History of the
Health Sciences Section

Les Sourds muets by Jean Henri Marlet, 1840

Abstracts for the 2000
MLA Annual Meeting Program, Vancouver BC

Joint Program: History of the Health Sciences, Medical Society Libraries,
Oral History Committee

Recording for the future:
Demystifying the oral history process

Diane McKenzie, MALS.
Overview of the MLA Oral History Project

In 1977 the Medical Library Association recommended establishing an Oral History Program to "provide the basis for a history of the Association and for an understanding of the dynamics of medical librarianship in the 20th century." In 1980, a three-year National Library of Medicine grant provided funds to continuing the interviews. With the Centennial, there has been a renewed interest in interviewing and in uses the existing interviews. Over 50 interviews provide interesting examples of all aspects of medical librarianship. The Program uses accepted oral history techniques to collect, preserve, distribute interviews. This talk will provide an overview of the program, its progress and its future plans.

Joan S. Ash, PhD
Oral History and Its Value as a Research Technique

Oral history is the use and preservation of tape-recorded interviews for documenting personal accounts of historically significant events. This talk will provide an overview of oral history as a qualitative research technique. Topics will include the definition of oral history, a discussion of its varied uses, and its strengths and limitations in research.

Susan Bolda Marshall, MALS
Preparation for the Oral History Interview

An oral history interview requires hours of preparation for each hour of actual interview time. The "nuts-and-bolts" of any oral history project will be discussed, including legal consent agreements, recording-keeping, communicating with the interview subject prior to the interview, and selecting and acquiring resources such as tape recording equipment. Other topics covered will include researching the career and accomplishments of the subject and identifying areas that should be covered in the actual interview.

Linda Weimer, MLS, MPS
Oral History Interview Techniques

The outcome of the oral history interview is dependent upon the interviewer's ability to establish a rapport with the subject, to frame questions properly, to guide the interview without becoming intrusive, and to quickly identify unexpected areas that need further exploration. Advance preparation plays an important part in this process along with strong communication and interpersonal skills. The development and use of good interviewing techniques will be the topic of this talk.

Elizabeth Figa
Products of Oral History Interviews: Present and Future

The outcome of an oral history interview is typically an audiotape and/or videotape. These are frequently transcribed and edited and can be published or disseminated in a variety of formats including paper and electronic. Various formats for the preservation and distribution of the oral history interview will be discussed along with possible technological developments, which may affect these products in the future.

Joint Program: Relevant Issues, Consumer and Patient Health,
History of the Health Sciences, International Cooperation, Medical Society Libraries

East/West: Merging trends in medical therapeutics

Allan Best, Ph.D
Dragons and debutantes: Integrative medicine comes out?

The objectives for the presentation are: 1. To position the East/West trend in a larger context of our rapidly evolving health care systems and societal change; 2. To explore the specific reasons behind the trend, and why the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use in North America is growing an estimated 15-20%/annum; 3. To forecast some future trends in health services and library sciences. Behavioral sciences research offers much to the East/West dialogue, for understanding why health consumer preferences are changing and how we can reinvent learning systems so that people can take more control over their health. Health services delivery in North America is going through unprecedented change as society restructures around the information economy and what it means for our core values and way of life. The East-West trend creates fundamental challenges for a larger movement towards evidence-based decision making, integrative medicine, and greater reliance on self-care. There will be new opportunities and new roles for library sciences as part of this reframing of health.

Sharon A. Lezotte, MHE, MLIS
As the dragon turns…

Qigong [pronounced chee goong] is a therapeutic modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Chinese herbology, dietetics, acupuncture, massage, and Qigong are all parts of a single entity. They can be and often are used separately, or may be used together. While acupuncture and herbal medicine typically focus on curing sickness, Qigong usually focuses on maintaining good health (as do massage and balanced nutrition - for yin and yang). In China in the 1980's there was an upsurge of interest in Qigong. Today, more than 70 million (some estimate up to 200 million) Chinese practice Qigong every day.

There is also a surge in interest around the world in this therapeutic modality. There are more than 3,000 varieties of Qigong, I am focusing on the medical tradition. Medical Qigong involves breathing exercises, controlled body movements, and varying forms of meditation. Qigong is least effective against acute illness or medical emergencies. It is better at preventing disease, and treating chronic conditions or disabilities. There are many parallel therapeutics in Western medicine. With the major demographic group of "Baby-boomers" hitting the age where chronic conditions start appearing, as well as, wanting the general aging process to slow down, there is a growing interest and useful application in America with Qigong

David J. Owen, MLS,PhD
The best of both worlds: Building a virtual reference service for integrative medicine

Integrative Medicine is a newly emerging discipline seeking to integrate the knowledge and modalities of Complementary and Alternative Medicine into mainstream "western medicine." It aims to produce a true synthesis of the Western biomedical approach with alternative systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and unconventional Western practices such as Herbal Medicine. In this presentation we describe a cooperative project between librarians and faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, to build a suite of electronic reference resources for Integrative Medicine. The project has four major components: (1) Needs Assessment, to determine the information needs of faculty and students in this area; (2) Web-based access to selected print and electronic resources in support of specific educational and research programs in Complementary and Alternative Medicine; (3) An innovative Virtual Reference service using remote interactive software to facilitate communication between reference librarians, faculty and students; and (4) Online interactive tutorials designed to support curriculum-based use of this resource. We will discuss how this new approach to the problem of identifying authoritative print and electronic information sources seeks to establish an electronic community of educators, information providers and students who will cooperate in the exchange of information and expertise.

Diane G. Wolf
Evidence-based complementary care: The Librarian's role on a Complementary Medicine Assessment Committee

The Complementary Medicine Assessment Committee (CMAC) was established in 1998 to evaluate alternative medicines and therapies, to determine which therapies would be offered by Christiana Care, and to guide the development of related educational materials and programs. The Medical Libraries support CMAC's efforts with comprehensive searches, and a librarian serves as a CMAC member. The librarian's role is to provide the evidence used by CMAC to review the efficacy, formulation, side-effects, interactions, and other aspects of each therapy. CMAC evaluates the evidence and makes determinations about whether the therapy will be recommended as routine, or if the therapy is to be available to inpatients at their physicians' discretion, or if it is potentially dangerous. Issues to be addressed include the creation of the CMAC, it's mandate and composition, the development and refinement of the search strategies with a list of reference tools used, and the benefits of participation to the Medical Libraries.

2000 Program