Friday, May 27, 2016

Clinical Trials Still Don't Reflect The Diversity Of America

As part of our library's goal to assist with systematic reviews, we've been reaching out to groups in our system. At a recent presentation someone asked for our help in narrowing down ideas for a systematic review. After talking a little bit it came out that she is interested in doing research on recruiting for certain type of clinical trials. 

Talking with her reminded me of an NPR story I heard late last year: Clinical Trials Still Don't Reflect The Diversity Of America. While listening to it again as I write this blog post I wonder if there is a way us health sciences librarians can help out? I know consumer health librarians many times include information on when researching topics for patients and families. But as someone who has few of those type of requests what can I do? I'd love to hear what the members of WHSLA are doing to support outreach and information on clinical trials. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries announce new Director - Ellen N. Sayed

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) is pleased to announced Ellen N. Sayed, M.L.S., M.Acc. has been named Director of the MCW Libraries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She will join the MCW community on July 1, 2016. 

In this role, Ms. Sayed will provide leadership and implement strategic planning for an academic health sciences library that aims to be an “anytime, anywhere, any device resource.” Also, she will promote and lead all aspects of library service, collection development, budget administration, personnel management and policy formulation. Additionally, Ms. Sayed will build an integrated capacity to access and translate information into actionable knowledge and promote a culture of self-reliance within the institution.

Ms. Sayed has more than 20 years of experience in academic medical libraries with demonstrated success in improving access, awareness and services. Since 2008, she has served as Director, Distributed eLibrary at the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. She also has held librarian positions at the University of South Alabama, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Medical College of Virginia and West Virginia University.
Ms. Sayed earned a Bachelor of Arts and MLS from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Master of Accounting from the University of South Alabama.

We wish to express our gratitude to Karen Hanus, MLIS, AHIP, Assistant Director of the MCW Libraries, for her dedication and contributions while serving as Interim Library Director following the retirement of Mary Blackwelder. 

Ellen N. Sayed

Friday, May 20, 2016

Altmetrics 101

Altmetrics has been popping up more and more in the course of my work as a hospital librarian. We've had a few people inquire about how they can see if their publications have any social media mentions, tweets, shares and the like. 

Before we get in too deep, here is a nice beginning tutorial on altmetrics

Our health care system doesn't subscribe to a separate service to help us measure these non-traditional measures of scholarly and research impact. Perhaps some of you are in the same boat? Here are two free altmetric tools that I have used. If you know of more free tools I'd love to hear about them. 

  • PlumX embedded in EBSCOhost databases. PlumX, an EBSCO company, now embeds altmetric statis inside their databases. If you get CINAHL or any other databases via EBSCOhost, you will see altmetrics for articles. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Emperor of all Maladies

No doubt most of you have heard of the 2011 book by Siddhartha Mukherjee: The Emperor of all Maladies - a biography of cancer. It's a fascinating look at cancer throughout history, but puts a great deal of focus on cancer and how its treatments have evolved since the accidental discovery of chemotherapy during World War IIIf you haven't read this Pulitzer Prize winning book, do yourself a favor and check out the film. Stream full episodes for free on It's an emotional 5.5 hours, but I guarantee you will feel inspired at the end of it. 

Mukherjee recently appeared on NPR discussing the new ways oncologists are prescribing cancer treatments. 2016 sees him more hopeful than ever, which gives me a lot of hope for those with a cancer diagnosis.

Friday, May 13, 2016

New GMR office = new WHSLA list-serv email address

In case you didn't see Allan Barclay's email about the GMR list-serv migrating over, take a peek. We will update the WHSLA website with the new info. 

Hi WHSLA members,

Just wanted to give you a heads up about a “slight” change in the WHSLA Listserv. With the move of the GMR NNLM from Illinois to Iowa there’s also been a migration of the Association’s mailing list. All members have been moved and re-subscribed at the new address, which is now called GMR-WHSLA. So be sure to either add the list address (GMR-WHSLA@LIST.UIOWA.EDU) or just to your safe sender list. I’m emailing you all individually/outside the list now so this doesn’t go to your spam folder.

By all means please let me know if you have any questions or need anything done (subscribe, unsubscribe, update, etc). I suspect we have a number of updates that could be made – now would be a great time to take care of those.

Take care,


Allan R Barclay, MLIS, AHIP
Information Architecture Librarian, Ebling Library
750 Highland Ave, Room 2334
Madison, WI 53705-2221
(608) 262-3957 (phone)  (608) 262-4732 (fax)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

UW-Madison professor to head the National Library of Medicine

The new head of the National Library of Medicine, Patricia Flatley Brennan, has strong connections to the Badger state. Read the official news release from NLM

She's got an impressive list of citations in PubMed, too!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Heading to MLA in Toronto?

It's that time of year again. MLA is here! This year it's in Toronto. For anyone lucky enough to head there next week, you may be looking for that quintessential Canadian experience. Here are a few recommendations from your friends at WHSLA. 

  • 17 Things You Can Only Buy In Canada - this really should read "16 things". I happen to know you can now buy Ruffles All-Dressed potato chips in America. I just bought a bag at Pick N Save not too long ago. They really are delicious...and the best selling potato chip flavor in Canada. 
  • Bata Shoe Museum - where else can you see shoes from the 1600's and one from the Spice Girls? Here at the Bata Shoe Museum of course!  

Going to MLA? We'd love to hear about your conference experience. If you attended a great CE class, or just want to give us the scoop on OVID's party, we'd love to hear it. Email it to for a future blog post.