October 2009 – Volume 4 – Number 1

Virtual and Virtuous

M.J. Tooey

Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing my colleague Jim Neal, formerly of Hopkins and currently Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia, speak at the opening of the new Goucher College Athenaeum. In his remarks, he referred to the library as being "virtual and virtuous." My first thought was, "Darn, why didn’t I think of that phrase?" Upon reflection, I realized that he very neatly characterized the main attributes of libraries today.

There is no doubt that libraries exist in the virtual space where library staff provide increasingly seamless access to all types of resources and many of our services. However, it was nice to reflect that we are indeed virtuous institutions as well. Our core values provide institutional conscience and a moral compass through our support of intellectual freedom, copyright and fair use, advocacy for our users and their right to information, and privacy. We maintain neutrality, applying our values to everyone equally. We exist to ensure and support the success of our users. We believe passionately in the work we do, making a difference every day. Whether we are serving on an Institutional Review Board, collaborating with faculty, reaching out into the community, teaching classes of students, preserving the historical record, rounding with residents, or providing the information infrastructure for discovery, our staff recommits to UMB every day.

Supporting the Virtual and Virtuous…

Maryland Charity Campaign

Please consider supporting our virtual and virtuous progress through the Maryland Charities Campaign.

Designate your Maryland Charities contribution to the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation (#5384). Make sure to check the "Release my name" box. Fill out a supplemental form and pledge card, available from your Maryland Charities representative, and designate the Health Sciences and Human Services Library as the recipient of your contribution.

Thank you!

Study Break to Celebrate National Medical Librarians Month

National Medical Librarians Month

Join us for an afternoon refreshment break at the HS/HSL on Tuesday, October 27th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. to celebrate National Medical Librarians Month.

Come chat with the librarians of the HS/HSL and find out what we do and how we can assist you while you enjoy some tasty treats.

We hope to see you there!

October is Health Literacy Month

Health literacy is the ability to read, understand and act on health information. Skills needed for good health literacy include the ability to evaluate relative risks and benefits, calculate dosages and interpret test results.

The average American adult reads at an 8th grade level. About 20% of American adults read at or below the 5th grade level. For health care providers, awareness of these facts is the first step toward realizing that the responsibility for clear health communication belongs to them.

Health Literacy Month is especially timely this year, when we are debating health insurance issues in the U.S. Overall, annual health care costs are four times higher for the low health literacy population, despite controlling for other factors such as socio-economic status, education, race, and, most importantly, health status.

Let’s celebrate Health Literacy Month by being aware of our environment. Is the signage where we work easy to read and understand? Do we use professional jargon when communicating with individuals who may not understand it? Are the materials we distribute to patients written so that the majority can understand the information and follow the instructions?

If you would like more information on health literacy, the Partnership for Clear Health Communication web site is a good place to start. Also, please note that the HS/HSL offers a class called "In Other Words: Understanding Health Literacy." To arrange the class for a group, or to attend the next time it’s offered, please contact Paula Raimondo.

HS/HSL to Host Web Cast and Spring Symposium on Mobile Technologies

MLA CE eLearning

The HS/HSL will be hosting a webcast offered by the Medical Library Association on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. (with wraparound discussion) in Room LL05. The webcast will focus on current and emerging mobile technologies and software. For more information, contact Alexa Mayo.

@Hand: mobile technologies in academia + medicine

Also, coming this spring – The Library will be hosting an all day symposium on mobile technologies.

Save the date!

mobile technologies in academia + medicine

April 21, 2010

Watch for more details in future issues of Connective Issues.

Workshop Highlight: Locating the Evidence

The HS/HSL offers free workshops throughout the semester for all UMB faculty, staff, and students.

This month we will be offering Locating the Evidence on Tuesday, November 3rd from 12:00 -1:00 p.m. This workshop will review principles of evidence-based healthcare and offer strategies for finding the best medical evidence. Resources covered during this workshop include Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, and CINAHL.

For full course description and class registration, visit our Workshops web page.

Cool Web Tool: Dropbox


Dropbox is a tool that allows you to store, synchronize, and share your files online. There is no complicated interface to learn because it works seamlessly with your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and automatically makes sure your files are up-to-date.

Dropbox software syncs your files online and across your computers. Put files into your Dropbox on one computer, and they’ll be instantly available on any computer where you’ve installed Dropbox. Copies of your files are stored on Dropbox’s secure servers, so you can also access them directly from the Dropbox website. Dropbox offers 2GB of storage free.

To learn more about what you can do with this tool, check out the Dropbox Features list.

New LibGuides Now Available

  • Living Frugally
    Looking for ways to save money and live more frugally? Visit the Recession Resources guide compiled by library staff. It provides information and links to resources that may assist you during these hard economic times. Topics covered in the guide include frugal living, energy savers, finances, health, staycations, and more.
  • Disability Awareness
    Governor O’Malley has proclaimed October Disability History and Awareness month in Maryland.

    "Disability History and Awareness Month will serve as an outstanding tool in creating greater awareness, understanding and support for individuals with disabilities," said Governor O’Malley. "By emphasizing disabilities awareness activities in our school systems, we are working toward a future where every person with a disability is respected and valued as a contributing member of our community." (Disability History and Awareness Month)

    In response to the governor’s proclamation, HS/HSL librarians have compiled a Disabilities Awareness guide with links to resources about disability awareness and history, as well as resources for people with disabilities.

William J. Kinnard to Receive Library Award

In recognition of his contributions to the Health Sciences and Human Services Library, the HS/HSL is pleased to present the Theodore E. Woodward Award to Dr. William J. Kinnard on November 19, 2009 at a reception in his honor.

The Library established the award in 1995 to recognize the significant and enduring contributions to the Library by Dr. Theodore E. Woodward, Professor Emeritus of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The purpose of the award is to acknowledge a significant contribution of resources or exemplary service in support of the Library’s mission.

Coming Soon! RefWorks to Offer Alumni Access


RefWorks has announced a new "Alumni Program to be offered as a standard feature of RefWorks, providing lifelong access to users that are alumni of subscribing institutions. As long as an institution subscribes to RefWorks, alumni will have access, allowing them to continue using their personal research databases for future professional and academic endeavors."

RefWorks is still working on the particulars of how they will offer this exciting new benefit, so we will be rolling out the details over the next few months. Look for a future article with specifics on how UMB alumni can enjoy the continued value of their RefWorks account after they graduate. This is great news for all our RefWorks users, so stay tuned!

Holiday Closure

During the 2009-2010 holiday season, the Library will close from December 23rd through January 3rd.

Regular hours will resume on January 4, 2010.

For more details about the Library’s holiday hours, please visit our web site.

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