Virtual Reality at MidwestMHSLA ’17

On Sunday, October 15, at the #MidwestMHSLA17 Conference, I attended the NN/LM GMR Technology Topic on Virtual Reality. I had a small hand in helping plan this event, as I was tasked with soliciting vendors for a raffle prize to encourage attendance. After a few emails to my local EBSCO rep, they donated a cool little View-Master Deluxe VR Viewer which reminded me of a toy I had as a kid. This one, however, works with a smartphone and allows for an inexpensive entry into the world of virtual reality.

As further preparation for the conference, I had read an article in Forbes Magazine entitled How VR Saves Lives In The OR which explored uses of virtual reality in medicine in seven areas: training, education, visualization, psychology, telehealth and telesurgery, screen consolidation and physical training, health, and fitness. I was fascinated by the new applications on the healthcare horizon, things like: mapping CT scans onto a patient’s body, surgical simulations with haptic feedback, flight simulator-like surgery rehearsals, and more.  There is great promise in using VR to improve the medical education process.

At the GMR Tech Topic, Jennifer Herron, Jason Lilly, and Kellie Kaneshiro, all of Indiana University Ruth Lilly Medical Library, served on a panel to explore the use of virtual reality in medical practice. Being good librarians, they performed a search of with the key words “virtual reality” and found 439 studies spanning 350 conditions. They found three general categories of use beyond education: rehabilitation, pain management, and psychiatric disorders.

They introduced us to CAREN, the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment system,  which is a multi-sensory system for the analysis, evaluation and rehabilitation of the balance system, especially for injured war veterans. Then they showed us how VR is also being considered as an alternative method of analgesia, for example during labor in the VRAIL Pilot Study (Virtual Reality Analgesia in Labor). Other VR innovations are being used to prevent and treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The STRIVE and Bravemind systems benefit service members who may need both physical and psychiatric rehabilitation.

Despite all these amazing applications of VR, the panel from IU also noted that one disadvantage of VR is that it may cause motion sickness. This problem is more pronounced in women due to differences in their postural sway while maintaining balance. In an interesting aside, the panelists suggested that there is a need for more female VR system designers to help mitigate this problem.

The panel concluded by sharing a list of the many health sciences libraries across the country which are hosting Tech Hubs, Technology Labs, Innovation Spaces and Sandboxes. In a nice followup on Sunday evening, Kellie, Jennifer and Jason held their own VR petting zoo, while karaoke was simultaneously going on at the front of the room. They set up a full VR system and also demonstrated the Virtuali-Tee by Curiscope which gives the VR user a guided tour inside the human body.

The VR Technology Forum was a fascinating, eye-opening, and fun introduction into VR in medicine. Thank you to the NN/LM GMR and Indiana University Ruth Lilly Medical Library for this excellent addition to the conference, and congratulations to Karen Hanus, the winner of the Viewmaster!

Donald Pearson, MBA/MIS, MLIS, AHIP
Library Technology Specialist, Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library
Columbus, Ohio |

Research Data Management and Serendipity

Saturday at #MidwestMHSLA17 was a full day of Continuing Education for me. I had planned to learn about Research Data Management (RDM) with Kevin Read and Alisa Surkis from New York University School of Medicine in the morning, then about library assessment in the afternoon. I thought it would be a nice introduction to two dissimilar topics, one having to do with research and numbers, and the other with having to do with marketing and the business of libraries.

Serendipitously, though, I ended up spending a full eight hours learning about RDM. My afternoon class got cancelled and so I ended up in a second class entitled Data Management for Librarians given by Caitlin Bakker from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

From Kevin and Alisa I learned not only the basics of RDM, but also how it can be marketed. I learned that librarians should make meetings with researchers about their research, not about the library. Kevin even went into how to “cold-call” researchers to drum up business for the library. A couple of ways to find out about what your institution’s researchers are doing include the NIH RePORTER database and your institution’s grant office.

Then Alisa showed us this cute video, which dramatized many of the frustrations researchers have when managing their data and what can go wrong can you buy cialis online with RDM and sharing.

I’m going to start learning more about RDM by reading this article by Kevin and Alisa and their colleagues, “Starting the data conversation: informing data services at an academic health sciences library.”

As usual, I felt overwhelmed with the information in just one CE class; nevertheless, I persisted in the afternoon, as Caitlin Bakker reinforced many of the RDM topics from Kevin and Alisa’s class. Caitlin provided us with some hands-on exercises using the DMP Tool to actually critique and compose a Data Management Plan. Within a few hours she had the class reviewing and creating real plans that would meet institutional and funder requirements.

I ended up with a day-long crash course in data management, but I still learned about library marketing as I had hoped. I was a beneficiary of a serendipitous confluence of three great instructors and a rising topic in health sciences librarianship. I made sure to tell Emily Ginier, the Chair of the CE Committee, how pleased I was with my day, despite the cancellation and substitution of my afternoon class. I also wrote to Kevin, Alisa, and Caitlin suggesting they team teach a seminar together on RDM. What an excellent day of learning at #MidwestMHSLA17!

Donald Pearson, MBA/MIS, MLIS, AHIP
Library Technology Specialist, Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library
Columbus, Ohio |

Want to go to Istanbul? Present at the European Conference on Information Literacy!

Even if you’re not an academic health sciences librarian, information literacy is important to your patrons!  It’s about the learning process, not just searching in a database.  An information literate person will have the  ability to recognize a problem or question, find information, appraise the information, understand ethical/legal implications, and use it to accomplish something.  Sound familiar?  Yes, it’s basically the same steps as evidence-based practice.  EBP is information literacy in a new setting- in the hospital, in the doctor’s office, in a laboratory, in a dentist’s office.  So take a chance, submit a proposal!  You have till December!

European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL)<>

October 22-25, 2013, Istanbul, Turkey

ECIL is Organized by the Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University and Department of Information and Communication Sciences of Zagreb University. It is an international conference supported by Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, Information Literacy Section of IFLA and many other prestigious universities, associations, and organizations actively involved in media and information literacy.

Aim & Scope

Information Literacy, Media Literacy and Lifelong Learning being the main theme, ECIL aims to bring together researchers, information professionals, media specialists, educators, policy makers, employers and all other related parties from around the world to exchange knowledge and experience and discuss current issues, recent developments, challenges, theories, and good practices.

Important Dates

First Call: July 2012
Second Call: October 2012
Third Call: December 2012

Submission deadline for contributions: 1 February 2013
Notification of acceptance: 5 April 2013
Deadline for submitting final versions: 15 May 2013
Conference sessions: 22-24 October 2013
Conference tour: 25 October 2013

Abstract & Paper Submission

The conference will be composed of several types of contributions, such as full papers, posters, PechaKucha, best practices, workshops, panels, special sessions, doctoral forum, each has different requirements and restrictions regarding the length, time allocation and content. Contributions should be prepared using the templates available through the Conference web site and submitted electronically via the conference management system by February 1, 2013. Contributions will be peer-reviewed and the authors will be notified of the outcome by April 5, 2013. Final copies of the accepted contributions should be sent in by May 15, 2013, in order for them to be included in the book of abstracts. Selected papers will be published in proceedings book and refereed journals. At least one of the authors should register online via Conference web site and take part at the conference.

Paper Presentations – Kathy Schilling’s “Knocking it out of the park for cancer symptom support”

The abstract:

Knocking it Out of the Park for Cancer Symptom Support:  Lessons Learned in the Development and Evaluation of a Cancer Patient Self-Management System
Texas, 3:00pm-3:50pm
Presenter: Katherine Schilling, Ed.D.  Associate Professor of Library and Information Science,
Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Katherine Schilling, Ed.D.  Associate Professor of Library and Information Science,
  • Indiana University
  • Christine M. Newlon, Indiana University School of Informatics
  • Kimberly Wagler-Ziner, Assistant Scientist, Center for Research and Scholarship, IU School of Nursing and Behavioral Research Recruitment Core Coordinator, Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
  • Robert Skipworth Comer, Indiana University School of Informatics
  • Anna M. McDaniel, PhD., Indiana University School of Informatics and Indiana University School of Nursing

Background: The patient symptom monitoring and management system (SMMS) is a secure web portal through which cancer patients’ symptoms are recorded and tracked.  It incorporates ongoing assessment of patients’ symptoms, tailored information delivery, and automated symptom messaging to oncology nurses.  This presentation describes issues and challenges in developing and evaluating the SMMS.  Portal design, usability, security, and pilot testing with patients and healthcare providers will be discussed, and results of evaluation activities will be described.
Methods: The patient-driven SMMS was developed at a major oncology center, then piloted with newly-diagnosed colon cancer patients (n = 12).  Each week, over a period of eight weeks, patients recorded their cancer-related symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, numbness, pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and others (N = 103).  Symptom severity was ranked on a 0 (not a problem) to 10 (interfered heavily with my lifestyle) scale (M = 4).  Based on each week’s symptoms and related health management questions, the SMMS generated an evidence-based information Toolkit tailored to each patient’s symptoms and concerns.
Results and Discussion: Development and evaluation activities are discussed, including web mining to identify patterns in testers’ symptoms and information behaviors.  Individual-level and system-level data collected through portal activity logs included login time, time on-page, reported symptoms, and information resources used in support of symptom self-management.  Data analysis has helped troubleshoot design and system interaction problems.  Research findings are also used to improve the SMMS’s functionality, promoting more effective cancer symptom self-management support for patients.

My notes (Apologies for their quality! Contribute your additional thoughts and related resources in the comments!):

  • What it is: a web-based interactive system development and assessment.
  • Cancer is no longer an acute disease. People are living with cancer for longer periods of time. Survivorship begins with diagnosis!
  • Cancer survivors have significant needs.  The cancer symptom management system created to meet these needs. It is multidisciplinary.
  • It is designed as a database to log symptoms and manage information.
    • (Research shows that increased knowledge helps with coping.)
    • Unique and complicated needs in a very difficult time.
  • Provider and patient sign up together.  Providers get dings when symptoms reach a threshold, but they can also sign in to track/trend their patients’ symptoms.
  • There is also a piece for caregivers (family, etc.), and this is the piece an insurance company bought.
  • Various usability features modified as it was seen how the site was used.
  • Caregivers are linked to the patient, particularly important where there is geographical distance.
  • Evaluation of pilot – who what when where why and how
  • Looked at case trends, toolkit (which provides supplementary info) usage.  Reading skills, health literacy are important.
  • 1 patient was more engaged. They tried to figure out why, but it was difficult with the lack of information in the system.  The next test will be modified to capture more behavior.
  • Project has raised new questions:
    • How do symptoms drive useage patterns?
    • How is the information toolkit used in decision making?
  • Continue to engage with users to “target rather than tailor.”
  • Challenges:
    • Consents
    • Recruitment, needed people with Internet
    • Multisite
    • HIPAA failures
    • System crash, had to be monitored.
    • Michigan and Indiana are arguing about who owns what, who does what, publication rights.
  • Advantages:
    • Web portal
    • Established content
  • Developed various best practices around methodology, testing, developing structure, developing team, usability, funding.

Support for Research: Roles for Librarians

In her Keynote presentation this morning Ruth Holst spent most of her time discussing the evolving roles of hospital librarians. But in addition at the end of her presentation she discussed a recent study that provides food for thought on emerging roles available to librarians in the academic setting in support of research. The report written by “retired” librarians Susan Kroll and Rick Forsman  A Slice of Research Life: Information Support for Research in the United States is available on the OCLC website. The report looks at the “current use of tools and services that support all stages of  the research life cycle in institutions of higher education” in the United States. How can your library better meet the needs of researchers?

Scholarly Communication 101

**Note from the blogger known as Jean–My computer decided to die during the last 30 minutes of this presentation, so I apologize for not being able to provide more detailed notes for the last portion**
Scholarly Communication 101
A standard definition of scholarly communication is the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use.
More simply, an author submits an article that is reviewed by the publisher, who makes it available to libraries for a certain cost, which is then obtained by users. Unfortunately, with this model, users are purchasing content that buy cialis online is it safe they possibly created or content that they supported.
Author ? Publisher ? Libraries = Users
Naturally, there are several obvious issues with this model

Economics of Publishing – the major issues

1. Extraordinary price increases (average 8%)
Sadly, there seems to be no correlation between price and quality. This is especially problematic in our current economy where we are already operating with reduced budgets.
2. Mergers and acquisitions
3. Bundled content, which is efficient and helps limit inflation
While bundled content allows libraries to have access to more resources, the disadvantage is that there is a loss of control over the selection. It is not uncommon to have access to a bundle that has one useful resource and 3 not-as-useful resources
4.Volume of information


Preferred Academic Formats in an Academic Center
Ebook definitions have progressively changed with emerging technology. There is still no universal accepted definition, however there are similarities that exist within the myriad definitions. Many of these similarities focus on the types of ebook formats.
This study addresses the specific needs of the users and assist the health science libraries in the selection and delivery of the preferred format of the product. This study was broken into three formats; print, electronic, and PDA’s. The types of books were generally focused on what was available, which were health-related textbooks that had images/graphs (some of the books used were Harrison’s Internal Medicine, Manual of Laboratory & Diagnostic Tests, and more that this blogger was unable to type fast enough)
The study started with an orientation, which included a pre-survey that was broken into age groups and PDA ownership prior to the study. A majority of the study participants fell between the 26-35 year range and most of those that had used PDAs were generally aware of the university’s ebook collection. However, only 9 out of the 16 used the ebook resources. Not surprisingly, most of the participants used the electronic resources within the academic atmosphere and within the hospital.
Ultimately, the results demonstrated that the university should continue to purchase web-based resources. Slides from the presentation will soon be posted

Preferred Academic Formats in an Academic Center

Knowing the resources and tools that patrons use is an important issue for any librarian that handles collection development. Not only does it determine what resources the library should offer, but also it creates an awareness as to whether the users understand the resources available.
This study used Survey Monkey to conduct and analyze the results. The survey consisted of 11 questions, cleverly had prize drawings as incentives to participate (the main luring device, because who can ignore a free prize), links were posted on the HSL home page, and the survey was promoted by liaisons to various departments.
An impressive 331 users completed the survey, graduate students and faculty occupied a majority of the respondents. So what did they learn?
The most popular way to access information was PubMed and Ovid. With Medline access, most patrons were familiar with PubMed and used both PubMed and Ovid. Surprisingly, specialty databases like PsychInfo did not have nearly as many users as expected.
While other databases were surveyed, they were not utilized nearly as much as PubMed/Ovid. Other databases included ISI, CSA, and Ebsco. It was mentioned that patrons were having trouble finding links to the less-used databases, which was noted as a future way to better promote the resources
And while the patrons used Google and Google Scholar, only a small portion use the full-text linking through Google Scholar.
The eventual application of these findings include instructional (departments and open classes through the library. This helps focusing their efforts to training—especially with the new PubMed interface), collection development, and reference (what, in addition to PubMed, would patrons use)
Information Needs and Behaviors of Young Breast Cancer Survivors.
Cancer is not a death sentence, but the term “survivor” can be misleading. Being a survivor may indicate that one is cancer free, however that does not include the risks for short-term and long-term quality of life issues. The goal of this study was to examine the information seeking needs and behaviors of young breast cancer survivors by determining whether these survivors have triggers that influence the desire to seek information
A good example of a trigger that influences that information seeking desire: if someone is very depressed, is she more likely to seek information?
Although this study didn’t demonstrate that there is a significant correlation between information seeking needs with psychosocial variables, the focus of the study was on young breast cancer survivors that had been symptom free for several years. Not surprisingly, 58% of the participants did not know about Medline. Most of the group either used Google or go to their health care providers for information. This implies that librarians need to enforce information literacy to physicians—especially since most of these women did not use the library for help finding information.
Find, Retrieve, Analyze and Use: Information Literacy Trainings for the Public Health Workers
What is competency? Generally it is an applied set of skills and knowledge that allow people to perform specific work. So when it comes to emergency preparedness, naturally one would want these workers to have a high health competency level. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case, thus there needs to be an effort for librarians to collaborate with health workers through training activities.
Training does not come through grants or contracts from CDC to local health departments. As a workforce development issue, the NLM recognize this and have provided resources for librarians, but not necessarily for public health workers. Only by librarians promoting and training can these workers become more competent within information literacy
Library workers of the NNLM-GMR can receive funding to ensure access to biomedical information and improve access to online health information for the public health workforce

Preliminary speaker: Clifford Stoll

‘”Why is it that drug addicts and computer aficionados are called users?”
Clifford Stoll is an extremely energetic and passionate man who rarely stayed in one spot for more than a few moments. And while in the introduction it was said that Stoll was deeply ambivalent about computer culture, I found that he bluntly understood the trials and tribulations to quickly finding answers.
Stoll discussed several conversations he had with librarians and had many portions at hand—literally, he wrote notes of these conversations on his palm. Even after taking a shower last night, there were still ghostly traces of ink on his hand.
He kept returning to one particular conversation about why M (the initial of the librarian he talked with, which he proved by showing his palm) was a librarian: “innovation, curiosity and a real yearning to find out what’s going on and a wish to help.” This is something that all librarians can all relate to, and I understand his “jealousy” with our profession. He has the same desires, which he expressed was why he became an astronomer and is a stay-at home dad.
Stoll referred to an old clique “they always taste better when you roll them yourself” when describing canning plums. I enjoyed this unusual analogy, which continued throughout the lecture. Essentially, there is an information trilemma (trilemma is my terminology, just imagine a triangle) that librarians face: Information that is Good, Cheap, and Fast. However, information cannot be all three, thus making is a trilemma (a similar analogy is a common theologcal triadic relationship—how can God be all knowing, all good, and all powerful?). Information cannot be retrieved quickly, cheaply, and still have quality. With regards to canning plums, he grows his own plums and his kids pick and then boil those plums. So, he has quality plums that were cheaply obtained, but the process was not fast.
Google, however, one can retrieve results quickly without any cost. But, those results are not necessarily useful quality information. The fast answer is not necessarily the best answer. To Stoll, this is a fraud, worse that a lie, and it is simply a myth that one can type any question and get the “right” answer.
If you want good information fast, it will not necessarily be cheap. In reference to the vendors, Stoll related the quality in information to editing. He said that he is willing to pay an editor to filter out the “stupidity.” What’s missing from the internet is the lack of quality editing; so, one is willing to pay a vendor to increase the quality information.
Inevitably, answers have something to do with, but not necessarily, understanding. Health science patrons want answers, not understanding. Understanding takes time to process and is expensive. Stoll stressed that what we should be searching for is understanding.
I agree
Ultimately, there isn’t a resolution to the information trilemma. But as librarians, we share this common problem and we are seeking what Stoll is seeking: understanding in a galaxy of questions

In the beginning….that is, before the preliminary keynote speaker

Currently, I am sipping hot tea and eagerly waiting for our speaker, Clifford Stoll. Most, if not all, librarians acknowledge the Google competition for providing easy and quick answers. Even when I circulated last night’s welcome ceremony and the vendor breakfast this morning, every person I talked with had a story about problem patrons who refused to search with anything that isn’t Google. In fact, I have often joked that hypochondriacs will force doctor’s to become better researchers; after all, the doctor is assumed to know more than patients. But how can a doctor convince a hypochondriac that their fears are unwarranted when the doctor is using the same tool that the hypochondriac had used?

New Tricks

Time does indeed fly! Hard to believe that your intrepid blog editor has been working here at the Kent State University Library for nine months already. So far, it has been one learning experience after another. I had no idea how much I didn’t know!
This morning, seeking a change of scenery from my luxuriously appointed office cubicle, I trekked upstairs to the 2nd floor periodicals section. I spent some very fruitful time there scanning the library literature the old-fashioned way, in print. One of my finds today was Mitch Fontenot‘s article in the Fall 2008 issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly (amusing title: The Ambidextrous Librarian, or “You Can Teach a Middle-Aged Dog Some New Tricks”) on mid-life career changes for librarians. He too made the leap to academic librarianship after more than several years as a specialized librarian. I found his frank discussion of the challenge of publishing research encouraging. I went right up to the 4th floor, grabbed our copy of the recommended The Librarian’s Guide to Writing for Publication, and checked it out.
I’m not sure how this happened but somehow I never managed to take a “research methods” class when I attended library school way back in the dark ages. So sitting on my desk is a copy of Practical Research Methods for Librarians and Information Professionals which I borrowed a few weeks ago from another OhioLINK library. Late this summer, I am hoping to begin a study as part of the NAHRS Mapping the Literature of Allied Health project.
As an instruction librarian, I spend a lot of time showing other people how to search for information. Online searching is something that I also did not really study in library school. Your intrepid blog editor earned her M.L.S. a full two years before Tim Berners-Lee even proposed the World Wide Web. Of course, I have taken numerous formal training courses in searching specific databases. But I have learned the techniques of searching mainly by doing. So I found the section on search styles and tactics in Andrew Booth’s article “Using Evidence in Practice” in the December 2008 issue of Health Information and Libraries Journal very illuminating. I generally teach “building block” searching to my students but in my own searching, I am more of a “berry picker” or even a “pearl grower.”
That’s what I’m reading today. What are YOU reading today? Comment below!