Friday, January 29, 2021

Connecting with our users during COVID-19: Advocate Aurora Library

This is the first in a series of blog posts showcasing how WHSLA members and their libraries responded to serving our users in creative ways during COVID-19. 

Advocate Aurora Library was amid a departmental merger when COVID-19 hit in March 2020. This offered us an opportunity to increase our virtual and remote services both within and outside the library. 

Here are some of the initiatives we implemented from March 2020-present. Many of these will likely continue, even after our library staff returns to work in-person later this year.

Online services:

  • Added an online chat service, staffed M-F from 9 am-3 pm, using a free chat tool
  • Switched to internet phone numbers for main line and individual staff. Main line is not specific to any one physical library
  • Orientations for new hospital employees using Microsoft Teams
  • Responding to social issues by creating a Diversity and Inclusion collection with links to articles, e-books, and more
  • Marketing the library to new leaders with direct emails
  • Continuing to serve on committees and work groups virtually
  • Held a book club with the goal of providing an opportunity for Advocate Aurora team members to connect with one another

Physical spaces:

All eight Advocate Aurora Library locations remain open to employees; library staff have been working remotely since March 2020. We expect to go back in June 2021.

  • Badge readers added to enable library access for employees. All libraries now either accessible 24/7 via badge reader or Public Safety entry request
  • Rearranged spaces and removed some equipment to ensure safe social distancing
  • Put up “tear off” sheets with library contact information including our new, online phone number (Cisco Jabber), and email address
  • Library staff visit 1-2 times per month to check in and shelve books, fill up copiers, etc.


Socially distanced tables and work spaces

Contact information tear-off sheets placed around libraries


Friday, January 22, 2021

Press Pause - Examining Unconscious Bias Video from ABOG


Press Pause: Examining Unconscious Bias Video (31 min.) from ABOG Communications.

This video appeared on the January 2021 ABOG reading list for Obstetrics and Gynecologists.

>  It's the one Robert Koehler from Meriter said has been such a big hit at his institution, so consider sharing it at your own Library.

Since it touches on justice, diversity and inclusion topics and was designed for a professional audience, it might be a good choice to share at your own institutions for those who want to learn more about it.  

Use PAUSE to examine your own unconscious biases when making important decisions:

What's the coldest thing in the world? (Ted-Ed video)

What's the coldest thing in the world? No, it's not Wisconsin in January, but that might be a close second. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Contagion Detective: How Diseases like Covid-19 and Misinformation Spread


Adam Kucharski, The Contagion Detective.

I am a regular listener of To the Best of Our Knowledge on Wisconsin Public Radio, although these days I listen to podcasts more than live broadcasts.  This interview with Adam Kucharski was fascinating in that he has been able to bridge the worlds of math, epidemiology, and social contagion.   We've all heard the phrase when something "goes viral" on social media.  Well, it turns out the same rules from math and biology apply to the viral spread of information, or misinformation.  The wheels started to whir in my brain and I had an a-ha moment where it all started to make sense!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Here's Steve Paulson's introduction:

The COVID-19 pandemic was some epidemiologist’s nightmare when Adam Kucharski was writing "Rules of Contagion." The book draws on ideas from “outbreak science” to illuminate how and why viruses spread. Information from biology, Kucharski expertly demonstrates, has helped scientists understand how misinformation rages like fire in the fields of politics and finance. Kucharski is entitled to feel like Nostradamus, but people in his field “always have the next pandemic on the radar,” he told Wired.

I caught up with Kucharski to learn about the key ideas in "Rules of Contagion," and hear his views on the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the full conversation over on Nautilus.  Read more ...

Listen to the interview 

Link to the TTBOOK page

Link to the related (longer) interview on Nautilus

TTBOOK Episode: Vaccine Trackers

The Book: Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread -- And Why They Stop by Adam Kucharski

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tips for Getting a Good Head Shot for Your Digital First Impression


Reasons Why You Need a Good Head Shot - The List

Are you looking for ways to make sure you have a great headshot?   

If so, Jimmy Rhoades of "The List" interviews Kristin Bock of Body Language Blueprints,  who explains why you need a headshot, and how to make sure it’s a good one.

Pick up some tips to make sure your digital first impression is a positive one.

Kristin Bock showed us how to mask-proof our facial expressions a few month's ago.  

Friday, January 15, 2021

Twitter shuts down SciHub

 Reposted from LibLicense list-serv


"Twitter last week permanently suspended the account of Sci-Hub, the website that has posted millions of freely accessible copies of scientific articles pirated from subscription journals. Twitter said Sci-Hub had violated its policy against promoting “counterfeit goods,” according to Sci-Hub’s founder, Alexandra Elbakyan.

The notification came shortly after a 6 January court hearing in India about a lawsuit filed by three of the world’s largest journal publishers—Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society—which are seeking to block public access to Sci-Hub in that country because of copyright infringement. Elbakyan says Sci-Hub’s defense to the suit, filed in December 2020, will rely in part on tweets from Indian scientists who have said they support continued access to Sci-Hub because they cannot afford subscriptions to journal content.

Sci-Hub started its Twitter account 9 years ago, and it had attracted more than 180,000 followers. That number pales in comparison with the more than 3 million unique internet addresses people used to download scholarly articles from Sci-Hub during a 6-month period in 2016, according to a news article in Science. The website now claims to offer more than 85 million papers for download—a large chunk of the world’s scientific literature."


Read more about SciHub

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

MLA Research Training Institute for Librarians now accepting applications

 Reposted from MLA

Apply for the Research Training Institute ’21!

Are you a library professional who wants to take your research skills to the next level? Do you have a brilliant idea or research topic that you want to pursue but do not know where to start and need help from your peers and experts to carry it through?

The Medical Library Association (MLA) Research Training Institute (RTI) is a unique, highly effective, and collaborative online research training and support program. The RTI ’21 immerses practicing librarians in scholarly research, inquiry, and publishing. Librarians of all levels of professional experience and from all types of work environments who provide health information, services, and support; have an interest in increasing their research skills and confidence; and want to improve library and health care outcomes are encouraged to apply to the RTI program.

The institute is a one-year online program that consists of a series of online modules in advanced research methods, mentoring by faculty experts and peer coaches, preparation and implementation of a research project, and an opportunity to present findings at the MLA ’22 virtual conference. RTI ’21 features an expanded research curriculum and greater affordability and flexibility for participants. Learn more about RTI program details.

RTI ’21 Application Deadline Extended to January 25, 2021

The application deadline for the 2021 cohort of RTI research fellows has been extended to January 25, 2021. Accepted applicants will be notified in March 2021. See the RTI Submission Process for eligibility requirements and selection criteria. The institute offers many full scholarship opportunities, including scholarships for professionals who work in small libraries and academic health libraries; engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) research; and have limited financial means.

Discover and nurture your research talents! Learn how to conduct and lead quality research projects to improve your library and support quality health care. Meet like-minded research colleagues, make lifelong friends, gain research skills and confidence, form collaborations with other researchers, and help end-users improve health and wellness! Apply today!

Read more about the RTI success story. Read what RTI fellows say about the RTI experience at @RTIatMLA.

The project is made possible in part by a grant from the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

If you would like to learn more about the institute, please visit the RTI website or contact RTI Project Director Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA.




Dear Pandemic

In March 2020, an all-female interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians created the website Dear Pandemic.  Their goal was to provide the public with facts about COVID-19 in the face of rampant misinformation.  Every week, they host a live Q&A session to answer reader submitted questions.  Additionally, they keep a fantastic curated list of trusted resources.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Important Changes to NCBI Accounts Coming in 2021

[This article first appeared on the NCBI Insights Blog Jan 5, 2021.]

Do you login to NCBI to use MyNCBI, SciENcv, or MyBibliography? Do you submit data to NCBI? If so, you’ll want to read further to get a first glimpse at some important changes to NCBI accounts that will be coming in 2021.

What’s happening?

In brief, NCBI will be transitioning to federated account credentials. NCBI-managed credentials are the username and password you set at NCBI — these will be going away. Federated account credentials are those set through eRA Commons, Google, or a university or institutional point of access.

Why is this happening?

NIH, NLM, and NCBI take your privacy and security very seriously. As part of our normal reviews we have determined that making this change will increase the security of your accounts to a level that we feel is necessary.

When is this happening?

After June 1, 2021, you will no longer be able to use NCBI-managed credentials to login to NCBI.

What do I need to do?

If you currently use a federated login to access your NCBI account, you don’t have to do anything! Just be aware that if you also access your account with an NCBI-managed username and password, that route will be going away.

If you only have NCBI-managed credentials and you’d like to get a head start on this transition, you can do the following now:

  1. Login to NCBI the way you usually do.
  2. Click on your username in the top bar to load your NCBI Account Settings page.
  3. If your Settings page looks like Figure 1, where you have a “Native NCBI Account” username and password and have no linked accounts, then you will need to add a linked account.
  4. To add a linked account, click the “Change” button under Linked Accounts.
  5. You may choose several options for a linked account including the following:
  • Google
  • University/institutional
NCBI Accounts Settings page.
Figure 1. NCBI Accounts Settings page showing a “Native” NCBI account without any linked accounts.

What about my account data?

This change will not affect the actual data in your account, such as your MyBibliography, SciENcv, or submission data. The only thing that is changing are the credentials you use to access your account.

What if I have questions?

We’re here to help! You can always write to for more information, particularly if you would be interested in helping us with this transition by being willing to migrate your credentials early. Your willingness will help us make the transition easier for everyone!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The first WHSLA Wisdom Chat for 2021: Connecting with your users during the pandemic

 An open discussion of WHSLA members sharing their collective wisdom on Thursday, January 21, 2021, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.  Contact Barb Ruggeri (bruggeri at you did not receive an invitation.

great horned owl

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Meet Dr. Ala Stanford

We're into the second year of the pandemic, but there's still good news out there.  Check out the AMA's interview  with Philadelphia's Dr. Ala Stanford.  Last April, Dr. Stanford founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to offer free testing to residents who wouldn't otherwise have access.  She has become the face of COVID-19 advocacy within her community, working to provide a trusted source of medical care and alleviate fears about the vaccine.

Photo from