MLA News Selected Articles
Submitted by J. Michael Homan, AHIP, MLA President-Elect
Overall Theme: Promoting a Passion for the Profession—Keeping our
Eyes on the Prize!
Goal 1. Professional Development
Goal 2. Advocacy
Goal 3. Organization
Goal 4. Research
Goal 5. National Information Policy
Goal 6. Information Technology
Submitted by Bernie Todd Smith, AHIP, Chair, MLA Benchmarking Task Force
In spring 1999, in response to numerous requests for benchmarking assistance from MLA members working in hospital libraries, the Benchmarking Task Force was appointed by the MLA Board. The task force charge is to define, develop, and evaluate a coordinated and comprehensive Web-based medical library benchmarking tool that will enable hospital libraries to establish best practices, compare important operations, and define appropriate statistics for negotiating with administrators. The task force first looked at recent benchmarking projects, then reviewed past relevant MLA panel presentations, papers, or posters, including a benchmarking project done by the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries Chapter. Benchmarking efforts of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) and the work of Joanne G. Marshall, Ph.D., AHIP, School of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and the Canadian Health Library Association (CHLA) were also used as resources in planning the initiative.
During this time, at MLA headquarters, the members’ area of MLANET was in development. Subsequently, the task force determined that the member-only side of MLANET would be an appropriate place to establish a database where members could input benchmarking information and generate reports. A preliminary data collection tool was constructed and reviewed by many interested hospital librarians, as well as the task force. The beta-test period for the benchmarking database was set for spring 2000, when the members’ area of MLANET was to be ready. During winter and spring chapter meetings, many more members had the chance to review the benchmarking FAQ or preliminary versions of the collection tool.
Institutional Member Benefit
Beta-testing of the database is now set for April. Institutional member libraries will contribute data, testing the collection tool and the Web access for clarity, ease, and relevance. The opening of the beta-test period will be announced via MLA-Focus. Benchmarking data collected during the beta-test will not be released—its sole purpose is to test the collection methodology. Formal launch of the benchmarking project will follow MLA/CHLA/ABSC 2000 and analysis of the beta-test results.
Currently, benchmarking chapter educators (BCEs) are being appointed for each chapter. BCEs will attend training sessions during MLA/CHLA/ABSC 2000 in Vancouver so they can act as benchmarking people, flashpoints, and project gurus for their chapters. Other information sessions are scheduled during MLA/CHLA/ABSC 2000. MLA members will hear more about this initiative at the first half of the Open Forum, which will be a discussion of "Better Practice Through Benchmarking" led by the Task Force Steering Committee.
Members of the MLA Benchmarking Task Force are Chair Bernie Todd Smith, AHIP, Werner Health Sciences Library, Rochester General Hospital, ViaHealth, Rochester, NY; Holly Shipp Buchanan, Ed.D., AHIP, Health Sciences Center Library, University of New Mexico–Albuquerque; Linda C. Butson, AHIP, Health Sciences Center Library, University of Florida–Gainesville; Jacqueline Donaldson Doyle, AHIP, Learning Resources and Continuing Medical Education, Banner Health Arizona, Phoenix; Rosalind F. Dudden, AHIP, Tucker Memorial Medical Library, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver; Scott Garrison, Information Technology Services, Duke University Medical Center Library, Durham, NC; Carole M. Gilbert, AHIP, Helen L. DeRoy Medical Library, Providence Hospital and Medical Center, Southfield, MI; Gretchen A. Hallerberg, AHIP, Library Services Department, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland; Janice Kaplan, AHIP, Health Science Libraries, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT; Susan Schweinsberg Long, AHIP, Medical Library/Wagner Resource Center, Multicare Health System, Tacoma, WA; Debra C. Rand, AHIP, Health Sciences Library, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY; Elizabeth A. Reid, AHIP, Health Science Library, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto; James Shedlock, AHIP, Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern University, Chicago; and Kate Corcoran, MLA staff liaison.
The MLA Board of Directors held its winter meeting in Chicago, IL, at the Summerfield Suites Hotel, February 3–5, 2000. Following is a summary of significant actions taken by the board and a list of issues currently being studied. The next MLA board meeting will be held May 3–4, 2000, in Vancouver at MLA/CHLA/ABSC 2000. All meetings of the MLA Board of Directors are open to members, with the exception of executive sessions, in which matters discussed could affect personal or institutional privacy. For further information, please contact MLA Executive Director Carla J. Funk, 312.419.9094.
Topics Being Studied or Discussed by the Board
Edited by Virginia A. Lingle, AHIP
Series coordinated by Trudy A. Gardner, Ph.D., Medical Informatics Section; Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s, Chicago
Submitted by Frances A. Brahmi, AHIP, Ruth Lilly Medical Library, Medical Informatics Section; Indiana University School of Medicine–Indianapolis
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series written by members of the Medical Informatics Section.
In 1998, when NLM publicized sponsorship of an additional slot for a librarian to participate in an existing postdoctoral informatics training program, the Regenstrief Institute accepted the challenge. Designed primarily for clinicians as a two- to three-year fellowship, the Regenstrief experience was modified for a one-year librarian slot. I was very fortunate to be selected.
The program consisted of a classroom curriculum, journal club, works in progress, statistics course, and research project to be developed and implemented in conjunction with a mentor. The classroom sessions focused primarily on critical appraisal of research methods in the journal literature, grant writing, and other practical aspects of fellowship survival. In addition, special opportunities were made available. Three such opportunities were particularly valuable: a writing workshop, a professional development series, and the Stanford Course.
The writing workshop was unlike any I had ever attended. Two days in duration, the other attendees and I studied and analyzed writing samples with a focus on how structure affects content. By the end of the second day, we began to view writing from a different perspective—that of writing to the reader’s expectations and, in so doing, effectively conveying the content.
The professional development seminars consisted of a seven-part, twelve-hour series devoted to the subject of time management according to Stephen Covey; taking and analyzing our Meyers-Briggs tests; and discussing conflicting career demands and how to best resolve them. We received a memento for our efforts, and it has remained squarely on my desktop. It was a large lapel pin, which stated "Why Am I Here? The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Our instructor urged us to rethink why we were in the fellowship and to ask difficult questions of ourselves. One, in particular, that hit home was: "Do we accept assignments, goals, and objectives simply because we can accomplish them, or are we making consistent conscious choices, which are in keeping with our long-term goals?"
The third valuable opportunity, the Stanford Course, was a seven-session, twenty-one-hour course on teaching in a clinical setting. Each meeting featured a short didactic session followed by a video segment exemplifying the topic of the day. We discussed each example in terms of group dynamics, teaching strategies, and alternatives. We then participated in a mock clinical teaching scenario with assigned roles. Half of the fellows observed while the other half participated in videotaped role-playing. The resulting videotape was critiqued first by the participants and then by the observers. The scenario usually included a mix of an attending physician, a resident, and a student. As you might imagine, the players were assigned challenging roles—such as a disruptive resident, a sleeping or distracted student, or an overbearing resident—while the assigned attending physician attempted to apply the principles for facilitating learning that had just been discussed. Topics included were "Learning Climate," "Control of Session," "Communication of Goals," "Understanding and Retention," "Feedback," "Evaluation," and "Self-Directed Learning."
The Regenstrief informatics program is an exciting opportunity for collaborative learning and research. Interaction with other fellows from varying professional and cultural backgrounds has deepened my understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of health informatics. The experience has affirmed my conviction that we, as medical librarians, need to continue to build on our many strengths and forge bridges with our academic and community colleagues. As we do so, we will mutually enhance and enrich our collective possibilities.
For more information on the program, contact Kurt Kroenke, M.D., professor of medicine, Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, RG-6, 1001 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202; 317.630.7447.
Submitted by Melissa L. Just, Health Sciences Library, Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles
With the proliferation of electronic journals, maintaining a Web page that provides links to these resources is becoming a full-time job. Ideally, the most useful way to create and maintain electronic journal lists is to develop a database that produces Web pages on the fly. However, many librarians have neither the expertise nor the hardware and software necessary to accomplish the task.
Luckily, there are other options. With a little knowledge of EndNote and hypertext markup language (HTML), librarians can create Web-ready journal lists in a variety of formats. EndNote is a personal bibliographic management software package—a database—typically used to maintain citations and create bibliographies and manuscripts with properly formatted endnotes. However, the program can easily be configured and used to maintain lists of electronic resources, and, with a little tweaking, can produce a "bibliography" of these resources in HTML format to publish on the Web.
The EndNote Record
Sample record entry:
In this example, the Custom 1 field is used to describe access limitations.
would produce a citation similar to the one below
Smith, B. E. (1998). "Using EndNote." Journal of Bibliography 29(2):244-5.
Modifying a style to produce output in the desired format is possible.
URL. Title. Year. Custom 1.
would create output from our example above
http://www.jci.org/. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 1996-. None.
Modifying the style by adding HTML coding can produce a customized list.
will produce in text format
of Clinical Investigation </A></B><BR>
Any text added to the style will be incorporated into the citation unless the word exactly matches a field name, in which case the data in that field is substituted.
The output when viewed on the Web would be
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Publishing the library or a subset of the library will simply produce a series of records like the one above. The resulting list can be pasted into an HTML template that includes the standard HTML tags (html, head, body, etc.) and defines the look of the Web page.
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