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MidContinental Region Project Descriptions

Advocacy Program

The Advocacy Program began with the goal of developing support for health science libraries and librarians. We believe that health science libraries contribute to the healthcare and financial status of their institution, and have developed trainings and tools to help librarians learn financial and management skills to more successfully interact with their management systems. We also offer consultation services on how to implement these tools and how to plan for librarian succession. State liaisons are available to review individual library operations and assist with development of advocacy programming within the institution. The Advocacy Program has collaborated on a research project to show the value of librarians and libraries to the institution and uses every opportunity to promote this value to other disciplines including administrators and health care professionals. Additionally, the Advocacy Program monitors the status of libraries throughout the MCR on a yearly basis and consults with those members whose status has changed.

Assessment and Evaluation Project

The Assessment and Evaluation Project identifies regional needs and opportunities for program development, to demonstrate the value of network membership and to evaluate the quality of services provided in the region. The Assessment and Evaluation Project also works in concert with the Advocacy Project to identify and create tools and to teach librarians in the region about using evaluation to show the value of health sciences libraries in member organizations and institutions.

Education Project

The Education Project focuses on providing training to librarians and others through in-person and online sessions. Topics include the use of health information resources, primarily from the National Library of Medicine. Additional resources provided include e-book access to more than 90 books from NetLibrary covering a variety of technology and library management topics. Regional training and the sharing of training resources are coordinated through the National Training Center and Clearinghouse and the Medical Library Association. The project also incorporates working with academic librarians serving as liaisons to public health programs in the region. In addition, instruction and consultation are provided on how to conduct presentations, and classes.

Health Information Literacy Project

The Health Information Literacy Project area enhances access to quality consumer health information and facilitates collaborations with libraries, public health workforce, and local and regional health agencies and organizations to develop a stable infrastructure to support this endeavor. Efforts also include collaborations with library staff, healthcare professionals, health-related associations, and the public to raise awareness of health information literacy, and resources to enable consumers to make informed decisions about their health. Special areas of focus include health disparities, minority, and rural health concerns. The blog “Bringing Health Information to the Community” provides a communication tool that reaches those who work to improve the health of their communities.

Network Membership Project

The Network Membership Project focuses on managing the membership program for the region. This includes recruiting member institutions, involving members in infrastructure and outreach programs, assisting members with meeting document delivery standards, promoting resource sharing, increasing skills in licensing electronic resources, and implementing the national and regional NN/LM emergency preparedness plans.

Technology Project

The Technology Project focuses on educating and assisting MCR members with technologies relevant to health sciences libraries. This includes Web 2.0 technologies, mobile technologies, electronic health records and personal health records, videoconferencing and voice over IP services, podcasting and video casting, and new technologies to deliver and manage health sciences information.

Wyoming Outreach Project

The Wyoming Outreach effort focuses on supporting health information access in the state of Wyoming by visiting health sciences, public and academic libraries and hospitals and clinics around the state. It includes organizing the Wyoming Symposium for Health Information Professionals, an annual event at the University of Wyoming that supports continuing education and networking. The Wyoming Outreach effort also includes representation in the Wyoming Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium Workforce Wellness working group and exhibiting at health related meetings.