Conference Memories

Your intrepid blog editor has made her way back to her humble abode in the Buckeye State. It was a great trip! I so enjoyed my time with my fellow Midwest Chapter members. And, of course, I learned a lot.

Some of the interesting and useful things I learned:

  • From Dr. Navsaria – the similarities between the reference interview and the medical patient interview.
  • From Ruth Holst – how the library can act as a “neutral” partner, without a “political agenda” within the organization, effectively spearheading cross-disciplinary endeavors.
  • From Alexandra Dimitroff – the importance of writing survey questions that will meet survey objectives.
  • From Kelly Thormodson – practical tips for improving the delivery of library instruction through teamwork.
  • From Liz Fine – how librarians are and could be engaged with nursing faculty in DNP programs.
  • From Robert Shapiro – shared advice from Dr. Lindberg: “Get out of the library!”
  • During Xiaomei Gu’s presentation – that “Dental librarians rock!” 

Memorable conference moments:

  • The rapt audience listening to Dr. Dipesh Navsaria reading The Three Questions.
  • During the “Ruthapalooza” keynote presentation – remembering how it was “in the old days” when doing it digitally meant using your fingers.
  • Enjoying the company of once-a-year friends – eating breakfast together every morning, swapping stories about the worst cars we’ve ever owned over beer and appetizers, buying jewelry from street vendors, sharing the colorful atmosphere of the farmers market.
  • Mentoring a first-time attendee and attending her excellent paper presentation.
  • The Executive Board working productively as a team during their meeting.
  • Waiting in the Madison airport with two Michigan librarians watching for Air Force One.
  • Barbara Gushrowski screencasting “on the fly.”
  • Having fun with Pete and Carl.
  • Taking photos, photos, and more photos.
  • Did I mention eating, eating, eating, and eating some more?


Of course, for me the most memorable moment was receiving the gavel from outgoing Midwest Chapter President Elaine Skopelja! Ready to go to work for the Midwest Chapter!

Highlights from the Midwest Chapter Meeting

Becca Canton: Membership stands at 400 members, 57 of which are new and 32 student members.

Sue London: Current financial state shows a beginning balance of $50,092.43 and an ending balance of $50,228.07 for a net increase of $135.64

Pam Rees: MLA Chapter Council Report (Each chapter elects 2 representatives every 3 years and they meet annually at MLA) Reminder of deadlines on the MLA awards & scholarship (log onto the MLA website for more details).

Donna Barbour-Talley Annual Meeting Report: 137 registered attendees for this year’s conference.

Future conference locations: 2013 Illinois and 2014 North Dakota.

Liz Fine-Awards & Scholarships

Deborah Lauseng-Nominations and Elections

  • Janna Lawrence, President Elect
  • Katherine Chew, Membership Secretary
  • Stephanie Schulte, representative-at-Large
  • Mary Markland, Potential Candidate for MLA Nominating Committee

Old Business: Effectiveness of the Virtual Board Meeting (worked but had standard technical issues) and plans for future use with different technology.

New Business: New Advocacy Committee started last Friday, Time=Money campaign unveiled (downloadable available through the GMR website in the advocacy section).

AHIP renewal for displaced health sciences librarians is currently not available and of concern to the board. The board is reviewing what to do about this

New Committee Chairs announced and recognition of outgoing officers & chairs.

2011 Indiana Invitation:

Welcome Clare Leibfarth, new president elect.

Current Patterns on Engagement between Librarians and Faculty in Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs

Liz Fine is the liaison librarian for the Health Sciences Libraries at the University of Minnesota and has been involved with the School of Nursing since 2005. Her theory is that the engagement of the librarian makes a difference. After all, if the faculty know about the library and use the library, they will value the library. By applying for a 3 month research leave, she was able to pursue this project (taken in two parts, December 2009 and Spring 2010)

Some background: the Doctor of Nursing Program began appearing in 2007 and is a professional doctorate in nursing practice. It is recognized as the new terminal degree for advanced practice nurses (replacing the Master of Science in Nursing). This proved as a convenient emerging population to research

Why this population? This is especially relevant for librarian involvement because of the focus on evidence-based practice. Also, this population is exploding–in December 2009, there were about 90 active programs. By September 2010, there are 129 active programs.

Goals were to get a picture of what’s actually happening in current engagement between DNP and libraries, collect the data to support the hypothesis, pilot for gathering this type of information, and perhaps even affecting the AACN

Research Questions:

  • How are DNP faculty currently working with their library/librarians
  • How do DNP faculty perceive/value collaboration with librarians?
  • Many secondary questions/correlations: survey was designed so that the dataset could be analyzed to look at those things

The Method

  • Created a survey in UMSurvey
  • Sent request for participation to program directors of all currently active DNP programs
  • Survey was open from May 5 – June 1 201 (designed to take less than 20 minutes to complete)

There was a 90% completion rate of people responding. (Complete responses were 114). This was through 53 different schools represented, plus 15 respondents who did not specify a school (approximately a 50% program response rate)

Some of the questions:

Is there a librarian specifically assigned to the nursing programs at your institution?

  • Yes: 61%
  • No: 25%
  • Not Sure: 12%

Have you ever interacted with a librarian?

  • Yes: 70%
  • No: 27%
  • Not Sure: 2%

How often do you seek advice from a librarian?

  • Often: 12%
  • Occasionally:52%
  • Rarely: 18%

How often do you refer students to a librarian?

  • Often 39%
  • Occasionally 38%
  • Rarely 18%

Librarians are useful in assisting with DNP teaching activities

  • Agree-57%
  • Neutral-14%
  • Disagree-13%

Awareness comments: completing the survey made Liz more aware of the resources librarians could offer in developing courses an research.

Words of advice given: “Don’t drink too much punch and make friends with the librarian”-one response from the survey

Liz notes that even with the limitations of the study, there is evidence that librarians are making an impact with the DNP population, whether through teaching classes or interacting with the students.

She plans on further data analysis and creating case reports at individual institutions.

Any questions or comments, email Liz at

–as always, reporting to you live


Taubman Health Sciences Library Connects with University of Michigan’s Mini Med School

Merle began with the most obvious question: What are Mini Med Schools? They are a public education program generally consisting of a lecture series on medical topics. Currently, there are more than 70 medical schools, institutions, and hospitals that have Mini Med Schools.

The What: UM Mini Med School is intended to provide the community with information not otherwise readily available in an informal manner.

It is a 6 week course that meets once a week and includes a lecture and an opportunity to speak with the lecturer. There was a variety of topics, including Cancer, Infectious Disease, The Cardiovascular System, Genetics and Medicine, Gastrointestinal System, and more.

The library became involved in 2003, beginning a collaboration by providing supplemental list of resources on the topics covered in the course. Although initially using more print resources, the current list is mostly electronic resources.

Mini Med School From the Horse’s Mouth:

As the liaison librarian to the Internal Medicine division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes, Mark MacEachern had the opportunity to attend the 2010 Mini Med School.

Mark meet with the faculty (ranging from academic to clinical faculty), listen to faculty discuss their research/clinical interests, and provided a better understanding on the faculty needs. He also gained insight into the medical school itself and how it’s structured.

For additional information, contact Merle Rosenzweig or Mark MacEachern

–As always, reporting to you live


Stepping Forward into New Roles

Ruth Holst was greeted by the audience with enthusiastic applause, announcing “here I am….again!”

Ruth was a hospital librarian for 32 years before joining the GMR. She reminisced about the 70’s (where “digital” referred to your fingers), where growth in medical libraries created many new consortia, where the main function was initially facilitating interlibrary loan. Soon, these libraries began adding more functions and duties, like establishing patient education.

By the 90’s, Ruth expanded her opportunities within the hospital itself, often serving as a neutral party between doctors and nurses–something that was becoming part of the librarians role.

“It was the worst of times, it was the best of times: positive trends influencing hospital libraries” -Editorial. The author notes that two questions arise for every 3 patients in a typical medical setting. However, physicians statistically only pursue 36-55% of those questions. This means:

2 questions X 95,0000 patientes = 190,000

If 55% pursed by physicians, only 85,580 questions are being answered. This results with many patient deaths that could have possibly prevented
NLM funded a survey of health libraries–the most comprehensive of which was 1989, where at that time there were 32% of hospitals had libraries. You had to meet 4 criteria to be considered a hospital library. There were actually 44%
hospitals that reported libraries, but only 32% met the criteria. By 2006, the number of hospitals libraries has declined by 19%, while the number of hospital libraries was only down 2%. So while it feels like hospitals are loosing libraries constantly, statistically there isn’t much of a decline. There hasn’t been much data for the past 3 years to show the present situation

Evolving Clinical Roles

Library Functions/Roles

  • Searching the scholarly record
  • Collection management
  • access services
  • teaching

A look through the decades:

The 70’s (not applicable to all in the audience, as Ruth noted). Key points included: searching printed top online pharmacy reviews indexes, manual cataloging using “CIP,” manual book and AV checkout, phoning other libraries for ILL, and bibliographic instruction

During the 80’s, online database searching was done by paying by the minute. The decade saw computer generated union lists, microcomputer systems were used for circulation, and the establishment of DOCLINE

In the 90’s, librarians started teaching users to search online, which was somewhat controversial. Medline searching became free on the internet (horray!). The internet begins to change scholarly communication, and now ILS systems were affordable for all libraries

The 2000’s saw electronic publications dominate and libraries going “virtual.” Library as a place us re-examined, in which the roles of librarians are questioned. Librarians are urged to get out of the library and become “embedded”

The hospital librarians role has changed over the past 4 decades. Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians was established. For instance, they did a series of interviews with librarians and hospital administrators and came up with 5 goals for the typical hospital: clinical care, management of operations (quality improvement support in the hospital and managing electronic resources), education (teaching EBM skills and health literacy), innovation and research (promoting evidence-based practice and support for research), and
customer service (health literacy, classes, and information for patients)

Emerging Roles

  • Web development (website design, web master role, teaching web skills)
  • Electronic Health Records (clinical decision support, monitoring literature and updating staff)
  • Nursing Magnet journey (teaching evidence-retrieval skills, journal clubs, current awareness, etc)
  • Embedded librarians (information specialist in context and an expansion of the traditional librarian role)
  • Disaster Information Specialist (a new specialty that serves the health information needs of the community during emergencies)
  • Scholarly Communication (educate faculty, implement public access policies, etc)
  • Bioinformatics (teaching database searching and the ability to management information)
  • E-Science/E-Research (aiding researchers and making library’s role more visible)

Feel free to email

–as always, reporting to you live