October 18, 2006

MHSLA06: A Capital Conference

Posted in MHSLA06 at 8:14 am by Alexia

Well, I am in East Lansing, MI at the Michigan Health Science Librarians Association fall education conference.  I am blogging over at MDMLG blog so go visit me there over the next couple of days. 


October 11, 2006

It’s only a flesh wound

Posted in Humor at 12:27 pm by Alexia

A new study from the American College of Emergency Physicians show that men will delay a trip to the ER if there is a sporting event on.  After suffering through a 19 year drought of play-off baseball I think I’d delay an ER trip too if I were sick or injured during any of the ACLS games.

I know it’s not directly related to medical libraries but I thought it was interesting none the less.

Oh, and GO GET ‘EM TIGERS!!!!

October 6, 2006

Book Lust

Posted in Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 9:47 am by Alexia

Despite my reservations at Nancy Pearl’s librarian action figure that shhh’s, I love Nancy Pearl and Book Lust.  So, I was very excited to learn from Steven at Library Stuff that Nancy Pearl has a Book Lust community on Wet Paint.  It’s your standard wiki with RSS feeds for new pages, updated pages, etc.  I look very much forward to consuming and participating on this site!

Ohhh, how about a “Medical Book Lust” wiki where medical librarians can share acquisition ideas, etc.  It could become a dymanic replacement to the Brandon Hill list.



October 5, 2006

Email is for old people

Posted in Articles of Interest, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 11:33 am by Alexia

So says this report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, as cited in this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

A 2005 report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project called “Teens and Technology” found that teenagers preferred new technology, like instant messaging or text messaging, for talking to friends and use e-mail to communicate with “old people.” Along the same lines, students interviewed for this article say they still depend on e-mail to communicate with their professors. But many of the students say they would rather send text messages to friends, to reach them wherever they are, than send e-mail messages that might not be seen until hours later.

Ignoring the fact that we librarians just might qualify as “old people” this statement what can hospital librarians get out of this?  Unfortunately, more work for us if we wish to remain relevant to an upcoming generations of users.  Today’s undergraduate’s are tomorrow’s medical students, nursing students, residents, doctors, nurses and even administration.  Getting them into the library, both physicall and virtually, will require getting out to where they are as well as getting them to come to us.

Some students at the University of Maryland at College Park, for instance, say they would rather keep talking to professors and campus officials through e-mail.

“I like to separate my personal life from my school life,” says Amanda J. Heilman, a freshman studying animal sciences at the university.

Not only might our younger patrons wish to separate their personal from work life, we also have to remember our established patrons who have become used to what we do and are not as willing to try out new technologies.

How exactly might we reach these younger patrons?  Some of the universities in this article set up pages on MySpace.  I’m not seeing this happening in the hospital library world.  Honestly, our residents barely have time to eat let alone peruse MySpace on a regular basis.  Other universities offered a text messaging service.  I see this as a possibility.  I see patrons wanting to receive a text message when their searches are done or their articles have arrived.  And since most cell phone companies have a mechanism to sent text messages via a web form, all we would need is the phone number and cell provider and we’re good to go.  IM may be a trickier alternative.  At my place of work, most IM applications have been disabled.  That is unfortunate because I see IM as being potentially helpful for patrons who have a hard time physically coming to the library.  IM would offer a synchronous alternative to phone calls and email.

What does this all mean for us?  It means it’s as important as ever to keep up with new technologies and new uses for old technologies.  It means that we have the unenviable task of using the new technologies to draw in the younger generation of patrons without alienating our more established patrons.  It means finding a balance that is both effective and time-efficient.



October 4, 2006

Yes Virginia, there is an alternative to Google

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:29 pm by Alexia

An article that appears in today’s USA Today sums up nicely how Ask.com differs from Google and why you should give it a try.

 Search connoisseurs began to notice. The Teoma/Kleinberg method of grouping sites first is letting Ask.com do some things that Google can’t. One example is its Zoom feature. Search for “Ayn Rand” on Ask.com and you get related subject areas such as “objectivism” on the right, even though those subjects might not have the actual words “Ayn Rand” in them. Type the same search in Google, and you get a list of sites that have “Ayn Rand” in them. Google finds key words, not concepts.

Ask.com is not your father’s Ask Jeeves, and personally I love the map / driving directions.  Google has been ingrained so far into our culture (googling may actually be officially a new verb) that it’s easy to forget other options out there.  But if you are tired of using Google why not give Ask.com a try?


Naughty librarian? Give me a break!

Posted in Rants at 2:18 pm by Alexia

WARNING: Incoming rant with a slight feminist bend…

 So, I was perusing through my feeds when I ran across this little tidbit from Louise of Librarian’s Rant.

Second, a new costume from Target: the Naughty Librarian. At least it’s for adults. Sheesh. Enough with the shushing bimbos, people!

Actually, many of the costume in the “Women’s Sassy” category are outrageous but that’s just my opinion.  My initial thought is “where is the Naughty Accountant, Naughty Lawyer, or any naughty male worker costume?”  My next thought is “how are we going to be taken seriously when all people see us as is the mousey librarian or the librarian vixen ready to fullfill every male’s fantasy?”  Oh well, I guess it could be worse