About Conference Photos

Have you noticed the Flickr photos in the badge over there on the right? I had great fun taking them. I’ve taken photos at Midwest Chapter/MLA conferences since 2004 in Springfield, Illinois, my first year as the editor of MIDLINE. It is a great way to meet people!

You also can see all the photos posted to Flickr for this and our previous three conferences on this ConnectMidwest page.

Every year, I try to get a photo of each of the poster presenters with their poster. One thing that I did with my conference photos on Flickr of the poster presenters this year was to key the photo caption to the number of the poster on the conference program. Some of the poster presenters have shared pdf copies of their posters on that program page. So if you are interested in seeing the details of a poster that you see in a photo, click to see! Additionally, the abstracts for all of the posters are included in the full conference program beginning on page 22.

I think that this photo from this year’s conference is probably my favorite. I have had the privilege of serving on the Midwest Chapter/MLA Executive Board for most of the last eight years. I am going to miss working with this really great group of people!

Award Winning Midwest Chapter Members

Yes, a lot of business was conducted at this year’s Annual Business Meeting. But the highlight has to be the awards!

Most exciting is the revelation of the Distinguished Librarian of the Year Award winner. Drumroll please! Our 2012 winner is Donna Barbour-Talley, MINNESOTA librarian extraordinaire! This year, capping a long career of service to the chapter and the profession, Donna served along with Michael Homan as the co-chair of the annual chapter conference. Watch for a story about Distinguished Librarian Donna in the upcoming issue of MIDLINE, the Midwest Chapter newsletter.

Also watch for essays in MIDLINE from Annual Meeting Scholarship winners Emily Ginier and Patricia Smith and from Professional Development Award winners Marcia Francis and Erin Kerby.

Suzanne Earle was the winner of the Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award for her work on the development of the End-of-Life Library at Hospice of the Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. This special library “…provides the professional and lay communities with knowledge regarding palliative care and end-of-life issues.”

New this year were the Research Awards presented by the Professional Practice Committee. These cash awards judged on study design, validity, reliability, presentation, and implications for library and information research were awarded to posters and papers reporting research results. The first place Research Poster Award was given to Ryan Rafferty for “Discovering the Impact of Library Instruction on First-Year Medical Students.” Second place was a tie between Barbara Gushrowski for “Building Competence: Self- and Peer-Evaluation of Information Resources by First-Year Dental Students in Problem-Based Curriculum” and Elizabeth Moreton for “Testing the Soil: Benchmarking the Information Literacy Skills of Nursing Students Performing Evidence-Based Research.” Two Honorable Mention Research Paper Awards were given to Mark Wentz and Melissa Rethlefsen for “The Significance of Disambiguated Authors in an Institutional Publication Database” and to Xiaomei Gu, Shawn Averkamp, Nicole Saylor, and Linda Walton for “Developing and Administering a Campus-wide Survey: A First Step in Assessing Data Management Needs.”

Congratulations all!

All about the Business

The annual Midwest Chapter conference means business, chapter business, that is. The fall Midwest Chapter Executive Board meeting is held on Friday before the conference gets fully underway.  And, of course, the annual chapter Business Meeting is held over lunch on the second day of the conference.

Seriously, the most significant business conducted at the Annual Business Meeting  was the vote on the bylaws revision. The chapter bylaws required major revision from top to bottom in order to conform to MLA’s model bylaws. Bylaws Committee Chair Melinda Orebaugh guided us surely through the turbulent waters of Robert’s Rules of Order as we considered the new bylaws one article at a time and then voted on them. The vote was unanimous!  

The Executive Board meeting Friday evening was serious work, lasting four hours! Here are some of the items discussed and actions taken that you might find interesting:

  • The 2013 chapter budget was approved, based on a projected paid membership of 300 members. The budget includes more realistic figures for conference income and expenditures and funding for new awards, increased advocacy efforts, and the professional auditor.
  • The professional auditor Michelle Dixon submitted a report to the board after reviewing  and “closing” the books for the chapter’s 2010 and 2011 financial activities. The 2010 conference showed a net profit of over $25,000, half of which was shared with WHSLA. The 2011 conference showed a very small net loss. The bookkeeping system has been improved to allow easier auditing.
  • The chapter will be awarding additional Annual Meeting Grants to support conference attendance for chapter members who do not receive institutional support for travel. Eligibility criteria for the award are being developed.
  • A revised Travel Reimbursement Policy was approved by the board. The changes were made to more fully support travel by board members to the spring board meeting. Funds to support this increase in travel expense funding were re-allocated from unused budget lines.
  • The Finance Committee will be continuing their consideration of alternatives to the Acteva service that the chapter uses to handle online payments for memberships and conference registrations. The Immediate Past President will be looking also into different software for handling the election online.
  • The “Shared Expectations for State Liaisons” information sheet developed by outgoing Representative-at-Large Stephanie Schulte will be shared with the state associations for guidance when appointing State Liaisons to the chapter.
  • The Professional Practice Committee will be working with the annual conference continuing education planning committees to help them meet chapter education needs.
  • Upcoming conference plans were discussed. The 2014 conference will be held October 10-14 in Bismarck, ND and the 2015 conference will be October 2-6 in Louisville, KY.

More Noteworthy Papers

Every conference paper presentation I attend gives me a renewed respect for the complexity and quantity of work medical librarians tackle on a daily basis. Here are some things I learned in the Contributed Papers Session 4 on Sunday.

“The Significance of Disambiguated Authors in Institutional Publication Database”
Mark Wentz, who was later recognized with an Honorable Mention for this research paper, described the Mayo Authors Database (accessible only on the secure Mayo network) that tracks the scholarly publications of Mayo physicians, nurses, etc. from 1871 to the present. Of the 13,000 author names included in the database, a total of 43 percent of the names were searched at least once during the 18 months reviewed. The majority (57 percent) of database searches used the disambiguated authors’ field (includes surnames, initials, specialty fields, geographic locations) developed to help searchers distinguish between authors. Wentz estimated 80 percent of database processing time is spent on disambiguation, but the data review showed this search capability is important and justifies that effort.

“Patient Education Across the Continuum of Care”
Ruti Volk discussed the need for and creation of the Patient Education Clearinghouse for the University of Michigan Health System. The Clearinghouse allows health care providers and patients in UM clinics, health centers, and hospitals to easily locate and download the current version of approved patient materials (print, videos, and Internet). The materials are linked to the EPIC medical records, so use of the patient handouts is automatically charted and used to generate statistics for meaningful use. Health care providers are no longer duplicating efforts to create patient education materials, materials meet quality guidelines, and patients receive consistent information regardless of their location.

“Developing and Administering a Campus-Wide Survey: A First Step in Assessing Data Management Needs”
Xiaomei Gu, who was later recognized as the winner of the research paper competition, developed a Web-based survey with colleagues to assess University of Iowa needs for data management and to recruit volunteers for later face-to-face interviews. Efforts to encourage survey response included notification to deans of the forthcoming survey, and reminders were sent to participants. Preliminary review of the survey data showed most respondents returned the survey the day the initial request was sent or on the day the reminder was sent. Attendees especially appreciated Xiaomei’s humorous translation of a favorite research acronym — “IRB = insanely ridiculous boars!”

Dine Around in Rochester – Twigs

I decided to venture out of my comfort zone a little and go on a ‘dine-around’ on Monday evening. I signed up to go to Twigs. I did look at the menu, but one of the motivating reasons I signed up to go to Twigs was because I saw a few names on the list that I had seen on Twitter as well. I was curious to put a name (or Twitter handle) to a face. I also wanted to get to know my colleagues a little better too. [Note to the planning committee for next year: consider allowing attendees to include their Twitter names on their conference ID.]
The group met in the DoubleTree lobby and Dana, a librarian at the Mayo Clinic, was our host and guide. Although the sign up sheet cautioned the reader of the distance, I realized later that I should have probably “google mapped it” to see where I was going and how far would I would have to walk. The walk there was not too bad as it got me outside (after being inside sky-ways most of the conference) but it was very windy outside.
WalkingMapTwigsRegardless, conversations on the way to and from the restaurant and at dinner made it worth the windy walk. I was able to get to know my seven dinner members and hear what is going on at their libraries. I would highly recommend dine-arounds if offered at other conferences and explore the conference city and connect with your fellow librarians.

“Experiment! Meet new people . . . By adventuring; about, you become accustomed to the unexpected. The unexpected then becomes what it really is . . . the inevitable.”
― Amelia Earhart

Thoughts on a few papers presented on Oct. 7th

This post is about a day late, but thought I would share my perspectives on three of the paper presentations I attended Sunday afternoon. The paper abstracts are available in the online PDF program: check it out!

The Evolving Role of the Librarian in a Family Medicine Clerkship
Authors: Anne Beschnett (Liaison and Outreach Librarian), Jonathan Koffel (Liaison Librarian), and Jim Beattie (Liaison Librarian) – Bio-Medical Library, University of MN
Anne presented this paper and it was interesting to learn about the structure and programming of the library instruction offered to the Family Medicine students. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. It sounded like one of their goals was to help students develop good habits around finding answers to their questions; to find the best evidence and then critically appraise articles.
  2. After the students have critically appraised their article of choice, the students were assigned to create a plain language variation of the critically appraised article. Anne reported that writing a plain language document was often one of the more difficult assignments for the students. [I really liked this idea- do any others institutions do this?
  3. I also liked that they spend about 10 to 15 minutes on basic health information concepts and the importance of patient education sources. [It caused me to wondered if these patient education concepts and resources were taught at my own institution, and if so, who teaches them?]

Seizing Opportunity for Professional Growth: Gaining Advanced Subject Knowledge through a Public Health Certificate Program
Authors: Anne Beschnett (Liaison and Outreach Librarian) – Bio-Medical Library, University of MN
I was interested in attending this presentation because I also do not have a strong science or medical background and was wondering if additional education would be useful. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. Yes, something like this certificate program in Public Health is helpful for librarians who do not have a strong background in science or medicine.
  2. As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages.
  3. Advantages: Basic concepts in this program can be applied to work within most health professions, gain basic knowledge without time commitment of a 48 credit master program.
    Disadvantages: Not cheap, More effort to balance work and life with school; having to take biostatistics!
    [After attending this presentation, I am going to seriously consider pursuing this educational route.]

Tips and Tricks for Rebranding and Promoting Your Library
Authors: Missy Creed (Library Assistant), Amanda Levine (Public Services Manager), Joseph Payne (Collection Development Librarian) and Carly Styer (Marketing & Promotions Coordinator) – Health Sciences Library, the Ohio State University
Amanda and Carly provided a lot of information on the rebranding effort at their library. Take away thoughts for me:

  1. Make sure you have leadership support
  2. Be organized
  3. Consider budget limitations (consider using student workers if you have a tight budget)
  4. Have a central point of contact (only choose one person or a specific committee to be the contact)
  5. Incorporate design (this can help serve as a ‘visual’ change in brand)
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate (even over-communicate)
  7. Make sure to create a database of contacts, media, online and print outlets
  8. Focus on your customer (if new website is created, make sure to do a lot of focus group and usability testing)
  9. Out with the old, in with the new! (search for outside websites that have old brand and ask them to remove it or change to new brand)

Thanks for making it to the end! Hopefully this post gave you a little more insight into these interesting papers.

Healthy Living Center Tour

I am not a morning person, but from past experience, I know that making the extra effort to get up for early morning conference walks is well worth it. Today I was not disappointed as the nippy morning air during the short walk helped me wake up fast, and the tour of the beautiful Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center was impressive. The Center opened in 2007, and four more floors are currently being added to expand wellness programs to patients.

The Healthy Living Center is the Mayo’s Clinic employee fitness center and is named for a grateful patient who later turned benefactor. The Center includes every type of fitness equipment imaginable with a wide range of classes available (as well as the nicest locker rooms I have ever seen). The monthly fee employees pay is reduced as the employees use the services of the center more — nice incentive!

Tim Cockram, our Monday morning keynote speaker, is the Executive Chef at the Center. He teaches cooking classes and designs the healthy foods served in the Center Cafe that is open to both employees and the public.

Check out the Center’s Facebook page to see photographs of the Center, fitness and wellness information, and more. Now to find time in the kitchen to try out some of the recipes I found!

EBSCO Sunrise Session

Christian Barrock, Director of Medical Sales for EBSCO, presented a fast-paced overview of various EBSCO products at a Sunday Sunrise Session. Products covered included the following:

A new product, CINAHL Complete, will be available in early 2013. No marketing materials or journal title lists are available yet that indicate what full-text journals will be available. Not surprisingly, full-text LWW and Elsevier journals will not be included. One attendee asked about SLACK journals; no word yet on those.

The EBSCO Discovery Service also is relatively new and is designed to cross-search library resources including journals, databases, library catalog, etc. When asked, Christian maintained it is not a federated search engine like those in the past that frustrated librarians with overwhelming search results. Libraries can customize the list of resources to be searched by different groups (physicians, nurses, etc.) and include their own branding and skins.

Midwest MLA 2012 : Day 1

I’m blogging via my iPad, so hopefully this will turn out okay. This is all due to technical difficulties.

The first day of the conference of Midwest 2012 was packed with presentations, papers and conversations. It started off bright and early at 7:30 am with the sunrise seminars by EBSCO and Elsevier and the Professional Practice Committee Open Forum. I attended Elsevier’s session where they demonstrated their new service, ClinicalKey.

The keynote from “E-Patient Dave” was quite eye-opening. Dave’s personal story is very moving, but the discussion about a patient’s involvement in their own health care was very important. It seemed clear from his presentation that there is a need for librarians by patients who want to become engaged. One really interesting statistic was that Googling a condition had yet to cause any patient deaths (courtesy of study by a German physician). This seems a great opportunity for a librarian to guide patient to lots of reliable and authoritative information immediately rather than sifting through all those results. Another point that was interesting was the usefulness of patient-shared information. Dave mentioned forums on the ACOR.org site where he found out so much about his condition, treatments and best physicians practically immediately. More importantly, it was information that may never had come from the doctor or nurse or medical service comprehensively and so quickly. My favorite part was the “Bother a Medical Librarian” campaign where librarians can basically sign up to answer questions for patients. At a library, it’s so common to hear “I hate to bother you, but…” when we are there to help. It was a great keynote.

This was followed by lots of time chatting with vendors, a great lunch and informative updates from the NLM, MLA and GMR. The papers in the afternoon were quite interesting and large variety. The papers on evidence-based practice by Barbara Gushrowski and Anne Beschnett explored a number of different ways to teach students about evidence-based practice. The rebranding project from the Ohio State University was really impressive. Amanda and Carly did a great job rehauling their space and their image. I felt their paper provided some really good tips for marketing, even if you’re not doing a full rebranding.