Monday, September 28, 2020

The Covid Drug Wars

The Covid Drug Wars that Pitted Doctor Against Doctor 

  • from The New York Times Magazine - August 8, 2020
  • You can also listen to it (like a podcast) if you prefer to multi task.
  • There's a Wisconsin tie-in with a doctor at UW-Madison, who later went to Aurora-Milwaukee
Every once in a while, I stumble across a podcast, article, or discussion that sticks with me, and haunts me enough to share it with you here on the WHSLA Blog in the hopes that it might generate some additional discussion. This is such an article.

I found out about this fascinating article by way of Daniel Griffin, MD, PhD, a NYC physician and instructor at The Columbia University Medical Center.  He works in the trenches of The Covid Pandemic and gives a regular Covid-19 clinical update on the This Week in Virology (TWiV) Podcast.  He talked about this article back on August 23, 2020. 

Click arrow to play

  • from August 23, 2020
  • Listen to the first 40 min. (or so) for Griffin's talk.  [Skip the first 5:30 min. of introductions.]
  • They also have a Microbe tv version where you can watch the Zoom mtg, if you prefer.

I think it's helpful to hear Griffin's talk about it because he was seeing some of the same things in real life.   As a Medical Librarian during Covid-19, I was distressed about the lack of best evidence and how people were making treatment decisions.  It just goes to show that physicians are people, too.  Human Beings.  When confronted with so much human suffering,  the emotional drive to do something/anything can override what might be best for the patient -- esp. when you don't really know what treatments work or not.   

It's a fascinating look at what happened, and what went wrong.
I'd love to know what you think ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Free Library Carpentry Workshops

The NNLM Training Office is pleased to announce a new opportunity for information professionals to build data skills through online Library Carpentry workshops, at no cost to participants.

Library Carpentry focuses on building software and data skills within library and information-related communities. Their goal is to empower people in these roles to use software and data in their own work and to become advocates for and train others in efficient, effective and reproducible data and software practices.

The target audience is learners who have little to no prior computational experience. The instructors put a priority on creating a friendly environment to empower participants and enable data-driven discovery. Those with some experience will also benefit, as the goal is to teach not only how to do analyses, but how to manage the process to make it as automated and reproducible as possible. To see some great examples of how you might use and apply these new skills, check out

In addition to participating in Library Carpentry workshops, NNLM members will also have the opportunity to receive training to become instructors for Library Carpentry.

To learn more about these opportunities, we invite you to attend an informational session hosted by members of the Library Carpentry community, and The Carpentries Executive Director, Dr. Kari L. Jordan.

Join us Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 11AM Pacific / 12PM Mountain/ 1PM Central/ 2 PM Eastern.

Register for the session. Session recording will be distributed to all registrants.

Information on applications and workshop dates will be available soon.

Contact for more information.

Rebecca Brown, MLS, AHIP, CPACC
Training Development Specialist
Network of the National Library of Medicine Training Office (NTO)
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
University of Utah

Reposted from Medlib-L. Sept. 18, 2020.

MedlinePlus to become the NLM Home for Information in Multiple Languages


Starting on October 1, 2020, materials that are part of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) HealthReach will become part of MedlinePlus, NLM's flagship website for health information for patients, families, and the general public. 

Established in 2007 as the Refugee Health Information Network, HealthReach has provided access to free, high-quality multilingual consumer health information resources for those providing services to individuals with limited English proficiency. We invite users to explore health information in multiple languages on MedlinePlus:

This change to integrate HealthReach material into MedlinePlus, ending it as a stand-alone product, is part of the initiative to align and consolidate the Library's consumer health information to make it easier for online health information seekers to find and navigate trusted health information from NLM. 

This enhancement aligns with NLM's second goal of its strategic plan to reach more people in more ways through enhanced dissemination of information. Most material previously available at HealthReach will become accessible via MedlinePlus.

Please contact the NLM Support Center with any questions or suggestions.

Monday, September 21, 2020

More lessons from history

Sometimes when you're in the midst of something horrible, it's hard to imagine there will ever be an end to it.  But this article from the Journal of Hospital Librarianship reminds us that humanity has survived other pandemics.  We'll get through it eventually.

Side note, a man named Tony Labella is thought to have infected more than twice as many people with typhoid as Mary Mallon did.  Why doesn't anyone remember "Typhoid Tony?"