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Archive for the ‘Network Member Spotlight’ Category

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.

Award Funding Provides First Hand Look at mHealth Summit

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Guest Author: Maureen “Molly Knapp, Research Support & Education Librarian at Tulane University Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences

mHealth Summit Logo

In December 2012 I had the opportunity to attend the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC, thanks to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region’s (NN/LM SCR’s) Professional Development Award. The mHealth Summit is an annual event sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), with strategic support from mHIMSS (a division of HIMSS interested in mobile tech), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the mHealth Alliance (an international group with a global focus on the use of mobile devices in health care).

So what is mHealth, you wonder? According to the mHealth Alliance FAQ page:

Mobile Health, or mHealth, can be defined as medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, tablets, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices.

Some uses of mHealth include:
• Education and Awareness – Messaging in support of public health and behavioral change campaigns
• Diagnostic and Treatment Support – Mobile phone as point-of-care device
• Disease and Epidemic Outbreak Tracking – Sending and receiving data on disease incidence, outbreaks and public health emergencies
• Supply Chain Management – Using mobile solution to improve stock-outs and combat counterfeiting
• Remote Data Collection – Collecting real-time patient data with mobile applications
• Remote Monitoring – Maintaining care giver appointments or ensuring medication regime adherence
• Healthcare Worker Communication and Training – Connecting health workers with sources of information

Rest assured, all of these topics and more were addressed at the 2012 mHealth Summit. One of the more provocative keynote sessions I attended was Vinod Khosla’s “Can we have Health and Healthcare without Doctors?” Khosla is a venture capitalist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems. His answer – yes – is detailed in the article “Technology will replace 80% of what doctors do“.

Another interesting panel discussion addressed patient advocacy, featuring Donna Cryer, president & CEO of the American Liver Foundation (@DCpatient) & and Mary Anne Sterling (@SterlingHIT), a health IT consultant and family caregiver. (On a side note, there is a growing role for librarians in patient advocacy, as future MLA programming may soon reveal.)

ZombiePox Game Logo

My favorite, final ‘find’ of the summit was in the Gaming Pavilion in the exhibit hall. There I discovered Tiltfactor Games, specifically a game called ZombiePox, which explores group immunity and the need to vaccinate…WITH ZOMBIES. Tiltfactor was demoing an iPad version of the game, which is unavailable at this time. (Perhaps it was too infected?) With gamification a growing trend in libraries, awareness of companies providing educational, health related games is definitely relevant for collection development. (Also: zombies.)

Overall, the mHealth Summit was heavier on entrepreneurship and investment opportunities and lighter on science. I attended several contributed paper sessions that were hit and miss. Honestly, I don’t know that many librarians would find this type of summit useful to their everyday practice, as it was geared more towards bringing together business and industry. However, for those interested in trends in mobile health technologies and its application to public health and health care, or those who have a really cool app or website in need of a wealthy investor, the mHealth Summit is definitely your scene.

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

Three Librarians from Region Visit Lister Hill Center

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Group of people poses around table at Lister Hill Center

Recently three librarians from the South Central Region were invited to Bethesda, Maryland for an inside look at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), Lister Hill Center for Biomedical Communications. Through the support of the South Central Academic Medical Libraries (SCAMeL) Consortia and their libraries, John Goodell, Reference and Outreach Librarian at the University of Arkansas for Health Sciences Library, Mark Hopkins, Library Technology Manager at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Robert M. Bird Library, and Jason Bengtson, Emerging Technologies/R&D Librarian at the University of New Mexico Health Science Library and Informatics Center were able to travel to Maryland for an informative tour and learning session at the NLM. Provided below they have shared a few of the take-away points from their experience.

The group spent two days interacting with the team responsible for the development of an impressive new literature based discovery tool. Semantic MEDLINE is a visual literature based discovery tool used for identifying previously unrecognized relationships in the biomedical literature. It provides a new approach for hypothesis generation and creativity enhancement.

The group not only discussed how Semantic MEDLINE functions as a product or works with the literature, but how librarians can become more active and use Semantic MEDLINE to support users in new ways that will enhance their research capacity, making librarians even more integral in the research process. The group found this to be an extremely rewarding and positive experience and left feeling energized, having set in motion a good relationship that will allow them to continue working closely with NLM so that their libraries and the Region can be leaders as these new products become available to everyone.

Text provided by: Jon Goodell, Jason Bengtson, and Mark Hopkins
Photo by: Mark Hopkins

The Health Effects of Fracking

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Photo of natural gas frac wells

By Steve Beleu, Director, U.S. Government Information Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries

The immense growth in our nation of enhanced natural gas and oil recovery via the process popularly known as “fracking,” and more precisely known as “Hydraulic Fracturing,” has created an economic boom. “Shale oil” and “shale gas” is trapped within shale formations; injecting combinations of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure causes the shale to crack which then releases the gas or oil. But mismanaged fracking can also release hazardous chemicals into drinking water and air, and also cause small earthquakes. Here are some links to information about fracking in general and its potential adverse health effects.

Basic information about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Website updated on May 9, 2012.

Basic information about shale gas. It includes a chart that shows the current and projected future growth of shale gas production from about 2005 through 2040. EIA estimates that there will be a 44% increase in fracking.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. Website updated on December 5, 2012.

Map of “Lower 48” State Shale “plays” (a “play” is the name for a formation that contains trapped natural gas).
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. May 9, 2011.

Report about fracking and the risks to public health of fracking. Recommended for its technical explanations of fracking. September 5, 2012.
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office.

Report about the regulations of federal government and six states about the potentially hazardous effects of fracking.
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office. September 5, 2012.

Congressional report from the U.S. House of Representatives about the chemicals in fracking and their potential adverse health effects.
Source: U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. April 2011.

Charts and graphs about fracking.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. June 27, 2012.

The EPA project to study the effects on fracking on drinking water; widely reported by national and state media. Their report is due to Congress in 2014, but this is a website about it. Website updated on December 7, 2012/

EPA’s web page about the basics of fracking. Website updated on October 2, 2012

Selected free, full-text articles about fracking from the National Institute of Health’s PubMed Central (PMC) database. Using the search term “hydraulic fracturing” currently retrieves 89 articles; these are three of them. Basic web address of PubMed Central:

—“Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing”. Published in May 2011.

—“The Future of Fracking: New Rules Target Air Emissions for Cleaner Natural Gas Production”. Published in July 2012.

—“Blind Rush? Shale Gas Boom Proceeds Amid Human Health Questions”.  Published in August 2011.

LSUHSC-S: The Value of The Library

Monday, October 31st, 2011

LSUHSC Shreveport Library Logo

Share Your Story: LSU Shreveport Health Sciences Library

What’s the value of the LSU Health Shreveport (LSUHS) Health Sciences Library? It’s priceless! Our librarians always find new ways to serve the institution and the community.  Through a NNLM funded award, our librarians designed a program to educate children about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, reaching about 1,500 children so far. The program consisted of:

  • A website with health information, games, and activities for children selected by LSUHS librarians.
  • Story hours at local libraries and an area science museum that have so far focused on nutrition, exercise, germ prevention, heart health, and sun safety. Librarians select and read the stories, and develop companion activities and support materials.
  • Regular promotional displays (“Wellness Wednesday”) at local libraries to raise awareness about and other sources of reliable online consumer health information.

The Clinical Medical Librarian (CML) at LSUHS rounds with Internal Medicine in the hospital five days a week. Every day, the CML:

  • Reviews cases in the electronic medical record system for unusual microbiology, pathology, or radiology reports in an attempt to preempt faculty and resident information needs;
  • Provides literature for use at the point of care and provides literature reviews for follow-up questions;
  • Finds consumer health information for patients.

Her work at LSUHS was the topic of the study “The Effect of a Clinical Medical Librarian on Internal Medicine Care at LSUHSC-S.” The study tracked her efforts from June 2008 to November 2009, when her team saw 2200 patients, and she answered 334 questions, 58 of which directly changed the physician’s care of a patient (unpublished data), on 258 unique patients.

Whether it is treatment changing information provided by the CML or teaching children about healthy food and exercise, the LSUHS librarians provide a variety of valuable services to the institution and community.

Submitted by John Cyrus

UNTHSC Library: Working with Public Libraries

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Logo for the UNTHSC Library

Share Your Story: UNTHSC Library

Public libraries are struggling, not just financially but also to maintain relevancy in the digital age.  With that in mind, the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library Deputy Director Lisa M. Smith began collaborating with the North Texas Regional Library Partners in 2010.

The goal: Deliver in-person classes on online health literacy to patrpons and librarians within our 24-county NN/LM SCR outreach region.  The classes would not only help public libraries in rural and urban areas offer programming to their patrons but they would also offer staff training on how to resond to queries involving health. The classes also would help market public libraries as digital hubs that the public can turn to when looking for reliable health information. North Texas Regional Library Partners and library staff members, and 31 members of the general public at 18 public libraries spread over nine North Texas counties in March contacted the libraries and set up the class dates and times.  Lisa Smith and Outreach Librarian Jessie Milligan taught  81 public librarians in April, 2011.

Classes for patrons showed them how to evaluate websites as well as how to find reliable health information online through NLM/NIH websites.  The separate classes for librarians served as guides on why to turn to NLM/NIH websites when answering reference questions about health.

Submitted by Jessie Milligan

Project Spotlight: Charity Hospital Reports

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Charity Hospital Reports Logo

The Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences at Tulane University was fortunate to have the opportunity to digitize the historic Charity Hospital Reports under a Historical Preservation and Digitization award from the National Library of Medicine South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) for a project entitled Early Medical Journalism of Louisiana, A pilot project for the preservation and sharing of Nine-tenth Century Medical Publications of Louisiana.

The Reports from the New Orleans Charity Hospital were produced regularly for the state government of Louisiana from 1842-1974 and include a wealth of material on hospital administration and disease epidemics as well as vital statistics and public health information. The Charity Hospital Reports collection consists of 114 PDF items, each with searchable text and accessibility features. The Charity Hospital Reports were added to The Internet Archive and are available via the Rudolph Matas website:

The reports are also included in to the LOUISiana Digital Library Collection of Collections (LCOC). These items are of use not only to researchers in the fields of medicine and health, but also those researching the history and cultural impact of medical care in the New Orleans area.

Please help us learn more by completing this survey:

Special thanks to guest author Mary Holt, MLS. Coordinator, Information Services, Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences.

Charity Hospital Reports Header

Project Spotlight: LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport, A Chronological History

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Image of Old Hospital Building at LSU HSC S

The most recent digitization project undertaken at the LSU Health Sciences Center Medical Library was funded through a Technology Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region. This digital initiative focused on the founding, development and progress of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport.

The idea of a medical school located in north Louisiana was first discussed at a Shreveport Medical Society meeting on April 4, 1950, but politics, funding, and other obstacles delayed the establishment of this facility until June 7, 1965. The first class of 32 medical students began their studies in September 1969 in temporary classrooms at the Veterans Administration Hospital. This first class graduated in May 1973, two years before the medical school building was completed, bringing the 25-year struggle to a successful conclusion. Medical School alumni now number 3,300.

1981 Ground Breaking

The primary source materials that formed the nucleus of this project were drawn from the holdings of the Medical Library Archives and include correspondence, photographs, slides, newspaper articles, institutional publications, audio and videotapes, as well as three dimensional artifacts. Specific resources include the Gordon W. Maxcy Photograph Collection, several thousand newspaper clippings dating from the early 1960s, taped oral history interviews with Medical School founders and pioneers, and videotapes of memorable events including Dr. Edgar Hull’s last Faculty Council Meeting as Dean and the School of Medicine groundbreaking. More than 100 cubic feet of archival resources were searched to provide a fascinating glimpse into our past.

The NN/LM SCR Technology Award provided funding for equipment and services, including the digitization of the paper documents and the transfer of the audiovisual materials from analog to digital format. Technical and descriptive metadata was created for these digital surrogates, supplying much needed bibliographic control and subject access. These digital images provided unlimited possibilities as vehicles for education and publicity. Two of the more important applications were the Louisiana Digital Library and the Library’s history website, LSU Health Sciences Center –Shreveport: A Chronological History

Our digital images can be accessed in three format-based collections in the Louisiana Digital Library: the LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Audiovisual Collection, the LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Photograph Collection, and the LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport Newspaper Clippings. Researchers will find extensive information and images that highlight the people, places and events that document the history of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport.


The LSU Health Sciences Center –Shreveport: A Chronological History website provides another graphically rich source of information about the medical school’s history. Newspaper clippings reveal the unflagging loyalty of the local Shreveport physicians who fought long and hard to establish a medical school. Photographs document the groundbreaking, construction and dedication of the Medical School building. Audio and video clips bring life to important events in the medical school’s history.

While digitization efforts over the past five years have transformed a small portion of our growing archive, future digital initiatives will be necessary to reveal the numerous treasures still hidden in boxes and filing cabinet drawers. These newly digitized resources will be used to enhance and expand the historical website and allow us to share more of our collections through the Louisiana Digital Library.

For additional information, please contact Dee Jones at or 318-675-5458.

Special thanks to guest author Dee Jones, Head of Cataloging, LSU HSC Shreveport Medical Library.

Project Spotlight: Digitization of the Aristides Agramonte Collection on Yellow Fever

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Yellow Fever Banner

Last year the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Library – New Orleans received one of three Historical Preservation and Digitization Awards from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region. Their project was entitled: The Digitization of the Aristides Agramonte Collection on Yellow Fever.

The story of the Aristides Agramonte yellow fever collection at LSU Health Sciences Center – New Orleans is a sad one. Dr. Aristides Agramonte was a member of the US Army Yellow Fever expedition to Cuba, which gave the final proofs of the relation of the mosquito to the transmission of yellow fever. He had just accepted a professorship at the fledgling LSU School of Medicine when he died suddenly of a ‘heart affectation’ in August of 1931. His extensive personal library of books and journal articles, many devoted to the study of yellow fever, became the first materials acquired for LSU medical school library. In fact, the original name of the LSU Health Sciences Center Library was the Aristides Agramonte Memorial Medical Library.

Image from medical text

Dr. Agramonte’s personal library of yellow fever materials is now available as a searchable collection through the Louisiana Digital Library:
Over 130 books and journal articles dating back to the 1790s discuss the epidemiology and pathology of yellow fever. Books are included from authors such as Benjamin Rush, Carlos Finlay, the New Orleans Board of Health, and Aristides Agramonte.

image from medical text

Researchers interested in the history of medicine, yellow fever epidemics, tropical medicine and the development of the first scientific theory used to trace and find a cure for a communicable disease will find a special interest in this collection. The collection is full text searchable and includes items in English, Spanish, French and German.

Upon Dr. Agramonte’s death, the American Public Health Association noted that “in the death of Dr. Agramonte science has lost a devoted servant. His knowledge of tropical diseases and his great experience in the practical handling of them made him peculiarly fitted for the professorship he had just accepted.” Through this collection, we hope to share some of his knowledge. LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans is proud to offer this collection as a free resource.

Additional news about this project can be found in the recent LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network newsletter:$Content/Homepage+News+&+Announcements/$File/Newsletter%202011%20VOL20ISSUE1.pdf

Special Thanks to guest author Maureen Molly Knapp, Digital Projects Manager LSUHSC Library New Orleans

Figure 1: Color slides from Recherches sur la cause et la prophylaxie de la fievre jaune. (1903),6326
Figure 2: Color illustrations of yellow fever symptoms. From Yellow fever and malarial diseases embracing a history of the epidemics of yellow fever in Texas. (1876),10484