October 2, 2007

Web-based file conversion

Posted in Geeky Stuff, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 11:05 am by Alexia

Many times hospital librarians are expected to also be first tier help desk support yet don’t have the permissions or priviledges needed to really help.  From time to time I run across a really neat web-based tool that can help us “techie” librarians help our patrons.  Zamzar is one such tool.

Last week a patron had emailed herself a .wps document that she could not open on the hospital computer.  We are not allowed to download anything on the pc’s so I did a desperate Google (yes, I used Google.  Sue me) and found Zamzar.  In 4 easy steps her .wps document was uploaded to Zamzar, converted to a Word document, and emailed to the patron.  She was extremely grateful, and I learned something new.


June 11, 2007

RSS on A-to-Z

Posted in Tips & Tricks, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 3:44 pm by Alexia

A comment left on this blog post by Michael Porter reminded me that I’m very lax in posting actual instructions on adding RSS urls to an A-to-Z list, specifically EBSCO.  It’s really rather simple.  There may actually be an easier way to do it but this is the only way I have figured out how that keeps the RSS feed with the rest of the title.

First you have to log into the administration module for A-to-Z and download your holdings file:

  1. Log in to Ebsco A-to-Z administration module
  2. Cursor over “Title Wizard” then choose “Download/Upload”
  3. List format should be tab deliminated, list content should be All Resources. I download all columns, it’s just easier for me that way.
  4. When the download file has been generated, right click on the “Click here to download your A-to-Z collection. ” link and save onto your computer.
  5. Open up the file in Excell.

To add an RSS feed to a title I generally do the following, which ensures that the RSS feed is in the same spot as the ejournal entry on A-to-Z:

  1. Erase the data in the LinkId and ResourceId columns.
  2. Keep data in Title and Sort Title columns the same.
  3. Change source to RSS feed
  4. Put RSS feed url in URL and ProxiedURL field.
  5. Keep data in PrintISSN and OnlineISSN columns.
  6. Erase data in all coverage related columns, including embargo.
  7. Don’t change anything in the subject related columns.
  8. Change the IsCustom column to Y
  9. Don’t change the Delete column.

I generally then delete any other rows for that title and for titles that don’t have RSS feeds.  After saving the file just go back to the A-to-Z administration module and upload the file as follows:

  1. Cursor over “Title Wizard” then choose “Download/Upload”.
  2. Click on the “Upload Collection” tab.
  3. Find the file on your computer.
  4. Click on the upload button.

From here you can customize as you wish.  I added the orange RSS Feed square as a custom note the attached the note to any source that was RSS Feed.

I hope this tutorial is useful.  Please leave any questions in the comment section and I’ll try and answer them as quickly as possible.  I’ll definitely be more prompt than I was getting this post up and running.

December 5, 2006

Google Scholar to the rescue?!

Posted in Tips & Tricks at 11:18 am by Alexia

First off – yes, I am still alive.  Work got crazy and there were a couple of weeks thrown in where a sinus infection had me down for the count.  I’m back and ready to blog.

So, I needed to verify a citation from ACTA Chirurgica Scandinavica from 1944 this morning.  Old MEDLINE only goes back to 1950 and we didn’t have Index Medicus back to 1944.  So, I ran a quick search on Google Scholar and was successful.  I’ve run into other situations where Google Scholar has come to the rescue.  A couple of weeks ago a woman handed me a list of “citations” (I use the term loosely) that consisted of author surnames and dates.  Not having a clue if these citations were medical in nature or not I started searching Google Scholar and obtained all but three of the citations.

So, what is the moral of the story?  I still am not a big fan of Google but can appreciate when using their tools can be helpful.


September 18, 2006

Communiction is key

Posted in Tips & Tricks at 4:01 pm by Alexia

Because I have a BBA (bachelor of business administration) I am aware of the differences in how administration and librarians speak, and of what is important to each.  Clinicians fall somewhere in the middle.  While it is important to be able to communicate with hospital administrators and “proving your library’s worth” in terms they understand and care about it’s equally important to “prove your worth” to physicians.

We’ve developed a script of sorts at My Place of Work.  We acknowledge that physicians are the experts at diagnosing and treating patients.  We then explain to them that we are experts at finding, evaluating and disseminating information.  We tell them that we are here to help them by doing what we do best – finding information.  This allows them to spend their time most wisely doing what they do best – practicing medicine.

This makes sense to the doctors.  We’ve had a lot of positive response to this “script”.  We acknowledge their strengths, we acknowledge our strengths and in a dozen words or show how our strengths cannot help but work together to help the patient.

Medical librarians are a critical component of the patient care experience.  As a profession we need to stop being satisfied with letting our work speak for ourselves.  We need to speak up and speak out and let those people who we can make a difference for and who could make a difference for us know who we are and what we do.

August 10, 2006

Tip – add RSS feeds to your Electronic Journal list

Posted in Tips & Tricks, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 4:29 pm by Alexia

One of my major goals this year is to create and provide a comprehensive system of pushing RSS feeds out to our physicians, residents and other hospital staff.  My first step is to integrate url’s of RSS feeds for the toc of the journals on our EBSCO AtoZ list.  This has actually been an easier process than I thought though it is time consuming.  All I really have done is added the RSS feed as a custom link on the journal record in EBSCO AtoZ.  If there is interest, I will post step-by-step instructions.

Here is an example of what our patrons see:

Acta oto-laryngologica
    Print Collection  Your Access: 1990 to present 
The Helen L. DeRoy Medical Library at Providence Hospital holds the print version of this title  
    Ingenta Select  1998 to present  
Standard access is available via IP Address through any computer connected to the hospital network.  
    RSS Feed

ISSN: 0001-6489
Publisher: T & F Informa UK Limited
Subject: Medicine and Health Sciences — Otolaryngology

My next step will be to create an RSS page explaining RSS, giving links to readers, and offering links to medically related RSS directories.  At some point I would like to start pushing topically-related, pre-bundled RSS feeds as David Rothman has begun doing at this institution.  The possibilites are endless, my problem is overcoming the desire to offer everything at once.How are you using RSS feeds in your library?