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What We Learned: MLA 2012

Posted by on June 7th, 2012 Posted in: All Posts

What We Learned:  MLA 2012

Continuing with our third installment, we have reports from Nancy Patterson and P.J. Grier. Please feel free to follow up with us if you would like more or deeper information.

MLA 2012 – Nancy Patterson, Community Outreach Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

During MLA’s baseball-themed annual meeting in Seattle, I was inspired by the expanding definition of “team” in the context of working in health outreach. A section program that exemplified this shift toward creative partnership was “Consumer Health Outreach: Taking the Consumer Health Library out of the Library”, sponsored by the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section.

Susan J. Barnes, from NN/LM’s Outreach Evaluation Resource Center presented, “Community Day: Reaching out to First Responders and Community Members”.  This project highlights the central role of libraries in community emergency preparedness and included partnerships between public libraries, medical libraries and community organizations including those staffing first responders. Combining library resources with community organizations already embedded in communities and trusted by locals made this project a success.

Karen Crowell , from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Health Sciences Library, presented, “On the Air! Librarians and Doctors Using the Radio to Communicate with Listeners about Health”. This project involved getting radio airtime during a popular local health-related radio talk show to promote NC Health Info, a UNC-Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library resource that provides statewide health information from various health topics to local service directories and health research tools. Read about Your Health Radio here:

Susan H. Mayer, from Mayo Clinic’s Patient Education Center, presented, “Out of the Library and into the Mall”. Mayo Clinic’s “Healthy Living” prototype occupies space in the Mall of America nestled in between retail stores. The space provides opportunities for people to define wellness goals, access interactive health information, and explore resources dedicated to healthy living as well as fee-based health services like tobacco counseling, acupuncture, and sleep assessment. Read more about the space here:

Gail Kouame, from NN/LM PNR, presented, “Health Enhancement for Rural Elderly: Improving Health Literacy for Seniors in Eastern Montana”. This project involved four rural Montana communities where the senior populations accounted for up to 30% of the communities’ populations. This project utilized “My Health Companion“ with hands-on instruction as well as health information webinars to improve health literacy. Engaging stakeholders, including libraries, was instrumental in making this project a success. Read more about the project here:

Together, they inspired attendees to be creative when planning health outreach partnerships – to go where people are and use the communications tools already in place for maximum impact. Back to our baseball theme, these projects really hit it out of the park!


MLA 2012 – P.J. Grier, Outreach and Access Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

DOCLINE Users’ Group Meeting

The meeting was held on May 20th, and Maria Collins of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) presented. Several items were covered, but two points rise to the top.

First, to no one’s surprise, DOCLINE overall stats continue to decline.  For example, there were 2,471 USA DOCLINE libraries in 2011, down from 2,536 in 2010 and 2,891 in 2001. Both borrowing and lending are down across the board. Reasons abound including library mergers, closings, e-licensing restrictions and reductions in library staff. NLM is pondering a much broader context. What shape will article delivery take in the next 5 years?   Will patron driven access (PDA) become more formidable? What effect will patron driven access have on other NLM products? What are publisher trends? What’s the summative effect of increased licensing restrictions on article delivery? What role will print continue to play?  NLM uses a variety of discovery tools, such as focus groups, surveys, discussion lists, monthly meetings with the RMLs, etc. in understanding the definitive answers to these and other questions as it works toward development of a new strategic plan for resource sharing.

Second, as a DOCLINE enhancement, NLM is investigating options for developing a uniform process for the automatic uploading of serial holdings data.  Do I hear a collective “hooray” from all corners of our region?  In addition to the automatic upload, NLM would like to include a mechanism that tracks serial embargo information within a record.

If you would like a copy of DOCLINE statistics (2001 through 2011), or if you have thoughts or suggestions about the development of the automatic upload of serials data, please send PJ Grier an email. He’ll be happy to collect, summarize and forward your thoughts about the upload process to NLM.

MLA Disaster Information Courses (MLA CE)

On May 24th, I attended the daylong training at the University of Washington, Seattle – Health Sciences Libraries.  Two courses were taught (each with 3.5 hours of MLA CE); U.S. Response to Disaster and Public Health Emergencies and Information Roles in Disaster Management. The morning class, U.S. Response to Disaster and Public Health Emergencies, was a survey of domestic legislation, 9-11, Katrina, Haiti earthquake, incident command structures, and humanitarian responses.  The afternoon component, Information Roles in Disaster Management, reviewed roles for librarian activity and interventions.  The training was well attended with an equal number of participants from all NN/LM regions.  The classes are part of a five-course rollout in the MLA Disaster Information Specialization Program in 2012. The remaining courses are planned for later this year and more information about them is found on the MLA website.

MLA Academy of Teaching Excellence (MATE)

On May 22nd I, along with about 12 other MLA members, were invited to attend a focus group meeting convened by President Perry.  After introductions, President Perry mentioned that MATE was one of his priorities, and briefly painted a picture of why we were asked to attend. He explained that the vision of MATE, once operational, is to “bring together from across the Association our master teachers – MLA leaders who have shown through their demonstrable accomplishments true mastery in terms of breadth and depth of skills for course development and instruction”.   In practical terms, members of the academy could collectively solicit, vet, and provide access to sample curricula, rubrics for assessment, learning objects and pedagogical approaches in service to the teaching membership. Our role as focus group members is to advise, respond to, suggest, or to otherwise be a sounding board for the MLA task force.

Reflecting afterwards, I thought that this is a masterful goal because as health science information professionals we are called upon to educate students by developing and teaching instructional content that is engaging and relevant.  Oftentimes, this involves learning by trial-and-error as we go along. Equally challenging is keeping current with good teaching practice. Often finding the time is difficult because we wear different hats with just one of them being course development/instruction. I don’t know if others would agree, but I don’t recall learning teaching theory or practice in library school.

Current members of the MLA sanctioned task force are:

Jerry Perry – Past-President
Gabe Rios – Liaison to the Continuing Education Committee (CEC)
Debra Cavanaugh – MLA Headquarters Liaison to the CEC
Kathleen Combs – MLA Headquarters Director of Professional Development
Janna Lawrence – Hardin Library, University of Iowa
Terry Ann Jankowski – Health Sciences Library, University of Washington
Lisa Traditi – Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado
Kristi Holmes – MLA Rising Star, Becker Library, Washington University (St. Louis)

SOURCE: MATE Ad Hoc Task Force, Report and Recommendations to the MLA Board of Directors, May 2012

Three association members (Janna Lawrence, Terry Ann Jankowski, Lisa Traditi) were appointed to one-year terms.

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