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CDPH in the News, February 2017

CDPH in the News

Thousands of California Workers Alerted to Elevated Lead Levels

from Newsweek

More than 6,000 California workers in munitions, manufacturing and other industries have elevated levels of lead in their blood that could cause serious health problems, according to a recent report from the state’s public health agency. The report, containing the results of tests conducted between 2012 and 2014, comes as the state’s workplace health and safety agency, Cal/OSHA, is considering a major update of its safety standards for workplace lead exposure for the first time in decades. The current standards are based on 35-year-old medical findings, which at the time did not recognize the dangers of even low-level exposure to lead. More recent science shows chronic, low-level lead exposure can cause lasting harm.

CA PrEP program delayed

from Bay Area Reporter

Problems with California’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program are leading to the delayed launch of a program that would help people statewide get access to PrEP. California Department of Public Health officials have said the trouble with ADAP, which is supposed to help thousands of people get the care they need to stay alive, started after the agency switched to new contractors last July. CDPH spokespeople have said the agency’s still trying to resolve the issues.
Courtney Mulhern-Pearson, director of state and local affairs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said some clients have reported being turned away by their pharmacies or even being dropped from ADAP because of the glitches.

What Researchers Found in California’s Marijuana

from ATTN:

Researchers in Northern California have delivered some unsettling news for marijuana users: It turns out, a sizeable amount of the pot sold in California’s medical marijuana dispensaries test positive for mold and bacteria that could be dangerous for patients with compromised immune systems. Fungi and bacteria – including Cryptococcus, Mucor and Aspergillus, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii – were detected in 20 of the marijuana samples. If inhaled, these pathogens “could lead to serious illness and even death” because inhaling a contaminated substance “provides a direct portal of entry deep into the lungs, where infection can easily take hold,” Joseph Tuscano, a researcher UC Davis, said in a statement.
For the time being, more research is needed in order to better inform patients and recreational users about the quality and safety of their weed. California’s Department of Public Health is actively developing statewide standards for cannabis testing, with the intention of implementing them before the state fully rolls out its recreational marijuana system in 2018.

Children’s Bureau of Southern California Awarded Nearly $1 Million to Address High Obesity Rates in Los Angeles, University Park, Jefferson Park, and West Adams

from prweb

Children’s Bureau was awarded $880,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with funding from the California Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will support the Champions for Change – Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity among low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education eligible populations by providing nutrition education, physical activity promotion, and working to create healthier environments for low-income individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play, pray, and shop.
Key efforts under the initiative include teaching fundamental skills such as cooking, reading food labels, shopping on a budget, growing fruits and vegetables, and introducing low-cost and fun ways to be physically active. In addition, champions in communities throughout the County will be identified to help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities to be physically active in a variety of settings, including early childcare centers, schools, faith-based organizations, corner stores, parks, worksites, and cities.

Advocate of Toxicants Policy Reform Reappointed to State Scientific Guidance Panel

from UC Riverside

Carl F. Cranor, distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside and a longtime advocate of reforming policies for regulating exposure to toxic substances, has been reappointed to the Scientific Guidance Panel of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program. Cranor was first appointed to the panel in 2012. The Senate Rules Committee approved his reappointment in January to a three-year term that ends Jan. 1, 2020.
The Scientific Guidance Panel plays a significant role in the California Biomonitoring Program, making recommendations about the program’s design and implementation – including the identification of chemicals that are a priority for monitoring in California – and providing scientific peer review. Five members are appointed by the governor, two by the speaker of the Assembly, and two by the Senate Rules Committee.
Established by Senate Bill 1379 in 2006, the California Biomonitoring Program is a collaborative effort of three departments in two state agencies: the California Department of Public Health in the Health and Human Services Agency, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Toxic Substances Control in the California Environmental Protection Agency.

UC SHIP board looking to add surgery options for transgender students

from Daily Bruin

University of California representatives are working to include certain transgender surgeries in student health insurance coverage. Attendees at the UC Student Health Insurance Plan meeting Tuesday discussed voting to add breast augmentation surgery for male-to-female transgender students to the UC SHIP plan, said David DiTullio, an Executive Oversight Board graduate representative for the Student Health Advisory Committee. However, they tabled the vote and decided to collect more data about the feasibility of adding the surgery to UC SHIP coverage over the next year before making a final decision.
The UC SHIP staff hopes to implement the male-to-female top surgery benefit for the 2018-2019 school year but has not reached a decision, said Karina Keus, a SHAC and EOB undergraduate representative. UC Berkeley added the surgery to its plan this year, but no students have taken advantage of the top surgery yet… Keus said the Berkeley campus is not under the umbrella of the UC SHIP system; it receives insurance through Anthem. The benefit is temporary and might be discontinued at UC Berkeley if the California Department of Public Health does not approve it, Keus added.

Web Portal Downtime

Over the weekend of Jan 6-8, the Public Health Library’s web portal will migrate to a new server. This change should be invisible to you, but in order to do this, we will take down the web portal on Friday, Jan 6 at around 3pm. It should be back up on Monday, Jan 9 in the morning. Please plan ahead if you think you will have any weekend needs.

If you need to make article or other requests during this period, please use the website, or you may call the Public Health Library at 510-642-2510.

Winter Holiday Hours Alert – Please plan ahead

Although the Public Health Library will be closed to the public from December 19 to Jan 2, we will be providing library services to CDPH staff on December 19 to 23 from 8 am to 5 pm and December 28 to 29 from 9 am to 5 pm.

You can reach us as usual by calling (510) 642-2510 or by logging in to your web portal.

If you wish to visit the library on any of these days, please let us know beforehand by calling 510-642-2510 so we can open the door for you and make sure that a librarian will be here to assist you.

Please plan ahead and anticipate your project needs, especially if you will be using our Document Delivery service. We may not be able to readily get non-online material for you.

Thank you for continuing to use our library and information services! Please let your new and existing colleagues know about our services and resources if appropriate.

Happy holidays!

Web Portal Downtime

Over either the weekend of 12/9-11 or 12/16-18, the Public Health Library’s web portal will migrate to a new server. This change should be invisible to you, but in order to do this, we will take down the web portal on the Friday before at around 3pm. It should be back up the following Monday in the morning. We will let you know the dates for this the week before it happens. Please plan ahead if you think you will have any weekend needs.

If you need to make article or other requests during this period, please use the website or you may call the Public health Library at 510-642-2510.

Webinar: Cultural Competencies for an Aging LGBTQ Population

Want to learn more about the aging LGBTQ population? Interested in improving cultural competency for this vulnerable population? Then you might want to attend this free webinar by HRSA, to be held on Tuesday, December 13th from 10am-12pm PST.

This webinar will discuss the health and social care needs of older adults in the LGBTQ community. It will highlight the special obstacles faced by this population, opportunities to improve cultural competency and best practices to integrate LGBTQ-friendly care into your organization.

The webinar should be of interest to HRSA grantees, healthcare providers, public health officials, community-based organizations and advocates wanting to improve competency in serving the needs of aging LGBTQ patients in their practices.

Please be sure to register in advance as space is limited.

Transportation Studies Library closed Dec. 1

The Transportation Studies Library will be closed today, 12/1/16, for an event. We will resume normal hours tomorrow.

ACS and RSC to require ORCIDs

orcid-logo

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) recently signed the ORCID Open Letter. For published articles the two societies will now require ORCIDs (Open Researcher and Contributor IDs) for corresponding authors and will automatically collect and display the ORCIDs of all submitting authors. The RSC announcement states that coordination between the publishers, Crossref and ORCID will ensure that published works are properly attributed.

In adopting the ORCID system RSC and ACS join a number of other publishers and journals including eLife, the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Science journals, Wiley, and Wellcome Open Research.

Thanksgiving holiday hours

Many of the Cal libraries will close early on Wednesday, November 23.

All will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25.

All except the Law Library will be closed on Saturday, and some will also be closed on Sunday.

For details, see Library Hours.

Library Leaders Forum 2016

2016-10-27 Libraries Leaders-162

The aerial shot of the group at the Library Leaders Forum 2016 by Brad Shirakawa

On October 26-28, I had the honor of attending the Library Leaders Forum 2016, which was held at the Internet Archive (IA). This year’s meeting was geared towards envisioning the library of 2020. October 26th was also IA’s 20th anniversary. I joined my Web Science and Digital Libraries (WS-DL) Research Group in celebrating IA’s 20 years of preservation by contributing a blog post with my own personal story, which highlights a side of the importance of Web preservation for the Egyptian Revolution. More personal stories about Web archiving exist on WS-DL blog.

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Brewster Kahle opens the Library Leaders Forum 2016

In the Great room at the Internet Archive Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive’s Founder, kicked off the first day by welcoming the attendees. He began by highlighting the importance of openness, sharing, and collaboration for the next generation. During his speech he raised an important question, “How do we support datasets, the software that come with it, and open access materials?” According to Kahle, the advancement of digital libraries requires collaboration.

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IA’s Golden Floppy

After Brewster Kahle’s brief introduction, Wendy Hanamura, the Internet Archive’s Director of Partnership, highlighted parts of the schedule and presented the rules of engagement and communication:

  • The rule of 1 – Ask one question answer one question.
  • The rule of n – If you are in a group of n people, speak 1/n of the time.

Before giving the microphone to the attendees for their introductions, Hanamura gave a piece of advice, “be honest and bold and take risks“. She then informed the audience that “The Golden Floppy” award shall be given to the attendees who would share bold or honest statements.

Next was our chance to get to know each other through self-introductions. We were supposed to talk about who we are, where we are from and finally, what we want from this meeting or from life itself. The challenge was to do this in four words.

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“Partnership is important for advancing the library system”, Sylvain Belanger.

After the introductions, Sylvain Belanger, the Director of Preservation of Library and Archives in Canada, talked about where his organization will be heading in 2020. He mentioned the physical side of the work they do in Canada to show the challenges they experience. They store, preserve, and circulate over 20 million books, 3 million maps, 90,000 films, and 500 sheets of music.

We cannot do this alone!” Belanger exclaimed. He emphasized how important a partnership is to advance the library field. He mentioned that the Library and Archives in Canada is looking to enhance preservation and access as well as looking for partnerships. They would also like to introduce the idea of innovation into the mindset of their employees. According to Belanger, the Archives’ vision for the year 2020 includes consolidating their expertise as much as they can and also getting to know how do people do their work for digitization and Web archiving.

After the Belanger’s talk, we split up into groups of three to meet other people we didn’t know so that we could exchange knowledge about what we do and where we came from. Then the groups of two will join to form a group of six that will exchange their visions, challenges, and opportunities. Most of the attendees agreed on the need for growth and accessibility of digitized materials. Some of the challenges were funding, ego, power, culture, etc.

Chris Edward, the Head of Digital Services at the Getty Research Institute, talked about what they are doing, where they are going, and the impact of their partnership with the IA. Edward mentioned that the uploads by the IA are harvested by HathiTrust and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). This allows them to distribute their materials. Their vision for 2020 is to continue working with the IA and expanding the Getty research portal, and digitize everything they have and make it available for everyone, anywhere, all the time. They also intend on automating metadata generation (OCR, image recognition, object recognition, etc.), making archival collections accessible, and doing 3D digitization of architectural models. They will then join forces with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) community to develop the capability to represent these objects. He also added that they want to help the people who do not have the ability to do it on their own.

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Wendy Hanamura is presenting the IA’s strategic plan for 2015-2020

After lunch, Wendy Hanamura walked us quickly through the Archive’s strategic plan for 2015-2020 and IA’s tools and projects. Some of these plans are:

  • Next generation Wayback Machine
    • Test pilot with Mozilla so they suggest archived pages for the 404
    • Wikimedia link rots
  • Building libraries together
  • The 20 million books
    • Table top scribe
    • Open library and discovery tool
    • Digitization supercenter
    • Collaborative circulation system
  • Television Archive — Political ads
  • Software and emulation
  • Proprietary code
  • Scientific data and Journals – Sharing data
  • Music — 78’s

No book should be digitized twice!”, this is how Wendy Hanamura ended her talk.

img_6973Then we had a chance to put our hands on the new tools by the IA and by their partners through having multiple makers’ space stations. There were plenty of interesting projects, but I focused on the International Research Data Commons– by Karissa McKelvey and Max Ogden from the Dat Project. Dat is a grant-funded project, which introduces open source tools to manage, share, publish, browse, and download research datasets. Dat supports peer-to-peer distribution system, (e.g., BitTorrent). Ogden mentioned that their goal is to generate a tool for data management that is as easy as Dropbox and also has a versioning control system like GIT.

After a break Jeffrey Mackie-Mason, the University Librarian of UC Berkeley, interviewed Brewster Kahle about the future of libraries and online knowledge. The discussion focused on many interesting issues, such as copyrights, digitization, prioritization of archiving materials, cost of preservation, avoiding duplication, accessibility and scale, IA’s plans to improve the Wayback Machine and many other important issues related to digitization and preservation. At the end of the interview, Kahle announced his white paper, which wrote entitled “Transforming Our Libraries into Digital Libraries”, and solicited feedback and suggestions from the audience.

Brad Shirakawa

The photographer Brad Shirakawa while taking  an aerial shot at the Great room.

At the end of the day, we had an unusual and creative group photo by the great photographer Brad Shirakawa who climbed out on a narrow plank high above the crowd to take our picture.

On day two the first session I attended was a keynote address by Brewster Kahle about his vision for the Internet Archive’s Library of 2020, and what that might mean for all libraries.

Heather Christenson, the Program Officer for HathiTrust, talked about where HeathiTrust is heading in 2020. Christenson started by briefly explaining what is HathiTrust and why HathiTrust is important for libraries. Christenson said that HathiTrust’s primary mission is preserving for print and digital collections, improving discovery and access through offering text search and bibliographic data APIs, and generating a comprehensive collection of the US federal documents. Christensen mentioned that they did a survey about their membership and found that people want them to focus on books, videos, and text materials.

A panel discussion about the Legal Strategies and Practices for libraries.

A panel discussion about the Legal Strategies and Practices for libraries.

Our next session was a panel discussion about the Legal Strategies Practices for libraries by Michelle Wu, the Associate Dean for Library Services and Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, and Lila Bailey, the Internet Archive’s Outside Legal Counsel. Both speakers shared real-world examples and practices. They mentioned that the law has never been clearer and it has not been safer about digitizing, but the question is about access. They advised the libraries to know the practical steps before going to the institutional council. “Do your homework before you go. Show the usefulness of your work, and have a plan for why you will digitize, how you will distribute, and what you will do with the takedown request.”

Tom Rieger talks about the LOC’s 2020 strategic plan.

Tom Rieger talks about the LOC’s 2020 strategic plan.

After the panel Tom Rieger, the Manager of Digitization Services Section at the Library of Congress (LOC), discussed the 2020 vision for the Library of Congress. Reiger spoke of the LOC’s 2020 strategic plan. He mentioned that their primary mission is to serve the members of Congress, the people in the USA, and the researchers all over the world by providing access to collections and information that can assist them in decision making. To achieve their mission the LOC plans to collect and preserve the born digital materials and provide access to these materials, as well as providing services to people for accessing these materials. They will also migrate all the formats to an easily manageable system and will actively engage in collaboration with many different institutions to empowering the library system, and adapt new methods for fulfilling their mission.

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In the evening, there were different workshops about tools and APIs that IA and their partners provided. I was interested in the RDM workshop by Max Ogden and Roger Macdonald. I wanted to explore the ways we can support and integrate this project into the UC Berkeley system. I gained more information about how the DAT project worked through live demo by Ogden. We also learned about the partnership between the Dat Project and the Internet Archive to start storing scientific data and journals at scale.

Notes from “Long-Term Storage for Research Data Management” session.

We then formed into small groups around different topics on our field to discuss what challenges we face and generate a roadmap for the future. I joined the “Long-Term Storage for Research Data Management” group to discuss what the challenges and visions of storing research data and what should libraries and archives do to make research data more useful. We started by introducing ourselves. We had Jefferson Bailey from the Internet Archive, Max Ogden, Karissa from the DAT project, Drew Winget from Stanford libraries, Polina Ilieva from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and myself, Yasmin AlNoamany.

Some of the issues and big-picture questions that were addressed during our meeting:

  • The long-term storage for the data and what preservation means to researchers.
  • What is the threshold for reproducibility?
  • What do researchers think about preservation? Does it mean 5 years, 15 years, etc.?
  • What is considered as a dataset? Harvard considers anything/any file that can be interpreted as a dataset.
  • Do librarians have to understand the data to be able to preserve it?
  • What is the difference between storage and preservation? Data can be stored, but long-term preservation needs metadata.
  • Do we have to preserve everything? If we open it to the public to deposit their huge datasets, this may result in noise. For the huge datasets what should be preserved and what should not?
  • Privacy and legal issues about the data.

Principles of solutions

  • We need to teach researchers how to generate metadata and the metadata should be simple and standardized.
  • Everything that is related to research reproducibility is important to be preserved.
  • Assigning DOIs to datasets is important.
  • Secondary research – taking two datasets and combine them to produce something new. In digital humanities, many researchers use old datasets.
  • There is a need to fix the 404 links for datasets.
  • There is should be an easy way to share data between different institutions.
  • Archives should have rules for the metadata that describe the dataset the researchers share.
  • The network should be neutral.
  • Everyone should be able to host a data.
  • Versioning is important.

Notes from the other Listening posts:

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Polina Ilieva from UCSF wrapped up the meeting.

At the end of the day, Polina Ilieva, the Head of Archives and Special Collections at UCSF, wrapped up the meeting by giving her insight and advice. She mentioned that for accomplishing their 2020 goals and vision, there is a need to collaborate and work together. Ilieva said that the collections should be available and accessible for researchers and everyone, but there is a challenge of assessing who is using these collections and how to quantify the benefits of making these collections available. She announced that they would donate all their microfilms to the Internet Archive! “Let us all work together to build a digital library, serve users, and attract consumers. Library is not only the engine for search, but also an engine for change, let us move forward!” This is how Ilieva ended her speech.

It was an amazing experience to hear about the 2020 vision of the libraries and be among all of the esteemed library leaders I have met. I returned with inspiration and enthusiasm for being a part of this mission and also ideas for collaboration to advance the library mission and serve more people.

–Yasmin AlNoamany

ChemSearch Challenge 2016

The Elsevier-Reaxys ChemSearch Challenge is a chemistry search competition. A new challenge consisting of four or five questions will be posted every week for 8 consecutive weeks, and players compete on the speed with which they can submit correct answers.

Players can compete as individuals or groups, and a $200 donation will be made on behalf of each week’s winner to their choice of Doctors Without Borders, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Partners in Health, or Oxfam International. In order to compete, an account is required.

The first challenge was posted on October 17, and subsequent challenges will be posted every Monday at 12 pm GMT.

For more information, please see:

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Edit Wikipedia tomorrow in Moffitt 405! Drop in any time 1-6pm or attend a workshop. t.co/8kwR1yFjGG

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What could be better than books — and food? Join us to celebrate both on April 10. t.co/5d20NeRimr

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Live @ Hertz Hall with Senator Barbara Boxer for "An Election Like No Other and What Lies Ahead" t.co/cbI4qFYUAU

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Drop in Moffitt Library on Tuesday, March 21 from 1-6pm for a communal updating of Wikipedia entries. We will... t.co/fZ3W6nLEtL