MDMLG hosts Second Life presentation

MDMLG spring meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 at the Farmington Community Library – Main Library (on 12 Mile Rd) in the Auditorium.

Evette Atkin from the Michigan Library Consortium will present a program on Second Life , a 3-D virtual world. As part of the presentation, Evette has coordinated a meeting “in world” with Carol Perryman, a Doctoral Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carol is project coordinator of the Consumer Health Library Services on the NLM/GMR-sponsored Health Info Island within Second Life.

Meeting registration will begin at 12:30 pm. The Second Life presentation will start at 1 pm and the business meeting will follow beginning at 3 pm.

Map of Farmington Community Library:248-553-0300 32737 W 12 Mile Rd Farmington Hills, MI 48334, US

Come learn about Second Life and how it is being used for disseminating consumer health information and for education within the Universities and Colleges around the country.


Doctor talks to doctors about staying current

Need to talk to your medical staff about the information resources you provide? Take a look at this: 

Dr. Eugene Lin presented a paper at the Indiana Chapter meeting of the American College of Physicians in 2005 titled Staying Current. His slides may be viewed free at

Dr. Lin describes the difficulties in finding the right information resources. He compares mailed versus internet-based CME, and details the most current and accurate resources. The slides include an extensive list of resources and a bibliography of works cited.

Guidelines for Bloggers

Well, a few months into managing the MHSLA blog, I still feel that I’m learning the ropes. I’ve recently read a series of guidelines for blog authors, and they certainly offer food for thought:

MLA’s Task Force for Social Networking Guidelines for Bloggers offers suggestions concerning cultural aspects, civil discourse, handling comments, content, legal aspects, and publicizing one’s blog.

Aviva Directory’s 12 important U.S. laws that every blogger needs to know is a handy overview of the legal aspects of publishing a blog; the topics covered are:

    • Disclosing paid posts
    • Deep linking (linking to any page other than the “front door”)
    • Images and thumbnails
    • If someone steals your content
    • Domain name trademark issues
    • Handling private data you collect from your readers
    • Handling user-developed content (i.e., comments)
    • Duty to monitor content, and liability
    • Tax law for income generated from blog ads, etc.
    • Limited liability/incorporating
    • Spam laws
    • Journalism Shield Laws

      Electronic Frontier Foundations Legal Guide for Bloggers, also based on U.S. laws, addresses topics such as privacy, defamation, intellectual property, and trade secrets. Its “Additional Resources” page offers links to websites relating to fair use, international law, podcasting, media, anonymous speech, and “chilling effect” actions (actions that act to quell one’s exercise of free speech).

      Walt Crawford also shares his experience as a blogger in Walt at Random. These aren’t guidelines, but rather, thoughtful discussions of the responsibilities of blog authors. A couple of recent posts that I’ve found helpful:

      Identifying top blogs in any niche

      ReadWriteWeb offers an article Comparing Six Ways to Identify Top Blogs in Any Niche.The 6 methods, and their top finds for the “medical libraries” niche:

      Technorati (search “medical libraries”) (search “medical libraries blogs”)


      • The StumbleUpon website has a search feature as well as a tag cloud for “most popular.” The search “medical libraries” turned up Stanford School of Medicine’s library catalog; “medical library” turned up an X-rated site, a site about Native Americans, and Medem. No blogs.
      • This is available as a Firefox add-on. “Library resources” was available as a category, and it pulled up interesting/fun posts such as Hot Library Smut (nothing to do with sex or nudity, honest!) and Librarian’s Internet Index . An interesting discovery tool, but maybe not one to try at work.

      Google Reader Recommendations

      Recommendations are based on the reader’s interests, as determined by the blogs currently subscribed to in Google Reader. Recommendations are generated by comparing my subscriptions with the subscriptions of others with similar interests; rather like’s “others who bought this item also bought…” I cleaned out my selection of fun but irrelevant sites for this experiment and waited a day for the recommendations to update.

      Recommendations for my mix of interests:
      (Note that these links, provided by Google Reader, are to the RSS feeds)


        This tool bills itself as “an intelligent assistant that saves time and keeps you on top of the latest news.” It filters blogs or RSS feeds to identify the “best posts.” It can be used as a feed reader; import your RSS feeds from your current reader to have everything filtered, or export the feed back to your feed reader to have the advantage of filtering in the feed interface you prefer to use.

        For this article, I asked AideRSS to analyse a few feeds that I often look at. I did not set up a personal account to help define my individual interests. What I found was, “best posts” were defined by number of links, comments, and Digg hits. Blogsearch’s search page includes an icon for limiting searches to blogs. Results screens offer “top feeds” recommendations and tabs to select “Posts,” “Feeds” or “News. “Subscribe” buttons make it easy to add blogs to a feed reader.

        Searching “medical libraries” (phrase search with quote marks) pulled up a mixed bag of posts. The “top feeds” (not as helpful as I had hoped):

        The “Post” tabs pulled up a number of blog sites that might prove useful, though. The first five today:

        • MARquee – NNLM Mid Atlantic Region blog
        • Science Library Pad
        • UW-Madison SLISI, a post about John Halamka’s editorial in ComputerWorld
        • A link to a description of Cheryl Dee’s article “Chat Reference Service in Medical Libraries: Part 1- An Introduction.” in Medical Reference Services Quarterly in an Ebsco database
        • A link to the above mentioned Haworth Press page.

        So, finding great blogs on the topic of your choice remains a treasure hunt. Happy hunting! (Cue the Indiana Jones theme.)

        Microblogging in the medical library world

        The Krafty Librarian posts an article on microblogging [“a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user”]. While she hadn’t seen any useful application of Twitter — a microblogging tool — in a medical library context, she read a post at Library Clips that suggests some possibilities, particularly for Pownce, a microblogging tool “centered around sharing messages, files, events, and links with already established friends.” Read the Library Clips article.

        Friday fun

        Humorous Pictures
        More humorous cat pics

        The Web of the Future

        Metz C: Web 3.0.  PC Magazine (, posted 17 Mar. 2007.,1895,2102852,00.asp

        About a year ago, PC Magazine posted an article describing potential future development of the web. Some possibilities:

        • The Semantic Web – improves search capabilities (or page design) so that search engines find meaning rather than keywords: Paris Hilton? or the Hilton in Paris?
        • 3D Web – a virtual space we can walk through. House-shopping in another city? Take a virtual walk through the neighborhood.
        • Media-Centric Web- improving search capabilities beyond “keyword search” to improve our search agents’ abilities to find non-text-based information. 
        • Pervasive Web – the Web is everywhere.  Your laundry tells your washer, “cold water wash, gentle cycle”; your windows close themselves when it starts raining; the GPS and physiologic monitors in your sneakers tell you where you’ve been and how many calories you’ve burned…or where to find the nearest Starbucks…