Lewis and Clark 
Expedition Painting

2005 PNC/MLA Annual Conference
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2005 PNC/MLA Annual Conference
Medical Libraries: Core of Discovery

Poster Sessions

Beyond Google: Teaching Users to Search the Web More Effectively
Janet G Schnall and Edward Roberts, University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries, and Andrew Hamilton, Oregon Health & Science University.

A class developed at Oregon Health & Science University Library on how to effectively use Internet search engines other than Google to locate information was expanded for use at the University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries, an urban academic health sciences center serving six health sciences schools. Google is often the only web resource consulted by users. However, there are many other useful search engines that possess features, such as result clustering and visualization, not offered by Google. The class describes Advanced Google techniques, compares several Internet search sites, e.g. Vivisimo, KartOO, SurfWax, ZapMeta, etc. and discusses the Invisible Web.

Several methods are used to teach and advertise Beyond Google to a variety of users: hands-on class as part of the regular library education program; curriculum-integrated presentations to health sciences students; featured on library website homepage; website tutorial (http://healthlinks.washington.edu/howto/beyondgoogle.html); special workshops for librarians; and class offered as part of library liaison marketing campaign targeting researchers. Online class evaluations were excellent and students/attendees showed little previous knowledge of web search engines beyond basic Google. The Beyond Google class will be integrated into additional curriculum classes in the next academic year as well as offered by library liaisons to their department's faculty and staff.

Comparison of Bedside Information Tools
Rose Campbell, University of Fiji, Dolores Judkins, Oregon Health & Science University

As a thesis project, Rose Campbell compared five bedside information tools (ACP's PIER(c), DISEASEDEX(tm), FIRSTConsult, InfoRetriever(r) and UpToDate(r)) using User-Centered Task-Oriented measures in order to provide a tool for those making or supporting purchasing decisions among products at the Oregon Health & Science University. Study participants included a variety of health care professionals and students at OHSU. Users were asked to answer three clinical questions in a variety of Bedside Information Tools. Users evaluated each tool for ease-of-use and user satisfaction. A follow-up interview with users qualitatively captured user?s experiences with these Bedside Information Tools. This user-based information was combined with information gathered from direct examination, such as currency, coverage and subscription information. Conclusions reached were that user preferences are not necessarily the same as those librarians would select based on traditional evaluation criteria such as currency, coverage and subscription information. User preference is an essential element when evaluating products. To select a product that will satisfy users, it is essential to consult with the primary users of the product. User-Centered evaluations are needed to make an informed purchasing decision.

The Health Sciences Library as Partner in Case-based Learning Exercises: The Diagnostic Challenges at Washington State University
Sarah K. McCord and Vicki F. Croft, Washington State University Health Sciences Library, Pullman, WA, USA.

The Washington State University Health Sciences Library (HSL) is a specialized academic library at a land-grant public university located in Pullman, WA, USA. This discussion focuses on instruction to students in the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) during their participation in a case-based learning activity known as Diagnostic Challenges (DCs).

DCs take place twice during the veterinary students' second professional year and are an intensive departure from the typical course schedule. The purposes of the DCs are to decrease discipline-based compartmentalization of the curriculum, increase the opportunities for active learning, develop students' interpersonal and communication skills, and promote independent learning skills. A literature search is a required part of these assignments. At the end of the week, the teams present synopses of their cases and the clinical reasoning they went through to design treatment regimens.

Over the years a variety of strategies have been employed to help students understand both why a literature search is important as well as how to complete one. This summary provides examples of what worked, what did not, and the effects of library involvement in the program on the students' successful completion of the exercise.

"Or Perish in the Attempt": Medical Adventures of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, 1804-1806
Lisa Oberg and Gail Kouame, University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries

As America celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, recognizing the significance of the medical aspects of the journey is an important part in honoring the advancements and discoveries they made along the way. The Corps faced incredible odds during their two-year overland trek and encountered many unknown factors including wilderness, weather, disease, wildlife and Indians. The absence of a physician on the trip meant both Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were called upon to serve in this capacity, particularly Lewis who had received brief medical training. Lewis faced a daunting task in preparing the Corps' traveling pharmacy which required him to anticipate what would be needed for the many unknown variables of the excursion, as well as its uncertain length.

This poster will explore the medical knowledge available to Lewis and Clark in the early nineteenth century; how they prepared for the journey, treated members of the expedition throughout the trip, and adapted to the changing environment. Both Lewis and Clark kept extensive journals which provide important insight into the day-to-day challenges of their travels, as well as the routine and unusual illnesses and injuries they experienced. The expedition is notable in that only one man died out of the 33 permanent members of the Corps. Lewis and Clark overcame one of the greatest challenges of all time: surviving the rigors of their journey in their quest to discover a Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean, traveling more than 8000 miles in two years.

Piecing Together the Research Puzzle: A Library Liaison Campaign for Customized Presentations to Researchers
Janet G. Schnall and Joanne Rich, University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries.

The University of Washington Health Sciences Libraries is part of a large, academic center serving six health sciences schools. In the Piecing Together the Research Puzzle campaign, library liaisons contacted departments offering customized presentations of information resources to researchers. Presentations varied between 10 minutes to an hour, were designed for a one-time session or as a continuing series to be held in the department or library, and were selected by the faculty from a set of sixteen modularized topics (e.g., Finding Measurement Tools, Email Alerts, Effective Searching of the Web of Science, Finding Grants, Beyond Google, Getting Started with EndNote, Bioresearcher Tools - http://healthlinks.washington.edu/hsl/puzzle/). Each liaison developed one topic outline for the larger liaisons group for their use in teaching. Modules were developed to be presented in as little as 10 minutes and could be "mix and matched" to customize to the intended groups.

Liaisons submitted an online evaluation form, detailing their activities related to the campaign, including the outcomes. The campaign generated a number of teaching sessions and provided a means of outreach to our researchers, both on and off campus.

Informal feedback on reasons for the campaign's success included: effective publicity, including eye-catching logo, poster and website; innovative flexibility to "mix and match" or create new topic modules; and customization of place and timing for individual departments. A biennial marketing campaign continues to be a useful vehicle for providing a cohesive approach to sustain the library's profile in our community and to create events to interface with its individual members.

Patient Education Resource Consultation
Marcia Horner, Kootenai Medical Center Libraries, Coeur d'Alene, ID

This project was initiated as part of KMC's library performance improvement efforts. KMC monitors patient satisfaction using an outside evaluation firm, Avatar. One question that had consistently scored low across departments was: "The educational materials I received were beneficial to me."

The library determined that we could help our nursing and medical staff locate and provide a wider variety of patient education materials which might help to improve this patient satisfaction item. Three units which had the lowest scores were chosen as pilots, Pediatrics, Ortho-Neuro, and Adult Psych.

An order screen was developed in the Meditech system. Health Unit Coordinators on each unit enter a "Patient Education Resource Order", which prints to the library. Library staff prepare a customized packet of information, including a list of books, videos, etc. that can be borrowed from the DeArmond consumer library and taken home by patients. The packet is delivered to the floor for the nurse to use in education and discharge. If the patient wants to borrow materials from the resource list, a second order is placed. Materials are checked out to the patron using their public library card. Items can be dropped off to any local public library and are returned to the hospital by courier.

Using Blogs and RSS for Integrated Library Information Channels
Edward Roberts and Terry Ann Jankowski, Health Sciences Libraries, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Open-source blogging software can be used to generate various library information channels and how the content of those channels can be repurposed for email alerts and through syndication onto library Web pages. This effort offers end users the choice of how to receive information, potentially increases the number of recipients, and renders the librarian's time more efficient.

We traditionally used mailing lists to disseminate library announcements. We are experimenting with using blogs to publish this information. Blogs expose content in RDF Site Summary (RSS) extensible markup language (XML) metadata format, which can be consumed and reused by other applications. In our case:

  • scripts periodically email blog content to mailing lists
  • customized Java code syndicates the content into our Website
  • desktop RSS news-readers

    The intended result is librarians can efficiently and, in a single place, enter news content, which will automatically be reused in multiple channels, thereby offering end users consumption choices and potentially increasing our audience. We expect librarian time spent in this dissemination process to decrease. We intend to survey our end users, to see if offering information in multiple formats increases the number of readers and awareness of library news.

    Using Movable Type 2.6 and third-party feed-parsers (Feed2JS: http://jade.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/feed/; MagpieRSS: http://magpierss.sourceforge.net), we have demonstrated that our news pages can be populated in this manner. However, developing a satisfactory display has yet to undergo usability testing. The built-in notification feature in Movable Type will allow us to send out this information to selected mailing lists, utilizing a customized template, but we have not yet used this feature in production. The librarian responsible for content has found it easy to enter information with the greatest challenge being categorizing the entries.

    Although this is still in development, we are optimistic that writing the information only once and using the features of the blogging software to create both Web pages and email alerts will prove to be a definite time saver for library staff. Next steps include usability testing, rolling this service out from development to production, and offering end users the choice of receiving email or news feeds.

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