The Medical Library Association (MLA) has developed the specifications of a new Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS) platform. MLA will proceed with actual development and implementation if a minimum of 750 users sign up for the new platform by January 10, 2020. As of November 20, 2019, nearly 500 libraries have signed up to receive a user agreement.
EFTS is an online billing system for interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions that collects an ILL charge from a borrowing library, on behalf of the lending library, and pays it to the lender, less a transaction fee.
- Participating libraries are able to exchange funds for the payment of ILLs instead of creating their own invoices and writing checks to each other.
- EFTS only processes the financial component of ILL transactions between a borrower and a lender, using ILL transaction information provided to EFTS by the lender.
- The National Library of Medicine DOCLINE platform is the preferred service to match a lender with a borrower.
- The fulfillment of the ILL is managed outside of EFTS and DOCLINE by the lender.
EFTS has been operated by the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) since 1996, when UCHC and NLM collaborated to create it. In May, 2019, UCHC informed EFTS users that UCHC would cease EFTS operations on December 31, 2019, later extended to December 31, 2020. This announcement has understandably created major concerns for the many libraries that depend on the EFTS service. Since this announcement, MLA, UCHC, and NLM have collaborated on an MLA solution to launch a new and enhanced EFTS platform. UCHC has agreed to extend the current EFTS operations until MLA’s EFTS platform is operational to ensure a continuity of service.
For information on the new EFTS features, enhancements, and fees, and to request a user agreement, please consult the EFTS information page. MLA has also collected answers to questions current EFTS users and potential participants may have:
- MLA will send out the user agreement to the list of libraries who requested a user agreement, once it has been completed and vetted by several libraries.
- All libraries that want to use the new EFTS need to sign up, with one agreement per DOCLINE LIBID (Library Identification).
- There is no automatic sign up of libraries in a consortium (each library needs to sign up individually).
- If you replied to UHCH’s May 2019 survey regarding your willingness to kickstart a new EFTS platform, you still need to sign up.
- If you are a current user of EFTS, you will have the option to pay the new registration fee using your current EFTS funds and will have the option to have your funds transferred directly from the current EFTS to the new EFTS.
- If you are not a current user of EFTS, please join the new EFTS. MLA forecasts to have it active in April 2020.
For more information, contact Kevin Baliozian, MLA executive director.
An updated version of PubMed is now available! The new PubMed will become the default in spring 2020 and will ultimately replace the legacy version. You can also click on the new blue banner on the legacy PubMed home page to try the new PubMed. The new responsive layout offers better support for accessing PubMed content with the increasingly popular small-screen devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The interface is compatible with any screen size, which provides a fresh, consistent look and feel throughout the application, no matter how you access it. A single, responsive website means that the features you use on the desktop are also available on your mobile device, including library icons for libraries participating in the Library LinkOut using Outside Tool service. Find highly relevant articles more easily using the Best Match sort, now the default sort order in PubMed. Best Match uses a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm that is trained on aggregated user searches. The Best Match algorithm ranks search results according to several relevance signals. For more information about Best Match, visit the article, Best Match: New relevance search for PubMed.
The new PubMed includes the following features you rely on for searching, as well as saving and sharing your results.
- Access the same trusted database of more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature.
- Activate the default filters or customize the filter menu to meet your needs.
- Use the Results by Year graph to see trends in literature over time or to refine your search results by publication year.
- Save your search results to a file, email your results to yourself or a colleague, or send your results to a clipboard, collection, or your NCBI My Bibliography.
- Go to the advanced search page to search for terms in a specific field, see the search details, review your search history and combine searches to create complex search strings.
- Save your search and create an email alert.
NLM will continue adding features and improving the user experience, ensuring that PubMed remains a trusted and accessible source of biomedical literature today and in the future. For more details on the features in the new PubMed, watch the recorded webinar, “A New PubMed: Highlights for Information Professionals.”
Other articles of potential interest:
The New PubMed Updated: Homepage, User Guide, My NCBI Alerts and Collections, and More
PubMed Labs Update: Using Filters
PubMed Labs Update: Library LinkOut using Outside Tool
PubMed Labs Update: Add Citations to the Clipboard
PubMed Labs Update: Advanced Search, History, and Search Details
An Updated PubMed Is on Its Way
By Daina Dickman, MA, MLIS, AHIP
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Sacramento State University
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Open Access 2019 Conference: Open for Whom? Research Equity for Campus and Community, at San Jose State University, with the assistance of an NNLM PSR Professional Development Award. The conference theme focused on research equity, and I was able to hear many thoughtful presentations and speakers from California (and one presenter visiting from Texas). I presented my own paper on censorship concerns in medical library institutional repositories as part of a panel with Melissa Seelye of San Francisco State University, exploring the tensions between open access ideals and corporate interests. As a focused one-track conference, a common conversation was contributed to by all presenters and attendees.
For me, a highlight of the conference was hearing Alexa Hight, of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s presentation about the open access publishing fund her library administers. I am always interested in the creative and practical ways that libraries can promote open access publishing as a viable path for scholarship at their institutions.
As a new librarian to the Pacific Southwest Region, I appreciated the chance to meet and network with new local colleagues, including the health sciences librarian at San Jose State University. I highly recommend that health sciences librarians consider conferences that aren’t just focused on medical librarianship. I always come away with new ideas which I am excited to apply to my own work, and appreciate the opportunity to share the medical librarian perspective with colleagues from other areas of librarianship. Smaller regional conferences are also a great place to practice your presentation skills before the MLA Annual Meeting!
by Debbie Jan, MLIS, AHIP
Optometry and Health Sciences Librarian
Fong Optometry and Health Sciences Library
University of California, Berkeley
With the assistance of an NNLM PSR Professional Development Award, I was able to attend the 2019 Association of Vision Sciences Librarians (AVSL) Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the American Academy of Optometry (Academy) and 3rd World Congress of Optometry in Orlando, FL, on October 23-28, 2019. This year was a special meeting for AVSL as it is its 50th anniversary. AVSL is a Medical Library Association (MLA) Special Interest Group and Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Special Interest Group. Meeting twice a year with a mid-year meeting at MLA and an annual meeting at Academy, AVSL is an active, international group of vision science librarians. It provides many resources (e.g. Standards for Vision Science Libraries, Opening Day List, Whitelist for Vision Science Journals) for anyone interested or working in vision sciences. Membership is free.
At the AVSL meeting, I met with other vision science librarians and learned about recent federal vision funding activities, new eye and vision-related MeSH terms, what’s happening with the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group, and much more. During our Boards Review discussion, I shared information about the Berkeley Study Guide for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Exam. And from Rudy Barreras’ “Evidence Based Eye Care at WesternU” presentation, I noticed some techniques to incorporate into my evidence-based optometry instruction. At Western University of Health Sciences, Rudy and a faculty member created a spiral bound workbook, where students take notes and do all of their assignments. Students work individually and in groups during the course to learn how to Ask, Acquire, Appraise, and Apply evidence-based information. In my presentation, “UC and Transformative Publishing Models: A Journey,” I shared highlights of the University of California’s transition to transformative publishing agreements that incorporate open access with subscriptions.
One presentation I attended was “I Have What in My Eyes? Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the Eye.” STDs can manifest in one’s eyes without the patient ever knowing. It’s possible to have chlamydial conjunctivitis without simultaneously having genital chlamydia. And, of course, who knew there were 3 kinds of lice or that lice could live on your eyelashes? Another presentation was “Painless Shingles and the Zoster of Tomorrow,” where I found out herpes zoster ophthalmicus can present without any pain. From these University of California, Berkeley (UCB) presentations and others on diabetic retinopathy and restrictive strabismus, I gained insights into my faculty’s research and what publications are important to them. They use a wider range of journal publications than I had realized and I will keep these in mind if further journal reductions happen in the future. I also attended other non-UCB presentations such as “From the Smart Phone to the Smart Home: A Case Based Review of Low Vision Technology” where I discovered how smartphone features and apps (e.g. Siri, Aira, Color ID, BARD Mobile) and common existing technology (e.g. video door bells, smart light bulbs, smart refrigerators, talking scales) can be used to assist patients with low vision. This made me start thinking how I could best support our Low Vision Clinic. On my last day, I attended the Global Summit on Optometric Education where I sat at table with optometric educators from around the world to discuss how to support optometry as a profession, professional development for optometric educators, curriculum development across nations, and equipment needs.
In the Exhibit Hall I encountered many of our Optometry students and joined them in the Hoop It Up 20/20 Challenge, a virtual basketball competition between optometry schools. Alas, UCB only came in 3rd but the goal of having 2,020 games played was achieved and the Alcon Foundation donated $25,000 to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation.
The final highlight was when I attended a faculty presentation and my faculty member told me her presentation would not have been possible without my assistance in getting her the information she needed for the presentation!
On October 27, California Governor Gavin Newsome declared a statewide emergency due to the effects of unprecedented high-wind events which have resulted in fires and evacuations across the state. A PDF copy of the Governor’s proclamation is available. The following list of resources was compiled by the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC).
Key National Resources
- National Library of Medicine (NLM) Fires and Wildfires Information Guide
- NLM Coping with Disasters, Violence and Traumatic Events
- Disaster Distress Helpline (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Call 1-800-985-5990 toll-free, 24/7
- Text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor
- FEMA list of Declared Disasters
- Healthcare Ready
- American Red Cross Safe and Well
- Air Quality: AirNow from the Environmental Protection Agency (Search by Zip Code or State)
Key California Resources
- California Office of Emergency Services Wildfires Resource & Information
- State of California Power Outage and Fire Recovery Sources – includes information on shelters; health services; power shutoffs; transportation impacts, wildfire incidents; local and state resources
- City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department
Search NLM Disaster Lit database:
- General Wildfire search
- Power Outage and Infrastructure Failure search
On September 30, the National Library of Medicine re-launched Profiles in Science. The new platform, integrated with NLM Digital Collections, supports growing functionality for public access, engagement with, and sharing of these digital resources documenting the history of science, medicine, and public health in the 20th- and 21st-centuries. Profiles in Science is an online archive of more than 30,000 digitized items selected from the Archives and Modern Manuscripts collections of NLM’s History of Medicine Division and from the collections of collaborating institutions. The site features over 40 collections of digital content and continues to grow. Through primary source materials and accompanying biographical narrative texts researchers can explore stories of scientific discovery, achievements in clinical medicine, and advances in public health. Information about navigating the site is available on Profiles in Science collection homepages and on the About page.
Each name on the Profiles in Science home page links to a collection (or “Profile”) focused on an individual and selections from his or her personal papers. From the menu bar, “The Story” provides access to in-depth biographical narrative texts organized chronologically with an aim to share how the individual became interested in science, his or her career path, as well as challenges and obstacles faced along the way. The Michael E. DeBakey Profile, for example, tells the story of a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman whose work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. Readers learn about Debakey’s life growing up in Louisiana, his mentors, surgical colleagues, and the influence of his sisters Lois and Selma DeBakey. Alongside “The Story,” researchers can select “Collection Items” from the menu bar to browse the digitized collection items in list, gallery, or slideshow views. You can browse all items in a Profile, or sets of documents (texts), visuals, or moving images only. Within the DeBakey collection you can see a variety of document types, including photographic prints, correspondence, published and unpublished articles, oral histories, diaries, and much more. These items tell their own stories—of DeBakey’s early interests in and outside of science, collaborations across the country and around the world, and engagement with the general public on matters of public health and medicine.
Researchers can access, manipulate, and share Profiles content in new ways on the new site, including zooming in and out, rotating images, flipping through pages, searching the content of text, downloading, and accessing more information about the item (e.g. whether it is in the public domain). NLM is using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to share items in NLM’s systems and beyond. Other institutions and researchers using the same image framework can add Profiles images and metadata to their own digital collections and compare and manipulate images held in different repositories. Profiles in Science is a work in progress. New content will continue to be added, as well as new ways to make collection materials available and accessible for researchers with a broad range of questions, using new tools and approaches to historical analysis. Explore the new site and learn more!
In recognition of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (October 20-26, 2019), the National Library of Medicine announces This Lead Is Killing Us: A History of Citizens Fighting Lead Poisoning in Their Communities, an online exhibition that opened October 15. This Lead Is Killing Us tells an important story of citizen action taken against an environmental danger. Lead exposure can cause neurological problems and sometimes even death; yet this metal has been pervasive in many aspects of American life for over a century. Historically, mining, battery manufacturing, smelting, and enameling industries included lead in their production processes, impacting factory workers and consumers. Manufacturers added lead to household paints and gasoline, endangering the health of families and polluting the air through exhaust fumes. To protect themselves against the dangers of lead poisoning, scientists, families, and individuals opposed industries, housing authorities, and elected officials.
The online exhibition includes an education component featuring a new K-12 lesson plan that challenges students to examine historical cases of lead poisoning through primary and secondary sources. A digital gallery features a curated selection of fully digitized items from NLM Digital Collections that showcase numerous historical scientific studies and reports about the dangers of lead. A companion traveling banner exhibition is coming soon. For more information, join the Making Exhibition Connections listserv, a place to learn, share, and find out what’s happening and what’s new with NLM Traveling Exhibitions.
Did you know that rural healthcare providers can 3D print tools and materials they otherwise might never have access to? Did you know virtual reality headsets can guide patients through their treatments step-by-step?
We had the immense pleasure of visiting Joanne Muellenbach and her wonderful interdisciplinary team of librarians, student affairs specialists, and information technologists at Touro University Nevada in Henderson, NV. Joanne’s outreach subaward project, Using Virtual Reality & 3D Technologies to Expand the Health Professions Pipeline in Southern Nevada, will harness emerging technologies to increase learning outcomes for health sciences students and draw in new, diverse students to the health sciences field. “We want to increase and expand the health professions pipeline,” Joanne says.
During our visit, the team showed us the range of resources they have developed as part of this project, including a research guide on virtual reality technologies and the health sciences; a presentation for staff and faculty to promote use of library resources in their classrooms; and a compilation of NLM resources that encourage students to consider careers in health sciences, such as MedlinePlus’ Health Occupations page.
We especially love that Joanne has brought together an interdisciplinary team to work on this project, and to conduct outreach that meets students where they are.
With NNLM PSR subaward funding, as Joanne says, “The library gets more notice, which is always a good thing.” Congratulations to the Touro team for a great start to this project, and thank you for hosting!
A.T. Still Memorial Library hosts NLM’s “Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care” Traveling Exhibit!
by Adrienne Brodie, MLS
A. T. Still University Memorial Library
A.T. Still Memorial Library hosted the National Library of Medicine’s Traveling exhibit, Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care. On display were six freestanding panels that explore the profession from its early beginnings to the present day; documenting its diversity, collaborative nature, and contributions to the field of medicine and patient care. The library displayed the exhibit from late August through the end of National Physician Assistant (PA) week in October.
To celebrate PA week and our PA students and faculty, the library hosted a joint lecture and open house with our PA program. Dr. Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA Chair of Physician Assistant Studies presented on the journey of American Medicine and the forces that generated the PA profession, the growth of the PA profession since its inception, and where the profession may go in the future. An open house with light refreshments followed. Attendees were our PA students, PA faculty and staff, and additional A.T Still University faculty and staff.
This exhibition was produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Physician Assistant History Society.
by Liz Waltman; Outreach, Education, and Communications Coordinator, and
April Wright, All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator
NNLM Southeastern/Atlantic Region
Health Sciences and Human Services Library
University of Maryland, Baltimore
NNLM’s mission “to improve the public’s access to information to facilitate making informed decisions about their health” relies on building the skills of consumers and librarians in finding, reading, understanding, and using authoritative health information. Information literacy, and more precisely related to NNLM’s mission, health information literacy, is a practice. As with any skill, information literacy must be learned, practiced, refined, and used for school assignments, looking critically at the news, and evaluating websites. In this regard, Wikipedia edit-a-thons are excellent tools for teaching and learning information literacy skills since they require that participants assess existing information, decide where changes need to be made, and add citations to relevant and authoritative sources.
This fall, join NNLM in our ongoing #citeNLM campaign by hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at your organization. By hosting an event you will be joining a network of librarians, health professionals, and students from around the country working to improve the quality of mental health articles on Wikipedia using trusted National Library of Medicine resources. To get you started, we have created a Guide for Organizers that will walk you through the steps of hosting your own edit-a-thon session. In this toolkit you will find an overview of the #citeNLM project, a comprehensive planning checklist, sample marketing materials, and a guide to share with your participants. We also invite you to attend a training session on October 17, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn more information, and connect with the #citeNLM community.
No matter if you host your own event or join the virtual edit-a-thon on November 20, we look forward to working with you to improve mental health information on Wikipedia! Learn more about this project and follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #citeNLM to ask questions, post photos, and share your Wikipedia experience!
Several new features have been added to the new PubMed, including an updated homepage, an online user guide, the CSV file format, My NCBI Filters, My Bibliography and Collections, and search integration with the MeSH and NLM Catalog databases. The National Library of Medicine continues to develop features on the PubMed Labs platform, and this new version of PubMed will eventually replace the legacy PubMed. Visit An Updated PubMed Is on Its Way for more information.
- Homepage and User Guide: An updated homepage includes links to many popular sites including E-utilities, Advanced search, and the MeSH database. A link has also been added to the recently published FAQs and User Guide.
- CSV File Format: The save citation to file feature was updated to include a CSV format.
- My NCBI Features: My NCBI filters now display above the “Results by Year” timeline for signed in users that have activated filters. Collections and My Bibliography selections were added to the send to action menu. A “Create alert” link is also available after running a search to create My NCBI automatic email updates for saved searches.
- MeSH and NLM Catalog: Search integration has been added to the NLM Catalog for journal title abbreviations on the Abstract display format. Search integration has also been added to the MeSH database for MeSH terms, Publication Types, and other terms appearing on the Abstract display format.
When the new PubMed becomes the default site, searches built in the MeSH database will be routed to the new site. In the meantime, copy and paste your query from the MeSH database to try it in the new PubMed. For further details and illustrations, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) seeks new ideas to help improve access to health information and help inform the design of the NNLM request for applications for the 2021-2026 project period. The NNLM is managed by the National Library of Medicine. This Request for Information (RFI) offers health sciences and public libraries, health professionals, public health workers, community organizations, and the public the opportunity to provide information about how the NNLM can best provide U.S. health professionals with better access to biomedical information and improve the public’s access to trusted health information. A fact sheet summarizing the NNLM program is available. The submission deadline for submitting responses is December 2, 2019. Please limit comments to no more than three pages.
The NNLM comprises eight Regional Medical Libraries funded via five-year competitive cooperative agreements. The Regional Medical Libraries engage with 7,500+ members. Five national offices provide professional services to support the NNLM in achieving its national initiatives, as well as serve regional needs: the NNLM DOCLINE Coordination Office, the NNLM Web Services Office, the NNLM Training Office, the NNLM Evaluation Office, and the NNLM Public Health Coordination Office. The current structure has enabled the NNLM to launch several national initiatives, including a focus on data science and a series of new or enhanced partnerships with the NIH All of Us Research Program, the NLM HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Program (ACIOP), and public libraries and public library associations. From the first two partnerships, new NNLM centers have been created: the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Network, the All of Us Training & Education Center, and the NNLM ACIOP Coordinating Center.
NLM seeks input from current and potential user communities to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the NNLM, particularly on the following topics.
Priorities, Strategies, Partnerships
- Priorities NNLM should address. Consider themes related to the NLM Strategic Plan 2017-2027.
- Strategies to reach new and existing audiences more effectively, especially minority and underserved populations.
- Effective ways to partner with libraries, health organizations, and community organizations to reach health professionals, researchers, and the public.
- The top three health information outreach priorities for your organization in the next five years.
- Important new partnership opportunities for the NNLM.
Outreach Programs, Engagement, and Training
- New outreach roles and outreach opportunities and barriers for the NNLM.
- NNLM programs, activities, or other components that are of less significance and/or might be considered for elimination.
- Strategies to support staff at NNLM member organizations in their knowledge and ability to support NLM products and services.
- Types of NNLM engagement activities to promote NLM’s wide array of offerings to all audiences.
- Contribution of resource sharing to the NNLM’s mission to promote access to biomedical and or health information.
Membership, NNNLM Structure, Service Coordination
- Responsibilities and benefits of NNLM membership.
- Types of organizations that could be potential members for the NNLM.
- Structure of the NNLM steering committee, which currently consists of leaders of the Regional Medical Libraries, national offices, NNLM centers, and NLM.
- The geographical configuration of the NNLM. A tool and map are available to help you develop and submit suggestions.
- Services of the NNLM that could be coordinated nationally. Services that are best coordinated at a local or regional level.
All responses to this RFI must be submitted to NLMEPLM@mail.nlm.nih.gov by December 2.
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!
Catherine Nary is the new Medical Director at David Grant USAF Medical Center Learning Resource Center in Solano, CA. She replaces Regina Rowell, who retired in 2018.
Katherine Staab is the new Manager of Library Services at both Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center in Riverside, CA, and Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in Fontana, CA. She replaces Amy Li.
Robert Johnson is the new Health Sciences Librarian at Kaiser Permanente’s School of Medicine in Pasadena, CA, beginning July 29. He was formerly the Clinical and Research Librarian at the University of Southern California’s Norris Medical Library in Los Angeles.
Susan Atherton, Senior Regulatory Associate at Adventist Health Howard Memorial Library in Willit, CA, retired at the end of May, 2019. She is replaced by Erin Harmon.
Kathy Quinn, Library Director at the William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library in La Mesa, CA, will retire at the end of 2019, after 13 years of service.
Joanne Muellenbach has accepted the position of Library Director and Associate Professor for California Health Sciences University (CHSU), in Clovis, CA, effective September 30. She is resigning from her current position as Library Director and Associate Professor at Touro University Nevada in Henderson, on September 27.
Laura Brown, dedicated medical librarian for more than 35 years, passed away on Tuesday, August 27, from complications of multiple sclerosis. She most recently served as Clinical Librarian at City of Hope Medical Center, since 2011. Laura’s previous experience included working at Loma Linda University Medical Center from 1995 to 2010. She enjoyed Dodger baseball, musical theater, bridge, and progressive politics.
Annette Osenga, Director of Library Services at Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, CA, retired in June 2019.
Joyce Backus, NLM Associate Director for Library Operations, has announced her retirement on February 29, 2020, after 36 years of service in various positions at NLM.
On December 16, 2019, the National Library of Medicine’s TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) website will be retired. Most content will remain available through other NLM databases as well as from external websites. TOXNET has served as an integrated system of toxicology and environmental health information. The most frequently used databases are being incorporated into three NLM core resources: PubChem, an open chemistry database; PubMed, a resource for biomedical literature; and Bookshelf, a free online resource to access books and documents in life science and healthcare.
Several resources in TOXNET came from other organizations, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and will continue to be available from those sources. Some databases will be retired. The TOXNET transition page provides a list of its databases and how to access their content. Please check that page and the NLM Technical Bulletin for updates.
The National Library of Medicine has announced the special exhibit display, World Health Organization: Picturing Health for All, opening October 1. It will remain open through April 17, 2020, in the History of Medicine Division Reading Room, on the first floor of the National Library of Medicine, Building 38, on the Bethesda, Maryland campus of the National Institutes of Health.
World Health Organization: Picturing Health for All features a selection of images drawn from the NLM Prints & Photographs collection, which highlights some of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s work in the 20th century. Since the 1950s, the WHO has commissioned accomplished photojournalists to capture the transformative impact health can have on communities worldwide. In recognition of this visual medium’s unique power to inform and inspire, the special display shows how these images can communicate with the public about initiatives and developments in health care. The photographs provide an intimate look at health issues around the globe.
This special display coincides with a distinctive history of medicine lecture by Theodore Brown, PhD, entitled The World Health Organization’s Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978: What Was It Then, Where Is It Now. This lecture is in honor and memory of Elizabeth Fee, PhD., former chief of NLM’s History of Medicine Division and scholar of the history of the WHO. Professor Brown’s lecture will take place on Thursday, October 17, a year to the day of Dr. Fee’s passing, beginning at 11:00am PDT. This lecture will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting.
The National Library of Medicine is currently involved in MEDLINE year-end processing (YEP) activities. These include changing the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) main headings and subheadings as well as Supplementary Concept Records that standardize names and associated numbers for chemicals, protocols, diseases and organisms that are not main headings. The MeSH edits include maintaining existing MEDLINE citations to conform with the 2020 version of MeSH, and other global changes.
- December 4, 2019: NLM expects to temporarily suspend the addition of fully-indexed MEDLINE citations to PubMed. NLM will continue to add Publisher-supplied and in process citations.
- Mid-December 2019: PubMed MEDLINE citations, translation tables, and the MeSH database will have been updated to reflect 2020 MeSH.
For details about the impact on searching from December 4 to mid-December, visit: Annual MEDLINE/PubMed Year-End Processing (YEP): Impact on Searching During Fall 2019.
For background information on the general kinds of changes made annually, visit: Annual MEDLINE/PubMed Year-End Processing (YEP): Background Information.
After nearly 36 years of service at NLM, Joyce Backus will retire on February 29, 2020. She issued the following statement announcing the news:
I began my career at NLM as graduate student 36 years ago this October, and after careful consideration, I have decided to retire this February 29, 2020. During these many years, I have had the honor to serve with so many smart and engaged staff whose dedication inspires me to do my best work. NLM is an organization that knows its mission well and executes it for the benefit of people the world over. Working here for nearly 36 years means I’ve been privileged to work a group of professionals, some of whom have departed from NLM and some who remain, but all who have contributed to NLM’s legacy of nearly two centuries of high performing systems, processes and products. After so many years in public service, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life and having more time to embrace the joys and adventures of life with family and friends.
NLM has been a wonderful place for me to contribute to the foundational work we do to support the study, research and practice of medicine the world over. I was privileged to have been part of so many projects over the years from the first the first NLM web site, HyperDOC, the first Locator OPAC, Grateful Med, MedlinePlus, and more recently, building our literature collection through the journals of MEDLINE and PMC. I have witnessed NLM staff innovate our products using stakeholder feedback and new technology and ending products when needed, while staying true to our mission to deliver the best possible information. Our users trust us to do that every day and we deliver on that trust.
It was my honor to serve under long-time director Dr. Lindberg who brought NLM into this century, and now to be part of Dr. Patti Brennan’s leadership team. I have worked to sponsor changes that will enable each of you to continue the transformation of NLM. During my remaining time I’ll be focusing on some key goals that include finalizing the new Board of Regents Collections and Preservation Policy, completing the integration of SIS staff, programs and services, hiring staff in key LO positions, and completing the final plans for transforming the public and staff spaces of building 38. I will be working with Patti Brennan, Jerry Sheehan, and Dianne Babski to ensure a smooth leadership transition. NLM has a great team in place and I look forward to hearing about your future successes while I enjoy “Chapter 2.”
Associate Director for Library Operations
The National Library of Medicine has announced the future plans of its 2018-2019 class of Associate Fellows. The Associate Fellowship Program is a one-year postgraduate training program with an optional second year. This competitive program provides associates with a broad foundation in health sciences information services and prepares librarians for future leadership roles in health sciences libraries and health services research. This group of Associate Fellows recently ended the first year of their fellowship. Three will continue for second year fellowships at health sciences libraries in the United States: at Lane Medical Library, Stanford University; Strauss Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado, and at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan. Two of the Associate Fellows will take positions at libraries in the Washington DC area: one at the National Agricultural Library and one at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Stacy Brody will provide reference and website support for the Rural Information Center, Alternative Farming, and Natural Resources in the Information and Customer Service Branch at the National Agricultural Library. As a first-year NLM Associate Fellow, she developed planning and marketing materials for the biannual #citeNLM Wikipedia edit-a-thon, analyzed open science and data science policies, tracked policy and legislative news, and developed a scoping review protocol for mapping the uses of the Unified Medical Language System in research. She also worked on group projects examining computational reproducibility of NLM-funded research and executing a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to promote the visibility of women in library and information science.
Ms. Brody received her MI from Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information Science. She gained experience in academic libraries at the Rutgers University Libraries, providing information literacy instruction, research assistance, and pop-up reference services. She also worked at the Monmouth County Library, a public library system in her home state of New Jersey. She holds her BS in agriculture and plant science from Rutgers University, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Sarah Clarke will be employed as a Medical Librarian at the Darnall Medical Library at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where she will support evidence-based practice and research, provide reference and instruction, and assist in collection development and electronic access. As a first-year Associate Fellow, she evaluated bibliographic records in the Disaster Lit database using the MeSH on Demand tool to determine potential inclusion of controlled vocabulary as metadata to improve user discoverability of grey literature; interviewed organizational partners to determine data sharing barriers during infectious disease outbreaks and explored achievable goals librarians can implement to advance crisis response; and participated in the planning and post-assessment of the NLM workshop, Developing the Librarian Workforce for Data Science and Open Science.
Ms. Clarke received her MSLS degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She was previously employed as a librarian at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), where she provided reference support, performed literature searches, and delivered interlibrary loan requests. Prior to that, she worked at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Office of Research Protections where she worked on projects tracking human use protocols and managed the Volunteer Registry Database System. Ms. Clarke is a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals and has a Disaster Information Specialization through the Medical Library Association. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maryland University College.
Amelia Llorens will complete her second year of the NLM Associate Fellowship at Stanford’s Lane Medical Library working with the Research & Instruction team to provide research support through literature search services and instructional sessions. As a first-year Associate Fellow, she assessed the Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials for Librarians online training course, researched best practices to create an infographic helping MedlinePlus users evaluate online health information, and created visualizations of MEDLINE and PubMed Central application data. She also worked on a group project with other Associate Fellows examining author practices related to computational reproducibility and journal data and code sharing policies.
Ms. Llorens received her MSIS degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. While completing her degree, she worked as Serials Intern and later as Monographs Intern at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, where she selected collection items for preservation and assisted with technical services. She spent her final semester of her MSIS working at the Dell Medical School Library creating online instructional materials and teaching instructional sessions. She holds a BA in women’s and gender studies from Carleton College.
Cecelia Vetter will complete her second year of the NLM Associate Fellowship at the University of Colorado Strauss Health Sciences Library teaching information literacy, designing assessment materials, and assisting with a course in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. As a first-year Associate Fellow, she designed and co-taught a workshop to school nurses on PubMed literature searching, created visualizations of MEDLINE and PubMed Central application data, and updated exhibit websites for the History of Medicine Division. She also participated in the Associate Fellow group project examining the computational reproducibility of research funded by NLM Extramural Programs.
Ms. Vetter received her MLIS from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was a Research and Teaching Fellow studying pedagogy and providing information literacy instruction. While completing her degree, she worked at the UMD Special Collections and University Archives teaching primary source information literacy and held a summer internship at the Smithsonian Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. She holds a BA in art history and archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis.
Paije Wilson will complete her second year of the NLM Associate Fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Taubman Health Sciences Library, where she will conduct projects focusing on scientific communication and precision health. As a first-year Associate Fellow, she conducted research on the discoverability, accessibility, and availability of full clinical trial protocols; evaluated the discoverability of trials information on a subset of clinical trials data sharing platforms; and completed a project and presented a conference poster defining and describing data licensing policies, data sharing and use agreements, and other intellectual property frontiers in select NIH data repositories. She also participated in the Associate Fellow group project examining the computational reproducibility of research funded by NLM Extramural Programs.
Ms. Wilson received her MLIS from the University of Iowa. While completing her degree, she worked at the University of Iowa’s Special Collections Library and the Spirit Lake Public Library and was a mentee at the University of Iowa’s Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. She holds a BA in English and a minor in Biology from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.
The NIH All of Us Research Program has awarded $4.6 million in initial funding to Color, a health technology company in Burlingame, CA, to establish the program’s nationwide genetic counseling resource. With the goal of speeding up health research breakthroughs, All of Us plans to sequence the genomes of 1 million participants from diverse communities across the United States. Through this funding, Color’s network of genetic counselors will help participants understand what the genomic testing results mean for their health and their families. As one of the most ambitious research programs in history, the All of Us Research Program aims to create the largest and most diverse health research resource of its kind. Participants from all parts of the country share health information over time through surveys, electronic health records and more. Some participants also are invited to contribute blood and urine samples for analysis. Researchers will be able to use this data to learn more about how biology, behavior, and environment influence health and disease, which may lead to discoveries on how to further individualize health care in the future.
Over time, the program anticipates providing several kinds of information to participants, including: information on ancestry and traits, drug-gene interactions (pharmacogenomics) and genetic findings connected with high risk of certain diseases. Genomic results from All of Us, although produced at a high quality in specially certified labs, should be confirmed by a health care provider before a participant makes any changes to their care. The pharmacogenomic information may help participants work with their health care teams more effectively to make choices about certain prescription drugs. Genetic findings tied to 59 genes associated with risk of specific diseases, like breast cancer or heart disease, for which there are established medical guidelines for treatment or prevention will also be returned to participants. To ensure that the program uses the most current knowledge in the fast-moving field of clinical genetics, All of Us is following guidance from professional organizations such as the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium.
As health-related information is made available, all participants will have access to genetic counseling services from Color. A small percentage of people will have DNA results, such as a variation in the breast cancer gene BRCA1, that may be important for treatment or screening. This information can also be valuable to their immediate family members who may share the same genetic variant. For All of Us, that could amount to tens of thousands of participants out of its eventual 1 million. Color will deliver the results to these participants in genetic counseling sessions, highlighting any important findings they may want to discuss with a health care provider.
Color will offer educational materials and telecounseling in multiple languages, as well as access to in-house licensed clinical pharmacists who can help participants have more effective conversations with their health care providers. Genetic counselors will also be able to help connect participants to health care providers who can address their particular health risks. To help guide its genetic counseling services, Color’s steering committee is led by Amy Sturm, M.S., CGC, LGC, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. It also includes leadership of the American Board of Genetic Counseling. The steering committee will help ensure that Color delivers top-quality genetic counseling and serves as a platform for training future generations of genetic counselors. Color has built software and digital tools that remove traditional barriers to genetic counseling and clinical genetic testing. It has conducted more than 15,000 genetic counseling sessions to help people across the country understand their DNA information. For an overview of the outputs that Color will provide, watch this 90-second YouTube video featuring Eric Dishman, Director of the NIH All of Us Research Program.
It is with great sadness to share the news of the passing of Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., who served as the Director of the National Library of Medicine for more than 30 years. He was one of the longest-serving leaders at NIH and continued his service as Director Emeritus of NLM after his retirement in March 2015. Because of his pioneering work in applying computer technology to biomedical research and health information, he is considered by many to be the country’s senior statesman for computers and medicine. Dr. Lindberg died on August 16 following a fall; he was 86.
When he joined NLM as Director in 1984, Dr. Lindberg predicted that computers would become increasingly useful in biomedical research and patient care, medical informatics would emerge as a formal research field and academic discipline, and progress in cancer research and molecular biology would become a matter of immediate personal concern. A consummate planner, he took a long view by developing long-range plans for NLM that helped him deliver on his predictions. Under his leadership, NLM embraced the Internet, enabling the public, health providers, and scientists gain new or improved access to medical literature via PubMed and PubMed Central; clinical trials and their results via ClinicalTrials.gov; and consumer health information via MedlinePlus. He played an integral role in the establishment of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of NLM that provides access to biomedical and genomic information. He also served as the first director of the government-wide Office of High-Performance Computing and Communications.
Dr. Lindberg was incredibly well read, in medicine and beyond. A discussion about one of NLM’s many products and services would inevitably be informed by insight from the latest book he was reading about history, sailing, or the latest medical breakthrough. His thirst for knowledge made him ideally suited to lead the largest biomedical library in the world. Dr. Lindberg came to NLM after a distinguished career at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he was a pioneer in applying computer technology to health care. Trained as a pathologist, he reinvented himself to become a leader in the use of computers in medicine. He helped establish the American Medical Informatics Association and became its founding president. He made notable global contributions to information and computer science activities for information used in medical diagnosis, artificial intelligence, and educational programs. The Medical Library Association (MLA) awarded Dr. Lindberg Honorary Membership in 2013 and established the Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship in 2003. His MLA oral history was published in 2016.
Dr. Lindberg created programs that changed fundamentally the way biomedical information is collected, shared, and analyzed. He will be remembered for his outstanding leadership, his vision and passion for transforming access to medical information, and as a civil servant who was committed to excellence, transparency, integrity, and public trust.