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
dpearson@mchs.com | library.mchs.com

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 Clinicaltrials.gov 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
dpearson@mchs.com | library.mchs.com

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 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
dpearson@mchs.com | library.mchs.com

Research by Design

Research by Design handout
Class Handout

Merge & Converge started off early Saturday morning with a coffee from the lobby Starbucks and then onto Lorie Kloda’s CE class – Research by Design: Proposing, planning, and carrying out a research project for the practicing librarian. The class delivered on everything the title promised. Having no prior research experience, I was happy to walk out of the class with a direction for a research project and feel more comfortable taking the first steps to starting that project.

It was a great way to start off the conference and get some library ideas flowing. The class was broken up with some lecture and then group activities, which worked extremely well for newbies just getting into the research arena. Being able to brainstorm with other librarians from across the Midwest was a great way to get multiple perspectives, focus ideas, and make the whole process seem much more attainable and less of an overwhelming, impossible goal.

The class started out with identifying a “burning question”; what had we been wondering and wanting to learn more about? From this burning question, in later activites we went on to hash out some of the finer details of creating a research proposal.

Having only taken one research course during my MLIS education, this class served to refresh some previously stowed away knowledge and stir up some motivation to take on completing some original research of my own.

Lorie also let the class know about the MLA Research Institute and provided attendees with additional resources to support their research goals.

The class made for a perfect fit with the conference theme Merge and Converge and I am looking forward to more as the conference continues on.

Meet New People and Win Prizes in New Member Bingo!

bingo!

The membership committees of the Midwest Chapter and the Midcontinental Chapter of the Medical Library Association invite those members attending the joint meeting “Merge & Converge Sixteen in ’16,” in Des Moines, to join in the fun by playing New Member Bingo! All you need to do is to pick-up a bingo card at the registration desk and get the individuals on your bingo card to initial their square. Names of new chapter members and current chapter officers will be printed on the cards. This game is a fun way to meet the new members in our chapters and the new members to meet their officers. We hope you’ll play and turn in your cards for a prize!

CE Classes at Merge & Converge in Des Moines

What are you doing on Saturday, October 22nd?
Why not Merge & Converge in Des Moines, Iowa for a CE class (or two)?
The Joint Meeting of the Midwest and Midcontinental Chapters of MLA is going to Merge & Converge in Des Moines on October 22-24, 2016.
The Continuing Education Committee has lined up six classes, with nine great instructors, on six topics requested by you!

Research by Design: Proposing, Planning, and Carrying Out a Research Project for the Practicing Librarian
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 8:00-Noon
Cost: $150
MLA CE credit: Approved for 4 Contact Hours
Instructor: Lorie Kloda, Associate University Librarian for Planning and Community Relations at Concordia University in Montreal.

Cool Creative Communications: Dazzling Data Visualization
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 8:00-Noon
Hands-on
Cost: $150
MLA CE Credits: Approved for 4 Contact Hours
Instructor: Tony Nguyen, NN/LM SE/A, University of Maryland, Medical Library, Baltimore, MD

Beyond the list: Unpacking the Predatory Publisher
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 8:00-Noon
Hands-on
Cost: $150
MLA CE credits: Approved for 4 Contact Hours
Instructor: Catherine Arnott Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Library & Information Studies

Building Partnerships with Faculty, Clinicians and Other Stakeholders
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 1:00-5:00
Cost: $150
MLA CE credits: Approved for 4 Contact Hours
Instructors: Gwen Wilson, Washburn University, Mabee Library, Topeka, KS and Kristen DeSanto, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus Library, Aurora CO

Financial Advocacy: Turning Your Data into Ammunition!
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 1:00-4:00
Cost: Free
MLA CE credits: Approved for 3 Contact Hours
Instructors: Betsy Kelly, NN/LM-MCR and Barb Jones, NN/LM-MCR

Innovative Instruction
Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 1:00-5:00
Hands-on
Cost: $150
MLA CE credits: Approved for 4 Contact Hours
Instructors: Amy Blevins, Indiana University Ruth Lilly Medical Library and Xiaomei Gu, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences at the University of Iowa.
Full class descriptions are available on the conference website:
http://midwestmla.org/conference2016/wordpress/program/continuing-education/
View complete conference information here: http://midwestmla.org/conference2016/wordpress/

Call for Submissions to the Merge & Converge Tech Forum: Partnering with Technology Champions

Would you like to share your success story for collaborating with technology champions outside of the library?

The Merge & Converge Tech Forum Planning Group is looking for panelists who want to share their IT collaboration success stories as either a “technology therapy” for those of us struggling with new technology initiatives in our institutions or an inspiration to those of us looking for new and exciting ventures. Have you participated in your college’s Learning Management System (LMS), integrated library resources in your hospital’s Electronic Health Record (EHR), collaborated on 3D printing/imaging, Big Data projects, instructional technologies, or other exciting tech projects?

If so, we want to hear from you and (if possible) your non-library technology collaborators! [NOTE: Some funding may be available to defray the cost of attendance for non-library personnel]

The Tech Forum will be taking place on Monday, October 24 from 3:30-5pm central time. The full conference schedule is available at http://midwestmla.org/conference2016/wordpress/program/schedule/

If you are interested in serving on this panel, please fill out the following form http://goo.gl/forms/QAtfslKYgSoDK34L2 by Monday, August 1, 2016. Submissions should be around 250 words or less. Panelists will be notified of acceptance by September 1, 2016.

Emerging Technologies for the Busy Librarian

I made my MCHSL colleagues get up early Saturday morning so I could make it on time to Gabe Rios’ and Melissa De Santis’ continuing education course at noon. Despite a little grumbling, my colleagues consented and felt much better after a stop at Chick-Fil-A in Cincy. (Stevo had never been there before!)

Anyway, I had taken the 2013 version of this class in East Peoria and was looking forward to drinking from the fire hose once again, and this dynamic duo did not disappoint! If you can imagine spending four hours in a class without getting bored then I highly recommend this course the next time it’s offered.

To begin with, I think one of the best raisons d’être for the library I’ve heard recently was in this class: “Libraries democratize access to technology.” This set the tone for why we as librarians even need to stay up to date in our technology knowledge. OK, I’m on board with that, bring on the 3D printing!

So what did Gabe and Melissa cover? Much more than would be appropriate for a blog post, but here are the highlights from my perspective:

NCState as a trending library to watch.

I had liked their “Browse by Call Number” search before, but in this class we talked about their policies for technology lending. I will keep the experience and knowhow of NCState in mind as we develop policies to lend out our Chromebooks and any newer technologies that might come along.

3D Printing and Makerspaces.

MIT 3D printed hearts from actual MRI data.
3D printed hearts from actual MRI data.

I have been kind of skeptical of the whole idea of having 3D printers in libraries. As we were discussing this in class, my contrarian side came up and I asked “What would medical libraries be allowed to print anyway – just models for instruction?” However Gabe and Melissa mentioned Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s 3D printed heart models direct from a patient’s MRI scan. Now that is something that could be really useful for a library to offer! This article in the MIT News mentions how surgeons “see with their hands,” and find 3D models invaluable for familiarizing themselves with a unique cardiac structure before a difficult surgery.

New Trends in Cloud/Client Architecture.

The term Device Agnostic refers to “web sites that are as readable in mobile devices as they are on desktop computers” (PC Magazine) An example of this is the new Medical Library Association website which is running on the Socious platform. I plan on reading more about what MLA has learned from implementing Socious.

Security and Beacons.

The phrase to remember here is “If you want more customization you have to give up some privacy.” Gabe and Melissa talked about beacons which are “small wireless sensors that you can attach to any location or object which broadcast tiny radio signals which your smartphone can receive and interpret.” (Estimote) This is a marketing or informational tool which lets your customers or patrons “know about things that would probably interest them because of where they are standing.” (Bluubeam) Beacon technology from companies like Estimote and Bluubeam has been in use in retail locations for awhile, but is now being brought to libraries with products from companies like Capira.

If all this makes you worry about your security, well, there is Skycure, which has been featured on the Today Show and promises to protect your mobile device from “free” wifi network threats and hackers. The best advice regarding the use of “free” wifi in public areas is “don’t shake hands with sick people!”

Virtual Reality.

Gabe and Melissa demonstrate Google Cardboard
Gabe and Melissa demonstrate Google Cardboard

Finally, one of the neatest emerging technologies covered in this class was “Google Cardboard,” a simple, fun, and affordable virtual reality technology. As Gabe is showing in this picture, you simply get (or make) an inexpensive viewer (which reminded me of a Viewmaster, which has also gotten into the cheap VR act!) and download an app for your smartphone, and you are set up for Virtual Reality!

How to drink from the firehose of emerging technology?

Although I’ve only written about five of the four dozen topics that Gabe and Melissa covered in four hours, I’d like to leave you with some ways to keep up with all this innovation:

  • The 2015 Horizon Report by Educase which “describes six areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education and creative expression over the next one to five years.” (Educase Learning Initiative)
  • The ALA’s Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) division blog at http://litablog.org/ which contains posts on technologies and trends relevant to librarians.
  • App Reviews: For general trends in mobile device applications, AppAnnie features a Billboard Top 40 chart for various devices, while iMedical Apps also has a specifically medical top-of-the-charts list.

There are many other ways to keep up, such as conferences (SXSWTED talks) or websites (MashableTechcrunchReadWriteGizmodo or Engadget). Check them out and book mark your favorites!

Finally Gabe and Melissa gave us a set of “Questions to ask about new tools” which include:

  1. How will this help my users?
  2. What risk is associated with this tool?
  3. Could I implement this without it being perfect?
  4. Does it help me get where my users are?
  5. What is the cost?
  6. What are the consequences if I try this? If I don’t?

Attending classes like this at meetings can help librarians be prepared to navigate the digital divide that can separate even our otherwise highly educated clients and make our libraries havens of democratic access to technology.

Happy Birthday to Us!

During our chapter meeting this week, MLA President Michelle Kraft shared a Birthday Message from the Medical Library Association. Bet you didn’t know that the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association was 65 years old!

MLA PresidentResolution Honoring the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Section

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA), Inc. has been in existence for 65 years;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter stimulates and fosters interest in health sciences libraries and librarianship;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter provides educational and professional development opportunities for its members through its annual meeting and promotes MLA continuing education offerings to chapter members;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter facilitates communication and the exchange of ideas and information among its members through the MIDLINE Newsletter, chapter blogs, and the Midwest Email Discussion Group;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter promotes resource sharing and cooperation among libraries and library groups in the Chapter;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter furthers MLA’s Research Agenda through its Research Awards program and the Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award;

Whereas, the Midwest Chapter supports attendance for two Chapter members to attend the Chapter Council Presents Sharing Roundtables Luncheon at the MLA Annual meeting each year;

Whereas, members of the Midwest Chapter have furthered MLA’s mission by serving as MLA presidents, board members, committee chairs and members; be it therefore

Resolved, that the Medical Library Association commends the Midwest Chapter for 65 years of excellent service and accomplishment in support of the profession of health sciences librarianship.

Adopted by the MLA Board of Directors, August 2015