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Network Membership

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM), the first comprehensive national library network, began in 1967. Under the leadership of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and through the participation of medical libraries and other information resources throughout the nation, it has developed into a well-organized and effective network for meeting the information needs of the nation's health professionals and the general public.

The NN/LM includes eight Regional Medical Libraries (RMLs). Each is responsible for co-ordinating services in a designated geographic area. The South Central Region serves Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The RML has been located at the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, Houston, TX, since 1991.

NN/LM Mission and Goals

Our mission 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

Our program is coordinated by the NLM and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers. Stated goals are:

  • To develop collaborations with NN/LM libraries to improve access to and sharing of biomedical information resources throughout the nation
  • To promote awareness of and access to biomedical information resources for health professionals and the public
  • To encourage, develop, and support connectivity to the Internet through the inclusion of Network member libraries, health professionals, and organizations providing health information to the public, in the National Information Infrastructure

Benefits of Network Membership

  • Free membership
  • Guaranteed access to the Network's interlibrary loan services
  • Provide input to the RML on the region's programs and services
  • Access to the region's news blog and other information sources
  • Certificate of membership
  • Special mailings of NLM posters, brochures, and other publications
  • Funding opportunities
  • Opportunity for member institutions to serve on the RML's Regional Advisory Committee
  • Enrollment on the regional electronic discussion list

Categories of Membership

Full Members

An NN/LM Full Member can be any health sciences library or health-related information center, institution, or organization that:

  • Is regularly staffed
  • Has an Internet connection
  • Has its own collection of health sciences materials
  • Provides information services to health professionals and/or the general public
    • DOCLINE participation (mandatory)
    • Answers or refers reference questions
    • Performs information searches.

Full Members are encouraged to provide Loansome Doc service to their own users and/or to unaffiliated users.

Affiliate Members

An Affiliate is a library or information resource center that is called on for health information by its users, but which does not meet the requirements of Full Membership. An Affiliate Member might form a cooperative relationship with a Full Member, for example, for reference assistance or document delivery.

Requirements of Membership

  • Designate an individual as the local contact person for Network information/communication
  • Agree to be listed in the appropriate regional directory, produced optionally by each RML, and the national registry of Network members
  • Provide basic information on collections and services to NLM and the RML