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History of the
Health Sciences Section

Ambulance Des Blesses: 29 Juillet 1830. Cour du Palais Royal. / Eugene Lamy Lith. 1830

Abstracts for the 2007
MLA Annual Meeting Program, Philadelphia, PA

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section

They'll All Be Rare Books One Day: Collection Development in Special Collections

John Schleicher
Culling Your Collection for Quality

What happens after ten years of not having a staff member managing your rare book collections on a day to day basis? Chaos perhaps? How many years will it take to clear up the backlog? The presenter will discuss the ensuing reorganization, and collection management steps that had to take place in just such a situation. How many of us have had to clean up the mess a predecessor had left behind! Hear what it takes to do just that.

Cheryl Dee
Digitization of the Papers of Martin M. Cummings, Director Emeritus of the National Library of Medicine

This presentation reports on a project to make the historically significant papers of Dr. Martin M Cummings, Director of the National Library of Medicine 1964-1984, digitally available to future scholars. This presentation will discuss the project planning, content selection and location, system neutral metadata creation, digitization, potential digital presentation, and future considerations of interoperability and re-use of Dr. Cummings' speeches, testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Appropriations, and selected papers.

Michael Flannery
Building a Retrospective Collection in Pharmacy, or, Why the Materia Medica Matters
What in the world is “materia medica” anyway? We don’t have a pharmacy school, why should I care about pharmacy-related materials? What are essential texts in the history of pharmacy and why? How can I tell “keepers” from “throwaways” in a mass of pharmaceutical literature? How would I go about filling in gaps in a spotty collection? How much might it cost? These and other questions will be addressed in this PowerPoint presentation.

Diane McKenzie
Collection Development, International Dissertations, and the Oakland A’s

In 2004, the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill accepted a gift from the New York Academy of Medicine of 3,500 linear feet of theses from academic institutions throughout the world. The gift included theses from the Universities of Paris and Berlin, as well as theses from lesser known universities, such as Algiers, Buenos Aires and Dakar. This presentation will focus on the decision to accept the gift, and how we brought the library’s resources together to create a team that could be competitive in the world [series] of the special collections.

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section; Chiropractic Libraries Section; Complimentary and Alternative Medicine SIG

Joining the Revolution: Providing Information in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Past, Present, and Future

Suzanne M. Shultz & Esther Y. Dell, AHIP
Progression of Alternative to Accepted: A Crooked Mile

Objective: Mainstream medical professionals have traditionally viewed alternative and conventional medical therapies as uncompromisingly segregated. This separation evolved over centuries and is exemplified by such ideas as small pox inoculation, microbial etiology of disease and herbal cures. Alternative medicine, branded unworthy, was excluded from standard medical practice. History, however, reveals a very crooked boundary between alternative and mainstream medicine.
Methods: This paper will examine a sample from a growing list of formerly alternative therapies that have been validated and accepted by mainstream medicine as standards of medical practice. These include, but are not limited to, osteopathy, acupuncture, relaxation and biofeedback, vaccination, folk medicine to pharmacologic agents, and nutritional practices.
The public demands unification of the best available healing resources into one common mode of medical practice. Many formerly alternative practices have become so intertwined in modern medicine that younger practitioners may not even be aware of their “alternative” roots. The American Medical Association no longer applies such derogatory terms as ‘quackery’ or ‘fraudulent’ to alternative medicine, except for the most blatantly harmful remedies. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (an arm of the National Institutes of Health) has made immense contributions toward the acceptance of alternative therapies by supporting investigations, establishing structured frameworks for evaluation, and financing numerous clinical trials. Alternative therapeutic practices may be embraced and institutionalized into one common medical practice only after determining efficacy and, more importantly, safety.

Hua F. Chang, Vera W. Hudson, Ying Sun, Dorothy Moore, George Hazard, & Jeanne Goshorn
Dietary Supplement Database for Consumers

Objective: The objective of this poster is to present a new database in complimentary medicine. The Dietary Supplements Labels Database is presented as an information resource which focuses on brands of dietary supplements, their ingredients, and references links on specific ingredients. The reference links are to related health information. The Database contains information on over 1,000 individual brands of dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, amino acids, energy/weight loss products, and specialty supplements. The database is designed for consumers and will enable them to search for brands, active ingredients, uses, and manufacturers. The purpose of this poster is to demonstrate the features and navigation of this new resource.
Methods: The information was collected from labels and manufacturers' websites of dietary supplements in the marketplace. This database consolidates and centralizes the information needed to make informed decisions about supplements.
The Dietary Supplements Labels Database provides opportunity to educate and empower the consumers to make informed decisions about dietary supplements.
It enables the users to compare information on different brands of dietary supplements, including dosage form, active and inactive ingredients, amount of active ingredients per unit, suggested dose, health claims, warnings, percentage Daily Value, manufacturer/distributor contact information, and other label information.

Lilian Hoffecker, AHIP & Catherine Morton Reiter, AHIP
Overcoming Skepticism: A Committee of Experts Bridges the Gap between the Library's Complementary and Alternative Medicine Resources and Health Care Professionals

Objective: To describe how an interdisciplinary committee of experts has helped build a special collection of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) resources and how the collection in turn is helping to inform health care professionals.
Description: Recognizing the growing need for access to authoritative CAM resources, the library established an endowed collection of CAM materials in 1994 with assistance from a group of alternative and conventional medicine specialists. In a field in which evidence-based information was difficult to find thirteen years ago, this group functioned initially as a selection committee. But as the field expanded, its role evolved to serve increasingly in an advisory capacity and focus primarily on marketing of the collection and education about CAM. Throughout its existence, the committee of MDs, RNs, and PhDs has been invaluable as a source of credibility for the collection in a field that is still trying to find its footing in the health sciences. This paper describes the committee’s initial and current roles, its function in developing the collection, challenges faced in working with the committee, and how this group of experts has helped bridge the gap between the library’s CAM resources and its users.
Conclusion: A committee of experts may be helpful in establishing and maintaining credibility for a controversial collection, and for assuring that the collection meets the needs of users.

Anelia Boshnakova, Karen Pilkington, Janet Richardson, & Peter Fisher
Producing and Organising CAM Evidence for a National Resource

Objective: To produce a national online source of quality assured information on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for health professionals, CAM practitioners and patients.
Methods: The first stage of the project involved scoping the extent of research evidence available on a number of complementary therapies. The second phase required organisation of CAM evidence in a suitable format for health professionals. Based on preliminary work conducted during the first phase, the overall approach involved categorising information by therapy and condition. Consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders confirmed that a simple taxonomy was considered to be the most acceptable method of organising this information. Following this, further searches for relevant systematic reviews were conducted. A process of developing introductory articles on each therapy was initiated. These provide a short background including clinical uses and links to further information. Other features currently being developed include a news and events section, links to patient information and educational material and answers to questions from primary care clinicians. The therapies covered within the resource are also being extended. Usability testing with end users will guide any additional development.
Results/outcome: The CAM Specialist Library was launched in May 2006 and is one of 27 active specialist libraries which are part of the UK National Library for Health. The first usability testing has been conducted and resulted in changes to the organisation of information on herbal products and the decision to present information as a series of key topics. The introductory article on acupuncture will form the basis of an annual evidence update for 2007 while ‘National Knowledge Weeks’ to be held in June and October to coincide with major relevant awareness events will focus on homeopathy, and CAM in low back pain respectively.
Conclusion: The CAM Specialist Library ( has the potential to be the key source of up-to-date quality information on CAM for a range of users. Further work is required to fully engage potential users in the development.

2007 Program