|current issue archives|
|Vol. 20 No. 3 2004|
By Eris Weaver
This week I gave a presentation about my library to participants in a senior program at the local Buddhist temple. I accepted their gracious invitation to join them for lunch afterwards. I enjoyed delicious homemade Japanese food while chatting with several ladies about the group’s oral history project and the book they published recently. I struggled to understand the accents of those who had been born in Japan; my neck was sore afterwards from hunching down in order to hear these ladies, who were all quite a bit shorter than I. Even though I was the youngest one there and the only non-Japanese, non-Buddhist person in the room, we managed to find common ground.
While I enjoyed the experience, it was also a little bit of a challenge to feel comfortable in a setting with which I was not familiar and in which I was an outsider. As consumer health librarians, we need to remember that many of our clients may feel like outsiders in our libraries and our health systems. Just as I didn’t quite know what to expect at Enmanji, our clients may not quite know what to expect when they first visit us. The library jargon to which we are so accustomed – ILL, circ, MeSH, etc. – may sound like a foreign language to them. They may be anxious. They may be afraid of saying the wrong thing and sounding stupid. Yet they come because they believe that we can help them, that we have the resources and the answers they need.
I think it is important to remember that feeling, that outsider-ness, that sense of not being entirely sure what is going on. It reminds me to watch my language for jargon and not to assume that the people to whom I am speaking share my knowledge or background. It keeps me humble and reminds me to treat people who may seem ignorant with gentleness and kindness. I am making a conscious effort to put myself in such situations on a regular basis: go shopping in a neighborhood where mine isn’t the language spoken; attend a sporting event for which I do not know the rules; go to a religious ceremony that is not my own; or eat at a restaurant where I can’t read the menu. I encourage others to give this a try, and apply the results to your library practice.
Congratulations to CAPHIS member Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library, ranked #1 for their population category (500K+) in the latest Hennen’s America’s Public Library Ratings. See the article on FURL to learn more about projects at Cuyahoga County Public Library.
It’s time to start thinking about MLA ’05 in San Antonio. A list of all section program themes is available at http://www.mlanet.org/am/am2005/participate/sp_themes.html.
CAPHIS sponsored programs are:
By Susan Blaskevica, Regional Consumer Health Specialist; Greg Weller, Information Technology Department Systems Manager; Erica Bartick, Regional Music Specialist; Christy Wiggins, Regional Genealogy Specialist; Mark Faldowski, Regional Education Specialist; all from the Cuyahoga County Public Library
FURL (which stands for File URL) is a new tool for saving, sharing and finding web sites and pages. It stores the links on the FURL site so you can access your personal collection from any browser, anywhere, anytime. You can even have people subscribe to get emails on links you collect in all or specific topic areas you use to organize your links. Links can also be posted to specific web sites by categories, creating a kind of ongoing web log of saved (FURLed) links.
The way it works is simple. When you find a link you want to save, you click on a downloaded FURL button on your tool bar and a form will pop us allowing you to custom categorize, annotate, rate, assign searchable key words, and if you want, send the link to people you think are interested.
The implications for the librarian are many. Patrons and other staff would be able to subscribe to and/or search specific categories of expert searches by librarians in those topic areas. When librarians leave a branch or the system, their accumulated knowledge base of reference links remain for future users. It is a unique offering in the library community and industry.
What does this mean for the Librarian?
Quite simply, it allows the library to leverage its human expertise to provide customers with a catalog of 'best internet sites'. Anytime a librarian runs across a really useful web site, he or she can click on a button on the browser and a form will pop up. The librarian can annotate the site, add keywords to make finding the site easier, and categorize it. It's all done without ever leaving the browser--and ‘all’ it involves is filling out a form.
Once the information is saved, it can be retrieved in a number of different ways. A customer can 'subscribe' to a particular subject specialty, or even a sub-topic within that specialty. Whenever a new site is FURLed; the customer will get an email with that information. A particular topic or group of topics can also be automatically published on a web page. FURLs ability archive timely information such as obituaries or articles make it especially appealing to librarians.
The librarian never sees any of this—it takes place in the background. All the librarian is involved with is what they do best--providing our customers with up-to-date information on a plethora of topics.
The Cuyahoga County Public Library System FURL
The Cuyahoga County Public Library system has 29 locations, including four regional libraries, which house in-depth collections and information specialists (Expert Searchers) in specific subject areas. Some of those subjects are: Fiction, Education, Genealogy and Consumer Health. Presently, each of the subject specialties has a “page” on the Cuyahoga County Public Library web site (www.cuyahogalibrary.org). The FURL can provide an added dimension to these pages by allowing us to archive and store useful web-items.
This summer, a task force was formed to investigate the possibility of incorporating FURL with the subject specialties. Four of the subject specialties were chosen (out of 16 total) to participate in a pilot program utilizing FURL. Those specialties chosen are: Music, Genealogy, Education and Consumer Health. The FURL pilot has been on-going for six weeks and has generated the following numbers for the Cuyahoga County Public Library FURL pages: CCPL FURL homepage hits- 2,484; CCPL Education FURL- 1,171; CCPL Music FURL- 970; CCPL Genealogy FURL- 878 and finally the CCPL Consumer Health FURL with 832 views. These numbers are as of September 1, 2004. The Cuyahoga County Public Library FURL pages have received more hits than any of the other CCPL subject specialty pages and more hits than any of the CCPL branch pages. Recently, a conference call took place with task force members and the FURL’s founder, Mike Giles. He indicates continued upgrades and improvements on the way for FURL, which will allow more readable and easier interactions for customers. It would seem that this is happening. The web services provider, LookSmart, has recently purchased FURL. This will allow FURL many new features including the capability to search across all public archives.
What FURL means to IT
Another aspect of FURL that is welcome to IT, is the security angle. Since everything is stored on external servers, we don’t have any issues of securing publication directories, or authenticating staff to enter restricted areas. All the security is handled at the FURL end and we’re able to let the librarians do what they do best without having to track it in any way.
It also allows us to easily explore new publication and dissemination technologies such as RSS and Atom feeds without having to do anything on our end. We in the IT department at CCPL are very much committed to trying out new technologies, since the info sphere is constantly reconfiguring itself in terms of how information is presented, and FURL gives us a very easy way to do that.
Where this pilot will lead and how it will end is yet to be determined. This will continue to be a work in progress and the Cuyahoga County Public Library System looks forward to continued exploration of this exciting new technology.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Women’s Health Care Physicians. Encyclopedia of Women’s Health and Wellness. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2000. 568p. index. ISBN 0-915473-60-7 $19.00.
The Encyclopedia of Women’s Health and Wellness is written and published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Experts in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology collaborated to provide scientifically-based information to help women be proactive with their health. The work is divided into four parts. Women’s Bodies provides an overview over the life span. Topics covered are The Female Reproductive System, The Male Reproductive System, The Reproductive Process, Puberty, The Reproductive Years, Menopause, Health Care of Women 65 and Older, and Sexuality. Women’s Wellness focuses on healthy life style and routine care. Examples of topics include Breast Self-Exam, Car Safety, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Health Care Power of Attorney, Lesbian Health, Nutrition, Pap Test, Smoking, and Weight Control. The largest section, Women’s Health, covers disorders, tests, and procedures. A variety of topics are included, such as ablation, birth control, chlamydia, diabetes and pregnancy, high blood pressure, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), polycystic ovary syndrome, sexual disorders, and vulvar cancer. The Resource section of the book discusses finding health information including using the Internet and MEDLINE (PubMed). It also lists books, health organizations, and hotlines, as well as a glossary and index. There are extensive “see also” references, as well as side bars which add important information to the text. The illustrations, done in gray tone, are especially impressive. They are straight-forward, realistic, and well-labeled. Although there are other excellent resources on women’s health, the Encyclopedia of Women’s Health and Wellness is comprehensive, easy-to-understand, and is produced by the national organization whose main concern is women’s health, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Thase, Michael E., M.D. and Lang, Susan S. Beating the Blues: New Approaches to Overcoming Dysthymia and Chronic Mild Depression. Oxford University Press, 2004. 174p. index. ISBN 0-19-515918-7. $23.00.
Dysthymia, a mood disorder resulting in a mild chronic depression, is one of the most common mental health problems in the United States. Unlike those with major depression, dysthymicindividuals can still function, but often other problems develop from it such as poor relationships, divorce, and drug and alcohol abuse.
In Beating the Blues, authors Thase and Lang explain how dysthymia is diagnosed, what causes it and who is at risk for developing it. This concise, easy-to-read book takes a helpful, hands-on approach that encourages sufferers to be proactive in dealing with dysthymia. It gives advice on things to do to feel better— for instance: changing distorted thought patterns to improve communication with others. Aspects of getting professional help through psychotherapy are discussed, including how to know if one needs professional help and tips on how to choose a therapist. The book compares styles of recommended therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis. Other therapy methods discussed include medications, supplements, and how exercise and nutrition can help. Sections are also devoted to helping children, adolescents, and the elderly who suffer from dysthymia. Recommended for all consumer health and public libraries.
Michael E.Thase, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, also serves as Chief of the Division of Adult Academic Psychiatry and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh. Susan S. Lang is Senior Science Writer at Cornell University and author of 11 books and hundreds of magazine articles on health and psychology.
Virginia Bender, Health Sciences Library, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss in people over age fifty. The eye's lens is usually clear, but with cataracts, the lens gets hazy and lets less light through. This results in cloudy sight, faded colors, and difficulty with ordinary tasks of daily living. Modern techniques have made cataract surgery a safe, effective treatment option. This book is an educational guide for people who are considering, or will undergo, cataract surgery.
This portable paperback has nine brief chapters with numerous black and white illustrations. The first half of the book explains how cataracts form, how they are diagnosed, the types of replacement lenses, and the latest techniques of cataract surgery. Subsequent chapters suggest questions to ask the doctor, outline pre and post surgery events, and detail the patient's expected course of recovery. The book includes an annotated resource list with current contact information, a glossary of technical terms, and a cross-referenced index.
The text reinforces the authors' optimistic message, that an informed patient, a skilled surgeon, and reasonable expectations, are the ingredients for successful treatment of cataracts.
The authors are experienced practitioners and teachers. Dr. Chang is Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at UC San Francisco. Dr. Gimbel is Professor and Chair of the Ophthalmology Department at Loma Linda University in California.
According to the SMOG readability assessment, the material is written at the twelfth grade level. Public, patient education and retirement community libraries would find this a worthwhile purchase for their collection, and a complement to other eye care books such as Mayo Clinic on Vision and Eye Health.
Susan Sanders, Robert M. Bird Library, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
This book in the Topics in Autism series describes the behavior-based diagnostic evaluations of five types of autism spectrum disorders: autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett’s disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Chapters also briefly address theories of causation, the process of obtaining a diagnosis and treatment plan, co-morbidities and other diagnoses which might fall into the differential but outside the autism spectrum, commonly used tests, parents’ emotional responses to the diagnosis, and an overview of treatments. The author is a managing partner of Developmental Disabilities Resources in Lititz, PA, and has contributed to several books. Dr. Bruey’s book does help the layperson understand diagnostic criteria and offers specific examples of autistic behaviors, but with a twelfth grade reading level. More attentive editing would have improved clumsy prose and errors of grammar and spelling. Regrettably, Dr. Bruey recommends the Internet frequently but never mentions consumer health libraries as a source of information. Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Mitzi Waltz (Patient-Centered Guides, 2002), gives a more comprehensive list of test instruments, differential diagnoses, and treatment options, but lacks the convenient tables for DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. Quirky Kids, by Perri Klass and Eileen Costello (Ballantine Books, 2003), helps parents understand a wider variety of undiagnosed neuro-behavioral disorders.
Lehman, Thomas J., M.D. It’s Not Just Growing Pains: a Guide to Childhood Muscle, Bone, and Joint Pain, Rheumatic Diseases, and the Latest Treatments. Oxford University Press, 2004. 416p. ISBN 0-19-515728-1.
Most of us think of arthritis as a disease that affects senior citizens, but over 300,000 children in the United States suffer from some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease. Dr. Thomas J. Lehman, Senior Scientist and Chief, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery, is on the faculty of Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He has written a useful guide for parents and those who care for children with these diseases.
The book explains how physicians diagnose diseases causing pain in bones and joints. Dr. Lehman discusses juvenile arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, Lyme Disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Kawasaki Disease. He also covers scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease, and fibromyalgia. In addition to explaining the disease processes and potential complications, he discusses the latest medical and surgical treatments, the role of alternative medicine, and laboratory and diagnostic tests.
The author provides a wealth of information about these conditions and offers support for patients and their families by giving them information about obtaining the best care, dealing with schools, handling inquiries from friends, neighbors, and the public, and dealing with the stress of having a chronically ill family member. A glossary and a list of resources complete the book.
There is little available on this subject and the author encourages readers who have questions about the content to ask for further explanation from their physicians. He also tells them to get involved in organizations that do research and provide support for children with arthritis. Although the reading level is high, this is a valuable book that belongs in all consumer health collections.
Written "with the collective knowledge of 40,000 experts in obstetrics", the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that this book is the official guide to pregnancy and birth. The book covers reproduction, pregnancy, prenatal/postpartum care and labor/delivery and includes a pregnancy diary, resource list and charts for calculating due dates and understanding key nutrients in pregnancy. Illustrations and photos demonstrate fetus growth, diapering and other topics. The book covers many topics, but does not cover burping, home birth, waterbirth or midwives. It also seems odd that multiple birth is included in the chapter "Complications of Pregnancy". Hopefully a fourth edition can address these issues, as the book has a lot to offer. This book is also available in Spanish.
Cara Helfner, Program Manager, Kessler Health Education Library, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Written by prostate specialists Drs. Arthur Centeno and Gary Onik, the book introduces readers to the concepts of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. The traditional forms of therapy - surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy are covered extensively, focusing on delivery methods, treatment and side effect/follow up issues. Profiled anatomy diagrams effectively illustrate and explain the relation of the treatment to areas in and around the prostate gland. A unique element within this book is the inclusion of a newer treatment option - cryoablation. The American Urological Association has promoted cryoablation as a standard form of treatment in 2002 and Dr. Onik, the book's co-author is considered a leader in this field. The book does an excellent job outlining the history, process, advantages and disadvantages of cryoablation while establishing patient criteria for this type of treatment. Appendices provide a useful summary of 13 different treatment options for prostate cancer which include definitions as well as the advantages and disadvantages for each. Logically laid out with an easy reading style, this book would be a welcome addition to any consumer health or patient education collection.
Michelle Arbuckle, Librarian, Patient Education, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON
Joani Blank, sex educator and author, conceived this anthology as she approached her own sixtieth birthday. She wondered about the sexual experiences of folks in their sixties, seventies and eighties – nobody she knew seemed to be talking about it! So she began soliciting these stories by real people, talking about their lives and relationships, what they actually do sexually and what it means to them. The authors encompass the full diversity of sexual orientation, marital status, relationship type, and preferred activities. A few are celibate, a few claim to have sex practically every day, and most are in-between. Some have health problems with differing degrees of disability. Their writing style and quality varies tremendously as well – some are short and matter of fact, others long and descriptive. They range from sweet and loving to hysterically funny.
Our culture abounds with media images of sexual activity, most of it restricted to the young and beautiful. Our educational materials on sexually transmitted diseases feature young adults, as if older folks aren’t at risk. Older men get paired with younger women in all the movies, leaving few romantic lead roles for older women. The punch line of many cartoons and jokes depends upon the assumption that older folks don’t "do it" anymore. This book counters these stereotypes.
I see a variety of audiences for this book. Older folks who wonder if they’re alone in their continued enjoyment of sex will get validation. Younger folks who think that age automatically means the death of the libido will find ample evidence to disabuse them of that notion. People who are concerned that heart attacks, strokes, arthritis, or other health problems may adversely affect their sexuality can find information and reassurance. And just about anyone who enjoys learning about the diversity of human sexuality will find something of interest here.
Highly recommended for any collection that includes information on sexual health.
Most books about sex for children focus primarily on the reproductive process and neglect issues of sexuality. A Kid’s First Book about Sex is different, sensitively discussing facts and feelings associated with body image, nudity, body parts, touching, sexual intercourse, masturbation, privacy, and sexual partners. Numerous open-ended questions placed throughout the text help young readers relate to this new information. Aimed at children ages 7-12, this publication can be read to younger children who are becoming curious about their bodies.
Author Joani Blank, sex educator and mother, has designed this book to help parents communicate openly and easily with young children about their bodies and feelings. Simple, yet accurate language, combined with light-hearted line drawings by Marcia Quackenbush, assist children in understanding new concepts.
Originally published by Down There Press in 1983, the 1989 edition reviewed here has new, full-color cover art by Barbara Reid. An interactive workbook version titled The Playbook for Kids about Sex is also available from the publishers.
Dee Jones, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana
The scientific basis of the book is very accurate - there is no doubt that Dr. Draznin is an expert in the field. There are realistic goals for exercise, an important factor in any diabetic’s daily routine, that are well developed and progress at a pace that is achievable. In addition, his discussion of obesity is up-to-date and thorough. The case studies/stories told are somewhat dry; it’s not certain they would keep the diabetic reader involved in the book. Couple that with many “Draznin Rules” - maybe too many rules – and this book may not be able to influence the behavior changes needed in a diabetic person. Diabetes is not a simple disease to handle, but too many rules may turn off diabetics who are having a tough time accepting their plight. It bothered me that he downgrades general practitioners that are taking care of diabetic patients. The book does not seem any better than many other books written on diabetes. This book belongs in a collection that already includes a number of diabetic books, because it is good to offer a variety of materials. In a small/limited collection, I would not highly recommend it.
Sharon A. Lezotte
The Stanford Hospital and Clinics offer lectures on common health problems and diseases for the public. These are taped and available for purchase as either DVDs or VHS tapes. The length varies from approximately thirty to sixty minutes and the format is talking head with PowerPoint. The presenters are clinicians affiliated with Stanford. They know their subjects well, but the lectures are aimed at a fairly sophisticated audience. Consumers who are not comfortable with medical terminology and clinical studies will be lost when watching some of the lectures.
Currently available titles are:
Living Better with Arthritis. Kate Lorig, Ph.D., director of the Patient Education Research Center and co-author of The Arthritis Helpbook, tells patients what they can do to remain active and reduce the pain associated with arthritis. This lecture is very accessible and full of useful, practical information.
The Runner’s Foot. James Ratcliff, DPM, a podiatrist at the Menlo Medical Clinic and an active runner, explains the common injuries and ailments that can make it difficult for runners to pursue their sport. He also discusses treatment options. The explanations are very clear, but the treatments are so similar that it gets a bit repetitive.
Heart Disease and South Asians: A Population at Risk. Drs. Gerald Reaven and Meenakshi Aggarwal, of the Stanford University School of Medicine discuss the relationship of insulin resistance to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in South Asians. This is a detailed presentation of epidemiological research geared to health professionals. All but the most sophisticated lay viewers will be lost. Shots of the audience here caught a few sleepers!
Recognizing Adolescent Depression. Dr. Kirti Saxena of the Stanford Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic discusses the signs and symptoms of depression in children and adolescents as well as the effects of the disease on social, academic, and family life. She explains the various kinds of therapies and drugs used to treat it. The intended audience is families, but the presentation is at a clinical medical level. Families comfortable with information at this level will find it useful.
Advances in Weight Loss Surgery. Dr. John Morton, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, explains the various types of surgical treatment for morbid obesity in adults and children. He explains the risks and the lifestyle changes necessary for successful outcomes.
I’m Sorry, Can You Repeat That? Understanding Hearing Loss and How Emerging Technology will Revolutionized Its Care. Dr. Robert K. Jackler, professor and chairman, Stanford Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Department, provides clear explanations of how the ear works and the various types of hearing loss. He also discusses the different kinds of hearing aids available and how to choose the best one for one’s condition. His presentation includes a fascinating look at current research and how it will help those with hearing loss.
Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Tai Chi, a Chinese exercise method, uses gentle movement to increase flexibility, improve balance, and reduce pain. It is a good way for those with limited mobility or those who spend most of the day seated at a desk to relax and rejuvenate the body. This DVD with instructor Cindy Mason, an oriental medicine practitioner, takes viewers through a routine of movements for the arms, legs, back, and chest. It also covers Japanese self-care acupressure and provides documentation for current research about the use of Tai Chi in medical care. Although it is a low-budget production, this video offers useful information for those who want to incorporate Tai Chi into their fitness regimen. It will work best as a supplement to a class or book with more detailed instructions, but can stand alone for more sophisticated users.
Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
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 http://caphis.mlanet.org/newsletter, 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.
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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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