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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for August, 2012

Inspiring People in Our Region: Elsa M. López – VA Caribbean Healthcare System

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Elsa M. López, Ph.D.

Chief, Library Service & MHV Point of Contact
VA Caribbean Healthcare System
San Juan, PR

How long have you been a librarian?

I completed my Masters in Science in Library Science in December 1984, so I have 28 years of experience after the MSLS.

How long have you been at your current library/in your current position?

13 years

What made you decide to be a librarian?

I did not plan it. I started working in a library as a student assistant when I was a sophomore; later the University of Puerto Rico main campus recruited me as Assistant Librarian at the College of Pharmacy when I completed my BA. After that, when the College became part of the Medical Sciences Campus, I started working in the Reference Service; later my bosses encouraged me to go ahead and complete the MSLS. After completing my masters degree, I became the Head of Technical Services in the same library. From there I completed the NLM Associate Program in 1989, and finally the PhD in 1994. After completing this final degree I started teaching at the Library School. Later I accepted the position I presently have because wanted to have experience in a hospital library; that was the side of the medical librarianship profession where I had no experience.

I cannot say what made me decide to be a librarian because I never planned it. My experience working in a library drove me to this field. I enjoy and feel proud of my career since I have had the opportunity to work in every position a library has including training future librarians.

What do you consider your biggest work related challenge?

Technology. I had a full understanding of medical librarianship because of my experience, but creating a digital catalogue and making the library electronic has been the greatest challenge.

What do you consider to be the most fulfilling part of your job?

I have enjoyed every part of my work as a librarian, but teaching future librarians provides the greatest rewards. I am proud to say that some of my students have been interviewed in this medical center and people are surprised by their professionalism. So, the work done during library school, at least in my tenure, was great and I am proud to have taught them.

What do you see as the biggest concerns in health sciences librarianship?

A good medical librarian needs a lot of dedication to face many challenges. Librarians should be open to continuous learning through continuing education and self-education. Unfortunately salaries are not enough to attract people with the best qualities to the profession.

How did you first come to know NN/LM SE/A?

When I started working in libraries PR was part of Region 6 (Southern); so I remember the evolution of NN/LM SE/A from the beginning. Remember that I started working in libraries as an undergraduate student.

Has the NN/LM SE/A been of help to you?

Of course!!!!!!!!! It has been a great support and nowadays we cannot work without you!

Will you share a success story about your library?

I always told my students at the library school the importance of answering reference questions correctly. Based on a study I read while in my PhD program, I discovered that librarians answered just 43% of the reference questions correctly (this article was written in 1989), while clinical librarians were able to answer 96% of the questions correctly. Why that difference? Being a medical librarian, answering a question wrong could put the life of a patient at risk.

What advice would you give others who are interested in being a health sciences librarian?

To accept the challenge, once you are inside the profession you will learn to love it.

For more information, please contact Sheila Snow-Croft @

Holiday Closure: NLM and SE/A

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

This is just a reminder that NLM and SE/A will be closed on Monday, September 3rd, 2012 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Beyond the SEA: September 19, 2012 -The Electronic Health Record and My IHIS (Integrated Healthcare Information System) Adventure as a Physician Super User

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Date:  September 19th, 2012

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (EDT)

Presenter: Becky Mehling, MLS

Rebecca Mehling, MLS is the Medical Librarian at University Hospital East (UHE), part of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.  Ms. Mehling’s professional experience spans more than 25 years, most as the sole medical librarian in several hospital libraries.  She has been the sole medical librarian at UHE, where she is responsible for all library operations, since 2002. Before coming to UHE she served as a Consumer Health Librarian and Library Consultant, assisting several hospital libraries with the planning and design of their consumer health libraries, collection development, and training volunteer staff.  Prior to this she was the sole medical librarian at St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville, Ohio, which is now part of the Columbus (OH) based Mt. Carmel Health System.

Presentation: The Electronic Health Record and My IHIS (Integrated Healthcare Information System) Adventure as a Physician Super User

Implementing a hospital based electronic health record system (EHR-S) is fraught with many challenges.  This presentation will focus on a solo medical librarian’s role as a physician super user at one hospital, during the implementation phase (Go Live) of its EHR-S. IHIS is the hospital’s branded version of EPIC. The presentation will also cover the training she received to prepare her for her physician super user role during the initial month long Go Live EHR-S implementation.

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.

Funding Opportunity: Women’s Health Resources

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are partnering to increase the awareness and access to sex and gender differences research resources available from NIH and their 27 Institutes and Centers through the Women’s Health Resources Portal ( through a funding opportunity. The purpose of the Women’s Health Resources Dissemination Project is to design programs for creating and improving access to and use of sex and gender differences information for university and college students, faculty, librarians and health professionals. Emphasis is on providing information or access to health and medical information that is relevant and usable by the intended audience, and increasing the awareness and utilization of high-quality, professional-level online medical and public health information resource on sex and gender difference basic science, sex-specific studies, disparities, and inclusion research, including the NLM Women’s Health Resources Portal ( that serves as an access point to all NIH sex and gender differences resources. The purpose is also to promote new and creative collaborations between university / college and their library, specifically medical and Health libraries, to students and faculty to increase the knowledge and awareness of sex and gender differences in research design and reporting. University and colleges libraries may also increase information access to existing partnerships with outside organizations that are primarily focused on health and medical research.

All proposals must be received by September 10, 2012 at 12:00 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time). To find more information about this funding opportunity, see the links below:

1)       NIHLM2012431A-Partial Small Business Set-Aside

2)       NIHLM2012431B-Full and Open

2012 MAC Student Vision Scholarship

Monday, August 27th, 2012

The Membership and Recruitment Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MAC) of the Medical Library Association invites library students to apply for a conference scholarship to attend the 2012 MLA Quad Chapter Meeting which will be held from October 13-16th, 2012, at the Tremont Grant in Baltimore, MD. This is unique opportunity to attend a chapter meeting with several other chapters as MAC will be meeting with the Southern, Philadelphia, and New York/New Jersey Chapters of the Medical Library Association.

Students attending the conference are invited to explore the benefits of health sciences librarianship through interaction, networking, and mentorship. Special programming elements are being designed for student involvement. This unique opportunity for emerging professionals includes:

  • Ticket to New Member/Student Reception on October 13th, 2012


  • Ticket to the Welcome Reception on October 13th, 2012
  • Inclusive Registration for October 13 – 16, 2012
  • Conference buddy assignment


Five scholarships will be awarded. Along with complimentary registration for the Welcome Reception on October 13th and full-day registration from October 14th-16th , scholarship recipients will receive meals that are provided as part of the conference program.
The Student Vision Scholarship does not include travel expenses to the conference (airfare, mileage, or car rental), accommodations (hotel), or meals outside of conference programming on Oct 13th-16th  as defined above.

Eligibility Criteria:

Scholarship applicants must be:

  • A current library student:
    • Attending an ALA accredited library school in the MAC region or
    • Working in the MAC region and attending any distance education ALA accredited library school.
  • Full or part-time student
  • Willing to submit a ½ page report detailing their experience and impressions of the program to appear in the MAC Messages newsletter.
  • Committed to attend the New Member/Student Reception and Welcome Reception on October 13th and as much of the conference programming as possible

Submission Guidelines

To be considered for this award, applicants must:

  • Meet all the eligibility criteria
  • Obtain a letter of recommendation from a library school faculty member
  • Submit an essay (no more than 500 words) describing their interest in health sciences librarianship
  • Submit a current resume and cover letter

Deadline for Submission

Completed applications should be emailed to Shannon D. Jones and Ryan Harris, co-coordinators of the Student Vision Scholarship at by Friday, September 14, 2012. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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.