MAC Home Page Events Publications Professional
Membership About

Mid-Atlantic & Pittsburgh Chapters of MLA
Joint Meeting

Paper Abstracts

The Journey: Welch's Trip From the Photocopier to the Desktop

Presented by: Barbara Koehler and Chung Sook Kim, Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Following the lead of our slogan "Get on board!" and using the metaphor of the journey, this paper will detail the steps in conceiving of and implementing a desktop delivery mechanism for the delivery of interlibrary loan articles. Ten years in the planning, the dream became a reality in summer 1998 using Ariel's latest software which allows us to deliver directly to users' email and which works with most PCs and Mac's. Some academic libraries are already using this technique, but we are not sure if other medical libraries have followed their lead. We will enumerate the steps we took, the planning, the staff involvement, the p.r., the hardware and software needed, and we will talk about the introduction of the service and any data we have collected by the October meeting.

Creation of a Library: Networked CD-ROM Databases Provide Inhouse Information Access for a Small Rural Hospital

Presented by: Ann Duesing, University of Virginia at Clinch Valley College, Wise, VA.

For many small hospitals in Southwestern Virginia, there is no in house library. Or a few journals and a few outdated textbooks make up the in house library information resources. One hospital with many concerned health care professionals, a positive proactive information systems department, and a supportive administration, decided that it was possible to make information available using CD-ROM databases on their local area network.

How was this decision reached, and how did the in house electronic library become a reality? The Southwest Virginia AHEC offices are located at the hospital under discussion. In an effort to support the University of Virginia Health Sciences Library outreach services in the region, the AHEC had funded an electronic library for demonstration of CD-ROM databases with health care information. The Outreach Librarian had selected CD-ROM databases and the hospital Information Systems Department, working as a support unit for the AHEC, had ordered and assembled the hardware for the Electronic Library. The medical staff president at this hospital was very interested in electronic information access and had approached the Information Systems department manager about available resources. He was then referred to the Outreach Librarian.

This paper will discuss how the Outreach Librarian worked with the health care staff, information systems department, library development committee, and the administration to determine information needs and demonstrated the possibilities of meeting these needs through CD-ROM databases. How the networked system was chosen, developed and how it is being used successfully will also be discussed.

Locating and Evaluating Minority-Sensitive Health Information on the Internet

Presented by:Ellen Detlefsen, DLS and Nancy D. Washington, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

A team of University-based researchers from the LIS, social psychology, and medical communities is attempting to answer the questions of how people of color will "get on board" to access and use health information, and how these users will judge the quality, authenticity, and value of information resources. We are particularly concerned that the burgeoning group of Internet and Web-based resources which provides consumer health information does not address the needs of people of color. We report the results of searches which assess the content and quality of internet-accessible health information that speaks to the special health needs of minority communities, and we demonstrate the difficulties that even Web-savvy consumers have in locating health information that is appropriate for a specialized population. We describe a program begun by a group of faculty at the University of Pittsburgh to train minority health information specialists with specific skills in the location and evaluation of minority-sensitive health information on the Internet; this work has been funded by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, a major health insurance company in the region. We place this work in the context of both the consumer health information movement and the research on information needs and behaviors of minority communities. For further information, see

Is "Chief Information Officer" in Your Professional Future?

Presented by: Wallace McLendon, North Carolina Mountain Area Health Education Center, Asheville, NC.

This presentation explores the rationale for librarians becoming Chief Information Officers of their organizations. A parallel history and timeline of the evolution of the modern health sciences librarian and the evolution of the Chief Information Officer will be described showing a convergence of professional skills with changing organizational needs. A comparison of the appropriateness of other information science professionals as Chief Information Officers will be discussed. The author will bring this theoretical model to life by relating his personal evolution from Library Director to Director of Information Systems to Chair of a seventeen-hospital consortium Chief Information Officer Work Group. Based on the author's personal experiences, he will highlight educational and on-the-job training that prepared him for CIO responsibilities as well as define areas of responsibility requiring additional training and education.

Where in the World is Cataloging Going?... Metadata, MARC, and the Rules

Presented by: Steven J. Squires, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic resources are changing the nature of publishing and access to information. Internet search engines proliferate. Metadata schemes emerge. Should libraries catalog Internet resources? Will metadata help them do so?

The international cataloging community is scrambling to address these issues. Basic concepts in cataloging are undergoing re-examination: the object of a cataloging record (content or carrier?), the nature of seriality, the concept of work and edition, the relationship of MARC and other standards to the cataloging rules. International efforts are underway to "harmonize" cataloging data and cataloging rules, and to determine the functional requirements of a catalog. Will traditional library cataloging get on board? Will it change, adapt, adopt, or retire from the field?

This paper will present an overview of these trends and developments and discuss their meaning for health sciences libraries.

Public Service and Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance: Access to the Collections and Services in the Reading Rooms at the National Library of Medicine by the Physically Handicapped

Author: Kristine M. Scannell, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.
Presented by: Adam Glazer, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.

When one speaks of access to library services in context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) one's immediate thoughts relate to physical barriers to the library building. To the Public Services Division at the National Library of Medicine, access to services means much more. It means access by all patrons including those individuals with physical, hearing, and sight impairments to all Reading Room services including the NLM electronic resources and the print collections. In being in the forefront, NLM based its reasonable accommodations decisions on the Department of Justice's regulations relating to ADA law.

To provide good customer service to disabled patrons, the Reading Room staff were provided in-house awareness training on treatment of persons with disabilities. Staff members took sign language training to assist with hearing impaired patrons. All Reading Room instructional handouts have been developed in large print. Height adjustable tables and a wheelchair accessible photocopier have been made available. Assistive electronic equipment has been installed on computer workstations for the sight impaired. The assistive equipment consists of computer screen enlarger systems and reading devices, a Kurzweil reader and a print enlarger.

Commitment of the Public Service staff to serving all individuals regardless of physical disability has been a primary customer service objective. NLM promotes the accommodations which are available in its Reading Rooms via the NLM Internet home page. Last year, the Reference Section conducted an ADA Open House for the NLM and NIH staff and for visitors from the local university and public library community. The disability accommodations provided in the Reading Room have become a routine service.

[Back to Top]

The URL for this page is:

Last Updated: November 2, 1998
Comments to: Barbara Woods Collins, Contributed Paper Session Coordinator