Ideation Studio Opens!

The first step of innovation is generating an idea or identifying a problem that needs solved – the ideation phase. While the University of Utah offers innovators spaces to fabricate prototypes and create sample devices, there are few spaces that support true design thinking or idea generation and sharing. To meet this gap, the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) just opened a new Ideation Studio, a brainstorming space that University personnel can reserve using the Synapse scheduling process.

ideation studioThis Ideation Studio is located on the south end of EHSL’s Main Level, and provides a mobile whiteboard walled space for groups or individuals to gather. Mind-expanding widgets (e.g., springs, nuts and bolts, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, buttons, toolkits)  may be borrowed from the Front Desk.

Design classes are being planned for those wishing to know more about how to “think out loud” and explore in a space that supports delving into new concepts and deep diving to develop solutions to tough issues.

Reserve your time within the Ideation Studio today – open all EHSL operational hours.

And if you wish to learn more about design, here are some resources to consult:

e-Channel Innovation Vault



Innovation Research Guide

by: Jean Shipman, Director

EHSL Receives Library Services and Technology Act Grant

The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) is proud to announce that it has received a Library Services and Technology Act grant to work with the School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Informatics to create a natural language processor (NLP). This tool will contribute to a searchable database of curriculum content found in the School of Medicine. Content will be tagged to medical subject headings to make searching more efficient, and to help administrators, faculty, and students identify where specific topics and competencies are being taught in the curriculum.

Congratulations to Erin Wimmer, Teaching & Learning Librarian at EHSL, and Kerri Shaffer, Director of Curriculum and Faculty Support for the School of Medicine, who worked together to submit this successful grant! Many thanks to Wendy Chapman, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, who has worked with Erin & Kerri to determine what will be necessary for the development of the NLP, and who will work with her team to create the tool.

Many thanks to the Utah State Library Division, Department of Heritage and Arts, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which administers the Library Services and Technology Act, for funding this project.

by: Erin Wimmer, Teaching & Learning Librarian & Kerri Shaffer, Director of Curriculum and Faculty Support for the School of Medicine

Library Innovation Team Award Winner at Bench-2-Bedside

The Library Innovation Team is comprised of library faculty and staff from the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL), the J. Willard Marriott Library, and the James E. Faust Law Library. The team was originally formed to help Bench-2-Bedside teams discover relevant biomedical literature, market research, and prior art/patents for their devices. However, it has grown to assist any inventor or entrepreneur affiliated with the University of Utah, or from the community.

As in previous years, the University of Utah Libraries received appreciative recognition from the Bench-2-Bedside teams at the 2016 annual Bench-2-Bedside competition held on April 4, 2016 at the Utah State Capitol. Around 65% of the competing Bench-2-Bedside teams, and 70% of the winning teams, met with Library faculty and staff as they developed their devices, business plans, and futures for their competition projects.B2B_2

One team remarked, “I wish I would have emailed the library sooner, they were so helpful!” Other teams stated that all the data on their poster was discovered with the help of the librarians. Coveted resources mentioned frequently included the materials collection and 3D printing at the Marriott Library, and the Crocker Innovation & Discovery Center located in the EHSL and supervised by the Center for Medical Innovation’s Tim Pickett.

The $15,000 grand prize winner, Spencer Madsen stated, “I contacted the Library to help find more specific market numbers regarding my Baby monitor.  Unfortunately it was really hard on my own to find anything that didn’t require an expensive purchase of a market analysis.  Thankfully, Tallie [Innovation Librarian at EHSL] and others of the [Marriott] library spent a couple hours with me searching.  We didn’t answer all my questions, due to the complexities of my specific market, but we did find some new information that was essential to depicting the size and direction of the market.  That information was used to create an enticing market story that helped the judges see the potential impact of my technology.”

For the second year, the EHSL and Marriott Library sponsored the Libraries Award for the Bench-2-Bedside competition. This award is granted to the team that demonstrates they have engaged the assistance and services of the Libraries Innovation Team, and have effectively applied the knowledge and information received into their team’s project.


The $2000 Libraries Award was given to Sybo Technologies. Sybo Technologies acknowledged all three University of Utah Libraries, and worked with librarians from each. Sybo Technologies created a device that moves surgical lights to brighten surgeons’ view fields. This device allows surgeons to look at a specific location on patients with an overhead light that automatically follows their gaze. Sybo Technologies hopes to include another component which will track surgical tools to prevent accidental retainment within patients.

See a full list of winners:

Arrange a consultation with a team member by emailing

We can help!

What are your Library wishes?

Have you ever wished the Eccles Library did something differently?

Do you have ideas to make your Library a rock star?

How could the Library knock your socks off?




We want to know your Library wishes! They are being posted for all to see, and we will respond publicly too!

Share your wishes online at OR text: EHSLWISH to 22333

Ask Questions and Solve Problems!

Some of our best ideas come to us while in the shower or taking a long walk…but what if you had a couple of “free” minutes at work and wanted to take a break with a cup of coffee and ponder problems others have posed on Twitter…well, that day is here – thanks to #asksolve!

How can you #asksolve?

asksolveAsk: Contribute a problem by including #asksolve in a tweet on Twitter.

Ask: Using something that has a design flaw? Tweet about it, including #asksolve in your message.

Solve: If you have a solution to any of the reported problems, reply to the related #asksolve tweet.

Spark ideas by viewing all of the #asksolve problems and solutions on Twitter.

#asksolve threads will soon be displayed in the Synapse area of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (Garden Level).  Bring your mug and settle in on comfy chairs for a fun and fresh break.  Grab some friends and have a competition!  The challenge is on!  Just #asksolve.

Applying for National Library of Medicine Funding

Ask some of the faculty at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) how they spent the summer of 2015 and you won’t hear the typical answer about vacationing at the beach, up in the mountains, or in a foreign country. Instead they’ll tell you, “I learned about NIH’s new biosketch,” or “I calculated what I would spend over the next 5 years,” or “I identified what was significant about future NN/LM programs.” These faculty spent the summer writing a proposal for the next 5-year funding cycle of the MidContinental Region (MCR) of the Regional Medical Libraries (RML) for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) grant.

Since 2001, EHSL has been funded by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to be the RML for the MidContinental Region. The NLM has also funded the library to be the National Library of Medicine Training Center since 2011. Both programs are currently under National Institutes of Health (NIH) contracts that end in 2016. NIH contracts require a different application process than grants.

With the NLM changing its funding mechanism from a contract to a cooperative agreement for 2016-2021, NN/LM staff members were introduced to the forms and rules that others at the University of Utah use when applying for NIH grants. This was a new experience for us, and we have great sympathy and much admiration for all who have waded through the requirements and the many, many instructions for submitting a grant or cooperative agreement proposal.

Instructions, Instructions, and More Instructions

If you have taken a grant writing workshop, you learned that it is important to read and follow instructions precisely. With 50 pages of instructions specific to the NN/LM proposal and 256 additional pages of instructions for anyone applying for NIH funds, there were a lot of directions to carefully follow. Fortunately, the University of Utah supports grant writers with a consultant who has experience with the forms and instructions. Dawn Porter, from the Office of Sponsored Projects Collaborative Research Support, helped us avoid pitfalls we would have stumbled into without her guidance.

From May through July, we were consumed, first by planning the next 5 years and then by describing it according to NLM and NIH instructions. What a sense of relief it was when the send button was finally pushed and the 800+ page proposal was on its way, via the Internet, to NIH!

Benefits of the Proposal Experience

It was stressful and a lot of work. But thinking back over the experience, there were positives for us, and the librarians in our partnering libraries in six states (UT, CO, WY, NE, KS, MO), who helped write the proposal.

  1. It gave us a better understanding of why faculty and researchers might be unavailable when librarians are trying to schedule a meeting with them or involve them in a project. They could very well be working on a grant! Writing requires focus, and distractions are easily dismissed when writing a proposal that determines continued employment, or that addresses a challenge, such as improving access to health information. We sometimes got testy with each other as we were trying to get our thoughts organized and coherently expressed.
  2. The MCR covers six different states, so writing this proposal meant that Librarians from each state worked with their own institutions to develop pieces of this grant application. With Librarians from six states contributing to this proposal, each of us learned about, and established relationships within, the unique labyrinth of grant support at our institutions. Some grant offices were open to meeting with the librarian to inform them up front of the support they would give. Others referred the librarian to a website and suggested email correspondence as questions arose. Some were willing to work with the librarian as they went through each step. Others only wanted to review the finished product and then respond with changes they required. With time being crucial, you can imagine that grant offices play an important role in the extramural funding an institution receives. Faculty and researchers, just as the NN/LM MCR staff, must continue carrying out the essentials of their work even as they write their proposal. The support that is available from the research office can make a difference in the quality and success of the proposal.
  3. Each of us had to write a biosketch for the proposal, which provided us with the opportunity to review and analyze what we had done over our careers, no matter how long or short. We learned to use the My NCBI feature that stores publications to be added to the biosketch. Writing the biosketch required answering, “What really are my strengths?” “What have I contributed to health information access or librarianship?”
  4. We gained a clearer understanding of the budget requirements and justifications, and the information required to add a librarian to an NIH proposal. We know that salaries, benefits, and other librarian activities should be identified by hour and month for each year of the proposal, and for each section or core.
  5. Having gone through the cooperative agreement proposal experience all NN/LM MCR staff can now relate and talk to others at our institutions intelligibly about applying for NIH funding. It gives us added common ground on which to build a relationship.

What’s Next?

The proposal contained sub-proposals for four different offices. It took over 800 pages to explain our vision for 2016-2021. We expect to hear about whether our proposals and sub-proposals are funded at the beginning of 2016. Based on the summary report and scores, our chances are very good!


An earlier version of this article was first published in the October 2015 issue of Plains to Peaks Post.

Healthi4U: A new interdisciplinary student competition


Healthi4U (read as “healthy for you”) is an innovative new competition in which interdisciplinary teams of students at the University of Utah create short, engaging, and informative health-related videos. This competition, generously funded by the Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation, is coordinated by the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) and a team of university faculty.

The competition is open to all full-time, matriculated University of Utah undergraduate and graduate students. Teams should be comprised of students from a variety of majors. Monetary awards will be provided to the winning videos. Winners may also be aired on UEN-TV Channel 9 and featured on SciTech Now.

Healthi4U Kick-off

Learn more about the competition, meet other students, and start forming your teams:

  • Thursday, September 10 from 5-7pm
  • Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) Alumni Hall Room 2100
  • Refreshments will be served


The videos will be judged based on messaging (30 points), creativity (10 points), production (5 points), and inclusiveness/diversity (5 points).

If you would like to judge the videos, please contact Anita Leopardi.


Winners will be announced during the Healthi4U Capstone Award Event on Thursday, November 19, at the Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB) Alumni Hall, Room 2100, from 5-7pm. The following monetary awards* will be issued:

  • 1st Place                 $3,000
  • 2nd Place               $1,000
  • 3rd Place                $500
  • People’s Choice     $500

We encourage faculty to help spread the word about this exciting new competition! Faculty may consider using this program as an assignment for coursework, extra credit, or as an enrichment activity for TAs/RAs or mentees. Please consider announcing it in your class on or Canvas course.

Please contact the co-chair organizers or visit the Healthi4U website with questions, comments, or to learn more about becoming a judge.

*See Healthi4U website for specific details about how the awards will be issued.


Jean P. Shipman Appointed to BLIRC

photo, Jean P. Shipman, Director

Jean P. Shipman, Director

Jean Shipman, M.S.L.S., Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL), has been appointed to the Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC). The BLIRC is one of six advisory bodies housed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and relies on these advisory bodies for their expertise in medical, scientific, academic, library, and public policy areas.

The BLIRC is responsible for reviewing the majority of the Extramural Programs (EP) grant applications. The EP Division of the NLM offers grants for research projects and research training in library science and biomedical informatics. Shipman, who has been the Director of the University of Utah EHSL since 2008, is honored by this recent appointment. “I’m delighted to be the last librarian appointed to the BLIRC by the retiring director of the National Library of Medicine, Dr. Donald Lindberg,” she said. “I look forward to learning a lot from this experience and to contributing to the awarding of key extramural funding to health sciences librarians and informaticians.”

This four year appointment begins in November 2015.


Reprinted with permission from Joe Borgenicht  and Katie Cummock at Pulse.

Patient Education Inventory Project Needs Your Help!

patient-edu-material-imageThe University of Utah Health Care hospital and clinics is being asked to centralize and “control” access to all patient education documents pursuant to DNV (Det Norske Veritas-Germanischer Lloyd) accreditation requirements. This will be accomplished by collecting and organizing all patient education documents in an online Pulse library available to all users.

A Patient Education Document (PED) Team has been formed at the request of Dr. Vivian Lee. Team members include:

  • Jean Shipman, Director of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL)
  • Heidi Greenberg, Knowledge Management, Research Associate (EHSL)
  • Darrin Doman, Staff Development Educator

The PED Team is in the process of collecting materials from inpatient and outpatient departments throughout the health sciences community. The document collection period runs through July 30, 2015.

Each document is reviewed by the PED Team for content ownership and assigned implementation and/or revision dates. Document owners will receive electronic notifications when the material is up for review in order to keep the content up to date.

The documents will also be cataloged with MeSH (medical subject heading) terms. Cataloging the materials will enable patient care staff to easily find the item and print what they need, when they need it to ensure the most current content is being distributed to patients.

The PED Team has made significant progress towards completing this significant task. If you have patient education material in your area, please upload the documents to Pulse. Be sure to include the document title, owner, department or area, implementation or revision date.

If you would like more information, please contact Heidi Greenberg; 801-587-9246.



Learning from the BMI Experts!

Biomedical Informatics Training Course Empowers Change Agents!

This April 12-18, 2015, I had the privilege of participating in the National Library of Medicine’s Biomedical Informatics Training course in Brasstown Valley, Georgia. Formerly held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, this was the second cohort hosted by Georgia Regents University in the course’s 25 year history.

The training was a weeklong survey course designed to empower “change agents” in their respective institutions. Due to the wide spectrum of experiences and professions represented in the cohort, our preconceived definitions of “biomedical informatics” soon covered an entire board (see image below):

Preconceived definitions of "biomedical informatics" discussion

Preconceived definitions of “biomedical informatics” discussion

A diverse collection of professionals included eight librarians, four medical doctors, four academic faculty, four informaticians/informationists, eight healthcare administrators/managers, and even a representative from UpToDate. Throughout the course, inside and outside of the classroom, we had plenty of opportunities to learn from one another and participate in the active exchange of ideas. It was the perfect venue for networking as we each found an active audience in our peers as we shared ways to apply our newly gained knowledge.

The course schedule was robust, starting at 8:30 each morning and finishing at 9:00 p.m. Topics ranged from Informatics Standards to Natural Language Processing and Semantic MEDLINE. Courses were taught by subject experts as well as pioneers in their respective fields. Presenters included Dr. Donald Lindberg (Professor Emeritus of the National Library of Medicine), Dr. Ed Hammond (Director of the Duke Center for Health Informatics), and Paul Harris (Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University and creator of REDCap).

Sessions were broken into digestible 90 minute sessions with breaks. Break times were frequently utilized to continue the discussions and questions from the lecture. Experts in their fields, our lecturers were personable, very accessible, and encouraged us to contact them beyond the course.

Since the venue was located two hours north of Atlanta (the main airport) in Brasstown Valley, there was plenty of time on the bus ride back into the city to not only reminisce with one another, but to reflect on the material learned in the course. Curious to apply and share the newfound knowledge we gained, we were leaving this weeklong intensive course empowered to be the change agents within our institutions.

This course educated attendees on the constantly changing field of biomedical informatics. Most sessions blended the appropriate amount of history on the topic with current challenges and opportunities–which always spurred a lively discussion among the group. We learned the many ways the National Library of Medicine plays a consistent role in the field.

I feel fortunate to have attended and highly encourage anybody else interested to apply for this incredible learning opportunity. If you have questions, comments, suggestions, or want to talk with me about what I learned, contact me at Darell Schmick; 801-585-3563.

Group photo-shot of attendees at the National Library of Medicine’s Biomedical Informatics Training course in Brasstown Valley, Georgia, April 2015

Group shot of attendees at the National Library of Medicine’s Biomedical Informatics Training course in Brasstown Valley, Georgia, April 2015 (Darell is in the middle in the back!)



ds – 5/08/2015