Friday, October 26, 2007

MAC - Part 4 "Cleaning Up"

There a couple of little things still left to share. The Association of North Carolina Health and Science Librarians' ( reception on Wednesday evening, October 10 was lots of fun. I was the only person out of the group of 20 or so that has ever ridden a camel! Everyone eventually won a prize and then came announcements, like the group's annual meeting on Friday, November 30 in Chapel Hill. Being a history person, it sounds exciting since the group will celebrate its 25th anniversary including a presentation on the history of the medical library as well as honoring past presidents. Margaret Cobb, librarian at Forsyth Medical Center, will wrap up the day.

On Thursday, I was eating again at the Marketing Your Services roundtable discussion hosted by Shannon Jones of Virginia Commonwealth University. The group of 10 shared the different ways that they market their services either in an academic medical or hospital library. I shared our service, if we're still doing it, of delivering public interest magazines to various patient floor lobbies with a simple label on the front that says: Compliments of Coy C. Carpenter Library and Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives. The hospital librarians especially like this idea as a way to recycle donated magazines. Some ideas I heard about were:
*sending announcements of classes/lectures to departmental listserves (VCU's departments have their own listserves)
*bringing in federal health officials like Center For Disease Control employees for free, targeted classes
*using for continuing education credit courses
*grabbing all the freebies at conferences to share with patrons
*partnering/collaborating with other departments on campus for programs

To wipe it up, I would say I enjoyed the conference. While I don't consider myself a "true" academic medical center librarian, I still felt like I had several things in common with the MAC group and it was nice to network and meet some hospital librarians, including Ms. Cobb. I am glad I had the opportunity to represent Carpenter Library at the conference.

MAC - Part 3 "Awesome Desserts"

My favorite part (desserts are the best part of any meal) of MAC or at least the part where I learned the most was actually on two different days.

On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, Bart Ragon and colleagues from the University of Virginia presented a paper entitled: When a Blog is Not a Blog. Basically, it involved using blog software for other uses. I immediately thought of the Digital Forsyth ( website in Wordpress software. Mr. Ragon gave examples of using blog software as an information aggregator, for a room/equipment self-booking system as well as a place for medical students to comment.

Thursday morning, October 11 found me again listening to Mr. Ragon as part of the panel discussion on Web 2.0 technologies. In this panel, Mr. Ragon discussed collaborative tools, such as blogs, wikis and specifically Google Presentation, Zoho online and Sakai - a free, open source product. He also talked about Social Networking like the use of Facebook and Ning by the American Library Association. Perhaps the most interesting names were Moodle and Sloodle which are course management software programs.

The other panelists were Michelle Kraft, newly appointed senior health librarain at the Cleveland Clinic and author of the blog:, who discussed mash-ups and sharing photographs; and Max Anderson with SOLINET who talked about changing the of colleagues and patrons attitude toward technology as well as obtaining information services support in a larger institution.

I was intrigued the most by Mr. Ragon's comments so I e-mailed him for his PowerPoint presentations which I have placed in the Shared Documents section of Carpetner Library's Sharepoint. I'm sure you could contact Ms. Kraft and Mr. Anderson about their presentations. Meanwhile, enjoy your desserts compliments of Mr. Ragon!

Friday, October 19, 2007

MAC - Part 2 "Lots of Eating"

Wednesday (Oct. 10, 2007) morning breakfast with the exhibitors was only the beginning of what felt like two days of non-stop food in more ways than one. We did manage to actually speak to some of them, like Meredith being shown Diagnosis Consult from MD Consult respresentative.

But after breakfast, Meredith and I meandered through Poster Session I. The list of abstracts as well as some mini-handouts is circulating around the CCCL staff now. Perhaps the one that stuck out for me was East Carolina University because they had several, all of which had a basic design that was eye-catching. Of course, the theme had to do with FOOD. You can read about each poster in the list of abstracts.

The morning also consisted of a National Library of Medicine update from David Gillikin, chief of bibliographic services. I honestly don't remember much of it because it is was mostly information on NLM's For Librarians' webpage, such as the new site search engine and adding Citing Medicine to NCBI Bookshelf. It didn't have a whole lot to do with food either, although I did enjoy my Starbucks Frappucino in the already freezing room.

After a crab cake sandwich for lunch at a local restaurant, we walked briskly back to the hotel to hear some paper presentations. Again, the list of abstracts is circulating with the staff. I was captured by UNC Chapel Hill's "Fast Food for Clinicians: Recipe for Improving Subject Access to Electronic Resources." Since the room was tiny and we arrived late, we were in the hall. I did hear that the health science librarians have created electronic resource pages specific to departments by partnering with the department. It is more of a focused outreach for library liaisons and the difference is the partnering with a member of the department. I had to dig on UNC Health Sciences Library's homepage, but here is the example shown at the presentation: I liked the RSS feed listing the Current Table of Contents from the Anesthesiology journal. I found this webpage under Special Collections, then More Collections, then More Collections, A to Z.

I'll save the other interesting paper for another post. Now that I'm hungry, I will enjoy my lunch!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MAC - Part 1 - "Nearly a Disaster"

The purpose of me attending the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association conference in Baltimore, Md. Oct 9-12, 2007 was to present a poster: The D-Word: Deciding What to Digitize. The actual poster presentation was on Thursday, Oct. 11 during the Technology Symposium.

But, since I'm a linear person, I need to post the events in the order in which they happened! So first up is Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP and director of the American Public Health Association. He spoke about the need for disaster preparedness from a public health view. His speech was decent and appropriate for our time but I felt like he had given it many times before and worked in a couple of slides in his PowerPoint to make it appropriate to medical librarians.

The one interesting fact I gathered from it was that medical and hospital libraries can serve as a gathering place/triage location in a disaster because they have space, technology access if equipment is still available and in particular medical and hospital libraries are close if not already in hospitals. Another interesting part of the speech is the American Public Health Association ( is developing a movement for national disaster preparedness, perhaps somewhat late after Hurricane Katrina, but at least the group is exploring it. This association is focusing on preparing for pandemic flu.

To veer off the linear path a bit, the conference also included an update from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Southeastern/Atlantic Region and Janice Kelly gave that update on Thursday, Oct. 11. The Regional Libraries of NN/LM (University of Maryland-Baltimore is where the Southeastern library is located) are becoming buddies with another medical library in preparation for a national and/or regional disaster. An example is the Southeastern/Atlantic Region Library's buddy is the University of Washington-Seattle. Ms. Kelly suggested that MAC members start thinking about a buddy library for their libraries.

And finally as a side and very related note, while Ms. Kelly was giving the update of NN/LM and happened to be discussing disaster preparedness, the hotel's alarm system went off and we immediately evacuated the hotel to across the street to the University of Maryland-Baltimore research section of the library. Now can it get any more exciting than that experience? See below for an "evacuation" shot.

No, we did not find out why we had to evacuate but returned out of the chilly weather back to the hotel within 10 minutes and I heard no sirens even though there is a fire department across the street from the Marriott Inner Harbor hotel.