CommComm posted on August 16, 2010 01:49

We've got a newbie roaming the stacks and hallways. Katie Lobner, a recent graduate of  the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has planted her Clinical Informationist flag at the Welch Library.

Yours truly, Alonzo, has the hot scoop on her arrival. Katie credits her fascination with librarianship to a New York Times article ( from 2008. I asked Katie, who calls Wisconsin home, about her transition to Baltimore in terms of becoming an urban adventuress. "I do dislike the MVA (dept. of motor vehicles) experience," (she gets no argument there!) "but I like all the quirky little neighborhoods". Ahhh yes, we Baltimoreans have cornered the market on quirky. We eat quirky for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Regarding the overall Welch/Hopkins experience Katie confesses that "the lines of communication are open and it's definitely a team effort." Were truer words ever spoken. When asked about what, particularly, she enjoys about being a Clinical Informationist Katie stated "I like tackling projects where people don't exactly know where to go next". As I got a little bit nosier she said that what she's most startled by is that "people often don't expext you to help them, and seem genuinely surprised when you do". She also gleefully noted that "a patron who comes back for more help is a very reqarding interaction."

Katie's Mom and Dad have been around to help with her settling in. And, from her the sound of things she's making her way to a variety of eateries and places-to-go spots. We both shared a smile about the wait-time for the Blue Moon Cafe (on the weekend---fuggetaboutit!), the tasty food factor of The Diz and the nooks and crannies of Charles Village.

Now, Katie's lived in other places,  she's been a little bit here and there, so don't go stigmatizing her about Wisconsin being in the middle of nowhere (it's not). And don't go making jokes about cheese (who doesn't love cheese). These are childish, juvenile attempts at humor. I tried both and they just don't work. 


CommComm posted on August 10, 2010 20:45

The Welch Library had an all-staff meeting on July 29th, and Nancy Roderer, Claire Twose and Blair Anton presented a number of questions pertaining to the current and future status of the library. Included in their talk was a mention of the interviews and articles generated by Nancy, Blair and Claire along with the papers that have been presented at a variety of places (Peru! For one). Needless to say, the "long arm of the library" is now accumulating a very healthy measure of public relations attention, both local and national. For those unable to attend the meeting, or for those who are curious about what Nancy, Claire and Blair addressed, here are the list of questions.

 1.  Is Welch implementing a new model of librarianship

 2.  How do we know that this is what the library’s users want?

 3.  What’s an informationist?

 4.  What do informationists do differently with regard to providing services?" 

 5.  Give examples of services informationists have provided that are more in-depth.


 6.  What challenges do the informationists face with regard to users’ perceptions?


 7.  Where are we on reducing the paper collection and the number and size of physical library spaces?


 8.  Is the new model working? 


 9.  Will library services and jobs continue to change?




CommComm posted on August 4, 2010 21:15

My Ace Detective, Sue Woodson, who's always hot on the trail of new knowledge sent me this about BRAIN NAVIGATOR:

BrainNavigator is a new Elsevier product that merges images from brain atlases with 3D software from the Allen Institute for Brain Science. The result is a product that lets you make notes on both 2D and 3D images, upload your own images, and plan injection points. Important information:

  • Our trial ends September 24th.
  • You must create a user account to use the product.
  • You must be on campus to use the product during the trial.
  • Rodent information is available throughout the trial. Human and monkey information will be added on August 26th.



Thanks Sue!

Alonzo LaMont

CommComm posted on July 28, 2010 23:27

Hey Everybody. Just thought I'd give some casual updates since we're in the dead of summer. So off-the-cuff, here's what I know: Christina Wissinger has moved, and is now near the back wall in the East Reading Room, in 206. She's right up the way from me. Just like Victoria Goode, Nora Smith and myself---we've asked her to maintain a very serious demeanor at all times, and if she can't---we're sending her back from wince she came. 

Marie assigned several interns to clean out the closet at the top of stairs on the 2nd floor. I think they found mummy relics and old copy cards. The mummy relics are priceless, but we're probably gonna hold onto the copy cards. I told the interns to organize a union. That Marie, she's such a hard task mistress. (That's not true) I think the last time Marie raised her voice the world was still flat.

Vivian McCall is getting some much-deserved R&R.

James Tucker loaded an entire dashboard into one of his cars. Saved himself $1,400 bucks. This was in the heat of the heat wave. Case you didn't know, James is a whiz-bang with cars. Just listening to him makes me think I'm car-smarter than I really am.

Tony Street enrolled to take some classes---I forget where---but he was sweating his final grades, which I assured him he didn't have to do.

Next door neighbor Nora seems to be working on a "very, very in-depth search". She's been doing this search for months and months. "Everytime I think it's done it pops up again." She's like Pacino in the last Godfather movie, "just when I think I'm out---they keep pulling me back in!" Nora seems to have a new "laborious search groan" for every day of the week. 

Blair and I compared our recent times in Chicago and came away with the following: We both love it there. Of course, Blair seems to be a closet CHICAGO CUBS fan. This is funny because how can anybody in good conscience admit they're CUBS fans. The last time they won a World Series Marie raised her voice (and the world was definitely flat).   

Alonzo's (dat me) is having a play produced in Chicago, it opens September 28th, and runs for 7 weeks. Lucky fella that I am. It's called "Zulu Fits," and it'll either be great or it'll be not great. Who needs middle ground---I'm no Hobbit hiding The Ring. Or was that Middle Earth? You get the picture. It's all or nuthin at all.

Victoria Goode is now Communications Committee Chair. She's headed up to New Hampshire for some R&R. Home, sweet Home. I think she just wants some home cooking. Whenever you mention her family restaurant, "The Puritan Backroom" she seems to enter a zen-like steak. I mean---zen-like STATE.

Well, that's what I know for now. The other day I read a caption about "Comic Sans". Comic Sans is the font I use for the blog. It read "if I ran a lemonade stand I'd use Comic Sans to advertise". I think their point was that---Comic Sans reflects a juvenile or childish nature. But here I am, Comic Sans and all. Alonzo fights maturity every chance I get.


Alonzo LaMont 




Debbie McClellan sat down with Alonzo (dat me) and talked about her time at Hopkins, from start to finish, as it were. We did most of this in the quietest place we could find. The mail room in the basement of Welch.  

Debbie McClellan has more than just fond memories of the Welch Library-she has a great deal of respect for the people working here. And that respect seems to have been there from day one.

“When I was a graduate student I was really in awe of the library. I was so impressed with the Welch, and the thought that I would ever be associated with it was a tremendous honor. I consider it a real  privilege to have worked here.”

“From the very beginning, I felt like I belonged because everybody made me feel very welcome. I was able to do things I liked to do: I was able to spend half my time teaching and the other half doing editing for people. So it’s been nice because the one thing feeds the other. I get all my good and bad examples from the editing I do for people, and that helps the teaching.”

When I asked about her future as an officially retired person….

“I’m going to continue to do editing. But what I’m really looking forward to is being able to have the time to travel with my husband. My youngest child is starting college, my daughter just graduated from a college in New Jersey. My husband plans to work another 4 years, till our youngest gets out of college.  Then we’ll really be free to get around.

“When I started doing editing, I felt the work was what I was really meant to do, because there aren’t many scientists who also like to work with words. I wouldn’t say I was literary--I’d say I was someone who cares about communication, and writing, and what I enjoy doing is taking the science and translating it so that the authors end up saying what they really meant to say. A lot of what I do is reading something for the scientific sense, and then trying to figure out what the author really intends. I have to try to get inside the head of the person who’s writing, because I want to make sure that their words convey just what they intended, in a clear way. AND I want to make it sound like they wrote it.  

“When an author says to me, ‘I like the way it reads now,’ I know I’ve begun to do my job; when that person doesn’t need my help any more, I’ve actually done it.

“I’ve always been a person who liked to help people, but I like to stay in the background. I learned very early on that doing science WAS NOT my thing, but helping other people get their science across to the rest of the scientific community WAS. I was telling a student the other day that I’m almost a scientific great-grandmother by now because I’ve worked with two, sometimes three “generations” of students from the same research lab. I’ve found my clients by word of mouth; I’ve never advertised anywhere except the Editing Referral Service here at Welch. I guess I’ve had about 170 clients by now, and I’m currently editing more than 100 documents a year.”  

On her vast network of national and indeed international clientele who utilize her editing service…..

“I have people all over the world that I work with, and everything’s done by e-mail.”. Debbie was very excited by the possibility of actually meeting (face-to-face) the people she’s worked with. “My dream someday is to go around the world and visit my clients and the many countries where  they live.” 

Debbie mentioned the challenges she encounters in managing the accounting aspects of being paid by different universities where different rules for banking apply, especially in Europe. “I get W-2 statements from Sweden, and all I can read on them is my name and ‘kroner’. More and more universities require you to fill out form after form. I’ve been doing work for a research center in D.C., and not only did they send me lots of forms, but I had to sign a 3-page contract, and one of the stipulations was that I had to have a million dollars in liability insurance in case anybody ever sued me if I said something wrong. I guess what they were worried about was  big operations using subcontractors. (Debbie laughs) That’s not me--I don’t ever subcontract stuff.”

When asked what she wouldn’t miss about coming to work, Debbie mentioned, “The thing I can REALLY LIVE WITHOUT is my commute.” Bike-riding Alonzo notes that if he’d gotten to Debbie sooner, she’d be on a bicycle sailing back and forth to work! Ok-OK, so I’m dreaming—it’s a LONG pull uphill on the way back to Catonsville!!

“I always tell people that my first priority is my teaching. I tell my clients, I’ll get your document done as soon as I can, but only after I’ve met my teaching commitments.” However, this seems a tad tricky in the editing business because, as Debbie says, “the key operative phrase is always---I need this tomorrow.”

Debbie observed that “this business of public speaking has always been a very, very difficult thing for me. So I tell myself, “Look, you’re not a performer, but you have something to say that people seem to value. So get up there and say it. And if your delivery’s not perfect, don’t worry about it, because people want to know about the content. I find it very fulfilling when I give a lecture and people are out there nodding in response, and I see the light bulb go on. They get it.

“One of the neat things I’ve discovered about teaching is that things that students were publishing 15-20 years ago as brand-new, experimental procedures in medicine are now practices that, years later, have become  standard of care in the field--they’re something that everybody knows or everybody uses. It’s thrilling to see the progress of science.

“My students have been wonderful. The sense of scientific camaraderie that I’ve seen in my graduate-level classes is terrific. I love to hear them commenting on each others’ writing, making important suggestions about the research or the writing that I could never have made myself. I have learned so much from my students!”

One of good things I came away with after speaking with Debbie is that she respects her craft, and she is proud of what she’s done and how she’s managed to do it. Not everybody gets to go down that road. Whether it’s for a job, or your own personal life---how many of us can hold their head up and breathe in that whiff of internal satisfaction? OK-OK, put your hands down, it’s not a test. Anyway, I’m not going to get sappy about Debbie, she’s already told me what a softie I’ve been. All I’ll say is that--- she’ll be missed.


Alonzo LaMont


CommComm posted on July 15, 2010 00:41

Just in case you happened to bury Dongming's e-mail about the current survey you're being asked to take, I'm giving you a 2nd chance for clarification, and this time you can't misplace it---Alonzo LaMont

"Dear all,


In order to assess users’ online needs and improve Welch’s online services, we will start MyWelch and WelchWeb user online survey tomorrow.  


For MyWelch survey, users will receive survey invitation from either email (based on their MyWelch accounts) or when they login MyWelch. They won’t encounter survey invitation again after they complete the survey form;


For WelchWeb survey, users will receive survey invitation when they either login “Remote Access” (EZProxy) or access to WelchWeb on which online survey will be arranged based on IP that being randomly selected. Also survey timeframes for WelchWeb will be randomly selected.


We will be running these survey for about two weeks until July 30.


I am including several MyWelch survey screen shots for your information. WelchWeb survey has similar contents.


Please let me know if you have suggestions and concerns.








Beginning July 23, 2010 My NCBI tool replaces eRA Commons for Bibliography Management

NIH is now providing PD/PI’s (program directors and program investigators for us laymen) with a more efficient, accurate and user-friendly way to manage their professional bibliographies, associate publications with grant awards, and ensure compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

eRA Commons has partnered with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to link NCBI’s personal online tool, “My NCBI,” to Commons. My NCBI offers an online portal—“My Bibliography”—for users to maintain and manage a list of all of their authored works, such as journal articles, manuscripts accepted for publication, books, and book chapters.

The partnership between eRA Commons and My NCBI allows Commons users to benefit from My Bibliography’s ability to populate citation data from PubMed , PubMed Central , and the NIH Manuscript Submission system , and to readily maintain accurate, structured and up-to-date bibliographic information. The improved data quality resulting from this integration enhances the ability of the NIH to manage and monitor the results of its research portfolio.


1.     If not already established, PD/PIs must establish a My NCBI account to gain access to My Bibliography.

2.     My NCBI accounts must be linked to eRA Commons accounts.

3.     As of July 23, 2010, Commons will no longer support manual entry of citations. PD/PIs will no longer be able to type or copy and paste citation data into Commons and must enter new citations into their My NCBI accounts.

4.     As of October 22, Commons will no longer display citations that a PI has manually entered into Commons. All citations previously entered manually into Commons will be removed from the Commons system. Therefore, these citations must be added to My Bibliography so that they will continue to appear in Commons and can be associated with future annual progress reports.



CommComm posted on June 19, 2010 00:21

I just want to offer this up early, it's actually a bit premature. As most of you may already know our Debbie McClellan is retiring. We sat down to talk about the many highlights and observations of her long career at Hopkins. Part of maintaining the blog is meeting and talking to people at Hopkins that were previously---for me---usually off the radar. Hadn't really spoken to Debbie that much. But sitting down with her was such a delight. She graciously volunteered so much of her past and present. I can't say I ever remember speaking with anyone who was just so thankful and respectful for her career, and for her job that brought her so many friends, acquaintances and colleagues and took her to so many '.places' She values her teaching and editing with such a heartfelt sincerity. Talking with Debbie pushed all those emotional buttons you never think will get pressed during those 9-5 hours. And all it took was an informal chat down in the basement of Welch. My goodness. Real life always springs up when you least expect it.


The interview should be posted sometime next week, but I wanted to share this story she told me at the very end. She said the last time she'd been interviewed it was with a reporter from the Newark Star-Ledger. She was working in a lab at the time, and the interviewer was TICKLED by the presence of real, live honest-to-goodness lab mice. So, he precociously went over to touch one and like a kid at the monkey cage---YEOW! He was a mouse-bitten man. Luckily, there were no animals present during our interview. Alonzo don't play that.

Alonzo LaMont


CommComm posted on June 19, 2010 00:04

I was in the School of Nursing last week and someone asked me where the new building was. Didn't have a clue. "New building?" sez I. Where? How? When? Holy Oogum-Boogum Batman, I was betwixt and between. Nobody told me about any new building. Now I know. And now you do too. Synchronicity 101.

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Academics Post Degree Options.mht (802.73 kb)

As of July 23, 2010, PD/PIs will be unable to enter citations manually into eRA Commons and must use My NCBI’s “My Bibliography” tool to manage their professional bibliographies.

In the interest of easing investigators’ bibliography management, improving data quality, and ensuring compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy (, eRA Commons has partnered with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) ( to link NCBI’s personal online tool, “My NCBI,” to Commons. My NCBI offers an online portal—“My Bibliography”(—for users to maintain and manage a list of all types of their authored works, such as articles, presentations and books. [See entire press release at ]

• For more information on how investigators should handle the upcoming changes, see NOT-OD-10-103 (

• For a step-by-step guide on how to set up a “My NCBI” account and access “My Bibliography” see

• You can also see the National Library of Medicine tutorial “Using My Bibliography to Manage Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy” for more details.

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