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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for October, 2012

Share Your Success: Librarians and Libraries from a Resident Perspective

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

By Chief Medical Residents: Dr. Gurpreet Sodhi and Dr. James Croffoot, Inova Fairfax Hospital

Submitted by Meredith Solomon, Medical Librarian, Inova Fairfax Hospital,

Internal medicine physicians are often faced with questions in medicine that are beyond their experience. The answers require the assistance of a specialist but can sometimes be answered with the assistance of consultants, books, or journal articles. In this day and age, the younger generation, as a product of the Internet/media age, has a tendency to “just Google it or Wikipedia it.”  These are easy to use, and will often give us a quick answer. But, is that safe for our patients? Is that safe for our education? The quick and easy route is not always the best route.

Traditionally, we are taught to investigate “evidence based medicine.” What does that mean for the younger generation of doctors? An initial thought from residents/interns these days is “Well, I just don’t have time to go looking up journal articles and books and stuff. I have to see so many patients.” This step is usually the rate-limiting step that hinders most young physicians who are accustomed to “Googling”.

Chief residents find themselves in an awkward position early in their year. As we work with the new residents, we find it challenging to help them find the evidence that will help answer their patient questions since we are just recent graduates of residency programs ourselves. We too are a product of this quick way of attaining an answer to quick questions that arise during medical practice. We just finished 3 years of using Up-To-Date and Google during beside rounds. As chief residents, we learn to adapt.

To help ourselves and the new residents, we to our librarians, the professionals. Librarians are an invaluable resource to help make physicians more comfortable with databases such as PubMed. While some may say “oh just put in this word and that word” we often cannot find the article that will DIRECTLY answer our question. Librarians are an important resource and asset to physicians as they help us achieve direct answers to the thousands of questions that arise every day. Furthermore, they take the time to show the route to finding the necessary information.

Teaching skills such as these are invaluable to professionals who can be truly too busy to independently navigate systems such as PubMed or MEDLINE and who do not have years of experience under their belt. Intrinsically, we want to use evidence base medicine; use the journals/articles/books – what have you to translate that information into deliverable clinically relevant and practicable information for our patients. We, as the physicians, are also frequently the patient and we want the same quality of information to support our care! Let’s face it, do you want to be a patient where a doctor is taking care of you based on the information s/he uses from Google, when in fact it takes 5 minutes to look up the same answer on PubMed/MEDLINE (evidence based medicine) that a librarian can easily help you navigate?

Share Your Success: If You Build It Right, The Lawyers Won’t Come

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

By Carolyn Schubert, Health Sciences and Nursing Librarian, James Madison University

As the liaison for Health Sciences and Nursing, I am constantly receiving more and more requests for video resources demonstrating health assessment, counseling, and other procedures.  While publishers like Alexander Street Press and Films on Demand are facilitating some of these demands, the copyright laws for streaming other media is an ugly quagmire, as UCLA found out.  So how can my Nursing faculty teach an online elective course about the image of nurses in American media?  Also, how can I ensure universal accessibility to these media resources for our diverse population?  And what is my role in navigating these murky waters?

Collaborating with our Center for Instructional Technology, the Director of Media Resources, the faculty member and myself, we were able to brainstorm and research legal alternatives for some media titles for the interdisciplinary nursing and media studies course.  Getting streaming rights for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is far beyond the budget of our primarily undergraduate institution.  However, I was able to help the faculty member research alternative arenas, such as Netflix, Amazon’s Instant Video, and Hulu.  By exploring these resources, we found that we could “MacGyver” a solution.

The next step was trying to conceptualize how to explain to students that they would need to connect through these alternative mediums.  Ultimately, the faculty member was able to explain the short-term, 2-month subscription or video rental from these services as being analogous (but infinitely cheaper) than purchasing a textbook.  These individual acquisitions also remove the library’s copyright situation of trying to digitize and stream media through our learning management system.

From a larger perspective, effective use of media relies on structuring the media in an accessible format for all patrons.  In the past year, I have had to evaluate various video streaming products. Many of us have struggled with the file format face-offs such as Beta vs. VHS or HD DVD vs. Blu-ray; streaming media presents similar challenges, such as cross-browser compatibility, cross-platform compatibility, and video file format and player compatibility.  These technical issues are just the beginning.  Previous experience at a highly diverse community college introduced me to the accessibility issues related to creating media resources. As a public institution, we had to comply with the 508 regulations regarding accessibility.

In my current position, I was able to initiate discussion with product vendors, inform them of the compliance issues, and review what other products were in compliance.  While my campus won’t be setting the tone regarding eBook adoption, requiring accessibility components is something I can do to protect the investment of my institution.  Also, this topic led me to explore what I could do to make my own tutorials compliant. With the Director of Instruction and the Instruction Committee and using what I had previously learned, I developed workflows and best practices for new tutorials.

In this new age of librarianship, I find myself having to address media resource questions, not just the traditional literature or research processes.  As more of my faculty contemplate creating their own tutorials or having students create their own digital stories, I can rely on these experiences to help prepare everyone working with these new technologies and developing new literacies.

Share Your Success: Library and Department Partnerships at the University of South Carolina

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

By Sarah Fletcher Harper MA, MLIS, Web Services Librarian, School of Medicine Library, University of South Carolina

With library budgets shrinking due to the economy and positions being frozen, librarians are finding themselves filling new and non-traditional roles. I find myself in such a role as the Web Services Librarian at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. We are a small community- based medical school founded in 1977 with a focus on primary care. A unique feature of the medical school is that we are the first program in the country to integrate ultrasound training into all four years of our curriculum. Our program was established in 2006 through a partnership with GE Healthcare. The medical school is the academic home for the Society of Ultrasound in Medical Education (SUSME) whose mission is to promote the use of ultrasound in medical education through development of educational experiences, research on outcomes, and distribution of results. The School of Medicine hosted the First World Congress on Ultrasound in Medical Education in 2011 with over 400 attendees from 26 countries; the second world congress is planned for the fall of 2013.

In 2008 the library was facing severe budgets cuts and a hiring freeze. The Web Services Librarian position was vacant and the duties had been reassigned to one of the assistant directors. The Dean was trying to grow the ultrasound program and the website needs of the program were outpacing what the school of medicine IT department could provide. The Dean approached the Library Director about cost sharing the vacant position in exchange for support for the Ultrasound Institute and Society of Ultrasound in Medical Education websites. An agreement was made and I was hired in 2009.

My library responsibilities include maintaining the library website, providing reference assistance, service on University and School of Medicine Committees, development of LibGuides, participation in library instruction, and scholarly requirements for tenure. My ultrasound responsibilities include attendance at weekly ultrasound team meetings, maintenance of websites for the Ultrasound Institute, SUSME, the First and Second World Congresses on Ultrasound in Medical Education as well as the Ultrasound Education for Anatomy and Physiology Conference.

This dual role between the library and the ultrasound program has worked very well and has had unexpected outcomes that have been beneficial to the library and the ultrasound program. It has evolved to include assisting the ultrasound team with research and literature searching, development of a wiki to assist them with their research, staffing the SUSME booth at various conferences, and assisting with a partnership with the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine on a 2013:Year of Ultrasound campaign. In addition to this I have been included as a co-author on two journal articles written by the ultrasound team. I assist with visits from other medical schools looking to implement ultrasound into their curriculum and I was recently elected as Secretary of SUSME.

This partnership has benefited the library and the ultrasound program and met both of their needs well. Each group now has a dedicated person available to meet their web design needs. Providing web support to a high priority project of the dean gives the library valuable political clout. It has been a great new way for the library to connect with new users in the ultrasound program that it may not have otherwise reached and has been an innovative way to adapt to a difficult budget environment. Personally it has been a very rewarding experience for me. Being in a dual role means that I am always tackling new and different challenges every day and developing skills in areas that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity.

Beyond The SEA: November 14th, 2012 - Developing an Infrastructure for Information Support for Clinical and Translational Researchers

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Date:  November 14th, 2012

Time:  Noon to 1:00 pm (EDT)

Presenters: Michele Tennant, Jennifer Lyon, Rolando Milian, Hannah Norton

Michele Tennant, PhD, MLIS, AHIP, is the Assistant Director for Biomedical and Health Information Services with the Health Science Center Libraries and Bioinformatics Librarian with the University of Florida’s Genetics Institute. As head of the department, Michele works with 9 librarians to develop and implement information services for the researchers, students and clinicians of the six colleges of the Health Science Center. As Bioinformatics Librarian, she serves the information needs of genetics researchers at UF. Michele received her PhD in Biology from Wayne State University, and her MLIS from UCLA, and is active in both the Medical Library Association and Special Libraries Association. She is the PI on the NNLM grant “Developing an Infrastructure for Information Support for Clinical and Translational Researchers”, and led the external and general information assessments described in this presentation.

Jennifer A. Lyon, MS, MLIS, AHIP, is the clinical research librarian at the Health Science Center Libraries at the University of Florida. She is responsible for supporting the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and also serves as the liaison librarian to the departments of Emergency Medicine and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. She has nearly 12 years’ experience as a bioinformatics and clinical librarian, providing information services at the point-of-care for various hospital units while also working with laboratory researchers. She has hands-on experience in both clinical and biological research, holding an MS in Molecular Biology (UW-Madison) as well as her MLIS (UNCG). Additionally, she has taken formal coursework in the M.Ed. program at Vanderbilt. She is a co-PI on the NNLM grant “Developing an Infrastructure for Information Support for Clinical and Translational Researchers.”

Rolando Milian, MLS, AHIP, is the Basic Biomedical Sciences Librarian/ Liaison at the Univ. of Florida Health Sciences Center Library. After obtaining his B.S. in Biology at the University of Havana, Cuba, he worked for seven years at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana on projects related to the effect of cytokines on Human Papillomavirus-associated diseases. At the Health Sciences Center Libraries, he provides liaison librarian services including bioinformatics support to the faculty, post-docs, staff and students in selected basic biomedical sciences departments and academic programs in the Health Science Center such as the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology;  Neuroscience; Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine; and Physiology and Functional Genomics, among others. He is co- PI on the NNLM grant “Developing an Infrastructure for Information Support for Clinical and Translational Researchers”, and led the bioinformatics needs assessments described in this presentation.

Hannah Norton, MSIS, AHIP, is an Assistant University Librarian at the University of Florida Health Science Center Library, serving primarily as librarian liaison to the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Medicine. Her research interests include library support for e-science and data curation in the health sciences, library-based bioinformatics support, and the library as place.  Hannah has recently been appointed chair of UF’s Data Curation and Management Task Force.  She holds a B.A. in Biology from Carleton College and an M.S. in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co- PI on the NNLM grant “Developing an Infrastructure for Information Support for Clinical and Translational Researchers”, and led the data management needs assessments described in this presentation.

Presentation: Developing an Infrastructure for Information Support for Clinical and Translational Researchers

This presentation will focus on the work done to develop an information support program for clinical and translational medicine researchers at the University of Florida. The work was funded in part through an award from the NN/LM SE/A and addresses the challenges of understanding and meeting the information needs of researchers working in a rapidly expanding field of medical inquiry.

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.


Share Your Success: Lactivate your library! Experiences and outcomes of a non-traditional service

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

by Lea Leininger, Health and Life Sciences Reference Librarian, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

Several years ago, an administrator sent an email to faculty and staff at my library.  He asked for suggestions on how to use a small, windowless room that was coming up for grabs.  My response probably raised some eyebrows.  I asked for a lactation room.   Even though the UNCG student population is predominantly female, and even though we have female employees working in cubicles and other public settings, the campus had no private space dedicated to moms who needed to express milk when away from their babies.  That lack was understandable.  There is a lot of competition for space on university campuses with so many pressing needs.  How many UNCG women are having babies then breastfeeding?  There were no records for that group, but it sounded miniscule.

The response from library administration surprised me. It wasn’t an outright no. It was a qualified no.  They had decided on another use for the room in question.  But they were open to providing a campus wide service that isn’t normally associated with libraries.  Administrators asked me to submit a more detailed plan with participation from campus partners, for instance Student Health Services and licensed health professionals.

I started contacting faculty, health professionals, and service providers around campus.  People from all over campus came together to review lactation room policies from other universities and create a sustainable plan: the director of the UNCG Center for Women’s Health and Wellness, the assistant director and the dietician from Student Health Services, the chair of the UNCG Faculty Senate Benefits Committee, faculty and a few students from nursing, nutrition and public health education, a human resources administrator, and a key member of the library Access Services Department.  Our group presented a plan to University Libraries administrators.  If they could supply a private, lockable space with an electrical outlet, we could supply other basic needs. The campus would have a lactation room and a breastfeeding committee.

In March 2009 the Jackson Library Nursing Mother’s Room opened for business.  Ann Perdue, the Jackson Library Stacks and Remote Storage Manager, and I are the main contact people for the room.  We respond to questions, give optional room orientations, and serve on the Breastfeeding Committee.  Ms. Perdue and I have donated our offices to moms in need several times when the room was already in use.  I monitor the library web page for the room and contact our web editor periodically to arrange updates.  Ms. Perdue collects sheets from the optional but highly encouraged sign in log that is kept in the room, plus a brief survey that is also kept in the room.  She takes care of the simpler requests (“please add another chair to the room”) and forwards sign in sheets and survey responses to Dr. Paige Hall Smith, the chair of the Breastfeeding Committee. Dr. Smith donates research assistant labor for compiling depersonalized data about room visits and needs.

Responses have been very encouraging.  From March 2009 through February 2012, 50 people signed into the room log. The number of room users has increased each year. 749 separate visits were logged during that period.  Lactation room business has been booming.  Moms leave wonderful thank you messages and helpful requests.  Some requests have been easily accommodated (paper towels – not a problem for housekeepers to supply during routine visits).  Other requests remain on the back burner.  There are other amenities that could be added, but this space is integrated as simply as possible into existing services and processes.

One of my informal measures of success is enthusiasm about the room encountered while performing one of my more traditional roles – providing library instruction.  I’ve had course instructors ask me to discuss the room “because one of my students is pregnant” and mention the room as a positive example of a change supporting healthy behaviors.

Dr. Smith recently expanded the Breastfeeding Committee.  She invited decision makers from the campus office of space planning to join the group so that we could get serious about requests for more rooms.  She spearheaded efforts to add 4 more  lactation rooms!  UNCG now offers three dedicated lactation rooms and two flexible spaces (lactation space can be supplied upon request).

My job as Health and Life Sciences Reference Librarian keeps me more than busy, so my role in the recent expansion has been limited to participating in some of the planning meetings and reassuring the newbies.  Breastfeeding moms don’t require the campus to supply expensive amenities, though moms would gladly use any that could be supplied.  So far there have been no biohazard incidents.  Housekeepers haven’t reported any messes.  Lactivists aren’t flashing ta-tas all over campus.  Other populations on campus aren’t protesting the availability of these spaces. No library employees have freaked out and required therapy as a result of interacting with patrons on their way to bare a breast.

For myself, it’s nice to have that extra connection with students and with the health faculty on campus.  I like the fact that my library is willing to give up a little space in order to play a non-traditional role in the lives of students and employees.

I highly recommend providing this kind of service to your patrons.  If your library already provides a café to make the building more welcoming or offers other non-traditional spaces, why not include a lactation room?  It’s a natural fit with library facilities and policies.  It can be a very basic, low maintenance space.  It increases library visibility and prestige on campus.  It can help a campus comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act as updated in 2010 by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,  i.e., supply a private space, not a bathroom, to nursing mom employees.  Plus, you’ll be in good company.  Other university and college libraries are doing it, too! You can find examples with a quick Google search for lactation room library

Want more info?

  • Workplace Lactation – Handy toolkit with practical information on getting started. From Corporate Voices for Working Families.
  • Business Case for Breastfeeding – Pre-PPACA-era toolkit for building a lactation program. From the U.S. D.H.H.S. Office on Women’s Health
  • Break Time For Nursing Mothers – Description and interpretation includes space requirements. From the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.



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.