Evidence-based web design

Do any of us still get to write our own library web pages?  Now that the Internet & intranets are mainstream instead of “fringe” the way they were back when libraries first embraced them, my hospital’s IT and marketing departments aren’t so sure they want the library doing its own thing …

Regardless of whether we do it ourselves, or someone else designs and writes pages for us, Six Revision’s article 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies presents well-thought-out information to assist in developing websites that are easy to use.  The article debunks some “common knowledge” rules (“3-click rule,”  “above-the-fold rule”) as well as giving pointers on fonts, white space, readability, where to place information on the page, navigation, and getting the small details right.  For each tip, links are provided for sources and further reading.

Thanks to librarian.net


Physician information-seeking in action

For all of my years in the field, we medical librarians have been researching our customers’ information-seeking behaviors.  We provide wonderful databases as information resources, and they’re even available now on the clinical units, but how frequently does the physician turn to them when a clinical question arises?

So watching a real-life example was interesting when I accompanied a relative to a hospital emergency room a while back;  she asked the doctor a question, and he left the room to get an answer.  Admittedly, it was 11 pm, so calling the hospital librarian was not an option; but I’m certain that this modern hospital had some point-of-care product available in the ER. However, I could hear the physician in the hall outside the room posing the question to his colleagues; and when he came back with an answer, it was: “The consensus of ER docs is…”

Well, he could have tried Google.

NLM Milestones

Congratulations to NLM on reaching a couple of milestones: the 20 millionth PubMed citation, the 2 millionth PubMed Central article: Two NLM Milestones

These two databases, along with Loansome Doc, Docline, and the rest of the free resources offered by NLM, are an amazing contribution to world health.

Doctors using Google get mixed results

An article in the August 23 Los Angeles Times offers some insight on physicians’ use of the Internet and Google in daily practice.

While noting that “86% of doctors say they regularly use the Internet on the job,” Dr. Rahul K. Parikh reports that it “sometimes feels like cheating on an exam” and the results, even from Google Scholar, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. He points out, for example, that Google Scholar pulls up old articles first because their algorithm gives greater weight to articles that are cited more. I didn’t know that!

Read the full story: In Practice: Dr. Google has mixed results

via Digital Pathology Blog

eReaders explained

For a clear explanation of why your Kindle won’t read an Overdrive eBook, check out  Jason Griffey’s Pattern Recognition post eBooks, filetype and DRM . Something to consider as we build our eBook collections.

via librarian.net

2010 MHSLA Education Conference Registration

Registration for the 2010 MHSLA Education Conference is now open!  Take advantage of the early bird/discounted rate and register today!

The registration form can be found on the MHSLA website: http://mhsla.org OR on the 2010 Conference Blog: http://mhsla2010.wordpress.com/registration/.

Please fill out and print the PDF form and forward with your payment to:

Leslie Behm
Special Collections
100 Library
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI  48824-1048

Also, don’t wait to reserve your hotel room at the Kellogg Center:  (517) 432-4000 OR (800) 875-5090. The MHSLA discounted room rate ($94) ends 9/11/10!

Heidi Schroeder
2010 Local Arrangements Chair