Saturday, January 29, 2011

Griffey, Jason. Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library.

American Library Association TechSource. 2010. 35p. bibliog.. illus. ISBN 978-0-8389-5809-4. $43.00. Item Number 7400-8094. (ALA e-Editions) $33.00. 978-0-8389-5809-4. (Kindle e-Book) $23.00.

Perhaps you may not have realized it, but we are living in the midst of an ongoing information revolution, in which personal electronics or “gadgets” and “gizmos” are key components that have tremendous potential to transform societies and institutions such as libraries. In this book, which was published as an issue of Library Technology Reports (Vol. 46, No. 3), Griffey (Head of Library Information Technology, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; author of Mobile Technology and Libraries and with Karen A. Coombs Library Blogging; columnist for American Libraries “Perpetual Beta” and the ALA TechSource blog), a well- known library technology expert, provides a guide to several “current,” relatively inexpensive-- most are less than $300 and none are greater than $500—personal electronic products and how they fit into any library’s plans for a high- tech future. The author examines a handful of personal electronic products in terms of their features, performance, functionalities, costs, and applications for libraries. Focusing heavily on electronic book readers or e-readers, he also includes various multimedia devices for “capturing and consuming” as well as odd or unusual technologies. Some of the categories of gadgets reviewed by Griffey include e-readers, video cameras, audio recorders, scanners, and multimedia players. The author covers many of the most popular products such as Sony e-readers, the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Flip, the Sony Bloggie, the Zoom H2, the iPod Touch, the Apple iPad, and more. While he mainly scrutinizes personal electronic products of significance to libraries, librarians, and their patrons, he also references pertinent software applications and Internet websites. Professional and technical in approach, but understandable to anyone who may have a basic to intermediate knowledge of personal electronic products and their applications, this publication will be of interest to librarians and others. An important resource for librarians and their staffs, it is highly recommended for public, academic, and special library collections. Review copy. Availability: ALA Online Store, Amazon, Amazon (Kindle edition), Barnes & Noble

Laughrun, Bette James and Nelson, Kathie. I Want What She’s Got: the Secrets of Creating and Outrageous Life.

With foreword by Brian Klemmer. PCG Legacy. 2011. c127p. illus. bibliog.. ISBN 978-0-826665-8-6. $14.95.

Are you burned- out? Perhaps you feel as if you are living your life in a perpetual holding pattern, your life does not matter, and/or you are waiting to die and have stopped living? Have you settled for less than your dreams or ideal life? Bette Laughrun, a co- author of this book, experienced many of these feelings and thoughts in response to certain situations in which she found herself while mothering five children, being married, enduring various family crises, experiencing a divorce, and pursuing her personal and professional dreams and aspirations. In this self-help publication, Laughrun, founder of a leadership development group that educates faith communities and organizations on how to live healthy lives of contribution, meaning, and purpose ( and manager of a successful nutritional cleansing business, with her daughter Nelson, founder of Connect-works (, attempt to help readers recharge, re-fire, and revive. They ask women to seek answers to seven crucial questions that will help them create “outrageous” lives, in which they seize their unique potentials and achieve personal and professional growth and success (p. 9). These questions and their answers relate to a woman’s purpose, gift mix, relationships, contribution, self-care, vision, and spirituality. In nine, revealing and inspirational chapters, Laughrun with Nelson describe how they have answered these questions in terms of their own lives and they set forth what they have learned. They also provide readers with additional clarifying questions to answer. The final chapter includes Nelson’s Outrageous Life Assessment as well as an Outrageous Life Design Tool that involves rating aspects of your life, envisioning your own outrageous life, and closing the gap between your perceived and ideal lives. Of interest to women and some general readers, this guide, which includes a list of resources and references its website, is recommended for public library collections. On a personal note, I do not find that the title and subtitle of this book aptly represent its content. The subtitle may indicate this publication’s subject matter to a better extent. However, the word “outrageous” may carry many negative connotations in readers' minds and may not be the best choice. Review copy. Availability: Amazon

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tassey, Mary Ann. Medical Records Journal: Your Personal Medical History.

Dorrance Publishing Co.. 2010. c77p. ISBN 978-1-4349-0549-9. $11.00. ISBN 978-1-4349-7058-9 (pdf e-book). $6.00.

Many people agree that it’s a good idea to keep track of your health records and those of your family members, if you are a caregiver or likely to become one. These medical records are called personal health records (PHRs) and they are distinguishable from those held by your doctors, which may be referred to as your medical records or electronic medical records (EMRs). You will want to have copies of your personal health records and those of the people for whom you are or are likely to become a caregiver for a variety of reasons, not limited to: perhaps you or a family member will change doctors, move, get sick while on vacation or traveling, and/or end up visiting an emergency room. If any of these situations occur and you have your personal health records and/or those of your family members with you, you and/or they may get faster, safer medical care. (Caroline Rea and Paul Lehnert, “Home Medical Records: Overview,” Updated May 1, 2008, Article on In her publication, Tassey, a resident of Weirton, West Virginia and the mother of seven children, created this “medical records journal,” so “everyone can keep his or her medical records and appointments together.” By means of her book, the author attempts to help individuals compile and/or create their personal health records. Tassey’s publication is divided into two parts. In the first section, she features general information on good health and disease prevention. She covers the top three “killers” (p. v) of Americans—i. e. cancer, heart disease, and stroke—the causes of these killers, who is at risk for them, and ways to avoid them by staying physically fit, eating carefully, and taking preventive measures. She presents some, but not all, screening guidelines as well as information on cholesterol, blood pressure, the food pyramid, metabolism, and vitamins. In the second part, Tassey includes forms that can be used to compile a personal health record, which she calls a “medical records journal” or “personal medical history.” She sets forth forms for keeping track of doctors’ visits, medical tests, and prescriptions. Most forms are seemingly tailored for medical specialists but a few are generic. Each form is labeled Cardiologist, Family Practitioner, Gynecologist, Neurologist, Oncologist, Opthalmologist, Orthopedic, Pediatrician, Urologist, or Physician. Each form leaves room for compiling the doctor’s name and contact information, testing information (type, date, location, result), general notes for testing, medications prescribed (name, date, dosage), and general notes. While Tassey’s book evidences her thoughtful effort at helping readers compile their personal health records (PHRs) or those of others, there are many ways in which it needs to be improved. Firstly, the author needs to include a one- page form that enables individuals to summarize their health information so that it can be disseminated easily and/or copied and carried with persons. This summary form should contain information pertaining to the individual’s emergency contact(s), primary care physician, health insurance, health problems, medications, allergies, family medical history, health care agent(s), and more. Secondly, Tassey needs to provide a comprehensive chart that sets forth screening and immunization guidelines for all age groups. The author needs to better document and present her publication by providing footnotes/endnotes as well as a glossary, bibliography, and index. The first part of Tassey’s book on health and disease is too short and incomplete. It should be expanded and reformatted with numbered, clearly delineated chapter headings. Many of this publication's forms have more than one page number on them. This book needs to be repaginated with incorrect page numbers removed. Finally, Tassey needs to recommend that readers obtain copies of their medical records from their doctors. She needs to include chapter(s) and/or appendix(ices) on the types of more extensive personal health records that readers should keep and how they can do this. Of interest to general readers, this publication may be of limited use to some individuals, but is not recommended for most library collections for many reasons, several of which are described above. Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.. Availability: Amazon, Dorrance Bookstore