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History of the Health Sciences
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History of the
Health Sciences Section

John Billings in Library Hall, c1887-1894

Abstracts for the 2010 MLA Annual
Meeting Program, Washington, DC

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section, Research Section, Veterinary Medical Libraries Section

Bioethics and the History of the Health Sciences

Stephen J. Greenberg
Hippocrates and the Bikers: A Brief Introduction to Bioethics and the History of Health Sciences

Since ancient times, practitioners in the health sciences have been held (and have held themselves) to higher moral and ethical standards than the general population. This presentation will survey the effects of these attitudes, from the islands of Classical Greece to the highways of Southern California.

Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, AHIP
Upon Reflection: Is Open Access Communicating Scholarly?

Background: Nowadays, collection development policy philosophically embraces the concepts of open access for scholarly communication. This philosophy arose in the early 21st century from the unethical behavior of publishers demanding authors relinquish copyright of their research. The philosophy also arose because in these trying economic times, publishers were unethical in being greedy and inconsiderate when demanding increased journal subscription prices. It was strongly felt, for the greater good, all should have full-text access to scholarly publication at no charge. Now, about 10 years later after the creation of many open access journals and PubMed Central, an archive of these works, is the open access movement communicating scholarly information to advance knowledge? Aim/Objectives: Investigate the dissemination of knowledge from open access produced literature. Methods: A topical overview of the open access/scholarly communication movement will be conducted. The contents of PubMed Central (PMC) will be reviewed. A sample of open access journals will be selected, and an analysis of the number of articles produced and how many times they have been cited will be conducted.

Linda S. Murphy; Brian R. Williams,
Evidence-based Bioethics: Available Resources and Tools for Librarians

Objective: This presentation will address the collaborative efforts and the unique experience of a medical librarian and law librarian in leading a discussion of evidence-based bioethics before the Bioethics-Biolaw Discussion Group (BEBLDG). The BEBLDG members are senior faculty, local physicians, ethicists, lawyers, and health care policy makers, experts in the field of medical ethics. The BEBLDG Group’s focus is on complex end-stage medicolegal issues. As part of this presentation, we will review some of the relevant literature and tools used to facilitate the collaborative discussion. Methods: The definition of “evidence-based bioethics” remains subject to debate. In this context, the BEBLDG group invited the librarians to share their expertise in medical and legal research and information resources. Based on available literature, the librarians established central themes and methodologies used by expert authors to describe their understandings of evidence-based bioethics. Then, the librarians applied two dynamic case scenarios to guide the group through a focused debate on possible medicolegal decision-making processes.

Elizabeth C. Whipple; Elizabeth M. LaRue, AHIP; Kacy L. Allgood
How Did My Skin Lesion Get on YouTube?: Privacy and Security on Mobile Devices

Objective: With the seemingly ubiquitous use of mobile devices in health care settings and their use by health care professionals, new questions concerning the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and ethical uses of mobile devices are arising. This paper will examine how mobile devices affect HIPAA and education for health care professionals, how theories of communication are affected, and how the library reacts to a mobile world. Methods: A descriptive study utilizing a semi-structured questionnaire measuring third- and fourth-year medical and nursing students’ use of mobile devices for clinical information sharing and modes of communication along with security and privacy issues in respect to the health profession and patient care. We will investigate the students’ current use of mobile devices in their educational and clinical environments, the types of information they access, and other library and clinical services they want and expect to access via mobile devices. Findings from the questionnaire will be used to change or support existing theories of what communication is and how communication is transmitted. Our population will reveal their degree of mobile device dependence and knowledge of HIPAA issues potentially affecting clinical information and/or communication in their professional health education and clinical environments.

Michael A. Flannery
Healers at the Pool of Bethesda: Thomas Percival and the Evolution of Medical Ethics in American Medicine

Description: This talk begins with the landmark publication of Thomas Percival’s Medical Ethics (1803). When the American Medical Association (AMA) looked for a model upon which to build its first code of ethics, it was to Percival they turned. From its initial adoption in 1847 to 1903, the AMA code of ethics was largely an adaptation of this treatise. The impact of Sir William Osler made significant and far-reaching changes to the standards of ethical practice. This paper will delineate those changes and their evolution into modern medical practice.

Program: History of the Health Sciences Section

Advancing the History of the Health Sciences Library and Librarian: A Report and Reaction

Michael A. Flannery; Stephen J. Greenberg; Edwin Holtum; Suzanne Porter, AHI; Lucretia W. McClure, AHIP, FMLA,

Description: This session will discuss the advocacy report of the History of the Health Sciences Section prepared by a section task force in response to the steadily diminishing presence of the history of medicine in MLA publications and in health sciences schools curricula. The first speaker, Michael Flannery, associate director, Historical Collections, University of Alabama-Birmingham, will provide a brief summary of the sections’ advocacy document based on the January “Comment and Opinion” in the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA). He will discuss methodology and conclusions of the report along with a description of the longitudinal decline of historical articles and related articles in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association and JMLA. The second speaker, Stephen Greenberg, librarian, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, will speak on why advocacy for history matters to both the historian and the librarian. Finally, the members of the advocacy committee (Michael Flannery, Edwin Holtum, Suzanne Porter, AHIP, and Lucretia W. McClure, AHIP, FMLA) will discuss the report and the recommendations with the audience.

Program: Dental Section, Collection Development Section, Educational Media and Technologies Section, History of the Health Sciences Section, Hospital Libraries Section, Technical Services Section, Osteopathic Libraries SIG. Sponsored by StatRef

Threatening Fusions: When Ideologies and Demagogues Meet Ideas and Libraries

Deborah D. Blecic, AHIP
E-books and the Health Sciences Library: 4th Annual Lecture on the Evidence-based Practice of Librarianship.

Description: This invited speaker lecture series focuses on significant changes in the evidence base that underpins medical libraries and the support they are able to provide patrons. The last two years have seen the rapid expansion of the availability of digital or electronic versions of books. This year’s session will focus on this rapid change and its impact on medical libraries and their collections. Will the focus of publishers still be on collections over individual titles? Will print collections become obsolete? Will federated search engines continue to develop to the point that we will be able to search our e-book collections for specific content beyond what has been possible in our card catalogs, print or digital? These are some of the questions we will invite knowledgeable speakers to provide librarians with useful information they can take home and use in their libraries. The first speaker, Mark Sandler, director, Center for Library Initiatives, Committee on Institutional Cooperation, will provide an overview of trends and developments in the e-book space, covering such topics as dramatic growth in the numbers of available e-books; prevalent business models (subscription, purchase, aggregator services, advertiser funded, end-user purchase, etc.); selecting individual titles versus aggregate collections; shifting collection and operating budgets from print to online content; operational efficiencies in e-only libraries; and user uptake of e-book offerings. The second speaker, Deborah D. Blecic, bibliographer, Life and Health Sciences, Richard J. Daley Library, University of Illinois-Chicago, will discuss practice issues related to e-books, especially "best practices" in managing rapidly growing e-book collections. Issues in cataloging, discovery tools, searching of e-book content, acquisitions, collection management, user education, and completeness of content will be presented, and methods and solutions discussed.

2010 Program