The mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by:
- Providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information.
- Improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.
The Program is coordinated by the National Library of Medicine and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers. Regional Network Offices of the NN/LM administer and coordinate services in the Network's eight geographical regions.
The NN/LM goals for the Network focus on improving the public's access to health information and developing national programs and collaborations to achieve these goals. The goals are:
- To develop collaborations among Network members and other organizations to improve access to and sharing of biomedical information resources throughout the nation.
- To promote awareness of, access to, and use of biomedical information resources for health professionals and the public, with a particular emphasis on contributing to the Healthy People 2020 goal of eliminating health disparities.
- To develop, promote, and improve electronic access to health information by Network members, health professionals, and organizations providing health information to the public.
The University of Washington Health Sciences Library serves as the regional Network Office for network member organizations throughout the NN/LM, Pacific Northwest Region, including the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Network member organizations in the NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region include 11 Resource Libraries, 183 hospital and academic libraries, 34 public libraries and 160 community-based, government, social service and other types of organizations.
NN/LM PNR staff support Network member organizations’ health information services, resource sharing, community partnerships, outreach program development and evaluation. We offer or sponsor distance and on-site training about online health resources, and provide funding to libraries and community-based partners to promote the use of quality health information. Network members and NN/LM PNR staff exhibit and present about health information topics and resources for diverse professionals and community groups.
Priorities for the NN/LM PNR Program during 2011-2016
- Network member participation will be enhanced with new member organizations from community college and public libraries that support health-related collections; minority-serving health professions schools; umbrella organizations reaching underserved health providers and the public health workforce; and regional and state programs for minority, rural, low income, and aging populations.
- Subcontracts and awards for outreach projects by libraries partnered with public health departments, community-based organizations and underconnected health organizations will be implemented in order to distribute funding and accomplish mission, goals, and objectives throughout the region.
- New roles of the information professional in health IT, e-science and CTSAs will be promoted
- Scholarly communications, open access and electronic methods of document delivery and other information services will be encouraged
- The continuing education and training of health care providers, the public health workforce, health sciences librarians, community college librarians and public librarians will be supported through a variety of courses appropriate to the NN/LM mission.