May 30

More MLA 2008 Slides: Ebling RSS

(I don’t care that Ratcatcher beats me to posting cool stuff. I’m gonna’ post ‘em anyway- they’re cool and deserve multiple mentions from MedLib blogs.)

From the Ebling Library at the University of Wisconsin Madison:

Also available as PDF.

I also really enjoyed this poster from EblingPronounced “EEEEEbling.” I’d like to take a moment to thank the person who helped me look really dumb (as if I needed help) in front of Erika Sevetson (who is very nice) by assuring me in a wholly confident tone of voice that it was pronounced “Ebbling.” You know who you are.:


(Fair Warning: PDF is about 7 MBs)

Lots more on this project from Ebling here

May 29

The “Natural Unit” of Health Information

In Everything is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger writes:

Bundling songs into long-playing albums lowered the production, marketing, and distribution costs because there were fewer records to make, ship, shelve, categorize, alphabetize, and inventory. As soon as music went digital, we learned that the natural unit of music is the track.

This leaves me thinking: What’s the “natural unit” of health information? Is the article to an issue of a journal what a track is to an LP record? After all, clinicians never come to our library seeking an issue- they come in search of an article.

This leads me back to thinking about Marcus Banks’ idea of using a blog as a journal. If digital distribution eliminates the need to reduce costs by bundling mostly-unrelated articles together once a month, why bundle articles into “issues” for a digital journal? Why not release them online whenever their editorial processes are complete and they’re ready to be “published?”

I was fortunate to finally meet Marcus last week at MLA 2008. We got together along with Melissa Rethlefsen and Rachel Walden to talk about what the future of the journal might look like and agreed, I think, that we have more questions than answers.


Left to right: Marcus Banks, Rachel Walden, David Rothman. Photo by Melissa Rethlefsen and her cool new Blackberry

May 26

MLA 2008: Plenary Session IV Slides

David Rothman

Amanda Etches-Johnson

Melissa Rethlefsen

Bart Ragon

May 26

New GroupTweet for Medical Libraryfolk

Well, I think the MLA2008 GroupTweet I set up can be called a success. Patricia Anderson did an analysis of its use during the Plenary IV Session that makes very interesting reading.

Many who used the MLA2008 GroupTweet during the conference said that they might like something similar year-round, so I set up a GroupTweet for medical libraryfolk to follow at http://twitter.com/medlibs

After you follow the account and it reciprocates, you’ll be able to send tweets to everyone who follows it by tweeting D medlibs [message here].

May 23

MLA 2008: It’s the people

On the MLA2008 GroupTweet, someone asked:

Missing 2008 and having never attended MLA – curious, what’s biggest take home? Networking, knowledge, padding for the CV?

I answered:

Networking. Meeting smart, fun, friendly people who have similar concerns and challenges.

The following video features only a few of the really friendly, smart, fun people I met or got to hang out with at the annual meeting.


MLA 2008: People from David Rothman on Vimeo.

Music is Jonathan Coulton’s “Code Monkey

(In my head, I now change the lyric to “OrgMonkey“)

May 18

Millennium Park 5/17/2008 (MLA 2008)

I’ve known CJ Bryant for about 13 years, but met her for the first time in person yesterday, and that was loads of fun. We walked around Millennium Park (only a short walk from the hotel) for a while and I took a little video.


Milennium Park, 5/17/2008 from David Rothman on Vimeo.
Above: Embedded Video

Music is “ShopVac” by Jonathan Coulton (used b/c it is CC licensed).

May 17

MLA 2008 – My Schedule

Reading this from T. Scott’s blog made me feel a lot better:

“We feel like this every year,” I tell Lynn. “In the last couple of days before the MLA meeting we’re completely stressed out and we don’t think there’s any way that we can get everything done that needs doing. But we always end up having a great time…”

Thanks, Scott- I needed that.

Here are the three times I’ll be speaking:

  • Web 2.0 for Professional and Clinical Productivity (Co-presenting with Patricia F. Anderson)
    Session Title: Evidence Base: Web 2.0 for Professional and Clinical Productivity
    Session Type: Section Program
    Session Start: 5/20/2008 4:30:00 PM
    Session End: 5/20/2008 6:00:00 PM
    Location: Regency Ballroom A
    Description: The Lecture on the Evidence Base focuses on the evidence base underlying clinical practice including its content, organization and its use. This year’s proposal is to bring in one or two experts on the emerging Web 2.0 technology and how it is being applied in healthcare related educational and clinical settings to improve the productivity of professional and clinical staff. Librarians need to see how these emerging technologies can affect health care settings in the future to know how to train and supports students and staff who will be working in these settings in the future.
  • Session Title: Plenary Session IV: Web 2.0 Tools for Librarians: Description, Demonstration, Discussion and Debate
    I’m one of four presenters (others are Melissa Rethlefsen, Amanda Etches-Johnson, and Bart Ragon- all of whom kick butt)
    Session Start: 5/21/2008 9:00:00 AM
    Session End: 5/21/2008 12:00:00 PM
    Location: Grand Ballroom
    It’ll be Webcast(ed?) live.
  • Session Title: Not-So Dangerous Liaisons: Best Practices for Library Liaison Work (CE801)
    (Presenting with Michelle Kraft and Molly Knapp from 3:00 to 4:00)
    Session Type: Meeting Symposia
    Session Start: 5/21/2008 12:30:00 PM
    Session End: 5/21/2008 5:00:00 PM
    Location: Columbus ABCD
    Description: Many health sciences libraries have initiated or are planning liaison programs to help direct public services efforts more efficiently and with greater authority. As these liaison programs take form, valuable lessons are being learned about interacting effectively with academic departments. Communication, collaboration, and instruction all play a role in being an effective liaison. This symposium will address the various facets of liaison work among librarians, both academic and hospital-based, including methods for initiating or improving liaison programs, effective communication and instruction techniques, improved understanding of web 2.0 technologies as they apply to liaison work, and methods for evaluating the success of library liaison programs. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with panels composed of participants in successful liaison programs and to discuss how they might build a program at their own institution, utilizing some of the lessons from these panelists.

I’ve been working on a tentative schedule using Google Calendar, but I suspect that that some plans may suddenly change. That’s okay- change is good.

I won’t know a whole lot of people at MLA 2008, so please say hello if you go to any of these sessions! I’ll look pretty much like this, but with a more confused expression on my face. :)

May 15

Twittering at MLA 2008

There are a number of medical libraryfolk using Twitter, so I thought it might be fun if we were able to conveniently send each other short messages during MLA 2008. All I had to do was set up the MLA2008 account and register it with GroupTweet.

Here’s how you can join in:

1. Go to http://twitter.com/ and sign up for a free acount
2. Go to http://twitter.com/mla2008 and click “Follow.” Shortly thereafter, you’ll receive notifcation that the MLA2008 account is also following you.
3. When you want to send a message to ALL the medical libraryfolk who follow the MLA2008 Twitter account, type: D MLA2008 [Your message here].

The MLA2008 account will take this direct message and tweet it so all who are following MLA2008 receive it.

If you want, you can set up your mobile phone/device to receive tweets (silently or on vibrate when in a session, please- be polite and considerate) and use it to organize or gather information.

Nikki Dettmar today used it to let us know where there was good, free WiFi not far from the Hyatt:

Questions? Check Twitter’s documentation or leave questions in the comments below. :)

May 08

Blogging MLA 2008

Looks like I *will* be blogging in the month of May, but only from Chicago.

To my surprise, I was approved as an “official conference blogger” for MLA 2008.

All MLA 2008 conference bloggers:

Stewart Brower – Professional Notes

A’Lyn Ettien – The Creature from the Health Informatics Class

Marie Kennedy – Organization Monkey

Maureen ‘Molly’ Knapp – LSUHC New Orleans Health Sciences Center

Michelle Kraft – The Krafty Librarian

Leigh Mihlrad – Leigh’s Little Corner of the Web

Emily Molanphy (Emily has 2 blogs!) – Emily’s Journal – and – Eponymous Blog about Libraries

Bryan Nugent – The Universe of Medical Librarianship

David Rothman – davidrothman.net

Eric Schnell – The Medium is the Message

For reasons I haven’t yet been able to determine, they decided to aggregate all posts about MLA 2008 from each of these blogs on a page at a WetPaint wiki …but don’t provide an aggregated feed. So here’s a feed I slapped together in Yahoo! Pipes.

Here’s that same feed, previewed with FeedSweep:



I’ll put together a feed that pulls from more than official sources (sort of like the one I set up for CIL2008) next week and will elaborate on the MLA2008 GroupTweet I set up that’ll allow MLA attendees who use Twitter to conveniently send a tweet to all other MLA 2008 Twitter users from a laptop, cell phone, or other mobile device.

I’m bringing with me to Chicago these newfangled devices for the digital recording of sound and images (both still and moving)- so expect at least a little of that sort of stuff to appear here between 5/17 and 5/21.

:)