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January 31, 2007

Key Concepts of Intentional System Change

Roland Loup, an international consultant specializing in strategy development and implementation and change leadership, introduced a framework for thinking through systems change project. His goal was to build awareness and to help clarify the desired results and provide new ways to attain them. Mr. Loup actually gives an entire 9-month course on this topic, and he travels to India, Japan, South Africa, etc. to provide his consulting services to businesses. His four major strategies are: Engaging stakeholders, building commitment, transforming resistance, and sustaining change. Mr. Loup also used real-life situations to illustrate his points. He emphasized that change brings uncertainty and requires patience, that competence comes into question with change, and that there is no "right way" to effect change, yet change is always an integral part of life. He explained the difference between a true leader and a micromanager, stating that a true leader knows the balance between vision and taking care of details. He also stated that change takes courage. Since people are such an essential part of any organization (technology is easy--people are hard), a culture change must also occur. He remarked that the culture of academe is more of a "coddling" culture than that of the private sector, as well as being more participatory.

Denise Stegall then provided the audience (of about 35 members of VOICES of the Staff) with the details on the consolidation of three campus daycare programs into one. This was a complicated project because it involved 3 directors, numerous teachers, parents, children, and early childhood researchers. At first there was hostility and confusion among the various stakeholders, but, gradually, through structured participation, transitioning was effected and a new, better childcare center will be achieved, the actual building of which will take another three years.

I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. It more than met my expectations, and I had quite a few "aha!" moments. My only regret is that more of us could not participate in this event and hear these fine speakers.

Posted by schnitzr at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Local News Gone Global: Pfizer

I thought people might be interested in seeing the article in todays NATURE about the Pfizer changes impacting on us locally.

A changing drug supply
Research cuts by the world's largest drug company reflect a challenging
outlook for the industry.

"Pfizer's announcement last week that it will cut its research marks a watershed for the pharmaceutical industry (see page 466). Until now Pfizer, the leading drug company in terms of both sales and research spending, and an important industry bellwether, has refrained from cutting its efforts to discover new drugs. Yet its $7 billion in annual R&D expenditures has failed to generate anything near the number of discoveries needed to cover those costs."

Posted by pfa at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians are Still Extremely Important

Jonathan pointed this article out to me:

Are Librarians Totally Obsolete?

I especially enjoy the heading for #23: The Internet is a mess.

Posted by pricek at 10:56 AM | Comments (3)

January 29, 2007

Courts Turn to Wikipedia, but Selectively

From today's NYT "Business" Section


Posted by schnitzr at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Don't miss out--free rec passes

Don't miss out: enroll in Active U

As an added incentive to Active U 2007 participants, recreational facilities on all three campuses will offer free admission during the Feb. 6-April 3 physical fitness challenge. Several employees who participated last year in Active U say the program not only has helped them set fitness goals, it has enabled them to renew their commitments to a healthier lifestyle. Details below:


Posted by schnitzr at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

Live discussion on Changing Role of Academic Libraries

The Changing Role of Academic Libraries in the Information Age

Thursday, February 1, at 12 noon, U.S. Eastern time

Academic libraries face some of their greatest challenges, and greatest opportunities, of the generation. While the Internet has been a boon for information distribution, some librarians have considered it a threat to the vitality of traditional library space. Although the latest generation of students is plugged in and connected in ways never imagined years ago, they also seem disconnected from books and other traditional literary resources. Librarians and their academic colleagues must step up to face those challenges, says Michael Gorman, dean of library services at California State University at Fresno. He will share his thoughts on the future of librarians -- and take your questions

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Join us here on Thursday, February 1, at 12 noon, U.S. Eastern time.

The Guest
Michael Gorman is a critic of some uses of technology in libraries -- like the Google project to digitize books -- but also a fan of what he calls the appropriate use of technology. For more than 25 years he has been a leader in academic libraries and a major voice on key issues. He has been dean of library services at California State University at Fresno since 1988. He is the author of numerous books, including Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness, and Reality (co-written with Walt Crawford), which was honored with the 1997 Blackwell's Scholarship Award. He recently served as president of the American Library Association. He will respond to questions and comments about these issues on Thursday, February 1, at 12 noon, U.S. Eastern time. Readers are welcome to post questions and comments now.

A transcript will be available at this address following the discussion.


Posted by schnitzr at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2007

Doctor's Office Gets Crowded on the Web

Steve Case, of AOL fame, launches a health site with pay services as WebMD makes more offerings free (posted in today's Wall Street Journal)


Posted by schnitzr at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

Ann Arbor Reads

As most of you know, Tracy Kidder is speaking this evening about his book Mountains beyond Mountains about Dr Paul Farmer and his commitment to providing medical care for the poor and underserved throughout the world. Here's some background on Dr Farmer and the organization he helped found, Partners in Health.

Posted by janeblum at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2007

An example of what our medical students are up to

Google Co-op - Co-op Profile

This is the Google Co-op profile for Within Normal Limits of Reason (Ming Kao)

Here's the link to the webpage itself described as "Blog on evidence-based medicine and various issues in medical research." It's an impressive demonstration of the use of multiple web tools and technologies.

Posted by janeblum at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

Interesting development

MedlinePlus to be Enhanced by Vivisimo

from: davidrothman.net * Blog Archive *

Pat, it appears your choice of an article for journal club was particularly timely.

Posted by janeblum at 03:32 PM

January 13, 2007

BSRB wins design award

Univ Michigan Biomedical Research.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Our neighbor down the block has received one of the 2007 American Institute of Architects Honor Awards.

Posted by janeblum at 02:14 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2007

What have blogs done to medical publishing?

Time Global: Health Blog: Name That Life Saver!: http://time.blogs.com/global_health/2007/01/medicaljournals.html

An interesting blog entry from Time Magazine about the impact of web 2.0 on medical journals. Interesting!

Posted by pfa at 09:20 PM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2007

The treat you brought in for the HSL holiday party...

Anna Schnitzer asked me to post a recipe for the carob chocolates served at the HSL 2006 Holiday party. This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to the National Underground Freedom Museum in Cincinnati & the Classic Slave Narratives edited by Henry Louis Gates.

…or keys, as they are called, interspersed among them. It was about a mile in circumference, with a white sandy beach running in a regular order along it. On that part of it where we first attempted to land, there stood some very large birds, called flamingoes: these, from the reflection of the sun, appeared to us at a little distance as large as men; and when they walked backwards and forewards, we could not conceive what they were: our captain swore they were cannibals. This created a great panic among us; and we held a consultation how to act.

-Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African (from the Classic Slave Narratives edited by Henry Louis Gates)

Interesting Slave Narrative Locust Bean Confections

This makes about a dozen of these confections, with some supplies left over to make more maple sugar creams, buy a ¼ lb. more chocolate &/or carob for this purpose.

-Solanum Melongena Esculentum Preserve (from the nightshade “eggplant”)
-Maple Sugar Cream
-Carob (from the locust bean)


-1 large eggplant
-Maple syrup (24 or more ounces)
-Candy wrappers
-Chocolate ( ½ to ¾ lb.)
-Carob ( ¼ to ½ lb.)
-Butter, margarine or butter substitute
-Half a box of no sugar needed pectin or other gelling agent
-A few pints of heavy whipping cream

-Non-stick cutting boards (or non-stick surfaces) for freezing
-Electric beater
-Electric rice cooker/steamer or a way to steam eggplant that extracts eggplant syrup
-Small melon baller or spoon
-Double boiler

Frozen Solanum Melongena Esculentum Preserve:

Cut 1 large eggplant and steam in an electric steamer, with not more than 1 1/2 inches of water. Steam eggplant sections with just enough water to extract an eggplant syrup; Do not over steam or this syrup will evaporate or “burn on”, check steaming water about 15, 20,30 minutes into steaming and then check every few minutes. You could need to steam more than once because of the quantity of eggplant, so check the syrup often.

Using half a box of powdered pectin bring eggplant syrup to a boil and follow pectin directions. Add some water to eggplant syrup before boiling, if you are concerned it will not make enough preserve.

Refrigerate eggplant until it gels to preserve, a few hours.

Using a melon baller spoon small amounts of eggplant gelatin onto a non-stick surface & freeze.

Cut frozen eggplant preserve to the size of the candy wrappers and return to the freezer for dipping in chocolate.

Frozen Maple Sugar cream:

In a double boiler heat real maple syrup to a low boil. Boil long enough create a thicker syrup. Let cool.

Warm double boiled syrup or warm non-boiled syrup with a pint or more of heavy whipping cream. Beat with (preferably a non-hand held) electric beater. Use the whipped cream directions with a stand alone beater, should you have a hand held electric beater try not to completely churn out maple butter. This can take up to an hour.

Using a melon baller spoon maple sugar cream balls onto a freezer safe surface and let harden.

Chocolate for dipping:

Using a double boiler melt a spoonful of margarine with a quarter of the dipping chocolate. Keep this on a low heat. Add a quarter of your dipping chocolate for each item dipped: wrappers, eggplant preserve, and maple sugar cream balls. The last quarter will join the filled parts.

Line about a dozen candy wrappers with chocolate and freeze.

Dip about a dozen of the frozen solanum melongena esculentum preserve and freeze.

Dip about a dozen of the frozen maple sugar cream balls and freeze.

When these have hardened (a few minutes) assemble in each lined wrapper: 1 eggplant & 1 maple cream sugar ball. Fill with enough chocolate to join but, not melt, the filled chocolate parts. Freeze.

Carob for dipping:

Using a double boiler melt the carob with margarine. Use a lower heat than the chocolate, overcooked carob is bitter.

Fill the Interesting Narrative Confections with carob from the locust bean until it covers the frozen filled parts. Freeze until the confections harden.

Remove from the freezer to a cool non-refrigerated place, not directly in the sunlight. Store in an airtight rubber or plastic container.

Do not leave these for over an hour in the heat or sun.

-Karin Smith

Posted by karinsmi at 09:47 AM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2007

Dr. Bloom's Reading List

From a message sent to UMHS by Dr. Bloom:

1. The December 15, 2006 issue of SCIENCE (314:1696-1704) contains the
superb Presidential Address of Gilbert Omenn: "Grand Challenges and
Great Opportunities in Science, Technology, and Public Policy." Gil,
currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), explains how identification of
"grand challenges" in science and at the intersection of science and
society can accelerate progress for the good of the planet. If you have
not seen this article, it is worth reading. If you can't access it, we
can send you a PDF or hard copy.

2. Also for your reading list - consider Janet Gilsdorf's "A Piece of
My Mind" (JAMA, 296(23):2777-2778, Dec 20, 2006). This is a terrific
piece of thought and writing.

Posted by schnitzr at 06:34 PM | Comments (0)

Wouldn't it be nice if a visit to the HSL generated this much enthusiasm?

Official Google Blog: A field trip to Google

I know we're not Google, but still - what ideas do you have for making our work - and workplace - more interesting?

Posted by janeblum at 10:04 AM | Comments (5)

January 05, 2007

Michigan Library Closings in the News

FYI, a news article from ALA about closings of Michigan libraries.

American Libraries Online: Michigan Library Closes Branches, Slashes Jobs after Tax Defeat: http://www.ala.org/ala/alonline/currentnews/newsarchive/2006abc/december2006/baycounty.cfm

Posted by pfa at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2007

Good enough?

Phil Bradley's weblog: 2007 - the year of the Google Bash

Overall, I think this post can be summarized in the following text:

"It's the average person in the street who makes the difference, and quite frankly, they don't care. They're happy using Google with all its faults and limitations. They think they know what they're doing, they're reasonably happy with the results that they get, and that's all that matters to them. They are not, in the main, prepared to spend any time learning better search, or exploring alternatives because Google is 'good enough'."

The ogre of "good enough" is scary in the context of health care and medical information. I'd like to think my healthcare providers are using information that is accurate, not just close enough for horseshoes. On the other hand, I understand that time is the most precious and most limited asset a busy clinician has; the challenge to medical inofrmatics, as I see it, is to make the access to validated and authentic health care information as quick, easy, and intuitive as searching Google. We've got a long way to go.

Posted by janeblum at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

January 03, 2007

Collaboration vs Consensus

Creating Passionate Users: The "Dumbness of Crowds"

This post, from one of my favorite non-library blogs, contains an interesting discussion contrasting the wisdom of collaboration (defined as individuals working together and maximizing their individual strengths) vs the inherent dumbing-down of consensus (defined as groupthink or lowest common demoninator). You may or may not agree with the definitions, discussion, and conclusions, but it's still an interesting contribution to our discussion on planning and decision making.

Posted by janeblum at 08:49 AM | Comments (1)