Director’s Viewpoint

What’s in a Name?

Marianne Burke, Dana Medical Library

Marianne Burke, Dana Medical Library

What do the words Circulation or Reference mean to you? A few years ago we took down the large letter signs over the service desks at the front of the Library that said “Circulation” and “Reference”. The terms seemed obscure, especially in a medical library (Circulation, defined as the continuous movement of blood through the heart and blood vessels.)  “Circulation” was where library users checked out and returned books or journal volumes.  “Reference” was the desk with the knowledgeable medical librarian who readily found answers to questions as they arose.

Since research journals, textbooks, and multi-format media are now available on mobile devices and desktops, thousands of downloads of UVM Libraries licensed content are completed each year without a visit to the brick and mortar library. Along with electronic delivery of services (article delivery requests for example), many queries are now answered remotely .

Yet, students, faculty, and clinicians do visit the library every month. They come to the library to study, seek services, find a book, and consult with a librarian (See “Dana Survey asks…” article). In fact, 13,409 items were checked out in FY2015.  As we evaluated services and library use, we learned that most questions, including topic-based collection queries, were answered effectively by the professional staff at the front service desk. Librarians, as liaisons to medical & health science campus departments and education programs, are frequently out of the library.

In January, the front desk (formerly known as Circulation) was officially renamed the Main Desk.  The Reference Desk was taken down, replaced with on-demand librarians for complex queries and research consultation by appointment.  (See Main Desk article.)

Medical libraries are changing, and our names are changing too.  Does the term “reference librarian” still apply without a reference desk? Many academic health science libraries don’t think so.  Depending on their position, librarians are called knowledge managers, research informaticians, information literacy specialists, and informationists.

What do you think? What’s in a name?  Do you prefer the traditional nomenclature and services of the library or can you envision with us an exciting, unfolding future?

Marianne Burke MA AHIP, Library Associate Professor

Director, Dana Medical Library

Library Main Desk helps more than ever

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Main Desk staff assisting patron

After carefully researching the library literature and conducting wide-ranging discussions among Library faculty and staff, Dana closed and removed its Reference Desk in January. Although the word “Reference” may not be used any longer, an on-demand librarian assistance service is still available through the Main Desk. In addition, the Main Desk now answers a variety of questions. Switching to a single service location maximizes library space and better serves patron needs while becoming the central point for help, information, and services at the Library. Stop at the Main Desk to find an e-journal or get started on a PubMed or CatQuest search on your topic!

Research Support

In 2015, the Main Desk staff encountered 1,840 reference questions and, in the first quarter of 2016 (January to March), the new single service Main Desk received 662 reference queries. Main Desk staff are now, more than ever, prepared to answer research questions. However, for more in-depth queries, staff can refer you to the on-demand librarian.

Assistance from librarians is available on a walk-in basis 10 am to 4 pm each weekday. Or make an appointment on the Library’s webpage. Get focused attention for individual or group research.

Student Curriculum and Technical Support

The Main Desk is also the place to go for curriculum support. Access and place materials on reserve, request articles through electronic article delivery and interlibrary loan, gain support for research, get help with database navigation and reserve group study spaces.  Also, check out books, media and print journals and borrow supplies like ethernet & power cables, standup desks, white boards & markers, and headphones.

Get help with technology for printing, scanning, copying, public computers, wireless access, and referral to external IT support. In addition, the library has a lost and found and can provide emergency cleanup supplies.

Staffed by Lesley Boucher (supervisor), John Printon, Brenda Nelson, Colin McClung and Craig Chalone, with the help of student assistants, the Main Desk is available to help you with all your library needs. Contact them at 656-2200 to get started.

Dana Survey asks, Who uses the library for What?

During the last week of February (Feb 23-28), Dana conducted a library survey to determine “Who is using the Dana Library?” and “For what purpose?”. Library faculty and staff distributed surveys to everyone entering the Library for one hour at different times on each day. The survey asked visitors to state why they were using the Library and allowed them to select more than one activity. A total of 268 surveys were distributed with 243 patrons completing the questionnaire. Of those surveyed, 90% (219) came to the library to study or do coursework and many of those individuals used their personal laptops. The following chart reveals more survey details:

WhoGraph

WhatGraph

As the chart above shows, our largest patron group was Medical Students (35%), followed by Other Undergraduate Students (28%). Our lowest Patron Group was UVM Med Center employees (2%). For Purpose of Visit, Study or Coursework (90%) was the most common reason and 70% of patrons preferred to use their laptops as opposed to the library computers.

Dana will use this information to plan programs and services at the Library. We will also compare this information with previous years’ patron studies and map trends in library usage. For more information, contact Donna O’Malley at 656-4415.

Library Workshops Support Important Systematic Reviews

Gray Lit photo

Systematic reviews are an integral component of evidence-based healthcare, but they can be hard to define. According to the Cochrane Library, a systematic review “is a high-level overview of primary research on a particular research question that tries to identify, select, synthesize and appraise all high quality research evidence relevant to that question in order to answer it.” (http://community-archive.cochrane.org/about-us/evidence-based-health-care) Like all quality research studies, the protocol used to conduct a systematic review must be spelled out in advance to minimize bias and to ensure that the review can be replicated by another group. Because of the rigor involved, systematic reviews can take several months to complete and usually involve two or more researchers. When done correctly, however, they can provide very reliable evidence for health care providers.

A quick search of PubMed shows that approximately 223 healthcare related systematic reviews have been completed here at the University of Vermont and more are ongoing. Some most recent examples of these reviews are on topics like Physiological Genomics (J. Hudziak), Diabetes Research (M. Cushman), Clinical Pediatrics (S. Yeager), and Sports and Health (B. Beynnon). In an effort to support these projects, and other like them, Dana Medical Library offered a series of three systematic review workshops this spring:

  • Introduction to Systematic Reviews – led by Donna O’Malley and Gary Atwood, provided an overview of the elements that make up a systematic review and some of the issues that researchers encounter.
  • Searching for Systematic Reviews – led by Donna O’Malley, showed researchers how to find existing systematic reviews as examples.
  • Going Gray: How to Find Gray Literature – led by Nancy Bianchi and Gary Atwood, outlined the role that gray literature plays in the systematic review process and reviewed potential sources that researchers can search.

The workshops were attended by faculty members, researchers, and students – many of whom are either at the initial stages of their own systematic review or anticipating one in the not too distant future.

Given the positive reaction to this first round of systematic review workshops, the Reference Librarians at Dana hope to offer them again in the future. Of course, researchers can also contact their liaison for help with their own research in the meantime. For more information on workshops at Dana, contact Gary Atwood at 656-4488.

NIH Open Access Policy Update

nihThe NIH Public Access Policy will continue to be in effect in 2009 and “thereafter,” according to a provision in the recently approved federal appropriations bill.

“The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require in the current fiscal year and thereafter [emphasis added] that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.”

The NIH Revised Policy on Enhancing Public Access requires eligible NIH-funded researchers to deposit electronic copies of their peer-reviewed manuscripts into PubMed Central. Full texts of the articles are then made publicly available online in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication in a journal. Nature reports in its online News section that the “Open-access policy flourishes at NIH,” (April 7, 2009.) [http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/458690a]

The Dana Medical Library presentation NIH Public Access: Submissions, copyright, and compliance is available for UVM and FAHC audiences. If you would like to schedule this presentation for your own department, lab, or other group please contact Donna.Omalley@uvm.edu. Information from the presentation is also available on the Dana Medical Library web site: NIH Public Access Policy [http://danaguides.uvm.edu/NIHPublicAccess].

New Technologies in the Library

Enhanced Catalog Featurebooks_sm2

You may have noticed that the catalog has more images and more information than before. That’s because information from Google Book Search has been loaded into UVM Libraries’ online catalog, Voyager.

booksvoyager

More Information About This Book

Many of the books in the catalog now have an image of the cover of the book, and a link to More Information About This Book. Click on that link and you will be brought to that particular book’s entry within Google Book Search. Once there, you may see some of these features:

  • images of the cover,
  • the table of contents,
  • reviews,
  • publisher descriptions
  • and even a chance to preview the book.

In a survey of UVM Libraries catalog users, 92% agreed or strongly agreed that the link to Google Books provided useful information.

cell-phoneText It!

A common scenario: you need a book from the library so you scribble the call number on a gum wrapper you find in your pocket. You are now on the 3rd floor of Bailey-Howe or standing at the front of the Dana Medical Library only to discover that your book bag has now eaten that gum wrapper.

Next time, TEXT IT! UVM Libraries catalog now has a texting option within each record that will send your cell phone an abbreviated title and location information. Charges from your cell phone carrier may apply.

New Printing Options For Laptopslaptop_stickers3

We’re pleased to announce that Windows laptop users can now print directly to Libraries’ printers.

Install the printers for your library of choice (Bailey/Howe, Dana Medical Library, or Cook Chemistry/Physics Library) and you’ll be good to go.

Laptop printing solutions for Macintosh and Vista users are currently under development.

Laptop Stickers by Roo Reynolds used in accordance with the Creative Commons license.

Dana Wants to Hear from YOU!

libqual_logo_100px_highThe Dana Medical Library cares about what you think. We want your voice to be at the heart of our planning and assessment efforts as we evaluate library services, including such things as electronic journal access, library employees’ ability to solve problems, the new library web page, and the quality of the physical facilities.

On Monday, April 6th, Dana will launch an electronic survey, LibQUAL+ ™, to evaluate the library, and to benchmark our collection, services and facilities with other libraries.

LibQual is a nationally-normed survey developed by the Texas A&M University Libraries in partnership with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The survey gauges library users’ opinions of the resources and services provided by the library. The survey includes three general areas: Affect of Service, or how patrons felt their needs were met by staff; Information Control, or how easily patrons are able to find what they are looking for; and Library as Place, or how well the location works for study and research.

The Dana Medical Library participated in the LibQUAL+ ™ survey in April 2005. At that time, the Library’s highest ratings were in the area of Affect of Service. The area of Information Control presented a different picture. Three out of 9 questions reflected inadequate performance. For example, in answer to the question of whether journal collections were sufficient for one’s work, respondents, particularly faculty and graduate students, rated the collection as inadequate. The physical Library was also identified as below standard. Since that time, the Dana Medical Library has made several changes. Most obviously, the Library moved to a new facility. Another important change has been the significant increase in the number of electronic journals available. How important are these changes? What additional changes should be considered? What should not be changed? We want to know!

Please consider participating in this survey at http://library.uvm.edu/surveys/. Sample responses indicate it takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Your investment of time now will be greatly appreciated, and will help to shape the future of the Dana Medical Library.

Celebrating 10 years of Service to Middlebury Area Hospital

porter“It’s a great service to pick up the phone and get what you need,” says Elaine Coon, coordinator of education services at Porter Medical Center, a small hospital that serves the health care needs of Middlebury, VT and surrounding communities.

Ten years ago, the Dana Medical Library started sending a librarian to Porter Medical Center  for assistance with a variety of information needs. In the beginning, the librarian answered research questions and helped develop and catalog the hospital’s small book collection. As the information environment changed however, Dana librarians have taken on management of electronic journals, the creation, maintenance and hosting of Porter’s own library web site, and more of an educational role to elevate the health literacy of Porter’s employees.

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Angie Chapple-Sokol, Assistant Library Professor and Librarian for Porter Medical Center.

Dana’s contract with Porter Hospital agrees to provide literature searches, inter library loans, and articles to nurses, physicians, and administrators at Porter. In addition, the contract librarian agrees to develop and teach classes, provide educational materials to Porter staff, and facilitate the physical processing of new materials. Administrative oversight, such as collection development and management of electronic content contracts, web site production and hosting, and promotion of products and services for the library, is provided for in the contract as well.
Recent activities and accomplishments at Porter include a completely redesigned web site, two successfully negotiated contracts for clinical point-of-care databases, educational sessions on topics ranging from “What is Evidence-Based Practice?” to “Finding Good Patient Information on the Web,” and a journal research project that will help determine the future of many of Porter’s subscriptions.

Elaine Coon is Dana’s regular contact at Porter, and she has only good things to say.  She appreciates having input on collection development, and the exposure to current technologies and databases. “It’s just great to be able to talk to a librarian,” she says, “It’s important to have a liaison and face to the Dana Library.”

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