Racing up the highway to Columbus, I had several emotions going on at once. I was ecstatic and also slightly anxious. I was excited because I was about to attend my first Midwest Chapter/MLA meeting. I had dread because I was going to be late. I had to be in Columbus by 1 pm for my continuing education class, and I had taken too long at the library in Cheviot choosing just the right book on tape. I ended up with four books, and I was late for my CE class. But only 5 minutes late. So I started my time at the Midwest Conference…with high emotions and with the library. I settled into my class and joined the discussion underway, one of many great dialogues to be had over the next few days. The conference was a great time and it was fantastic to see CAHLSA so well represented among the organizers and moderators. Being my first conference I had the intention to meet as many people as I could. Through my involvement in CAHLSA I knew at least 10 people already when I arrived at the conference. And I was able to meet many more incredibly accomplished medical librarians from throughout the Midwest. One person I met was Pam Rees, a librarian at the State Library of Iowa. I met Pam because we roomed together in Columbus, and I was introduced to Pam through Val Purvis. Through my relationships made at CAHLSA I am able to extend out beyond Cincinnati into the greater medical librarian community. I guess in the age of Web 2.0 this is not too uncommon, but there is a definite enhancement to the interactions I have. I am instructed, mentored and welcomed by the members of CAHLSA. It is a gift to have such a group to foster the professional development of medical librarians and to provide support for our members. One major theme coming out of the conference was realizing the worth of highly-skilled librarians and the value of the work done by these information professionals. The next event on the CAHLSA calendar will be the retirement party of Barbarie Hill. We will gather and celebrate the stellar career of one of our finest. The work she has done in her career has been incredibly valuable to the mission of Cincinnati Children's. And in December CAHLSA will throw a holiday party. Last year’s party was hailed as absolute fun and I can only image that this year’s party will be even better. So read on for the details of upcoming events and for more news of Columbus 2009. I hope to meet you at a CAHLSA event in the very near future. Amy Koshoffer, CAHLSA President 2009
Financial Report 2009-2010 Year-To-Date
The Cincinnati Historical Society Library September 22, 2009
Attendees: Brigid Almaguer, Stephanie Bricking, Cathy Constance, Barbara Dawson, Mike Douglas, Regina Hartman, Barbarie Hill, Emily Kean, Alison Kissling, Amy Koshoffer, Margee Lewis, Lisa McCormick, Meredith Orlowski, Sharon Purtee, Ruby Rogers, Barbara Slavinski, Don Smith, Edith Starbuck, Amy Stoneburner, Katie Wolf
The annual membership meeting was held at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, located at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The Library’s Director, Ruby Rogers, provided an overview of the history of the Society and the current services of the Library. Barbara Dawson led meeting attendees on a tour of the Library’s physical space, including the stacks which are closed to the public.
The group then moved to the atrium of the Museum Center and enjoyed boxed lunches from Aynie’s Catering.
The business meeting was called to order at 6:45 p.m. by President, Amy Koshoffer. Meeting attendees introduced themselves. Amy Koshoffer reminded members of the retirement celebration for Barbarie Hill that will be held at Cincinnati Children’s on October 15. Meredith Orlowski, Vice President/Program Chair, outlined the remaining meetings for the year. She asked members to start thinking of an organization for the annual children’s book donation. A training session on the new PubMed interface was also suggested for the workshop meeting to be held in early 2010.
Cathy Constance, Treasurer, stated that the treasury currently holds $3,300.00. She reminded attendees that membership dues for 2009-2010 were now due and also suggested conducting a membership drive.
The meeting was adjourned by Amy Koshoffer at 7:00 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted, Emily Kean, Secretary
Greetings! What kind of programming can you expect from CAHSLA this year? Stay tuned for information about our Holiday party in December. As always, we’ll be collecting books for our annual children’s book drive during the holiday meeting. If you have any suggestions for worthy organizations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. After turning the corner into 2010, we’ll have a workshop to look forward to and our spring business meeting. The final meeting of the year will be our annual picnic, which always promises to be great fun! As always, feel free to bring guests along and introduce them to CAHSLA. Looking forward to seeing everyone throughout the year!Submitted by Meredith Orlowski
Columbus 2009 Seek, Explore, Discover: We came from very different places and in different frames of mind as we arrived at the conference. Some had rushed from the airport, and some had raced in a car. And some had anxiously waited two years for the start of the conference. So it was perfect for all of us to slip off to the Islands for a few hours of vacation bliss. The opening reception had a warm balmy Island theme complete with spicy jerk chicken kabobs and plenty of Red Stripe and Mango Mai Tai to go around. And a one man steel band added the perfect sound track.
After opening words were said and everyone had his fill of the free flowing food and beer, it was time to head to the North Shore. There were shuttles to ferry willing conference participants to the high life on High Street. Everyone had to have been there, the sidewalks were so jam packed with onlookers, street musicians and artists directing people into the galleries and shops. One could find anything from cutting edge art to lampshades and even the perfect souvenir from Columbus.
Though the previous night was a late one, fifteen of us managed to rouse ourselves out of bed Sunday morning for a sunrise walk. At 6:30 a.m. we gathered in the conference area. Bundled up and armed with flashlights we headed out into the darkness to walk off Mai Tai and see some of the sites in downtown Columbus. We walked for 45 minutes past the old post office (now a law firm), the Columbus Dispatch building, several downtown high rise buildings and the Columbus Metropolitan Public Library. Behind the library is a topiary garden themed after George Seurat’s A Sunday On The Island Of La Grande Jatte. The library and the garden are worth a visit, but it would have to wait for the sunrise. Actually we were too early to see the sunrise. But the moon was up, and the refreshing walk gave one the feeling of having squeezed in a whole extra day.
The main social event was an evening at the Statehouse. The venue was just a hop, skip and jump over State Street from the conference hotel. A wonderful spread of cheeses and fruits were set out in the middle of the Statehouse Rotunda. Servers brought tasty bruschetta to the tables and the bar was serving great wines including a delicious Reisling from Ohio’s own Mon Ami winery. During hors d'oeuvres, we were free to wander the Statehouse or join the guided tour to the Senate Chamber. The only disappointment was we were not going to be allowed to sit in the Governor’s chair or any other elected official’s chair. If you were quick, you could get down to the Ohio Museum housed in the basement of the building. It is home to great information about Ohio and to a fantastic stain glass window that used to hang in the rotunda dome. It was replaced by the current window and somehow lost in storage. Then it was rediscovered during the 1990’s renovation and placed in the museum.
The meal was a fantastic Italian buffet with great vegetables, pasta and ravioli. The hardest part was not eating the dessert first. We were tempted with fresh (all prepared by the statehouse chef) biscotti, pizzelles, and other Italian cookies placed on the table at the start of the meal. It was great food and a fantastic evening.
The final social event was a dine-around in the German Village. Regretfully I had to get back to Cincinnati and could not attend. It is all the more reason to head back up to Columbus. Wisconsin 2010 has big shoes to fill.
Submitted by Amy Koshoffer
“Cheap, Fast and Decent Strategic Planning for Medical Libraries” CE Course
Instructor: Pat Wagner
If the opportunity ever presents itself to take a class from Ms. Pat Wagner, sign up immediately! She is a knowledgeable and engaging instructor. Wagner, a partner in Pattern Research, Inc.,
Wagner uses a variety of teaching techniques to present a ‘strategic planning 101’ class of interest and usefulness to the beginning or the experienced librarian. She teaches that even the smallest, poorest, richest, oldest and most successful library needs a strategic plan to “create a written contract for making decisions” and to move “the library forward to a new destination.” In her 2-page list of “Trends to Consider,” Wagner lists the following New Library Principles you may find interesting:
A library is a space designed for people first, not for books or computers. The great good place: more and different public uses of the library space.
Materials organized around topics, themes, and technology. Traditional cataloging does not drive medical library organization.
Changing scope of services: “Never new a medical library did that!” Surprise and innovation.
I’ll just mention two of the online resources Wagner recommended to the class:
Sandra Nelson Strategic Planning Information (Ms. Nelson is a “planning guru”) http://www.sandranelson.com/planning_links.html
and Strategic Planning in Libraries http://www.librarysupportstaff.com/strategicplan.html
The class was excellent, timely, practical and a great way to get the basics of strategic planning for health sciences libraries.
Submitted by Lisa McCormick
The Thin Book with Lots of Pictures
Clifford Stoll, PhD
Dr. Clifford Stoll, Sunday’s keynote speaker, is just the right mix of energy, humor, insight and story telling to launch an idea-challenging conference. When he shared the ‘outline of the talk’ – notes he had written on his palm, fingers and thumb and that survived his shower – you knew this would not be your typical address.
Stoll captured the imagination and memory of many who attended the 1996 Medical Library Association conference in Kansas City, MO. He was the keynote speaker at MLA, and it was shortly after the publication of his book Silicone Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway. You couldn’t help but be riveted by Stoll’s constant movement and scatter-gun-free-associating dialog that challenged conventional wisdom that all things Information Highway/Web/Internet related were to be accepted without scrutiny. Those of us lucky enough to have heard Stoll in 1996 repeatedly wondered: ”What is Dr. Stoll thinking these days? What does he have to say on the impact of technology on education and research?” The Midwest Chapter Conference seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get updated on Stoll’s observations and musings.
It is not at all easy to summarize what Stoll had to say, but I’ll share a few of the themes and comments that impressed me.
Good, Cheap, Fast – Dr. Stoll used a triangle similar to the one below to illustrate that, information, like food can be fast and cheap (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc.) but you can’t always have it good (healthy, low fat, etc.). You can have good food at a nice restaurant but it won’t be cheap. And if you want really good food, well, you can make it at home yourself economically, but it won’t be fast. When you need information you can’t have all three – good, cheap and fast. Information resources and the skilled expertise of library professionals are expensive – we cannot continue to perpetuate the illusion that you can get good information on the cheap.
“Innovation, curiosity and a real yearning to find out what’s going on and a wish to help” -– Stoll was inspired to incorporate this comment Meredith Orlowski made to him immediately before taking the stage! He expressed envy for this job of librarians who pursue knowledge and understanding, not just the quick answer. According to Stoll, these same desires led him to become an astronomer and a stay-at home dad who occasionally teaches college-level physics to eighth graders.
[He also used Meredith as a model for his Klein bottle cap and Moebius strip scarf, so we couldn't resist adding the picture you see here.]
Stoll’s bio describes him as an astronomer, astrophysicist, educator, teacher, author, and computer security expert, but seeing and hearing him in person you know he is a passionately alive, ever-curious, thoughtful and kind-hearted man. He concluded his time with us by relating a hair-raising story of being pursued by riot-police on the campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo during the Viet Nam war protests. As a geeky physics student, he was attempting to cross campus during a protest. The riot-police saw him, started to pursue him, and would not stop even after Stoll proclaimed, “I’m just a physics student!” Stoll found refuge in the historic Hayes Hall Tower Clock & Westminster Chime, and when the tear gas cleared, he read the following inscription: "All truth is one. In this light may science and religion labor here together for the steady evolution of mankind from darkness to light; from prejudice to tolerance; from narrowness to broadmindedness." A message as timely today as when it was first inscribed.Submitted by Lisa McCormick
Dempsey described the functions of any operation as a three-part effort encompassing customer relationships, product innovation and infrastructure. In the case of a library, customer relationships would include the provision of study and social spaces, interpretation of needs, personalized service, marketing and assessment, and customization. Product innovation for libraries would be the acquisition and development of new information resources and services, and infrastructure includes maintaining physical space and inventory, repository functions, systems infrastructure and online services. Libraries spend a lot of time on infrastructure and perhaps not enough time on customer relationships management. We can see that our customers are increasingly involved in web-scale discovery that happens elsewhere, e.g. social networks. In this new context, information is abundant but attention is scarce and community is the new content. The library must build around the customer's workflow, not vice versa. As Dan Chudhov says in his Library Geeks podcast, "people are entry points."
All of this points to the conclusion that the research libraries of the very near future need to be multiscalar. Dempsey concluded his analysis by borrowing from Anne Kenney of OCLC who made some bold assertions in her presentation "Approaching an Entity Crisis: Reconceiving Research Libraries in a Multi-Institutional Context" available online at http://www.oclc.org/programsandresearch/dss/ppt/dss_kenney.pdf. Libraries need to understand what should be done locally; be more strongly instrumental with affiliations; avoid spreading too thinly; innovate around institutional configurations; and pool uncertainty!
Submitted by Barbarie Hill
The GMR Technology Forum focused on three emerging technologies: Facebook and Twitter, mobile devices, and personal health records. The panel was comprised of Michelle Kraft, Cleveland Clinic; Eric Schnell, Ohio State University; and Catherine Arnott Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Michelle Kraft spoke first about Facebook and Twitter. Her presentation was focused on how medical libraries are currently using Facebook and Twitter applications as an extension of their online presence or as an additional outreach vehicle. Several medical libraries are using Facebook and/or Twitter in the following ways: News and Information, Event Notification, Chat Reference, Posting Tutorials, Surveys, or Quizzes. She finished by saying that a library shouldn’t just join because everyone else is; each organization has to assess its patrons’ needs, as well as its internal Internet policies, to determine if social networking outreach will be a good fit. Michelle’s PowerPoint presentation is available online at http://www.slideshare.net/michellekraft
Eric Schnell spoke next about how libraries and their patrons are using mobile devices. Eric began by surveying the audience about their electronic device usage and shared the findings from a 2009 Pew Internet Research study that 56% of adult Americans have accessed the Internet by wireless means. Several mobile-specific applications, such as iChart and Pedi-STAT, were mentioned. Some examples of libraries connecting with their patrons via mobile devices included: Catalogs/Web Sites, Text Reference and News/Alerts, Tutorials, and Request Forms. For the most part, these websites have been specifically formatted for usage on mobile devices. Some of the more advanced examples were GPS recognition and QR Codes. Eric’s slides with links to these library’s mobile webpages is available online at http://www.tinyurl.com/yecnrqp
Catherine Arnott Smith ended the technology forum by presenting the preliminary findings of her study on personal health record usage in public libraries. Cat began by outlining the differences between Personal Health Records (PHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs): A PHR is self-documentation of a patient’s healthcare experience, and the EMR is the record updated and maintained by the hospital and/or the healthcare provider’s office. Cat explained that some PHRs are available through the patient’s insurance company, while there are others freely available online. Some online examples include: AHiMA’s http://www.myphr.com; www.projecthealthdesign.org from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Microsoft’s http://www.healthvault.com; and Google’s beta project, Google Health, http://www.google.com/health. Cat’s talk focused primarily on the usage of the VA’s myHealtheVet (http://www.myhealth.va.gov). She concluded by sharing some rather startling findings about how public librarians were interacting with patrons with health questions – mostly referring patrons to “the web” but not giving specific site recommendations or avoiding health questions entirely due to liability fears.
Submitted by Emily Kean
Submitted by Meredith Orlowski
Ohio Health Sciences Library Association
The fall meeting of OHSLA took place during the Midwest Chapter conference on Sunday, October 4. The business meeting was chaired by Bette Sydelko who unexpectedly had to step into the role from President-Elect when President Jackie Harris had to resign. Bette is currently serving as both President and President-Elect/Program Chair, so members need to be alert to ways that we can help her out.
A bylaws change was voted down after the discussion led to the conclusion that the President could name a representative to another organization, in this case the Ohio Collaborative for Clear Health Communication, without a specific entry in the bylaws.
After the business was concluded, a 15th anniversary celebration was held, featuring a slide presentation of photos of members and meetings over the life of the organization. We all enjoyed seeing friends and trying to remember names.
Submitted by Barbarie Hill
The Midwest Chapter/MLA conference was well-attended by CAHSLA members, many of whom had responsibilities on the planning committees: Mike Douglas, Regina Hartman, Barbarie Hill, Emily Kean, Amy Koshoffer, Lisa McCormick, Meredith Orlowski, Mary Piper, Val Purvis, Leslie Schick, and Edith Starbuck. Alison Kissling and Margee Lewis took CE courses but did not attend the conference itself. Other librarians from Cincinnati attending were Katie Wolf (NIOSH) and Emily Cullen (Galen School of Nursing) who presented a paper.
In the Literature
Chronicle of Higher Education September 28, 2009
After Losing Users in Catalogs, Libraries Find Better Search Software
By Marc Parry
"...The problem is that traditional online library catalogs don't tend to order search results by ranked relevance, and they can befuddle users with clunky interfaces... That's changing because of two technology trends... sophisticated software that makes exploring their collections more like the easy-to-filter experience you might find in an online Sears catalog... free open-source programs that tackle the same problems with no licensing fees. A key feature of this software genre is that it helps you make sense of data through "faceted" searching, common when you shop online for a new jacket or a stereo system. Say you type in "Susan B. Anthony." The new system will ask if you want books by her or about her...Users can also sort by media type, language, and date. These products can also rank search results by relevance and use prompts of "Did you mean … ?" ...
The buzzwords for the technology that librarians hope will allow users to rediscover their collections are "Web-scale index searching." That ... is a fancy way of saying that the system, like Google, works by searching against a vast index of information. It's a contrast with an earlier attempt to deal with the search problem through "federated searching," where there is no local index, and each query is taken from the user and sent individually to various databases."