I am starting very early on my priorities as President. I am not yet officially President elect (that happens at this MLA) and the current President elect (soon to be President) Linda Walton has not officially released her priorities. But, ever since I was nominated I have been thinking about my priorities.
As I mentioned I am early to the Presidential priority party, but I want to start early because I think it will take me a while to refine them.
Here is very unofficial rough timeline of the Presidential priorities.
- President Elect year – Attend MLA Board meetings to get familiar with current issues happening within MLA. Work with the rest of the Board to help the current President and with his/her priorities. Start thinking of and create my own Presidential priorities and present them to the Board.
- Presidential year – Present the priorities to the membership and create task forces or have committees assigned to help achieve the priorities.
- Past Presidential year – The priorities work from the task forces, committees, etc. either wind down or evolve. With the help of the rest of the Board, work with the task forces or committees as they wind down or evolve.
In a nutshell I have one year to think of my priorities, one year to get them started and see them to their completion or evolution. In reality not every Presidential priority is able to finish in that timeline. It would be difficult and unwise to abandon unfinished priorities from previous Presidents. Some priorities can be finished within a year, but others require several years to finish, or they evolve into regular, ongoing MLA activities (committee charges, HQ staff assignments, etc.)
While I am looking at my predecessors’ Presidential priorities I want to also take into account the MLA membership’s thoughts on what my priorities should be.
I am asking MLA members to think about what my Presidential priorities should be as they relate to MLA’s mission. Please keep in mind, I will also be working on previous priorities AND there is a bit of time crunch unless I go mad with Presidential power and throw the bylaws out the window and declare myself the Monarch of MLA. (Just kidding…but it is a catchy name)
Rome was not built in a day. My ultimate goal, independent of any priority, is to help others and inspire them to be active and work to better MLA and medical librarianship. I think of it a bit like this…. One snow flake is small and easily melts by itself, but when it is packed in a snowball with other snow flakes as it rolls down a hill, it becomes a stronger force to be dealt with. I cannot do it alone.
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(cross posted in a lot of places)
Virtual Projects for JMLA Column by March 15, 2014
The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) Virtual Projects Committee is seeking innovative and notable projects for the upcoming JMLA Virtual Projects column. The annual column which was launched in October 2013 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3794676/) focuses on library virtual spaces that extend the library “presence” outward to support users in their digital spaces, wherever and whenever needed.
The JMLA welcomes submissions of recent projects for the Virtual Projects column that will be published October 2014. To be considered for this column, please submit a 200 word abstract of your virtual project or a link to your project web page that describes the project and why it is innovative/notable. Send your submissions to Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, email@example.com, by MARCH 15, 2014.
Some examples of virtual library projects :
- projects that demonstrate the integration of evidence and/or digital content and library services into the institution’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) as part of the treatment and care process
- projects related to providing new technologies, such as libraries providing collections and tools to support 3D printing or offering 3D services (‘makerspaces’)
- projects that improve the quality of the library’s web presence through the implementation of a new web design, feature, or tool, such as animation, user interactivity or webpage/site builders
- projects that facilitate information discovery and content delivery (e.g, use of web-scale discovery or knowledge bases)
Please consider sharing your knowledge and experiences with implementing virtual projects in your library to inspire and encourage your peers, partners, and communities!
JMLA Virtual Projects Committee:
Janis Brown, AHIP
Michelle Kraft, AHIP
Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA
Elizabeth Whipple, AHIP
A friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to this post, “NASCAR knows more about Twitter than you do.” A title like that just begged me to read it. You know what? Stephanie Foster’s post is right on the money. NASCAR is doing everything right with Twitter while so many companies, organizations, and sporting leagues have failed.
Some of NASCAR’s keys to success:
- A very open and liberal Twitter policy.
NASCAR not only allows their people to tweet they want them to do it. Foster states, “Unlike other professional sports leagues, NASCAR allows — even encourages — its drivers to tweet, right up until “game time,” the moment the driver gets in the car. In a November 2012 interview with ESPN, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said, “We encourage our drivers to participate in social media. We feel we have the most liberal social media policy in all of sports, and the access we provide is the best in all of sports.”
I am very curious as to whether they have some sort of Twitter boot camp available to their drivers, teams and specialists. NASCAR is not adverse to fining drivers or others for inappropriate behavior or tweets, but it seems with their very open policy we would be more controversy and inappropriate tweets compared to other leagues that have stricter policies.
- Full scale integration of Twitter.
NASCAR didn’t just say it was OK to tweet, they assimilated it into their sport. Foster writes, “NASCAR became the first professional sports league to sign an official partnership with Twitter. The largest initiative was the launch of a platform that collected tweets from drivers, media and fans that allowed even faster engagement on the site. NASCAR also made Twitter a real marketing priority, painting drivers’ Twitter handles on the cars, hosting Twitter-only contests and race day “tweetups,” and allowing fans to tweet questions to race analysts during pre- and post-game programming.” (Read an article about NASCAR’s Fan and Media Engagement Center on race day…kind of interesting.) Now compare that with MLB’s social media policy prohibiting the linking to or use of images, MLB sites, etc. without obtaining MLB’s permission. MLB missed the mark entirely, you want people to go to the MLB sites, you want them to see your product. Twitter is a conversation, if you must get permission to link to an MLB site then the conversation is stunted. I get MLB’s thinking, they are worried about brand association. However, I would think NASCAR is equally concerned about their brand, yet the two organizations approach to their bran on social media is vastly different.
One thing that Foster doesn’t directly mention but is the whole driving force between successful Twitter campaigns and languishing ones is engagement. Foster describes the engagement with the fan when she discusses NASCAR’s policies and integration with Twitter. The liberal policy opens up the opportunity to engage people. The integration is important but not everyone is NASCAR and have the ability to integrate so fully with Twitter. The engagement with the fans is the reason why NASCAR went for full integration with Twitter. Engagement is such a tricky area for many companies, hospitals, librarians, and others to master. Until recently, engagement with consumers was not so immediate and usually did not lend itself to be so public at the press of an enter key. Companies, hospitals, universities, and regular people were used to having far more control over the discussion and message. Not so on Twitter. Twitter is all about engaging with people and also giving up some control on how your message is disseminated and perceived. That is why organizations or people who only promote their activities fail at getting their message. They are no better than spam. Organizations or people who don’t RT or respond to tweets, whose Twitter or Facebook accounts are black hole where only messages are posted but never replied to miss the point. You must engage with people for them to stay interested and keep following.
While the post talks about NASCAR’s use of Twitter to engage its users, the principle of engagement is still applicable to librarians, hospitals, universities and library vendors.
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(post duplicated on http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/)
One day you are Katrina and the Waves and you are “Walkin’ on Sunshine” everything is good and falling into place. Your searches are matching up just perfectly with MeSH, patrons are writing thank you emails, the CEO just praised you, and a new project is going like gang busters. Life in the library is perfect.
BUUUT the next day (or week) you are Joan Jett growling, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” as nothing you do seems to be working. PubMed keeps crashing, patrons are upset because you can’t get the article from the Journal of Big Toe Science written in Hindi rushed the same day and translated into English, your budget was cut more than expected, and administration or IT (take your pick) throws cold water all over your pet project. Life in the library is like a bad relationship.
Like any career, medical librarianship has its ups and downs. Friday is Valentine’s Day and to get in the spirit the #medlibs Twitter chat group will be having fun discussing our love/hate relationships with medical librarianship.
So grab some wine and chocolate, after all it is the day before Valentine’s Day and curl up with your laptop and chat with us this Thursday 9pm eastern. Don’t forget to follow the word #medlibs to watch and participate in the discussion. Lurkers and late arrivals are welcome. Nikki Dettmar and I will be moderating and we look forward to seeing you online.
For more information or questions tweet @eagledawg or @krafty or drop us an email.Share on Facebook
I haven’t done a Friday Fun post in a really long time. These last two weeks have been rough. Discussions about library closings and the weather playing havoc with work and school days, we are overdue for some fun.
This has nothing to do with libraries, but it puts a smile on my face and that is all I am trying to do. So enjoy.
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Many have been wondering what MLA has done for them regarding government lobbying and trying to advocate for the profession.
IF you are a member of MLA, it isn’t hard to find out what MLA is doing in this area. Simply go to the Annual Reports and look for the Government Relations Committee (GRC) report. I have posted edited versions of their full report (edited due to space) here. Check out their entire report, which shows how much more they are doing.
In the 2009/2010 report they…
- Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NIH funding, patient safety, health information technology, etc.
- Distributed three action alerts urging support for NIGH funding and FRPAA.
- Planned a legislative update day for the 2010 meeting. Where MLA’s Washington representatives and Health Medicine Counsel of Washington provide key issues and information to members participating in MLA’s Capitol Hill Day.
- Planned Capitol Hill Day for 2010 Annual Meeing. MLA members were given briefing packets, fact sheets and other information resources to use in their Hill visits.
- Connie Shardt wrote Senators John Cornyn and Joe Lieberman expressing support for S. 1373
- Requested opportunity to present testimony in Washington DC on behalf of MLA in support of NLM’s Fiscal Year 2011 appropriation
- Hope Barton co‐chaired, along with J. Michael Homan, a working group of the task force to develop the statement, “Health Sciences Libraries and Health Care Reform: Providing Quality
Information for Improved Health.” http://www.mlanet.org/government/gov_pdf/2009_july_hlthcarerefrm.pdf
- Educated Congress and relevant federal and international agencies about importance of maintaining fair use in digital environment in support of health care, education and research
In 2010/2011 they some of the things they did were…
- Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NIH Public Access Policy, America COMPETES, meaningful use of electronic health records.
- MLA and AAHSL prepared testimony in support of NLM’s appropriation which was submitted to the House and Senate L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittees
- Requested opportunity to present testimony Washington, DC on behalf of MLA in support of NLM’s Fiscal Year 2012 appropriation
- Educated Congress about the role that funding for the National Library Medicine plays in support of our nation’s health care, education and research and the role health sciences librarians play
- MLA sent a joint letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Science and Technology expressing concern about the public access provision section 123 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010.
- In response to GAO September 2010 report (GAO-10-947) MLA, AALL and SLA wrote a to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Protection Agency (EPA) library network.
In 2011/2012 the GRC reported they…
- More than 30 public policy updates have been distributed through the GRC and Legislative Task Force listservs
- Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NIH and NLM funding, EPA’s Strategic Plan for its library network, Rederal Research PUblic Access Acts
- An Action Alert was distributed on the Research Works Act
- Submitted House testimony in March and Senate testimony in April on NLM Fiscal Year appropriation
- Developed of the association’s annual testimony to the House Labor -HHS-Education Appropriation Subcommittee and distributed current fact sheets, statistics, and anecdotal information with Congressional staff during Legislative Task Force Capitol Hill meetings each year.
In 2012/2013 the GRC reported they…
- Published public policy updates in MLA Focus (lots of Focus issues listed) including NLM funding, impact of sequestration, Orphan Works, Meaningful use of Electronic Health Records.
- Provided updates on FRPAA legislation, the Research Works Act, and OSTP initiatives related to public access policies
- MLA and AAHSL submitted a joint statement to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies in March and to testimony to the Senate in April supporting NLM funding
- Signed two group letters to Congress expressing concern about the impact of continued cuts on the NIH, urging Congress to support a balanced approach to deficit reduction that avoids further cuts.
- MLA and AAHSL wrote to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations; Labor -HHS-Education and Related Agencies Submicommittees, etc. over concerns about the sequestration.
- MLA signed onto an Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research letter expressing the research community’s concerns with several provisions related to the NIH appropriations bill
- MLA signed onto a Coalition for Health Funding letter to Congress
As I mentioned this is just a snap shot of their submitted reports. My fingers could not type everything and this blog is too small for the reports in their entirety. To read the GRC’s complete annual reports, detailing their activities go to MLA’s Annual Reports page, click on a year then click on Committees and look for the Government Relations Committee. Also click on Add Hoc Committees and Task Forces to see what the Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force is also doing in this area as well. To get a better idea of what MLA had done in ways of advocacy and policy check out their Information Issues and Policy page.
All of the MLA staff work to help advocate for medical libraries and librarianship, but they do have one staff person who is responsible for government relations and she works with the Government Relations Committee and MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force. If you are concerned about medical libraries and librarians and would like advocate for them to the government and other political agencies then I am sure the Government Relations Committee would love to have your help. Although the deadline to officially join a committee has past (October 31st), perhaps you can contact somebody on the committee for more information on how you can be of help advocating for the profession.
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Recently there has been a lot of discussion on the medical library email listserv about the closure of another hospital library. Also in the news the CBC reported on the reprehensible state of their Health Canada library.
“Health Canada scientists are so concerned about losing access to their research library that they’re finding workarounds, with one squirrelling away journals and books in his basement for colleagues to consult.”
Not only are the collections missed by researchers but the librarians as well. Multiple researchers commented to the CBC on how important the librarians are to their research.
“My staff can do so much in sort of Googling around and trying to find this and that or stuff that may come into us. But being able to use the experts and to get their assistance makes a world of difference.”
Like the cuts made to hospital libraries, Health Canada states the cuts were made to save money. However there is a question as to whether those cuts indeed saved Health Canada any money. The CBC reports, “One of the stated goals of Health Canada’s contracting out of library services was to save money. According to the report, though, the new arrangement is more expensive.”
I have seen this happen in American hospitals that cut libraries AND American hospitals that don’t understand how to work with their librarians. A hospital cuts the library believing it is a way to save money. They often end up licensing duplicate online databases, journals, or delivery services. Fail to understand the nuances of negotiating library resources and end up with a poor deal. They fail to to get a decent ROI because they haven’t properly supported and integrated the resource into the system. Why pay thousands of dollars for an online journal that nobody knows exists because you didn’t set up the IP addresses and just handed out the username and password to a few physicians that asked? Another favorite of mine is a department buying a database for several thousand dollars, hoarding it among their employees in their department and then wondering why it was only used once a month.
The discussion on the medlibs listserv seemed to center around the question about what can be done about the situation and who should be doing it. What can individual librarians do and what should MLA be doing to get hospitals, administrations, governing and standards organizations to keep libraries in hospitals. Several people wrote that MLA should be doing more for hospital librarians and work to get the library back in the JCAHO standards or other accreditation organizations.
First I want to say that any medical librarian that believes the our salvation lies with getting JCAHO to reinstate the library as a requirement in hospitals is waiting for something that will never happen. JCAHO has moved on. It is a dead issue. It isn’t even going to be re-animated as zombie issue. It is dead, dead.
So now that we have cleared the air of the JCAHO thing….
I will bring up the issue that some librarians think MLA should be doing more to ensure our survival. Let me just say MLA staff (all 16 of them) are doing as much as the cany for the MLA members including advocating for them. The MLA President and Board are doing as much as they can too. However it is unfair to compare the advocating clout of ALA (which has a staff of over 300 and over 56,000 members) to that of MLA.
The only way I see medical librarians continuing on is to work together to get our message out. As many said on the listserv, medical librarians are too often preaching to the choir about our value and benefit. We need to take our message out to our patrons. Not only do we need to do this locally but nationally. As much as I am in favor of our medical library journals, we need to stop publishing about the value of library services in them and start publishing those kind of studies in our patrons’ journals which is what they read. Our patrons don’t read our professional journals. We need to attend and present at their meetings.
One librarian noted that publishing articles and attending their meetings is a little lofty of a goal for the part time librarians who are just struggling. I get it, you don’t have a lot time and some of that can be difficult. But we aren’t asking everybody to do everything. Work to your strengths. I am not good at research but I am good at social media and I am think of ways to get our word out via social media. (BTW at the suggestion of a person on the list, I have already tweeted Dr. Besser MLA’s 2013 speaker about the plight of medical libraries. It isn’t perfect but it is a start somewhere.) (*update* Dr. Besser responded and retweeted my message to his 33,000 followers. It is a baby step, but you have to take steps before you walk.)
Just because you are part time doesn’t mean you can’t do something when you aren’t in the library and you are at home. I am a working mother of 3 young children. My work on my blog, tweeting on #medlibs, writing journal articles, teaching MLA CE classes, and some of my work on the MLA Board often is done during my PERSONAL time. Almost everything I write is done when the kids are in bed and I’m watching TV. I have often had to take my own vacation time to teach CE classes or attend some meetings. Believe it or not I still find time to have a normal life with my family for vacations, kids activities, movies, and life.
If you doubt what regular ol’ working librarians can do please do a little looking into Ohio Public Libraries, 2009, budget cuts, and Governor Strickland. In 2009, out of the blue the Ohio governor proposed a 50% cut funding to public libraries. This type of cut would close many public libraries and leave many irreparably devastated. Within 1 hour of the announcement the story hit Twitter and the hashtag #saveohiolibraries was created to categorize the Twitter messages. A Facebook site was created and had over 50,000 followers in less than 3 weeks. Another librarian created a website, www.saveohiolibraries.com. Not only did they get national attention but the Ohio legislature received between 37,000-45,000 emails in one week regarding the budget cuts.
(I live in Ohio so I remember much of this but I was able to find the specifics in the Introduction of Laura Solomon’s book the Librarian’s Nitty Gritty Guide to Social Media)
The thing to note was that ALA didn’t get involved within an an hour of the announcement. Much of the ground work was done by regular librarians like you and me who saw the immediate need to advocate for their jobs. Given the differences between the funding of medical libraries and public libraries, I think we medical librarians can’t afford to wait for the budget cut announcement. We need to advocate for ourselves now! MLA is helpful and they will do what they humanly can to support us. But we need to stop looking to them to make everything all better, we need to get the message out in whatever way possible.
I understand, we all are worried about the future of medical and hospital libraries. Just because I have a full time job and and I’m active in the organization doesn’t mean I am not worried. In fact it makes me more worried because I have seen how easily it can turn. But I refuse to sit back and subscribe to what some of the “realist” librarians have said, “It doesn’t matter how proactive we are; it doesn’t matter who gets involved; it doesn’t matter how many people come to our defense; it doesn’t matter how much evidence we have to justify our positions; it doesn’t matter how much time we save for others; it doesn’t matter that after we are gone there will be problems for people who need our services. All of that weighed against the decision of the ‘powers that be’ that they can cut the librarian will not help. They will not change their minds.” To those realists I say, “There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.” I see you what you have made for your fate. Your fate is not mine.
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Yesterday I read an interesting piece by Oliver Obst, “Trust no guideline that you did not fake yourself.” (Journal of EAHIL. 2013. v9 (4) p25) Obst references the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which reported several cases of fake practice guidelines. I don’t read German and it appears you must pay to access FAZ’s article archive, but if you read German and have access to the archive, the link to the article is here. According Obst’s summation of the article and Google Translate’s translated version of the abstract, the newspaper attributes thousands of deaths in Europe due to guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology and scientific misconduct.
Unfortunately this is not a single incident, Obst reports “many more examples can be found in a disturbing report by Jeanne Lenzer in the British Medical Journal, ‘Why we cannot trust clinical guidelines.” Lenzer’s article reports that doctors with ties to pharma companies are writing the guidelines. Since most guidelines are written by a large group of doctors you would think it would be difficult to have financial bias make any sort of impact on the guidelines. However, Lenzer discovered a survey showing that it is entirely possible.
“A recent survey found that 71% of chairs of clinical policy committees and 90.5% of co-chairs had financial conflicts.12 Such conflicts can have a strong impact: FDA advisers reviewing the safety record of the progestogen drospirenone voted that the drug’s benefits outweighed any risks. However, a substantial number of the advisers had ties to the manufacturer and if their votes had been excluded the decision would have been reversed.13“
The Cochrane Collection is not immune either according to Lenza.
Early 1990′s-Reinforced by a Cochrane review, high dose steroids became the standard of care for acute spinal cord injury. The Cochrane Collaboration, permitted Michael Bracken, “who declared he was an occasional consultant to steroid manufacturers Pharmacia and Upjohn, to serve as the sole reviewer.”
The standard was just reversed in March 2013 with the Congress of Neurological Surgeons new guidelines. They found, “There is no Class I or Class II medicine evidence supporting the benefit of [steroids] in the treatment of acute [spinal cord injury]. However, Class I, II, and III evidence exists that high-dose steroids are associated with harmful side effects including death.”11
Lenza believes another example of biased guidelines is beginning to emerge regarding stroke and the use of alteplase.
“American College of Emergency Physicians with the American Academy of Neurology (jointly)18 and the American Heart Association,19 separately, issued grade A level of evidence guidelines for alteplase in acute stroke. The simultaneous recommendation by three respected professional societies would seem to indicate overwhelming support for the treatment and consistent evidence. However, an online poll of 548 emergency physicians showed that only 16% support the new guidelines.20“
Lenza points out that “claims of benefit rest on science that is contested. Sceptics say that baseline imbalances, the use of subset analyses, and chance alone could account for the claimed benefit.24 26 31 32 33 They also note that only two of 12 randomised controlled trials of thrombolytics have shown benefit and five had to be terminated early because of lack of benefit, higher mortality, and significant increases in brain haemorrhage.”33 Lenza also notes that “13 of the 15 authors had ties to the manufacturers of products to diagnose and treat acute stroke; 11 had ties to companies that market alteplase.”19
So what does this mean for librarians as we try and find the best research out there for our doctors, nurses and patients? This is a problem. Even if you take out the pharma bias, bio-medical scientific literature rarely publishes work on failures. Add the pressure from pharma wanting and promoting positive outcome research to published, we have even fewer examples of “what didn’t work” research articles and quite possibly what we thought was good evidence isn’t as good as we thought.
As Obst notes, librarians must be aware of this issue and to keep our patrons informed. Unfortunately this may be the only thing we can do and even then it might not be enough. Lenza ends her article by saying;
“Yet these and other guidelines continue to be followed despite concerns about bias, because as one lecturer told a meeting on geriatric care in the Virgin Islands earlier this year, ‘We like to stick within the standard of care, because when the shit hits the fan we all want to be able to say we were just doing what everyone else is doing—even if what everyone else is doing isn’t very good.”Share on Facebook
Don’t think of it as a New Year’s resolution, think of it as just taking inventory of your career path. Whether you are looking to find a new job in a new organization or just trying to add a new direction to your current job, it is a good idea to think about, evaluate, and discuss (pick people’s brains) your ideas and options.
So tune in to #medlibs on Twitter tonight at 9pm Eastern.
See you there.
Reposted form (Medlibschapt.blogspot.com)
Join Heather Holmes (@LaMedBoheme73) and Michelle Kraft (@Krafty) for this week’s #medlibs talk as we discuss all good things related to jobs, such as: looking for a new job, preparations to move (yourself, your family, etc), learning or brushing up on skills, transitioning to a new position in the same institution, or transitioning to a related but totally different position. What are some of the positive reasons you are looking for or have accepted a new position or are seeking new skills and abilities? This won’t be a rant session, we want it to be a positive and constructive discussion so please join us and spread the word – we’d love to welcome library students and others interested in learning more about the field!
Some resources to consider:
- The I Need a Librarian Job eResource center - http://inalj.com/
- Career motives of library students – http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1026&context=univ_lib_facpub
- Career strategies - http://www.liscareer.com/walker_lateral.htm
- Librarian career ladder - http://www.aallnet.org/main-menu/Publications/spectrum/Archives/Vol-11/pub_sp0609/pub-sp0609-career.pdf
- April 9, 2013 – So You Want To Be a Medical Librarian? #medlibs chat (additional resources)
I stumbled across this blog post a week ago and thought it was a wonderful example of the way social media can be used to better biomedical science.
The New England Journal of Medicine published an article in June on the prevention of MRSA in the ICU. The study was very large, 74,256 patients, and the results looked impressive, BUT nobody could get the stats didn’t add up. The numbers given in the published paper didn’t correlate with the Number-Needed to Treat (NNT)
A blog post on Intensive Care Network posted the following about the stats in the NEJM article:
ARE THE STATS CORRECT?
We were hashing this out in our journal club, but could not get the stats to add up.
If you can PLEASE COMMENT HERE!
The NNT’s of 54 and 181 seem impossibly small, with huge clinical implications.
Please try it yourself; look at Table 3. Frequency and Rates of Outcomes during the Baseline and Intervention Periods, According to Study Group
With bloodstream infection from any pathogen, the Group 1 (standard care) number of events per 1000 patient days is 4.1. With Group 3, the number of events is 3.6 per 1000 patients days. Even taking change from baseline into account and assuming these NNTs have been calcuated AFTER randomization, between Group 1 and Group 3, we get nowhere close to their NNT’s.
PLEASE have a go and see if you can match their NNT’s.
IF you can’t there is a serious problem, with practice changing implications.
It’s too late to write letters to the NEJM, so a robust discussion in a peer reviewed forum seems a good way to go.
The authors of blog post intention was to discuss the problem in “a peer reviewed forum” and according to them “there was lots of insightful commentary from around the globe.”
The fact that they were able to discuss problem with others around world is big but not unheard of, more and more scientists are discussing issues online. To me the biggest thing is that the paper’s lead author, Susan Huang engaged in a discussion with the social media reviewers with a “prompt and gracious reply” agreed the published calculation was an error and showed “true scientific and academic integrity by contacting the NEJM as soon as there was a suggestion that the stats were incorrect.” NEJM responded by publishing an correction to the paper.
It is very cool how scientists discussed online a paper’s validity and work together to essentially provide world wide peer review. However, what I find even cooler is that the author was engaged with the social media process AND a respected journal addressed and responded to the findings. This is an example of everything that is right with social media and professional communication. It will be interesting to see if we will see more of this type of world peer review in the future especially now that PubMed Commons can also foster this kind of scientific inquiry and discussion.
NEJM is a big journal with lots of very smart authors contributing papers that are subjected to very peer reviewers, but still there can be mistakes. World peer review via social media could help improve the process. One question I keep wondering is, if we have this type of world peer review, could this cut down on the academic fraud that sometimes eludes the careful eyes of publishers’ peer reviewers? What would have happened had Wakefield’s fraudulent study linking vaccines and autism (published in 1998) been published today? Would that paper have had a chance to make it the general public’s consciousness and be as unfortunately influential as it still is today?
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The Midwest Chapter’s latest membership survey indicated a need for better access to continuing education. What could help with better access than a stipend for CE?! The Board of the Midwest Chapter has announced that two $125 stipends are availalbe for 2014 to help fund library skills and CE attendance.
How do you get this stipend!?
- Be a Midwest MLA member.
- Send email to nreedx[atsign]midwestern[dot]edu to be entered in the drawing for it.
- The email must have your name, postal address, and whether you are a solo librarian or not. (Indication of solo librarian is not used for determining the winner, just for statistics and to help determine the need for future funding.)
All names will be put in a hat and one lucky winner will be drawn and announced Feb 3, 2014. A call for a new drawing will happen in June and that winner will be selected July 1, 2014.
An individual will only be eligible to win once/year.
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American Libraries Live will be hosting a panel discussion on the challenges and changes within the libraries for the near and distant future. It is Thursday January 9, 2014 at 2:00-3:00 Eastern. It is FREE to register and “attend” the discussion.
David Lee King, digital branch and services manager at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library will lead the panel which also includes:
- Marshall Breeding, Library Technology Consultant, Speaker and Author
- Buffy Hamilton, Librarian at Norcross High School in metropolitan Atlanta, Library Technology Writer and Speaker
- Bohyun Kim, Digital Access Librarian at Florida International University Medical Library
- Joseph Murphy, Director of Library Futures, Innovative Interfaces
Register for this episode so you get email reminders at http://goo.gl/1p5dpV .
Preregistration is not required to attend. You can also attend by simply going to the site at the time of the event. If you’re unable to attend live, it will be recorded and available at http://www.americanlibrarieslive.org shortly afterwards.
Innovative Interfaces is sponsoring this episode. AL Live is the popular free streaming video broadcast from American Libraries, covering library issues and trends in real time as you interact with hosts via a live chat and get immediate answers to your questions. With the help of real-time technology, it’s like having your own experts on hand. Find out more, including how to catch upcoming episodes, at http://www.americanlibrarieslive.org .
Future 2014 broadcasts will be:
- February 13: The Library Website
- March 13: E-Books: The Present and Future
- April 10: Copyright Conundrum
Sounds interesting. While they don’t have an medical librarians, I’m sure there will be something that will also apply to us. Since our ILS is an Innovative Interfaces system, I am curious as to what Joseph Murphy of Innovative has to say. I often think integrated library systems including Innovative’s are overly complicated and fail to address typical user needs. I am also interested in the March 13th E-Books discussion but I fear this will be more public library related and less related to the unique mess the medical publishers have created.
Perhaps I have been listening to my son’s music a bit too much or perhaps I am just overly tired from celebrating the New Year with friends and family. Whatever the cause, when I heard Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” this morning it really hit a my librarian brain.
Granted, the lyrics have a post apocalyptic vibe to them that is more akin to Walking Dead or Terminator than the state of libraries. But it just hit a chord with me this morning. I feel like we are in a new age of information and completely revolutionizing the way people find things. Things have completely changed, and are still changing. The old way of doing things (the old world) is gone. We are waking up to the new age of information.
Just to prove I am not completely cracked (only half cracked), the singer, Dan Reynolds said the “song is about having an awakening; kind of waking up one day and deciding to do something new, and see life in a fresh way.” We have to see librarianship in a fresh way if we are going to continue.
According to Reynolds, “A lot of people hear it [Radioactive] in a dark way.” The song is meant to be an empowering song, and I definitely hear it that way. The changes in libraries can be empowering as well. Like music, it is all up to interpretation. Some may “hear” the library changes in a dark way. Some may “hear” the changes as an anthem to wake up and do something new in the wake of all the changes. They will end up shaping their world the way they hear the changes.
To quote a favorite line, “there’s no fate but what we make.”
MLA Focus just emailed the election results and I want to congratulate the new Board Members and Nominating Committee. But I want to steal a quote from Nikki Dettmar which summarizes my thoughts completely.
Nikki was on the Nominating Committee that help select the people on the ballot this year. As she mentions below she is on her NomCom13 Soapbox.
“<Spontaneous Me-on-NomCom13 Soapbox>Yes, a very hearty congrats to those who were elected to Medical Library Association positions! HOWEVER, I would like to offer an even warmer expression of gratitude to all those who were NOT elected: Both those who were actually on the ballot, and those who responded in the affirmative to our initial inquires about willingness to BE on the ballot. For as often as I have heard so many in our field bitch & moan about how ‘MLA needs to do something about…’ YOU WERE WILLING TO! And I hope you don’t stop just because it didn’t work out this time. Now join in the #medlibs chat at the top of the hour about our future. Peace out. </Spontaneous Me-on-NomCom13 Soapbox>”
Nikki you said it perfectly that I have no better way to express it other than to re-post it on my blog (for those of you wondering, yes I did ask her permission).
The greatest way to get MLA to do more or to change is for you to volunteer and do something. Don’t sit on the sidelines or be a back seat driver! Get out take charge and shape the organization. For all the medical librarians who aren’t members of MLA but also complain that MLA doesn’t help them and that is the reason they aren’t members….. I have one thing to say…. PTTHBBBBBBB! What have you done to change that?! What have you done to shape MLA?!
That is why I want to join Nikki and thank EVERYBODY who was on the ballot or who agreed to be nominated to be on the ballot, because they were willing to step up and take action. Keep it up!
I do not plan to post next week because I will be spending time with the family and because I assume most of you will be doing the same and won’t be thinking of reading a blog about medical library stuff.
So I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and New Year. I will leave you with this fun little library holiday cartoon.
Santa just might be a librarian. Dude already has some mad indexing and database skills if he has been able to maintain a list of the world’s naughty and nice children.
I heard someone say, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” This is easier said than done, especially for librarians. The results from the Pew Internet and American Life survey “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities” were recently released. I have seen many in the library world praising what are definitely good results. Such as:
- 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed
- 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community
- 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere
These are definitely things to be proud of. However, there are some statistics that concern me and I don’t seem to be hearing about them from the library world as much.
- 52% of Americans say that people do not need public libraries as much as they used to because they can find most information on their own, while 46% disagreed.
- 54% of Americans have used a public library in the past 12 months
- 77% of those who have ever used a public library said they know only some of what it offers. (Of that 77% about one in five say they don’t know very much about what is offered, and 10% say they know “nothing at all.”)
If 94-95% believe libraries are so important then why have only 54% used a library in the last year? Doesn’t quite make sense. So while people love their libraries, they don’t know much about their offerings and they don’t use them very often.
This is frustrating because it seems as though people like the idea of the public library as it exists in their heads, but have no idea what it does in practice. Sounds familiar medical librarians? I think in order for us to survive we have to do a better job of changing their perception of the library. Thankfully they like us….but liking us isn’t going to get the tax levy renewed or the keep administration from cutting our budget. We need to do a better job of demonstrating to our users and non-users how we can help them. Informing users is tricky enough, but non-users…yikes! But that is needed for us to turn the perception of a library and the know more about our other services and resources (not just that we have books).
This Thursday #medlibs will discuss the what we see coming to libraries in 2014 and beyond. What is the future of the library? What do we need to do and where will be going?
Some ideas for the discussion are:
- What do you see as the future for medical librarianship? (revisit our May 2013 chat on this topic)
- How about for the future of medical libraries?
- Have you identified some sacred library cows to slaughter?
- Maybe found opportunities for collaboration, such as our combined medical librarians & medical educators chat?
- Remember One Health in Boston this year? How will you build your information future in Chicago next year?
These are all important things to consider, but I also believe part of our future rests with changing perceptions. If we don’t do that we are going to be the Norman Rockwell of professions. Nice to remember, or as somebody on Twitter said, “an emotional remembrance.”So tune in on Thursday http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/ as we discuss the library of the future.
While the official deadline has past, MLA is still looking for projects to match with Rising Stars. If you have ideas or would like to mentor a Rising Star for a project you are working on please contact MLA.
The MLA Rising Star program has been developed for MLA members who are interested in attaining leadership roles in MLA but who have not yet become active at a national level. The one-year leadership development program matches each Rising Star with a mentor in a curriculum that includes:
- learning how MLA succeeds through the volunteer efforts of its members;
- the roles of the MLA Board and staff; and
- project management skills applied to an actual MLA project.
To get an idea of the kind of projects Rising Stars do, here is a list of the most recent Stars, Menors and their projects.
- Rising Star: Heather L. Brown
Mentor: Julia Shaw-Kokot, AHIP
Project: Work with a Chapter Council team to implement recommendations for interactive web features in the communications plan drafted by 2010 Rising Star Karen L. Hanus, AHIP.
- Rising Star: Elizabeth V. Fine
Mentor: Diane G. Cooper, AHIP
Project: Work with the Federal Libraries Section web committee to evaluate the section’s website.
- Rising Star: Rolando Garcia-Milian
Mentor: Mary Riordan, AHIP
Project: Work with the Awards Committee to increase the number of nominations for MLA awards.
- Rising Star: Kristi L. Holmes
Mentor: Jerry Perry, AHIP
Project: Serve on and work with the Task Force on MATE.
- Rising Star: Annabelle Nunez
Mentor: Nancy Allee, AHIP
Project: Work with the Leadership and Management Section’s New Members/Emerging Leaders Survey Project
For more information on past projects and Stars go here to see a longer list.
So if you are a Section or Chapter leader and you have something you have been working on and would like to have a Star work on the project with you, contact MLA ASAP!
Last Thursday a group of medical librarians got together online via Twitter to discuss the issue of change in libraries. Specifically they discussed evaluating the sacred cows in libraries and librarianship within our institutions and whether they should be continued (successful programs) or killed (unsuccessful programs).
I thought I would briefly summarize the discussion for those who were unable to participate. Transcript is available here.
We had 30 people who participated in the chat and each participant tweeted an average of 11 tweets. (Lively discussion.)
In an effort to set the tone or get some context for the discussion. Nikki Dettmar (@eagledawg) reminded us of Mark Funk’s (@funkme77) 2008 Presidential Address, where the gist, “We Have Always Done It That Way” is not the way we want to continue the business of libraries.
Several librarians gave examples of sacred cows they have either killed off or would like to kill off in their libraries. These include:
- Reference desk
- Checking in hard copy journals
- The catalog and cataloging
- Regularly scheduled classes
- Face to face classes
- Table of contents lists
- Reference collection
- Printed books
Many had various thoughts on each of the above topics. For some getting rid of the refernce desk was a sacred cow that was killed or needed to be killed. However, for others, their library’s reference/front desk was still doing a brisk business and killing it would be unwise.
The topic of cataloging while a lively topic at other discussion venues didn’t draw as much ire or skepticism. Several thought small hospital libraries with solo librarians may want to re-consider the idea of an online catalog in favor of something easy, agile, and less time consuming. Almost everyone agreed that the act of cataloging could be done much more quickly and simply that librarians stop fussing with minute details of cataloging and look at user tagging/catalgoing. Tony Nguyen (@TonyNguyen411) mentioned he was “Totally ok with collective cataloging. Original, just the easiest access points to get it quickly on the shelf.”
The rise of electronic collections caused many in the group to discuss alternatives to book and journal purchasing, collection development and management. Teressa Knott (@tlknott) mentioned their circulation numbers has caused her to start thinking of a “strictly e-book collection.” I mention how our institution got rid of our reference section. Reference books were shelved next to the circulating collection. Patrons don’t have to go to different shelves or locations within the library to find books on a topic depending on the book’s loan rules (which patrons don’t know). All of the books are together making them easier to find. A red dot on the spine indicates the book doesn’t leave the library.
The library classes seemed to be a bit of a problem among the #medlibs librarians. As Amy Blevins (@blevinsa) stated, “(I) have mixed feelings about schedule classes. Love them when people randomly show up. Not so much when 0 show.” This seems to a problem shared by several in the chat. There were some librarians who got rid of their scheduled classes and only taught classes by appointment while others tried to get rid of them but had to bring them back because “admin wants to bring (them) back b/c other AAHSL libs do it.” I am not sure whether Stephanie Schulte’s (@s_schulte) referrence to admin was institutional administration or library administration.
In the second half of the hour the discussion seemed to venture away from the library and on to the profession itself and sacred cows within the profession such as:
- The name librarian
- Associations, organizations, societies, and certifications
- Academic journals
- Impact factors
- Peer review
Besides our job title of librarian, I’m not sure how much impact we have in with the other sacred cows within the profession. Additionally there were many that said the issue wasn’t the title of “librarian” but it was people’s out dated notions of librarians. The issue of librarian vs. informationist, vs PubMed Whisperer, vs information specialist is probably a larger issue that could be discussed on another Thursday.
Overall it was a very interesting and fun discussion. I challenge all librarians, not just the 30 on the chat, to think about our sacred cows. I want to quote Mark Funk’s last Presidential blog post, “Remember that ‘We have always done it that way’ isn’t an answer, it’s an excuse. Boomers didn’t like that response in the 1960s, and we shouldn’t like it now.”
Join us tomorrow for what is sure to be a lively discussion on killing sacred library cows on #medlibs this Thursday at 9pm Eastern.
As I mentioned in my post on the #medlibs blog…
The library environment has changed drastically and is continuing to do so. The library of 5 years ago is different from the library today. For example, the iPhone had just been released, there were no iPads and the idea of a “downloadable” ebook had just been introduced by Amazon Kindle. There were a very limited number of Kindle and certainly not intended for medicine. Yet many of us are doing the same things we did as librarians 5, 10, 15, 20 yrs ago. We were stretched thin back then, so there is no way we can now add things to our repertoire without giving up something in return. We must look at what we do in our own libraries and evaluate whether it is necessary, whether it helps our patrons or helps us. To really evaluate our services we need to look at EVERYTHING including the sacred cows of the library. We need to ask ourselves, do we need to check in journals, catalog books, make copies, eliminate the reference desk, fuss with circulation, etc. The right answers will depend on the library. A large academic library might need to still do cataloging but does a small solo hospital library with 4 shelves (not ranges) really need a catalog system much less spend time cataloging books? Some of these ideas are dangerous and even somewhat heretical librarian thinking, but I feel we need to discuss them. For more background on sacred cows and heretical librarian thoughts check out my summary of my keynote address I gave at the Midwest Chapter annual meeting.
We need to look at, evaluate and slaughter some sacred library cows. IT makes no sense for us to spend our time doing things that are no longer relevant or used by our patrons. That isn’t to say that we should have never done them. Everything has its time and place. It might be hard to give up, but we can’t just do things because we always have. We need to think like our patrons and for many of us that means completely taking off our librarian hat and looking at ourselves from a patrons view point. That may mean we come up with answers that are uncomfortable, that borderline on librarian heresy. But that is what is needed.
This Thursday’s #medlibs discussion at 9pm Eastern will discuss the idea of thinning the herd of library services so that we can grow healthy new opportunities.
Molly Knapp (@dial_m), Amy Blevins (@blevinsa) and I (@krafty) will be moderating the discussion. As always we will be using the hashtag #medlibs but if you want to further the discussion before/during/or after the regular Thursday night time use the hashtag #moo.
The best way to get the most out of your MLA membership is to get involved. For new members it can be a bit daunting. But never fear, the MLA New Members SIG is having a Hangout this Friday December 6th at 9pm Eastern.
If you are a new member you may not know exactly what a SIG is. A SIG is a Special Interest Group. SIGs are “ad hoc groups open to all members of the association. SIGs range from a series of informal meetings on a specific, short-term issue to an established subgroup within an MLA section.”
There are 21 SIGs in MLA (view list here). SIGs “provide a forum for members with unique interests to identify and meet with others with similar interests without having to fulfill the governance requirements of Sections. SIGs are generally created as less formal and more flexible organizational units, with the advantages of fewer reporting and no minimum membership requirements.” IMHO think of a SIG as the light version of Section. (For more information on SIGs go to MLA or my blog post.)
A SIG for new members is a great way to get some exposure and involvement in MLA because it is less formal and more flexible.
So if you are new member please consider joining other new members at the New Members SIG online event this Friday, Dec 6 @ 9pm Eastern.
They will be talking about the New Members SIG, preparing for MLA 2014, MLA resources, strategies for networking and meeting other medical librarians, and just getting to know each other.
More information can be found here http://bit.ly/1cVg0I2
While the Hangout is geared for new members, it is open to all.