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Conference Dates: October 3 - 6, 2009
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SEEK: Contributed Papers

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SEEK Contributed Papers

EXPLORE Contributed Papers

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SEEK (Location: House Conference Room)

Moderator: Meredith Orlowski

2:00 PM - 2:20 PM

Preferred Book Formats in an Academic Medical Center
Presenters: Lynda Hartel & Fern Cheek, Prior Health Sciences Library, The Ohio State University

The demand for electronic content of any kind is growing in libraries. Administrators at academic libraries are pushing us to expand electronic collections so that space once used for print stacks can be utilized for additional educational and computing facilities.

While there are increasing reports on ebook use in academic settings, few studies have focused on the preferences of the primary user groups of academic medical libraries. Learning more about how and why these groups use particular book formats is important for librarians involved in collection development, instruction, and public service.

The purpose of this study is to discern whether health sciences teaching faculty, clinical nurses, residents and medical students prefer the print, PDA-based, or Web-based versions of popular medical books in their various work and educational settings. Study participants used all three formats of five books to answer a series of questions. They identified format preferences based on ease of navigation, searching efficiencies, screen readability, and overall satisfaction. Pre and post-study surveys were given to determine if preferences and expectations changed as a result of the question exercise.

This poster details study methodology and preliminary results, and discusses how these processes could be applied to other library populations.

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

Not Just Another Survey
Presenters: Mark Mac Eachern, Merle Rosenzweig, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Andrew Hickner, Abby Bedford, & Chrysta Meadowbrooke, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Michigan

Although there have been numerous “patron satisfaction” surveys in the medical library world, this is not one of them. The University of Michigan Library system offers its users a wealth of premier information resources. Two questions occurred to us: Are users aware of the tools available to enhance their clinical practice and research activities; and are they familiar with the most effective methods of using these resources? In order to answer these questions, we devised a concise survey. We distributed this survey through two main methods: (1) We posted it on the University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries website, and (2) we asked the liaison librarians to send the survey to the departments for which they select materials and provide curriculum support. In addition to answering the primary question about what resources our patrons use, we had a secondary purpose to our survey—our intent to educate our users about the richness of the electronic resources available to them. If patrons are not aware of these resources, how can we educate them? Our results indicate that gaps exist in our patrons’ knowledge about, familiarity with, and ability to make the best use of these tools.

2:40 PM - 3:00 PM

The Impact of Quality-of-Life Issues and Self-Empowerment on the Information Seeking Needs and Behaviors of Young Breast Cancer Survivors
Presenter: Katherine Schilling, Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Library & Information Science

Despite increases in breast cancer survivorship among young women (those who are diagnosed before the age of 45), this population is largely underserved, both in terms of emotional and information support.  Many healthcare providers may not be familiar with survivorship issues, including late side-effects of chemotherapy and fear of recurrence, and the emotional impact of these ongoing worries on young breast cancer survivors. 

This research addresses the information seeking needs and behaviors of young breast cancer survivors, addressing the extent to which measures of self-efficacy and self-empowerment correlate with information seeking.  Approximately 60 young breast cancer survivors affiliated with a large, urban cancer center in the Midwest participated, completing a variety of instruments including the Health Care Provider Social Constraint tool, Fear of Recurrence, Depression, State Anxiety, Breast Cancer Self Efficacy, an information seeking questionnaire, and other scales.   

Results provide a snapshot of young breast cancer survivors’ information seeking needs and behaviors around quality-of-life issues including sexuality and intimate relationships, fertility, parenting and family issues, career or work, nutrition and exercise, and other psychosocial factors.  To what extent measures of self efficacy, self empowerment, and communication correlate positively with higher information seeking or more proactive information behaviors are discussed.

This study is useful for understanding survivors’ lingering symptoms, ongoing fears and quality-of-life issues; and for increasing librarians’ understanding of the unique information needs of this population. This study builds on previous research to provide important knowledge to inform interventions to improve quality of life in young breast cancer survivors.

3:00 PM - 3:20 PM

Find, Retrieve, Analyze and Use: Information Literacy Training for Public Health Workers
Presenter: Elaine Hicks, Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • To identify information literacy skills in public health and librarian competency sets.
  • To demonstrate that information literacy skills are being developed in the public health workforce through library-sponsored trainings.

Methods: A literature review identified information literacy development trainings for state or local public health workers. Three trainings which improved either public health core or bioterrorism competencies were selected. Two tables were created for each training: one illustrates the relationship between training objectives and information literacy skills and the second table identifies the information literacy skills embedded in public health competencies.

Population: State and local public health workers

Results: Librarians helped the public health workforce do its job more efficiently by teaching workers how to find, retrieve, use and analyze information using technology.

Conclusion: Librarians, public health workers and a minority community identified health issues and created information literacy skills trainings. In another training, the state library and health department used assessment data to teach workers how to use an online bibliographic database. Although librarians were not involved in another state health department training, the event improved information literacy skills. Imagine how much more effective trainings could be if librarians were involved in planning.

3:20 PM - 3:40 PM

Partners for Excellence: Developing a Collaboration with the Ann Arbor Public Schools
Presenter: Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Heidi McLane, & Merle Rosenzweig, University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries and Ann Arbor Public Schools

While seeking avenues for collaboration with the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we made contact with their outreach coordinator. She invited us to a meeting, which took place at one of the local high schools. Those attending the meeting were the outreach coordinator, the administrator for special projects, a number of high school teachers specializing in health and wellness, and a group of librarians from the University of Michigan Health Sciences Libraries.

Following the meeting, we were contacted by a health and wellness teacher at one of the high schools to assist in providing online information on various topics in the field of health and wellness.

The information that we provided will become a part of an ongoing curriculum for the class and that of other high school teachers.