Newsletter of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona

Apply for the First-Time AHIP Applicant Award

Posted on | July 13, 2016 | No Comments

Do you want to join AHIP, but can’t afford the application fee? Apply now for the MLGSCA First-Time AHIP Applicant Award! The deadline is July 31, 2016.

AHIP First-Time Applicant Award





Application Process:


How to avoid burnout

Posted on | July 6, 2016 | No Comments

Have you been irritable with coworkers and patrons lately? Do you find yourself running on empty and having to dredge up all your energy just to do the basics? Are you feeling critical and cynical about your job? It may just be a bad day…but it might be burnout.

The 5-Minute Librarian has an article explaining the signs of burnout and tips for combating it.

Have you ever been burnt out? How did you know? What has helped you get back on track? Share your comments below.

PubMed Turns 20

Posted on | July 6, 2016 | No Comments

Happy 20th anniversary to PubMed, which first appeared as an “experimental database” from the National Library of Medicine in 1996! Click here to read the initial press release about free MEDLINE or here watch the press conference where then-Vice President Al Gore first demonstrated PubMed.

Many changes and improvements have been made to the PubMed interface over the years. What’s your favorite? Your least favorite? Are there any old features you miss? Let us know in the comments.

MLGSCA Outstanding Health Sciences Library Paraprofessional of the Year Award

Posted on | June 16, 2016 | No Comments

On behalf of the Awards Committee:

Nomination deadline is July 1st:

The purpose of the MLGSCA Outstanding Health Sciences Library Paraprofessional of the Year Award is to honor an outstanding library paraprofessional in a health sciences library and to recognize the critical role and important contributions library paraprofessionals make to the development and evolution of modern health sciences libraries and librarianship.

Considerations/criteria for nominating a paraprofessional for this award include, but are not limited to, a paraprofessional that:

Nominations can be made by any MLGSCA member and sent to the Awards Committee chair. Please use the available formNomination deadline is July 1st.

Frequency and Number of Awards
The Outstanding Health Sciences Library Paraprofessional of the Year Award is given annually to one outstanding paraprofessional in a health sciences library.  If there are no suitable candidates nominated, the award is not given. The award is usually presented by the MLGSCA President during the Fall Meeting.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa A. Marks, MLS, AHIP
Director of Libraries
Instructor, Medical Education
College of Medicine
Phone (480) 301-4422
Fax (480) 301-7005

New to MLGSCA – Lee Luniewski

Posted on | June 14, 2016 | No Comments

Lee Luniewski

Lee Luniewski

  1. How did you become interested in medical librarianship? To be honest, I came upon medical librarianship by chance. As I enrolled in library school, I knew I needed to find a position within a library to give me the real-world experience. I thankfully applied and was hired on at local hospital library as a Medical Library Technician. It is through this positon, that I began to see the importance of having medical librarians in a hospital setting. Working with two amazing librarian co-workers allowed me to see that the work we do can truly have a positive impact on patients. I was hooked after that, and got a full time position with the same library.
  2. What is your current position? I am the Medical Librarian at Melisa Reasner McGuire Health Sciences Library at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, CA.
  3. What do you enjoy most about your current position? The diversity of my job duties. No two days are the same in a week for me, as I am always doing something new or different. One day I will be conducting literature search for physicians, and then the next day I will be cataloguing new books. This variety helps prevent me from burning-out on any one specific task. I also love conducting research for our patrons, as I find it thrilling to be track down information that may positively impact someone else’s life. Lately, I have been really interested in data, and have started collecting and analyzing data regarding out patrons and usage.
  4. What do you think is the most interesting or challenging issue in librarianship today? Expressing the value of the work we do to our administration and non-librarian colleagues. As librarians, we understand the value of what we do, but we now must find ways to show this value to our administration. At MLA ’16, this was one of the issues brought up by other hospital librarians. While there is not a simple solution to this issue, I feel that engaging administrators and showing real world data to them can help express the value of the library. While this may be a daunting challenge and troubling at times. I believe that we can thrive in this moment, and step outside of our comfort zones to face the challenges ahead.
  5. Please provide a link that made you think (an article, video, blog post, other webpage, etc. that you found to be interesting or thought-provoking): – A fun interesting futuristic view of medical libraries written in 2005 about where they will be in 2015. Now what will medical libraries be like in 10 more years?

MLGSCA First-Time AHIP Applicant Award

Posted on | May 25, 2016 | No Comments

AHIP First-Time Applicant Award


To encourage members of the MLGSCA Chapter to apply for membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP).

Participant will be reimbursed for the AHIP application fee ($200 Academy Member level or above, or $135 Provisional member level).

Current member of MLGSCA Chapter and of MLA (National) as of AHIP application.

First time applicant for AHIP membership at any level.

Completed AHIP documentation and payment submitted to the Medical Library Association and AHIP membership successfully awarded.

One award covering the application fee for AHIP membership will be available to MLGSCA members.

AHIP membership must have been awarded within the past 12 months of the application deadline. Applications must be received by July 31, 2016.

Application Process:
Submit the following via email to Kathleen Carlson (, AHIP Chapter Credentialing Liaison. Preferably as one PDF:

Letter of Application stating briefly why you are applying for AHIP membership and how it will assist your professional goals.

Copy of their letter of acceptance into the Academy of Health Information Professionals.

Proof of payment to MLA – AHIP

Proof of MLA membership

Proof of MLGSCA membership

Award winners are only eligible to win the award once.

The Awardee will be determined by a random drawing of all applications received that meet all the criteria. Each application will be numbered in order as it is received, and an Internet random number generator will be used to select the winning application.


Applications will be acknowledged upon receipt.

The Award winner will be randomly selected (all applications will be numbered based on the order in which they are received).

Award recipients will be acknowledged in the MLGSCA blog and at the Chapter’s Spring Meeting.

Kathleen Carlson, MLS, AHIP
UA College of Medicine – Phoenix
Phone: 602-827-2340

New to MLGSCA – Melissa Leigh Johnson

Posted on | May 23, 2016 | No Comments

Melissa L. Johnson

Melissa L. Johnson

1. How did you become interested in medical librarianship? During my MSLS studies, my focus was on academic libraries and technology. I saw some electives for medical reference, but I never even considered taking them because I had no medical background and without it, I didn’t think I would qualify for any medical librarian positions. Like many others, I fell into medical librarianship. I knew I wanted to work in an academic library, supporting students, faculty, and the furthering of knowledge (and the satiating of my own fathomless curiosity), and I enjoyed wonderful experiences working for four years in an integrated academic-public library.So, when I came across the announcement for my current position situated in a facility shared by two universities, I had no choice but to apply. I was immediately and deeply interested, especially concerning the quality control aspect of serving as a medical librarian, ensuring the availability, comprehension, and application of quality medical resources which would not only impact the immediate education of healthcare professionals, but also the quality of care that their patients would receive in the future.

2. What is your current position? In September 2015, I began serving the Phoenix Biomedical Campus (PBC) as a Health Sciences Librarian, supporting the students and faculty involved in Northern Arizona University (NAU)’s graduate programs (Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Physician Assistant Studies, and Master of Athletic Training). I am the sole NAU librarian on this campus, working alongside University of Arizona (UA) librarians, Kathleen Carlson and David Bickford.

Mainly, in addition to serving as a member of NAU’s Teaching, Learning, and Research Services librarians, I provide library instruction and ensure the availability of quality reference materials to support PBC students and faculty in their studies, teaching, and research.

3. What do you enjoy most about your current position? As a single librarian supporting an extended campus, I enjoy the extreme variability in the composition of my daily work. I get to experience nearly every aspect of academic librarianship from collection development, cataloguing, and web design to student consultations, supporting faculty research, and teaching, all constantly rotating in and out of my workflow.

Additionally, as necessitated by the frequently changing states of healthcare, education, and library science, I enjoy countless professional growth opportunities especially in the forms of online courses, conferences, and cross-institutional interactions with my colleagues.

These two aspects combine to create a work environment in which learning and collaboration are requisite and applauded, which serve my own interests and values exceedingly well.

4. What do you think is the most interesting or challenging issue in librarianship today? One challenging issue that I repeatedly encounter is the perception of librarianship, from both critical and public perspectives. Librarians take on varying roles as interpreters, guides, and to some as gatekeepers. At our core, we are often the middlemen between knowledge and its seekers, a powerful position indeed. The ethical constitution and soundness of this role must be ensured actively, from employment of librarians with diverse characteristics, backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences to the types of information we provide and the modes by which we make it accessible.

Accurate representation and promotion of what exactly it is that we do plays a role in this. It seems like the general public’s perception or understanding of libraries has not caught up with the actuality of libraries, which is due in great part to our own lack of interest, perceived or not, in self-promotion. It is likely that most of our own friends and families outside of Library Land are confused as to what it is we do, and cannot be counted on to accurately describe our responsibilities and goals. Convincing those not directly involved with libraries that we are needed and impactful, and ensuring that we are, despite our lack of diversity, is a huge challenge.

One solution may be for librarians to be more vocal, exacting, and inviting about the profession in order to attract a wider variety of potential librarians; this would help to ensure equal access to information for all from the inside out. A faculty member once shared with me that the care provided by a healthcare professional to a patient is most effective when the professional and the patient are the most similar. Perhaps this also rings true for information providers.

5. Please provide a link that made you think (an article, video, blog post, other webpage, etc. that you found to be interesting or thought-provoking): I learned that my knowledge of statistical analysis was lacking after failing to accurately interpret or explain the Analysis sections of PubMed articles. Feeling that this knowledge was needed in order to instruct students about how to critically evaluate information sources, I sought out a free continuing education course and was delighted to find one that perfectly fit my needs in Coursera’s 6-week online course, Understanding Clinical Research, taught by Dr. Juan Klopper from University of Cape Town.

This is a very well organized course divided up into easily digestible modules, taught using simple language and studies within open access articles as examples to reference. New sections begin monthly and although it is synchronous and taken with a cohort of students, you can be as socially involved and deadline dismissive as you want. Three weeks into the course, other projects demanded more of my attention, and I was delighted to be able to transfer my progress to the next 6-week offering, enabling me to actually finish the course.

I learned about various components of inferential statistics, including data types, measures of central tendency, sampling, p-values, data distribution, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, non/parametric tests, categorical data comparison, and predictive values. Perhaps best of all, there was little to no mathematic manipulation involved; it was purposely focused on background, theory, and conceptual knowledge. I supplemented the course with free math-based statistical exercises provided by Khan Academy. I can recall using the knowledge I gained from this course during a conversation with two students to explain how randomization and blinding are applied in clinical trials using control groups.

Society of Teachers for Family Medicine Conference

Posted on | April 18, 2016 | No Comments

Tiffany Moxham received the MLGSCA Professional Development Award. Interested to see how she used it? Here is her account:

The MLGSCA professional development grant allowed me to present at the Society of Teacher’s for Family Medicine’s [STFM] Medical Student Education conference in Phoenix.   My topic, “Librarian outreach to support retention and reward of community preceptors” garnished more conversations, input and expansion ideas that I had envisioned.   One of the conference themes was the recruitment and retention of community preceptors so the offers of cooperation and connected integration were expansive.  The integration of outreach services into a variety of existing School of Medicine programs was specifically hardily greeted. I was particularly interested in the doctors’ candid expression of how they view librarians’ roles within medical schools and clinical settings.

Multiple sessions opened up ideas for future librarian support.   The area of nutrition in medical education is not a subject I would have thought about beyond teaching obesity, the food groups, and diet regimes.  In turns out that there are several innovative programs that bring healthy cooking and pragmatic nutrition guidance into medical education.   One of these programs shows medical students how to make meals that are affordable, quick, and healthy.  With obesity levels and related comorbidity at a high, these programs take our future doctors from lecturing to provision of pragmatic options. This also opens up community opportunities at all levels. On return, when I started to look into this I found that  locally one program teaches “at risk” teenagers healthy cooking habits, another places a farmer’s market outside of a hospital once a week.   These types of programs, when paired with medical students, also assist in creating connections and understand of the community outside the clinical setting.   Teaching with technology and new products are of course always a bedrock for librarians’ curriculum involvement. While a couple of new products were showcased, enhancement and novel use of existing products led this category.   This served as a timely reminder of the counter productivity of stockpiling and implementing new products and teaching tools without investing in training and development time.

Perhaps the most important part of attending STFM was being able to be a part of internal innovation that was being formulated during the conference.  Collaborating with my own faculty on ideas being newly formulated after each conference talk or poster session was priceless.  That these ideas could then immediately be reviewed by those from around the country is the center of why conference attendance can be so important. So thank you to the MLGSCA Awards Committee and all those who support MLGSCA for providing me with one of the Professional Development Grants this year.  In addition to the personal learning and collaboration the conference provided, I hope to share service improvements and new collaboration ideas beyond my own institution.

New to MLGSCA – Cari Lyle

Posted on | April 13, 2016 | No Comments

Cari Lyle

Cari Lyle

1. How did you become interested in medical librarianship? Medical librarianship was actually pretty new to me until I started at the Wilson Dental Library. I had taken classes in the history of medicine and had experience with archives and special collections, so I have approached the field from that perspective. Lately, I have become interested in the maintenance, conservation, and presentation of the history of medicine and specifically, dentistry.

2. What is your current position? I am currently the Technical Services Library Assistant at USC’s Wilson Dental Library.

3. What do you enjoy most about your current position? I thoroughly enjoy the flexibility and jack-of-trades nature of my position. I handle new books processing, donations, and missing book searches, but also get to work with our patrons. I have also been fortunate enough to assist with rare book and archives projects and recently created a display centered on important works and artifacts in dentistry.

4. What do you think is the most interesting or challenging issue in librarianship today? I am interested in the future of libraries. As an MLIS student, I envision what my future career will look like and what libraries will be like. In class and at my current position, I have had many conversations about space for computers, shelving for print collections, and study space; these are all part of this larger conversation about our role and what services we provide to our patrons. I don’t think this conversation is new nor is there a right answer; libraries are always evolving and adapting, but I do think this is an exciting and challenging time to get an MLIS.

5. Please provide a link that made you think (an article, video, blog post, other webpage, etc. that you found to be interesting or thought-provoking): My background is in American history, so I couldn’t help but be drawn to this article about “war libraries” from American Libraries Magazine earlier this year: The Library War Service: ALA’s book campaigns during World War I

2016 Election Results

Posted on | March 28, 2016 | No Comments

Caroline Marshall


Caroline Marshall
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center



Susan McKinlaySecretary:

Susan McKinlay
West Coast Ultrasound Institute



MLGSCA Nominating Committee incoming members:

April AguinagaApril Aguiñaga
Maricopa Integrated Health System




Sunny McGowanSunny McGowan
Scripps Mercy Hospital




MLGSCA Nominee to the MLA Nominating Committee

Annie ThompsonAnnie Thompson is proposed as the MLGSCA Nominee to the MLA Nominating Committee (University of Southern California, Wilson Dental Library)




The Nominating Committee would like to extend our sincere thanks to all candidates for their willingness to step forward and serve.

Kathleen Carlson, MLGSCA Nominating Committee Chair 2015-2016
Amy Chatfield (CA) 2015-2017
Norma Layton (CA) 2015-2017
Lisa Marks (AZ) 2014-2016
Lori Tagawa (CA) 2014-2016

MLGSCA Research Grant

Posted on | March 15, 2016 | No Comments

Do you have a project idea? Now is the time to apply for the MLGSCA Research Grant of up to $500 to support your library research!

MLGSCA recognizes the need for research that focuses on topics and issues in health sciences librarianship. Of particular interest are projects that are practical in nature so that results can easily be put to use in other libraries. Group proposals are also encouraged!

General information:

MLGSCA recognizes the need for research that focuses on topics and issues in health sciences librarianship. Of particular interest to MLGSCA are research projects that are practical in nature so that results can easily be put to use in other libraries. In addition to original research proposals, demonstration or replicated research proposals are considered acceptable. Group proposals are also encouraged. $1000 has been set aside for the awards program for the July-June fiscal year with $500 being the maximum amount per award.

In addition to the requirements listed below, all successful recipients of an award must share with the membership both a project proposal summary prior to research implementation as well as the results of the research project.

A brief summary of the project proposal is be written by the award recipient and featured in the “Spotlight on Research” section of the MLGSCA website and/or as an article for the MLGSCA blog within 30 days after award notification.  Research project results are to be shared with the membership and may take the form of an MLGSCA blog article, a presentation at an MLGSCA program or joint meeting, or a poster session at an MLGSCA program or joint meeting.

Awards may be used for purposes such as the following:

  • equipment/materials
  • software
  • photocopying
  • promotional  materials to advertise research project
  • consulting services (with approval)
  • poster creation
  • research participation incentives (with approval)
  • supplies/postage

Salary, benefits, tuition/course fees and travel are not supported under this awards program.

Eligibility: All applicants must hold current membership in MLGSCA. Student members of MLGSCA will be required to identify a practicing medical librarian or a library school faculty member as a sponsor for their research project. Sponsors do not have to be members of MLGSCA. In exceptional cases, consideration may be given to outstanding research proposals submitted by individuals who do not meet these eligibility requirements.


  1. All applicants must submit a completed research proposal to the Chair of the MLGSCA Research Committee by the due date. Late proposals will not be accepted.
  2. A current curriculum vita must be included with the application.
  3. If the proposal is a group project, a principal investigator must be identified in the application. The person identified is responsible for the research project and reporting.
  4. If a student member of MLGSCA, a sponsor must be identified in the application (see eligibility section).
  5. Consulting services and Research Participant incentives must be pre-approved by MLGSCA Research Chairperson or committee designee.
  6. Approved applicant(s) must submit an itemized final budget.
  7. If the research results are published, recognition of Chapter support must be given.
  8. Research results must be shared with the membership within ninety days of completion of the project. The Committee may request status updates on projects that are “in process”.

Proposal Guidelines:

Grant proposals should be brief, but complete. The following must be included:

Part 1: Project design

  1. title of the project
  2. name(s) of participants in the project including identification of principal investigator. Students should list their sponsor in this section.
  3. rationale and assessment of needs including an explanation of the value of the research. This may include a summary of recent literature. (suggested length 1-2 pages).
  4. methodology – describe the general strategies to be employed in implementing this project. If this is a group project, it is important to identify the roles individuals will have in the project. If replicating another research project, indicate which project and if there is any variation in your proposal. Analyze the specific tasks necessary for carrying out this project and prepare a timetable for the completion of the project (suggested length: 2-3 pages).
  5. budget – provide a detailed budget for all expenses related to the research proposal. Indicate which expenses for which you are seeking to cover with the MLGSCA grant.
  6. sharing with members – indicate plans for sharing results of the research project with members of MLGSCA

Part 2: Curriculum vita that includes:

Judging: Each research proposal will be reviewed by members of MLGSCA Research Committee and a review ballot will be completed by committee members. Official notification will be sent to recipients and non-recipients after the Advisory Board meets and reviews the final list submitted by the Research Committee. Normally, this would be 15-30 days after the due date of the grant application. Depending on the quality of the applications, the Research Committee may recommend that no grants be presented in a given year.

Applications will be accepted through May 10, 2016.

For more information, please contact:
Deb Schneider, M.Ed, MLIS |
MLGSCA Research Chairperson
Senior Librarian/Nurse-Library Liaison
Library Services | HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center
P: 480-882-4870 | F: 480-882-4200 |

New to MLGSCA – Scott Johnson

Posted on | March 15, 2016 | No Comments

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson

  1. How did you become interested in medical librarianship? I first became interested in medical librarianship by working at a college with nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy programs. Working with the students was very rewarding, and seeing the passion that the students had for their chosen professions was great to see. While I still have trouble looking at some of the graphic photos in their medical textbooks (I generally avoid it if I can!), and I didn’t necessarily think of myself as a medical librarian yet, I knew that working with students in the medical field was something that I wanted to pursue. After moving to Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU), I have joined MLA and MLGSCA and have committed to learning as much as I can, so I am able to help our optometry and physician assistant students and faculty.
  2. What is your current position? I just started my second year as an Education/Technology Librarian at MBKU.
  3. What do you enjoy most about your current position? What I enjoy the most about my current position is the collaborative nature of the position, and learning a lot of new skills. In my previous position, I was a solo librarian, so working with three other librarians at MBKU is a great way to draw off of their experience, listen to new ideas, and work with people who are great at their jobs. Additionally, I am also able to take on a wide variety of responsibilities, including managing the library website, troubleshooting our ILS, and teaching instruction sessions to optometry and physician assistant students. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to travel to places like Austin and Toronto for MLA!
  4. What do you think is the most interesting or challenging issue in librarianship today? I think it is open access publishing. It’s obviously a complicated issue, but with more universities creating institutional repositories, more journals moving to open access, and researchers wanting their research to be seen by as many people as possible, it just feels like that is the direction that publishing is moving. Combine this with increasing journal costs, limited library budgets, researchers wanting to publish in the top journals, cost of open access publishing, etc., and it’s a convoluted situation that nevertheless can change the structure of academic librarianship.
  5. Please provide a link that made you think (an article, video, blog post, other webpage, etc. that you found to be interesting or thought-provoking): I found myself spending a lot of time looking at the Altmetric top 100 article list for 2015: I’m always interested in looking at data to help inform decisions, so having the data that Altmetrics uses, like the number of news stories, blog posts, and tweets that mention an article, or the number of times the article is cited on Wikipedia, can provide a broader picture than just the number of times it has been cited. It also provides an idea of what type of research is getting headlines, for better or worse. I’ll admit that I’m not an expert on altmetrics and that there are problematic aspects to it, but it was interesting to see both what was talked about, and what metrics were used to rank them.
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