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Health in the Square

NER News - Thu, 2017-10-12 13:28

This post is part of a series on NNLM NER’s funded projects. 

Raised beds in urban garden

Raised beds at Mason Square Branch Library

In FY2016-2017, NNLM NER funded the Mason Square Branch Library (Springfield, MA)  for the Health In The Square project. Goals of this project included: strengthening community partnerships, providing healthy and nutritious food, and encouraging health literacy. The Mason Square Branch Library is a vibrant community library located in a neighborhood struggling with poverty. Librarians tapped into community strengths to host health-related programming at the branch library as well as other locations within the city.

Project leaders Ellen Sulzycki and Caitlin Kelly approached the School of Health Sciences at American International College (AIC), and arranged for AIC public health students to assist with programming. Sister Anna Muhammad, from the Springfield Food Policy Council, designed the curriculum for gardening workshops. She coordinated with community gardeners to hold workshops at various community gardens throughout the city of Springfield. Workshops included free soil testing, free garden start-up kits, and access to free seeds. Tasty Tuesdays nutrition workshops were offered to youth at the Mason Square Branch Library and at Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services after-school program. At Tasty Tuesdays, youth learned to prepare four no-cook, nutritious recipes.

The Health In The Square project supported the purchase and installation of tablets to allow library patrons easy access to quality health information. Springfield City librarians, project partners, and library patrons were invited to attend workshops on how to use MedlinePlus and other reputable health resources.

In their final report, project leaders Ellen Sulzycki and Caitlin Kelley stated: “Alleviating food insecurity was the driving force behind this project. By educating the community on healthy nutrition practices, providing all the tools needed to grow their own vegetables at home, and exposing them to health literacy resources, we hope to continue influencing the community and making positive change.”

Looking for Mason Square at NELA! vegetables in garden bed

Veggies at Mason Square Branch Library

Are you going to the 2017 New England Library Association Annual Conference? Ellen Sulzycki and Caitlin Kelley are teaming up Brandie Burrows from the Portland Public Library (ME) to present on funding, planning, and executing public health programming in public libraries in Health Happens Here.

My colleague Susan Halpin will be presenting during the same session. Please ask her about how NNLM NER supports short-term outreach projects to promote quality health information in collaboration with local community organizations.

Categories: RML Blogs

Why I Love Being a Hospital Librarian!

PNR News - Thu, 2017-10-12 04:00

To celebrate Medical Librarian’s Month we have invited medical librarians in our region to submit some information about who they are and the work that they do as medical librarians.

Today we hear from a hospital librarian in Idaho!

Karly peeking out her library window

Who am I? Karly Vesely, MLIS

Where do I work? Health Sciences Librarian at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Why do I love my job? I was talking about the Kootenai Health Medical Library to a group of new employees, and one of them remarked that I clearly love my job.  I really do, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Fun! Fun is my number one motivator at work, and in life in general, so I love that my job allows me to come in and have fun each day.  As a hospital librarian, I have a fair amount of autonomy, and that allows to me to incorporate my sense of humor and enthusiasm in to most of what I do!
  • Rewarding! Employees here at Kootenai love their library and its services, and it shows!  I’m so grateful for the amazing feedback I get: “Thank you to the moon and back for all the articles you dug up for me!!!”; “Can I just say…You’re the best!!! Thanks a million”; “These articles look awesome so far! Thanks for your help!”.  Who wouldn’t like their job with that kind of encouragement?
  • Investigative! Being a hospital librarian allows me to exercise my natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge with every literature search and clinical question I receive!  I can’t rest until I’ve hunted down the answer to the best of my ability.
  • Varied! As a solo librarian, I get to do a little bit of everything – literature searching, collection development, electronic resource management, circulation, document delivery, interlibrary loan, etc. AND I get to work with so many different groups across the hospital – physicians, nurses, therapists, administration, etc.  I love the variety!
  • Dynamic! With technology constantly changing, I’m never bored.  I love exploring emerging technologies and I’m not afraid to tackle something new.  Having a software engineer for a husband helps with that too;).

Final note? I think one of the biggest misconceptions about being a medical librarian is that we spend most of our time checking out books.  I think a lot of people outside the library world would be surprised that in the last week alone I’ve:

  • Completed 9 literature search requests
  • Set up and presented trials of several online nursing resources to our Nurse Educator group
  • Met one on one with a couple of physicians for new Medical Staff Orientation
  • Had a booth at the new employee General Orientation Resource Fair
  • Helped facilitate a physician focus group
  • Met one on one with nurse to teach her more about literature searching for her BSN program
  • Worked with our Communications and Marketing department on the library’s new website and on updating some unrelated physician handouts
  • Held a meeting with our Nursing Research department to discuss a potential Writing and Publishing class to help our nurses with the publication process
  • And so much more!
Categories: RML Blogs

Biomedical & Health RDM Training for Librarians: Participant Applications

NTO News - Wed, 2017-10-11 16:33

Health science librarians are invited to participate in a rigorous online biomedical and health research data management training course, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO). The course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons manage their research data. Attending this course will improve your ability to initiate or extend research data management services at your institution. Familiarity with the research lifecycle is recommended but not required.

The major goal of this course is to provide an introduction to data issues and policies in support of developing and implementing or enhancing research data management training and services at your institution. This material is essential for decision-making and implementation of these programs, particularly instructional and reference services. The course topics include an overview of data management, choosing appropriate metadata descriptors or taxonomies for a dataset, addressing privacy and security issues with data, and creating data management plans.

Course Components

The online asynchronous component of the program is 8 weeks from January 8 – March 2, 2018. The format includes video lectures, readings, case studies, hands-on exercises, and peer discussions. Expect to spend up to 4 hours each week on coursework. Participants will be assigned a mentor, who will be available to guide and advise throughout the course and in the completion of a Capstone Project.

Between the end of the online component and the Capstone Summit, participants will complete a Capstone project, demonstrating improved skills, knowledge, and ability to support data management services at their institution. The experience will culminate with a Capstone Summit, to be held on April 10-11, 2018 at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. Each participant will receive up to $900 to support travel to the Capstone Summit. At the Summit, participants will have the opportunity to share their Capstone projects, network with experts and each other, meet with NLM leaders in data science, and learn about cutting edge NIH data initiatives.

CE Credits

Participants who complete all modules, the Capstone Summit, and the course evaluation will receive MLA CE credit (exact number of hours to be determined). No partial CE credit is granted.


The primary instructor is Shirley Zhao, MSLIS, MS, Data Science Librarian from the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah.

Each module will be co-taught by a practicing data librarian.

Who can apply?
  • Applications are open to health science librarians in the United States.
  • Applicants will be accepted from libraries currently looking to develop or enhance research data management training and services.
  • A letter of institutional support is required. See application instructions below.
  • Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.
What does it cost?

There is no charge for participating in the program. Participants will receive a stipend of up to $900 to cover travel costs to the Capstone Summit. Additional travel costs must be covered by the individual or their institution.

Important Dates
  • Application deadline: November 8, 2017
  • Notifications: Week of December 4, 2017
  • Online Course: January 8 – March 2, 2018
  • Capstone Summit: April 10-11, 2018
Application Details
  • Name and Contact Information
  • Current Role/Title
  • Place of Employment
  • Briefly describe your current experience or interest in research data management and why you would like to participate in this training.
  • Briefly describe the current status of research data management services at your library, including any barriers to implementation.
  • This training will have been worthwhile to you and your institution if…
Application Instructions

Please fill out the online Application Form, and upload a PDF of your current CV and your letter of institutional support. The letter of institutional support must be from your supervisor and address the following:

  1. time for participation in online course and Capstone Summit;
  2. the library’s commitment to or plans for adding or enhancing research data management services.

Please submit your application via the online form by November 8, 2017:


Contact NTO at

Categories: RML Blogs

Exploring Hunger and Graphic Medicine with MEDstudio@JEFF and Design Philadelphia

NER News - Wed, 2017-10-11 07:41

Last week I had the great pleasure to travel to Philadelphia to participate on the opening panel for this year’s MEDstudio@JEFF collaboration with Design Philadelphia. The short description of the event is that artist Tom Judd is spending a week creating a mural of 7,500 apples, with each apple representing 100 people, in order to raise awareness of the 750,000 people who go hungry each day in the Delaware Valley. For a more complete description, see here.

The panel (as seen in the photo to the right) was a multi-disciplinary force, including expertise in medical research, architecture, social justice, with my role being to represent graphic medicine. Each of us were given time to share our current projects, in my case the focal point being educational outreach on the value of comics in medicine and our Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits initiative. While we had planned a great number of potential topics, we didn’t make it too far into them because once the panel got talking, we couldn’t stop making connections between all of our work!

We ultimately spent a great deal of time discussing a series of “A’s”, spurred by the use of the apple: Awareness, Anger, Advocacy, and Action. If we consider Tom’s chalkboard mural a mission of raising Awareness, which creates a feeling of Anger in the community, the question becomes how do we connect that to Advocacy and/or Action? Here is where I felt comics could enter the conversation. As a medium well-suited to conveying complex information in simple ways, following up on the ability of the finer-arts to raise awareness, comics could then provide the necessary information to effect community change. Imagine, if you will, a comics campaign that told a story about an activist from a Philadelphia neighborhood that along the way shared how to be a real life activist – providing representative contact information, example scripts, and local organization information. Important information that is typically widely dispersed, condensed into a legible, accessible form!

Since I like to practice what I preach as best I can – I’m no “fine” artist – I sketched out a small comic after the event to help reflect, condense, and visualize the very conversation I just described above. You can see it below. I recommend drawing a simple comic like this any time you need to reflect and focus in on an idea you don’t want to slip away – especially if your memory is anything like mine!

Speaking of being “no “fine” artist”, I want to leave you with one last comic to consider (below) about the nature of drawing. Part of the panel discussion, as is part of every discussion about integrating comics into medicine, was around the idea that people latch onto that “I can’t draw”. I firmly believe, as I thought-bubbled out below, that you can learn something from even the most cartoonish of illustrations. For example, when I asked a stranger at the bar next to me what they learned about me from my stick-figure self, they were immediately drawn to the marks on the knee – meant to illustrate pain. I’m not the only one who feels this way – for example, this recent post by Anita Ravi describes her use of similar illustrations in her medical practice as a way to bridge language and cultural barriers. Give it a try!

While my trip to Philadelphia was brief, I learned a great deal and made new relationships that I hope to build and grow in the coming years. I encourage you all to follow along with the progress of Tom’s mural on Twitter (@MEDstudioJEFF) and consider: how might YOU make use of the arts – murals, comics, or beyond – in your practice?

— Matthew Noe, Library Fellow & Graphic Medicine Specialist, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Lamar Soutter Library & NNLM NER

Categories: RML Blogs

Liver Awareness Month

SCR News - Tue, 2017-10-10 11:25

liver graphic is licensed under CC0.

October is Liver Awareness Month. The liver is the largest organ inside of the body. It has many important functions including digestion, storing energy, and removing poisons. Unfortunately, it may not show symptoms when it is in trouble. However, there are some warning signs, such as jaundice. There are many kinds of liver diseases and conditions. Some are due to viruses, some are inherited, and others are caused by drug and/or alcohol misuse.

To learn more, see the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for more information on liver health topics: and also MedlinePlus

Like NNLM SCR on Facebook and like us on Twitter.

Categories: RML Blogs

Next PNR Rendezvous is about Copyright and Online Learning Resources

PNR News - Tue, 2017-10-10 11:18

“Copyright & Online Learning Resources: It’s Complicated!” is the next PNR Rendezvous session.

When: October 18 starting at 1:00pm PT, Noon Alaska, 2:00pm MT

Questions about library resources and fair use in online education are expanding from the appropriate use of journal articles and eBooks to published images, video clips and more in faculty-created resources for instruction that our licensing terms often don’t explicitly address. What to do? Join the session as our speaker, Nikki Dettmar, describes ways of supporting the faculty, staff & students of the University of Washington School of Medicine, which launched a new curriculum in Fall 2015 requiring students to self-study resources in online courses ahead of in-person class sessions focused on active learning. Please note this is not intended to be an authoritative copyright presentation or legal advice, but a time of sharing some of the common questions and challenges faced and ways to develop informed decisions and propose solutions to educators.

No registration required. Learn how to connect.

Worth 1 MLA CE for attending the live session or watching the recording.

Categories: RML Blogs

Diversity Includes the Differently-abled

NER News - Tue, 2017-10-10 10:10


“Inclusion Drives Innovation” is the theme of this year’s national awareness campaign about disabilities. The goal of highlighting October as National Disability Awareness Month is meant to draw our attention to the contributions made to the workplace, our communities and our families by people who have disabilities. To me, the word “disability” carries a negative and limiting label, and stigma with it. I prefer not to use that word. A friend of mine uses the term “differently-abled” to describe people living with physical or intellectual challenges. I like the word “differently-abled” because it reinforces my belief that we all have abilities, just in different areas. Have you ever had an experience where a challenge in one area of our life, caused you to grow or become stronger in another area? For example, my visually impaired friend Liz has shared with me since losing her sight, her sense of smell has become more enhanced.

Disability Awareness Month was created in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was removed in 1962, to include the contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Did you know that it is estimated that 10% of people in the U.S. have a medical condition which could be considered a type of invisible disability?  The challenges people are dealing with may not be apparent. Conditions such as depression, learning disabilities, PTSD, chronic pain, cancer, etc…that are beneath the skin are difficult and can be debilitating. Perhaps that co-worker, store clerk, or customer service rep that was less than helpful has a challenge that is not visible?

Diversity and inclusion are current conversation and media topics as our country hears the latest news of travel bans and bathroom laws. With all of that in the news, I find myself immediately associating the topic of diversity with culture, ethnicity and sexual orientation. However, diversity and inclusion are also a key ingredient to a recipe for happy and motivated employees. According to a 2012 article in Harvard Business Review on what motivates employees,               “Whatever else each of us derives from our work, there may be nothing more precious than the feeling that we truly matter — that we contribute unique value to the whole, and that we’re recognized for it.”

In the past few years, I have been fortunate to have a friendship with my visually impaired, attorney friend Liz. She not only has added diversity, depth and color to my life, she also has taught me a few life lessons. Here’s what I have learned.

  1. Ask a differently-abled person what they need. Don’t assume you know what they need, because you read an article about it. Have you ever had the frustrating experience of being given a task at work that looks easy to someone not familiar with the intricacies of your world or your job, but is not easy at all, given circumstances you know and they don’t? How does this apply? I have learned that when we shop together, I ask if Liz wants me to describe the color and fabric. Does she need my help when getting money out of her wallet?
  2. All visually impaired people do not automatically know Braille and sometimes they can see some things. Liz was sighted most of her life, she has been progressively losing her vision for the last 9 years due to a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa – the medical encyclopedia in MedlinePlus has some good background information on this eye disease. Liz is able to read the screen of her smartphone (which has caused some people to question whether she is faking the blind thing), but in other settings what she can see is affected by color, contrast and the amount of light available. One time she even prevented my husband from driving the wrong way down a one-way street. But, that’s another story…
  3. Being relegated to a separate section in libraries or schools with the materials/equipment/services for the differently-abled, feels isolating. In some libraries there are separate spaces where the talking books and other materials for the visually impaired are located. Many differently-abled people want to be with everyone else. They want to be part of a community, be with friends, and feel that they are contributing with unique skills and talents. Because Liz has limited sight, I assumed she wouldn’t want to attend plays, go to museums, exercise at a gym, go shopping, or even be on a sports team. I was wrong.
  4. Enlist the help of and value the expertise of people who have experienced non-inclusiveness (even though the non-inclusiveness was not intentional) when planning for inclusivity. Ask a person who knows how it feels, rather than assuming you know what is needed to make them feel included. Creating inclusive materials, environments and experiences sometimes requires creativity. Consult with someone differently-abled as you plan a conference or create public programming.  I recently attended a city council meeting where I was impressed to hear our city counselor say how important it is that a member of the differently-abled community be part of the citizen task force that will advise the engineering team planning the renovation of Main Street.

NLM has some good resources about Disabilities.

Liz and her friend Nick, who is in a wheelchair were recently part of a Dragon Boat Festival race team here in Worcester, MA. The Dragon Boat festival was a celebration of the diversity of Worcester and its surrounding communities. CNN’s show United Shades of America ( ) spent a day with Liz, and filmed she and Nick as they practiced with their Dragon Boat team. CNN will air this show featuring Liz and Nick, this coming spring about the best and worst cities to live in if you are differently-abled. I took these pictures as they were being filmed on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester within walking distance to the Medical School.

Categories: RML Blogs

Next PNR Rendezvous is about PubMed Commons

PNR News - Tue, 2017-10-10 03:00

“Leveraging PubMed Commons for Medical Librarians” is the next PNR Rendezvous session.

When: October 18 starting at 1:00pm PT, Noon Alaska, 2:00pm MT

Medical librarians play an important role in the evaluation and dissemination of credible life/biomedical sciences information. Peer-review is part of this process. However, peer-review is not an infallible process. In an age of open science, there is a need for open review and information exchange opportunities that extend beyond the traditional published formats. Providing a channel and an audience for open post-publication communication is one way to achieve this ideal.

In October 2013, the National Library of Medicine introduced PubMed Commons, a social media pilot program promoting post-publication discourse. The program became an official feature of PubMed in December 2015. Authors whose publications are indexed in PubMed are invited to comment on other authors’ work and participate in open information exchange. Even in its early state, PubMed Commons is impacting the medical library community by providing useful information that reaches beyond traditional metrics and aids in identifying quality, credible medical information. This webinar will update you on what types of conversations are happening on PubMed Commons and provide tips to help you search for PubMed Commons comments in PubMed.

No registration required. Learn how to connect.

Worth 1 MLA CE for attending the live session or watching the recording.

Categories: RML Blogs

Member Highlights

MAR News - Mon, 2017-10-09 17:28

With our membership renewal drive well underway, the folks here at NNLM MAR would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our members for their continued efforts in providing high quality information services, and improving the public’s access to health information. We would also like to extend special thanks to all of our Liaisons who have already completed the update process, including those who took the extra step to submit photos with their brand new NNLM membership certificates! We value your work across the Middle Atlantic Region, and look forward to potential partnership opportunities in the coming years.

Check out some of our members with their new certificates. Would you like NNLM MAR to include your organization in a blog highlight? Complete the renewal process today!

Staff from the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System

Elsa Bruguier and Lisa Gissen, Union County College Libraries, with their NNLM certificate

Elsa Bruguier and Lisa Gissen, Union County College Libraries

The First Approach EA / Worksite Wellness team with their certificate

The First Approach EA / Worksite Wellness team

Categories: RML Blogs

Discovering TOXNET returns November 6! Register today

NTO News - Mon, 2017-10-09 16:24
Discovering TOXNET logo

Discovering TOXNET runs Nov 6 to Dec 18, 2017

Join the NNLM Training Office (NTO) for a free, online class to discover TOXNET and other National Library of Medicine environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises.

The class is taught online, over a 6 week period, in 13 independent units. Complete only the units that interest you; there is only one required unit.

What are the dates of the class?
November 6, 2017 – December 18, 2017

Visit this URL to register:


What is TOXNET?
TOXNET is a freely available suite of databases from the National Library of Medicine covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and occupational safety and health.

What do we mean by Independent Units?
There is only one required unit, Introduction to TOXNET, all the other units are optional to complete.

Which databases are covered?
TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), IRIS, Haz-Map, Household Products Database, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, REMM and the Drug Information Portal.

Who should take the class?

Health sciences librarians, public health and environmental science professionals.

How much time will the class take?

You will work on your own time over a period of 6 weeks to complete the units that are of interest to you. There is one required unit; the remaining units are optional. This class is offered for variable MLA Continuing Education credit. Each unit carries anywhere from 0.5 to 2.0 credit hours, for a total of up to 12 hours. Credit will not be awarded for partial completion of a module. Total credit awarded will be based on completed units.

What happens during the class?

This course is offered asynchronously through Moodle; you will work at your own pace. Each unit consists of guided interactive tutorials AND/OR tutorial videos, and discovery exercises. Instructors will be available to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the course.


Visit this URL to register:

Categories: RML Blogs

Genomic Health Literacy

PNR News - Mon, 2017-10-09 05:00

Part 2 of our Health Literacy Month series-

Genetics has become more prominent in the news in recent years. Sometimes it looks like great scientific advancement and other times it can look a little unsettling and seem like something out of science fiction. Genomic health literacy is becoming increasingly important as precision medicine, pharmacogenomics, and direct-to-consumer genetic testing and other genetic associated topics are emerging at the intersection between health and genetics, and consumers need access to information about these and other related topics in a manner that is understandable.

It has been noted that many Americans do not have the genomic literacy levels needed to start comprehending what genetics has to do with health. The general public’s understanding of basic biology especially in regards to genetics and understanding of mathematical concepts in regards to probability theory, risks and statistics is no-where near adequate to where they can comprehend the recent scientific advances and achievements especially in regards to the genomic component. Also, the public needs to consider the role that genomics plays in healthcare decision making, lifestyle changes, family history as well as the social and ethical aspects. If the public cannot understand this then its impact on their health behavior may be little to none.  Many people who have lower genomic health literacy may also have low health literacy or low literacy in general.

You may have noticed the use of the words genetics and genomics. These two words are often used interchangeably but they actually mean two different things and this can be confusing. Genetics is the more familiar term. It refers to the study of specific, individual genes and their role in inheritance. Genomics refers to the study of all the genes in an organism. But don’t get too caught up in the semantics. The important thing is to know where to go to get some easy to understand information about genetics.

Whether you work in healthcare and are wanting to provide patients with information about genetics and their health, or at a school wanting to provide educational resources for your students or a librarian who has a patron seeking information about participating in a research study focusing on genetics, it is important to provide appropriate and accurate information.

  • GeneEd was developed and is maintained by the National Library of Medicine and National Human Genome Research Institute. This resource is for students and teachers in grades nine to twelve to learn genetics. Links are provided to a variety of resources and learning tools such as experiments, interactive tutorials, games, and research articles enable teachers to reinforce concepts and supplement curricula.
  • The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is dedicated to the application of genome research to human health, including the ethical, legal, and social implications of genome research.  The institute provides an array of information for the public connecting genetic information basics to health through family history, research being done in the field, and disease information. Users will also find information that raises awareness of societal issues such as privacy, discrimination, and regulation of tests. Educators will find links to resources in NIH as well as to other trusted resources, with educational tools for use in the classroom and for students when writing research papers or preparing projects.
  • The National Library of Medicine created Genetics Home Reference as a consumer resource to find information about health conditions with a genetic component. This resource is more than just about finding information about specific genetic conditions. The “Help Me Understand Genetics” section provides the basics about genetics for newly diagnosed patients and their families and can be an educational resource to learn about specific genes, chromosomes, and their roles in human health for middle and high school students.
  • MedlinePlus includes several health topic pages on genetics-related information such as genetic conditions, genetic testing, and gene therapy. Text-word searching will result in a variety of genetic and genomic-related information. However, specific health condition topic pages can also include a section specifically addressing the genetic aspects of the health condition. Remember, health conditions with a genetic component may or may not include specific developmental disabilities typically associated with genetics.
Categories: RML Blogs

DYI: Build Your Own Culture of Evaluation

NEO News - Fri, 2017-10-06 14:10

Group of business people, holding large puzzle pieces that fit together,, to signify working together to understand evaluation data.

Our organization has a culture of evaluation.

Oooh, doesn’t that sound impressive? In fact, I confess to using that term, culture of evaluation, in describing the NNLM Evaluation Office’s mission. However, if someone ever asked me to explain concretely what a culture of evaluation actually looks like, it would have taken some fast Googling, er, thinking on my part to come up with a response.

Then I discovered the Community Literacy of Ontario’s eight-module series, Developing A Culture of Evaluation. In module 1, Introduction to Evaluation, they ground the concept in seven observable indicators seen in organizations dedicated to using evaluation for learning and change. (You can read their list on page 11 of module 1).

That led me on a  hunt for more online resources with suggestions on how to build a culture of evaluation. I located some good ones.  Here’s an infographic from Community Solutions Planning and Evaluation with 30 ideas for evaluation culture-building that most nonprofits could adopt. John Mayne’s brief Building an Evaluation Culture for Effective Evaluation and Results Management describes what senior management can do to make (or break) an organization’s culture of evaluation. My investigation inspired me to think of ways we can all foster a culture of evaluation in our own teams and organizations.

Put Evaluation Information on Meeting Agendas

Embrace organizational learning and use evaluation information as your primary resource. Find ways to integrate performance and outcome measures into daily planning and decision making.  A good place to start is in staff or team meetings. Usage statistics, social media metrics, attendance or membership rates are examples of data that many organizations collect routinely that might generate good discussion about your programs. If you don’t have any formally collected data related to agenda topics, consider asking your team to collect some data informally.  Check out module 3, Collecting Data, for examples of both informal and formal data collection guidance. Module 3, Taking Action, has some practical examples of how you can share evaluation data and structure discussions. (I particularly like the template on page 9 of this module.)

Take Calculated Risks Using Evaluation Data

When planning programs, collect and synthesize evaluation data to get an overview of factors that support and challenge your likelihood of success. One of the best tools for doing this is a SWOT analysis (SWOT stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). This NEO Shop Talk post describes how to extend the traditional SWOT discussion to identify unknowns regarding your program success.  The SWOT analysis can both help you synthesize existing information about your customers and environment, as well as identify areas where you need more information. You might want to revisit module 3’s discussion on informal data collection to help when you lack existing evaluation information.

Report Findings Early and Often

Like cockroaches, exhaustive final reports will likely survive until the end of time. if you are truly committed to a culture of evaluation, however, you need to break with this end-of-project tradition and find opportunities to share findings on an ongoing basis.  Data dashboards are one example of how to engage a broad audience in your organization’s evaluation data. However, they require time and expertise that may not be out of reach for many organizations. One nice tip from the Community Solution 30-ideas infographics is to make friends with your organization’s communication team.  They can help you find opportunities in publications, websites, and social media channels to share evaluation findings. Your job will be to add substance to the numbers. While quick facts can be interesting, it is better to talk about numbers as evidence of success.  You also should not be shy about publishing less stellar findings and explaining how your organization is using them to improve programs and services.

Engage Stakeholders in the Evaluation Process

A stakeholder is anyone who has a stake in the success of your program.  They should, and usually do, influence program decisions. It’s up to you to make sure they are engaging with evaluation information as they develop informed opinions and advice.  Rather than giving them well-synthesized findings in annual reports or presentations, engage them in the actual practice of evaluating programs.  NEO Shop Talk has a number of posts that can help you structure meetings and discussion with stakeholders about evaluation findings.  Check out these posts on data parties, audience engagement, and Liberating Structures.

Of course, a culture of evaluation requires foundational evaluation activities. I highly recommend all of the modules in Community of Literacy of Ontario’s Developing A Culture of Evaluation. The content is succinct and easy to read, and relatively jargon free. (The jargon they do use is defined.)  The NEO’s booklet series “Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects” is another how-to resource on the basics of evaluation.


The full citation for John Mayne’s paper is

Categories: RML Blogs

Weekly Postings

MAR News - Fri, 2017-10-06 11:26

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


The University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) invites applications for the newly created position of All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator for the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM MAR). View the full posting for more information about the position.

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.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine News

The Fall 2017 offering for the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey (HSLANJ) Group Licensing Initiative (GLI) is now available. NNLM MAR members are eligible to participate! The deadline to apply for the Fall offer is Friday, November 17. Learn more.

Ongoing: the Middle Atlantic Region (MAR) is still accepting applications for funding! Check out a recent post from Executive Director Kate Flewelling about our open awards, and helpful tips to assist with your application.

My First Logic Model Experience – NEO Shop Talk

Call For Reviewers, Co-Teachers, and Mentors – NTO News

National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health News

Request for Information: on behalf of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is seeking community input on new data science research initiatives that could address key challenges currently faced by researchers, clinicians, administrators, and others, in all areas of biomedical, social/behavioral and health-related research. Details.

NIH MedlinePlus Magazine: If your library subscribed and missed the last delivery of the NIH MedlinePlus Magazine (Summer 2017 edition) you will need to re-subscribe for bulk delivery. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine is an excellent way to introduce members of your community to medical research with trusted health information stories from NIH scientists, famous individuals, as well as everyday people who have turned to NIH for medical assistance. Order NIH MedlinePlus for your library today!

It Takes a Whole Library to Create a World of Data-powered HealthNLM Musings from the Mezzanine, Innovations in Health Information from the Director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Librarianpalooza! Medical Library Rock Stars Take the Stage – NLM in Focus, a Look Inside the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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

Creative Minds: Giving Bacteria Needles to Fight Intestinal DiseaseNIH Director’s Blog

PubMed Labs is now part of NCBI Labs – NCBI Insights, Providing Insights into NCBI Resources and the Science Behind Them

Check out the October 2017 edition of NIH News in Health! In this issue, read about finding healthy ways of coping with grief after loss, and learn the symptoms of brain tumors to know when to talk to your doctor about them.

NLM and NNLM Educational Opportunities

All are webinars, unless noted. Please note that we have a new class registration system which 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!

Making Sense of Numbers: Understanding Risks and Benefits. Learning How to Communicate Health Statistics – October 11, 2:00-3:30 PM ET – Numeracy literacy is not only a problem for individuals receiving health information but also for those providing information that contain numbers. Hosted by MAR, this class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numeracy. The purpose of this class is to understand risk and benefits from a layman’s perspective and to understand that the communication of numbers must be clear and easy to understand.

From Problem to Prevention: Evidence-Based Public Health – October 11, 2:00-3:00 PM ET – Curious about evidence-based public health (EBPH) but not sure where to start? Join MAR to learn the basics of evidence-based public health (EBPH) and highlighted essentials of the EBPH process such as identifying the problem, forming a question, searching the literature, and evaluating the intervention.

Grant Writing for Success: Preparing a NIH Grant Application – October 12, 1:00-2:00 PM ET – Are you a new or junior investigator? Do you assist in the preparation of the scientific portions of an application? If you answered “yes” to either question, then don’t miss this webinar provided by NIH expert, Dr. Paula Strickland. She will be providing helpful tips and guidance on preparing an application for submission. Learn how to avoid the most common mistakes in writing grant applications and correct some typical misconceptions about the grant review process.

LinkOut for Libraries: From Icons to Full Text and Everything in Between – October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM ET – Join this NLM webinar that will go back to the basics of LinkOut, to learn how to get the most of your library’s service. Take an inside look at the three NLM linking services, LinkOut, Outside Tool, and LinkOut Local, and how they differ. Learn why multiple icons display on citations in PubMed and how to see only the ones you want.

Grants and Proposal Writing – October 30-November 27, 2017 – Sponsored by SEA, this asynchronous online course for beginners presents a general overview of the grant and funding processes, as well as the level of detail required in a successful proposal. Each component of the grant writing process will be addressed, including: documenting the need; identifying the target population; writing measurable objectives; developing a work plan, an evaluation plan and dissemination plan.

Working Together: Building a Library and Public Health Community Partnership For Patient Empowerment – November 14, 2:00-3:00 PM ET – How did Albany Medical College’s (AMC) Schaffer Library of Health Sciences (SLHS) and Division of Community Outreach and Medical Education (DivCOME) partner with each other as well as with community-based organizations and public libraries to empower patients and librarians through community and professional development workshops? Join MAR for this one-hour presentation on how existing relationships can be leveraged to build a successful outreach program.

Other Items of Interest

Job Postings:

Widening the Circle of Support for Learning Health Systems – AHRQ Views

Special Opportunity: Federal agency partners invite communities to apply for technical assistance to help communities revitalize their economy, improve health, and protect the environment:

  • Local Foods, Local Places helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and revitalize downtowns through the development of local food systems. To date, nearly 80 communities have benefited from assistance with support from EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority. Learn how to apply.
  • Healthy Places for Healthy People helps community leaders and health care partners focus on health as an economic driver and catalyst for downtown and neighborhood revitalization. Health care partners include community health centers (including Federally Qualified Health Centers), nonprofit hospitals, and other health care facilities. To date, 10 communities have benefited from assistance with support from EPA and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Healthy Places for Healthy People provides assistance for communities that are economically challenged, including those in rural Appalachia. Learn how to apply.

Share your story with us! NNLM MAR is always interested in learning about health outreach projects and activities that are happening in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

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

NNLM SEA Digest News – October 06, 2017

SEA News - Fri, 2017-10-06 07:21

Welcome to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Southeastern/Atlantic (SEA) Region’s Weekly Digest. This digest includes upcoming events, online training opportunities, news, and past events.

Top Items of Interest

National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) News

Upcoming Online Training Opportunities*

Asynchronous Online Course – Moodle LMS

Webinars: October 9 – 13

Webinars: October 16-20

Webinars: October 23-28

In addition to the webinars listed, the NNLM Public Health Coordination Office provides webinars for subscribers to the Digital Library. You can attend a Quick Starter Course or attend a Drop-In Session.

Recordings Available on YouTube

National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM), and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) News

NIH News

NLM News

NLM Technical Bulletin

NCBI Insights

Focus on Data

Focus on Precision Medicine

Focus on Substance Use Disorder

Funding Opportunities

Miscellaneous News

NNLM SEA Communications

Notes on NNLM Training Opportunities

  • All sessions listed below are sponsored by a specific regional or national office, but open to all.
  • Webinars are scheduled for 1 hour unless otherwise noted.
  • The NNLM class registration system requires a free NNLM accountprior to registration.
  • Visit the NNLM Training Opportunitiesto register and view a full calendar of training opportunities.
  • Please visit the NNLM Acronym Guideto understand the acronyms.
  • Refer to this guide to claim MLA CE credit.
Categories: RML Blogs

Funding Award for Automated ILL Software and Training

GMR News - Thu, 2017-10-05 15:06

The GMR is pleased to announce that Western Michigan University has received funding in the amount of $4,642 in the form of an NNLM Technology Enhancement Award to implement resource sharing management software at the Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) Library. Congratulations to WMed and applicant Elizabeth R. Lorbeer, EdM, MLS, Founding Library Director on the successful proposal.


The WMed Medical Library is described as a born digital library, serving one of the newest medical schools in the United States. Document delivery and resource sharing requests have increased steadily since the school’s inception (August 2014). Although other Western Michigan libraries operate with automated software, the WMed Medical Library is administered separately. With no dedicated resource sharing department, faculty librarians were monitoring and responding to user requests manually.

Project Description

The GMR will fund the purchase and implementation of ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database), an electronic system to facilitate resource sharing.

Project Objectives

  • Objective One: Implement ILLiad at WMed by coordinating software and technology requirements of satellite instance of ILLiad;
  • Objective Two: Train library faculty to use ILLiad;
  • Objective Three: Provide outreach to WMed community.

Project Goals

  • Goal One: Replace the current manual research sharing workflow with an automated system.
  • Goal Two: Standardize and improve the resource sharing experience for the WMed community.
  • Goal Three: Increase resource availability and data for collection development improvement analysis.
Categories: RML Blogs

Feedback Needed: RFI on Next-Generation Data Science Challenges in Health and Biomedicine

SEA News - Thu, 2017-10-05 12:35

On behalf of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Library of Medicine (NLM) seeks community input through a Request for Information (RFI) on new data science research initiatives that could address key challenges currently faced by researchers, clinicians, administrators, and others, in all areas of biomedical, social/behavioral, and health-related research. The field of data science is broad in scope, encompassing approaches for the generation, characterization, management, storage, analysis, visualization, integration, and use of large, heterogeneous data sets that have relevance to health and biomedicine.

Data science undergirds the broad and interdependent objectives of the NIH Strategic Plan. Information about data science research directions that could lead to breakthroughs in any or all NIH interest areas is welcomed, whether applicable across wide swaths of health and biomedicine, or focused on particular research domains.

NLM requests information on the three focal areas listed below:

  1. Promising directions for new data science research in the context of health and biomedicine. Input might address topics such as Data Driven Discovery and Data Driven Health Improvement.
  2. Promising directions for new initiatives relating to open science and research reproducibility. Input might address topics such as Advanced Data Management and Intelligent and Learning Systems for Health.
  3. Promising directions for workforce development and new partnerships. Input might address topics such as Workforce Development and Diversity and New Stakeholder Partnerships.

Response to this RFI must be submitted to the NIH NLM website by November 1, 2017. Responses should be provided in a narrative form of up to three pages per topic, with links to pertinent supplemental information if needed. No attachments will be accepted. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in this response. Please direct all inquiries to Valerie Florance, PhD, NLM, 301.496.4621,

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Training Office – Free Online CE: Discovering TOXNET

SEA News - Thu, 2017-10-05 12:33

Join the NNLM Training Office (NTO) for a free, online class to discover TOXNET and other National Library of Medicine environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises.

The class is taught online, over a 6 week period, in 13 independent units. Complete only the units that interest you; there is only one required unit.

What are the dates of the class?
November 6, 2017 – December 18, 2017

Visit this URL to register:

What is TOXNET?
TOXNET is a freely available suite of databases from the National Library of Medicine covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and occupational safety and health.

What do we mean by Independent Units?
There is only one required unit, Introduction to TOXNET, all the other units are optional to complete.

Which databases are covered?
TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), IRIS, Haz-Map, Household Products Database, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, REMM and the Drug Information Portal.

Who should take the class?

Health sciences librarians, public health and environmental science professionals.

How much time will the class take?

You will work on your own time over a period of 6 weeks to complete the units that are of interest to you. There is one required unit; the remaining units are optional. This class is offered for variable MLA Continuing Education credit. Each unit carries anywhere from 0.5 to 2.0 credit hours, for a total of up to 12 hours. Credit will not be awarded for partial completion of a module. Total credit awarded will be based on completed units.

What happens during the class?

This course is offered asynchronously through Moodle; you will work at your own pace. Each unit consists of guided interactive tutorials AND/OR tutorial videos, and discovery exercises. Instructors will be available to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the course.

Visit this URL to register:

Categories: RML Blogs

Call for Reviewers: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians

SEA News - Thu, 2017-10-05 09:23

Are you an information professional experienced in research data management? Are you eager to share your knowledge with others and help expand the community of data librarians? The National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office has several opportunities for you to contribute to shaping a new training experience specifically for librarians.

This training is an 8-week online class with engaging lessons and practical activities, starting in January 2018. Students will complete a capstone project at the end of the course and the experience will culminate in a Capstone Summit at NIH on April 10-11, 2018.

Modules for the course may include, but are not limited to the following core research data management (RDM) areas:

  1. Data Lifecycle and RDM Overview
  2. Data Documentation
  3. Data Wrangling
  4. Data Standards, Taxonomies, and Ontologies
  5. Data Security, Storage, and Preservation
  6. Data Sharing and Publishing
  7. Data Management Plans
  8. RDM at Your Institution

We are looking for experienced data librarians to participate in this project as module reviewers, co-teachers, and/or mentors. You may (and are encouraged to) apply for more than one role, and for more than one module.

  • Reviewers: Critique module content, test exercises, make suggestions, add resources. Deliverable: written report of findings. (Due Nov 30) Paid $250.
  • Co-Teachers: Assigned to one or more modules. Work with course facilitator to create a case study related to module topic (due Nov 15). Provide feedback on student assignments and answer questions for your module(s) in a timely manner during the course (Jan-March 2018).
    Deliverables: Case study by deadline, written report of suggestions for class improvement (due April 2, 2018). Paid $750.
    Mentors: Participate in class discussions, sharing expertise as needed, during the course (January – March 2018). Provide at least 2 mentoring sessions to each assigned student (4-5) for completing the Capstone project, attend and participate in the Capstone Summit.
    Deliverables: written report of experience as mentor, suggestions for program improvement and sustainability of project. Paid $1250, and travel support to Capstone Summit up to $1250.

All reviewers, co-teachers, and mentors will be required to submit a W-9. Those receiving $1000 or more will also be required to complete a contract with the University of Utah.

Please submit your application via online form by October 20, 2017:

Application Includes:

  • Name
  • Current Role/Title
  • Place of Employment
  • Please briefly describe your area(s) of interest, research, or primary expertise in data management.
  • Please summarize your qualifications to serve as a content reviewer, co-teacher, and/or mentor for this research data management class.
  • Indicate which modules you would like to serve as a content reviewer and/or co-teacher.
  • Would you like to serve as a mentor for 4-5 students in completing the Capstone Project?
  • Curriculum vitae (attachment)

For questions, please contact: Shirley Zhao, Training Development Specialist:


Categories: RML Blogs

“So, what is it you do again?”

PNR News - Thu, 2017-10-05 04:07

To celebrate Medical Librarian’s Month we have invited medical librarians in our region to submit some information about who they are and the work that they do as medical librarians.

Today we hear from a hospital librarian in Alaska!

Who am I? Leslie Meyer, Knowledge Navigator

Where do I work? Central Peninsula Hospital’s Health Resource Center in Soldotna, AK

With the official title of Knowledge Navigator, I hear this question at least once a day from patients, friends, and confused members of the general public. While many of them are satisfied with a simple, “I’m a medical librarian,” that answer doesn’t satisfy me, because it doesn’t encompass everything that I do during a day. Not even close!

I staff Central Peninsula Hospital’s Health Resource Center, located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. Although the city of Soldotna and the surrounding areas are considered fairly populated (for this state, anyway), we’re still rural enough that people often have trouble locating resources they can comfortably access. That’s where I come in.

The Resource Center offers books for loan to patients, employees, and anyone in the community. I also handle requests from physicians, nurses, and other medical staff for articles from medical journals. I have pamphlets, LibGuides, and patient workbooks. I have iPads and laptops loaded with health apps and websites available for patients during their admission. I have medical reference journals, I have meditative audio and video guides, I even have a couple of adult coloring books. I’m on steering committees and advisory councils, and I work with people from departments across the entire hospital to be sure that our community members have access to the best information there is.

I also interact directly with patients. Every day I go up to the inpatient floor and ‘round’. Anyone with a new diagnosis is offered a personalized LibGuide specific to their personal and literary needs. This includes everything from local resources to trusted websites, relevant books, and where to find them in the community or online. Our hospital has an open medical record policy, and I often help patients and family members navigate our patient portal, where they can see test results and notes from previous visits. Some people may need help filling out or understanding their Advance Health Care Directives; I break each section down and help them be sure what everything means, and then I notarize it and help them file it. Sometimes, if I have a few minutes, I even sit and chat a little.

So when I say “Knowledge Navigator”, I mean literally just that! I help people navigate through the often-overwhelming world of medical information, so that they can become better advocates for themselves and others. My absolute favorite part of an interaction is helping people become better informed and seeing some of that stress slough off their shoulders. I love it when someone leaves the Resource Center with a list of new websites, or a book about diabetes, or with the number and meeting time of a support group and looking just a little less worried than they were before they came.

Healthcare is scary. But it doesn’t always have to be with the proper resources and education, and I’m very grateful to be a medical librarian, a navigator, and a consumer health specialist with all of you!

Categories: RML Blogs

It’s Flu Shot Season

SCR News - Wed, 2017-10-04 21:19

Untitled by Drew Hays is licensed under CC0.

As we make our way into fall, here’s your annual reminder to get your flu shot and protect yourself from the influenza virus this year. U.S. health officials are worried this year’s flu season could be particularly bad. Why? Australia’s flu season has already hit and strain H3N2 has been pretty impactful, especially to the older population. And U.S. health officials have already seen H3N2 begin to pop up.

Something else important to remember is that while we often associate the flu with a sick day at home with a runny nose and sore throat, and can become much more serious. Some cases of the flu can lead to hospitalization and even death, which is why it’s so important to get a flu shot, if you’re able, to protect yourself from the virus. Officials say the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the flu they’ve observed are far too high given there is a vaccine for the disease.

There are 1000s of places you can get your flu shot. For a list, vist HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

To read more about this year’s flu vaccine, please visit “It’s Time to Get Your Flu Shot Again.”

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Categories: RML Blogs