Monday, March 28, 2016

WHSLA 2015 CE stipend winner

I was fortunate to receive one of two $500 CE awards through WHSLA earlier this year. I used the funds to help cover costs from the Computers in Libraries conference held in Washington, DC in April which I attended from April 26-29, 2015.

Themes I heard mentioned again and again in one way or another were:
  • Don’t assume or presume what users want. Ask them and then give it to them. Librarians think we know what is best for our customers. Often we are wrong.
  • Build personal relationships with your customers. Google cannot do that.
  • Librarians are great at collaborating, collating, managing, and organizing information. Where in your organization can you play a part?

While there were many stand out sessions and interesting sessions to attend, I wanted to highlight the following. These really stood out and showed me things and ideas I am still thiking about months later.

Super Searcher Tricks and Tips from information guru Mary Ellen Bates
·        Monitor your company/library’s mentions on Twitter. Act on things you can or inform those who need to know.
·        Use other people’s behavior to find relevant material, i.e. search by minimum number of Tweets, retweets, favorites.
·        Google has changed its algorithm to favor websites that are mobile friendly.
·        Use Microsoft Academic for to help identify keywords and prolific researchers in a field

Putting UX into Customer Service from Springshare, designer of LibGuides
·        They also monitor Twitter for mentions of LibGuides and help customers via social media.
·        Anticipate questions and answer them right away instead of just doing what is asked of you.
·        Be sympathetic to your customers.
·        “Setting the Table: The transforming power of hospitality in business” by Danny Meyer was referenced several times during her talk.
·        Be human, show your soul, exceed expectations. Humor is powerful

Keynote - Steve Denning, author of Leader’s Guide to Radical Management
·        The Creative Economy is here. It exists because of the change in mindset brought about by computers and access to information. The Internet created a shift of power from the seller to the customer/buyer. Goal now is to “delight” the customer. Customers are the goal and the focus.
·        Future libraries will not: put all their eggs in applying technology to existing services. It’s time to think of new services. Nor will they build apps for everything or use computers to save money
·        Future libraries will: ask how can we manage continuous innovation in our libraries? Find out what will make things better, faster, and cheaper for our users. Ask what needs could we meet that our users haven’t thought of yet? Keep doing what we already do that people love. Then do more of it.

Thank you WHSLA for the CE award. I was very lucky to receive it.

Brenda Fay

Aurora Sinai Medical Center
Hurwitz Medical Library

Milwaukee, WI

Wonderful and sensitive graphic novel on eating disorders

Graphic novels have been all the rage at public libraries for over a decade now. For many people the words "graphic novel" conjure up superheroes, or classic comic strips like Archie and Jughead. 

I believe graphic novels have a place in our medical libraries as well. That was really brought home to me after attending Comics in Medicine in Chicago in 2011. Listening to authors and illustrators speak about their works, I began to understand the value in seeing feelings versus reading about feelings. Is reading about someone experiencing depression more powerful than seeing what someone's depression looks like? Or is seeing what they see and feel more powerful? 

One recent graphic novel I read reminded me of the power of illustration. Lighter Than My Shadow, by Katie Green, is a powerful story of her experience with anorexia as a preteen, teen, and young adult. Check out a review from The Guardian: 

This book might speak to patients or community members on the subject of eating disorders in a way that a non-fiction or consumer health book never could. If you have an eating disorders program at your institution, I would highly recommend purchasing the book for your medical library. 

Brenda Fay
Librarian, Aurora Sinai Medical Center
Milwaukee, WI

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Civil War Medicine - how much do you know?

I've really been enjoying PBS's new drama, Mercy Street. "Inspired by real people and events, Mercy Street goes beyond the front lines of the Civil War and into the chaotic world of the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia."

Seeing medicine play such a starring role in a historical drama is always interesting. Did they really not use anesthesia? How did they pull teeth before dentists were commonplace? How much do you know about Civil War medicine? Take this quiz to find out:

WHSLA History

Did you ever wonder how WHSLA came to be? Check out this article from our About Us page.

"In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the development of health science libraries in the United States changed dramatically. In 1957, the National Library of Medicine took over the indexing service that had been published from 1906 through 1956 by the American Medical Association known as Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus. In 1962, NLM was dedicated as a member of the National Institutes of Health. And in 1965 Congress passed the Medical Library Assistance Act, which authorized establishment of the Regional Medical Library Network.

In Wisconsin in 1968, the Medical Library Service at William S. Middleton Library of the University of Wisconsin Medical School initiated what was then called simply, "The Newsletter." The first issue of "The Newsletter" was dated April 1968. The 1968 issues of "The Newsletter" make reference to libraries complementing each other to avoid duplication of efforts, workshops held, teleconferences planned, and the new multi-state regional medical library for the Midwest-the John Crerar Library in Chicago.

Health science librarians in Wisconsin acted informally as a group throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1970, the Newsletter contained an article entitled "Time to Organize?" The article suggested that it might be time to abandon informality and organize a statewide organization for people operating health science libraries.

In 1973, two statewide coordinators were hired by the UW Medical School. The coordinators worked at Middleton Library and were also traveling consultants. They visited almost every health science library in the state to determine what health science collections were available and where they were located. Where they found good collections, they encouraged the librarians to consider the sharing concept and to move toward regional organization. In 1974, it was announced that one of the coordinators would stay at Middleton all the time and the other would do all the traveling.

Also in 1973, six consortium areas were established in Wisconsin. Sharing activities were coordinated by the state Health Science Library Coordinator and six area reps from each consortium. Between 1974 and 1977, the area representatives attended meetings at which they discussed various issues including formal organization. In March 1977 in Eau Claire, a meeting was held by the state coordinator, area representatives, Virginia Holtz, and others. The group received a motion to form a state organization and the motion was passed. A Bylaws committee was set up. more at WHSLA History