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Technology Improvement Awards

Network organizations in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region (NN/LM PNR) are eligible to receive up to $5,000 for the purchase, installation, and/or upgrading of hardware and software that enhance access to health information.


A Technology Improvement Award is intended to enhance the capacity of a library or organization to offer electronic health information services by supporting the purchase, installation, and/or upgrading of hardware and software.

Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Respond to a previously identified health information access need
  • Have active support of the institution's information technology staff
  • Include a clear strategy for evaluating project outcomes

Examples of potential Technology Improvement Projects:

  • Upgrading equipment in a computer lab or learning center to facilitate hands-on computer-based instruction
  • Establishing a mobile workstation (i.e. with laptop, printer, and projector on a rolling cart) to be used when providing information services outside of the library
  • Using mobile devices to support access to health information at the point of need, such as for emergency responders or patient care teams on bedside rounds
  • Creating unique Web-based health information literacy tutorials, learning modules, mobile applications or data mashups
  • Installing adaptive hardware and software to better enable individuals with disabilities to access computer-based health information
  • Implementing or improving Web-based document delivery service

Development of Training Materials

Successful applicants are expected to use or adapt existing training materials before developing new materials. Consult the Medical Library Association (MLA) Educational Clearinghouse,, prior to developing materials. Training materials developed as part of the award should be submitted to the MLA Educational Clearinghouse.


Applicants must be members of the NN/LM PNR.

Period of Performance

Technology Improvement Award activities should be completed by April 30, 2013.

Application Instructions

Applicants should inform NN/LM PNR of their intent to apply no later than January 13, 2012 by emailing

The completed Technology Improvement Award Application along with letters of support, must be sent as an email attachment to Cathy Burroughs at no later than February 1, 2012. Word document format is preferred. Please use “Technology Improvement Award” in the subject line of the email. The PNR staff will acknowledge your application when received and notification of awards will be given within four weeks of the application deadline.

Evaluation Criteria:

Criteria for selection include: a clearly stated information need for a well-defined audience; appropriate hardware and/or software to meet project goals; feasibility of project; and appropriate budget.

Budget Guidelines:

A brief budget and justification is required. If your project is funded, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • For IT/computer hardware under $3,000 per item: Vendor name and published vendor pricing.
  • For IT/computer hardware of $3,000 or more per item: Three (3) vendor quotes (preferably valid for 60 days). Vendor quotes are necessary to determine price reasonableness for purchases. If a single item is over $3,000 and is not competed, then a sole source justification letter is required to indicate why it is the most advantageous purchase.

If personal appeal items such as cameras, MP3 players, smartphones, and laptop computers are proposed, please be prepared to submit the required elements listed on this web page upon approval of the award: [details]

Proposals must meet the following guidelines:

  1. If a web site is developed under this award, the web site must comply with Section 508 requirements for accessibility to people with disabilities [details].
  2. The awardee must acknowledge the support of NLM whenever publicizing the work accomplished as a result of this award [details].
  3. If a journal article is published as a result of this project, the final peer-reviewed manuscript must be submitted to the PubMed Central digital archive in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy [details].

Reporting Requirements:

Final reports on Technology Improvement projects must be submitted within 30 days of project completion by the awardee using the Outreach Application and Online Contract Reports System. Users of the System must first create an account before reports can be submitted; the NN/LM PNR regional office will provide the awardee with a reporting toolkit and support. The project leader is strongly encouraged to share the report with other network members by submitting it for posting to the NN/LM PNR blog, Dragonfly.


Total cost must not exceed $5,000.

Consultant fees and library collection costs are not allowable.

In awarding these funds, the UW Regional Medical Library requests standard indirect costs not be taken, to allow the institution receiving the award to participate fully in the mission of the project.

For additional information, contact:

Cathy Burroughs, Associate Director, NN/LM PNR
Telephone: (206) 543-9261, 1-800-338-7657 (within AK, ID, OR, MT, WA)