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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for June, 2012

Inspiring People in our Region: Rick Wallace - Quillen College of Medicine Library, East Tennessee State University

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Image of Rick Wallace

Rick Wallace, MA, MDiv, MAOM, MLS, EdD, AHIP
Assistant Director, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine Library

How long have you been a librarian?
I started working in a medical library in 1987. I have had the MLS since 1994.

How long have you been at ETSU in your current position?

What made you decide to be a librarian?
I just fell into it as a student who needed a job. I was a seminary student in a theological seminary. Some friends suggested I go to library school after I finished my MDiv. I thought I could be a theological librarian. This did not materialize, but opportunities opened up for me in medical librarianship, which I believe is my true calling.

What do you consider your biggest work related challenge?
I think it is selling a vision to (fill in the blank- administrators, health professionals, even librarians) of the enormous potential health science librarians offer to society in this information age.

What do you consider to be the most fulfilling part of your job?
Any kind of direct impact. I hate meetings, my office, committees, talking, administration, planning ad nauseum, etc. I love working with clinicians, teaching users, being out in the community.

What do you see as the biggest concerns in hospital and/or health sciences librarianship?
As hospitals and academics incorporate more of a profit-based motive instead of a values-based motive, libraries risk being seen as expensive cost centers that do not add to financial profits and are expendable. This would be tragic.

How did you first come to know NN/LM SE/A?
I kept hearing about it at conferences and from other medical librarians. It took me a few years to get all my N’s in a row- NLM, NN/LM, NN/LM SE/A.

Have the NLM resources and/or NN/LM SE/A been of help to you? If so, how?
I am a hard core NLM disciple. PubMed is my lifeblood and the best citation database in the world. MedlinePlus is the best consumer site on the Web. I am working on an MPH and PHPartners is a very useful site. I go to a lot of ETSU CME conferences and statewide conferences as an exhibitor and I might as well be representing NLM because almost everything I promote is an NLM product. I also use and promote everything from AIDSInfo to WISER. If it were not for the constant training opportunities and extramural funding I have received from NN/LM, my career would have been greatly reduced.

Will you share a success story about the impact of your library or outreach?
I have been involved in several projects I feel proud of. I created a project called “A Simple Plan” which was able to provide instruction for public librarians across the 500 mile width of Tennessee. We logged thousands of miles traveling over a 6 year period and had roughly 1000 attendees, including 250 who received the MLA Consumer Health Information Specialization for attending 12 hours of instruction. We have relationships, either contractual or through grants, with about 20 rural hospitals, 20 rural clinics and many of the public health departments in Tennessee to provide remote library access. Recently we have had several targeted consumer health information outreach programs to groups such as: 1.Hispanic farm workers; 2. teenagers in local high schools; 3. elderly patients and staff in nursing homes; and 4. cancer patients (by training their pastors to use health information tools). I have been involved in grant projects that have distributed PDAs with clinical software to about 320 clinicians in 24 Tennessee rural hospitals. None of this would have been possible without NN/LM.

What advice would you give others who are interested in being a health sciences librarian?
I would tell them it is a great profession populated by great people. I would say that health sciences librarianship uses a great diversity of personality types and skills and that they could probably find a role that suited their skills.

For more information, please contact Sheila Snow-Croft, NNLM, SE/A Public Health Coordinator @

Recorded Presentation: June 20, 2012 - Beyond the SEA: Centers for Disease Control’s Public Access and Digital Repository Project

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Date:  June 20, 2012

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (ET)

Presenter: LT Robert Swain is the Senior Knowledge Management Officer, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of Science Quality at the CDC in Atlanta, GA. He was previously the Knowledge Management Program Manager at the National Center for Public Health Informatics at the CDC and has been a Clinical Informationist at Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, served as a Public Health Informationist Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, and received his MLIS from the University of Alabama.

Presentation: Centers for Disease Control’s Public Access and Digital Repository Project

To better serve the information needs associated with public health the CDC has developed the CDC repository system known as CDC Stacks. Since information needs are so varied in public heath the documents housed in the repository must be equally broad. Digital collections were brought in from across the CDC so that they can be searched and discovered from one user interface. This webinar will focus on the development of the repository platform, working with groups at CDC to identify collections, and future plans for the repository.

Please click on the link below to hear the recorded presentation:

Beyond the SEA: July 18, 2012 – MEDLINE/PubMed: A Grab Bag of Tips and Tricks for Experienced Searchers

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Date:  July 18th, 2012

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (EST)

Presenter: Kate Majewski:

Kate Majewski works in the Bibliographic Services Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), developing training for PubMed and other NLM products.  She is originally from Buffalo, New York.  Kate has worked in libraries since 1989, first in State University of New York academic libraries (Buffalo and Delhi) then at NLM, focused primarily on Web development and instruction.  At Delhi she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship for her part in developing curriculum-integrated information literacy education for the Veterinary Science and Nursing programs.

Presentation: MEDLINE/PubMed: A Grab Bag of Tips and Tricks for Experienced Searchers:

This presentation offers a selection of lesser-known information about the MEDLINE record and PubMed indexing, and techniques to get the most out of PubMed and its related databases. Bring your questions!

How to get connected:

What do you need to join these conferences?

  • A computer (with Flash installed)
  • A telephone

How do I connect?
Go to this URL:
Enter as a Guest
Sign in with your first and last name
Follow the instructions in the meeting room to have Adobe Connect call your phone or call 1-800-605-5167 and enter the participant code 816440 when prompted.

LinkedIn: Networking with Communities of Interest

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

By Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows you to discover like-minded people and join discussions on specific topics. In addition to marketing yourself professionally, job seekers can update their profiles and include activities and a full range of interests. However, there is the potential to go even deeper with this professional tool and connect with different interest groups.

Finding groups can be tough but it can be worth your while to seek out like-minded individuals and groups. LinkedIn is a vast network with over 50 million members and more than 16,000 IT-related groups alone.[1] Under the Groups tab, you can search LinkedIn Groups using keywords. Searching the term “library” produced over 1400 potential groups. Joining these groups connects you to many people and allows you to start or participate in group discussions, which helps to keep you updated in the field.

Another great feature of LinkedIn is the ability to search for other groups you may like based on your existing contacts. There is also a Group Directory for searching. Some groups are open and others are members only, but each group that I’ve asked to join has readily accepted my request.

As Consumer Health Coordinator for the Region, I’m interested in a wide variety of consumer health and patient care topics. One of the classes I offer is the Canny Consumer, which contains a variety of resources in eHealth and patient informatics. I strive to keep informed of issues pertinent to the electronic medical record, health care reform, and the revolution of e-patients. If you’re also interested in consumer health or these topics, here are a few groups I have joined that you may be interested in:

  • Patient Navigator – With over 1000 members and a number of subgroups, this group discusses many issues surrounding what it means to be a patient today. Some of the recent topics were about speaking up at the doctor’s office, a patient harm Facebook group, the billing process and the new ICD-10 deadline, new tools for navigating cancer information, and many, many more.
  • Digital Health – As you can imagine, this group covers a wide range of interests. Recent topics included: medical and health apps, global health innovations, Bluetooth possibilities in the market, the most popular health app per country, and emergency workers scanning QR codes to access health information in Marin County, California.
  • eHealth Literacy – Health literacy is a topic near and dear to all of us in the Region. Some topics discussed recently were: how effective communication contributes to health equity, a vote on which sub-agency of the Department of Health and Human Services should be a top priority for plain writing improvement, and usability testing after the PlainTalk conference. Nancy Patterson, Community Outreach Coordinator, successfully received some great suggestions from the group when she asked about national bench marks for health literacy.
  • Connected Home Networking – Because I believe there is an upcoming revolution in consumer health and technology, I monitor this group’s discussions of broadband, telehealth, 3D technologies, and home health automation. There are some fascinating ideas being tossed around.

If you are already a member of LinkedIn, please do explore the options for connecting with groups of people with your shared interests. It is still a great networking tool and a place to connect with your peers, but with a little effort, it can be customized and used as a tool for other aspects of your professional life and interests. You may even want to create a group yourself. For more information, please contact Terri Ottosen @

Chat Services: Death of Meebo

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

By David Midyette, Outreach and Communications Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

Alas, our friend Meebo is leaving us for good (read more here: It can be a sad thing to see such a reliable service end, but thankfully there are many alternatives. Online chat has a much greater time depth than many people know. I remember, as a college student at Wake Forest back in the late 1980’s, using the messaging capability of the mainframe computer to “chat” with other students in the same room. Of course things are a bit different now, but it’s still the same concept just without the black screen, green text, and single line capabilities.

Jumping back thirty years into the present era, we are facing the loss of a chat service that has become rather ubiquitous in libraries. Meebo chat service will officially retire on July 11, 2012 and that oh, so memorable chirp from the notifier will fall silent. Luckily, chat technology is relatively consistent and there are multiple alternatives; some free and some at a cost. This is a good time to revisit your work needs as individuals and as institutions.

When looking at any of chat/reference products, there are some important questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I need a single person to monitor the chat or do I need multiple people to login at once?
  • Do I need a widget for people to chat via a webpage?
  • Do I want to access chat on my smart device?
  • Do I need to customize my widget?
  • Do I need a single service or do I need a suite of services?

Over the years, I have used many of the services listed below and I find that the last question in the list above is most important. As the head of reference at an academic institution, I worked to implement LibAnswers (Springshare had not integrated LibChat yet). I found it to be a highly flexible system that worked well with a large, distributed population. We also implemented Libraryh3lp because Meebo caused an issue when someone else logged in (I almost lost a patron in mid-chat). I found that Libraryh3lp solved many issues by allowing multiple people to monitor the chat widget. I also used a Digsby widget in my LibGuides profile to provide specialized reference chat to my health science departments. These experiences are, of course, my own and not intended as a recommendation. Everyone has unique needs and preferences in their institutions, in their daily work flows, and in their patron preferences.

Here are some of the alternatives you might want to consider when looking at a Meebo replacement:

Digsby ( – This is one of the more popular chat tools, but it does require that you install a client on your computer. It allows you to manage multiple chat services, e.g. Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, etc., manage multiple email providers, and can provide updates from LinkedIn and Twitter. It does have a notifier and widget, and it can even send SMS (phone text messages).

Pidgin ( – An open-source chat tool that allows you to manage your various chat services. It also requires an installation on your computer and covers all of the major chat services.

IMO ( – An online service much like Meebo which does not require an install. You have the ability to access both chat services as well as other social media tools, e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Additionally, there is an app for this service on Apple, Android, and Blackberry. It interfaces with Skype but does not have a widget.

Zoho Chat ( – This is from the Zoho Creators group and is highly flexible. It provides a widget and access to most of the major chat services. You can customize the widget to your liking, select a background for your page, and set the notifications to your desired preferences. It has a unified login for the Zoho suite which allows you to access their plethora of additional services.

Trillian ( – An older chat aggregator with several levels of service. There is the free version, which requires a download, and allows you to manage multiple chat services. It also has an app for all of the major smart devices, but there is no widget to embed. The service does have a web version, and the upgrade to the Pro version is relatively inexpensive.

Libraryh3lp ( – This is a service developed by librarians in North Carolina to provide a unified chat interface. They have a native chat client or you can use any of the other chat services to access the system. There is a cost associated with this product, but it is based on FTE and is geared towards libraries and non-profits. This makes it a highly affordable solution. They provide a community forum and there is constant support and upgrade notification. This is a solution for people needing multiple individuals covering a chat function, e.g., a busy reference desk or staff spread across multiple sites.

LibAnswers w/ LibChat ( – Springshare is adding a chat function to their LibAnswers product. This adds a chat function to their reference management system which already includes a text-based (SMS) reference service.

Selecting the proper chat tool requires some exploration and seeking the help/input of others. If you have any questions or need any guidance in selecting the appropriate tool, please contact me @

Last updated on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016

Funded under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012340 with the University of Maryland, Health Sciences and Human Services Library, and awarded by the DHHS, NIH, National Library of Medicine.