EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Reference for Academic-Health Science Libraries, Collection Management, Open Access: Peripheral Finds

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Having been hunkered down in my cubicle for the past month updating the library’s Reference Collection, I am now ready to step back into the light and offer up Part #3 of Reference Ruminations (if you missed the first two postings, here’s part 1 and part 2).

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Digging around looking for new or updated titles is part of the fun of collection management.  Less fun is staying within one’s $$ budget while keeping a current health science reference collection to a constant size. Migration from print to online format continues at a fast pace in 2009.

Trolling” or “trawling” (if these are the correct terms) describes the specialized peripheral vision belonging to librarians (or scientists) that requires one to never pass up examining a new book, journal article or website (or whatever else looks interesting – the shoe section at Marshalls also qualifies) even though we weren’t specifically looking for that type of information.

An eclectic list follows… they represent sites that I wasn’t exactly looking for – but turned out to offer timely, focused reporting on a variety of health-related data, policy or statistical information that I couldn’t ignore. The publishers or data-gatherers linked below include nonprofit organizations, academies, public or social policy institutions, government agencies, charitable foundations and others.  Most (but not all) of this content is freely distributed.

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It is my hope that you will find information of value to your research from the links below.

  • Research efforts conducted or sponsored by NAP’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) is organized into “seventeen health topic areas: mental health, child health, food and nutrition, aging, women’s health, education, public policy, health care and quality, diseases, global health, workplace, military and veterans, health sciences, environment, treatment, public health and prevention, minority health.”  Link to IOM topic pages here.  Many of their publications are available online at no cost.
  • The LeapFrog Group has provided data on hospital safety ratings by state on their website, openly available at this link. MD-Consult had this to say about the data, published Apr 15 2008:  Hospitals are barely meeting quality and efficiency standards, according to a survey issued on April 15 by the Leapfrog Group, an organization made up of some of America’s largest employers.”
  • Epidemiologists and MPH students use the longitudinal reports, surveys and other data compiled by the staff at National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  Researchers can register with NCHS to download actual datasets for research purposes at no charge; see CDC Wonder for more information about these files.
  • A major charitable organization for promoting health and social justice worldwide, The MacArthur Foundation website could take hours to examine. One place to begin for those interested in demography or epidemiology is their domestic Research Networks page.

  • The Childrens’ Defense Fund has an extensive digital library of data, statistics and policy synthesis reports on American children, their health, families and communities.  In December 2008, CDF published a 80-page report on “The State of America’s Children“, available online (link to the 80-page PDF).
  • A particularly useful site for recent data and policy reports on American families at risk is the Knowledge Center from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is “helping vulnerable kids and families succeed”.  As an example, the Kids Count page allows one to search for demographic or health information using standardized key indicators (such as access to housing, poverty, birth outcomes, access to early childhood education, uninsured families and other community and socioeconomic factors) across states.

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Since I was taking photos anyway, below are a few more views of the library.  The main floor of the library had a major renovation, completed in 2005.  In 2008, some areas of the 2nd floor were renovated.

These are the so-called Barney Chairs (as in, plush, overstuffed and really purple), positioned next to the Reference stacks for those who like to sit comfortably by the windows to read:

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The 2nd floor of the library is a popular quiet study space.

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A library plant, Crown of Thorns (euphorbia milii), flowered this week.

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All Photos: Courtesy of UCHC – All rights reserved – Copyright 2009


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