My Highlights from MLA Mosaic ’16

July 20, 2016

by Brian Chambers

In May, I had the honor and pleasure of attending the Medical Library Association (MLA) annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, on a First-Time Conference Attendees grant from the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium.

My goals in attending were to:

  • Improve my overall knowledge of library science in the realm of medicine, biomedicine and related sciences
  • Learn more about bioinformatical tools, as well as the role a librarian can play for a research institution using bioinformatics
  • Attend workshops related to cataloging, acquisitions, interlibrary loan and performance metrics
  • Meet with vendors that offer products that would improve services at the Lee Graff Medical and Scientific Library
  • Network with other medical librarians and information professionals

I’m happy to say that these expectations were met and exceeded. The plenary sessions offered a deeper understanding of the profession and ample opportunities to network with other medical librarians and information professionals. I was particularly struck and invigorated by Ben Goldacre’s talk on the state of the publishing industry and how scientific outcomes often get distorted as they make their way to the public.

There were several poster presentations that addressed my desire to learn more about bioinformatical tools, as well as how a librarian can help facilitate bioinformatics research. I was very excited to see that Johns Hopkins was using LibGuides for their Bioinformatics Portal. This is very similar to a tool that I am currently working on to support bioinformatics at City of Hope.

I attended several sessions and panels each day that covered my topics of interest (with the exception, sadly, of interlibrary loan). I am particularly interested in performance metrics and was excited about the “Using Assessment Data to Drive the Big Picture” panel discussion. I engaged the group in a discussion about data dashboards and what key performance indicators their library leadership is looking at. This was particularly interesting as our library is currently developing and utilizing metrics to improve service and resources.

Attending MLA Mosaic ’16 was an experience that I am very grateful for and will never forget. I look forward to attending future conferences to share the exciting work of the Library Services team and bring back new knowledge.


Measuring Success and Improving Services: Learning from Other Libraries

March 16, 2016

About two years ago, Library Services implemented a performance metrics board in order to assess particular services and resources. Currently, we measure material usage, interlibrary loan turnaround time, social media engagement, and NIH compliance. We review and discuss the data weekly seeking to continually improve our processes and services. It’s an exciting journey for the team; a journey that will ultimately benefit our patrons.

SLA – San Diego Chapter Fall Seminar

Back in late October, I attended the Special Libraries Association (SLA) San Diego Chapter Fall Seminar on evaluation and assessment. The seminar, titled Forging Forward: Techniques & Technologies for Gauging Success, featured several presentations pertinent to our department’s current focus on performance metrics. Highlights included:

  • the seminar’s key note speaker, Joe Matthews, discussing using evaluation as a stepping stone to higher quality services;
  • Carolyn Norman’s talk on the quality of reference services; and
  • Cindy Shamel’s presentation on setting yourself up for success.

Takeaways included benchmarking your data to help set appropriate goals and targets; the importance of surveys; and utilizing the right types of measures when analyzing your performance. I’m working to take this new knowledge and look for ways to incorporate it into our board and our rounding activity.

Since the SLA seminar, I have been researching process improvement efforts in libraries, utilizing such books as Managing with Data and Getting Started with Evaluation. Many libraries are just beginning to use evidence-based decision making, so this is an exciting time to engage in these practices.


Poster Image

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Nuclei are Libraries?

September 21, 2015

On August 7, 2015, Science published “TDP-43 Repression of Nonconserved Cryptic Exons is Compromised in ALS-FTD” which describes the function of TDP-43, an important protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). On the day of publication, the lead author used Reddit to announce the paper’s publication and answer some questions in the site’s popular Science Ask Me Anything (AMA) forum.

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Learn about Web of Science. Come to the Graff Library for Web of Science Training Day on April 2nd!

March 24, 2010

The Graff Library is hosting a day to learn about Web of Science, how to use it, and the reasons for incorporating it into your research toolkit. We’ve asked Liz Pysar, Thomson Reuters Customer Education Specialist for Healthcare & Science, to teach Web of Science educational sessions on April 2nd in the Graff Library Conference Room. Ms. Pysar holds master’s degrees in library science and information systems from Drexel University, and has been employed with Thomson Reuters since 2000, working as a customer trainer since 2006.

Web of Science is a database that has been accessible through the Graff Library for many years. Science Citation Index Expanded, the database that is searched via Web of Science, is a multidisciplinary index to the journal literature of the sciences. It fully indexes over 8,200 major journals across 150 scientific disciplines and includes all cited references captured from indexed articles.

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An Introduction to RSS

February 10, 2007

What is RSS?

RSS – or Really Simple Syndication – is a tool that allows you to get notifications when your favorite web sites are updated. You can get everything from news alerts to journal tables of contents to PubMed search results sent to you automatically. To start receiving RSS updates (called feeds) you need two things: 1) an RSS Reader (also called an aggregator) and 2) RSS feed subscriptions.

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A New Way to Subscribe by Email

February 10, 2007

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Subscribe to “Highlights from Graff Library”

January 4, 2007

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