The goal of the NNLM is to advance the progress of medicine and improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving individuals' access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.
NNLM offers funding for projects that improve access to health information, increase engagement with research and data, expand professional knowledge, and support outreach that promotes awareness and use of NLM resources in local communities.
Eight Health Sciences Libraries function as the Regional Medical Library (RML) for their respective region. The RMLs coordinate the operation of a Network of Libraries and other organizations to carry out regional and national programs. The RMLs ensure a continuity of quality service for core programs of the NNLM, and cooperatively design, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to serve the health information needs of health professionals and a diverse public. Additionally, there are five NNLM National Offices, which serve all members in all eight regions. These offices are the NNLM DOCLINE Coordination Office (NDCO), the NNLM Web Services Office (NWSO), the NNLM Training Office (NTO), the NNLM Evaluation Office (NEO), and the NNLM Public Health Coordination Office (NPHCO).
A collaboration of members, the Network is comprised of academic health sciences libraries, hospital, pharmaceutical and other special biomedical libraries, public libraries, information centers and community-based organization. Benefits of Network membership include a certificate of recognition, training opportunities, eligibility for project funding, document delivery services, emergency preparedness planning and response, and partnerships with other NNLM members. The outreach efforts of the NNLM assure that researchers, health professionals, the public health workforce and the public are aware of and have access to quality health information available from NLM and the NNLM.
The overall program is coordinated by the NLM’s Office of Engagement and Training (OET). Further the National Network Steering Committee (NNSC), composed of OET and representatives from each RML, the NNLM National Offices, and NLM staff implements common operational and evaluation processes for the RMLs and NNLM National Office programs they coordinate.