Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

Event planning is hard, especially when unexpected things happen.  It is also fun and rewarding when things go right.  Either way it is definitely worth all the work because it is still, even in our iGeneration, the best way to learn, connect with colleagues, and have fun.

One of the main purposes for me to attend #MidwestMHSLA17 was to observe the details of planning a professional conference.  I am on the Planning Committee for the next Midwest MLA Conference in Cleveland in October 2018.  I am a member of the Publicity Committee, and the Webmaster for the conference site.  The Publicity Committee is responsible for getting the word out to the Midwest MLA membership about the conference and promoting the host city and state. We have already been working hard since the spring and the 2017 meeting was our first big milestone in planning.  Besides observing and meeting our counterparts at the 2017 meeting, the 2018 Planning Committee sponsored a table with promotional materials, and announced the conference at the MHSLA Business Meeting and the Midwest Chapter Business Meeting.

The 2018 Publicity Committee (consisting of Margaret Hoogland, Theresa Kline, and me) planned out our table and decided to give out buckeyes (chocolate and peanut butter truffles for those non-Ohioans), Cleveland pins, and chances to win a $50 coupon towards the registration cost of the next meeting. We made a banner and decorated our table with rock-n-roll paraphernalia.  We encouraged visitors to take selfies and tag them with the official meeting hasthtag, #MidwestMLA18.  We benefited from the 2017 Special Karaoke Event which got people thinking in a rock-and-roll mode.  The video featuring our 2018 conference chairs Mary Pat Harnegie and Mary Schleicher, and the music of real life rock star librarian Cathy Murch put an exclamation point on our marketing efforts.  In a happy coincidence, the NLM in Focus blog has been focusing on “rock-star” medical librarians all month – a gift of free marketing for us!

I am sure that all the 2018 Conference Planning Committee members were watching carefully and learning from the 2017 meeting.  Stephanie Swanberg, the chair of the 2017 Publicity Committee, met with us and shared some pointers and volunteered to be available for questions.  I spoke with Emily Ginier, the chair of the CE committee, when my CE instructor suddenly cancelled.  Probably the most important thing I learned from observing this meeting is how to land on one’s feet when that inevitable something doesn’t go as planned. Switching gracefully to Plan B is a conference planner’s biggest challenge.  But the 2017 conference planning committee did an excellent job of moving forward and rolling with the stormy waves.  I told Emily that I actually enjoyed the substituted CE class very much as it ended up giving me a full day crash course on Research Data Management. Although I was disappointed at not getting to hear Curt Guyette speak, I did not mind the gap in the schedule as things just moved on gracefully.

In reflecting on my 2017 conference experience, I am very thankful for this opportunity.  I am thankful to have received an NN/LM GMR Professional Development Award to attend the conference.  I had hoped to take some CEs, and learn from the vendors, paper and poster presenters, and the keynote speaker, but what I learned most is how important personal interaction still is and how valuable physical attendance at a conference is.  Even the “fun” sessions like the welcome party, karaoke night, and down-time are not just icing on the cake, but opportunities to really build relationships among colleagues, have some great discussions, and even establish some mentor and mentee relationships.

All in all I was very pleased with my conference experience – and that is the goal, after all, isn’t it?  I realized that a tight schedule is important, but that just being with and learning from one’s peers is what is most important about conferences.  If I want to learn about a topic I can just search for an article, or watch a video online.  But there is no replacement for meeting people in person.  Even with scheduling snafus, an annual conference still provides that in-person networking and fellowship time that is growing increasingly rare in our society.  I will take this realization back to my 2018 planning work.  I want to keep in mind that building collegial relationships is the most important thing in a conference, not the production of a perfectly smooth, clockwork event.  In that spirit, we can almost guarantee that the Cleveland conference next year will Shake, Rattle, and Roll!!

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

Webinar: Librarians Collaborating to Produce Systematic Reviews: Project Launch to Publication

Webinar: Librarians Collaborating to Produce Systematic Reviews: Project Launch to Publication.  April 16, 2014 1-2:30pm Central

What is a systematic review? What are the practice guidelines? How do I negotiate my contribution? Join our panel of speakers as they discuss what is really needed and resources for improving your skills. They will tackle these issues and discuss opportunities for librarians to be part of the team.

Register here for this MLA webcast or visit one of the webcast viewing sites in your state sponsored by the NNLM GMR.

IL: University of Illinois at Chicago, Library of the Health Sciences, Chicago – Registration Link:

IL: University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences Peoria, Peoria – Registration: Contact Emily Johnson at emj11 at uic dot edu

IN: Indiana University School of Medicine, Ruth Lilly Library, Indianapolis – Registration Link:

IN: Indiana University School of Medicine Northwest, Center for Medical Education, Gary – Registration: Contact Corona Wiley at cwiley at iun dot edu

IA: Des Moines University Library, Des Moines – Registration: Contact Natalie Hutchinson at Natalie dot hutchinson at dmu dot edu

IA: University of Iowa, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, Iowa City – Registration link:

KY: University of Kentucky, Medical Center Library, Lexington – Registration: Contact Susan Foster-Harper at smfost1 at email dot uky dot edu

KY: University of Louisville, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Louisville – Registration: Contact Vida Vaughn at vida dot vaughn at louisville dot edu

MI: Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Health Sciences Library, Grand Rapids – Registration: Contact Mary Hanson at hansonm at mercyhealth dot com

MI: Wayne State University School of Medicine, Shiffman Medical Library, Detroit  – Registration: Contact Wendy Wu at wendywu at med dot wayne dot edu, or Toni Janik at toni dot janik at wrh dot on dot ca

MN: University of Minnesota, Bio-Medical Library, Minneapolis – Registration: Contact Anne Beschnett at besch015 at umn dot edu 

ND: University of North Dakota, Harley E. French Library of the Health Sciences, Fargo – Registration: Contact Mary Markland at mary dot markland at med dot und dot edu

ND: University of North Dakota, Library of the Health Sciences, Grand Forks – Registration: Contact Theresa Norton at theresa dot norton at med dot und dot edu

OH: Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library, Cleveland – Registration: Contact: Gretchen Hallerberg
OH: Ohio State University, Health Sciences Library, Columbus – Registration: Contact Lynda Hartel at lynda dot hartel at osumc dot edu

SD: Wegner Health Science Information Center, Sioux Falls – Registration: Contact Molly Youngkin at molly dot youngkin at usd dot edu

WI: Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries, Milwaukee – Registration: Contact Karen Hanus at khanus at mcw dot edu

WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ebling Library for the Health Sciences Health Sciences, Madison – Registration link:

W. Oct 16- FREE Online Conference- The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries

See more at:

The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries
Library Journal | School Library Journal Online Event
October 16, 2013
10:00 am – 5:00 pm ETOur 4th annual online event is back with a dynamic new format, featuring programming designed to take libraries into the future to better serve their community’s evolving needs.The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries will offer thought-provoking discussions and actionable solutions to some of the biggest challenges libraries are facing, including rethinking collections, engaging the community, and helping students and patrons learn. The program will feature insights on managing new technologies and services; the latest developments in ebooks and streaming media; optimizing discovery; and much more!

Our expert speakers and panelists will present innovative ideas and actionable solutions for and from libraries of all types – school, academic, and public.

Program tracks will focus on three key areas:

 Community: Programming, Support, and Resource Sharing

 Instruction: Helping Students and Patrons Learn

 New Collections, New Content: Beyond the Container

This free, full-day online event will feature an inspiring cheap cialis super active keynote on“Libraries and Connected Learning” from professor, anthropologist, and author Mimi Ito; a forward-looking panel of thought leaders from the DPLA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Gates Library Foundation, IMLS, and ALA; and a Who’s Who of library professionals from across the US and Canada.

Sessions include:

 Learning 2.0 Meets MOOC: Professional Development Evolves

 Flipped School Libraries

 The Community Joins In: Library Maker Spaces

 eCollections: Beyond Novelty – Focusing in on Collection
Development, Self-Publishing, and eMagazines

The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries (#TDS13) brings a national library conference right to your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile device, complete with:

 The Exhibit Hall: learn about the latest products and innovations
from our sponsors

 The Librarians’ Lounge: network with library professionals from
across the globe

 A Tote Bag: Download all of the presentations, handouts, and
promotional information you want

Registration for the live event is FREE and includes 3 months of access to the event archives on demand, including the presentations, information and handouts from the show, so sign up today!

Call for Virtual Projects for JMLA column

Call for Virtual Projects for New JMLA Column (Journal of the Medical Library Association)

The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) is devoting a new annual column to describing innovative and notable virtual projects in health sciences libraries. This column will complement the annual Building Projects column, which was launched in July 2012, but will focus on library virtual spaces. In an increasingly digital world, the library’s virtual space can be as much of a hub as the library’s physical space. Digital content and technology-rich library services are moving the library “presence” outside the physical building to support users in their digital spaces wherever and whenever needed.

The JMLA welcomes submissions of recent virtual projects for the Virtual Projects column that will be published in October 2013. To be considered for this column, please submit a 200-word abstract of your virtual project or a link to a project web page that describes the project and why it is innovative/notable. Send your submissions to Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA, (slessick at uci dot edu) by March 15, 2013. Examples of health sciences library projects that could be submitted include:

  • projects that improve the quality of the library’s virtual presence through web pages or its catalog
  • development of technologies that facilitate information discovery and content delivery (e.g., federated searching products and portals)
  • mobile-friendly resource and service initiatives
  • development of web 2.0/Library 2.0 initiatives (e.g., social networking applications)
  • hosting and preserving digital content activities
  • projects that demonstrate the use of library resources and services through the institution’s electronic health record (EHR)
  • collaborative ventures with campus or other partners to develop new digital resources and services

2013 Midwest MLA website is up!

The Midwest Chapter/Medical Library Association Annual Chapter Meeting will be held in East Peoria, IL from October 4 – 8, 2013.

At Midwest 2013, participants will focus on Navigating a River of Information, appropriately accompanied by the scenic Illinois River that the East Peoria Embassy Suites East Peoria – Hotel & River Front Conference Center overlooks.  

The conference keynote speaker is Michelle Kraft, Senior Medical Librarian at the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library and author of the popular blog “The Krafty Librarian.” Michelle will present Emerging Technologies and the Evolving Library. Our plenary speaker is Sarah Houghton, Director for the San Rafael Public Library.  Sarah writes “The Librarian in Black,” a blog covering library web and digital services.  Sarah will present The Future of the Digital Library.

Registration and CE details to be announced, bookmark the conference website at

Survey! Instruction in Course Management Software

Does your library use Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle, Angel, or another Course Management or Learning Management System for library instruction? If so, you are being invited to participate in a brief survey. The purpose of this national study is to determine how health sciences librarians are using Course or Learning Management Systems. Specifically, what content are you providing with this delivery method and what are the technology’s existing limitations?

The results of this research will be presented at the upcoming 2011 MLA annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN, and potentially submitted for future publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Please take ten minutes to complete the brief online survey that can be accessed at the following URL:
Please complete this survey by March 15, 2011.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to complete the survey! Please feel free to share with colleagues directly involved in library instruction and course management software.

With appreciation,

Stefanie E. Warlick and Tierney Lyons

Time = Money

Hopefully by now we’ve all seen the great Time=Money poster created and made available to us by the lovely folk at the GMR (check out the “Promoting Your Library” page for more!).  It was love at first sight for me at the Midwest Chapter Conference…

The reason I bring this up is that the concept that time is valuable has popped up in a couple places on my internet reading, and in places that could be important for us (as medical librarians trying to save our users’ time) to know about!

The first, a note in InsideHigherEd that briefly discussed “Peer Review by Twitter“, was sent to me by our current president and former ConnectMidwest Editor Clare Leibfarth (thanks, Clare!).  The article it discusses is available from NatureNews: “Peer Review: Trial by Twitter“.  Although it seems to conclude that changes to pre- and post-publication peer review aren’t happening that rapidly yet, it does imply that within the more closed world of biological research (as opposed to math & physics, where open communication has been taking place for decades on, faster communication channels might be changing the game.

The folks over at PubGet, the “search engine for life sciences PDFs”, also had some interesting thoughts to share on time, specifically  “Musings from the CEO: Why fast search is my mission“.  He talks about the time PubGet saves, but the general gist is that creating a tool that increases efficiency can have enormous value.  And nearly instant access to whatever it is that you need is therefore a Very Big Deal!  I’m thinking that’s probably not new or exciting information for us librarians (we know time=money, and that we can help our users save it!), but it bears repeating.

So, two other places talking about saving *our* users’ time.   Have you seen or heard anything else lately in this realm?  Because one of the ways we can keep making sure we are saving time is by staying on top of the tools and changes that can help us do so! 🙂

We need your help!

Greetings Midwest Folk!

One of the goals for the communications committee is to update the Midwest Chapter Website and this is where I need the help of our amazing readers! Please take a few minutes and let us know what information is out-of-date or seems obsolete on the website. We want to create a website that can be frequently visited for the most current information. And if you are able to provide the current data, we will toast your name with our cups of coffee/tea

You can either email me at or else comment to this blog (must have an account).

As always, reporting to you live

MeSH’s 50th Anniversary

This afternoon I watched the 5oth Anniversary Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Event videocast. And yes, I personally found it interesting. If you are at all interested in matters vocabulary, you can watch the lecture yourself on the NIH website within a few days. Dr. Robert Braude reviewed the history of this medical vocabulary within its historical context. As a more mature person myself, I enjoyed Dr. Braude’s “unofficial” title for the lecture: “MeSH at 50: Should It Join AARP?”

I took some notes but Dr. Braude presented so much information that I couldn’t really keep up. And he had no audiovisuals to slow him down. I do wish that they would post a bibliography of the resources that he mentioned. I caught most but not all of them. I am sure most of them are listed here in this MeSH bibliography. Just for fun, NLM’s History of Medicine Division has posted the original 1960 edition of Medical Subject Headings: Main headings, Subheadings, and Cross references used in the Index Medicus and the National Library of Medicine Catalog. The preface notes that “The adoption of a single subject authority list for books and periodical articles is a departure from traditional practice.” I mentioned this later in the afternoon to our head of cataloging and metadata and this was as surprising to her as it was to me. The usefulness of a single vocabulary seems so obvious! I had no idea that MeSH was so controversial. One of the justifications for a carefully developed single medical vocabulary was its superiority over article derived terms in retrieving medical information. This remains a topic of discussion at MPOW. Here in the reference office we still have frequent discussions about whether it is preferable to teach health sciences students in the Google generation subject term searching rather than keyword searching. I am a staunch defender of the power of subject searching.

The most interesting part of the lecture were Dr. Braude’s personal reflections. He noted that as a young librarian the most valuable part of his MEDLARS training at NLM were the relationships that he developed. He spoke of time spent with many of the NLM greats. Imagine coffee breaks with Stan Jablonski! He noted that in those early days of the MEDLARS system searches were input using keypunch cards (I remember using those!) and search results were returned IN A FEW DAYS. How things have changed!