Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Research4Life Distance Learning Short Courses now Online

Submitted by Lenny Rhine, FMLA, Gainesville, FL

Short Courses for HINARI, AGORA and OARE are available on the ITOCA server - http://moodle.itoca.org/

Each course uses the Moodle software – a free, open-source web application for producing modular internet-based courses.   These courses highlight the skills necessary for effectively accessing the full-text material of the programs (background, searching skills, website access, searching databases and access problems and solutions).  They will be useful for users and staff at your institution.  Contact the ITOCA staff at moodle@itoca.org to register for the online course.

We are translating the HINARI Short Course into several languages and plan to have these available in late 2011.  Please send this information to your colleagues in all three disciplines.

Note:  the initial Portuguese version of the HINARI Short Course is online as of 15 September – see the ITOCA Moodle server.

HINARI Program User Training Videos now Available

Submitted by Lenny Rhine, FMLA, Gainesville, FL

Based on the HINARI Short Course, the new training material contains five videos:  What the HINARI Programme is, How to find full text of an article in HINARI, How to search PubMed through HINARI, How to conduct advanced PubMed searching and How to resolve resource access problems.  For each video and accompanying audio file, there is a text transcription and quiz.

If a user only watches the videos, the material can be completed in 30 minutes (although we also recommend doing the self-assessment quizzes).   From http://hinaritraining.org/ , individuals can go directly to the training material or, due to bandwidth limitations, order a free CD and or download the training package.
This material is quite useful for training users and staff – to obtain the baseline skills necessary for using HINARI to access full-text documents.  It can be done either by retrieving the material online or on a local workstation (CD or downloaded files).

The modules were developed and will be updated by Megan von Isenburg, Duke Medical Center Library and Marc Sperber, Duke Global Health Institute, USA

MLA Librarians without Borders® Activities: Update on the E-library Training Initiative

Submitted by Lenny Rhine, FMLA, Gainesville, FL

Since 2007, the Elsevier Foundation has generously funded the E-library Training Initiative of the MLA Librarians without Borders® program. The activities of this initiative primarily focus on conducting training for the HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme and developing and updating training material for this program. Coordinated by Lenny Rhine, FMLA, more than forty-five workshops in twenty-five countries have been conducted. More than twenty new training modules and support tools have been developed.

Recent developments include an online “train the trainers” course for individuals from industrialized countries whose institutions have linkages with HINARI-eligible organizations. This and the basic HINARI short course are accessible via the MLA Mrooms site. Some of the HINARI-related activities conducted by MLA members who have completed the “train the trainers” course include training visitors and graduate students from eligible countries, conducting workshops at the sites of eligible institutions, translating the short course into Spanish, and creating a video of the short course.

Other recent activities of the initiative include the development of the “Evidence-based Resources for HINARI Users” and “E-book Resources for HINARI Users” modules and short courses for two partner programs in agriculture (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture [AGORA]) and environmental research (Online Access to Research in the Environment [OARE]). All the short courses are available via the Moodle server of the Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA).

In early July, the Elsevier Foundation released a new video on YouTube, “Building a Global Research Culture,” which features a recent workshop for librarians, doctors, and lecturers at the University of Swaziland. This workshop was a collaboration between the MLA Librarians without Borders® program and ITOCA.
The MLA Librarians without Borders® program looks forward to continued support from the Elsevier Foundation.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Submitted by Brian P. Bunnett

One of the benefits of being chair is the unique perspective it gives you on the activities going on in our section.  That is to say, as chair you are aware of all the important projects, clever ideas, and sustained effort and hard work of our members.  I hope this newsletter succeeds in giving you the same perspective I have and that after you finish reading it you will be impressed, as I am, by the variety of these projects and the ingenuity of our section colleagues. 

When reading this newsletter I ask you to keep in mind one other thing.  And that is that the work we contribute to our section is often done outside of our regular jobs.  It is volunteer work that we do in the evenings or on the weekends.  Our members give freely of their time so that the goal of our section – to promote international cooperation – is further advanced.  This sacrifice of our free time should be seen as evidence of our dedication and commitment to that goal.

That is the best part of being chair of our section.  Yes I’m always impressed by all the important projects and clever ideas that I hear of but it’s even more gratifying to witness the willingness of our members to give so readily of their time and energy. 

Brian P. Bunnett
University of New Mexico
Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center

Colleague Connection with International Colleagues at MLA Annual Meeting

Submitted by Jie Li

ICS members have always been interested in connecting with International colleagues. During the MLA Annual Meeting, ICS members are eager to assist our international librarians, especially the first time MLA attendees. In the part, ICS members went to International Visitors Reception and other events, such as Librarians without Borders Open Forum to meet and communicate with librarians from other countries. At the Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, ICS Chair Rick Ralston arranged ICS members to spend sometime with the Local Hospitality Table to meet international visitors and he himself spent quite a lot of his free time at the hospitality table.  At the 2011 ICS Business meeting, members discussed how we may better connect to the international librarians. One idea at the meeting was to ask MLA Headquarters to provide a list of international MLA Annual Meeting registrants before the meeting, so ICS membership may connect with them before they arrive in United States. At the International Visitors Reception, when having a conversation with Carla Funk, MLA Executive Director, who is also MLA's International Affairs Officer, I briefed Carla about this idea. Carla informed us that MLA Headquarter will be happy to provide ICS with a list of international participants. So in the future MLA Annual Meetings, especially the 2013 joint MLA/IFLA/ICML meeting in Boston, ICS members will have a great opportunity connecting to our international colleagues.

Jie Li
Biomedical Library
University of South Alabama 
Email: jli@jaguar1.usouthal.edu 

MLA 2011 Annual Meeting Report: an Account from an International Attendee

Submitted by Rolf Schafer

Rolf Schafer from Sydney, Australia reports on his attendance at the 2011 MLA Annual Meeting, held May 13-18, 2011 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Minneapolis was the venue for this year’s annual meeting and the National Library of Medicine’s 175th anniversary celebration. The last time the annual meeting was convened in Minneapolis was 25 years ago, where celebrations for the NLM sesquicentennial were also held.

Registrations for the annual meeting totalled 1886, with 87 of these from outside the United States, Canada and Mexico. I was the only delegate who travelled from Australia to attend the convention. E-Conference registrations were taken up by 101 members who could not travel to the meeting, yet were still able to be part of the meeting community via online access. This online access included video streaming of keynote and other select plenary sessions; access to audio sessions with electronic presentations and online access to posters before, during, and after the meeting.
A total of 129 contributed and invited papers combined with 176 poster papers were presented over the four days of the conference. Continuing education courses offered during the conference numbered twenty-six and covered a range of professional competency areas. [1]

The theme for this year’s meeting was designed to help librarians rethink existing and emerging areas in health librarianship: rethink service, rethink technology, rethink space,
rethink leadership, rethink engagement, rethink research, and rethink outcomes. With so many information channels requiring our attention today, we need to allow time to rethink what we need to do in order to remain relevant to our institutional contexts and those we serve.

To enable more meeting attendees to connect and engage, MLA has embraced and promoted popular social networking tools through a concept known as “Conference Community.”  At MLA’11, we were offered Twitter, CrowdVine, CoverltLive, FriendFeed, foursquare, quick response codes and the MLA’11 Blog site. These services are designed to facilitate interaction with attendees and exhibitors at the meeting on a whole new level. The centrepiece of the Conference Community services at MLA’11 was “ReThink Conversations.” After each plenary session, attendees were asked to discuss a related question via Twitter. Display monitors were strategically placed around the convention centre so that attendees can watch and respond to the live conversations. Tweets can be made using a mobile device, laptop, or computers in the Internet
Café. [2] To my knowledge, I am not aware of all these networking tools being offered and utilised at a library conference in Australia.

The following is an account of my MLA’11 experience and the sessions I attended.

The Welcome Reception and opening of the Hall of Exhibits was held on Saturday night. Here a gathering of some 516 companies and vendors displayed their products and wares. The exhibit hall also contained an area for the posters sessions, the Internet Café, Technology Showcase centre, and some electronic displays.

An early morning started as I attended the International Cooperation Section Business meeting. Following this the 2011 annual meeting commenced with a welcome session at which President Ruth Holst greeted delegates on behalf of the Association. Welcoming remarks and salutations followed from Clare T. Leibfarth, President of the Midwest Chapter, and from Gabriel R. Rios, Cochair of the 2011 National Program Committee. Ruth Holst then delivered her Presidential Address which emphasized the themes of rethinking our value and roles. A highlight of her presentation was the sharing of snapshots of the various MLA Chapter meetings that she attended throughout the year.

After a coffee break, delegates reassembled for Plenary Session II - The John P. McGovern Award Lecture. The speaker, Clay Shirky - writer, consultant, and teacher on new technology and social media shared his thoughts on rethinking social media and how it relates to our profession. Shirky examined the way network technologies provide for groups to get things done, including collaboration tools, social networks, peer-to-peer sharing, collaborative filtering, and open source development. A very thought provoking lecture and pragmatic view of what is occurring now and what is to come with social media and emerging technologies were presented.

Following lunch, members attended Business Meeting I where the treasurer’s report and other annual reports of the Association were formally adopted. Recently elected office-bearers were also announced. Contributed Paper sessions sponsored by different sections of MLA filled the remainder of the afternoon. I attended a session with the title of Next Steps: The Future. The papers covered topics that included the 21st Century Health Information Professional, leveraging social media tools to engage library users and the next generation of auto alerts.

Afterwards I joined other international librarians at the International Visitors Reception hosted by the International Cooperation Section.

The morning began with Plenary Session III - Janet Doe Lecture. T. Scott Plutchak, Director of the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences Library at the University of Alabama-Birmingham delivered this year’s lecture. His lecture was titled, “Breaking the Barriers of Time and Space: The Dawning of the Great Age of Librarians.”

The second session of section programming commenced after the mid-morning break with eight concurrent sessions to choose from. My choice was Top Tech Trends. Here a panel of six librarians shared the latest offerings in technology, websites and social media tools. Topics included meeting schedules, project management tools and data visualisation.

At the conclusion of this session I attended the MLA Awards Ceremony and Luncheon where MLA members were recognised with various awards, honours and scholarships.

The afternoon was devoted to Section sponsored programs and to Section Business meetings. I attended a session sponsored by the Leadership and Management Section on rethinking libraries in hard times.

At 7:00 am I joined several other colleagues for breakfast at a ‘sunrise seminar’ hosted by
Wiley-Blackwell to hear about the latest concepts in evidence-based healthcare and clinical decision support tools that help clinicians and nurses find quick answers to the latest evidence. By 9:00 am we were ready for the second MLA Business Meeting comprising the Presidential Inaugural Address and MLA’12 invitation.

Gary D. Byrd (left) SUNY at Buffalo Health Sciences Library, Buffalo, NY and Rolf Schafer (right) Walter McGrath Library, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney
 with Dr
. Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director, National Library of Medicine at the 175th Anniversary celebrations for NLM.

The annual National Library of Medicine (NLM) update was held after morning coffee and was well attended. Dr Donald Lindberg, Director of the NLM assisted by two associate directors delivered the update. The highlight of their presentation was an overview of the services, programs and accomplishments that NLM had delivered over the past 175 years. The fourth session of concurrent section programs occupied the remainder of the day.

That evening, meeting attendees and Friends of the National Library of Medicine joined together to celebrate NLM’s 175th anniversary. The unique birthday cake clearly stole the show at the celebration.

NLM Birthday cake - a sweet rendition of the NLM building in Bethesda, MD.

The morning began with the Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture delivered by Dr Peter J. Hotez. Dr Hotez is the distinguished research professor, Walter G. Ross Professor, and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, The George Washington University. His research focuses on vaccine development for parasitic diseases, particularly hookworm and schistosomiasis. Hotez also has a strong policy interest to promote the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The 2011 Leiter Lecture was titled, Open access and control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases, “The NTDs.”

Plenary Session IV followed and featured Geoffrey Bilder, Director of Strategic Initiatives at CrossRef with more than sixteen years of experience as a technical leader in scholarly technology. Bilder titled his presentation, What color is your paratext? His wacky and lively delivery style, complete with 251 PowerPoint slides, helped us to rethink scholarly communication and understand some of the challenges facing researchers with emerging technologies and scholarly publishing.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held in Seattle, Washington, May 18-23, 2012.

If you are not able to attend in person, consider taking up the e-conference registration where you will have online access to videos of the plenary speakers and all conference presentations with audio recordings.

1.     Ray Naegele, Medical Library Association. [Personal communication]
2.     MLA Annual Meeting and Exhibition, May 13-18, 2011; Minneapolis, MN – Official Program

Rolf Schafer
Walter McGrath Library
St Vincent's Hospital Sydney