Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Foolery #57*: It's Not All About Bacon

A wonderful person at the National Library of Medicine wrote me after last week's post asking if I knew about, which I had covered for the New Year. I was hopeful they would deck out the bacon in a costume by now for Halloween but that appears not to be the case.

Are you sick of society's (and my own ) bacon obsession in the first place?

Then is just the thing for your website viewing pleasure with an abundance of fresh broccoli!

In my opinion broccoli and bacon should coexist as Broccoli Salad with Raisins and Bacon, but that might be way too much for some people to handle.

Here is the soundtrack for your broccoli website viewing pleasure....

*Yes last week was also #57, because the week before that while I had probable You Know What 1 flu-like illness I called it #56 when it should have been #55. I've gone back and corrected the sequence now. My bad.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pew Internet presentation... for medical librarians?

Trends in medical searches online: How e-patients use the internet was rather general despite the "new trend charts" and has left me puzzled. The only Medical Library Association chapter meeting that was happening yesterday didn't have Pew on the program.

What's the context of this presentation? Were you one of these medical librarians? How was the discussion? Or was the crowd in shock about PubMed launching forward for good and that's why I haven't heard anything about it?

Monday, October 26, 2009

PubMed: How Soon Is Now?

10/29 Edit: Yep, we all know it's changed now! In addition to the stuff below,

Need a SlideShare Presentation?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Unexpected exclamation points do that to me.

At approximately 10:00 am Pacific time today the PubMed Preview transitioned to the main page, held steady for a little bit, then died. After a while the prior version was put back into place with notice via a listserv (more on that below) that the switch would happen in a few days.

That's normal enough, we've all had databases go down for much longer than a few hours, but this is also your wakeup call: Get familiar with the new redesign now if you haven't already! Don't make me resurrect this post :)

Need quick help and handouts?

Redesigned PubMed QuickTours - by author, author & subject, simple subject, journal
Updated Trifolds - PubMed Basics, Searching PubMed with MeSH, MyNCBI
Where Has It Gone? - comparison resource from University of Washington Health Sciences

Need National Library of Medicine PubMed webinars with questions & answers?

October 2009 webcast - most recent updated information
August 2009 Western regions - please ignore my voice and pay attention to the Q&As
August 2009 Midwest/Southern regions -more written Q&As
August 2009 Eastern regions - no written Q&As

Need a WordPress video tutorial?

MyNCBI -Custom Filters by Melissa Rethlefsen at Mayo Clinics

Need YouTube?

PubMed - New Interface Demonstration by U Manitoba

While the announcement of the transition on the PUBMED-ALERTS listserv was at the same time the PubMed New and Noteworthy RSS feed broadcast (albeit with a broken website link) this morning, notice of the reinstatement (as of 9:45 pm Pacific) still has not appeared on the RSS feed. I consider it noteworthy that a transition had to go in reverse.

I don't like having to second guess which communication channel regarding PubMed is most accurate and reliable. The RSS feed is prominently promoted from the redesigned PubMed front page and there's no mention of the listserv. Communication about PubMed, unlike making sure the entire database platform is stable, should be simple and not require digging nor duplication.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Foolery #56: Unshelved Bacon!

Me with Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum, creators of Unshelved

Does it get any better than hanging out with our local hometown heroes of the library comic strip world and receiving an autographed copy of their latest book for free as a thank you present for helping out? As a bonus I can add that I know how to operate those credit/debit card swipe machines to my CV!

The truth about the bacon bookmark: Pretty much every library meeting and conference Unshelved goes to (including ours) has someone in attendance who has experienced this strange user phenomenon in their returned books. It's about 50/50 whether the bacon is raw or cooked. Have you had this happen at your library?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health Care Reform & Medical Librarianship

Me in front of my first poster!

I had a great but tiring time at the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (PNC/MLA) annual meeting earlier this week in downtown Seattle.

I wrote a few entries for our conference blog about two of the dynamic speakers we had and wanted to share them with you since they are very timely topics about health care reform:

One drawback to a conference being local is that in addition to the wonderful networking and learning, you don't get to detach from the family routine... lunches still need to be packed and school buses caught by 7:30 am, and there were no late nights over drinks with colleagues for me. Nonetheless, for as much as I enjoy online social networking I truly love face to face connections at conferences and already can't wait for our meeting next year in Portland, OR!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Foolery #55: Oink?

Getting my first-ever poster done (this is me with the proof) was a minor miracle because I have felt like utter crap for the majority of this week.

It kicked off with our son vomiting (an extreme rarity) after midnight on Monday. He had a high fever, worsened to the point where we had to carry him back & forth to the bathroom because he was too weak and dizzy to stand, but then he suddenly recovered. He was begging to go to school on Tuesday morning, able to do so on Wednesday, and you'd never know he was really ill this week by the rate he's playing kickball with his friends after school now.

On Tuesday the fever hit me and malingered around through Wednesday, and I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. Playing kickball is entirely out of the question. I'm still not all that sure how I'll haul myself out of here and go to work this morning!

I don't know if we have different bugs or if either is H1N1, but the fever is definitely gone and I'm not coughing at all so I promise I won't contaminate anyone at our meeting next week. I'll even bring my own personal hand sanitizer. Come say hi!

Friday, October 9, 2009

H1N1 Resources For Children

There is a wealth of information at for parents about how to prevent H1N1 and other types of flu or take care of their children who are ill , but what about resources the children can actually read or watch themselves to understand just what this thing their parents and communities seem so freaked out about?

For the youngest children I love the Sesame Street public service announcements in English and Spanish. The old ones with Elmo and Gordon are ok, but he and Luis rock in Stay Home From School. Check them all out on PBS.

What so important about washing your hands when they look clean? Check out this video for Kindergarten- 3rd graders from BrainPopJr at Washing Hands.

The best video specifically about H1N1 for children I've found so far is appropriate for 2nd grade and older (I shared it with my 7 year old son) and includes... bacon! My assumption is the same age range applies to their H1N1 for children in Spanish video too but I don't know enough Spanish to know for certain.

This is the link to the embed code source for the English H1N1 for children:

Keep in mind normally BrainPop charges for access to their videos, but my understanding is these particular ones are free for everyone in the name of public education. Kids deserve their own information, please share with them and let me know about other resources to update the medical librarians H1N1 wiki page. Thank you!

Friday You Have GOT To Be Fooling Me #55: Jackpot

I did it.

I finally won a MAJOR AWARD (not fra-gee-lay)

I reacted to the news as any rational, calm, sane librarian would.

That, of course, after the generous people who awarded me the MAJOR AWARD asked me NOT to post on Twitter about it towards the bottom of the email I hadn't read in full.

I'm still embarrassed and apologized; they still gave it to me anyway.

What is this MAJOR AWARD and how did I win it?

I donated to Komen for the (safe for work page) Boobiethon, originally founded by my friend Robyn 8 years ago and raised over $13,000 this year alone, and entered the Get Moxie! contest.

In the next few months I will have a brand spanking new custom designed blog by Moxie Design Studios™ complete with my own custom designed illustration by Green Couch Designs AND an autographed copy of The IT Girl's Guide to Blogging with Moxie AND possibly something else rather generous too that wasn't part of the original deal.

To say I am totally gobsmacked, floored, blown away and excited would be a MAJOR UNDERSTATEMENT. I am so thankful. My brain is reeling with ideas.

Now, please help me out in brainstorming this weekend: What images come to your mind when you're reading entries here? I know what I am (a lunatic), but what's your picture of me besides the blue tongue version?

Comment or otherwise let me know!

Monday, October 5, 2009

PubMed: All in the Attitude

During a delightful visit at the Riverpoint Campus Library in Spokane last week, I saw the juxtaposition of an MS6000 MK II Microfilm Converter and a humble mousepad for Internet Grateful Med and could not pass up documenting it.

Channels for information access always have been and always will continue changing in response to available technology, usability, audiences, and a myriad of other factors.

There are plenty of medical librarian perspectives of the current PubMed redesign, mostly negative and often rather whiny on our not-so-private international listserv. There is a public web interface to search the archives and institutional signature lines are included as part of them.

Have medical librarians looked beyond themselves to see what others are saying since the PubMed redesign preview launched/leaked? A for PubMed brought up the following from non-librarian tweets:

A thread from the Science 2.0 & Life Scientists FriendFeed community includes
  • they didn't take away any functionality - actually, i think the advanced stuff might be easier to use now. i like it so far.

  • I like it. I could easily find all the things I usually use and it highlighted the filters option that I had actually missed in the previous version.

  • Just glanced at it, but I like the look. I've always found PubMed and NCBI in general just fine. It's not the place for radical reform - it's a simple, stable site, nothing fancy.
A freelance science writer, Loving the new tab in Pubmed that shows all the papers that have free full text!!

A PhD scientist, Trying out the "new" PubMed search going live in 2 weeks. Like to think I had a small hand in renaming limits to filters (do tell how..?)

A student in Northern Ireland, Oh, the new PubMed is pretty.

A genetics grad student, oooohh....pubmed just got prettier

A VP working on a chemistry semantic web, Pubmed has changed since I last visited. New interface - easier to navigate now for the generalist

A genomics researcher, Trying the redesigned Pubmed preview: seems better but still playing

A French bioinformatician's FriendFeed thread, including a comment
The sad thing is that design has probably been in the making since 1998. So much administrative red tape to go through in an institution like that. Just hope redesigns to subpages come quickly too. It'd be dumb if that was the only spot that gets a facelift.

One of my favorites from a librarian,

Is it any wonder that medical librar*'s continued existence is threatened when their public response to a change that other users are excited about seems to first be negativity and then exploration?

Remember the Discovery Initiative? Scientific and medical research involve a curious ooooh in the first place to develop a hypothesis. It would do our field well to remember this and who we serve. Why would any student, scientist, professor, doctor or other user be interested in learning more about PubMed from you beyond their own exploration if you're whining about it for all to see? Would you rather quash their enthusiasm & curiosity about the new interface and have them continue using Google and Wikipedia first?

Never doubt the power of your own attitude coming across loud and clear in your work and save your constructive, angst-free criticism for providing direct feedback to the developers at PubMed. I did for my own public opinion. I know I don't want to be thought of as a medical bitchbrarian based on how I communicate about change in public, do you?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Foolery #54: Zen and the Art of Spray Paint

Interpretation of Marilyn vos Savant's quote on the Zen Stairway of the Washington State University campus, Pullman WA

I love that this has been in existence since the year I was born. It was amazing to walk up the entire staircase and see all the different types of art literally covering every square inch during an extensive campus tour graciously given by the boyfriend of a colleague we were visiting in Pullman yesterday.

What stories are buried beneath the layers?