Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WHSLA Spotlight - Eileen Severson at Gundersen Lutheran in LaCrosse, WI

Hello all, I am Eileen Severson.  I have been a librarian for 16 years.  I spent 8 months as a children’s librarian at the La Crosse Public Library and have spent the rest of my career at Gundersen Health System’s Library & Patient Education Services.  I began as the electronic resources librarian, morphed into the lead librarian and now I am a supervisor.  My main responsibilities are collection development, copyright, quality improvement, and project management.  I also cover “the desks”, provide literature searching, and teach on occasion.  Library & Patient Education Services consists of one health sciences library, three patient education libraries, and a patient education support team.  More importantly, we have a fantastic group of library staff that consistently work hard and provide great services. 

I grew up in the Milwaukee area, graduating from Greenfield High School in 1990.  I grew up in a big family.  I have three brothers and two sisters who all still live in Wisconsin.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse with a BS in Microbiology in 1995.  I worked for a while, went back to school and graduated with my MLIS in 2000 from UW-Milwaukee.  I’ve been married since 2000 to a talented artist, George.  We have two children, Muriel (14 years old) and Gabriel (9 years old) and a naughty cat, Pookie (4 years old).  I enjoy being creative with my family, sewing, biking, walking, reading, gardening, and I’ve been known to desk surf.

P.S.  If you are feeling adventurous, contact Rita Mitchell at Aurora, she probably knows a lot more about me…

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


The ballot for WHSLA 2017 Elections has been emailed and the voting is open until December 14, 2016.  If you did not receive the email or you are having technical difficulties, please contact Barb Ruggeri, WHSLA President, at bruggeri@mcw.edu.

Please complete NN/LM Training Office Survey of Training Needs by 11/30/16

Please complete NN/LM Training Office Survey of Training Needs by 11/30/16
 Learning: you do it every day because you’re curious and you want to stay informed.

The NN/LM Training Office is seeking your input in the types of classes you need to be successful in your work. Please take a few minutes to lend your voice to the training needs assessment: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3149314/Education-Needs-Assessment

Your responses will be used to guide the development of NN/LM training offerings. This needs assessment is estimated to take 10-15 minutes to complete and will close on November 30, 2016. Thank you for participating.

 Bobbi Newman, MLIS, MA
Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist
National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM)
Greater Midwest Region (GMR)
Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pumpkins and apples, oh my!

Last week we here at WHSLA had food on the brain. Well this week is no different. In lieu of waxing philosophically about medical librarianship I would like to share two more TED-Ed talks with you. 

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Pumpkins and Apples...

Friday, November 18, 2016

Since milk is white, why is butter yellow? Our foodie edition

I must have Thanksgiving dinner on the brain today. So instead of fighting the urge to think about food, I'm collecting little foodie tidbits to nourish your brain. Now that I think about it, you could probably combine all these foods to make a spectacular feast on turkey day. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 WHSLA CE stipend winner report - Elissa Kinzelman-Vesely

WHSLA awarded two $500 CE stipends in 2016. Winners are asked to submit a report of a conference/course that they attended with the funds. Here is our first report from Elissa Kinselman-Vesely. 


On Friday, May 13th, I attended the CE course, “Leading the Way: Preparing for and Enhancing Your Leadership Role.”  The facilitators talked about different leadership styles, attendees rated themselves to assign a predominant leadership style, and using that framework, participants set 2 month, 6 month, and 1 year goals for themselves.

On Saturday, May 14th, I attended the CE course, “Literature Surveillance Apps: Tools for the Next Generation of Table of Contents Notification Services.”  The course highlighted 4 apps that are currently available for monitoring, reading, and sharing current literature: BrowZine, Docphin, Read by QxMD, and ReadCube.  I really liked this 2-hour course.

I attended the Wolters Kluwer Sunrise Seminar on Sunday, May 15th.  Ovid is now offering a web scale discovery platform for medical libraries, but like all existing discovery tools does not include the Wolters Kluwer product, UpToDate, in their central index.

Following the Sunrise Seminar, I went to first Plenary Session: Welcome and Presidential Address, followed immediately by the second Plenary Session: John P. McGovern Award Lecture given by Dr. Ben Goldacre.  Dr. Goldacre is a leader in the movement to make clinical trials publications more transparent.  Dr. Goldacre is an epidemiologist who has a much firmer understanding of statistics and scientific methodology than I have.  Using various arguments, he criticized The New England Journal of Medicine for its editorial review process and publication bias; the editor of NEJM responded to Dr. Goldacre’s statements a couple of weeks later with an email to MLA participants.  After lunch, I went to the EBSCO technology showcase for PlumX, because I was curious about the PlumX icon I’ve seen while using CINAHL.  It is really just a method of altmetrics, useful in environments where scholarly communications are tracked and measured.  Not particularly helpful in the community hospital library setting.  But at least now I know!  Following the technology showcase in the hall of exhibitors, I spent the rest of the afternoon at paper sessions: Bibliotherapy in a Hospital Setting: Promoting Health and Well-Being to Health Care Providers; Implementing an Evidence-Based Decision-Making Model in a Health Care System; Did you Remember to Wipe? An Exploration of the Attitudes of Clinical Staff and Patients Toward Library-Supported, Shared Mobile Devices in Hospitals; Merger Mosaic: The Impact of Mergers Among Health Care Institutions on Their Medical Libraries: Best Case: Multiple Libraries Meld into Single Mosaic.

Monday, May 16th started again with another Sunrise Seminar from EBSCO: “Solving the Findability Conundrum in Medical Research.”  They were talking about their web-scale discovery platform, Discovery Health.  I had to leave the seminar early to meet with my EBSCO representative in the coffee shop.  Following coffee, I attended the Janet Doe lecture by MJ Tooey.  Tooey’s lecture was titled, “We Can Be Heroes: MLA’s Leadership Journey(s).  After the Janet Doe lecture, I attended more paper sessions: “Act Like a Librarian, Think Like an Administrator”: Using Data to Communicate with Administration ( I really liked this presentation); Medical Library Marketing: An Investigation of Current Definitions and Practices; Understanding User Needs Through Focus Groups; A Five-Year Information Technology (IT) Roadmap for a Health Sciences Library; Exploring Tomorrow: Development of a New Technology Exploration Program and Space.  Following the morning paper sessions, I attended the EBSCO Medical Librarian Luncheon, and then spent some time in the Hall of Exhibitors.  I then sat in on the Hospital Libraries Section Business Meeting and Ice Cream Social.  Awards were presented and announcements were made.

I spent Tuesday morning exploring downtown Toronto.  The weather was sunny, but quite chilly, and I walked around, visited Kensington Market, had lunch, and then returned to the Toronto Convention Center for afternoon paper sessions.  I listened to the following presentations: Teaching Pharmacy Students How to Help Consumers Navigate and Select the Best Medicare Plans; Collaborative Collection Development: Building a Patient-Driven Consumer Health Library; Get Appy! A Mosaic of Personnel Offer an App Bar for Patients to Apply Apps to Their Health; Perceived eHealth Literacy and Information Behavior of Older Adults Enrolled in a Health Information Outreach Program; Libraries as Publishers: Creating an Open Access Journal to Connect Patients and Providers.  The evening closed with the President’s Awards Dinner.

On the final morning of the conference, Wednesday, May 18, I sat in on Plenary Session 4: Ellen Jorgensen.  I’m not sure whether the lecture had an official title, but it focused on the citizen science movement.  Jorgensen is the founder of a New York lab called Genspace, a place where biotech hobbyists could engage in science.  While interesting, I didn’t really see how Jorgensen’s talk on “home-grown” biotech experimentation applied to medical libraries, hospital libraries in particular. 

At the end of Jorgensen’s talk, I was eager to hit the road, so I headed back to Wisconsin.  It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn at MLA, but likewise, I always seem to forget how exhausting the conference can be.  I’m always “conferenced-out” at the end of MLA!  Thank you, WHSLA!

-Elissa Kinzelman-Vesely

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kahoot.it - a free quiz, discussion, and survey tool

While at the MCMLA conference in Des Moines a few weeks ago, I took a CE class on innovative instruction. One of the tools the presenters showed us was Kahoot. It's a really fun, free tool you can use to create quizzes, surveys, and to prompt discussions.

I decided to test it out last week with a few nursing classes that came to the library to use CINAHL for the first time. I created a four-question kahoot on unusual medical/health research. It took 1-1.5 hours to get it created, tested, and up and running. One person "runs" the kahoot and the rest of the room plays along on their phone, tablet, or computer. 

Here are a few screenshots. The first is the question and possible answers, the second highlights the answer. See what you think. It was a great way to break the ice and ease into our topic for the session. You could just as easily do it remotely as in person. Maybe there's room for a kahoot or two in your teaching repertoire?


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why are human bodies asymmetrical? A mini TED lesson

I recently ran across a video on symmetry in nature. This particular video was about a snail named Jeremy, whose shell spirals counterclockwise. Human internal asymmetry was mentioned in passing. That got me thinking...why are humans asymmetrical on the inside? 

This short video from TED will give you a taste into the why...but more importantly it focuses on the how. How does that extremely complicated process work? Take a look.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How has disease, life span and mortality rate changed since you were born? A new interactive global health tool

A post on NPR today highlighted a new global health tool from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Global Health Check.  

After plugging in your birth year, you can see how these things have changed globally: life expectancy, childhood mortality, vaccines and other important medical discoveries, disease outbreaks, and progress in global public health. It's a great way to see how medicine has increased and lengthened our quality of life. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Budget preparation for hospital librarians - a post by Michele Matucheski

What tools do you use to plan Hospital Library Budgets?  

In the September 2016 issue of MLA News, I was reading Angela Spencer’s brief article about Hospital Library Budgets, entitled “Budget shouldn’t be a Bad Word.”   She raised some good questions about Budget Planning for Hospital Librarians, wondering how we do it if we didn’t learn this stuff in Library School, and there seems to be very little written about it?

I’ve been a Health Science Librarian for almost 20 years now.  I’ve been contributing to budget preparation since 2007.  Since that time, I’ve developed several tools to help with budget preparation.  I don’t actually plug the numbers into the budget planning program – that’s usually left for a higher-up (non-Library) manager who counts on me to give them the data and the numbers I anticipate needing in the coming year for renewals and expenditures. 

  1. Cost-per-Use Study of our databases and electronic products.   Cost-per-use is the annual cost divided by the usage (annual stats, usually supplied by the vendor).  This annual study goes a long way to helping me make informed decisions about what I should be making a case for, and what I can let go of … and sometimes what I may need to promote more.   I put it on a spreadsheet with columns for several previous years, so it’s easy to compare how the annual prices have increased, and how usage has kept pace, or not.
  2. Electronic Products Spreadsheet     I also keep a separate spreadsheet of those big ticket annual purchases – mostly the online databases, and eJournal packages, so I know what we’re spending overall, when they come due, and how it adds up through the year.    This way, the spreadsheet easily tabulates the totals for me, and I can easily keep track of how much I should have left in our budget for the year. 
  3. If we have multi-year contracts for the databases, it can make the annual price increases more predictable, and even cap them.  
  4. Ebsco and Mathews Medical Books also produce annual reports about price increases for Journals and health science books, respectively.  Although I hang onto these and keep them in my back pocket to justify price increases, the higher-ups usually don’t care to see these reports.  

Every time I renew a database, or online resource, I usually have to make a business case about why we need it.  The cost-per-use data comes in handy there in 1) showing that it’s being used, and of value to our Physicians and Nurses and staff and 2) so that the powers-that-be know that I’m keeping tabs on that info.   I usually include the % of price increase over the previous year, and a bit about how these resources are needed by our Physicians and Providers to make informed decisions related to patient care …

Here’s a sample :  
Cinahl FullText
We planned for this renewal in the 2016-17 Fiscal Year Library Budget.

This renewal price reflects a 5% price increase over last year amounting to $XXX.  

Business Case :
  • This Library database indexes the nursing and allied health journal literature.  It also includes some full-text journals.  It integrates nicely with the point-of-care tool Nursing Reference Center, but does not duplicate content.  
  • This resource is needed by our nurses and allied health professionals to make informed decisions about taking care of our patients, running hospitals, and clinics, best practices, updating standards and policies, management issues – among many other questions that come up.   It contributes to Healthcare that works -  is safe – and leaves no one behind.    It contributes to our evidence-based practice offerings.  

2015 Usage Stats
  • $1.69 / search
  • $3.93 / session
  • $5.37 / article     

Anyway, I hope this helps sort out how Hospital Librarians plan their budgets.   I’d love to hear what other tools WHSLA Members use to prepare their budgets …


Michele Matucheski, MLS, AHIP
Librarian – Ascension Health Wisconsin
Ministry Health Care / Affinity Health System
Office at Mercy Medical Center
500 S. Oakwood Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904
t: 920-223-0340

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