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RML Blogs

Eric Dishman to Deliver 2018 NLM/MLA Leiter Lecture Videocast on May 9

PSR Newsletter - Thu, 2018-04-12 15:57
Eric DishmanEric Dishman

Eric Dishman, director of the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health, will deliver the 2018 Joseph Leiter National Library of Medicine/Medical Library Association Lecture on Wednesday, May 9, at 10:30 AM PDT, in the Lister Hill Auditorium on the NIH Campus. The lecture is open to the public. It will be broadcast live on the Web (and later archived) at: The featured presentation will be Precision Communications for Precision Health: Challenges and Strategies for Reaching All of Us. Among other topics, he will discuss these challenges and strategies:

  • Meeting communities where they are (understanding their needs, concerns around research, meeting their literacy levels, etc.);
  • Widening the definition of precision health and conveying the fact that All of Us is more than a genomics program;
  • Ethics and logistics of targeting with marketing analytics; and
  • Balancing the promise, with the hype and vision, with the need for patience.

As director of All of Us, Dishman leads the agency’s efforts to build a national research program of one million or more US participants to advance precision medicine. Previously, he was an Intel fellow and vice president of the Health and Life Sciences Group at Intel Corporation, where he was responsible for driving global strategy, research and development, product and platform development, and policy initiatives for health and life science solutions. His organization focused on growth opportunities for Intel in health information technology, genomics and personalized medicine, consumer wellness, and care coordination technologies.

Dishman is widely recognized as a global leader in health care innovation with specific expertise in home and community-based technologies and services for chronic disease management and independent living. Trained as a social scientist, he is known for pioneering innovation techniques that incorporate anthropology, ethnography, and other social science methods into the development of new technologies. He also brings a unique personal perspective, as a cancer patient for 23 years and finally cured thanks to precision medicine, to drive a person-centric view of health care transformation.

“Eric Dishman is the perfect speaker at the perfect time,” noted NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD. “His message about the power of people to advance scientific discovery is a strong one. Also, as was announced last year, NIH’s All of Us Research Program and NLM are teaming up to raise awareness about this landmark effort to advance precision medicine. As our colleagues at the Medical Library Association know so well,” she continued, “libraries serve as vital community hubs. NLM’s collaboration with All of Us presents a perfect opportunity to help the public understand how health research impacts all of us. By pairing our National Network of Libraries of Medicine members with public libraries to reach local communities, we hope to contribute to medical breakthroughs that may lead to more tailored disease prevention and treatment solutions for generations to come.”

The Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture was established in 1983 to stimulate intellectual liaison between the MLA and the NLM. Leiter was a major contributor in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute and a leader at NLM as a champion of medical librarians and an informatics pioneer. He served as NLM Associate Director for Library Operations from 1965 to 1983.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Librarians and Big Data: Should We Be Involved?

MCR News - Thu, 2018-04-12 13:40

Written by: Caroline Marshall, MLS, AHIP, Senior Medical Librarian, Public Services, Cedars-Sinai Medical Library, Los Angeles, CA

There is a great deal of discussion about Big Data. We all think other people are doing it, we think we should be doing it, but we are not sure how to get involved (Tattersall & Grant, 2016).

There have been Calls to Action (Martin, 2016) about Big Data and an affirmation in several studies that librarians should get involved. It is almost as if we are going to miss the Big Data train if we don’t jump on board right away. Big Data is not going away but we, as librarians, need to ascertain how involved we can get depending on staffing and time.

Librarian skills for Big data have been identified more or less along the following bullet points

  • Information Curation
  • In-Depth research
  • Digital Scanning, Preservation
  • Cloud Data Expansion
  • Data Visualization
  • Collaboration, Teaching and Facilitation

Librarians are no strangers to Big Data and we often use these skills already; we use usage data in journal evaluation and renewals. We look at interlibrary loan data to ascertain how quickly we are turning requests around and as an indication of what journals we should purchase. We work with medical staff on citation management software teaching them how to manage, organize and share large quantities of citations for their publications. Librarians perform information curation such as creating digital archives and assigning metadata that will provide access points or cataloging different types of materials for easy retrieval. In-depth searching is something most of us do every day, defining the question or query to retrieve data is a common skill for many librarians.

Learning other skills such as Data Visualization, especially for some librarians who are mid-career, will mean outside workshops (Burton & Lyon, 2017) that will take away from our “regular” work and there is also the question of whether leadership will want to take us in this direction.

Burton & Lyon (2017) suggests librarians should be ‘Data Savvy’ but this is not a skill that can be taught. We cannot push roles onto staff that do not have the knowledge or the desire. Future Masters of Library Science Programs can incorporate more specific courses to create the data scientist librarian that can be part of the research team, but how will this look? How many projects can one person be embedded especially in an institution that has multiple research projects ongoing? Will that librarian be part of the library or employed by the research team?  

I see the librarian’s role not as being embedded in a research team but more in a collaborative, instructional, and facilitation role. This includes teaching classes on statistical or visualization software, and giving guidance on designing the query or on the creation of a database that will need to answer not just the immediate queries, but other queries that the researcher may not have thought of that may come up in the future. We can also identify data repositories that researchers can use that are in our own institutions but that are not gathered in any one place or provide advice on digitization and preservation. We can act as sounding boards in a more consultative manner as opposed to just classes.  

We cannot do everything and we need to be aware of staff, skills and time. Some of us are just getting our toes wet offering classes and so forth, but before scaling up to an institutional level we need to ascertain what we can offer and support.


Burton, M., & Lyon, L. (2017). Data Science in Libraries. Research Data and Preservation (RDAP) Review. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology. . Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 43(4), 33-35.

Martin, E. R. (2016). The Role of the Librarian in Data Science. a Call to Action. Journal of eScience Librarianship, 4(2), E1092.

Tattersall, A., & Grant, M. J. (2016). Big Data – What is it and why it matters. Health Info Libr J, 33(2), 89-91. doi:10.1111/hir.12147


Categories: RML Blogs

International Day of Human Space Flight, Astronauts, and Space Parties

SCR News - Thu, 2018-04-12 10:29

Debbie Montenegro with Astronaut Clayton Anderson

During the race to the stars, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space on April 12th, 1961. The UN recognizes today as the International Day of Human Space Flight to commemorate “the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and technology in… increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes” (UN).

As we think about the first human in space today, I’d like to share a first for my Astronaut Health class… a real live astronaut in attendance! As the consumer health coordinator, I created a course on astronaut health and STEAM resources (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). I have had the wonderful opportunity to present the session at different conferences throughout the South Central Region. Sleeping Bear Press was kind enough to send on my invitation to astronaut Clayton Anderson and he came to attend my session at TLA! Clayton was very enthusiastic and interactive during the session and answered several of my presentation questions with real world experience.

While discussing astronaut anatomy, I mention that fluid shifts may cause Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) syndrome in some astronauts. In other words, their eyesight can worsen in space. Clayton let me know that he did not suffer from loss of vision after five months in space, due to a special protein in his body. My mind was blown! We also discovered that astronauts eat tortillas instead of bread in space, not only because the crumbs could float into and ruin equipment (or lungs!), but because bread goes bad faster and takes up more room. He added a very unique perspective to the session. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Clayton Anderson for coming and also to Sleeping Bear Press, TLA, and Mike Pullin for helping to make it possible.

Astronaut Clayton Anderson’s own session, Turning Pages into Dreams, took place right after mine. I attended his session and was delighted to find he was a raucous hoot and an unexpected package of astronomical hilarity. For visual evidence of this, see the photo above! He talked about his own experience growing up, becoming an astronaut, what it was like, and told us about the books he has written since. His latest book is titled A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet and is filled with beautiful illustrations with an A to Z space story for little ones, along with additional text in the side bars for all ages.

After the excitement of having an astronaut attend my class, I’m already looking forward to the next event and it’s one you can participate in too. Taking place on and around April 12th is “Yuri’s Night”. Held by science centers and other organizations around the world, Yuri’s Night combines education and outreach with space-themed partying to celebrate humanity’s journey into space as well as the anniversaries of Yuri Gagarin’s trip to space and the first space shuttle launch on April 12, 1981. See the events list to find an event near you or to plan for next year!

For more information on the Astronaut Health: Science Education Resources session presentation, check out the Class Descriptions page on our website:

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Categories: RML Blogs

PNR Rendezvous session on social media evaluation

PNR News - Thu, 2018-04-12 07:00

Session title: “Beyond the Memes: Social Media Evaluation”

When: April 18,  1:00pm PT, noon Alaska Time, 2:00pm MT

Presenter: Kalyna Durbak, Program Coordinator, NNLM National Evaluation Office

If you engage users on social media, you know that it takes a lot of time and effort- but how do you know if your hard work is paying off? Join this PNR Rendezvous webinar session where you will learn the basics about social media analytics, and how to use the data to evaluate social media campaigns and programs. You will also learn the basic principles of evaluation, such as creating realistic outcomes and objectives for your social media activities. After the webinar, you’ll be able to evaluate and report on your social media activities, and have a basic understanding of evaluation principles.

Registration is encouraged. The session will be recorded and posted on the PNR Rendezvous web page under ‘Past Classes’.

Medical Library Association CE is available for attending the live session or watching the recording.

Categories: RML Blogs

NLM’s Community Health Maps Resource Supports Citizen Scientists and Communities

PSR News - Wed, 2018-04-11 16:21

Community-based organizations, environmental health groups, public health agencies, and emergency management departments are in a better position to serve their populations when they are able to collect and maintain their own data, rather than relying solely on national or state agencies, or on majority-institution partners to provide data to them. The National Library of Medicine’s Community Health Maps (CHM) offers information and guidance regarding low and no cost resources to help students, teachers, community members, and researchers. It is a mixture of mapping apps/software reviews, best practices, and the experiences of those who have successfully implemented a mapping workflow as part of their work. Examples of maps created using the CHM workflow include:

To learn more, visit this blog post from NLM in Focus.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Upcoming Format Change for MeSH-MARC and NLM Bibliographic Record Distribution

PSR News - Wed, 2018-04-11 16:04

Beginning June 1, 2018, the National Library of Medicine plans to start distributing MeSH-MARC files in UTF-8 rather than MARC-8 format. NLM bibliographic records will also be distributed in UTF-8 later this year. Any institution that will experience issues with these plans should contact NLM Customer Support by April 30, 2018.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Member Highlights: Martin Library, York, PA

MAR News - Wed, 2018-04-11 15:22

NNLM MAR is pleased to share successes of health outreach projects and activities in our region. Learn what your amazing colleagues are doing to increase access to quality health information for the communities they serve.

Part of the Story 2017: Opioid Addiction a poem from one of the program participants

A poem from one of the program participants

The Part of the Story program was funded by a donation to offer a community read for York County teens around a topic of current interest. The program was piloted in four libraries in 2017. Teens read the book ‘Smack’ by Melvin Burgess and met over a five week period to engage in conversation with individuals and organizations involved in addressing opioid and heroin addiction in York County, PA. The program culminated in a Teen Town Hall event which was open to the public.

One of the goals of the program was to show the community that teens need to have a voice in the community conversation about opioid addiction. The teens also had the opportunity to work on a creative response to what they experienced. Several used art or poetry. The community was also offered the chance to post memories of loved ones lost to addiction on a section of a Pillar of Remembrance which were then gathered at the Teen Town Hall Event.

A pre- and post-survey of participants was conducted through Project Outcome, a free toolkit from the Public Library Association, and the majority of teens responded that their level of awareness and knowledge of opioid addiction issues had increased as a result of taking part in the program.

the pillar of remembrance

The Pillar of Remembrance

To complete the pilot, Martin Library partnered with the York Opioid Collaborative, Eastern York High School, Not One More, and the Children’s Home of York, as well as local law enforcement agencies. Lydia Collins, NNLM MAR’s Consumer Health Coordinator, also offered her expertise in developing health outreach programs.

Want to learn more about this program? Part of the Story 2017 was highlighted in an Our York Media article, and more recent developments about the program are available through the York County Libraries website. The theme and book for Part of the Story 2018 will be announced in August or September. You can also contact Jennifer Johnson, Teen Services Manager, via email: or telephone: (717) 849-6933.

Categories: RML Blogs

Library Services on Wheels

PNR News - Wed, 2018-04-11 05:00

In observation of National Bookmobile Day, Carmen Clark, bookmobile librarian for Bozeman Public Library in Bozeman, MT is providing a guest post today. 

Bozeman Public Library bookmobileA few years ago, the Bozeman Public Library realized that there is a need for a mobile library in our rapidly growing city. After a very successful fundraising campaign by the Bozeman Library Foundation, our wish became a reality. On July 3rd 2017 we started our new Bookmobile program. We serve schools, assisted living facilities, mobile home parks and neighborhoods throughout Bozeman and Gallatin County. The Bookmobile functions as a mobile branch of the Bozeman Public Library. We carry materials for ages 1-101. Everyone is welcome on the Bookmobile. We carry board books, juvenile fiction and non-fiction books, fiction and non-fiction books for Teenagers, fiction and non-fiction books for adults and Large Print books for our elderly patrons. We also carry DVDs, audio books and Playaways as well as board games. Our board games are very popular, we are having a hard time keeping them stocked on the Bookmobile. The bookmobile visits our regular stops twice a month and we also have time to do special stops like the Farmers Market, the County Fair, the Christmas Stroll, and the Roller Derby etc.

The community has been very positive about the bookmobile service and here are a few of the comments we have received:

  • “This place is so cool; it’s like a reading train.” (5-year old boy)
  • “I am so glad there is a library. You know it is my favorite thing…reading.” (4-year old girl)
  • “This is like an airplane.” (5-year old boy)
  • “I really like the bookmobile, next time we should ride on it. (4-year old boy and his brother)
  • “Wow, I haven’t been on a bookmobile since I was a kid.” (Adult patron)
  • “Wow, this brings back memories.” (Adult patron)
  • “You are the best; I really appreciate all the books about the Revolutionary War you brought for us today.” (Teacher at an elementary school)
  • Watch the video about the bookmobile 

One of the great successes of our program is a rural one-room school with 12 students and one teacher. None of the children had library cards when we started the service to their school in September. Now, all the children have cards and regularly check out a variety of materials. Last week while we were at their stop, we ran into some mechanical problems. While waiting for our mechanic to arrive I helped the kids and their technology teacher figure out a library program called Tumblebooks. After that, the kids insisted on showing me their stop-motion movie they had made as part of their technology curriculum. Their next stop motion picture might star our bookmobile.

We have encountered a few challenges while starting this program. One of the first challenges was that we did not have a firm delivery date for the bookmobile. That made purchasing materials quite tricky. We wanted to have the newest bestsellers and new popular children’s materials on board, but without a firm date, that proved to be difficult at first.

Another challenge has been the vehicle itself. We have run into a few mechanical issues that I definitely had not anticipated. I had assumed that it would be smooth sailing since it is a brand-new vehicle. After running into some of those issues, my mechanics have told me that it is actually quite normal to be having some issues in the first year.

Happy National Bookmobile Day! Please go out and find your local bookmobile, chat with your bookmobile librarian and check out a few books.

Carmen Clark has worked and volunteered in libraries for the last 23 years. She started out volunteering at the library on Camp Red Cloud in Uijongbu, Korea when her husband was stationed there with the U.S Army. She then went on to work for the Pierce County Library System as well as the Madigan Army Medical Center Library. After moving to Bozeman, she started as a substitute at the Bozeman Public Library. For a short while she worked as the interlibrary loan assistant before moving into a position as a reference librarian. She has been the bookmobile supervisor for over a year now. Most likely, she will stay with this job for the foreseeable future unless a packhorse librarian position will open up somewhere (which she concedes is a slim possibility).

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar: Fostering Community Connections on Citizen Science Day and Beyond

MCR News - Tue, 2018-04-10 18:21

This webinar (recorded 4/4/2018) provides a general overview of citizen science, highlight recent activities to support libraries as community hubs for citizen science, and showcase free resources available to librarians who want to jump in now by promoting citizen science at libraries leading up to, during, and after Citizen Science Day on April 14, 2018. Presenters: Darlene Cavalier, professor of practice at Arizona State University and the founder of SciStarter, a citizen science database and platform, and Dan Stanton, Associate Librarian in the Engagement and Learning Services Department of the Arizona State University Library.

View archive at Sponsored by NNLM PSR. /da

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar: Developing Escape Rooms at Libraries

MCR News - Tue, 2018-04-10 18:16

This archived session features guest speakers Alison Wessel and Olivia Glotfelty, who discussed the development of escape rooms at libraries in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Both speakers describe their experiences planning and implementing these escape rooms and how they proved beneficial to their audiences and libraries.

View archive at  Sponsored by NNLM MAR. /da

Categories: RML Blogs

Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community PLA Pre-Conference Workshop, Philadelphia, PA, March 20, 2018

GMR News - Tue, 2018-04-10 18:06

Written for Midwest Matters by Sherri McConnell

view of a large conference with large round black tables that seat people. About 50 people sitting around the tables in business casual attire.

What happens when a roomful of librarians get together to talk, eat and breathe health and wellness for a day? You get enthusiastic conversation, lots of ideas and determination to create programming at their home libraries. On March 20 over 80 librarians from all over the country got together at a Public Library Association pre-conference workshop to learn about health information from knowledgeable NNLM staff and to learn from each other. Participating in the workshop and doing a little homework earned you the Consumer Health Information Specialist certification from the Medical Library Association. At my table sat librarians from Kansas, Vermont, and Pennsylvania (and I’m a Michigander), and all day long we shared our program successes and challenges. Librarians are fascinating people, and I heard from two of them during the introductions: a librarian preparing to ride her horse across Michigan and another who built a Hobbit-themed wine cellar in her basement with her sisters.

In the next 7 hours we covered large topics like the definition of health literacy and challenges to library staff in providing health information in a public setting; finding and accessing sources of health information; creating programming and finding community partners; how to measure program efforts with PLA’s Project Outcome; and learning about NNLM’s funding opportunities for public libraries. The fun was in the details. Here are some gems:

Health Literacy: If you’re a public librarian you have probably experienced the difficulty of a health reference interview, and we talked about what that means for providing accurate, trustworthy information. Answers to health questions need to be tailored to who’s doing the asking and why. The question may be complicated but the answer needs to be uncomplicated. Appearance is not a clear indication of health literacy level, and many people don’t want to admit that they don’t understand the information given to them.

Health Reference: Our number one challenge is that patrons think we know everything,  but the great news is that there are so many reliable resources thanks to the National Library of Medicine and MedlinePlus. More great resources can be found here on the NNLM website. And remember when judging health resources use these guidelines to measure trustworthiness, the CRAAP test or the Trust It or Trash It test.

Free Professional Development and Stuff: Librarians are always looking for professional development opportunities and NNLM offers free, online classes on consumer health. Check out the schedule here.  Libraries can also order free materials on topics like aging, mental health, exercise and heart health here. Did you know there is a MedlinePlus magazine that your library can receive for free? If you are a fan of MedlinePlus and you would like to share that enthusiasm with your patrons, you can find subscription information here.

Popular vs. Science-Based Selection: Selectors of the 600s and beyond know this struggle very well, balancing science-based titles with patron demand for popular titles from the likes of Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola. The discussion was lively but the issue went unresolved. As always we must balance professional judgment with meeting the demands of our communities.

Sharing experiences: The best part of the day. Boards of Post-It Notes displayed program successes and challenges, and we gathered in groups to share experiences. There were too many ideas to write down but this photo gives you an idea of the wealth. If you are looking for more ways to share your program ideas, you can do that on the Programming Librarian. If you want to discuss health in libraries, this Facebook page is a good place to start, Libraries are Champions of Healthy Communities. Just ask for permission to join.

view from the front of a large conference room. A podium with a computer is in the foreground, the back are about 6 tables that seat 6 people. About 30 people are seated around them




Categories: RML Blogs

Happy National Library Workers Day

SCR News - Tue, 2018-04-10 09:56


This week is National Library Week.  Every year, the Tuesday of this observance week is recognized as National Library Workers Day.  This day was first celebrated in 2004.

The ALA-APA has a list of 10 Ways to Celebrate National Library Workers Day.  You can also visit their website to nominate a library worker that you think deserves special recognition.  We plan to celebrate by recognizing our own amazing staff of NNLM SCR library workers.

Daniel Burgard                  Executive Director, Library and Information Services





Carol Knisley                      Senior Administrative Coordinator





Brian Leaf                              Community Engagement Coordinator





Bethany Livingston              Research Administrator





Sara Miles                             Health Professions Coordinator





Debbie Montenegro           Consumer Health Coordinator





Lisa Smith                              Executive Director





Rachel Tims                           All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator





Kelly Wonder                       Social Media Assistant





Like NNLM SCR on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Categories: RML Blogs

Recreational Marijuana and Impact on Driving

NER News - Tue, 2018-04-10 09:15

On the day that the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission began accepting applications for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries, UMass Amherst hosted a symposium entitled Marijuana Legalized: Research, Practice and Policy Considerations. The School of Public Health and Health Sciences invited Darrin Grondel, Director of Washington (State) Traffic Safety Commission, to speak about the impacts of legalized recreational marijuana on driving. Washington State legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. Grondel’s message is that drugged driving is difficult to manage. Standard field sobriety tests are inadequate, and warrants for blood draws are time-consuming. Marijuana products are incredibly diverse, and the physiological consequences of using those products is not clearly understood. Social acceptance of driving-while-high is troubling. Public health advocates need to dispute the idea that stoned drivers are safe drivers.

Man at podium and four seated panelists.

UMass Amherst SPHHS Symposium, April 2

What does the research say about marijuana and driving? Read the Marijuana Research Reports from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for press releases on the impact of impaired driving.

To learn more about the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Program (ARIDE), the Drug Recognition Expert Program and other training programs for police officers, check the Massachusetts Highway Safety Division.

For fantastic resources to share with your community (slide decks, downloadable infographs) take a look at the Governors Highway Safety Association’s guide on Drug-Impaired Driving.

Massachusetts will allow sales of recreational marijuana starting on July 1, 2018. New England will be watching as the Bay State makes the first move in this direction.

Map of the United States indicating marijuana possession and use laws state-by-state.

Marijuana Possession and Use Laws



Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Historical Overview for 1985-2015 Published!

PSR News - Mon, 2018-04-09 19:58

Test your historical knowledge of NNLM by answering the following questions:

  • What year saw the adoption of the official name, National Network of Libraries of Medicine?
  • Which five-year NNLM contract period included the establishment of three new NNLM Centers?
  • Which five-year NNLM contract period received extra funds to support consumer health projects?
  • In what year did NLM and NNLM expand professional outreach efforts to include the public health workforce?
  • Which five-year NNLM contract period incorporated Internet connectivity work into its goals?
  • Which five-year NNLM contract period added a new emphasis on emergency preparedness to its mission?

Feeling stumped? Then check out the newly published article by Susan Speaker, An historical overview of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, 1985–2015, in the March 2018 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Celebrate DNA Day on April 25th!

GMR News - Mon, 2018-04-09 17:40

DNA Day badge

Each year, April 25th marks National DNA Day, a date that celebrates the first published papers on the structure of DNA back in 1953. The National Genome Research Institute (NGRI) celebrates DNA Day every year, providing students, teachers and the public with opportunities to learn about genomic research. DNA Day activities are celebrated across the nation, take a look and see if there’s an event near you! If you’re interested in organizing your own event, check out the National DNA Day Starter Kit and consider applying for support through our funding opportunities. GeneEd also provides resources targeting DNA Day, including games, curriculum for teachers, and even origami DNA.

This year, the NGRI is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project with a 15 for 15 Celebration. This event will feature 15 ways in which genomics has  influenced our world, each unveiled throughout the month of April. As a part of the celebration, NIH’s director, Francis Collins, will kick off a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” discussion which starts Friday, April 20th from noon-2pm (1-3pm Eastern). For a full schedule of events, go to NHGRI’s National DNA Day website.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM PSR Mini-Award Highlights for Promoting Awareness of the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Library

PSR Newsletter - Mon, 2018-04-09 17:30

by Jill Barr-Walker
Clinical Librarian
Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG) Hospital Library
University of California, San Francisco

Jill Barr-Walker demonstrates a databaseJill Barr-Walker demonstrates a database to MedSurg nurses

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Library, or ZSFG Library, received funding from the NNLM Pacific Southwest Region for an Outreach Mini-Award from June to November 2017. This funding provided support for library involvement in two events at our hospital: the Summerfest Health Fair and a National Medical Librarians Month outreach event. Our primary objective was to use these two events to increase patient, staff, and community awareness of the ZSFG Library in a way that encouraged communication, engagement, and active learning.

With funds from the NNLM award, we purchased a 50-inch TV monitor and stand, a spinnable wheel, and several gift certificates to use as prizes. We had been inspired by a raffle game observed at ZSFG Patient Safety Week in which participants spun a wheel and answered questions about patient safety. The goal of our raffle game was not to test participants’ existing knowledge; rather, we wanted to share information about the library using active learning techniques in a non-judgmental way and to show participants that ZSFG Library staff were approachable and knowledgeable.

Iesha NevelsIesha Nevels & our Summerfest table

Our clinical librarian (Jill Barr-Walker) and library assistant (Iesha Nevels) staffed a table together at each event. We set up our colorful upright spinning wheel, paper slips and a container for the raffle drawing, and a laptop and large monitor to demonstrate databases and NLM resources. When someone approached our table, we asked if they would like to enter our raffle. To enter, they would need to answer a question about ZSFG Library. First, participants spun the wheel which landed on a number; each number corresponded with a question on a list which was then asked. We asked staff things like “Name one point of care resource you can use via the library.” (e.g. DynaMed) and “Name one way the library can help your patients.” (e.g. MedlinePlus). Patients and members of the public were asked questions like “Is the library open to the public?” (Yes) and “Where can you find information about preventing diabetes & healthy recipes?” (e.g. MedlinePlus). These questions and answers led to more in-depth conversations, often resulting in demonstrations of online resources on the TV monitor. During our National Medical Librarians Month event, we also hosted a Makers Lab popup and a button-making station.

Dylan RomeroDylan Romero talks to ZSFG staff about the UCSF Makers lab

Our events were a huge success! At the Summerfest event (held on a Friday in the cafeteria at lunchtime), we received 120 raffle entries, including 68 staff members, 32 patients, and 20 members of the public. We had 42 meaningful interactions (defined as in-depth conversations about library resources), including 15 demonstrations using the TV monitor. Jill also received four requests for presentations at staff meetings, three requests for in-service trainings, and two requests for database searches. The National Medical Librarians Month event was held on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the cafeteria at lunchtime. Across three days, there were 181 attendees and 119 raffle entries, including 99 staff members, 8 patients, and 12 members of the public. We had 125 meaningful interactions, including 39 demonstrations. There were five requests for presentations at staff meetings, one in-service training request, and one search request, all from unique and new-to-the-library groups such as interpreter services, clinical dietitians, and a reproductive health clinic for teens. When compared to the library’s participation at Summerfest in 2016, our attendee numbers rose by 240% and meaningful interactions increased by over 1300%! Several of our successes were not quantifiable but show the strength of the library’s relationship with our ZSFG community. For example, Jill received a card from a family & community medicine research team who wanted to celebrate National Medical Librarians Month, and Iesha, helping with a different event six months later, recognized buttons that she had given to staff at our events– many people still wear them on a daily basis!

These events would not have been possible without the purchases we made thanks to the NNLM PSR award. The spinning wheel attracted attention, attendees were excited to enter a raffle to win a prize, and the large monitor made demonstrating and discussing library resources a more user-friendly experience. We’ve found additional uses for these items, such as using the monitor for workshops, in-service trainings, and library staff meetings. And we are planning additional outreach events utilizing similar strategies to continue to raise awareness of our services by the hospital’s staff, patients, and local community. Thanks to NNLM PSR for helping us get the word out about ZSFG Library!

For more information about the events, feel free to contact Jill Barr-Walker. Also be on the lookout for a case study in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Reflections on Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles

MCR News - Mon, 2018-04-09 12:21

Written by: Niala Dwarika-Bhagat, The Medical Sciences Library, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Introduction: What is Big Data?

Technopedia defines Big Data as a process “that is used when traditional data mining and handling techniques cannot uncover the insights and meaning of the underlying dataData that is unstructured or time sensitive or simply very large cannot be processed by relational database engines.” (Technopedia., 2018)

Over time, the different iterations of Big Data processing and application have been used to reflect, interpret and influence developmental change. The sanctity of this tacit operation has remained largely undisturbed, until the advent of social media. Layers of issues involving social media apps, now suggest that Big Data, in addition to its merits, can be manipulated to alter perception and reality. Notwithstanding the notoriety of current headlines, what is clear is that the Big Data is now a commonplace topic of conversation.

Do you think health sciences librarians should get involved with Big Data in healthcare? 

The health sciences librarian working with Big Data in the academic environment is potentially in a “safer” place away from the glare of mainstream media. And although the librarian has been traditionally and typically constrained by a much larger mandate to provide services and resources for curriculum support, this is set to change with data science featured on university curricula, as well as libraries’ strategic plans. So indeed, health librarians should and would inevitably get involved with big research data in healthcare even if it is to provide basic but essential data services support emanating from medical education.

Where should librarians get involved?

There is great potential for academic health librarians to do data services support. The roles that could be potentially played are:

  • As controlled vocabulary experts (cataloguers and indexers)
  • As systems experts, navigating through ILS and health research data sets
  • As marketers -doing outreach to garner support for data projects
  • As advisors e.g. creating data management plans
  • As trainers, embedded in data science courses
  • As search-experts aiding the discovery of health research data
  • As support for ongoing research projects
  • As programmers writing analyses using code
  • As advocates for the privacy of medical research data
  • As outreach experts, including creating research guides
  • As expert searchers, locating datasets for faculty research

How should librarians get involved?

The health sciences librarian need not become a data scientist but rather work in teams for maximum output and impact. Academic research data will form the crux of this work, operationalizing all of the above. As librarians accept a mandate to work with big research data, with their skills and training they can be the ultimate crucible for data discovery. I envisage their greater role would be as providers of information and trainers using their existing skills and expertise. This would involve activities such as engaging with faculty to harness research data, encourage researchers to deposit their research data into the library repository, collection development, data literacy instruction, creating online resource guides, assist with data management plans, and provide guidance on data tools. With advance training, they can even locate data sets that researchers require. Furthermore librarians with coding/programming skills, can definitely add value to data services support for research in healthcare data. As far as potential roles are concerned, there are a great many and, with time, there would be sophisticated and evolved workflows for the health science librarian.


What is Big Data? – Definition from Techopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from

Categories: RML Blogs

On April 17, Bring Your Skills– to the NNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon!

PNR News - Mon, 2018-04-09 05:00

You may have heard of Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons, where rooms full of people add content and citations to Wikipedia, to make it a better, evidence-based resource.  Does the idea intrigue you?  Are you a killer searcher and verifier?  Or even pretty good?  If so, we have an opportunity for you!

Join us at the NNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, from 6AM to 6PM Pacific Time on April 17 (it’s online only– no travel required!).  We’ll be focusing on diseases listed by the Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center (GARD), and improving them using trusted National Library of Medicine resources like Genetics Home Reference, MedlinePlus, and PubMed. You just find a disease name in GARD, see if it needs better citations in Wikipedia, find good content to add, and then edit that page!  Add the #citeNLM2018 tag in your edit summary, and you’re done!

Sound daunting?  Trust us, it isn’t!  If you set up your Wikipedia account (in advance—it can take a day or two), you are most of the way there.  For tutorials and support, check out our edit-a-thon project page on Wikipedia, which features a recording of a teaching session by Dr. James Heilman (Doc James) from WikiProject Medicine.  It also has the link to the WebEx page (our virtual classroom on April 17), which will be open all day for chat and support. Also, our dashboard page, on which you can register and be counted, has some nice to-do lists in advance of the event.  WebJunction also has some amazing content, should you find yourself hooked!

We hope to “see” you on the 17th!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Ann Glusker, at  Happy editing!

Categories: RML Blogs

PMC Implements Updates to Article Displays

PSR News - Fri, 2018-04-06 19:50

In collaboration with Europe PubMed Central, PMC has implemented several updates to the article display in order to enhance the transparency and readability of the content. Navigating from the PMC record to the PubMed record has been made easier by the addition of hyperlinked PubMed IDs (PMIDs) in the upper right-hand corner of article records. Clicking the PMID link will take you to the corresponding citation record in PubMed. The PMC Disclaimer link has also been moved out of the Copyright and License information section for easier discovery and access. This page describes what content is included in PMC as well as other important NCBI and NLM disclaimer information.

Additionally, two changes have been implemented to improve the functionality of author names. Users now can click on an author name to view the author’s affiliation(s). Users also have the option of running a quick author name search in PMC by clicking the linked author name in “Find articles by [author name].” And finally, figures and tables have been moved from thumbnail displays to inline with the article display to make them easier to view. Users still can click on the figure/table title or “Open in separate window” (as available) link for a closer look.

For further details and graphics, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin. Send any feedback about these changes to the PMC Help Desk.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Weekly Postings

MAR News - Fri, 2018-04-06 10:32

See something of interest? Please share our postings with colleagues in your institutions!


Last chance to register! NNLM is offering stipends of up to $500 to support public library staff’s travel and lodging for the Health Information for Public Librarians Symposium at the MLA Annual meeting in Atlanta, GA. First come, first serve! Learn more about eligibility and instructions on how to apply. NNLM MAR will also purchase roundtrip airfare for public library staff from our region (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania). Please Note: If your application is accepted, NNLM MAR staff will be in touch to coordinate airfare purchase.

It’s National Public Health Week! Did your organization sponsor an event or get out in the community to champion the role of a strong public health system for NPHW2018? Tell us about it! NNLM MAR is always interested in learning about health outreach activities that are happening in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine News

Funding Available! Just one week remains to apply for health information outreach funding through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region. Organizations in DE, NJ, PA and NY are eligible to apply for up to $19,000 for projects starting May 15. Applications are due on April 13, 2018 at 11pm ET. We look forward to funding some great projects!

The Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) Spring 2018 Group Licensing Offer is now available. The deadline to participate is Friday, April 27. NNLM MAR members are eligible for this cost-saving opportunity!

NNLM Edit-a-thon: are you interested in improving the consumer health information available on Wikipedia? Do you want to utilize your librarian research skills towards making Wikipedia a better, evidence-based resource? Have you always wanted to participate in an edit-a-thon? Join the National Network of Libraries of Medicine on April 17th as we add citations to existing Wikipedia articles on rare diseases! Learn more about this opportunity and follow the event on Twitter using #citeNLM2018!

Renew your membership today! If you have not yet verified that your organization’s record is up-to-date, see our recent blog post about the benefits of renewal and NNLM Membership. Are you having trouble creating an NNLM account? If you have received an error message such as, “email address already in use,” contact us for assistance. Please Note: Applicants for NNLM MAR funding must have updated membership records.

Reflections on Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles – SEA Currents

DataFlash: Data Indexers – The Dragonfly, News from the Northwest and Beyond, by PNR

New on YouTube: Developing Escape Rooms at Libraries, March 20, 2018


National Public Health Week 2018: Changing Our Future TogetherNLM Musings from the Mezzanine, Innovations in Health Information from the Director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

NLM in Focus, a Look Inside the U.S. National Library of Medicine

NIH Director’s Blog

Circulating Now, from the Historical Collections of the National Library of Medicine

New MedlinePlus Health Topics: High Cholesterol in Children and Teens and VLDL Cholesterol

NLM and NNLM Educational Opportunities

All are webinars, unless noted. Please note that the class registration system requires obtaining an NNLM account prior to registration. Learn how to register for classes from the NTO.

NNLM and NLM classes are free and open to all. Please feel free to share these opportunities!

Addressing a By-Product of the Opioid Addiction Crisis: Commercial Sexual Exploitation – April 10, 1:00-2:00 PM ET – In this webinar offered by NER, participants will learn what human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation are. This presentation will debunk some of the commonly held misconceptions and arm you with the true facts and statistics about prostitution. It will provide warning signs and red flags and help to identify victims in need of support. Presenters will explain the do’s and don’ts of working with victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and equip participants with the tools and resources to assist this marginalized and vulnerable group of individuals.

Teaching Evidence-Based Medicine: Perspectives of Academic Health Science Institutions – April 11, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET – Join SCR for this webinar that will discuss methods of teaching evidence-based practice, and of assessing EBP knowledge and skills, at various medical and health sciences schools. This presentation will explain the values and challenges of teaching EBP – and strategies for addressing those challenges.

How Do Communities Welcome People Managing Mental Illnesses and the Disease of Addiction? – April 18, 2:00-3:00 PM ET – Many communities have made concerted efforts to welcome and serve vulnerable people who manage mental illnesses and/or the disease of addiction. Very often, libraries function as the focal point for information about services, diagnoses and treatments, and other community groups turn to them for guidance. Sponsored by MAR, this webinar will provide ideas about how community members can learn about behavioral health issues, so they can serve these citizens with respect and dignity.

Beyond the Memes: Social Media Evaluation – April 18, 4:00-5:00 PM ET – In this webinar, you will learn the basics about social media analytics, and how to use the data to evaluate social media campaigns and programs. You will also learn the basic principles of evaluation, such as creating realistic outcomes and objectives for your social media activities. After this PNR Rendezvous, you’ll be able to evaluate and report on your social media activities, and have a basic understanding of evaluation principles.

Harnessing Human Power for Health: Medical Librarians & Citizen Science – May 3, 2:00-3:00 PM ET – With the plethora of diseases and medical conditions people face and environmental health issues encountered around the world, medical researchers and governmental regulators can’t tackle them on their own. This is where citizen science comes into play: where legions of people who often have no medical or scientific background contribute to and participate in research projects. Sponsored by SEA, this webinar will provide an overview of citizen science, as well as its variants such as volunteered geographic information, crowdsourcing and patient-led research. Health-focused librarians from a variety of settings will discover how they can support already-existing citizen science projects and gain tips on creating their own.

Other Items of Interest

Job Postings:

The 60th annual National Library Week is just around the corner, April 8-14. This year’s theme: Libraries Lead. Learn more about upcoming events and ways to celebrate from the American Library Association, including free, promotional graphics that you can download to participate on social media!

Saint Francis University Provides Local Libraries Opioid Information Resources – SFU Spotlight

MAR Postings is a comprehensive weekly news series authored by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR)

Categories: RML Blogs