A Day in the Life - Tuesday

At work:

  • A hospitalist cancelled a 9am research consultation w/ me.  Topic = The leadership and mentorship roles of physicians.  In preparation for the mtg, I threw together (what seemed to me to be) a decent set of search results (for a first search).  I sent him the PubMed results.
  • A first-year student was, for some reason, unable to access Ovid from off-campus.  I spent a few minutes trouble-shooting before the problem ironed itself out.
  • Volunteered to proctor a dental exam. 
  • Had 2 separate research consultations w/ M1 students as part of their longitudinal case study groups.  One early afternoon; the other late.  Both students needed help finding literature on cultural perspectives of health care.  I showed them the research guide a colleague of mine put together for precisely this purpose.  Since both prefered PubMed, I translated the Ovidlish into PubMedese.  I also intro'd them to the ATLA Religion Database to give a non-med slant on things.  Last, I showed some advanced Google strategies (inc site searching) to help them minimize the garbage retrieval.  One of the consultations veered into the land of impact factors and H-Indexes. Aside: I should point out that the LCS is part of the first and second year medical curriculum.  Each small group has 12 or so students + a faculty leader + a librarian.  I've been assigned to 3 M1 groups and 1 M2.  Two of the M1 faculty leaders frequently send students to me.
  • Had a working lunch w/ a colleague.

At home:

  • Prepped for an early Wed morning presentation.  Topic = Keeping current w/ the literature.  Audience = Nuclear Medicine Fellows.

A Day in the Life - Monday

Library Day in the Life.  I participated in the last one (which turns out to have been Round 3) in July '09.   Seems like it was, as they say, only yesterday.  Time Flies

In any case, this week'll be a killer.  Expect a lot of posts about systematic review searching and presentation prepping/giving and other random project doing.  I'll continue using the Library Day in the Life to group these posts together.

  • Started writing a portion of a report.  Since Fall '09, I've been a member of an article discovery working group - a group tasked by library administration to evaluate a few article discovery tools.  We - the committee members - personally evaluated each of the tools and then ran a successful user survey to, you know, get input from the users.  The report, which is due at the end of January (this week!), will summarize our findings and ultimately present our Taskers with recommendations.
  • Held my weekly liaison office hours in the School of Dentistry (2 hours). 
  • Co-chaired a committee meeting comprised of members from both the library and the Office of Medical Education.  We are, as you can imagine, both heavily involved in med-ed, yet to date have done very little in the way of collaboratin'.  Thus - we're getting together committee-style to make sure we don't continue along this isolated path.
  • Finished my section of the report late in the evening.  First draft in Google Docs. 

Midwest Chapter, MLA Presentation

This presentation was given at the 2009 Midwest Chapter MLA meeting in October (which I wasn't able to attend).  It details a survey we - the UM HSL - sent around* to faculty and students to determine their awareness of various resources.  To me (as a liaison), the most significant result is the potential impact on instruction.  Should I make a more concerted effort to introduce my audiences to a wider array of resources?  Doing this would - of course - mean less time for advanced PubMed and Ovid.  Is that a worthwhile trade-off?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It depends on the audience.  Something to think about anyway. 


* By 'sent around' I mean we put it on our homepage and let users find it themselves.  Judging by the 331 response rate, that process seemed to work well enough.  


My Year in Reading '09

Of the books I read for the first time this year, these are the 9 I liked best.  I didn't include the old faves, like A Small Place, Omon Ra, and Everything Flows, all of which I reread.  No particular order.  Alphabetical.

Row 1, L-R: The Book of Chameleons; The Complete Maus; The Darkroom of Damocles

Row 2, L-R: An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter; Homage to Czerny, Oryx and Crake

Row 3, L-R: Persepolis, The Road, The Sirens of Titan


On Mediation in Art...

...from César Aira's An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter:


When we strike up a conversation, we are often trying to work out what our interlocutor is thinking.  And it seems impossible to ascertain those thoughts except by a long series of inferences.  What could be more closed off and mediated than someone else's mental activity?  And yet this activity is expressed in language, words resounding in the air, simply waiting to be heard.  We come up against the words, and before we know it, we are already emerging on the other side, grappling with the thought of another mind.  Mutatis mutandis, the same thing happens with a painter and the visible world.  It was happening to Rugendas.  What the world was saying was the world.