View from the 5th – September 2014
September 2014 – New tools for a new year
What a busy summer it’s been! Since graduation, the pace of life on campus slowed down as it always does, but that didn’t stop our librarians and staff from working hard to make the HSL a better place in anticipation of the return of many of our faculty, staff and students about a month ago.
This summer, we’ve focused on recreating several of our online presences, including NC Health Info and our Subject Resource Guides, each with a key goal of making them more useful to you. We’ve added new topics such as “Being an Informed Patient” and “Managing your Health Care” to NC Health Info to reflect the extensive changes to health care in our nation. In a similar vein, our User Services department worked diligently to transfer more than 150 relied-upon Subject Resource Guides to an updated software version. Finally, we’re proud to share that we’ve welcomed six new full-time staff members since January. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to get to know them and the roles they’ll fill for you and our users across the state.
As we move forward with better tools for our users and fresh perspectives from our latest additions to the Carolina community, we’re reminded of how important it is to have the support of our Friends. Generous gifts like yours allow us to constantly improve our ability to serve the Carolina community in Chapel Hill and across the state.
Interim Director, Health Sciences Library
The Health Sciences Library (HSL) is proud to announce NC Health Info’s newly redesigned website. NC Health Info (NCHI) is a consumer health information website that provides links to carefully selected resources for the statewide community and is a collaborative effort between HSL librarians and staff and volunteer librarians from across the state. Site users will find two new sections: “Being an Informed Patient” and “Managing your Health Care.” These sections will help users choose a good doctor or health care service, communicate more effectively with their providers, and navigate the increasingly complex health care system. The new content was created as a response to nation-wide changes in technology and health care, such as the widespread adoption of electronic medical records, drastic changes to health insurance and an overall increase in health information online.
NC Health Info now has more links to tools that help people estimate the average cost of dental or medical procedures, find services available to people without health insurance, and compare assisted living facilities in the state. It makes information available on how consumers can learn to maximize their visits to the doctor by being informed patients and caregivers.
Other new topics such as finding and evaluating health information, tips for researching illnesses, and understanding medical research help users improve their understanding of diseases and disorders. New features include recommendations for health-related mobile apps and links to disease-specific support groups. The new site structure is optimized for mobile devices, making it easier to use across all platforms.
“This new site follows trends in consumer needs and expectations, by providing information about hard-to-find topics such as how to tell if a support group is a good fit for you, which apps might be worth trying and information about online privacy to help you keep your personal information safe,” said Christie Silbajoris, MSLS, AHIP, Consumer Health and Patient Education Librarian and Director of NC Health Info. “We made these changes because the topics the site addresses must keep up with changes in technology and consumer concerns; it’s important that NCHI responds and remains relevant.”
The site is not only designed to be easier to use on mobile phones, tablets and other devices, it also now includes recommendations for mobile apps and tools for consumers to manage diseases and conditions.
“Mobile is so important because there is a large proportion of people who use mobile exclusively to access the Internet,” Silbajoris said. “We want NC Health Info to be available to those audiences.”
More than 40 librarians from across the state and within the HSL manage the site content and answer questions in-person and online. HSL librarians are helping consumers answer questions like, “What is a personal health record and do I need one?” and, “What is an electronic health record and what does it mean for me?” Librarians are helping to enable patient-to-patient connections so they can share their experiences with illnesses, medications, and treatments.
“Part of the university’s mission is to provide information and services to the public,” said Jim Curtis, interim director of the HSL. “So, it’s important that the HSL provide the best information for consumers that we can. Much of the work that the HSL does is aimed at the faculty and students in the five health affairs schools, but NCHI is a premier online service that the library can extend to the public statewide. And who better to provide guidance on finding evaluated health information than medical librarians?”
Subject resource guides have been moved into an improved and updated version of the web platform, LibGuides. Subject resource guides are websites focused on a certain topic and are usually built for a specific user group. Librarians who specialize in the subject select and customize the content.
“The tool allows our librarians to create and update curated content based on our interactions with users. The easy web authorship makes it possible for us to focus on sharing the best resources in an organized format, rather than dealing with the technical aspects of website development,” said Kate McGraw, assistant department head of User Services.
The guides direct HSL users to key topic areas within their broader fields of work and provide links and information to help users quickly grasp a concept, start their research or learn how to use tools related to their industry. Examples of the HSL’s most recently published guides include “Consumer Health at HSL” and “mHealth” (mobile health).
Students across all five schools of health regularly use these guides for research and study. In fiscal year 2014, HSL guides were viewed more than 620,000 times. The pharmacy guide alone had more than 140,000 views during that time.
“With the wealth of resources we have available, we want to make sure anyone who wants to do work in a specific area is able to easily and efficiently find the resources they use frequently,” McGraw said. “One of the key roles for librarians today is helping people sort through massive amounts of information to find what’s relevant to their work. These guides are an excellent tool to help accomplish that.”
The library aimed to take advantage of the new version of LibGuides before the bulk of the students returned for the fall semester.
“We looked at this change in LibGuides as an opportunity to improve the content and give the guides more visibility on our website,” said Fran Allegri, head of the User Services department. “It was a library-wide effort.”
The group that led the redevelopment emphasized the structure and navigation of the guides to ensure that users would be able to find the subject-based information they need quickly. McGraw said that the new format improved the look and feel for guide users.
From left to right: Lauren Tomola, Anne Dudley, Elizabeth Moreton, Rachael Posey, Mary White and Luke Aeschleman.
The HSL has welcomed six new full-time staff members since January 2014:
- Luke Aeschleman, Web/Database Development Librarian
- Anne Dudley, Communications Manager
- Elizabeth Moreton, Liaison Librarian to the School of Nursing
- Rachel Posey, Liaison Librarian to the School of Pharmacy
- Lauren Tomola, AHEC and Outreach Services Knowledge Management Librarian
- Mary White, TraCS Knowledge Management Librarian
Aeschleman started at the HSL in May and is responsible for the design and operation of the statewide AHEC Digital Library and other AHEC Program Office systems. He will work collaboratively with the AHEC Information and Library Services Network Director and the Director of the AHEC Digital Library to plan, design, support, and implement technologies and procedures for all AHEC library programs and other clinical support programs. Aeschleman will report to the Head of the Web Development Group.
Prior to this appointment, Aeschleman served as the circulation and technology librarian/instructor at Barton College in Wilson, N.C. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.
Dudley has been in the communications manager position since January. In this position, she produces content for a variety of digital and print media on behalf of the library, provides communication consultation and coordination for staff and library-wide projects, and supports the development efforts of the library.
She most recently served as a marketing coordinator for the Schools of Communication Studies and Visual Communication Design at Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master of Arts in Public Relations from Kent State.
In the nursing liaison librarian position, Moreton will meet the information needs of and maintain outreach to faculty, students and staff from the UNC School of Nursing and UNC Hospitals. She will provide expert searching, consultations and training to guide in the discovery, retrieval and management of nursing information. Moreton joined the HSL in late July.
Prior to this appointment, Moreton served as the Health Sciences Librarian at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., and an M.L.S. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
As the pharmacy liaison librarian, Posey will identify information needs and provide proactive, client-centered education and research services for the faculty, students, researchers and staff of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Posey joined the HSL in June.
Prior to this appointment, Posey was the research librarian at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. She holds a Bachelor of Arts. in English from Duke University and a Master of Science in Library Science from the School of Information and Library Science at UNC.
In her role as AHEC and Outreach Services Knowledge Management Librarian, Tomola will be responsible for providing primary support for organizing information in the AHEC Digital Library. She will maintain the AHEC Digital Library PBWorks Wiki subscription and the AHEC Program’s “Clinical Practice Support and Quality” staff wiki. She will provide support to the HSL Consumer Health and Patient Education Librarian, including consultation on using patient education materials and management of the subject content of NC Health Info Portal Pages.
Tomola has been a part of the HSL for a year, as the Knowledge Management Librarian, and joined the staff permanently in July. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Culture and Society from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and a Master of Science in Library Science with a Certificate in Clinical Information Science from the School of Information and Library Science at the UNC Chapel Hill.
As the TraCS Knowledge Management Librarian, White will provide consultation, training and research support for teams of librarians, faculty Research Navigators and staff at the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (TraCS) Institute. White joined the HSL at the end of July.
Prior to this appointment, she served as an administrative specialist with the NC-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, was an adjunct in informatics at Johns Hopkins and Drexel Universities, and was a public health liaison librarian at the University of Iowa. White holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Science in Library Science, both from the UNC Chapel Hill; a Master of Science in Health Informatics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.; and is ABD in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Iowa College of Public Health.