Recent Items of Potential Interest to MedLib Geeks

Articles on my “to read” list:

  • Use of laptop computers in an academic medical library. (Link is to PubMed citation)
    Med Ref Serv Q. 2007 Summer;26(2):27-36.
    Atlas MC, Garza F, Hinshaw R.

    Who borrows laptop computers in an academic health sciences library? Why do they choose to check out laptops? In a survey, laptop computer users responded that the laptops were used most frequently to do class-related work. Laptops were most often checked out because they could be taken to a quiet area of the library or to where the user had more room to work. The majority of such borrowers were satisfied or very satisfied with the laptops and the service from the library. The majority of those completing the survey were medical school students and graduate students. The circulation of laptop computers at this academic health sciences library is a very successful and popular program.

  • Approaching usability: a study of an academic health sciences library web site. (Link is to PubMed citation)
    Med Ref Serv Q. 2007 Summer;26(2):37-53.
    Ascher MT, Lougee-Heimer H, Cunningham DJ.

    A usability study was conducted at a medium-sized academic health sciences library with the goal of providing data to inform the future redesign of the library’s Web page. A two-stage approach was used: (1) A preliminary survey designed to identify common tasks and issues on which to focus, and (2) usability testing. Responses to the survey indicated general satisfaction with the site and suggested areas for testing. Usability testing participants were asked to perform scripted tasks. The results indicate that users do have considerable difficulty navigating the site and recommendations are presented. This method of testing is recommended for health sciences libraries.

  • Skeptical Medical Reference: Helping Patrons Find Critical Resources for Consumer Health Issues (Link is to free full text)
    Library Philosophy and Practice 2007

    Samuel T.C. Thompson
    Reference Librarian
    Collier County Public Library
    Naples, Florida

    Rachel P. Thompson
    MLS Student
    Texas Woman’s University
    Denton, Texas

    With the popularization of the Internet, there has been a vast proliferation of consumer health material available to the public. Unfortunately, this has only accelerated a pre-existing trend- the fact that much of the material made available is unproven, unreliable, or outright fraud. This requires librarians to make a choice: are they passive and uncritical dispensers of information or are they critical educators who help patrons choose the best information available? In this article we examine the issues facing librarians in this matter and presents skeptical materials that may help librarians to answer critical health questions.

  • White Paper: Physicians and Web 2.0
    5 Things You Should Know about the Evolving Online Landscape for Physicians
    [Full text PDF]
    Manhattan Research, LLC

    What is Web 2.0 and what preferences are U.S. physicians demonstrating today?
    Read the new white paper analysis from Manhattan Research “Physicians and Web 2.0” and learn about the evolving online landscape as shown through data derived from our recent study Taking the Pulse®.

    “Physicians and Web 2.0” is derived from Taking the Pulse®, a syndicated multi-client physician research study and advisory service focused on understanding technology adoption and integration trends among practicing U.S. physicians.

    Now in its seventh year, the primary objective of the research study is to track which technologies physicians adopt, how they currently use them, and how they plan to use them. Taking the Pulse® v7.0 was fielded in 2007 among 1,353 practicing physicians.

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