Friday, August 31, 2018

Reports from MLA’s Research Training Institute (RTI)

Hello WHSLA Blog readers,

My name is Liz Suelzer and I’m a librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Libraries. I recently started a yearlong fellowship with the MLA Research Training Institute for Health Sciences Librarians (RTI). The RTI was developed to help health sciences librarians learn more about the research process by having librarians undergo a research project of their own with training and support from experienced researchers. I hope to keep you updated on my journey through the RTI over the next year.

This past July I attended the inaugural Research Training Institute (RTI) Workshop in Chicago. The RTI Workshop was led by five faculty with extensive experience in library research, and twenty fellows who are participating in the program. We spent the week at Library of Health Sciences-Chicago, University of Illinois–Chicago, and most of us stayed in the dorms on campus.

RTI participants
The workshop was five days of intensive learning about the research process. We started out by getting to know each other and developing our research questions. In the middle of the week we covered theoretical frameworks, literature reviews, research design methods, data management and analysis, and we got practice with using different research methodologies such as interviews, focus groups and surveys. The week ended with discussions about disseminating our research and each participant walked away with a research plan and timeline.

Me and my research plan timeline
As you can see, a lot of information was given out during the week. However, it wasn’t as challenging to stay focused as I thought it would be. The topics were taught by different faculty members using different teaching strategies. During the breaks and in the evenings, the fellows spent time talking about and processing the information that we learned during the day and finding ways to incorporate what was learned into our own research projects.
Spending a week with librarians who are all in the same research boat was great. It was nice being able to talk shop with colleagues who have different work experiences, and it wasn’t hard to make new friends. I left Chicago at the end of the week with a full mind and motivation to continue work on my research project.

In my next report, coming in a few weeks, I will share information about my research project.

Be well!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Recently found WHSLA 2012 photos: a trip down memory lane

I was cleaning out my Google Drive folder the other day and ran across photos from WHSLA's 2012 meeting in Milwaukee. That was one of the first professional meetings I worked on, so I have very fond memories of it. It was also the first time I visited the Harley-Davidson Museum, which is celebrating 115 years of company history this upcoming weekend in Milwaukee. I can't promise I'll be hitting the road on my hog, but I will enjoy looking at these pictures again. 

View 2012 program

View more 2012 photos

Robert Koehler, David Ruby, and Brian Finnegan

Holly Egebo, Sandra Karnold, Mini Prasad

Jan Curnes

WHSLA President Barb Ruggeri, and Keynote speaker, Dr. Kate Marek

Monday, August 27, 2018

Public Visitors who appreciate the Hospital Library

Public Visitors who appreciate the Hospital Library

  1. Just had the mother of a patient stop in looking for a printer.  Unfortunately, our public computers are no longer hooked up to a printer. 
On rare occasions, I will offer to print something for a visitor in need, if they can email it to me. She did … and was very happy with her 1-page form printed to paper.      She also appreciated being in the hospital library.  She said that just the smell of old books helped to lower her blood pressure.  I invited her to come back if she needed another dose.   😉
Did you know you can buy soy candles infused with Old Book Smell?

The description says: “We love the smell of old books!  But not the rotten, mildew kind – the sweet, papery sort. This soft, comforting scent makes you want to curl up in your favorite reading chair and leaf through stacks of worn, well-loved stories.”

  1. Earlier in the week, one of the retired doctors stopped in.  He had accompanied a family member who was getting some tests done.  He was looking for a quiet place to sit and read.  Every other public area had a tv blaring – he was trying to get away from that so he could concentrate on his book. 

Yay for Libraries as calm and quiet places! I don’t get so much foot traffic these days with the shift to online services, but those who do come in truly appreciate the setting.


Michele Matucheski, MLS, AHIP
Clinical Librarian - Library Services
Consultant – Clinical Professional Development

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The first known line chart - how a Scottish economist gave birth to infographics more than 230 years ago

I ran across an article from Harvard Business Review (2014;92(6):32-33) on the start of infographics. I'm a sucker for charts and graphs of all kinds, so this article was right up my alley. 

William Playfair, a Scottish economist, bemoaned the difficulty in quickly interpreting the complex numerical and financial tables that were common at the time. In 1786 he published a series of graphs and charts to help. Playfair remarked, "And it is hoped, that, with the assistance of these charts, such information will be got, without the fatigue and trouble of studying the particulars of which it is composed." According to HBR the charts never caught on during his life and he died in poverty in 1823. 

Too bad Playfair couldn't see the explosion in charts and graphs we have today. I think he'd be proud, knowing that his 230+ year old charts gave inspiration to industries of all types, all over the globe. Learn more about William Playfair and have a gander at his original charts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Big data helps quantify what nurses already know

I recently came across this opinion article in the New York Times that suggests when a nurse feels that a patient may be in danger of declining, it's because "working at the bedside has honed nurses’ perceptions to be especially alert to brewing trouble."  The article goes on to say that there's now data to support that nursing assessments "offer crucial information about patient stability."   

The Rothman Index is one such example of a technology that mines the electronic health record looking for patterns in a patient's lab results, vital signs, and nursing assessments, charting them as a graph.  These patterns give a better idea of the patient's overall condition, and not just at any one moment when their "normal" values may make it hard for a nurse to justify a gut feeling that something is amiss.

It will be interesting to see if more hospitals adopt this sort of technology.

Takver from Australia, Evidence based policy after peer review - Melbourne -MarchforScience on -Earthday (34051555122), CC BY-SA 2.0

Are MRIs safe?

I recently worked on a search about cumulative radiation exposure from MRIs. Are MRIs safe? 

This video from PBS Digital Studios gives a little background. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Late summer reading

Looking for a fun yet educational read as summer gives way to the start of another academic year?  Try Get well soon: history's greatest plagues and the heroes who fought them by Jennifer Wright.  

Ms. Wright's well-researched book documents some of history's worst disease outbreaks from the well-known (Bubonic Plague) to the more obscure (the dancing plague of 1518) and everything in between.  Not only was it thorough, it was also darkly funny.  I found myself laughing out loud more than once at her acerbic sense of humor.  For example, “I realize that 'Do No Harm' is the first rule of medicine, but 'Don’t apply human [excrement] to an open wound' seems like a good second one.” 

So if you're interested in the history of medicine, but also appreciate a good laugh, I highly recommend this book!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Barb Ruggeri, a 2018 WHSLA CE Award recipient, shares her experience at MLA

Barb Ruggeri, recipient of a 2018 WHSLA CE Award, gives us a peek at her experience at MLA. 
MLA 2018: Adapting, Transforming, Leading – Atlanta, Georgia

My trip to MLA was off to a great start with attendance of two continuing education courses. 

My first CE, Dissemination in Action, gave me hands-on pointers on how to use social media to promote research. Taught by Karen Gutzman, Impact and Evaluation Librarian, and Patricia L. Smith, Impact and Dissemination Librarian, Galter Health Sciences Library, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.   Increasingly, researchers who receive funding must demonstrate their plans of dissemination of the results to benefit society. “Applicants must address plans for collection and dissemination of useful products of the research, including approaches, technologies and tools to the relevant research and user communities.” NIH Request for Proposal Coordination Center for the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Program.

A basic dissemination plan might include:
  • Determine the research findings or products you want to promote.
  • What do you want to achieve? You need to have a goal
  • Who is your target audience(s)? The public? People with condition? Other researchers? Other providers? Funders?
  • What tool, resource, or format do you want to use?
  • Do you have content, or does it need to be generated? Remember visuals are more impactful.

My second CE, Innovations in Nursing Information Literacy: New Technologies, Approaches, and Ideas, was taught by Jessica Sender, Librarian, College of Nursing, Michigan State University–East Lansing.   We looked at the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy
  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

Jessica employed a strategy known as Take Five with the class.  We took 3 minutes to work on questions, then spent two minutes sharing it with one other person in class. In this case, we looked at the ACL framework and chose three areas that would match up with our nursing literacy goals.  The goals often depend on the audience: First year nursing students vs nurse practitioner students vs graduate nurses in the hospital.

On Sunday, MLA got underway with a great keynote address by William Powers, a former Washington Post writer who now works at the MIT Media Lab.  "Reviving the Human: Libraries in the Age of AI” wove Powers life story with great history lessons about the introduction of new technology and human reaction to it.  One of the most profound statements for me was his quote of Simone Weil “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”  He stated that attention is our most powerful tool, and who and what we attend to indicates its importance in our life.  Our obsession with our smartphones and social media is not a new one in history. It repeats a cycle of obsession followed a period when there is an adjustment by humans and the technology loosens its grip on us. I plan to read his book “Hamlet’s Blackberry” to learn more about how to live with technology.  He is a senior advisor to Cortico “a non-profit organization that helps journalists tell stories that are more reflective of people’s lives on the ground in communities across the US, whether they’re red counties or blue cities.” 

On Monday we received the Janet Doe lecture from : Elaine R. Martin: Elaine R. Martin, Director, Library Services, Countway Library, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA.  Her talk “Social Justice and the Medical Librarian” was an inspiring message to address injustice, improve the diversity of backgrounds medical librarians, to promote engagement with social justice concerns and to promote hidden voices through acquisitions and collections.

On Tuesday we were treated to the presidential address of Beverly Murphy, AHIP, FMLA, 2018/19.  Beverly is the first African American president of MLA.  Her address was very warm and engaging – she walked up to the podium to the sound of “You are the Sunshine of My Life”, she sat down next to a heart shaped balloon which read “Open Hearts, Open Minds”. She said where the heart goes, the mind follows.  She said regardless of our backgrounds “we are all information professionals with the common goal to be the most visible, valued and trusted information experts.”

While the conference continued through Wednesday, I returned to Milwaukee.  Highlights included celebrating the 25th anniversary of Doody’s Review Service with a group of librarians and vendors, talking to librarians about their research at poster sessions and presentations and learning about NLM’s strategic plan:

Here is the list of titles of the poster presentations.  If you see something of interest, send me an email and I will contact the authors to see if they are available for a WHSLA Wisdom chat.

Thank you so much to WHSLA for the travel stipend of $500, it was greatly appreciates and I hope to bring what I have learned to help WHSLA and its members adapt, transform and lead!

Barb Ruggeri

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

PubMed Health bites the dust

"In an effort to consolidate similar resources and make information easier to find, the National Library of Medicine will be retiring its PubMed Health website, effective October 31, 2018, and providing the same or similar content through more widely used NLM resources, namely PubMed, MedlinePlus, and Bookshelf.

PubMed Health content falls into two general categories: consumer health resources and systematic reviews/comparative effectiveness research (CER). A similar range of consumer health information to that in PubMed Health is available from NLM’s MedlinePlus, while the systematic reviews and CER in PubMed Health are searchable through PubMed, which links to the full text (when available) in Bookshelf, journals, and/or PubMed Central." Read more

ProHealth Care's Cultural Competence Book Club

Fifteen years ago, the former librarian and a hospital administrator of Waukesha Memorial Hospital  teamed up to start a book club open to all hospital staff, with the mission of enhancing cultural awareness through reading and discussion, and the intent of bringing great benefit to the hospital organization and club members alike. The first few books were selected and the club held its first meeting, met with high praise.

The club exists to this day, and is now known as the ProHealth Care Cultural Competence Book Club, to reflect our organization as a whole, not just one hospital location. Club members hail from all levels of the organization; and current and past WHSLA members from ProHealth Care and Carroll University are often featured. More than a few book club members continue to participate after having retired from their professional obligations!  All current and past book club selections are housed in the ProHealth Care medical library. Some people refer to our collection as the “hidden gem in the basement.”

Books are purchased through a generous grant from the ProHealth Care Foundation. Throughout the year, club members submit titles for consideration. Once we weed out publications that are out of print or do not align with our mission, the club votes for five to six titles to be read and discussed throughout the year over lunch.

One has to wonder, “How do busy health care providers find time to come to the lunch meetings?” The truth is they don’t; and that has never gotten in our way! Most of the participation happens through what we like to call “stairwell discussions.”  Members have mini-meetings as they encounter each other in passing, whether in a stairwell popular for getting a little exercise, in line at the cafeteria, or in the library while stopping by to pick up the latest book club title. Some members even like to take walking breaks as an opportunity for discussion. When all of these opportunities still aren’t enough, members will email me their thoughts on the book, or any large insights they had and want to share with the group. So everyone benefits from the book and our collective ideas/knowledge, the notes from our lunch meeting discussions and all of the realizations from stairwell discussions that make it to me are compiled into a recap email that is sent out to all book club members.

 In the five years I’ve served as the librarian, we have read so many fantastic books. I’ve learned a great deal, not only from the books but also from book club members, and subject matter experts who have come in to teach us more about the subject of book we are discussing. Each member has had a book, or two, impact the way we view a particular patient population, co-worker or situation.  One of our most popular books, Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink, is still in heavy circulation nearly four years after the club first read and discussed it. Because of that book, people still comment how they remember to check if the flashlights on their units have working batteries!

The ProHealth Care Cultural Competence Book Club has just finished selecting our books for the upcoming year.  If you’re curious to see which books made the cut for this year’s voting, you can check out our ballot here:

Thursday, August 2, 2018

While the webmaster's away...

We covered some pretty heavy subject matter last week, so I thought we'd talk about something lighter and fluffier.

Lots of people share their lives with companion animals, and some research suggests that pets can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Don't have pets of your own?  Cat cafes are popping up all over the country, where you can enjoy a beverage while hanging out with cats.  We even have one right here in Milwaukee.

Or check out Wild Rumpus, a Minnesota bookstore with plenty of critters to keep you company while you browse their shelves.  And if you can't take a road trip to meet these animals, at least read their hilarious bios.