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PSR Newsletter

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The newsletter of NNLM Pacific Southwest Region
Updated: 2 hours 39 min ago

Network Members in the Spotlight!

Fri, 2019-06-28 17:38

We would like to recognize the following network members by highlighting their accomplishments, promotions, awards, new positions, and departures. We welcome your submissions for possible future announcements!

Andrea Harrow, Lisa A. Marks, Debra Schneider, Alexander Lyubechansky, Ellen Aaronson, Lynn Kysh, and Molly Harrington are co-editors of the article “Hospital library closures and consolidations: a case series” published in the April 2019 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association.

Zoe Pettway Unno and Julie Botnick are the new NNLM PSR Education and Outreach Librarians. Zoe began on May 20 while Julie started May 28.

Nora Franco, NNLM PSR Consumer Health Librarian, co-authored the article “Health Sciences Patron Preference for Library Spaces: A Multisite Observational Study” published online in April, 2019, in Medical References Services Quarterly.

Shanalee Tamares, MLIS, is the Interim Director at Loma Linda (CA) University Libraries in Loma Linda, CA.

Gail Persily, Educational Technology Director at the University of California, San Francisco Library, retired on June 28, after 29 years of service.

Dick Miller, MLIS, Director of Resource Management at Stanford University’s Lane Medical Library, retired on June 3rd after 36 years of service. He joined the Lane Medical Library management team in 1983 as Director for Technical Services. As part of the senior management team at Lane, Dick expertly implemented digital library initiatives while building a team of highly skilled library staff to license and manage the library’s collections. Under his leadership, Lane’s first online catalog was launched and today serves as the foundational discovery layer for the Lane Library website. Through the prodigious work of Dick’s team creating high quality metadata, the library’s resources are readily accessible to faculty, students, and staff. Heidi Heilemann, Associate Dean for Knowledge Management and Director of Lane Medical Library, noted: “We are most grateful to Dick Miller for his dedicated service of over 36 years!”

Korey Brunetti is now the Assistant Director of the Academic Liaison Program at the University of California, San Diego Library. He was formerly at Desert Regional Medical Center Library in Palm Springs.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

University of Arizona Health Sciences Library Hosts “Surviving and Thriving” NLM Traveling Exhibit

Mon, 2019-06-10 19:42

by Annabelle Nuñez, M.A., Associate Director
University of Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

exhibit of five free-standing graphic panels

Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture

The University of Arizona Health Sciences Library (UAHSL) is hosting the National Library of Medicine’s traveling exhibit, Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture. On display are six, freestanding graphic panels showing a historical look at the impact of a new, unknown disease that appeared in the United States. In the early 1980’s this “rare cancer” caused widespread fear and confusion for many, particularly among gay men as they were disproportionately affected by the unknown condition. The exhibit describes the battles people fought and the challenges they faced to overcome the social, political, and cultural backlash that came with living with the illness. It also depicts the course of action taken to achieve the successes gained for people to survive and thrive with HIV/AIDS.

This exhibition was produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. It is on display in the library’s lobby until June 28, 2019. You can visit the online exhibit of Surviving and Thriving to locate additional digital content.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Express Outreach Award Highlights: California State University, Bakersfield Nursing Librarian Supports RN Explorers Training Program

Wed, 2019-06-05 19:20

by Ying Zhong, Nursing Librarian
Walter W. Stiern Library
California State University
Bakersfield, CA

RN Explorers Program is a part of Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life and career education for young men and women ages 14 through 20. This program focuses on careers in the medical field, with a specific focus on nursing. For over 17 years, nursing students, staff, and faculty from California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) meet regularly with high school students interested in nursing to introduce the nursing profession and basic nursing concepts. Nursing faculty and RN Explorers meet twice a month, on the first and third Monday evenings. RN Explorers learned nursing skills, participated in community health fairs by taking blood pressures, checking glucose and cholesterol levels. They also go on tours to Bakersfield College, CSUB, and several local hospitals to learn about specialties in health care.

people ranging from teenagers to young adults in similar clothing attending a presentation

RN Explorers Program

With the support of an NNLM PSR Express Outreach Award, beginning in May, 2018, the CSUB Library joined forces with the Nursing Department to offer training in NLM resources and other library databases to the RN Explorers. One of the barriers that the RN Explorers face is lack of the basic understanding of the nursing profession. To fill their knowledge gap, I reviewed nursing literature and purchased 38 books focusing on the nursing career. The other highlight was meeting with 47 RN Explorers in person when they visited the CSUB campus on March 4, 2019. I gave a 20-minute presentation about Library services and resources available for RN Explorers. Library cards are offered to RN Explorers that will allow them to check out five books at a time from the CSUB Library. The outreach award also enabled CSUB Library to add seven iPads to the available resources, which Nursing faculty/staff/students may check out for seven days when visiting high schools, hospitals, etc. Last but not least, the award supported the ongoing program by offering eight Boy Scout memberships to further encourage high school students to participate in the RN Explorers Program. By providing resources to support this program, the CSUB Library strengthened its collaboration with the Nursing Department and contributed to the enhancement of community service.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Express Outreach Award Highlights: Arizona Outreach Activity in 2018-2019

Wed, 2019-06-05 16:07

by Annabelle Nuñez, M.A.
Associate Director
University of Arizona Health Sciences Library
Tucson, AZ

The University of Arizona Health Sciences Library (UAHSL) works to extend the reach of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM-PSR) in Arizona communities with the support of a cooperative agreement designed to enhance the access to and engagement with health information. UAHSL staff consult with stakeholder communities as they plan and carry out outreach programs for Arizona that include promotion of and training in the use of National Library of Medicine resources. Our specialty is to offer training workshops around the state that assist librarians, K-12 students and educators, community health workers, health professionals, and members of the public to become effective users of digital content and electronic resources as well as improve their skills at identifying accurate health information.

librarian training community health workers at a table

Outreach Librarian Yamila El-Khayat works with community health workers/promotoras.

One of the key highlights in 2018 was UAHSL Outreach Librarian Yamila El-Khayat’s opportunity to collaborate with a program coordinator of the Ventanilla de Salud program at the Mexican Consulate of Tucson. Together they offered a workshop on social determinants of health as an approach to health education and promotion in the Hispanic community. Twenty community health workers/promotoras participated in the workshop and learned about NLM products. This work was featured in a video presented during the NLM Update at the 2018 Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in Atlanta, raising the profile of work being done in Arizona and in NNLM’s Pacific Southwest Region!

There is a tremendous push in K-12 education to increase curriculum in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. From an interdisciplinary lens, STEM subjects cross over seamlessly into the health sciences. For example, bioengineering for medical devices and 3D prototyping for clinical investigations. Visiting schools with 3D printers during events like a career fair is often the first time students get to see how 3D printing works. It is a great opportunity for Yamila to talk about 3D applications in health. We see how exposing students to 3D technology prepares them for thinking about health sciences with innovation in mind. This type of engagement also took place during the STEM festivals held in Prescott, Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson. Here too was the perfect opportunity to promote NLM products among the attendees interested in STEM.

two women standing side by side posing for the camera

Cholla High School Career Fair, Outreach Librarian Yamila El-Khayat and Knowledge River Graduate Assistant Ruby Nugent.

In 2019, Yamila attended a tour of the Salt River Tribal Library and the Way of Life Facility. Yamila and Naomi Bishop, a new librarian at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library, have begun to explore programming ideas with the Salt River Tribal Community. This is a new opportunity for UAHSL, and a great prospect for collaboration with our colleague in Phoenix.

In summary, this year gave us the opportunity to connect with 2611 participants throughout the state. We engaged in twenty-six events that included training, exhibiting, and presentations. The cooperative agreement permitted us to continue working with our collaborators engaging with new participants and clients, as well as explore programming with new partners, all in an effort to raise awareness of NLM products and increase health literacy.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

New NNLM PSR Education and Outreach Librarian: Julie Botnick!

Tue, 2019-06-04 18:14

Hello everyone! My name is Julie Botnick and I am a new Education and Outreach Librarian for the NNLM PSR at UCLA.

I recently completed my Master of Library and Information Science degree here at UCLA. As part of my studies, I worked as a Curatorial and Instruction Intern at UCLA Special Collections for History of Medicine and the Sciences, just downstairs from the NNLM PSR office.

Julie Botnick holding a specimen at Zion National Park

I have worked at a broad range of repositories, including the archives at 20th Century Fox and Zion National Park (where we rehoused the historic natural history specimen collection, pictured to the right here!), and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives in West Hollywood.

I have a background in education and program development, including development of educational texts, conferences, and training in outdoor, food, and environmental education; working as an educator at a living history museum; managing a business education institute for artists; and teaching undergraduates in the UCLA Department of History.

I look forward to working with you all on education and outreach initiatives. I also welcome food and hike recommendations across our region! Please feel free to contact me at

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Express Outreach Award Highlights: University of Nevada Savitt Medical Library Partners with Community Health Nursing Clinics Serving Rural Areas

Mon, 2019-06-03 15:56

by Katie Jefferson, MPH, Library Services Liaison
Mary Shultz, MS, Library Director
Savitt Medical Library
University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno

The Savitt Medical Library at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine, received an outreach subaward from the Pacific Southwest Region (PSR) of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), running from May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019. This was the third year the Savitt Medical Library received outreach funding, enabling it to build on efforts from previous years. With this funding, we again partnered with the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health to support the community health and behavioral health rural nurses working in state offices. These nurses provide health services to remote and underserved communities in ten frontier and rural counties. They also serve as school nurses in districts without a school nurse, flight nurses and nurses in the Nevada mines. Their area of responsibility covers more than 96,000 square miles and they average about 1,000 miles of travel per month. The rural nursing offices do not have online resources beyond those that are freely available.

In the first award year, the Savitt Medical Library provided training that highlighted freely available, quality resources, primarily from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. In addition we traveled to 11 (of 13) nursing clinic locations and introduced ourselves, the project, the nursing LibGuide and provided a training session. Traveling to each location across the state allowed us to see the environments in which the nurses work and allowed us to begin building partnerships. After the site visits the Savitt Medical Library created a project portal and continuously updated it with input from the nurses. During our visits, we received many suggestions for additional links and categories. It provides “one-stop shopping” for their highly used information resources. Prior to our visits, each nurse relied on their individual set of bookmarks or searched Google to seek resources.

Screenshot of Welcome page to the Information Portal for Community and Behavioral Health Nurses of Rural Nevada

Community and Behavioral Health Nursing Project Portal Library Guide

In the 2018-2019 award year we focused on developing and creating new materials to provide a series of ten online training modules. We acquired continuing education (CE) certification for all three award years and will continue offering CE credit through April 2020. The modules are provided through the University’s course management system, Canvas. These topics were selected based on the initial phone interviews and surveys and then they were refined after meeting the nurses. The modules include:

  1. Health Information for non-English Speakers
  2. Infectious Disease Resources
  3. Google Searching
  4. Rural and Native American Resources
  5. Disaster Preparedness Resources
  6. PubMed and
  7. Mental Health Resources
  8. Environmental Health Resources
  9. Drug Information
  10. Wrap up and Miscellaneous Resources
Screenshot of Project Portal and the Online Training Modules of Information Portal for Community and Behavioral Health Nurses of Rural Nevada

Online Training Modules – Health Information Resources for non-English Speakers

The Savitt Medical Library will continue to promote the Project Portal and the Online Training Modules widely. The online training makes it possible for the nurses to access materials without having to travel. It was a challenge to make additional visits during the award period due to the nurses’ limited time and scheduling conflicts. We are making arrangements with the clinics to make another round of visits over the summer to continue building the relationships. Another barrier to note is that many of the clinics appear to be in transition, decreasing from the original 14 rural and frontier clinics to just nine. We suspect some of this is due to the recent retirements of several nurses and positions being left unfilled. Throughout the course of the award we received very positive comments from all the nurses we met. They seemed genuinely happy to have the support we offered and to “feel not quite so all alone.” They all expressed enthusiasm about the resources we covered, our portal page and sharing the resources with their colleagues. They also welcomed us back when scheduling allows.

This project was rewarding for the nurse participants and for the librarians. We saw first-hand the remote areas where they work and what resources they need. We are honored to have been the recipient of NNLM outreach funding for the last three years. This funding allowed us to reach health care providers in very underserved areas and provide services to this small but vital group of nurses providing care in the underserved areas of Nevada. We appreciate the funding and support we have received from the NNLM PSR and the great team of nurses we worked with!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

New NNLM PSR Education and Outreach Librarian: Zoe Pettway Unno!

Thu, 2019-05-30 18:46

Greetings! I am excited to have joined the NNLM PSR RML as an Education and Outreach Librarian. I look forward to working with network members and health professionals through training that promotes electronic access to health information from the NLM.

My library training and experience has included exposure to public, special, and academic libraries. I started my library career in the healthcare sector as a medical librarian and then the manager of Library Services and Physician Education at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center; followed by roles as Science Librarian at California State University, Fullerton, and Science and Engineering Librarian and Head, Science and Engineering Library, at USC. You’ll find more information about my background via my ORCID iD.

As an Education and Outreach Librarian my focus areas will include outreach to health professionals and research data management education. In addition, I will work with my PSR RML colleagues on other education areas, exhibits, and evaluation activities in the region.

I want to learn about your interests and encourage you to reach out to me with your emerging information needs. Feel free to send communications to my email address!

Smiling woman in front of animated library facade

Zoe Pettway Unno, Education and Outreach Librarian

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

EFTS Future Viability

Fri, 2019-05-24 19:18

In 1996, the National Library of Medicine and the University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn Health) worked together to create the Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) DOCLINE billing agent, which virtually eliminated the need to create invoices and write checks for reimbursement for interlibrary loans and document delivery between its more than 1,300 members. EFTS advantages include monthly detailed transaction-based reports, the ability to handle variable charges and the ability to handle non-DOCLINE transactions. EFTS has served the medical library community, providing support for interlibrary loan transactions that saved institutions the fees and time it would have taken to pay individual invoices. However, over the years the system has not been updated and fees have not increased. Without a financial infusion supporting migration of the system and a restructuring of fees, the system will not be sustainable.

EFTS requires a complete re-write of the code which is beginning to fail. In addition, UConn Health center is moving to Windows 10 on December 31, 2019, and EFTS code is too old to run on this system. Without changes to the current service fee model, EFTS will shut down. However, UConn Health is committed to keeping EFTS running, and has investigated the following options for continuing the service beyond December 31:

  • Assess a one-time fee of approximately $200 for each member of EFTS.
  • Create a fee based on usage by each library.
  • Assist in securing another vendor to supply EFTS support.
  • Eliminate the EFTS service.

Moving forward will require raising the service fee to cover the expense of continued support, which may be a burden for some institutions. However, EFTS saves process/billing time for DOCLINE users. You are encouraged to submit your thoughts on this matter and/or reach out with questions or concerns to Janice Swiatek, Director of UConn Library, Health Sciences, 866-561-5045. Due to the time-sensitivity of this issue, responses are requested by Friday, June 1st. Please include your LIBID for tracking purposes. Timing is critical as there is only six months to re-code EFTS before it becomes unsupportable.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Highlights of NLM Update @ MLA 2019

Fri, 2019-05-24 16:47

During the May 7 NLM Update at the Medical Library Association 2019 Annual Meeting, Janice Kelly, acting deputy associate director of NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) Division, reflected on the history of SIS from 1967 to 2019. From the 1960’s focus on environmental health and toxicology to the 1980’s HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials registry and AIDSInfo to, more recently, disaster health information resources, SIS has provided information on a variety of topics. In addition to honoring more than 50 years of groundbreaking work, Ms. Kelly’s historical perspective provided insight into the ways in which NLM has responded to the evolving health information needs within diverse communities. Going forward, some SIS resources will sunset, some will be integrated into other resources or platforms, and some will continue. Users should watch for update notices in the NLM Technical Bulletin, social media, and product homepages.

woman giving a presentation with a projected slide behind her

Janice Kelly recaps the history of Specialized Information Services Division.

NLM Deputy Director Jerry Sheehan described how an internal review of products and services guided NLM’s reorganization. As part of the strategic plan implementation, NLM assessed its offerings and its internal structure, looking for commonalities and redundancies. As a result, the Library has been, and will continue, consolidating resources with complementary content and realigning offices according to functions and staff expertise. NLM further aims to elevate the user experience through a common technical platform and the elimination of unnecessary organizational boundaries. Through its connections with the MLA community and reflections on the past, NLM looks forward to elevating its products and services to support the evolution of librarianship and the empowerment of communities.

Joyce Backus, associate director of Library Operations, described the evolution of PubMed Labs, which is expected to officially launch in September. New features include a redesigned advanced search page for desktop and mobile devices, an associated data facet on the search results page, share and cite buttons, and additional features to enable navigation across abstract pages. Current PubMed and PubMed Labs will run concurrently from September through December, and then current PubMed will be archived in January, 2020. As the Library’s online presence transforms, so, too, will the physical Library space. With more and more of its content reaching people online, NLM plans to reduce the footprint of public spaces and increase its flexible and collaborative workspaces during an expected three-year renovation in 2020-2022.

Amanda Wilson, familiar to many as the Head of the National Network Coordinating Office (NNCO), discussed the newly minted Office of Engagement and Training (OET), officially launching in June, 2019. A singular home for NLM’s outreach operation, the OET will include the NNCO and staff from other NLM units with significant outreach responsibilities. Ms. Wilson announced that current NNLM membership stands at 7,690, a 546 increase over 2018. There were 260 NNLM class offerings during the past year, with 20,000 training registrations. Looking toward the next five-year NNLM funding cycle in 2021-2026, an NNLM Request for Information (RFI) will be issued in June or July, followed by a 60-day response period. After analysis of RFI responses and planning for the next iteration of NNLM, a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is expected to be issued in the fall of 2020. Proposals will be due in late 2020 or early 2021.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Express Outreach Award Highlights: Show Low (AZ) Public Library Healthy Living Program!

Mon, 2019-05-13 19:32

by Lisa Lewis
Library Services Manager
Show Low Public Library
Show Low, AZ

Our library was pleased to receive a NNLM PSR Express Outreach Award to create a Healthy Living program. Our target audience was families with young children. Our community has many young families where both parents work outside the home, children are being raised in a single parent home, or children are being raised by grandparents. Our project was to provide resources, activities, and materials to help caregivers raise these children with a healthy lifestyle. We focused on three main areas; nutrition, exercise, and emotional well-being.

women and their children sitting on a mat

Show Low Library’s “Mommy & Me Fitness” program

Our library created programming that included Mommy & Me Fitness, Mommy & Me Music, and Mommy & Me Technology. All three of these programs targeted one of our focus areas. These classes were held weekly and each class provided NNLM resources to help these families understand the importance of healthy living. The library also formed a “Raising Healthy Kids Club” which is held monthly and was is held in a discussion format with ideas being shared by participants as well as resources being provided by guest presenters.

instructors in front of a class providing cooking demostration

Cooking demo at Show Low Library

We also created a “Healthy Living Section” in our library with a variety of different materials available for check-out, including cookbooks, exercise resources, DVD’s, and children’s materials. Along with these items, we also made available for check-out kitchen items for parents to try at home to help make cooking healthy meals easier, such as an air-fryer, instapot, spiralizer, yogurt maker, etc. As part of this Healthy Living Section, the library held cooking demonstrations with the theme being cooking healthy meals on a budget.

Our community was very excited about these new programs and section at the library! There has definitely been interest in living healthy and by providing programs that are geared towards living healthy, we have found increased participation and a lot of positive feedback. We have received many requests to host more cooking demonstrations as well as provide even more workshops on exercise and staying active.

The NNLM resources have been well received and we hope to expand on the benefits by promoting this valuable information to all library users!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Highlights of Funding Collaboration Between NNLM PSR and the Public Library Association on Project Outcome Activities

Mon, 2019-04-29 19:09

by Samantha Lopez
Program Officer
Public Library Association,
a division of the American Library Association
Chicago, IL

The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association, has added another collaborative project to its ongoing partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Through this partnership with NNLM, PLA has expanded its performance measurement toolkit, Project Outcome, with the addition of standardized health surveys designed to help public libraries measure the impact of their health programming and services. Funding for the creation of the new surveys was provided by three of NNLM’s eight regional medical libraries: MidContinental, Pacific Southwest, and South Central.

Project Outcome is a free online toolkit that helps public libraries measure the impact of their programs and services by providing standardized surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Measuring outcomes helps libraries demonstrate their effectiveness beyond attendance and door counts. By using standardized surveys, participants of Project Outcome can aggregate their outcomes data consistently across different programs, locations, and time, as well as compare their aggregate data at regional, state, and national levels. Since launching in 2015, Project Outcome has collected over 200,000 patron surveys from nearly 1,500 public libraries across the U.S. and Canada.

Icons representing early childhood literacy, digital learning, education/lifelong learning, health, job skills, economic development, civic/community enagement and summer reading

Project Outcome provides standardized outcome surveys in these eight library service areas. Photo Credit.

Project Outcome’s standardized surveys measure four key outcomes: knowledge, confidence, application and awareness. The new health surveys, developed by NNLM, will help public libraries better understand how their programs and services are helping patrons learn more about being healthy, feel confident about taking care of their or their family’s health, adopt or maintain a healthier lifestyle, and increase their awareness of health-related resources and services provided by the library.

Libraries have the option to select from two types of health surveys: immediate and follow-up. The immediate survey gauges patrons’ intent to change a behavior, while the follow-up survey captures whether patrons did change as a result of the library program or service. For instance, the immediate health survey asks patrons if they feel more confident taking care of their or their family’s health and the follow-up health survey asks patrons if they are better able to take care of their or their family’s health. The combination of these two surveys will help libraries demonstrate their impact on health services more effectively to their communities and beyond.

With funding support from the NNLM, Pacific Southwest Region, PLA was able to quickly integrate the health surveys into Project Outcome’s online toolkit, training resources, and data dashboards and reports. These tools help libraries get free access to standardized outcome measures and visualizations, helping them save time and resources in their data collection. In addition to the health surveys, libraries receive training and resource support to increase their understanding of the importance of providing community health programs and services.

The goal of this collaborative project between PLA and NNLM is that public libraries will use the new health surveys to measure their impact, make strategic decisions around programming to help create healthier communities, and better advocate for the public library as a trusted health information resource. To learn more about how PLA’s Project Outcome is helping turn better data into better libraries, please visit the website or contact us.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NNLM PSR Mini-Award Highlights: American University of Health Sciences Health Academy

Fri, 2019-04-26 18:38

by June Kim
American University of Health Sciences
Signal Hill, CA

As a result of receiving NNLM PSR Mini-Award funding, the American University of Health Sciences, in conjunction with the local non-profit organization 100 Black Men, presented a two-day intervention to underserved youth in the community on August 13-14, 2018. The sessions involved demonstrations on performing CPR & first aid procedures, making BMI calculations, as well as taking vital signs, measuring girth, and understanding nutrition. The library component of the project involved a research tutorial for MedlinePlus. The research tutorial included an activity for students to search for answers to specific questions, and a lesson on determining the credibility of information based on URL address endings and other various criteria.

Wallace Burney presenting project to audience

Winner of project contest Wallace Burney

The more mature participants demonstrated an existing understanding of keyword and database searching. Use of quotation marks to find exact phrases was the most interesting and well-received lesson for all participants. I was especially impressed with the ability and knowledge of Lance Robert Jr., a 2nd grade student who was able to narrow down a search list to eight results using the quotation mark method. They were also well aware of the prevalence of “fake news” on the internet, and the significance of URL addresses when exploring websites. For future information literacy lessons regarding websites, I would provide an activity in which they evaluate and determine whether a list of websites is fake or real.

a young man standing in front of his tabletop presentation

Runner-up Lance Robert Jr.

A major lesson learned from the project was to prepare for a variety of age and learning levels. While MedlinePlus was adequately challenging for elementary school participants, the few high school level participants required a more advanced tutorial, perhaps on PubMed and how to conduct a literature review. I also realized that requiring use of MedlinePlus for their project would have guaranteed their continued use of the resource. In future endeavors, I would make the assignment more research-intensive, and require a short written paper for their project, with at least two citations to MedlinePlus content. Further, I would encourage continued use of MedlinePlus (as opposed to Google) by finding and sharing an interesting article in the database on a topic chosen by the participants themselves.

This experience has given me an idea of the information literacy levels of varying age groups, and what types of activities and lessons are appropriate and engaging. It has also motivated me to continue improving my research instruction skills. It has reminded me of the importance of outreach and education for underrepresented youth, as well as the need for collaboration and support from organizations like NNLM to carry out these goals.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Chock-a-Block Full – Learning from the NYUHSL Research Data Management Team!

Thu, 2019-04-25 18:40

by Andrea Lynch, MLIS
Scholarly Communication Librarian
City of Hope Lee Graff Medical & Scientific Library
Duarte, CA

The announcement about the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Training Office Data Management Professional Development funding opportunity was in my email inbox. I wasn’t going to apply initially, but was reminded via email about this opportunity by Alan Carr, associate director of the NNLM PSR Network office, and thought I should apply. I reached out to Dr. Alisa Surkis and Kevin Read to see if a visit to New York University (NYU) was possible. Given the highlights at the 2018 NNLM Research Data Management (RDM) Course Capstone Summit of the New York University Langone Health’s Research Data Management Training for Information Professionals, I knew spending time with the dynamic duo would be impactful. Good news for me, I wasn’t alone since there were three other librarians who were already working on and planning with Alisa and Kevin for a research data management intensive couple of days in late March (Jennifer Chaput of University of Connecticut, Sheila Green of Texas A&M University, and Kathryn Anne Vela of Washington State University). And then, the NYU RDM gurus shared with the librarian group that a research reproducibility symposium at Columbia University was happening the Friday after our potential two-day NYU visit. I applied for the NNLM Training Office professional development opportunity and was lucky enough to be one of the awardees, leading to three full and wonderful days with the NYU Health Sciences Library RDM experts!

Alisa and Kevin planned two days of activities and meetings at NYU (March 27-28, 2019). The agenda was a well planned collection of experiences in order for us to be fully immersed in their environment and to get a sense of their RDM outreach, consultation, and educational program. Our first day set the tone for the visit. Jeff Williams, director of the NYU Health Sciences Library, provided the context and some history so that we could see how their RDM activities fit into the larger library and overall institutional efforts. Jumping right into the overview and history of how RDM started at the NYU Health Sciences Library, Alisa and Kevin, along with Fred LaPolla and Nicole Contaxis, shared their successes and lessons learned along their RDM journey. Next on the first day’s schedule was an overview of their data catalog project and how they are collaborating with eight other institutions to implement their open source system. The data visualization program was highlighted by Fred LaPolla, with more to come the second day seeing him in action. Then we were off to Kevin’s RDM class with NYU basic sciences graduate students. The class was a wonderful recap of the concepts presented during the NNLM RDM 101 course, and ended with an alien brain scan data scenario that got the students excited about winning a very special tool.

The second day began with Fred’s Microsoft Excel and data visualization class. I learned something new about Excel, Sparklines. Fred provided a great example of a clear and concise teaching approach with tips and tricks for thinking of Excel in a new way. We were then treated to lunch by Jeff Williams (Thank you, Jeff!). Next, we enjoyed a walking tour of NYC with a brief stop at the best little store with just about every hot sauce, spice, and tea option available! The last stop was at NYU’s main campus to hear highlights from two members of the NYU RDM team; Scott Collard and Vicky Steeves. Three things that stayed with me from that afternoon:

  1. They organize their classes along the research cycle. Great idea!
  2. Responsible conduct of research requirement is tied to the library.
  3. They hire graduate students to provide RDM assistance and teach classes.

The third day, March 29th, we attended the all-day A University Symposium: Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility, and Integrity in Research at Columbia University and co-sponsored by a number of institutions, including NYU. Attending this symposium was a perfect way to spend the third RDM learning day in NYC. Hearing the initiatives and efforts focused on research reproducibility and transparency-related tenure and promotion practices gave me additional reasons why libraries and librarians should be engaged in RDM initiatives. It is about education, advocacy, and collaboration. The symposium session that really got me going, and started off the day, was the keynote about implicit and perception bias by Dr. Brian Nosek, professor at the University of Virgina. Check out this one-hour video on the topic, presented by Dr. Nosek at the University of California, San Diego.

What hosts the NYU Health Sciences Library RDM team members are! The visit was the ideal mix of seriousness and fun, and broke down the barriers of starting and maintaining a RDM program. Below are just a few of the gold nuggets from my time with the NYUHSL RDM team. These tidbits are paraphrased and some are combined statements from multiple NYUHSL RDM team members; Alisa, Kevin, Fred, and Nicole.

  • Find the research data pain points and turn them into use cases in the educational and outreach threads of your RDM program.
  • Collaboration is key. RDM lynchpins and champions are critical.
  • The gems are the people who show up for classes and share their experiences and can connect you with others for assistance or additional learning.
  • It takes time and presence to build up these programs.
  • Do something…get started!
  • Get the word out…and be relentless.
  • Obtain stories about impact; then share those stories.
  • “You asked me to!” This is the reason people were contributing to our data catalog.
  • Start with what you have. Have PRISM or Excel? Start there. Offer a class!

I hope my next guest blog post on Latitudes will be an overview of our library’s initial educational and service RDM offerings, assessment of our inaugural RDM program, and next steps for future activities. It won’t be for a while, but it will happen…because I will do something with all I’ve learned and will get started with RDM at my library. Thanks again to NNLM NTO for this opportunity and to the awesome team at NYUHSL for sharing so much!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Citizen Science Day Megathon Promotes Alzheimer’s Disease Research!

Mon, 2019-04-22 15:33

To celebrate Citizen Science Day 2019, the Stall Catchers Megathon took place around the world on Saturday, April 13th. Citizen Science Day is an annual event to celebrate participation and engagement in real science by members of the general public. On April 13th, libraries in many parts of the country hosted the Megathon, a worldwide event for anyone to join in to analyze real research data in a game format. Local teams gathered in many locations, including public libraries, enabling this global project to have a small town feel while regular people did real science.

To build community engagement through citizen science projects in public libraries, NNLM PSR partnered with SciStarter, an online citizen science community, and Arizona State University, which had been working with public libraries in the Phoenix area on citizen science projects for over a year. The project focused on building relationships and capacity in public libraries across the country as community science centers, culminating in a common Citizen Science Day event. Citizen science projects can fall into many different scientific disciplines, including medical research. The Stall Catchers online game was created by the Human Computation Institute to support Alzheimer’s research being conducted at Cornell University; participants watch short video clips displaying blood flow in the research mice’s brains and determine if the blood is flowing or stalled.

Dan Stanton, Arizona State University librarian and Director of Library Programs at SciStarter:

I feel like I’ve been working on this since Citizen Science Day 2018! So for me, the amazing thing about Citizen Science Day 2019 was the progress made in getting the word out about the critical role libraries can play in Citizen Science. In the past year we’ve gone from localized displays and other programming, to a national campaign for libraries that included weekly open planning calls; quality promotional resources including bookmarks, posters, and a detailed Librarian’s Guide to Citizen Science; and a project focused on a topic that touches everyone, and includes cool science and a clear explanation of how participating contributes to ongoing scientific research. I want to thank NNLM PSR, and especially Kelli Ham, for being such important partners in the movement to connect Citizen Science and libraries!

The Los Angeles Public Library hosted multiple Megathon sites, and was declared the “winner” of the points challenge during the event. Here are some of the winning citizen scientists who participated at the Los Angeles Central Public Library composed of staff from NNLM, SciStarter, and LAPL, as well as other local citizen scientists:

participants of Citizen Science Day holding up laptops and mobile devices displaying the stall catchers app

Citizen Science Day participants at Los Angeles Public Library

The EyesOnAlz blog posted an early peak at the #Megathon research results. The post indicates that the research question addressed on Saturday was whether stalls occur more frequently in the brains of mice that have high blood pressure, and if that stalling can be reversed.

“Despite a slightly rocky road, we broke some serious records during the Megathon weekend! Never before have we done so much research in a single Stall Catchers event, and had so many people playing at the same time. We were featured on Science Friday, and Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio! Plus, we were thrilled to have Australia & Asia join us in a last minute self-organized pre-Megathon event, as well as a group of students from Dickson County High School who were keen to do their part on Monday, and help us finish up analysis of the Megathon dataset!!”

Darlene Cavalier, Founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU, added, “The collective accomplishments of Citizen Science Day would not have been possible without the support of NNLM PSR. The support enabled libraries and others to host community-centered events and promote ongoing citizen science programs in ways that transcend a single day.”

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NNLM New England Region Hosts the New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon & Workshop

Fri, 2019-04-19 17:11

On April 10th, the NNLM New England Region (NER) hosted the New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

RX A Graphic Memoir book cover

The day was filled with sessions for artists, educators, and librarians, discussing the joining of science and art in graphic medicine mediums to help promote NNLM’s mission:

“…to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.”

The conference kicked off with keynote speaker, and current NNLM Reading Club Kit author, Rachel Lindsay. Rachel presented Reclaiming Patient Narrative Through Graphic Medicine, and discussed her life story that led to the creation of RX: A Graphic Memoir. You can find out more about RX by applying for a reading club kit containing Rachel’s book.

One of the panelists, Maki Naro, is a self-proclaimed illustrator, science communicator, and nerd. Maki talked about Creating Science Comics: Communicating Big Ideas in Small Panels. In 2014, Maki’s comic Vaccines Work. Here are the Facts was published on his website. is a site that “looks at what is going down in the world, all in comics form.” Vaccines Work remains one of the site’s most relevant and popular posts as measles and whooping cough outbreaks continue around the nation.

Vaccines Work. Here are the Facts.

Gluten The Facts and The Fad

Cover of booklet from Vermont dairy farm seriesOther sessions included collection management, course and program design, and a case study of a cartooning project connecting migrant dairy workers in Vermont with cartoonists to document mental health issues associated with trauma and isolation, El Viaje Más Caro / The Most Costly Journey.

NER is leading the way in supporting graphic medicine as a means of communicating the NNLM mission. This conference was a great jumping off point. PSR members can apply now for several graphic medicine titles in our reading club kits, and watch out for more graphic medicine tie-ins in the near future!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Report on the 4th Annual “Data Day” at the University of Cincinnati

Wed, 2019-04-17 18:11

by Elena Azadbakht
Health Sciences Librarian
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries

In early 2018, I secured a spot in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s inaugural RDM 101: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians, conducted by the National Training Office (NTO). I learned quite a bit about research data management (RDM) during the eight-week online course. At the time, I was the Health and Nursing Librarian at the University of Southern Mississippi, and I wrote about my RDM 101 experience in a post on the Southern Chapter’s blog, Southern Salutations. I have since moved into my current position as the Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), but I remain intensely interested in developing a robust RDM program.

During the first week of April, I visited the University of Cincinnati (UC) for a few days, also courtesy of the NNLM NTO. I attended UC’s 4th annual Data Day and had the opportunity to learn about the University of Cincinnati Libraries’ data initiatives in the meantime. Amy Koshoffer, UC Science Informationist and a RDM 101 course mentor, graciously served as my host for the trip. Rebecca Morgan, librarian at the University of Louisville, also attended. It was nice to have a “buddy” who was there with similar aims.

Rebecca and I met with the Research and Data Services (RDS) team as well as liaisons and informationists at the UC Health Sciences Library. We also toured key library and campus spaces. All the while, we learned about how the RDS team does their work, such as taking a close look at their consultation form/log, and how their RDM program came about and has evolved. It was amazing hearing about these things from the people doing the work in the context in which it takes place (as opposed to reading about it in a formal publication or presentation.)

Data Day was a bit different than what I’d expected, but in a good way. Before studying the schedule, I had imagined it would be almost entirely hands-on skills development – the “how” of research data. And while the event featured a power session that introduced participants to the R programming language, most of the day’s sessions focused instead on the big picture of research data – the “why.” Drawing in over 100 attendees, Data Day serves as a community building venture for those interested in data and data issues at UC and within the region. This year’s theme was Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Data. Keynote speakers included Amanda J. Wilson, Head of the NLM’s National Network Coordinating Office, who presented on the All of Us Research Program, and Debra Guadalupe Duran, Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, who discussed big data’s impacts on health disparities.

I would ultimately like to host a similar, albeit smaller, event here at UNR. My co-workers and I are brainstorming ways we can support RDM and data science skills development on our campus. Amy and her colleagues emphasized educational activities as a starting point, e.g., tailored workshops based on the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum, and described how they came together to create a strategic plan and a set of goals for data at UC. Rebecca also noted how her library has established a similar sort of group. Since my return, we’ve made plans to establish a data working group within the UNR Libraries. We already have a LibGuide, a Canvas module available to all faculty and staff, and have led a few workshops on RDM. But we’ll use UC and others as a guide when developing our own goals in this area.

Not everything I encountered or heard about at UC is applicable or achievable at UNR – at least not immediately. But I feel a lot more confident that we’re on the right track with RDM and data science. Over time, some of the distinctive aspects of UC’s program will find their way into our work at UNR. Starting small and planning on a “slow burn” is perfectly okay! Moreover, visiting other campuses and their libraries is invigorating, as is meeting colleagues who are interested in the same topics and issues as you are. Apart from Rebecca, I also met librarians from Miami University (in Oxford, OH) and the University of Kentucky who attended Data Day. Now I have a handful of fellow librarians that I can easily reach out to when an interesting data-related idea springs to mind or when planning a data-related activity or event. Although I’m not adverse to cold calling other librarians who I’ve noted are doing interesting activities, it is great to have built a rapport with specific individuals within the NNLM and RDM communities! This was also one of the primary benefits of the RDM 101 course itself.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Reorganization for NLM Outreach Services!

Wed, 2019-04-10 19:34

Joyce Backus, NLM Associate Director for Library Operations, has announced that the National Network Coordinating Office (NNCO) will be renamed the Office of Engagement and Training (OET) and become NLM’s organizational home for outreach. This renamed office will be led by Amanda J. Wilson, who has served as the head of the NNCO since January 2017. Beginning in June 2019, OET will include the program and staff of the National Network Coordinating Office and additional staff with primary outreach responsibilities from the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) and other NLM organizations. SIS staff and any other NLM staff assigned to the OET will receive formal notices in May 2019 and reassigned in June 2019. OET will work with staff in NLM program areas, including the Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL), to improve coordination of outreach activities within NLM and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Establishment of OET follows the extensive work of the NLM Outreach Functional Audit team. The audit created an overview of all NLM outreach activities and demonstrated the extent to which outreach is an NLM-wide effort. The report recommended the creation of a central office to coordinate and lead NLM’s outreach activities, while recognizing that some outreach activities are closely tied to specific programs and services and should remain within their program units. NLM Leadership agreed with these recommendations, which support the NLM Strategic Plan. As the new outreach home, the NLM Office of Engagement and Training (OET) will provide for NLM and NNLM: 

  • A leader for outreach with budgetary authority for outreach activities
  • Consolidation of staff whose work is primarily outreach and who are now distributed
  • Authority to plan and coordinate outreach activities
  • Evaluation standards and guidelines for outreach and engagement assessment
  • Liaisons with key NLM units to coordinate closely-related activities
  • Shared resources, including a single Learning Management System, to increase efficiency and reduce duplication
  • Increased efficiency for acquisitions to reduce duplication
  • Leadership of a community of practice

Creating this home for outreach will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the activities, ease the burden on subject matter experts, and produce a more accountable and coherent approach to this vitally important function across NLM. The OET will have primary responsibility for developing trans-NLM outreach materials, as well as planning, coordinating, and evaluating outreach efforts across NLM. Communications strategies for outreach efforts will be developed by OCPL in collaboration with OET for consistency of messaging, branding, and promotion, including social media and the NNLM.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Santiago Canyon College Library Hosts NLM’s “Pick Your Poison” Traveling Exhibit

Wed, 2019-04-10 14:57

by Alice Ho
Santiago Canyon College Library
Orange, CA

After traveling across the country for three years, the NLM traveling exhibit Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures & Medical Prescriptions arrived in Southern California. From March 27 to May 3, students and library users will be able to enjoy this nicely done exhibit at the Santiago Canyon College library in the city of Orange.

Banners with individual topics on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and opium for the Pick Your Poison exhibit

NLM’s “Pick Your Poison” Traveling Exhibit

This exhibit explores the use of tobacco, alcohol, opium, cocaine and marijuana in the history of America. It demonstrates some of the factors that have shaped the changing definitions of some of these mind-altering drugs from medical miracle to social menace. The exhibit was developed by the National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, and was curated by Dr. Manon Parry, Professor of Medical History at the Vrje Universiteit, Amsterdan, and Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Public History at the University of Amsterdam.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

PubMed Labs Update: Add Citations to the Clipboard!

Tue, 2019-04-09 15:47

The Clipboard feature is now available in PubMed Labs, allowing users to temporarily save and collect selected citations from one or more searches. The National Library of Medicine is continuing to develop features on the PubMed Labs platform, and this new version of PubMed will eventually replace the current PubMed. Visit An Updated PubMed Is on Its Way for more information.

Add Items to the Clipboard in PubMed Labs
To add items to the Clipboard from search results, use the “More actions” icon at the top of the page and choose “Send to: Clipboard.” A drop-down menu of options will display where users may add selected items, all results on the page, or all results to the Clipboard (up to a maximum limit of 500 citations). Individual items can also be added to the Clipboard from the abstract page using the “More actions” icon.

screenshot of the adding items feature on the pubmed labs page

Send citations from search results to the Clipboard

View and Curate Items in the Clipboard
Navigate to the Clipboard by clicking the “Clipboard” link under the search box. This link will only appear after one or more items have been added to the Clipboard; the link is not present when the Clipboard is empty. On the Clipboard page, use the check boxes to select items to be saved, emailed, or removed from the Clipboard. The Clipboard can store up to a maximum of 500 citations at a time and will expire after eight hours of inactivity. Future updates will add the ability to permanently save items to My NCBI Collections. In the meantime, please use the save or email options to retain results from PubMed Labs.

PubMed Labs is under active development and new features will be introduced on a regular basis as the system is enhanced. Please note that the absence of a PubMed tool in PubMed Labs does not mean it is planned for elimination. NLM welcomes feedback. To submit comments, questions, or concerns, use the “Feedback” button available on each page of PubMed Labs.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NLM @ 2019 MLA Annual Meeting!

Fri, 2019-04-05 18:59

The Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA) will be held May 3-8 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Attend the following sessions to learn more about National Library of Medicine products and services, and also visit Booth 208 (May 4-6) to talk with NLM staff!

NLM Update
Tuesday, May 7 (11:00 – 11:55)
Location: Grand Ballroom CDEF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Speakers: Jerry Sheehan, Deputy Director; Janice Kelly, Acting Deputy Director, Specialized Information Services; Joyce Backus, Associate Director for Library Operations; Amanda J. Wilson, Head, National Network Coordinating Office

Other NLM Sessions

DOCLINE Users Group
Sunday, May 5 (Noon – 12:55)
Location: Randolph 1AB (East Tower, Concourse/Bronze Level)
PubMed Update
Sunday, May 5 (1:00 – 1:55)
Location: Randolph 1AB (East Tower, Concourse/Bronze Level)
Elevating Health Equity: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Join us as we #CiteNLM and help improve health articles on Wikipedia with trusted, evidenced-based information from NLM products.
Monday, May 6 (2:00 – 3:25)
Location: Grand Ballroom B (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

NLM Booth Schedule
The NLM booth (#208) will be open Saturday, 5-7:30pm, Sunday noon-5:30, and Monday 10-5. Rather than the previous emphasis on theater presentations, there will be experts on hand to answer questions, take feedback, and discuss the latest NLM news. This approach focuses directly on talking to the users, trainers, and promoters of NLM products. Online updates will still be presented through the NLM website, blogs and social media, webinars, and the NLM Technical Bulletin. A table is available with a list of NLM products, the times representatives will be at the NLM booth, and links to any recent news. Feel free to stop by the booth anytime with questions or feedback!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs