More Noteworthy Papers

Every conference paper presentation I attend gives me a renewed respect for the complexity and quantity of work medical librarians tackle on a daily basis. Here are some things I learned in the Contributed Papers Session 4 on Sunday.

“The Significance of Disambiguated Authors in Institutional Publication Database”
Mark Wentz, who was later recognized with an Honorable Mention for this research paper, described the Mayo Authors Database (accessible only on the secure Mayo network) that tracks the scholarly publications of Mayo physicians, nurses, etc. from 1871 to the present. Of the 13,000 author names included in the database, a total of 43 percent of the names were searched at least once during the 18 months reviewed. The majority (57 percent) of database searches used the disambiguated authors’ field (includes surnames, initials, specialty fields, geographic locations) developed to help searchers distinguish between authors. Wentz estimated 80 percent of database processing time is spent on disambiguation, but the data review showed this search capability is important and justifies that effort.

“Patient Education Across the Continuum of Care”
Ruti Volk discussed the need for and creation of the Patient Education Clearinghouse for the University of Michigan Health System. The Clearinghouse allows health cialis online care providers and patients in UM clinics, health centers, and hospitals to easily locate and download the current version of approved patient materials (print, videos, and Internet). The materials are linked to the EPIC medical records, so use of the patient handouts is automatically charted and used to generate statistics for meaningful use. Health care providers are no longer duplicating efforts to create patient education materials, materials meet quality guidelines, and patients receive consistent information regardless of their location.

“Developing and Administering a Campus-Wide Survey: A First Step in Assessing Data Management Needs”
Xiaomei Gu, who was later recognized as the winner of the research paper competition, developed a Web-based survey with colleagues to assess University of Iowa needs for data management and to recruit volunteers for later face-to-face interviews. Efforts to encourage survey response included notification to deans of the forthcoming survey, and reminders were sent to participants. Preliminary review of the survey data showed most respondents returned the survey the day the initial request was sent or on the day the reminder was sent. Attendees especially appreciated Xiaomei’s humorous translation of a favorite research acronym — “IRB = insanely ridiculous boars!”

GMR forum

Although licensing remains far outside my comfort zone, it was a relief to hear three speakers give short words of experience with negotiating contracts. Diane Mitchell was the first speaker who describe how intimidating it is. Here are a few of the basics:
A license involves two more more legal entities. The two entities go back and forth negotiating time and $$ agreements. Once the license terms are agreed, the contracts aresigned and the materials are available to libraries.

We wish it was that simple.
Diana Mitchell emphasized reading the fine print and ask questions. “Will access to the licensed material be terminated when the license expires?” “What happens or what constitutes a breach of contract such as a late payment?” All of these questions should be addressed in the contract. A sales vendor will tell you anything, but nothing is final until you view the contract.

Jim Stemper from the University of Minnesota touched on the framework, implementation, and infrastructure of the agreement. The wants and needs of a major university usually have terms for printing and downloading e-resources. In his university the students should be able to quote and link to the onsite e-resources, and the university assumes no responsibility for monitoring or the publishers legal bills. In addition, the university has a “no confidentiality” can you order viagra canada policy (not sure what this means). While many vendors find workable solutions with these conditions, there are occasionally a few vendors that attempt to find a chink in the armor. They often come back with written statements such as “no one else is asking for this,” or “our standard license agreement cannot authorize your conditions.” Such repore might even be deal breakers for one library or the vendor itself.
Such inflexibility might border manipulation, though Stemper found most vendors are willing to negotiate. Ironically scholarly society’s often have more restrictive contracts

Julie Blake was the next speaker in this forum and she gave some interesting perspectives with licensing. A license is a contract, but it is often more constrictive than law. From the attorney’s perspective, the contract is preservation of an organization. When signing the contract make sure you read the fine print. This was another emphasis from Diana Mitchell. Nothing is final until written contract. When should the attorney be called? What points are absolute and which ones are flexible.

The final parting word was “be prepared to walk away from unfair pricing.” Vendors can raise their prices too much, which can seal the deal with no deal!

Dine Around in Rochester – Twigs

I decided to venture out of my comfort zone a little and go on a ‘dine-around’ on Monday evening. I signed up to go to Twigs. I did look at the menu, but one of the motivating reasons I signed up to go to Twigs was because I saw a few names on the list that I had seen on Twitter as well. I was curious to put a name (or Twitter handle) to a face. I also wanted to get to know my colleagues a little better too. [Note to the planning committee for next year: consider allowing attendees to include their Twitter names on their conference ID.]
The group met in the DoubleTree lobby and Dana, a librarian at the Mayo Clinic, was our host and guide. Although the sign up sheet cautioned the reader of the distance, I realized later that I should have probably “google mapped it” to see where I was going and how far would I would have to walk. The walk there was not too bad as it got me outside (after being inside sky-ways most of the conference) but it was very windy outside.
WalkingMapTwigsRegardless, conversations on the way to and from the restaurant and at dinner made it worth the windy walk. I was able to get to know my seven dinner members and hear what is going on at their libraries. I would highly recommend dine-arounds if offered at other conferences and explore the conference city and connect with your fellow librarians.

“Experiment! Meet new people . . . By adventuring; about, you become accustomed to the unexpected. The unexpected then becomes what it really is . . . the inevitable.”
― Amelia Earhart

Thoughts on a few papers presented on Oct. 7th

This post is about a day late, but thought I would share my perspectives on three of the paper presentations I attended Sunday afternoon. The paper abstracts are available in the online PDF program: check it out!

The Evolving Role of the Librarian in a Family Medicine Clerkship
Authors: Anne Beschnett (Liaison and Outreach Librarian), Jonathan Koffel (Liaison Librarian), and Jim Beattie (Liaison Librarian) – Bio-Medical Library, University of MN
Anne presented this paper and it was interesting to learn about the structure and programming of the library instruction offered to the Family Medicine students. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. It sounded like one of their goals was to help students develop good habits around finding answers to their questions; to find the best evidence and then critically appraise articles.
  2. After the students have critically appraised their article of choice, the students were assigned to create a plain language variation of the critically appraised article. Anne reported that writing a plain language document was often one of the more difficult assignments for the students. [I really liked this idea- do any others institutions do this?
  3. I also liked that they spend about 10 to 15 minutes on basic health information concepts and the importance of patient education sources. [It caused me to wondered if these patient education concepts and resources were taught at my own institution, and if so, who teaches them?]

Seizing Opportunity for Professional Growth: Gaining Advanced Subject Knowledge through a Public Health Certificate Program
Authors: Anne Beschnett (Liaison and Outreach Librarian) – Bio-Medical Library, University of MN
I was interested in attending this presentation because I also do not have a strong science or medical background and was wondering if additional education would be useful. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. Yes, something like this certificate program in Public Health is helpful for librarians who do not have a strong background in science or medicine.
  2. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages.
  3. Advantages: Basic concepts in this program can be applied to work within most health professions, gain basic knowledge without time commitment of a 48 credit master program.
    Disadvantages: Not cheap, More effort to balance work and life with school; having to take biostatistics!
    [After attending this presentation, I am going to seriously consider pursuing this educational route.]

Tips and Tricks for Rebranding and Promoting Your Library
Authors: Missy Creed (Library Assistant), Amanda Levine (Public Services Manager), Joseph Payne (Collection Development Librarian) and Carly Styer (Marketing & Promotions Coordinator) – Health Sciences Library, the Ohio State University
Amanda and Carly provided a lot of information on the rebranding effort at their library. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. Make sure you have leadership support
  2. Be organized
  3. Consider budget limitations (consider using student workers if you have a tight budget)
  4. Have a central point of contact (only choose one person or a specific committee to be the contact)
  5. Incorporate design (this can help serve as a ‘visual’ change in brand)
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate (even over-communicate)
  7. Make sure to create a database of contacts, media, online and print outlets
  8. Focus on your customer (if new website is created, make sure to do a lot of focus group and usability testing)
  9. Out with the old, in with the new! (search for outside websites that have old brand and ask them to remove it or change to new brand)

Thanks for making it to the end! Hopefully this post gave you a little more insight into these interesting papers.

Healthy eating

I missed adding a blog post yesterday due to technical difficulties. I decided to pick up the blog on today’s events starting with Rose Prissel and Tim Cockram as the speakers.

The presentation opened with a few simple questions. What is healthy eating? What is in your refrigerator?
Rose gave a few pictures from the book “Hungry Planet,” which displayed families around the world with what they would eat in one week. While many families from various regions appeared to consume mainly vegetables, fruits, and grains, the US family appeared to consume a weeks worth of colorful packages.

Cockram gave a hands on” presentation with interesting demonstrations. The was one reciepe in particular that stood out was the “mango custard with blue berry compote.”

First, take a cup of blueberries and marinate them over nightin a mild herbal tea. Add champagne though I’m not sure when this sto was before or after the herbal tea?
Next, take half a soft mango and roughly dice it so you can put it into a blender. In a blender, add (half a cup?) of milk, a little cornstarch, and sweetener, which could honey or molasses.
Blend those ingredients to make a purée.
Take break two eggs and whip them into a saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the purée to the saucepan. Once the mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat and put in fridge for one hour.
The mixture is custard at this point. Serve in pint size bowls, add the marinaded blueberries on top with a little bit of lime zest.
Perfecto!

Andrew