June 2011, No. 116

President’s Page

It has been a busy and productive CAHSLA year!  Typically, this final column of the president is an opportunity to review our accomplishments and thank all of those who developed and presented our programs.  It is also the usual time to pass the gavel on to the new CAHSLA president.  However, this year the gavel passing will be a bit different.  I’ll get to that shortly.

My first priority is to thank the Executive Committee and the Program Committee for making my job so easy.  Brigid Almaquer faithfully documented our meetings as Secretary.  Cathy Constance tracked our expenses and provided an updated directory of members.  Amy Koshoffer provided her wisdom on many occasions and conducted the election of new officers.  Emily Kean and the Program Committee developed many quality meeting that offered opportunities to enhance our knowledge and stay connected with our colleagues.   Amy and Emily have some exciting plans for revamping COCLS so that we have ongoing opportunities to review new technologies for our libraries.  They will also be unveiling the CAHSLA Wiki very soon.  Barbarie Hill, though retired, continues to support the organization, along with Lisa McCormick, by producing the CAHSLA Chronicle. 

Faced with the realities of a smaller active membership, our members indicated their wish for the organization to continue despite the fact we could not offer a candidate for President Elect for this year’s election.  Instead, as in 2006, we will have a program planning committee.  The membership also supported an increase in our dues realizing that expenses have risen while the dues have remained the same for nearly a decade.  Please see Amy Koshoffer’s election report elsewhere in the Chronicle.

I cannot end this column without expressing my delight in our end-of-the year picnic.  The picnic, set in the beautiful Daniel Drake Park, is a reminder of what makes CAHSLA so special to all of us.  It was a time to gather for conversation, enjoy some fabulous dishes prepared by members, and share a lot of laughter.  It reminds me of family reunions where you only have the chance to see some members of the extended family one timer per year.  Just like those reunions, even though time has intervened, you pick up the conversation just where it left off, as if no time had passed.

Thank you to all of the membership for your continued support of the association.  Have a great summer, and we will see you in the fall.  Let me leave you with this delightful quote, “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. “ Sam Keen.  Here’s to a respectable summer!

CAHSLA Business Meeting Minutes  
Christ Hospital Classroom 4

May 4, 2011 5:30-7:15 p.m.
Speaker: Mary Jenkins, Director - Hamilton County Law Library

Attendees:  Brigid Almaguer, Cathy Constance, Mike Douglas, Regina Hartman, Emily Kean, Amy Koshoffer, Sharon Purtee, Val Purvis, Edith Starbuck

Speaker & Dinner 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.

The speaker portion of the annual business meeting opened with a short video presentation by Mary Jenkins introducing us to her library.  The Hamilton County Law Library is located downtown at Main and Central Parkway on the top floor.  It serves county employees, the general public and users who pay to subscribe to its services.  There are 1600, mostly lawyer and law firm, members.   There are 7 staff members that provide library services from 7:30-4:30PM by phone (946-5300), email or in person.  Mary said that we should feel free to call them for guidance if we have legal questions from our patrons. Examples of types of (health and medicine) subjects they deal with are living wills, medical malpractice, HIPAA, health care reform, expert witnesses, personal injury and products liability.

Business Meeting 6:30-7:15 p.m.

CAHSLA President, Regina Hartman, welcomed us to the business meeting and provided the delicious spaghetti dinner including Emily’s tossed salad, kale salad and dressing, bread and bakery cookies.

First on the agenda was “approval of minutes” from our last meeting in March which was the ProQuest training session by Edward Loera at Christ Hospital.  Regina mentioned that Mr. Loera will return in August to discuss RefWorks if anyone is interested.

Next on the agenda, Cathy Constance, Treasurer, briefed us on the discussion about the CAHSLA checking and savings accounts.  After some deliberation, we may choose to close the savings account due to escalating fees and maintain a checking account only. Cathy also reported that there are currently 30 paid members of CAHSLA and 11 life members. The treasury currently holds $2727.09.

Emily Kean, Program Chair, discussed ideas for meetings next year as well as the increasing difficulty in finding new venues which are affordable.  Brigid Almaguer offered Cincinnati State’s The Summit restaurant as a possibility if their student dinners coincide with CAHSLA meeting dates next year. Still coming up this year are the May 23 COCLS meeting and the summer picnic at Drake Park on June 9th

Amy Koshoffer announced the slate of candidates for the upcoming election:

Vice President/ President Elect – open; Secretary-Brigid Almaguer; and Treasurer- Cathy Constance.  Emily Kean is the current Vice President/President Elect, so she will serve as president next year.
New business included a discussion of a membership dues increase – Amy will prepare a ballot for that vote.  

We also discussed meeting planning options if a Program Chair is not found.  The following people volunteered to help in the absence of a chair – Val Purvis, Brigid Almaguer, Edith Starbuck, Regina Hartman and Amy Koshoffer. Emily would like us to consider creating a Program budget to guide that committee as they plan for the year.

Regina  Hartman volunteered along with Sharon Purtee and Amy Koshoffer to work on revising the CAHSLA bylaws and procedures manuals in the coming year.
Respectfully Submitted, Brigid Almaguer, Secretary

CAHSLA 2011 Election Results                                                       June 8, 2011

  1. Officers:             26 for a committee                           2 against Both Brigid and Cathy were re-elected unanimously.
  1. Issue 1 Dues increase: Passed with a 96% yes (23/24 for 1/24 against)

One Comment: I support this idea because so many expenses have gone up while the dues have remained constant.  I don't feel the dues increase to be unreasonable.

CAHSLA Meeting Minutes
End of the Year Picnic – June 09, 2011

Attendees:  Brigid Almaguer (and daughter Marisa), Cathy Constance, Regina Hartman (and daughter Gabrielle), Emily Kean, Amy Koshoffer (and daughters Isabella and Vianne), Sandy Mason, Lisa McCormick (and poodles Sophie and Latte), Diana Osborne,  Sharon Purtee,  Val Purvis, Cecil Rahe, and Emily Rahe. 

The CAHSLA End of the Year Picnic was once again held at the Daniel Drake Park in Kennedy Heights.  It was a potluck dinner this year which worked very well.  Any recipes can be added to the CAHSLA wiki!

The business meeting was called to order at 6:45 by President Regina Hartman
Amy Koshoffer announced that the elected officers for next year are: Emily Kean, President; Program Committee in lieu of Vice-President/President Elect (see below); Cathy Constance, Treasurer; and Brigid Almaguer, Secretary.

The following members offered to be on the Program Committee for 2011-12: Val Purvis, Brigid Almaguer, Edith Starbuck, Regina Hartman and Amy Koshoffer.

Amy also provided us with the results of our election stating that the dues increase was passed.

Lisa McCormick extended the Chronicle deadline to Wednesday, June 15.

Regina presented the outgoing officers with beautiful flowers.  Regina was given a thank you card for her year as President.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

Submitted by Brigid Almaguer, Secretary

CAHSLA Annual Financial Report 2010-2011

Checking Account Balance as of 6/17/2010                                      $ 179.62

   Dues (29 regular, 1 student)                   $443.00

   Transfer from savings                             $200.00

   Transfer from closed savings account    $2347.92


   Shipping Meredith’s books                     $ 14.60

   Findley Market Fund donation                $ 75.00

   Oct meeting – food                               $160.00

   Holiday party –games, door prizes          $ 40.00

   -- donation to Taft Historical Site             $ 75.00
   --food, beverages                                  $138.18
   President’s gift                                      $ 50.00

   Drake Park shelter rental for June picnic  $ 40.00

Balance as of 6/13/2011                                     $2577.76

Savings Account


Balance as of 6/17/2010                                     $2581.43


   Interest – 11 mo.                                 $ 2.49


   Transfer to checking                         $200.00
   Low balance service charge (3)          $ 36.00 

   Account closed, insufficient for minimum balance $2347.92

Balance as of 6/13/2011                                    $ 0.00


Balance as of 6/17/2010                                 $ 35.52

Balance as of 6/13/2011                                 $ 35.52

Total Assets                                                                      $2613.28

Paid members

Regular 29
Student 1
Life members 11
Total 41

Submitted by:

Cathy Constance, Treasurer 6/13/2011

A Fascinating Read Put This Book on Your “To Read” List

Brigid Almaquer (Cincinnati State’s Johnnie Mae Berry Library) highly recommends
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee which was just reviewed in the June 8, 2011 issue of JAMA (305(22):2357-2358).  According to the review, The Emperor of All Maladies “is an extraordinary, Pulitzer Prize–winning treatise on cancer. With copious research, insight, and great literary panache, the author describes the biography of cancer, from the beginning of recorded time to the present. He starts by taking readers back to the time of the Queen Atossa of Persia (approximately 530 BCE), who may have had breast cancer—cancer that may have been excised by her slave, at least based on the author's interpretations from the literature.”

The book also covers the lives of some of the “giants” of modern cancer treatment, such as Dr. Sidney Farber a Harvard University pediatric pathologist who was the founder of Boston’s Children’s Cancer Research Foundation, now known as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Farber revolutionized the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia which, at one time, was always fatal. 

According to the JAMA review, “The book explores the growth of parallel sciences, including radiology and radiation therapy initiated through the work of Roentgen. The history of chemical dyes for histochemical staining by the Nobel Laureate Paul Ehrlich, the hijacking of such chemicals for warfare, and subsequently the retrieval of one of these war gases (nitrogen mustard) as chemotherapy for Hodgkin disease is described in vivid detail…  Lastly, in addition to being a biography of cancer, the book is likewise a biography of patients … including Robert Sandler, the first of Farber's patients to achieve remission from ALL and to whom the book is generously dedicated. “

The reviewer concludes her review by stating, “The Emperor of All Maladies enables readers to remember and honor the struggle against cancer, the personalities (and their foibles) behind the achievements, and the battles against institutional resistance and inertia. It is an extraordinary book, providing thrilling details of the history of cancer, compassion for patients and healers, and hope for the future.”

The Jewish Hospital Health Sciences Library has a copy on order, and they would be happy to loan it to any CAHSLA member.  In case you wish to purchase the book, here is the bibliographic information:  The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  592 pp, $30.  New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 2010    ISBN-13: 978-1-439107-95-9 .
MLA Annual Meeting 2011 

Janet Doe Lecture: “Breaking the Barriers of Time and Space: The Dawning of the Great Age of Librarians” 

Scott Plutchak, also known as “The Man in Black” and as a member of the world’s “first open access librarian band, The Bearded Pigs” was this year’s Janet Doe Lecturer.  

As the program states, [the] “Janet Doe lecturers are chosen for their unique perspectives on the history or philosophy of medical librarianship.”    Plutchak, associate professor and director Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of AlabamaBirmingham brought his unique perspective to this year’s Doe lecture. 

Plutchak has a long history of service to MLA, including being editor of the Journal of the Medical Library Association from 2000-2006.  For followers of MEDLIB-L, he often posts insightful and debate inspiring commentaries on the list.  He is a speaker with great natural abilities making the audience comfortable and ready to be a part of the conversation.

In his lecture, Plutchak ably put into context the current upheaval and identity crisis facing institutional libraries and librarians.  He reminded us that the transition from hand-written manuscripts to Gutenberg’s moveable type led to the social and cultural revolution of sixteenth century Europe, which included a revolution for institutional libraries.  These libraries faced an identity crisis:  historically they were the keepers and gatekeepers of scarce manuscripts, and Gutenberg’s printing press brought the book to the masses.  Renaissance librarians had to redefine their role in the wake of the printed book revolution.

Today’s knowledge revolution (or is it evolution?) challenges us, according to Plutchak, to see libraries as merely collections of objects.  Librarians are not solely about preserving or warehousing objects but are about “connecting people to knowledge.”  Library collections are merely a tool librarians use to bring people together with intellectual content of the past and present.  Our goal as professionals is to use our well honed skills for the communities we serve.  We are not defined by the physical space and collections we manage, rather we are defined by our knowledge and skills of connecting people to content.

Plutchak maintains that the physical library is still relevant, however, we need to   redeploy it as space for collaborative interactions with easy access to our knowledge tools – books, media, and the web, cloud computing, etc.  He also exhorts librarians to bring their skills to an area that has yet to be fully organized for data mining – locally developed repositories and the grey literature.  Librarians, he states, are uniquely equipped to help filter or cut through the digital clutter, which for our many customers turns out to be “an overload of needles, not a needle in a haystack.”
This is, according to Plutchak, “the great age of librarians.”  We are on the cusp of a new age, and we must realize that we won’t get it right the first time.  We are confronting distinctive challenges created by our new knowledge tools, so we are bound not to get it right the first time.  We are all muddling through together, and we will learn from our mistakes.  This IS the great age of librarians, and as Lucretia McClure, the nation’s longest serving medical librarian once said, “Money talks but people count.”  Our profession is defined by our human capital – these are the people who count in this great new age of librarians.

Lisa McCormick 

MLA’11: Rethinking technology

The theme of this year’s MLA annual meeting was “rethink.” This was my first chance to attend the annual meeting, and I was especially excited about the prospect of attending the technology panels and events.

The biggest technology draw for the conference was the Top Tech Trends V panel sponsored by the Medical Informatics Section. As the name implies, this was the fifth year that the annual conference has had a panel discussing emerging technologies in medical librarianship. For this year, Michelle Kraft was the moderator and the panelists were Amy Chatfield, Eric Schnell, Emily Hurst, Emily Morton-Owens, and Bart Ragon.

Amy Chatfield from the University of Southern California presented several online productivity and scheduling tools, such as
Meet-O-Matic and WhenIsGood. She highlighted Presdo as a tool that can be integrated with Google calendars, and doodle as an online scheduling tool that can be used anonymously. Time Bridge was also mentioned as a tool that can be used to synchronize document attachments amongst multiple participants. Amy also gave some examples of project management tools, such as Manymoon, which bills itself as “the social productivity platform for managing projects,” and can be incorporated with LinkedIn to monitor tasks and due dates. Additional collaboration tools such as MixedInk for voting on project document changes and Crocodoc for commenting, editing, and filling out PDFs were also discussed.

Eric Schnell from The Ohio State University presented on his
blog post from earlier this year about whether libraries should create native or web apps. A native app uses the full functionality of the device and can be used on- or offline, where a web app involves uploading to a web service. Eric also mentioned Boopsie as a contractor with library experience for those libraries wishing to have a mobile presence but who may not have the in-house staff to develop an app.

Emily Hurst from the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center presented on the importance of using data visualization in reporting and communicating data. She discussed several ways to overcome “emotionless data representation” and stressed the importance of standardizing data before the visualization process. Some beginner resources that were mentioned include
Wordle for creating word clouds, Gapminder for manipulating existing datasets, and LigerCat as a visualization tool for PubMed results.

Emily Morton-Owens from New York University described a problem that is all too familiar to anyone using Google these days: a trend she called “adversarial information retrieval” or the explosion of content farms, such as Answer.com, Ask.com, and ehow.com, showing up as the top results in online searches. She referenced a Slate.com
article that describes how the process works and mentions Google’s response to combat this problem by changing its algorithm. The Slate article also points out that one of the most prolific content farms is actively using the words “health,” “healthy”, etc. as tags for its low quality articles, making this an issue which affects medical librarians, especially those educating consumers (and possibly healthcare professionals, as well) about quality information retrieval.

Finally, Bart Ragon from the University of Virginia presented a more philosophical presentation on the adaptation of networking technologies, using the proliferation of content on-demand services such as Netflix as an example. He mentioned online services such as
Flipboard, an iPad app that allows users to congregate magazine content and social media in a personalized interface. In the medical library realm, he discussed the New England Journal of Medicine’s video content and PowerPoint slide availability, as well as mentioning Elsevier’s journal Cell as the “journal of the future” for its multi-media content and collaborative capabilities. He finished by discussing the implications of these emerging trends for libraries, such as licensing for concurrent users, ability for online downloads, and accessibility and availability of online/digital content.

In general, from the Top Tech Trends panel and the rest of the conference, I took away a much stronger desire to facilitate ease of use of our electronic resources for our patrons. I’m eager to continue strengthening the technology behind the scenes to make accessing quality information appear seamless for our patrons, all the while continuing to improve our branding and library marketing so users know the resources are being provided to them by librarians. For no matter how great emerging technology trends may be, as Lucretia McClure says, “a thinking librarian is the best resource in the library.”

Emily Kean

SWON Libraries

The Executive Board of SWON Libraries is pleased to introduce you to our new Executive Director, Melanie A. McDonald. Melanie has worked in school, academic and special libraries and is a graduate of the University of Illinois’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. In addition to libraries, Melanie has worked in the business and non-profit sectors specializing in outreach, process improvement, change management, innovation leadership, new service/product development and mentoring.

Melanie is a member of ALA and SLA where she served for two years on the board of the Military Libraries Division as Corporate Member. She is the inaugural Spread the Word columnist for Documents to the People (DTTP), the journal of the Government Documents Round Table of ALA.

Says McDonald, “I’m very excited to be joining SWON Libraries at this pivotal time for libraries in the state of Ohio and Kentucky. So many people need us more than ever and our responses, the decisions we make now, can have a major positive impact on our futures. Looking forward to meeting and listening to all of our members over the coming year.”

CAHSLA Colleagues

Emily Kean (J N Gamble Library The Christ Hospital), Leslie Schick (UC HSL), and Lisa McCormick (The Jewish Hospital HSL) attended the MLA’11 conference in Minneapolis, MN.

Jane Thompson (retired UC HSL) writes:
OK, news from the golden shores of the Midwest Retiree:
We recently took two trips, one to the Outer Banks/DC and one to the heart of the Midwest, Mattoon, Illinois. Both were occasioned by the deaths of youngish family members of my husband's, one was his sister and the other was a cousin whom we had not seen for some time, but had fond memories of her. The Outer Banks trip took us to Ocracoke Island, at the southernmost tip of the Banks. There were many people who journeyed down to scatter ashes on the beach at sunset, including one of our daughters and her s.o., so we had a mini-get together with them, and also reminenced about our previous beach days. Ocracoke is a tiny town, with a beautiful beach and many B&Bs, a good family place. People were constantly out walking or biking on the main road (speed limit for cars is 25 mph). The restaurants are surprisingly good and plentiful. No bookstores that I saw, but there is a good one in Buxton, several miles away that provides a good excuse for an auto trip.

We concluded this trip by driving to Washington to visit old friends and take in the American Indian Museum. I would recommend this museum even if you are not particularly interested in Indian artifacts. It was designed in collaboration with members of the various tribes represented, and they chose the design of the exhibits, the objects displayed, and approved the texts. I thought we would zip through and then eat at the restaurant, which has quickly achieved a reputation for wonderful food, which it deserves. We wound up staying in the exhibits for several hours. There were 6 of us, and we would gather at the set time to meet, then drift off to see "one more thing" until the afternoon was nearly over. Fortunately we ate first.

Our Midwest experience took us to Mattoon, Illinois, The one the only, as a graffiti near the public library stated. Cincinnati is not the midwest! Out there, people are very close to their farming experience, and are very proud of having grown up on the farm. Of course, many of those farms are now subdivisions, but that agrarian way of life is still with them. We visited one of the cousins who is 90 now, lives in a retirement community, and is still fiercely independent. We talked about politics, the good and bad of retirement living, the need for more inter-generational relationships, etc. etc. Old people have a lot more to offer than just warnings about getting old. I did not visit any libraries or bookstores. I didn't have the time to winkle out the bookstores, and didn't have time to stop at the two Carnegie libraries I saw, which I truly enjoy doing, to see how other people handle their collections, especially in these hard times.

We are planning a trip out to see Dorothy and Maury Gilroy before such a trip is too much. We have many friends along the way, so driving is the practical method, plus flying just makes me angry. That will be another report from the fields. In the meantime, stay cool, keep calm and carry on!

In the Literature

Sickness sleuths use social media to spot and track trends

Social media sites—including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Foursquare, and Wikipedia—are changing how epidemiologists discover and track the spread of disease, according to a June 13th
New York Times article.

Public health officials historically would investigate outbreaks with diagnostic kits and by gathering test results and data without telling the public that investigations were under way or announcing the results for months. Now, new technology is allowing more individuals to get involved in the disease-hunting process, and more epidemiologists are considering using social networking sites to track pathogens, the Times reports.

In the past few years, researchers have identified regional spikes in seasonal flu at least one week before CDC by tracking online search queries and following Twitter streams. In addition, researchers are using Craigslist data to try to identify patterns of sexual behavior associated with an increase in syphilis cases.

Leveraging social media's disease tracking potential

John Brownstein, an assistant pediatrics professor at Harvard Medical School, teamed up with Clark Freifeld, a software developer, to design
HealthMap, a website that pinpoints global health outbreaks in real time by scouring the Internet for disease reports. It looks at local news articles, blogs, Twitter, and official CDC and World Health Organization reports. In a related mobile application, called Outbreaks Near Me, users can detect where infectious hazards are found. Brownstein also is working with CDC and Google to develop online tracking tools for dengue fever.

According to Philip Polgreen, director of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's emerging infections network, social media can present a trove of new data and should become an important addition to traditional disease surveillance, especially for new and emerging conditions with little or no historical information.

Skeptics raise concerns

Meanwhile, skeptics of using social media to track diseases say Internet-based searches can be unproductive and spread large amounts of misinformation. Other opponents say that using social media can provide only the illusion of better disease tracking, noting that it is difficult to ensure that resources are pooling an even amount of information from different areas. In addition, online data can be skewed, as most social networking users live in urban areas and tend to be younger, according to the Times (Garrity, Times, 6/13).

Original source:
www.advisoryboard.com June 15, 2011

175 Years of Advancing Biomedical Knowledge by Anita Slomski

JAMA; June 1, 2011; 305(21): 2158.
Slomski offers a short history of NLM focusing on the advances made primarily under the leadership of Donald A. B. Lindberg, MD “…a pioneer in the application of computers to medicine. Lindberg came to the NLM in 1984 from the University of Missouri, where he was a professor of information science and pathology. “ Slomski reviews the developments that enabled the creation of PubMed. Other NLM contributions to scientific knowledge that Slomski mentions are The Visible Human Project, the Clinical Trials Registry, Disaster Response and the Human Genome.
For the full article, http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/21/2158.full