Thinking Outside the Library

Outreach and professional development work is very important for librarians and library staff. Not only does it provide an opportunity to communicate Dana Medical Library’s full range of services to potential patrons, it helps the Library better understand the diverse needs and interests of our clients. Leaving the library to present at or attend an event ultimately helps fine tune current collections, services and programs and develop new ones for the future.

Here are a few of the events attended this past quarter.

Going Mobile for EDU@UVM

Dana Librarian Alice Stokes presented a class on mobile library resources during the EDU@UVM Staff Development series over Spring Break. The class, Library Databases, Journals and Books on your Mobile Device, attracted staff from seven University departments and offices. Participants learned about library apps for smartphones and tablets, e-books, and the Libraries mobile websites. More information about mobile apps from Dana can be found on the Library website:

Health Information Equity

A recent conference sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), New England Region examined issues of health information equity. The conference was attended by medical and public librarians, public health workers, AHEC representatives and Regional Medical Library staff. Dana Library Director, Marianne Burke, who has conducted health information outreach projects and has had NLM-sponsored contracts was in attendance.

Vermont’s own Jessamyn West, a librarian who consults with rural public libraries on technology and information access spoke on the continued Digital Divide. She provided data from recent Pew studies showing that digital access disparity parallels health disparity in populations by race, socio-economic class, and region. A lack of computing and network resources can translate into health literacy disparities in communities. Since so much health information is communicated at the family and community level, the lack of technology access may make the dispersion of information throughout communities slower. Public libraries have been a great leveler providing high speed internet access across rural and disadvantaged urban regions; they are also good sources of health information. Studies have shown that library–based Internet need exceeds capacity, and that many inquiries at libraries are health-related.

State Conference for Leaders in Nursing

Vermont Organization of Nurse Leaders (VONL) held their annual conference April 19 and 20. Fred Pond, MLS and Bob Sekerak, MLS staffed an exhibit and met with close to 150 nurse leaders from across the state. Dana resources and services were highlighted.

Old Vermont Films

Fred Pond, MLS Dana Librarian, presented at the first spring 2012 presentation at UVM’s Center on Research on Vermont on the work he has done to preserve old films.

Pond was working with the film collection at the Vermont Historical Society in Barre when he uncovered a film cannister marked, “Montpelier- Silent.” Inside was a 16mm color film of about 45 minutes in length. When Pond looked more closely, he discovered the film was more than a film featuring Montpelier. The film turned out to be a silent documentary showing the Vermont State Guard during World War II.

Vermont State Guard in World War II is among the films which the Vermont Historical Society recently embarked  on a project to move from film to DVD, digitizing them for use by communities, researchers and film makers. Pond presented  the challenges and rewards of this process, along with selected footage from titles from the VHS Leahy Library Collection, featuring a mix of home movies, state development, and commercial films of Vermont’s industries.

Careers in Libraries

On April 3, 2012 Dana Medical Library joined 90 area businesses at the 13th annual South Burlington High School Career/Job EXPO. The event offers high school students an opportunity to explore new career pathways and talk with professionals and business leaders about college options, employment, shadowing, and internship opportunities. This year Dana librarian Nancy Bianchi used a Harry Potter theme to welcome students to learn about careers in medical librarianship. EXPO attendees who stopped at the Library’s exhibit table were invited to take a five question Harry Potter quiz, and then encouraged to ask the librarian about the magical similarities between the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and Medical Librarianship. Potions, Hogwarts Library, and Dementors made the Dana Medical Library’s exhibit a popular stop at this year’s Career/Job EXPO!