Germes, 1878 and La Maladie Des Vers A Soie, 1867. Also available on this page is a brief biography of Louis Pasteur with his portrait and additional links to original papers written in French. This information can be found using the navigational menu button for digital collections.

Images of items from an exhibit

In an effort to assist those interested in the life of Pasteur, considerable time was dedicated to compiling the Pasteur Bibliography of secondary resources. Only high-quality material covering all age groups was considered. Several works in the bibliography were also annotated including Patrice Debré’s monograph written for the 100 year anniversary of Pasteur’s death that offered the reader a helpful chronology and focused on Pasteur’s discoveries and the controversies surrounding his work.

The DiPA award enabled us to create a major exhibit utilizing as many original source documents from the Collection as possible. For the creation of the exhibit, accessibility, target audience, informative content, and aesthetics were of paramount importance. The overall concept for design and structure began with months of research transpiring into a timeline of influential events derived from the life and legacy of Pasteur. The timeline, as the design approach, allowed for the creation of various sized pieces containing unified graphical elements, imagery and descriptions, and informative content pertaining to each titled display panel measuring 36”x 36” in size.

Metadata was created for the collection by researching the individual(s) mentioned in the letters. Name authorities were researched and added accordingly. Subject headings were chosen from both the Library of Congress and MeSH headings.

The Pasteur Collection metadata and items were also added to our institutional repository in the Texas Digital Library in early April 2013. The permanent URL for the collection is The Texas Digital Library is indexed in Google as well as Google Scholar and the collection is already showing up in the results list when a search for Louis Pasteur is initiated. The collection statistics show that the highest number of views has been from the United States; however, Turkey, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, Canada, Switzerland and Mexico show usage as well.

The ContentDM institutional repository was created and customized. The URL for the UTMB repository is Metadata and files were the same as the submission to the Texas Digital Library institutional repository.

Scholars across a variety of disciplines, including general history, may request the materials for publications, scholarly papers, presentations, and exhibits.

Government Shutdown Impact on Libraries

Friday, October 4th, 2013

US Capitol BuildingThe National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region office remains open, regular business hours, during the government shutdown.

The following post provides information on the broad impact of the shutdown on libraries and research.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has posted the following message on their homepage:
“Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.”

This message is echoed on the National Library of Medicine homepage.

Resources from the National Library of Medicine:

  • PubMed is available however the following message is displayed: “PubMed is open, however it is being maintained with minimal staffing due to the lapse in government funding. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries. For updates regarding government operating status see”
  • Other databases from the National Center for Biotechnology Information are also available with the following message posted: “The information on this web site remains accessible; but, due to the lapse in government funding, the information may not be up to date, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For updates regarding government operating status see”
  • MedlinePlus is available however the following message is displayed: “Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at”

According to

  • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.

According to the American Library Association libraries may be impacted by the shutdown in the following ways:

  • U.S. Census websites and collection surveys will be unavailable until the government is funded.
  • The Government Printing Office (GPO) is closed. will not be updated during the shutdown. Federal Register services will continue in a limited capacity.
  • The Library of Congress will be closed to the public and researchers for the duration of the shutdown. The Library of Congress website is unavailable. As of Friday, October 4th the website was available but not being updated.

Medical Librarians have already been posting about the impact and chronicling federal websites that are inactive during the shutdown. Posts from Michelle Kraft, Alisha Miles, and the Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University provide detailed information about the status of online access to some of the most used library and medical library resources during the government shutdown.

National Medical Librarians Month

Friday, October 4th, 2013

National Medical Librarians Month Poster

The Medical Library Association (MLA) has declared October as National Medical Librarians Month (NMLM). The 2013 NMLM theme, “Saving You Time So You Can Save Lives,” helps to promote the fact that medical librarians’ knowledge of resources, search skills, and response time ensures that medical professionals receive the highest quality health information available. As part of this celebration, the NN/LM SCR is proud to highlight the following SCR funded projects and the librarians whose hard work made these programs successful.

  1. School Health Connection: A Health Information Needs Assessment of School Nurses in Tulsa County. Institution: The University of Oklahoma – Tulsa, Schusterman Library. Principal Investigator: April Schweikhard
  2. Opening New Doors: Cook Children’s Matustik Family Health Library. Institution: Cook Children’s Medical Center. Principal Investigator: Barbara Steffensen
  3. Vaccines, Epidemics and Ethics. Institution: The TMC Library. Principal Investigator: Kathryn Krause
  4. Promoting the Environmental Health Student Portal through School Science Teachers and Librarians. Institution:  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport. Principal Investigator: David Duggar
  5. The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana Project. Institution:  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – Shreveport. Principal Investigators: Dixie Jones and Monte Dobbins.

To learn more about these projects, look at the NN/LM SCR Funded Projects web page.