From the Director’s Desk

Marianne Burke, Dana Medical Library Director

October has arrived and the semester is nearly half over. Dana Medical Library staff  have welcomed new and returning UVM students, faculty, and employees in the UVM/Fletcher Allen academic health sciences community. The changes we made in the Library’s space and technology over the summer were in response to medical, nursing and health sciences student requests received over the past year. Changes include 10 additional lounge and carrel seats and improved wireless in the south end of the building. We also allow books “on reserve” to leave the Library overnight and will scan and send journal articles that are only available in print in the library to your desktop. While we can’t promise that these changes will relieve all crowding in the Library at exam times, we hope they will help.

Where is the Library in your life?  Probably it is not just a study space.  While there were over 200,000 visitors who  entered the Library in 2011, there were hundreds of thousands more virtual visitors to the Libraries web pages for services such as inter-library loan, links to licensed journals and databases, and medical librarian assistance.  More than a place, the Dana library is a virtual bio-medical and health science information service center.

Thanks for making the Library a place in your life.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep current on Dana happenings.

Proposed Systematic Review Guidelines Include Librarians

Transparency, objectivity, and consistency are criteria that should form the foundation for new standards for clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews, according to two reports recently released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The reports were commissioned by Congress following passage of the 2008 Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act. Among other features, the reports argue for the role of medical librarians in overseeing sound literature search strategies when systematic reviews and guidelines are being developed.

With the explosion in medical literature, physicians and other health care providers have come to rely on practice guidelines and systematic reviews for their synthesis of the literature and evidence-based approach to patient care. However, the number of clinical guidelines produced has also risen substantially since the early 1990s. In fact, the National Guideline Clearinghouse and the Guidelines International Network, two premier guidelines databases, now include more than 9,500 guideline standards.

Unfortunately, the methods behind creating all these guidelines and systematic reviews vary so greatly that stakeholders have increasingly questioned their quality and reliability. Each of the two new IOM reports sets out to establish “gold standard” practices at a critical time in the health care reform movement.

A key element of both reports is an emphasis on making clinical practice guidelines more inclusive of and accessible by patients and the public. To achieve this goal, the Institute of Medicine identified eight areas for improvement of guideline development, including process transparency, disclosure of all conflicts of interest, and a rating scale for strength of recommendations among others.

The Guidelines companion report on improving systematic reviews sets a similarly high bar. The report notes that the quality of current systematic reviews varies widely from excellent to poor. To strive for quality and usability across the board, the IOM report recommends 21 standards for producing high-quality systematic reviews.

Standard 3.1 is of particular importance to the systematic review project team. The elements of this standard address conducting a comprehensive, systematic search of the literature for evidence. It specifically recognizes the importance of working with “a librarian or other information specialist trained in performing systematic reviews to plan the search strategy” (Standard 3.1.1) as well as using “an independent librarian or other information specialist to peer review the search strategy” (Standard 3.1.3).

Right now, it’s unclear how organizations that develop clinical practice guidelines and systematic reviews will handle the challenges of these new recommendations. The key goal for the Institute of Medicine continues to be restoring trust in the process of assessing medical evidence and applying that evidence to the development of quality clinical guidelines and systematic reviews.

Both Institute of Medicine reports : Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust (W 84.4 AA1 I59c 2011 ) and Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews (W 84.3 I59c 2011  ) are available at the Dana Medical Library.

UpToDate: The Top Ten Topics Searched at UVM and FAHC

Of all topics searched in UpToDate at UVM and Fletcher Allen, drug information is consistently the most frequent.  In descending order, the following topics are most popular:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Gastroenterology & Hepatology
  • Pediatrics
  • Hematology
  • Nephrology & Hypertension
  • Neurology
  • OB/GYN & Women’s Health
  • Endocrinology & Diabetes
  • Adult Primary Care & Internal Medicine.

Usage tends to be highest in October and December, and one can easily see how topics have seasonal highs and lows. In the summer months, for example, there were over 200 “hits” on Lyme Disease and Tick Bites.  Other popular topics are: Dog and Cat Bites, Low Back Pain In Adults, and Differential Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain In Adults.

Most physicians agree that UpToDate is a great tool for finding clinical information, but did you know that its use is widespread amongst pharmacists, nurses, and medical students in addition to physicians? After attending and resident physicians, nurses and medical students are the heaviest users of this popular clinical tool.

The chart below provides a snapshot of usage by UVM and FAHC health care professionals in the last twelve months.

News Briefs

More Space and Improved Wireless

Renovations at Dana Library have made more room for quiet study. The back corner of the Library near the small study rooms now has additional carrels. While the carrels do not have network jacks, they are wired, however. An additional wireless router has been added in that area to boost connectivity to the carrels and surrounding area. This space was created by condensing Dana’s print and audiovisual collections. Some older titles were discarded and some moved off site.

Free Delivery of Print Journal Articles to UVM-FAHC Community

As a pilot project during the 2011/2012 academic year, Dana Library staff in Document Delivery will locate, scan and send materials from Dana’s print collections free of charge. In past years, the charge was $5 per article for staff to pull, scan and send journal articles from the shelf.

Please note: this free service is not offered if the item is also available as a UVM subscribed electronic journal. If you are having difficulty locating an article that is available online, we are more than happy to help. Contact Reference at 656-2201 or

Reserve Items May Leave the Library

Dana Library now allows reserve items to leave the library. Patrons may borrow a reserve book for 2 hours, as always, but now may take the book out of the library during the day. Patrons may also borrow one reserve book overnight. Patrons may take the book within 2 hours of closing, no sooner, with the item due back within 30 minutes of opening.

Please contact Access Services if you have any questions: 656-2200.

More Social Than Ever: Follow Us!

Twitter users can follow Dana Medical Library for up to the minute information about programs, collections, and services. Just click on the icon at the top of the home page to get started.

“Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.” Twitter. (n.d.) Retrieved January 26, 2009, from Wikipedia:

Two Workshops Remain in Research Support Workshop Series

The popular workshop series From Funding to Publication will again be held in the Dana Medical Library Computer Classroom this fall. Classes will meet September 14-October 27 on seven consecutive Wednesdays from 12 noon-1 pm, and will be repeated each Thursday at the same time.

Through a combination of lectures and hands-on exercises, participants will learn about software, web sites, and databases that facilitate finding, managing, and publishing the results of scholarly research. Topics include the literature review process, keeping up to date with the scholarly research, and changes in the world of scholarly publishing.

September 14 and 15: Pre-workshop Orientation.
Navigate the Library’s web site, explore the library’s lineup of E-Resources, learn to access E-resources from home, and other essential skills. Ideal for those new to UVM.

September 21 and 22: Advanced literature searching skills.
Discover expert search techniques to refine and focus your literature searches. Learn to set up auto-alerts, save searches, and create online bibliographies.

September 28 and 29: Sources and databases beyond PubMed.
Explore other high quality databases and information sources in the biomedical sciences.

October 5 and 6: Managing references with EndNote.
Learn to create an EndNote library, download records from online databases, and insert citations directly into a manuscript.

October 12 and 13: Images: creating, finding, and using them.
Learn to create an Endnote library, download records from online databases, and insert citations directly into a manuscript.

October 19 and 20: Issues in scholarly publishing.
Evaluate approaches to assessing journal quality, review author’s rights, and explore alternative publishing models.

October 26 and 27: Identifying funding for your research.
Learn to use grant-seeking and grant-writing resources available to you at UVM.

Attendees may register for one or more of these sessions. To register, please contact Donna O’Malley, 656-4415.

New Authoritative List of Resources in the Health Sciences

In the early sixties a librarian named Alfred Brandon recognized the growing need for an information tool to help guide medical librarians in their collection development decisions. The “Brandon/Hill Selected List of Print Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library” was first published in 1965. From its beginnings as a core list of clinical titles for hospital libraries, the Brandon/Hill list grew to become an indispensable selection tool for small hospital libraries as well as large academic medical libraries.

With the death of Dorothy R. Hill, co-author of the “Selected List,” the final edition of the “Brandon/Hill” medical list ceased publication in 2003. In 2010, members of the Medical Library Association’s Books Panel realized the need that had arisen for a resource that could be used for collection development purposes just as the Brandon/Hill lists had been used, especially in the area of digital and online publications.

The Medical Library Association’s Master Guide to Authoritative Information Resources in the Health Sciences is that new, indispensable collection development tool for librarians. It includes over 1,600 authoritative book and serial recommendations in print, digital and online formats. The editors of the Master Guide selected 108 contributors for their subject knowledge and expertise to compile the “best titles” across 35 specialties for this unique guide.

Now, Dana Medical Library is thrilled to recognize one of their own as a contributor to The Master Guide. Frances Delwiche, MLIS, MT(ASCP) is the expert contributor of the Clinical Laboratory Science specialty section in this work, that is sure to become an updated option to the iconic Brandon/Hill Selected List.

New Materials: From Apps to Journals

Apps for Dana’s Resources

Nursing Reference Center’s Mobile App for iPhones

The NRC application is available for free from the Apple App Store. Once you download the app and install it on your device, you must authenticate it.

To authenticate the NRC app:

1. Log into Nursing Reference Center.

2. Click the Nursing Reference Center iPhone/iPod Touch Application link at the bottom of the page and enter your email address. An email with an authentication key is sent to you.

3. Access the email from your device and click the link found in the email to authenticate the application. You have 24 hours to access the key from your device to authenticate the app. If the key is not used within 24 hours, it expires and you will need a new key.

Note: Once it is authenticated, the app can be used for nine months, after which you must send yourself a new authentication key from the NRC interface.

Contact the Reference Desk at 656-2201 or for assistance.

General Mobile Assistance

It’s even easier to go mobile at Dana now that a guide written by librarians specifically for UVM and FAHC patrons is available on the web site. The guide provides detailed directions for accessing or downloading mobile apps for many of the library’s licensed resources. It also lists the most popular medical mobile apps, and directs users to more comprehensive listings and reviews of apps. Directions for getting technological help at UVM or FAHC can also be found.

Books in the Consumer Health Collection

Dana Library boasts a current collection of books and multimedia geared especially to members of the community seeking information on personal health. Residents of Vermont may borrow from the Consumer Health Collection simply by showing identification and acquiring a Consumer Health Borrower’s Card at the main desk. Here are a few titles added most recently to this collection.

Breast cancer : the essential guide by Locke, Katherine. (Peterborough : Need-2-Know, 2010)
WP 870 L814b 2010

Drive : the surprising truth about what motivates us by Pink, Daniel H. (New York : Riverhead Books, 2011-2009)
WM 460.5 M6 P655d 2011
“Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money-the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink in Drive. In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home-is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does-and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation- autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.” From the publisher

Backcountry first aid and extended care by Tilton, Buck. (Guilford, Conn. : Globe Pequot Press, 2007)
WA 292 T581b 2007


Methods in Enzymology is a series of scientific articles primarily focused on research methods in biochemistry. It was created by Sidney P. Colowick and Nathan O. Kaplan and is published by Elsevier. Each volume centers on a specific topic of biochemistry, such as DNA repair, yeast genetics, or the biology of nitric oxide. In recent years, the range of topics covered has broadened to include biotechnology-oriented areas of research.

Dana Medical Library now subscribes to Methods in Enzymology electronically.

Library Staff and Faculty Share Research

Event coordinator Alison Armstrong and Ruth Farrell compare notes.

The UVM Libraries’ first Research Conference was held on August 2nd, 2011 in the Bailey/Howe Library. Library faculty and staff shared details of research initiatives ongoing within the libraries, through oral presentations and poster sessions.

Ruth Farrell, Associate Vice President for Research Administration, opened the event by questioning why research gets done at a university, despite the challenges presented by time constraints, lack of funding, and the burden of associated administrative tasks. “What you do,” she assured assembled library faculty and staff, “impacts every single student and every single faculty member.”

Fred Pond, of the Dana Medical Library, presented Old Vermont Film, New Opportunities for Research, describing his efforts in collaboration with the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) to preserve and digitize items from the VHS’s collection of 16mm films. To date 24 films have been digitized, some of which can be viewed at

In An Analysis of Clinical Questions Asked at Professor Rounds, Nancy Bianchi, of the Dana Medical Library, described a study that analyzed 213 questions posed at the College of Medicine’s Pediatrics professor rounds, reviewing the types of information resources consulted to discover answers. 91% of questions were answerable, but Bianchi cautioned that in the context of the pedagogical model of professor rounds, “sometimes not finding an answer is as important as finding an answer.”

Fred Pond, Nancy Bianchi, and Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Domenico Grasso

The Bailey/Howe Library’s Scott Schaffer examined possible impacts of higher education on census data with College Students and the US Census. Citing examples of counties such as Alachua, FL, Tuscaloosa, AL, and Brazos, TX, with poverty rates significantly higher than the national average, despite hosting large research universities, Schaffer raised questions about the ways college students’ habitats and finances are reported via census data, and how they might affect overall data about population, income, and ethnicity.

Daisy Benson, of Bailey/Howe Library, reported on A Portrait of UVM Students: the 2010-2011 First-Year and Senior Library Surveys, two surveys administered in 2010 and 2011 to measure the technology behaviors, confidence in information-seeking skills, and actual research skills of incoming first time first year students and outgoing seniors. A report on the 2010 first-year survey is available at

Donna O’Malley and Fran Delwiche, of Dana Medical Library, reported on Aligning Library Instruction with the Needs of Basic Science Graduate Students, a project to improve the library’s existing model by working in greater collaboration with basic science faculty and significantly revising workshop offerings, which resulted in increases in average information session attendance from twenty to 138 by 2010.

Researchers Say the Darndest Things

Researchers Say the Darndest Things: Using Semi-structured Interviews to Uncover the Unique Information Behaviors of Basic Sciences Researchers in an Academic Health Center, presented by Laura Haines, of the Dana Medical Library, presented data from a qualitative study of semi-structured interviews with basic science researchers that indicated interests in advanced searching skill building, institutional repositories, and targeted communications.

Marianne Burke, of Dana Medical Library, presented Finding the Evidence for Patient Care: Results of an Education Intervention with Vermont Primary Care Providers. Burke was the principal investigator for a project funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine that surveyed nearly 300 primary care providers about their use of information resources. Courses were developed for local providers, based on the resulting data.

Bailey/Howe Library’s Birdie MacLennan, Tom McMurdo, and Prudence Doherty co-presented on From Reel to Real: the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project, detailing the progress made to date in this National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project to make digitally-available 100,000 pages of Vermont newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, and discussing possible avenues for further research, such as analysis of optical character recognition technologies or the social and agricultural history represented by titles such as St. Johnsbury’s Vermont Farmer. Digital newspapers from Vermont and beyond are available via

Mingling between presentations

Selene Colburn, of Bailey/Howe Library, and Paul Besaw, of the UVM Dance Program, co-presented Incorporating Information Literacy and Site Specific Dance, a case study of a course the presenters co-taught in the spring of 2011 that integrated place-based historical and related topical research with somatic and choreographic practices, as students created works in localities on and around UVM’s campus.

Bailey/Howe Library’s Karl Bridges’ The Fragility of the Internet examined the United States technology and network infrastructures from the point of view of national securities challenges, with attention paid to the potential cyberterrorist threats.

Daniel DeSanto, of Bailey/Howe, presented Developing a CDI Long Trail Collection iPhone App: Process and Implications. DeSanto has been working on the creation of a mobile application that would feature the more than 900 digitized images created from lantern slides in the Bailey/Howe’s Special Collections. View historic Long Trail images at

Empirical finding: snacks!