National Medical Librarians Month 2014

October is, among many other things, National Medical Librarians Month.  The Medical Library Association has over 3300 members across the United States and Canada.  Once a year we hold a national conference in cities across North America and share our contributions to the field and our collaborations with hospitals, health systems, and health sciences programs at colleges and universities.  The Medical Library Association is over 110 years old; it was founded in 1898 by four librarians and four physicians as the Association of Medical Librarians.  If you are interested in learning more about the history of the professional association, please explore the MLA Milestones page.

National Medical Library Month  from the Medical Library Association (2012)

National Medical Librarian Month from the Medical Library Association (2012)

Continue reading

From the National Library of Medicine: Roosevelt at NIH

I am taking a course this semester on archives and social memory and when I saw this announcement from the National Library of Medicine, I thought the blog would be a great venue to share the power of archives.

The National Library of Medicine has released this video almost 74 years after FDR spoke at the National Institutes of Health to dedicate the National Cancer Institute.

If you are interested in see more archival data from the 1940s and/or the National Library of Medicine, check their Digital Collection or YouTube channel.    And if you want to learn more about the Roosevelt family, catch the reruns of Ken Burn’s latest film, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, on PBS.  (My parents saw it and highly recommend it.  It is on my to-watch list for winter break!)

JAMA Article: The Importance of Engaging Medical Librarians in Reviews

The informationists at the Taubman Health Sciences Library are ready and willing to collaborate with clinical faculty and staff across the health sciences schools and the health system on research and literature searches.

This article (Engaging Medical Librarians to Improve the Quality of Review Articles) from the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), out today, speaks directly to the value of collaborating with medical librarians and informationists.  A two page read that could provide an exponential return on investment.

Medical librarians play a central role in assisting clinicians access medical literature needed to provide patient care.4 They also can play an important role in developing high-quality narrative and systematic reviews, constructing search strategies, managing references, reviewing references for inclusion, documenting the search methodology, and contributing to the drafting of the final manuscript. Having a medical librarian closely involved ensures that the review will be thorough and its methodology reproducible. Medical librarians bring expertise to the review process based on their understanding of the medical literature, search methods, and re- view guidelines and standards. Their neutrality and expertise can help minimize bias in the review process, leading to more robust and un- biased review articles. – Excerpt from Rethlefsen, Murad, & Livingston (2014)

Rethlefsen ML, Murad M, Livingston EH. Engaging Medical Librarians to Improve the Quality of Review Articles. JAMA.2014;312(10):999-1000. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9263.

Collaboration (2013) designed by Krisada from the (CC BY 3.0)

Collaboration designed by Krisada from the


Freezing Patients Back to Life: Fact & Fiction

I recently finished The Curiosity , a fictional narrative about the discovery and “reanimation” of a century old frozen man.  Along the way, the researchers involved in this breakthrough have to grapple with the ethical choices of bringing this man back to life.  Yes, there is a romantic story line too but more often than not, this narrative focuses on the consequences of our decisions and how they affect us and others.

In Pittsburgh, PA, emergency room doctors are trying to save patient lives by replicating The Curiosity’s protagonist freezing process, to a lesser degree.  Only patients who come to the ER with “ ‘catastrophic penetrating trauma’ and who have lost so much blood that they have gone into cardiac arrest” will be eligible for participation in this Department of Defense clinical trial.  Doctors will replace the patient’s blood with freezing saltwater, inducing hypothermia, in the hopes of providing more time to triage wounds and prevent death.

Each time they do, they will be stepping into a scientific void. Ethicists say it’s reasonable to presume most people would want to undergo the experimental procedure when the alternative is almost certain death. But no one can be sure of the outcome.

I wonder about the review these doctors would give The Curiosity.

AMA Code of Medical Ethics (1850) Book Cover (Public Domain) Retrieved from National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

AMA Code of Medical Ethics (1850) Book Cover (Public Domain) Retrieved from National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

May 6-12: National Nurses Week

National Nurses week begins today and ends on May 12th, the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.  (If you find yourself across the pond, learn much more about Nurse Nightingale at the Florence Nightingale museum and the Florence Nightingale Foundation. ) Nurses are everywhere:  in hospitals and clinics as well as the US Public Health Service and Armed Forces.

Please share your story  on Twitter this week using the hashtag #IAMANURSE and follow the feed to hear other’s stories.

The University of Michigan Health System honors and recognizes nurses year round and encourages UMHS RNs and LPNs to register for Michigan’s Nurses Week 2014 events starting today.  Registration closes on May 20, 2014.

The University of Michigan School of Nursing created this video to celebrate the week:

Declaration for the Right to Libraries: National Library Week 2014

The University of Michigan Library started National Library Week 2014 with an inspiring talk from current American Library Association President, Barbara Stripling.  The town hall discussion, held in the Hatcher Library Gallery space, was attended by library staff members and School of Information students.  There was a engaged dialogue between audience members and Dr. Stripling as she reviewed the 10 tenets of the Declaration.   (Dr. Stripling also spoke Monday evening at the Ann Arbor District Library’s Downtown location about Why Libraries are here to Stay.  This event was recorded and the video will be posted here when it is ready.)  The remainder of this post highlights key points from her talk related to each of the Declaration’s tenets.

Declaration for the Right to Libraries

Declaration for the Right to Libraries (2014) by ALA Advocacy

Continue reading

Celebrate National Library Week April 13-19!

A banner with information about supporting libraries during National Library Week, April 13-19th!

Please plan to attend the National Library Week Town Hall presentation with Barbara Stripling, President of the American Library Association on “The Declaration to the Right to Libraries!”

Monday, April 14th, 10:30 am – 12 noon.
University of Michigan, Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery, Room 100

James Hilton will introduce President Stripling who will share her national and international perspectives on the greatest challenges and opportunities for libraries to be life-long learning institutions, community builders, publishing partners, collaborators, empowerment engines, maker spaces, and much more.
The town hall meeting format encourages questions from the audience. If you have questions to submit in advance, please contact: Karen Downing or Emily Hamstra.  Read more about Barbara Stripling’s work:

Continue reading

Reflections from Paul Rusesabagina 20 Years After the Rwandan Genocide

April 7, 1994 is the date recognized by the international community as the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide.

Embed from Getty Images

During his lecture on March 27th at the Rackham Auditorium, Paul Rusesabagina shared why the anniversary of the atrocities is for him, and many other Rwandans and Ugandans, October 1, 1990.  This is the date that exiled Tutsis returned to Rwanda and began killing Hutu civilians, leaving 1 million people in refugee camps.  In 1993, a Hutu president was elected in the neighboring country of Burundi but he was assassinated by Tutsi soldiers.  Following the assassination, a peace agreement was signed by the Hutu government and Tutsi rebels and 2500 UN soldiers were placed in the capital city Kigali. Mr. Rusesabagina said that people who thought the genocide came and disappeared at specific points are mislead and misinformed; there were signs that genocide was occurring and that is was going to continue prior to April 7, 1994.


Continue reading

ASB @NLM Part 2: Health Without Boundaries-Rethinking Global and Domestic Health Lecture

Embed from Getty Images

Being on the NIH campus afforded me some very unique opportunities with regard to access to the NIH Video Cast Archives.  Many of the video casts on the site are available to any interested party but some have location and IP address restrictions.  While on the NIH campus, I was able to view a lecture from the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Global Health Lecture Series by Dr. Julio Frenk, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, on Health Without Boundaries: Rethinking Global and Domestic Health.  Much of the lecture’s content comes from a March 2013 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Governance Challenges in Global Health.   He was a really engaging speaker, and had one of the best Prezi presentations I have seen in a long time, and the material presented challenged public health officials as well as the average Joe or Jane global citizen to reconsider the distinction between the terms global and domestic.

Continue reading

A Global Policy Perspectives Talk by Paul Rusesabagina: March 27th @ 4:30 PM Rackham Auditorium

On Thursday March 27th, Paul Rusesabagina will be giving a Global Policy Perspectives talk commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.  Mr. Rusesabagina’s heroic acts during the genocide were captured in the 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda, with Don Cheadle earning an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his portrayal of Mr. Rusesabagina.  Mr. Rusesabagina is the 2005 recipient of the University of Michigan’s Wallenberg Medal.

20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide Lecture Flyer

Continue reading