Exhibit Activities in the New Five-Year Contract: We Welcome Your Participation!
Exhibit Program Overview
The NN/LM Exhibits and Presentations program is one way we get the word out to health professionals and others about NLM and NN/LM products and services. During each year of the 2006-2011 contract we will exhibit at six national healthcare meetings and six other regional meetings, including state library association meetings and consumer health fairs. Specific priorities of the exhibits and presentations program include:
- Inform healthcare professionals, intermediaries, and healthcare consumers about products and services of NLM and the NN/LM;
- Answer questions related to NLM and NN/LM products and services;
- Gather and report feedback to NLM from customers on products and services;
- Introduce new products;
- Maintain RML staff awareness of current trends in healthcare and information seeking behaviors;
- Increase visibility of NLM and NN/LM programs, while identifying NLM as the leader in biomedical information technology research, as the developer of information systems, and as the sponsor of the NN/LM for national support and outreach to improve health information access; and
- Provide opportunities for networking, cultivating professional contacts, and identifying potential partners for implementing outreach programs.
In selecting potential meetings for exhibits and presentations, we take into consideration the special populations or subject disciplines identified as priority initiatives in NN/LM outreach efforts. Special attempts are made to offer exhibits and presentations to meetings that involve health professionals in inner city or rural areas, those who train minority health practitioners, or those who serve minority populations. We will also attend at least two state library association meetings annually to exhibit and/or make presentations to promote NLM and NN/LM programs and services. State library association meetings offer the opportunity to reach public and school librarians, who assist the public in finding and evaluating electronic health information resources. Exhibits and presentations may also be scheduled at events that reach the public directly, such as health and wellness fairs, which offer the opportunity to promote MedlinePlus to the general public, focusing on minorities, senior citizens and low-income populations, and organizations that serve them. Contacts with members of the public at exhibits and presentations allow us to keep abreast of the needs and reactions of consumers as they seek health information.
How you can help
At exhibits, we offer hands-on demonstrations and instruction in using NLM products and services. We also provide information on Internet tools and information resources that are likely to be of interest to meeting attendees. Over the years, we have successfully recruited and enlisted the assistance of Network members in exhibiting at meetings. Network members who assist at exhibits are informed in advance of the meeting about the objectives of the exhibit and the products and services they should be prepared to demonstrate. Exhibit volunteers should be knowledgeable about the features of PubMed and MedlinePlus, and may be expected to be familiar with additional resources. We select volunteers from the local meeting area, and generally ask for a commitment of four hours. Out-of-pocket costs for volunteers, such as mileage and parking, are reimbursed by NN/LM PSR. Network members have indicated that they benefit from the interactions with a range of health information seekers, and from the interactions with and knowledge gained from NN/LM PSR staff. We in turn obtain valuable feedback from the volunteers, which we relay to NLM. Details for exhibits scheduled for the fall of 2006 and first half of 2007 are located on our “Training & Exhibit Calendar”.
Do you have suggestions for regional exhibits?
If you would like to volunteer to assist at an exhibit, please contact Alan Carr. Also, please feel free to forward Alan suggestions regarding national and regional meetings where we might exhibit in the future.