3 Places to Find Pre-Recorded Webinars for Librarians

I prefer to do most of my continuing education through online methods, like self-paced online courses and webinars.  Live webinars are a great opportunity to interact with other professionals interested in a common topic and ask instructors questions, but some days I may be too busy to take an hour at a specific time to attend a live webinar.  In those circumstances, I always appreciate when the organization hosting the webinar later offers a recorded version of the training that they post online.  Many organizations (including national networks of libraries like NNLM and FDLP) offer recorded archives of their webinars, and these webinar archives can be a fantastic source of on-demand training.

Here are three library organizations that offer webinar archives featuring a wide range of training topics, from marketing and data visualization to finding government and health information resources:

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Watch a recording of Midday at the Oasis: Good Design for Data Visualization at the NNLM YouTube channel.
    • Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Academy: Choose the “View past webinars” option on the FDLP website to view a list of past Depository Library Community Webinars, Federal Agency Webinars, FDLP and C&I Webinars (related to cataloging and indexing), and GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) and govinfo Webinars.  You can choose to download the slides and completion certificates for webinars and watch a recording of the WebEx presentation.  Example: View another webinar related to data visualization and infographics, with the 35-minute presentation Telling your Story with Data.
    • WebJunction: The WebJunction site from OCLC offers recorded webinars that can be accessed for free by all library workers and volunteers.  Users need to register to access the recorded webinars and self-paced trainings that cover topics ranging from social media, marketing, and outreach to collections development and organizational management. Users can also download slides, handouts, and chat transcripts from the webinars and find links to related resources. Example: Watch yet another webinar related to data visualization: Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner’s Guide (1 hour).

Even if you just have thirty minutes to spare during the workday, you can use these webinar archives to find interesting learning topics and watch high quality trainings anytime.

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Bioinformatics with NNLM is a BLAST!

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Image from Pixabay.

I’m currently about six weeks into a 16-week online class from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials For Librarians: Databases, Tools, and Clinical Applications, and so far:

  • I’ve gotten a very helpful basic overview of genetics, bioinformatics, and molecular biology concepts,
  • I’ve thought about the possible roles librarians can play in bioinformatics, and
  • I’ve started exploring some of the bioinformatics tools and resources from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

I was excited to take this class when it started at the end of January, especially because I recently changed jobs and now work mainly with clinical researchers, providing reference and instructional services.   I want to quickly get up to speed on topics like bioinformatics and research data management, so I can provide better training opportunities and more knowledgeable reference services to patrons.  My learning goals for the year may have shifted slightly, but I’m still using one of the best (and currently free!) training resources I have available to me: the online courses offered through NNLM.

This bioinformatics class from NNLM, which I’m taking through the online learning management system Moodle, has directed me to a number of interesting free learning resources about genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics in many different formats, including interactive text-based courses, videos, and even interactive games and labs.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

New Year, New Learning Goals

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Image from Pixabay.

I started this blog a little less than a year ago, mainly to track professional development activities, but I’ve also found a space to explore other library-related interests like open access digital resources and intellectual property.  I’ve also occasionally gone a bit off topic with cats in libraries and my obsession with the Internet Archive digital collections.

So to get back on topic a bit, I want to take a look back at what professional development goals I’ve met this year and list a few new learning goals for 2018.  I’m happy to say that I’ve met a number of my learning goals I set for 2017:

The one learning goal I didn’t make much progress on was learning to code with R.  I’ve done a bit of practice with creating very basic graphs using the ggplot2 package, but I’d like to complete an actual online course about using R.

So there’s my first learning goal for 2018 – complete an online course that offers an introduction to R.  I’m thinking I’ll probably try to take the course Introduction to R for Data Science from edX (which is free but costs $99 for a certificate).

My other main goal for 2018 is to learn more about research data management (RDM) strategies for health science libraries.  I hope to take one of the courses or workshops recommended by NNLM to learn more about RDM strategies and tools.  I may start with the Research Data Management for Health Sciences Librarians training developed by librarians at the NYU Health Science Library.

I’ve got a few goals for 2018 in place…I guess I better start learning!

 

Learning about Emerging Technologies for Libraries

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Image source: Pixabay

I’m always interested in learning about how new technology can be used to organize, locate, and share information in creative and innovative ways (since hey, librarians need to stay one step ahead of millennials and AI looking to put us out of a job).  I recently watched a recorded webinar from the Medical Library Association (MLA) called Scanning the Horizon: Emerging Technology at Your Library and in the Classroom, where Emily Hurst, AHIP, of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences in Richmond discusses how librarians can stay on top of emerging technologies that may be used to improve library services.

Here are four free information resources I learned about during the webinar that I know I’ll be checking occasionally to keep informed about emerging technology trends:

  • Horizon Reports: The New Media Consortium (NMC) periodically publishes Horizon Reports that summarize emerging technology trends for libraries, museums, K-12, and higher education.  For instance, the 2017 Library Edition of the report identifies “Important Developments in Technology for Academic and Research Libraries” as Big Data, digital scholarship technologies, library services platforms, online identity, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.
  • Gartner Hype Cycle: Hurst began the webinar by introducing the audience to the Gartner Hype Cycle, which tracks the “hype cycle” of emerging technologies.  Gartner, Inc. posts a chart of the Gartner Hype Cycle annually, with new technologies plotted at different points along the cycle’s trend line.  The 2017 Gartner Hype Cycle lists Smart Dust at the very beginning of the cycle, deep learning at the Peak of Inflated Expectations, augmented reality in the Trough of Disillusionment, and virtual reality headed up the Slope of Enlightenment.  More articles and commentary on emerging technologies can be found under the Trends section of the Gartner website.
  • EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI): ELI offers publications related to technology trends in higher education, such as the  7 Things You Should Know About…™ series that highlights popular new technologies like video walls, augmented reality/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and more.
  • Library of the Future Blog: This blog from the American Library Association (ALA) was recommended by one of the attendees at the webinar. I especially like the weekly round-up of headlines (titled “Read for Later…”) related to emerging technology in libraries.

I’ll be adding these sites to my rotation of information resources I check regularly for library news. Other places where I normally learn about emerging technology trends in libraries include Twitter and from MLA conferences.

MAC-MLA 2017 – Themes, Resources, and Opportunities

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MAC-MLA) 2017 Annual Meeting was held in Staunton, VA from October 21-24, and the meeting was a whirlwind of powerful, innovative ideas shared through presentations, posters, and even live-Tweeting.  Here’s a quick rundown of my key takeaways from the meeting, including important themes highlighted during the keynote presentations, interesting resources, and professional development opportunities from MLA and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

Themes

The overarching theme of this year’s meeting was “facing your fears” (yes, it’s close to Halloween), and each of the four keynote speakers discussed different topics related to librarian, patron, and researcher fears:

  • Impostor Syndrome – Do you ever feel like you’re an impostor in your profession?  Dr. Michael Southam-Gerow of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) discussed how anyone (but especially women and students/professionals from minority populations) can suffer from “impostor syndrome/impostor phenomenon”, where they worry about the validity of their achievements in their chosen field. Dr. Southam-Gerow also discussed techniques to overcome these “impostor” feelings.  The slides from the presentation are available here.
  • Open Science – Dr. Maryrose Franko of the Health Research Alliance (HRA) presented on addressing funders’ fears about open science.  Dr. Franko outlined common fears about open science (cost, administrative burden, and burden/uncertainty for researchers) and described how HRA, the Center for Open Science, and other partners are working to promote and strengthen open science initiatives like open access publications, data sharing, and preregistration.  Her presentation slides can be found here.
  • Health Justice and Health Literacy – Dr. Beth St. Jean of the University of Maryland, College Park gave an introduction to health justice and its relationship to health literacy, health outcomes, and information avoidance. She also discussed strategies to help information professionals improve health literacy among patrons and decrease information avoidance.  Her presentation slides can be viewed here.
  • Critical Librarianship – Derrick Jefferson of American University provided an overview of critical librarianship, which “seeks to be transformative, empowering, and a direct challenge to power and privilege.” Jefferson provided examples of critical librarianship in action and resources to learn more about the movement through Critlib.org and the #critlib on Twitter.  Jefferson’s presentation slides can be accessed here.

Resources

These are a few of the interesting new resources I learned about at the meeting:

  • NNLM RD3 – This is a fantastic website created by NNLM to help health science librarians learn the fundamentals about data science and data management.  (I also wrote about this resource in my MLA 2017 takeaways post.)
  • PubMed Labs – Use this test site from the National Library of Medicine to explore new features and tools that may be added to PubMed, and provide direct feedback to the NCBI team.
  • Open Science Framework (OSF) – OSF is a “free, open source service of the Center for Open Science“.  Researchers can collaborate and manage projects through OSF, including storage of data and files, access control, and the ability to link third party services to the platform. Users can also search through collections of pre-prints, project registrations, and posters/presentations from conferences.
  • NEJM Resident 360 – This online resource from the Massachusetts Medical Society (publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine) can be used by residents and medical students to participate in discussions, find career and study tips, and find interesting learning resources from NEJM.  The  Learning Lab, Resident Lounge, Career, and Discussions sections are free to explore, while the Rotation Prep section is only accessible through NEJM institutional or individual subscriptions.
  • Systematic Review Tools – I learned about several interesting free systematic review resources from the poster “From screaming to screening: An evaluation of free systematic review software” by Elizabeth Moreton,  Jamie Conklin, Leila Ledbetter, Rebecca Carlson McCall, and Jennifer S. Walker. Users can search for systematic review software through the Systematic Review Toolbox, and free systematic review tools that may be useful to try include Colandr and Rayyan.
  • Burnout Libguide – During the paper presentation “Burnout, Professional”[MeSH]: A Study on the Subject of Medical Librarian Burnout” by Megan N. Kellner, Associate Fellow, National Library of Medicine & Elizabeth O. Moreton, Nursing Liaison Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill, I learned about this very useful Libguide for medical librarians to test if they’re experiencing burnout and resources to prevent burnout.

Opportunities

Updates from MLA and NNLM included training opportunities for health science library professionals:

Takeaways from MLA 2017

I just attended my first Medical Library Association (MLA) Annual Meeting (this year in Seattle, WA), and I came away with a lot of great new ideas, resources, and news from the health sciences information field.  I’m still trying to absorb everything I’ve seen and learned over the past few days, but here’s a quick list of some of my most interesting takeaways from the conference:

  • Open Access Biomedical Journals – The vendor hall offered me the opportunity to explore the online tools and publications available from a variety of biomedical publishers, and I checked around for any open access resources they offered.  A few open access publications and resources I came across include:
  • Data Resources – 
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New data resources portal from NNLM.
  • LibGuides to ExploreI find LibGuides very useful, so I kept an eye out during the poster sessions for any interesting projects related to LibGuides. Two fantastic LibGuides I learned about:
    • Mobile Resources for Health from the University of Florida – Learn about health-related apps, ranging from apps for healthcare professionals (clinical apps, administrative/productivity apps, E-journal and literature database apps, etc.) to apps for patient education.  The LibGuide is mobile-friendly, so learn about healthcare apps on your phone!
    • Disability Resource Guide Disability Resource Guide from University of Illinois – Learn about a variety of physical and mental disabilities, including depictions of the disability in popular literature and media, web/reference/academic resources, and common assistive technologies related to the disability.
  • New Online Learning Portal for MLA – The Medical Library Association recently launched MEDLIB-ED, an online education portal for health information professionals where users can “find, complete, track, and claim credit for educational activities.”  A free competencies self-assessment is available where users can learn about the newly revised MLA Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success, rate their skills, and use the ratings to plan professional development.
  • Product Updates from National Library of Medicine (NLM) – The NLM provided updates about a number of their free online tools, including:

These are just a few of my favorite highlights, but check Twitter for #MLAnet2017 for more updates and insights on the conference!

How can health science librarians get involved in big data?

The following reflection was written for the online class Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles, a fantastic free course provided by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

Enormous data sets containing a broad variety of information produced at high velocity are transforming the healthcare field.  This “big data” is being used for clinical research, patient diagnosis and treatment, analysis of public health trends, and in many other innovative ways to move healthcare into a new era of highly personalized medicine.  Patients provide the health data, programmers and data scientists create new tools to manipulate the data, and clinicians and other healthcare professionals consult and analyze the data.  Health science librarians may wonder what roles they can play in this daunting but incredibly important new domain.  Librarians can use their specialized skills to fill three key roles in the big data field: they can act a liaisons between healthcare professionals and programmers, they can act as advocates for patients, and they can act as educators for patients and healthcare professionals.

Librarians regularly perform reference interviews and user needs assessments to determine the information and programming needs of their patrons, and these skills can help librarians become effective liaisons between healthcare professionals and programmers who create tools to manipulate big data.  In the presentation The Triple Aim at the Front Lines: Lessons from a VA Experience in using data to drive change, Dr. Nick Meo describes how in order to create more effective data tools for physicians, programmers need to know how frontline physicians are using these tools in their everyday practice.  Librarians can be the intermediaries in this situation.  After performing reference interviews, focus groups, and other forms of needs assessments with healthcare professionals, the librarian can then work with programmers to create data tools that fit the information needs and diagnostic/treatment processes of the healthcare team.

Librarians can also act as advocates for patients, by learning about patient concerns related to use of their personal health data and communicating these concerns to both the programmers and healthcare professionals.  In the article A ‘green button’ for using aggregate patient data at the point of care, Christopher Longhurst, Robert Harrington, and Nigam Shah suggest a change to HIPAA, so that it will be “acceptable for front-line clinicians to use aggregate patient data, even if identified, for the purpose of treating a similar patient under their care” (1233).  This idea may make aggregated patient data more easily accessible to clinicians, but how would patients feel about their personal health data being used in this manner?  Librarians can work with patients to gain their viewpoints on possible new uses for health data like the suggested “green button”, and patients may reveal ethical, privacy, or security concerns that programmers and healthcare professionals had not previously considered.

Finally, librarians can act as educators for both healthcare professionals and patients to demonstrate the value of utilizing big data in healthcare. Harlan Krumholz describes in the article Big data and new knowledge in medicine: the thinking, training, and tools needed for a learning health system how healthcare professionals will need to change their viewpoints about best practices for research in order to fully embrace big data.  Librarians can begin changing viewpoints by presenting healthcare professionals with concrete examples of how big data has been used to improve patient care, as well as training resources for learning more about data science.  Librarians can also promote participation for patients within big data initiatives, by explaining how the projects will benefit public health.  For instance, librarians can explain to patients and the general public how participation in the All of Us Research Program may improve personalized medicine for current and future generations.

Health science librarians don’t need advanced programming skills or a medical degree as a prerequisite to work with big data.  Librarians already possess valuable communication and training skills which will make them effective liaisons between patients, healthcare professionals, and programmers who contribute to generating, analyzing, and creating tools for big data.