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Health Librarianship

Discussion About #Medlibs Discussion

The Krafty Librarian - July 24, 2014 - 12:52pm

Last week’s #medlibs chat was about conference codes of conduct and it was co-hosted with officers from the MLA Relevant Issues Sections.

I was on vacation when I participated in the chat so forgive me for the tardiness of this post.

Increasingly, professional and tech conferences are adopting anti-harassment policies and codes of conduct. The Relevant Issues Section of MLA would like to explore having one for MLA meetings.


For background, check out:

The discussion centered around previous incidents at library meetings (including MLA) where attendees felt harassed (by fellow librarians and/or vendors). The moderators asked the #medlibs participants about having a code of conduct at MLA meetings.  It was noted that some speakers no longer will speak at meeting without a code of conduct policy and that those who have been harassed need to know they can report problems.

For some reason the code of conduct discussion slid into a discussion about breast feeding at meetings and the need for child care at meetings.  I can kind of see how the topic of breast feeding sort of made it in the discussion because that could be something is harassed about.  However the issue of child care at the meetings was kind of out of left field for me given the pre-determined code of conduct topic.

There was a group of people who thought that MLA need to provide child care at the meetings for working single parents.  I did note that MLA usually includes information from the hotel on finding a sitter during the meeting. But, this was not what they meant, they wanted to child care.  While I am not a single parent, I do have three kids and those three kids were all in child care at one time and I can tell you first hand that it is flipping crazy expensive and I am living in Cleveland where our cost of living is pretty reasonable.  I can’t imagine the costs of providing child care at an annual meeting.  When I brought up the cost barrier there were some who thought we could get a vendor to sponsor it or that we could add it to the cost of registration. (The registration aspect confused me, I wasn’t sure if they meant the person who selected it paid or if it was spread across the entire registrants to supplement those who needed it.) After being on two NPCs and fundraising for one of them, I personally don’t see a vendor paying for it.  It took a lot of work to get the conference wide wifi to get paid for.

So my questions for you, readers…..

  • What are your thoughts on a code of conduct policy for MLA meetings?
  • What happens if somebody violates the code of conduct? (Are there teeth to the policy?)
  • Is child care needed at MLA’s annual meeting and how should it be paid for?
  • Instead of having official MLA child care, is there a better child care option for single parents to attend meeting other than the hotel babysitter info that is provided?
  • What about the MLA online annual meeting conference package? Would that help single parents who couldn’t travel to the meeting?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments and don’t forget to join tonight’s #medlibs chat.  The chat will be open mic (meaning no moderator?) on whether existing CE meets what we need for research

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Categories: Health Librarianship

Behind the Scenes: What does the President Elect Do?

The Krafty Librarian - July 23, 2014 - 2:57pm

During this year, the majority of my “Behind the MLA Scenes” posts will be focused on what I am doing as the president elect of MLA. There are several reasons why I am doing this.

First, I think it is always helpful to bring more transparency to the organization. As I have said several times, MLA doesn’t try to hide anything but even when you are trying to be transparent it still can be difficult to make sure the message gets out to everyone.

Second, I think it is important to detail what I am doing so that others have an idea of the day to day (month to month?) job duties of the president elect.   I hope this helps inspire others to become involved in greater leadership positions once they realize what is really involved.

Third, I want to be able to look back and see what I have done over the course of the year. I think this will be a good way to document my activities.


So what have I been up to as president elect since MLA in May?

  • The Wednesday after MLA, I met with the rest of the Board and we did a post MLA wrap up kind of meeting. Where we discussed things and business that happened at MLA. This could be anything from the meeting itself to action items brought up by committees, Sections, etc. We also then kind of create our to-do list of things that we need to do before we meet again in September. We then take a break and only Board Members and the past president meet to discuss our nominations for the Nominating Committee. I previously blogged about the Nominating Committee and how individuals are nominated, for more information go to XXXXX Essentially, Section Council (based on input from the Sections) has a list of nominees, Chapter Council (based on input from the Chapters) has a list of nominees, and the Board has a list of nominees. After the Board is done nominating people, then we are done meeting.
  •  Following the MLA meeting I meet virtually once a month with the Technology Advisory Committee (TAC). Each Board member has a committee or task force of which they are a liaison. I am the liaison for the TAC and the Leiter Lecture. The TAC is a very active committee. Other committees like the Leiter Lecture are not as active all the time. Your time commitment depends on your committee/task force activity levels. The TAC is one of the more active groups, most don’t meet virtually once a month. 
  • In June I wrote the “Call to Volunteer on an MLA Committee” column. That was due in July and it should be coming out soon. The MLA staff are great at telling me when I need to write or do something as the president elect for MLA.
  • This isn’t a typical activity but these last 2 months I have been participating on the search committee for the new CEO of MLA. Our first duty is to select a search firm to help us find perspective people. The past president and the current president of MLA have been did a lot of work creating the RFP to send to prospective search firms.
  • I am also marking my calendar with the 2015 Chapter meetings. I realize 2014 Chapter meetings haven’t happened yet, but some Chapters have already contacted me about my 2015 schedule. I also find it is better to get it on the calendar ASAP because it makes my personal life scheduling easier and it is very helpful to my library and it and my co-workers schedule.
  • Finally, I am mentally figuring out and finalizing my priorities. That of course can be done anywhere and often does.

Going forward….I will continue meet virtually with the TAC and participate on the search committee. The Board will meet in Chicago in November to have our first meeting since MLA.

I hope to have another “What does the president elect do” post in the next several months. I hope this was helpful.

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Categories: Health Librarianship

NLM Technical Bulletin, Jul-Aug 2014, Free Online TOXNET Class Offered Fall 2014 By the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC)

NLM Technical Bulletin - July 23, 2014 - 1:42pm
The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) is offering an online, asynchronous class called "Discovering TOXNET" from October 20 – November 14, 2014.
Categories: Health Librarianship

NLM Technical Bulletin, Jul-Aug 2014, "BLAST in the Cloud!" - Webinar showcases NCBI-BLAST Amazon Machine Image on July 30, 2014

NLM Technical Bulletin - July 23, 2014 - 8:29am
As stated on June 26, Web and stand-alone BLAST are now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Categories: Health Librarianship

NLM Technical Bulletin, Jul-Aug 2014, NCBI Webinar “Using the New NCBI Variation Viewer to Explore Human Genetic Variation” on August 13, 2014

NLM Technical Bulletin - July 23, 2014 - 8:29am
On August 13th, NCBI will host a Webinar entitled “Using the New NCBI Variation Viewer to Explore Human Genetic Variation”. This presentation will show you how to find human sequence variants by chromosome position, gene, disease names and database identifiers (RefSNP, Variant region IDs) using NCBI’s new Variation Viewer.
Categories: Health Librarianship

CBC News on Joep Lange, triple therapy for HIV, and Dr. Lange''s links to the Canadian research community

Open Medicine Blog - July 21, 2014 - 3:34pm

"If we can get cold Coca–Cola and beer to every remote corner of Africa, it should not be impossible to do the same with drugs."

More on Joep Lange, who died on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17:

Topics: AIDS researchHIV/AIDS
Categories: Health Librarianship

NLM Technical Bulletin, Jul-Aug 2014, NLM Resource Update: ChemIDplus

NLM Technical Bulletin - July 21, 2014 - 1:08pm
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) ChemIDplus has added some exciting new features. Check them out at
Categories: Health Librarianship

Healthcare system woes

Open Medicine Blog - July 18, 2014 - 1:12pm

A recent report from the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit, private American foundation, compares the U.S. healthcare system with a number of its international counterparts.

The study uses a number of measures to determine success, and tries to assess quality of care, access, efficiency, equity and achievement of healthy lives. It draws on surveys of patients and primary care physicians as well as data from recent studies by the World Health Organization and the OECD, and from its own national healthcare system survey, from 2011. The nations ranked are Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. No surprise, perhaps (especially since the data were in before full legal implementation of the Affordable Care Act) that the U.S. ranked dead last on access. But in fact, it also ranked last overall, thanks to problems on many different health outcome measures, quality, and efficiency.

What might be more surprising is that Canada ranked next-to-last overall, sitting at tenth out of the eleven countries. Timeliness, safety, and efficiency were areas where we ranked particularly badly.

We might take heart, though. Policy and funding decisions can change things a lot, for good or ill. While the report ranked the U.K.’s NHS best of the bunch, it seems that the system is facing a serious funding crisis—with healthcare policy experts, physicians and politicians of all stripes suggesting it’s close to collapse (though as always, there are varying ideas on what to do about that).



Topics: healthcare systemshealth policyeconomics__healthcare
Categories: Health Librarianship
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