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What’s New in the RML Contract for 2012/13?

Our new contract year began Tuesday, May 1, 2012, and the biggest change involved RML leadership roles. Alan Carr is now the Acting Associate Director for the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region. He is an excellent candidate for this role, having worked with both RML Network Programs and Outreach Programs, including NN/LM membership, instruction for health professionals and public health workers, exhibits, and management of outreach funding. Former Associate Director Julie Kwan is neither gone nor forgotten! She has assumed the position of Associate Director of the UCLA Biomedical Library and the Science and Engineering Library. This role includes operational responsibility for the Biomedical Library, and she will serve as UCLA’s representative to the PSR Resource Library Directors group. The reason for this change was budgetary, and will allow the RML to continue a robust program for the region, with substantial training, funding, and outreach programs.

The following highlights for the coming year include network member program assessments, outreach awards and regional symposium funding opportunity, community college outreach initiatives, social media usage, and a change in policy regarding NLM Education Products and Print Materials, formerly known as promotional items:

Network Member Program Assessments and Regional Symposium Funding
Very early in the new contract year, we will distribute a Learning Needs Assessment using SurveyMonkey, to determine educational needs of network members in the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region. The aggregate data will be shared with the regional MLA chapters; HPC/MLA, MLGSCA, and NCNMLG. The survey will be brief, requiring only 10-15 minutes to complete. One of the assessment questions will be used to determine a potential host site for a regional symposium sponsored by the RML, on a topic such as Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), E-Science Initiatives, or Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Nearly $6,000 has been included in the RML budget for this purpose.

Additionally, we plan to assess the status of member libraries in the Pacific Southwest Region, by building on prior library evaluation studies, with updated questions. For example, we wish to assess reporting structures, status of collections, participation in consortial programs, EHR implementation, usage of social media, knowledge of MedlinePlus Connect, Meaningful Use, and other factors that we identified through the membership renewal process during the Base Year of the contract.

Outreach Funding Awards
Five twelve-month outreach projects were recently funded, beginning May 1, 2012. Funding amounts are all approximately $12,000. The projects target groups such as K-12 instructors and students, health sciences librarians partnering with researchers, public libraries desiring emergency preparedness mini-conferences, community college health services and students, and clinical faculty involved with a Patient-Centered Family Health Clinic model of care. More details about the projects are included in a recently published Latitudes announcement. In addition, two Cooperative Agreements have been funded for the contract year; one with the Arizona Health Sciences Library in Tucson, and one with the University of Nevada Savitt Medical Library.

NN/LM National Initiatives
The National Library of Medicine has identified three national NN/LM initiatives for the current contract; outreach to community colleges, outreach regarding MedlinePlus Connect, and promotion of ClinicalTrials.gov results. We began work on the community college initiative in 2011, when a survey was deployed to community college librarians in California to assess training needs related to health information resources. Based on the responses, a series of four, one-hour training sessions was developed as a pilot, and conducted in April, 2012. During the coming year, we will conduct focus groups with community college librarians, to explore the pilot and training outcomes. Based on the focus group findings, we will survey a larger group to assess training needs. More details about the MedlinePlus Connect and ClinicalTrials.gov initiatives will be revealed as the year progresses.

Social Media Usage
Do you “Like” the PSR Facebook page? If you do, all Latitudes and NewsBits items will automatically post to your Facebook page. You can easily link to the PSR Facebook page from our home page, or use the preceding link. Then click on the “Like” button. During the coming year we will explore other social media as potential communication tools. A couple of NN/LM Regions have adopted Twitter as their social medium of choice.

NLM Educational Products and Print Materials
In support of a recent Executive Order, the US Department of Health & Human Services has developed new policies regarding Promotional Items, and Printing and Publications. These policies are effective immediately with the start of our new contract year, and are applicable to all funds appropriated by Congress. This includes all RMLs, as well as RML subcontractors. These new guidelines indicate that contract funds may not be used to purchase personal use items, such as pens, magnifying lenses, lunch bags, etc.

Promotional items and print materials are now referred to as “NLM Educational Products and Print Materials.” Accordingly, we have changed all nomenclature on our web site that previously referred to promotional items. This policy does not apply to items that do not require expenditure of contract funds, such as capability brochures and trifolds.

In light of these changes, we stockpiled a surplus supply of pens, MedlinePlus Magnilenses, and other educational personal use items, using Base Year funds. You may still request these items for outreach purposes; however, if these policies remain in place, it is inevitable that our supply will be exhausted before the end of our contract in four years. We ask that you keep this in mind when requesting such items from us, so that we can stretch out the supply as long as possible.

A detailed program overview for the contract year, as well as an extensive list of program objectives, is available on the PSR web site.

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