About Conference Photos

Have you noticed the Flickr photos in the badge over there on the right? I had great fun taking them. I’ve taken photos at Midwest Chapter/MLA conferences since 2004 in Springfield, Illinois, my first year as the editor of MIDLINE. It is a great way to meet people!

You also can see all the photos posted to Flickr for this and our previous three conferences on this ConnectMidwest page.

Every year, I try to get a photo of each of the poster presenters with their poster. One thing that I did with my conference photos on Flickr of the poster presenters this year was to key the photo caption to the number of the poster on the conference program. Some of the poster presenters have shared pdf copies of their posters on that program page. So if you are interested in seeing the details of a poster that you see in a photo, click to see! Additionally, the abstracts for all of the posters are included in the full conference program beginning on page 22.

I think that this photo from this year’s conference is probably my favorite. I have had the privilege of serving on the Midwest Chapter/MLA Executive Board for most of the last eight years. I am going to miss working with this really great group of people!

Award Winning Midwest Chapter Members

Yes, a lot of business was conducted at this year’s Annual Business Meeting. But the highlight has to be the awards!

Most exciting is the revelation of the Distinguished Librarian of the Year Award winner. Drumroll please! Our 2012 winner is Donna Barbour-Talley, MINNESOTA librarian extraordinaire! This year, capping a long career of service to the chapter and the profession, Donna served along with Michael Homan as the co-chair of the annual chapter conference. Watch for a story about Distinguished Librarian Donna in the upcoming issue of MIDLINE, the Midwest Chapter newsletter.

Also watch for essays in MIDLINE from Annual Meeting Scholarship winners Emily Ginier and Patricia Smith and from Professional Development Award winners Marcia Francis and Erin Kerby.

Suzanne Earle was the winner of the Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award for her work on the development of the End-of-Life Library at Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. This special library “…provides the professional and lay communities with knowledge regarding palliative care and end-of-life issues.”

New this year were the Research Awards presented by the Professional Practice Committee. These cash awards judged on study design, validity, reliability, presentation, and implications for library and information research were awarded to posters and papers reporting research results. The first place Research Poster Award was given to Ryan Rafferty for “Discovering the Impact of Library Instruction on First-Year Medical Students.” Second place was a tie between Barbara Gushrowski for “Building Competence: Self- and Peer-Evaluation of Information Resources by First-Year Dental Students in Problem-Based Curriculum” and Elizabeth Moreton for “Testing the Soil: Benchmarking the Information Literacy Skills of Nursing Students Performing Evidence-Based Research.” Two Honorable Mention Research Paper Awards were given to Mark Wentz and Melissa Rethlefsen for “The Significance of Disambiguated Authors in an Institutional Publication Database” and to Xiaomei Gu, Shawn Averkamp, Nicole Saylor, and Linda Walton for “Developing and Administering a Campus-wide Survey: A First Step in Assessing Data Management Needs.”

Congratulations all!

All about the Business

The annual Midwest Chapter conference means business, chapter business, that is. The fall Midwest Chapter Executive Board meeting is held on Friday before the conference gets fully underway.  And, of course, the annual chapter Business Meeting is held over lunch on the second day of the conference.

Seriously, the most significant business conducted at the Annual Business Meeting  was the vote on the bylaws revision. The chapter bylaws required major revision from top to bottom in order to conform to MLA’s model bylaws. Bylaws Committee Chair Melinda Orebaugh guided us surely through the turbulent waters of Robert’s Rules of Order as we considered the new bylaws one article at a time and then voted on them. The vote was unanimous!  

The Executive Board meeting Friday evening was serious work, lasting four hours! Here are some of the items discussed and actions taken that you might find interesting:

  • The 2013 chapter budget was approved, based on a projected paid membership of 300 members. The budget includes more realistic figures for conference income and expenditures and funding for new awards, increased advocacy efforts, and the professional auditor.
  • The professional auditor Michelle Dixon submitted a report to the board after reviewing  and “closing” the books for the chapter’s 2010 and 2011 financial activities. The 2010 conference showed a net profit of over $25,000, half of which was shared cheap cialis 5mg with WHSLA. The 2011 conference showed a very small net loss. The bookkeeping system has been improved to allow easier auditing.
  • The chapter will be awarding additional Annual Meeting Grants to support conference attendance for chapter members who do not receive institutional support for travel. Eligibility criteria for the award are being developed.
  • A revised Travel Reimbursement Policy was approved by the board. The changes were made to more fully support travel by board members to the spring board meeting. Funds to support this increase in travel expense funding were re-allocated from unused budget lines.
  • The Finance Committee will be continuing their consideration of alternatives to the Acteva service that the chapter uses to handle online payments for memberships and conference registrations. The Immediate Past President will be looking also into different software for handling the election online.
  • The “Shared Expectations for State Liaisons” information sheet developed by outgoing Representative-at-Large Stephanie Schulte will be shared with the state associations for guidance when appointing State Liaisons to the chapter.
  • The Professional Practice Committee will be working with the annual conference continuing education planning committees to help them meet chapter education needs.
  • Upcoming conference plans were discussed. The 2014 conference will be held October 10-14 in Bismarck, ND and the 2015 conference will be October 2-6 in Louisville, KY.

Welcome To the New Year/ Letter From the Editor

Welcome, Midwest Chapter, to the New Year.  This isn’t January 1st, and this isn’t the Chinese New Year either.  This is the New Year for ConnectMidwest.  Our 2012 conference is over, but the blog lives on.  And we at ConnectMidwest (and the Communication Committee) are looking to keep in touch with you all year round.

As information professionals, we need to grow and adapt with the current climate.  When you throw in the fast-paced changes in health sciences/medical/nursing/dental/allied health information, it’s even more vital that we work together and share knowledge so our hospitals and universities, our faculty and clinicians, and our students can reach their highest potential.

So, in this spirit, I ask you to keep us posted, just like we’ll keep you posted.  If you have a tip for us, let us know!  Want to know more about a subject? Suggest it! We can’t afford to wait a year to talk about things that are happening now.   Start the connection to your peers with ConnectMidwest.


Continuing Education Class: Linked Data

LINKED: An Intro to the Semantic Web for Medical Librarians and Biomedical Information Professionals.
This is one of two continuing education courses available on Tuesday, October 9. Jonathan Koffel and Layne Johnson from University of Minnesota taught the class. Jonathan and Layne tag-teamed the presentation by splitting up the ideas into digestible pieces. I’ll do my best to synthesize some essential points.

Without going into too much detail, Jonathan and Layne explained that “objects” (for lack of a better descriptor) on the web are linked by an RDF triple, which consists of the a subject, predicate and object (s->p->o). The subjects and objects in the RDF triple are defined with an uniform resource identifier (URI) which look very similar to URLs. These URIs are readable by both machines and humans and it will display the relevant one when accessed. The predicate in the triple connect the subject and object and are drawn from established ontologies. An ontology defines common and controlled vocabulary for a certain group of users to share information. For example, there is an ontology that describes books, one that many describes relationships between people, etc.

Triples can be searched and retrieved commonly by SPARQL, which is sort of like SQL. This was just a small part of the presentation, but I thought this theory is some of the hardest parts to get one’s head around. Linked data is published and collected in repositories and search engine. You can see some uses of linked data at the New York Times, LinkedCt (Linked Clinical Trials) and DrugBank.

In libraries, we’re still working on learning how to use and integrate linked data. Some of the points that Jonathan and Layne presented were that linked can “increase the visibility of library data, allow more creative reuse of library data and integration of outside data into library records” and “improve cataloging efficiency and innovation.” Personally, I saw the power of linked data in research, particularly with something like LinkedCT, where there would be connections made between conditions, treatments and symptoms. It seemed like there would be lots of potential for deep searching for librarians and their patrons. According to Jonathan, there’s an experimental prototype called Semantic MEDLINE that uses linked data. It looks awesome.

Jonathan and Layne showed us the video from OCLC at the beginning of class and it was great overview:Linked Data for Libraries by OCLC.

Overall, I thought it was a great class and very informative. It’s a big topic for such a short time but I do feel like I have grasp on how linked data works and it’s potential. Pretty good for a four hour class.

It was a great first conference! It was wonderful to meet new people and get involved.
A quick thankful note to the catering company and the hospitality committee. I appreciated the catering company’s consideration of people’s dietary restrictions. I generally eat gluten-free (though definitely broke down over the Minnesota beer tasting) and it’s great that there is enough variety for a full meal, whether you eat vegetarian or vegan or gluten-free.