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Vol. LXI, No. 23
November 13, 2009
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NIH Library Open House Draws Crowd


John Mate of QUOSA, Inc., explains how to use QUOSA software options
John Mate of QUOSA, Inc., explains how to use QUOSA software options.

Fire marshals did not have to cite the NIH Library for occupancy violations because the more than 540 attendees at this year’s open house arrived in waves. They came to see vendors’ demonstrations of resources such as GeneIndexer, IPA and Brain Navigator. NIH’ers had the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback as they debated the merits of databases designed to make their jobs easier.

In addition to providing product overviews in the library’s new glass-enclosed training room, representatives from Computable Genomix, Ingenuity, Elsevier, QUOSA, Thomson Reuters, NLM and Chemical Abstracts Service engaged in in-depth conversations with NIH researchers and administrators.

While attendees enjoyed the sunshine filtering in through the library’s large windows, staff showcased its newest services—Bioinformatics and the Editing Service. Staff also discussed errors in the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association with writers at the Writing Center table; demonstrated the ease of using the new Self-Service Checkout Stations when borrowing books; gave tours of the eco-friendly Green Terrace, which includes medicinal plant species studied at NIH; and launched the library’s Beta Search Engine.

Posters displaying recent research conducted by library staff generated lots of interest, too. Topics included the Pandemic Influenza Digital Archive, a collaborative web site of pandemic information aimed at virologists and researchers worldwide; the AllPlus federated search engine that includes a metasearch prototype with the potential to integrate the Clinical Research Information System; and the Mediated Search Survey that measures satisfaction, relevance and cost-effectiveness of library-mediated searches.

Courtenay Carson of Thomson Reuters points out Web of Science features to NIH Library open house visitors.
Courtenay Carson of Thomson Reuters points out Web of Science features to NIH Library open house visitors.
“Today the focus of the physical NIH Library is on being a place for learning and collaboration,” said Division of Library Services Director Suzanne Grefsheim. “As an example,” she noted, “the intent of the recent Reading Room renovation was to create space that enabled and showcased these functions. In addition, it was an opportunity to create a model for ‘green’ construction.”

Ben Hope, chief of the Information Architecture Branch, elaborated on details of implementing the library’s renovation choices. Energy-efficient lighting included LED and cold cathode bulb technology, room sensors to turn lights off when not in use and sensors in the main reading room that dim the lights in response to daylight. “We repurposed traditional library furniture to accommodate new technology requirements and utilized recycled and environmentally friendly materials in walls and ceilings,” Hope said. “Many items were purchased from companies within a 500-mile radius of NIH.” NIHRecord Icon

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