ISSN 1535-7821
current issue    archives
Vol. 19 No. 2 2003

Link to ArticleArticles

Link to Article"The Crest of the Wave - Cool New Health Information Resources for Consumers" (MLA '03 program reviews)
Link to ArticleThrough Tempests and Storms: Vaccines, Biologicals, Patient Education and Environmental Health. (MLA '03 program reviews)

Link to ArticleEthics in Health Sciences and Consumer Health Librarianship. (MLA '03 CE reviews)

Link to ArticleMedlinePlus Update

Link to ArticleHealth Librarian "On the Street" -- Managing and Leading.

Link to ArticleNew Librarian Goes to MLA San Diego

Link to ArticleBook Reviews

Link to ArticleBalshi, Thomas, D.D.S. et al. A Patient's Guide to Dental Implants

Link to ArticleSanghavi, Darshak, M.D. A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician's Tour of the Body

Link to ArticleThe Merck Manual of Medical Information: Second Home Edition

Link to ArticleNews

Link to ArticlePublication Information



"The Crest of the Wave--Cool New Health Information Resources for Consumers."

On Sunday, May 4th, at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in San Diego,  CAPHIS co-sponsored a series of Contributed Papers and Invited Speakers focusing on Health Information Resources for Consumers. Provided here are reviews from two CAPHIS members.

"Electronic access to the wave -- cool new health information resources for consumers"

Presented by Angela Ruffin.
Review by Gail Kouame.

The first of the four speakers was Angela Ruffin, head of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s (NN/LM) National Network Office in Bethesda, Maryland.  Dr. Ruffin presented results of NN/LM’s 53 funded projects in 2000-2001.  The analysis revealed funding for the projects across 36 states totaled $1,635,699.  The projects focused on under-served populations and partnerships with third-party organizations,  content involved education, technology infrastructure, and web site development.  Many project participants stated they could have used more time to implement their project - the grants were for 18 months. Some of the positive outcomes cited by grant participants included project impact in terms of developing new resources and increasing the visibility of partnering agencies.  The experience reminded participants of the need to get out into the community, to dedicate time for planning and outreach, to customize training, and the value of using a train-the-trainer approach.  New insights gained included the need for greater cultural competency and relationship building.

" bringing evidence to patients"

Presented by Tamara M. Rader and Andrea K. Lane.
Review by Brenda R. Pfannenstiel provides evidence-based information via the web to consumers and to health care practitioners on more than sixty chronic conditions.  Although provided by the BMJ Publishing Group, it is written in "American" language and uses American drug names.  The consumer health section describes conditions, personal experiences of patients, treatment decisions including drugs, surgery, and alternative medicine.  Treatments are classified as: treatments that work, treatments that are likely to work, treatments that work but their harms may outweigh their benefits, treatments that need further study to determine whether they work, treatments that are unlikely to work, and treatments that are likely to be ineffective or harmful.  These classifications are based on a "thorough literature search" of the journal "Clinical Evidence." is a subscription service; for temporary access to evaluate this service, email

" bringing evidence to patient"

Presented by Tamara M. Rader and Andrea K. Lane.
Review by Gail Kouame

Tamara Rader and Andrea Lane, of the BMJ Publishing Group, discussed, an evidence-based consumer health resource based BMJ’s "Clinical Evidence" model.  The site provides the current state of knowledge about treating a wide range of clinical conditions.  What makes the site unique is its compilation of treatment options based on clinical evidence from the literature combined with its focus on the consumer/patient.  It also contains resources for both the patient and physician, and users can choose between them.  Thus far, the site has been well received. The site is a subscription service.

"What do consumers really want?  Planning for a regional consumer health website"

Presented by Julia F. Sollenberger and Bernie L. Todd Smith.
Review by Brenda R. Pfannenstiel

This well presented, well-organized Power Point slide show described the process of developing the CLIC-on-Health website, beginning with a forum of community librarians and health care organizations to focus ideas and to recruit supporters and collaborators.  This was followed by market research on consumers to determine what they most needed from a community consumer health website, and benchmarking.  Market research revealed that consumers were interested in how to stay healthy (exercise, nutrition) even more than in specific disorders.  There was also interest in medical terms, drugs and natural remedies, aging health issues, and a calendar of local events and support group meetings.  See the results of all this planning at

"What do consumers really want?  Planning for a regional consumer health Website"

Presented by Julia Sollenberger and Bernie L. Todd Smith.
Review by Gail Kouame

Julia Sollenberger, of the Health Sciences Libraries and Technologies at the University of  Rochester Medical Center, and Bernie L. Todd Smith, of the Werner Library at ViaHealth in Rochester, presented information on Clic-on-Health, a regional consumer health website in Rochester, New York.  Planning for Clic-on-Health was funded by the NNLM.  They garnered input from multiple community agencies and conducted benchmarking to learn about the background and development process.  They also conducted telephone interviews to suvery the needs of the general public.  Project staff found many households in the Rochester area have access to the Internet and people do use it to locate information about health.  About one third of those interviewed found there to be to much information on the Internet and therefore  have trouble finding what they need. Consumers also were concerned about the accuracy of what they find on the Internet. Training of local public librarians was included as part of the project.  The site is a web portal containing information specific to Rochester and includes training material in the use of health information on the Internet.  The project coordinators discovered a calendar of local events and a list of support groups were a high priority and filled an information gap that was missing in the community.  Because of the publics great concern about website accuracy and trustworthiness, it is hoped that this resource can become a widely recognized health information choice among Rochester residents.

"Health information Hispanic outreach: new resources along the Rio Grande" 

Presented by Virginia M. Bowden, et al.
Review by Brenda R. Pfannenstiel

This presentation described four pilot projects to bring health information to Hispanics in southern Texas.  One project used highly motivated high school students as peer tutors to help their community learn to use such resources as MEDLINEplus in Español.  This was highly successful, as four students reached 2000 people. Next year there will be fourteen peer tutors.  Less successful was the attempt to put computers in a rural health clinic serving migrant workers. Staff stated they were too busy to help and the patients would not use the computers on their own.  A computer was similarly put in the Texas Department of Health clinic for patients' use.  The fourth project trained women called "promotoras" to help residents of a colonia near Brownsville, TX to use MEDLINEplus at the Community Technology Center.  Evaluations of these projects revealed the use of MEDLINEplus spread beyond the people trained by project staff, and the health information the users acquired were more likely to be shared among friends and family than between health professionals and patients.  Predictably, many adults were reluctant to use computers, women were more likely to ask for help finding information than men, high turnover and high workload of clinic staff made them less useful as MEDLINEplus facilitators, language and cultural barriers between project staff and the targeted population had to be overcome.

Health information Hispanic outreach: new resources along the Rio Grande

Presented by Virginia M. Bowden, et al.
Reviewed by Gail Kouame

Virginia Bowden, of the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center, described an outreach program targeting four communities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  The intent of the project was to better understand the health information-seeking behavior and needs of the Hispanic population and the current and potential role of community organizations and intermediaries in meeting those needs.  The four major parts of the project involved community assessment, including interviews with individuals about health information needs; a review of a circuit librarian program; a survey of physicians; and development of curriculum at the Regional Academic Health Center, including feedback to the National Library of Medicine on MEDLINEplus en Español by facilitating focus groups in Spanish.  The most successful portion of the project to date involved using peer tutors at South Texas High School for Health Professions (Med High).  Four students were selected as peer tutors to train others to use MEDLINEplus. Through various activities, it is estimated that more than 2000 people were reached.  Another project which focused on MEDLINEplus en Español included training staff in area clinics to use the database who then refer patients to a computer workstation for further research/information.  Project coordinators found that patients were more likely to use the information when it was located for them. Patients were reluctant to use the computers on their own.  Project participants plan to experiment with additional ways  MEDLINEplus can be promoted at clinic workstations and track the use when project staff are not present.  The fourth portion of this project took place at a community resource center near Brownsville known as a "colonia," an unincorporated community with minimal government support.  There is a Community Technology Center in the neighborhood where "promotoras," women who provide community-based services, were trained on MEDLINEplus en Español so that they could teach others how to use it.  At the time this paper was presented, this portion of the project was still in an early stage, but it success looks promising.  Some of the barriers to success were noted. They were: adults in clinics are often reluctant to use computers, women are more likely to ask for assistance than men; health professionals are usually not available for assistance; and language and cultural factors.  Factors leading to Successes included: the need for health information; familiarity with computers; peer relationships; communication skills; and fluency in Spanish.  Select project observations and trends included:  MEDLINEplus usage spread beyond persons trained by project staff; MEDLINEplus information was more likely to be shared among friends and family rather than between health professionals and patients: and MEDLINEplus was used to cope with personal health problems and to provide support to family and friends with health concerns.

Through Tempests and Storms: Vaccines, Biologicals, Patient Education, and Environmental Health

On Monday, May 5th, at the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in San Diego,  CAPHIS co-sponsored a series of Contributed Papers and Invited Speakers focusing on vaccines, biological, patient education and environmental health. Provided here are program reviews written by Brenda R. Pfannenstiel.

"Is the environment hazardous to our health?  Toxics where we work, in our neighborhoods, and in our homes." Presented by Ruth M. Heifetz.

Dr. Heifetz gave a brief overview of the many ways toxic exposures can affect our health, and of the history of our understanding that our environment can harm us, dating back to Hippocrates in 400 B.C.  She emphasized the importance of informed citizens in identifying environmental hazards, and pointed out that only 7% of 3,000 high production volume chemicals currently used have been adequately tested for environmental health effects.  Dr. Heifetz pointed to childhood lead poisoning as a case example, and displayed some shocking ads in which canned milk sealed with lead solder or interior house paint made with lead was promoted as safe for children.  Dr. Heifetz was an engaging and thought-provoking speaker.

"Biodiversity, conservation, and utilization: patient empowerment"

Presented by Marian Hicks

The general message of this presentation appeared to be that biodiversity is necessary to maintain plant life that may one day produce drug therapies. The speech was so unfocussed and muddled (concerning the wild yam, Hicks said: "this plant is also extinct and is only grown in certain areas") the overall message was unpersuasive, confusing herbal medicine with the more general concept of biodiversity, without mentioning the many other reasons for conserving genetic variety and the complexity of ecosystems beyond merely conserving plant life.  Rather than a formal presentation, this session felt more like a dramatic interpretive.

"The influenza vaccine: the eternal battle"

Presented by Jennifer Lyon

This excellent presentation explained the medicine behind the influenza vaccine.  Lyons drew upon her own biomedical experience to discuss influenza as the leading viral cause of death in humans.  She described the virus and the history of the disease, how prediction and surveillance are used to develop an influenza vaccine each season, the nomenclature for each vaccine, and how influenza can move from birds to pigs to humans.  Questions from the audience inevitably brought up SARS. 

"Historic or cutting edge?  Consumer and practitioner interest in public health information" Presented by Kristine M. Alpi

Alpi's talk was more closely related to library science and practice than the other presentations, focussing on the recurring interest in such public health questions as anthrax, smallpox, tuberculosis, lead poisoning, and fluoridation of drinking water.  Noting that health practitioners often asked for material from the older literature when researching these questions, Alpi hypothesized that consumers would also be drawing upon this literature for these questions.  Upon tracking consumer requests, she discovered that her hypothesis is wrong, and now hypothesizes that media coverage and websites provide consumers with all the information they require on these "hot topics."

Ethics in Health Sciences and Consumer Health Librarianship

Speaker: Dixie A. Jones
MLA CE 174  (4 hours)
San Diego, CA
May 3, 2003

This course reviewed the deontological and teleological schools of ethical thought and some general definitions, then briefly reviewed ethical codes from library organizations and organizations concerned with health information on the internet.  The class examined scenarios that might occur in a library setting, and determined whether they represented true ethical dilemmas (in which competing systems of values were in conflict) or were merely uncomfortable situations.  Such dilemmas may arise between institutional and professional values, between the competing value systems of two librarians, or between competing values within a librarian's own mind.  Once the ethical dilemmas had been identified, the class went on to discuss decision-making and resolution finding to these problems in a way that was consistent with personal, institutional, and professional values.

The class benefited from its diversity, as the group was multi-ethnic and international, and included librarians from various job categories within public, academic, hospital and consumer libraries.  The instructor was knowledgeable, well prepared, and provided an extensive bibliography concerning ethics in health librarianship.  Ms. Jones is an effective presenter and is responsive to questions. 

Health Librarian "On the Street"--Managing and Leading

An unscientific but hopefully interesting look at issues of interest to consumer health librarians.
by Howard Fuller, editor

Successful leadership often relies on the application of tried and true management principles. In this second installment of Health Librarian "On the Street," we queried managers at several Consumer Health Libraries to find out the ways in which they provide leadership. Topics covered included long range planning, the use of user surveys and focus groups for marketing, attendance at professional meetings, product development responsibilities and outsourcing.

Librarians responding were mixed on their use of long range planning. According to Carol Galganski, manager of the Library and Resource Center,  OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL, planning is done annually, based on the hospital’s strategic goals and operating budget. At Rutland Regional Health Services Health Sciences Library, Rutland, Vermont, Claire La Force reports that a three-year plan was completed about three years ago.  Molly Foley, director of library services for less than a year at Boston’s Faulkner Hospital, is not aware of one for her consumer health library.  Planning is done on an annual or semi-annual basis at Nebraska Methodist College Consumer Health Library in Omaha. Coordinator Angela Arner anticipates changes as they begin the AQIP process with NCA.

User surveys are conducted in a variety of ways. Asked whether they had conducted a user survey in the past five years, only Faulkner responded with an unequivocal "yes." Open for only  two years, St. Francis Medical Center’s Library and Resource Center surveys users by including an evaluation form with all information packets. Rutland Regional Health Library has not conducted a large survey, but they did query customers to determine the format in which they preferred to receive health information (i.e. video, books, web, etc.).

Library directors, with input from library staff, are responsible for product management decisions at both Faulkner and St. Francis. As coordinator for consumer health library services, Angela Armer calls the shots at her library. Claire LaForce is a solo librarian at Rutland Regional and she makes the product decisions there.

Attendance at professional meetings appears to be universal. At Nebraska Methodist, Angela Armer is generally able to attend regional meetings. Conference funding is limited and priority is given to those making presentations. She did complete the MLA Consumer Health Library Service credential this year with full financial support of the college. Claire LaForce at Rutland has a travel budget that she uses at her own discretion. She says that her institution’s administration is generally supportive of continuing education in all forms.  MLA was the destination of choice for St. Francis’ Carol Galganski, while Faulkner’s Molly Foley attended NAHSIL.

Two of the questions posed in the surveys gathered negative responses from the participants. None of the libraries have conducted focus groups in the past five years and none of them are currently outsourcing any library functions.

All of the above consumer health libraries, and many others, can be found in the MEDLINEplus "Other Resources" section. 

MEDLINEplus Update
by Naomi Miller and Joyce Backus
National Library of Medicine

The past six months have been a busy time for MEDLINEplus.  Here are details on some of the changes.

New Search Engine: We implemented a new search engine for the entire NLM web site last fall.  The first site to use it was the main NLM site--next came MEDLINEplus en español, and finally MEDLINEplus. We needed a new search engine in order to be able to handle Spanish diacritics, we also wanted to be able to separate the different types of search results in MEDLINEplus.

The new search engine is called Recommind and it is a concept-based system. That means that if you type in "occupational lung diseases," the search engine retrieves information on the exact words and also on the concept of "occupational lung diseases." The result may include articles with information on occupational asthma, occupational cancer, and specific types of lung hazards.

The search engine has undergone several iterations since it was first released. We’ve made improvements based on your feedback.  Keep letting us know when it doesn’t produce expected results.

Dictionary: We added a new dictionary in February.  The Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary is the one that we pointed to on Intelihealth, but now it’s within MEDLINEplus. We learned from the first MEDLINEplus user survey that people really wanted a dictionary on the site, and now they have it. The other dictionaries are still on MEDLINEplus topic pages.

Libraries page: We now build the libraries page using data from Docuser! This feature first appeared on April 22 and already lists over 500 libraries.. For more information about the Docuser data expected, go to MEDLINEplus updates the page every week.

Print this page/email this page to a friend: MEDLINEplus now enables users to produce printer-friendly versions or email pages to family, friends and colleagues. Links to printer-friendly versions of MEDLINEplus health topic pages, drug information, news items, and medical encyclopedia content pages are now included at the top of those pages. These versions do not include tables of contents, headers, or footers. The print versions of Health Topic pages include the URLs of the links on the page.  Encyclopedia print versions do not include graphics or links. Email this page allows users to email either the URL or in most cases the content of health topic pages, drug information, encyclopedia text pages, and news items to a recipient.

Spanish listserv: For Spanish speaking clientele, there is now a biweekly Spanish listserv telling users about new sites and topics on MEDLINEplus en español.

Guide to Healthy Web Surfing: The MEDLINEplus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing gives consumers tips on evaluating health web sites.  Government information is not copyrighted, so you are welcome to reproduce it. We welcome your suggestions

Genetics Home Reference (GHR):  This new site, produced by the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, became available on April 29th.  GHR is automatically linked on MEDLINEplus pages about genetics.  Right now there are links on 19 pages but eventually there should be over 100 pages on which this information will appear. You can visit it directly at

What’s next?  Here is a preview of coming attractions.

Go Local expansion: NC Health Info is the first go-local participant and they’ve been doing a brisk business.  They’ve mapped their information to MEDLINEplus, and in one case we created a health topic for one of their local issues, on Pfiesteria infections (a protozoan infection that primarily affects fish but can also infect people.)

There’s been a lot of interest in participating in the go-local project, and there will be more links coming.  There are two models--MEDLINEplus will link to linking with existing sites, for sites that already have well-developed local web sites, and a central content management system at NLM, for states that haven’t yet developed collected extensive links.

NIH Senior Health is also going to expand and change. For one thing, it’s going to talk.  For another, it’s going to an enlarged font sizes for seniors. We expect to release six topics in late June:  breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, arthritis, and hearing/balance disorders. NLM built a content management system for NIH institutes to add content to NIH Senior Health, and more topics are in the works.

Spanish drug information: Translations of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ MedMaster drug monographs will be coming later this year. They will be added to MEDLINEplus in 200 monograph increments. By this time next year, we should have all of them.

Health topic name changes: We’ve wanted to refine the names of health topics for a long time, but since the topic name currently generates the URL of the page, if we change the name, the URL changes and the links break.  We’ve now figured out a way to change the name of a health topic but keep the URL. We’ll clean up the vocabulary to make it more consumer friendly, to the search engine, and to facilitate getting the MEDLINEplus vocabulary into the UMLS.

Easy-to-Read page: Many of you have asked us to organize all of the Easy-to-Read materials into one place, and we’re going to do that in a release later this year. The page will include self-identified easy to read materials as well as the Patient Education Institute interactive health tutorials.

Two new current awareness services: We’re going to be able to email the daily news headlines to you.  This will be convenient for people who don’t want to visit MEDLINEplus daily, but want to see the news. We’ll also be creating announcement lists for topics. There won’t be a list for every topic but for broad topics, and we’d welcome suggestions for them.

MEDLINEplus use continues to grow.  Last month we had over 20 million page views by 2.3 million unique users. Thank you for your outreach, training, and support.  And, as always, we welcome your feedback and comments.  Please use the "Contact Us" button on every MEDLINEplus page.

New librarian goes to MLA-San Diego
by Milya Jacobson, M.A., San Jose State University SLIS Student Library Assistant, Redwood Health Library, Petaluma, CA

My first MLA conference in San Diego this year was a wonderful experience.  I had a chance to meet  with others in the field, to learn about the types of jobs they do and the places they work, to talk to some of our vendors and learn about new ones, to learn about the types of opportunities and positions (though limited) available, and to generally have a good time.

The MLA membership committee has found a way to make new members and first-time attendees feel welcome at the conference.  First, they hosted a breakfast before the opening session of the conference, where the president of MLA and several of its board members officially welcomed everyone.  They asked each new member to stand up and introduce themselves (and there were well over 100 of us!).  I appreciated the chance to ‘be heard’, even briefly, and I appreciated knowing something about the other new people -- many were from interesting places, some very far away, and it was nice to be able to go up to a few people afterwards and talk about what they do.

The next thing the membership committee had planned for us newbies was something I’d never experienced at a conference -- we all left the breakfast area together and walked in to the opening session together, led by the membership chair who carried a flag.  There were seats reserved for us right in the front and center section so we all had great seats. During MLA president Linda Watson’s welcoming speech, we were asked to stand up so the others could applaud us.  What a great way to be introduced to both the organization and the conference!

I found the conference to be a great place to get inspired and to generate new ideas for our library.  For instance, should we start offering coffee service in our library?  Can we better promote our web site and expand current web offerings?  Should we add a link to the American Psychological Association web site?  Are there any other new resources we can offer our consumers?  Can our library play a role in advocating for better quality health care?  Some of these ideas will work for our particular library and some won’t, but all gave food-for-thought.

I also had the opportunity to learn about MLA as an organization and to find out more about its activities in the last year and about what Linda Watson and others have accomplished.  For instance, a new professional recruitment committee was started, efforts to promote the value of medical librarians have been made at various conferences, a task force was started to promote and plan for continuing education, and a consumer health teleconference is planned for fall of 2003.

The plenary sessions consisted of some excellent speakers who offered views of some of the broader issues that affect librarians.  Stanford University Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig, provided an interesting view of current copyright issues, demonstrating the unintended consequence of copyright law has been a monopoly of very few owners controlling most of the content. One solution to this issue is the creation of an organization called "Creative Commons" that offers limited copyright protection to creators of original works. Its website is:

Frieda Weise also gave an excellent lecture focusing on the library as place.  Libraries should be seen as more than repositories of information. As we head into the virtual future, librarians should not forget the place-centered functions of libraries, that libraries are meeting places and places for social interaction and for personalized, interactive services.  In remembering that the library is a place it’s important to view the library as a service organization, one that reflects the mission of the institution of which it is a part as well as the values of our culture and of our profession.

An event which I especially enjoyed was the Consumer Health roundtable luncheon. After meeting many people who work in the larger field of medical librarianship it was nice to finally meet a few of my colleagues in consumer health libraries and have a chance to discuss some of the issues that are important to us.  Discussion focused on ideas for marketing our libraries, as that seemed to be an area of interest for all of us. It was interesting to hear about the different types of settings in which consumer health librarians work -- some were from public libraries, some were in academic libraries and some were in hospitals or other organizations.  Each librarian faces issues that are unique to their settings.

MLA was a great experience that I would highly recommend to anyone new in the field, or to anyone who has never been!

Book Reviews

Guidelines for CAPHIS Connection Book Reviews

1. When you receive a copy of a book for review, you will also receive a deadline date, usually about two months after the book is mailed. If you cannot meet this deadline, please inform the editor immediately.

2. CAPHIS Connection book reviews should be approximately 250 words (one typed page, double-spaced) long. They may be shorter. Please e-mail finished reviews to Barbara Bibel, book review editor- as Word attachments or copied and pasted into the body of an e-mail message.

3. The review should convey a clear sense of the work’s content and scope. Please evaluate the writing style, accuracy, reading level, etc. It is helpful to compare it to other works on the same subject. Note the author’s qualifications, credentials, affiliations, and other published works.

4. Cite the book that you are reviewing at the head of the article using the following model:

Roan, Sharon L. Our Daughters’ Health: Practical and Invaluable Advice for Raising Confident Girls Ages Six to Sixteen. Hyperion, 2001. 416p. index. ISBN 0-7868-8500-9. $14.95.

5. Put your name, name of your institution, city, and state at the end of the review.

6. Reviewers are responsible for the accuracy of the statements included. Reviews will be edited for grammar, length and style.

Balshi, Thomas, D.D.S. et al. A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implants, 114p. Addicus Books, 2003. paper. $14.95. ISBN 1-886039-65-8.

Accidents, congenital defects, gum disease, and poor oral hygiene may lead to tooth loss. Replacing missing teeth with permanent implants offers a more natural appearance and greater comfort than bridges or dentures. The authors of this book, all board- certified dentists specializing in implant surgery, provide a thorough explanation of the various options available to patients who need teeth replaced. They discuss choosing a practitioner, the clinical evaluation process, the surgical procedures and follow-up, and the care of implants. They also provide a resource list and a glossary for further information. This small, reasonably priced book contains a great deal of useful information about a topic that is rarely discussed in the consumer health literature. It is a valuable addition to all collections. Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA

Sanghavi, Darshak, M.D. A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician’s Tour of the Body. 305p. Holt, 2003. $24.00. ISBN 0-8050-6724-8.

 Most books about children’s health are dry recitations of facts about developmental stages, diseases, and immunizations. Dr. Sanghavi, a pediatric cardiologist with a background in public health, takes a different route. Organizing his work by organ systems, he takes readers on a journey that explains the anatomy and physiology of the growing child. He also shows them what can happen when things go wrong. He uses clinical examples to illustrate: a premature infant whose lungs are not fully developed, a bone marrow transplant that restores a non-functional immune system. He also covers common problems such as diaper rash, explains how broken bones heal, and examines controversial issues such as circumcision, child abuse, and alternative medicine. In the process, he adds personal reflections that give the material depth and humanity. This beautifully written book will answer parents’ questions while encouraging them to appreciate the intricacies of the body and the delights and responsibilities if raising children. Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Second Home Edition. Mark H. Beers, M.D., Editor-in-Chief. Merck Research Laboratories, 2003. 1946p. $37.50. (0-911910-35-2).

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Treatment, now in it seventeenth edition, has been a standard medical reference source for over 100 years. The first Home Edition, published in 1997 and translated into twelve languages, was a welcome addition to consumer health reference collections. Just as librarians begin to worry about its age, Merck has released a second Home Edition.  The editors have completely revised and rewritten the manual, adding a great deal of new material in the process. All of the editors, contributors, and editorial board members are physicians or academics with doctorates.

            The format of the book has not changed. A detailed table of contents lists 25 sections divided into chapters.  The first, Fundamentals, explains basic anatomy and physiology, the aging process, fitness, communicating with health professionals, and legal and ethical issues. The others cover specific organs, systems, diseases and disorders, drugs, and first aid. The sections dealing with organs and systems begin with the biology of the system and then explain the symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of diseases that may affect it. There are color diagrams of relevant anatomy as well as an eight-page insert of anatomical charts. This new edition has added material on violence against women, sexual dysfunction, chromosomal and genetic abnormalities in children, and travel health. The drug section now includes information about medicinal herbs and nutraceuticals and their interactions with other drugs. A new section called Special Subjects covers medical decision making, surgery, complementary and alternative medicine, amyloidosis, familial Mediterranean fever, and diseases of unknown origin. A series of appendixes contains information on weights and measures, common tests, generic and trade names of drugs, and resources for referrals.

            Although it has fewer, less colorful illustrations than The American College of Physicians Complete Home Medical Guide (DK, 1999) and lacks the flow charts of The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide (Simon & Schuster, 1999), The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Second Home Edition continues to provide the most current, detailed medical information in a format and language that lay readers will understand at a reasonable price. Libraries owning the 1997 edition will want to update and the others will want to add this excellent resource to their consumer health reference collections.


Naomi C. Broering Awarded MLA's Marcia C. Noyes Award

Bob Braude, PHD, introduced the Noyes award recipient Naomi C. Broering, by
describing her past MLA and professional accomplishments. The full text will appear in the January 2004 issue of JMLA with the proceedings of the MLA 2003 annual meeting.

Marcia C Noyes Award Acceptance Comments by Naomi Broering

Thank you. I am tremendously honored and deeply touched to receive the Marcia C. Noyes Award.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to receive this incredible honor.

Ever since my first MLA meeting in 1967, the Association has been an integral part of my life.  I haven’t missed an annual meeting and I’m planning to stick around for a few more.  My role model and mentor, Louise Darling, from the UCLA Biomed Library, took me to my first meeting and introduced me to MLA. 

The MLA has given me so many opportunities to grow and contribute professionally.  Even in the early days of my career I was given a chance to show my strengths working on MLA committees and publications. We are fortunate that the MLA provides a platform where we can exchange dialogues with colleagues to push ourselves to greater things than we can accomplish on our own.  MLA is a pedestal to showcase our work and to learn about advances within our profession. 

My former employer, Bobby Carter at Georgetown University, gave me freedom and encouragement to experiment and write papers for MLA meetings. The MLA conferences gave me the opportunity to interact with brilliant leaders and colleagues like Nina Matheson, Eric Meyerhoff, Lucretia McClure, Fred Roper, Henry Lemkau, Michael Homan, and all of you. 

The NLM, our great bastion of information and technology advances, has been extremely supportive and important throughout my entire career.  Dr. Don Lindberg and the NLM leadership have always provided invaluable resources and initiatives that give us national and universal exposure. 

The institutions where we work are the laboratories where we test and implement many of our new ideas, but our employers do not always recognize what we do.  They cannot appreciate the real impact of our achievements, but our peers do.  Our peers know the challenges we face when we are trying to implement change, to introduce advances, and to improve library services.   MLA allows for recognition among our peers and this is extremely meaningful. 

Our work is extremely valuable, as medical librarians we help enrich the work of health professionals, and researchers whose discoveries multiply and benefit all of us in the medical community and the universe.

 Recently, I became engaged in opening a library with focus on consumer health, to directly help the public find information to become healthier, prevent illness and enrich their daily lives. I am grateful to CAPHIS and NLM’s MedlinePlus which helps make this work easier and successful.

Lastly, I wish to thank the Association membership, my colleagues who supported me, everyone who played a hand in my career, dedicated library staff, and my husband, Greg Chauncey, who constantly encourages me, especially when I face challenges, that I think are insurmountable. I know my parents are looking down from the heavens and smiling at this moment.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Health Information Literacy Teleconference

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is sponsoring a satellite teleconference on health information literacy. "Reading Between the Lines: Focusing on Health Information Literacy" will take place on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. CT. The goals for this program are to enhance the knowledge of information professionals about the concepts of health information literacy and to highlight opportunities for using these principles in the provision of quality health information.

To register for this program, please see MLANET at

MLA's 2004 Rittenhouse Award Jury Seeks Powerful Unpublished Papers and Web-Based Projects

Calling on all students enrolled in ALA-accredited library and information science programs and trainees in health sciences librarianship internships or medical informatics to seize the creative power of your mighty pen, pencil and/or keyboard.  Submit your unpublished bibliographical, issue/topic based, or research results paper or web-based project on health sciences librarianship or medical informatics for the 2004 Rittenhouse Award competition. Manuscript submission information and procedure links may be found on MLANET at <> or you may phone Lisa C. Fried, MLA Headquarters, 312-419-9094 ext. 28 or email  To submit a paper contact:  Professional Development Department, Medical Library Association, 65 E. Wacker Place, Suite 1900, Chicago, Illinois 60601-7298.   Submission deadline is November 1, 2003. 

The Rittenshouse Award, presented annually by the Medical Library Association, was established in 1967 and is sponsored by Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc., King of Prussia, PA.   The cash award of $500 and a certificate will be presented to the winner during the 2004 MLA Annual Conference to be held in Washington, DC.

Publication Information


Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and is published quarterly.

Content for each issue is cumulated online at, primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.


Please submit items for Consumer Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following quarter.

Submit by this month:
For publication in this issue:
March April-June
June July-September
September October-December
December January-March

Please send submissions in electronic format to the editors:

Howard Fuller
E -mail:
Telephone: (650) 725-3308

Nancy Dickenson

E -mail:
Telephone: (650) 725-8100
FAX: (650) 725-1444

Vol. 19 No. 2 2003 
ISSN 1535-7821

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CAPHIS, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section, is a section of the Medical Library Association, an association of health information professionals with more than 5,000 individual and institution members. MLA fosters excellence in the professional achievement and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance the quality of health care, education, and research.

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