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The newsletter of NNLM Pacific Southwest Region
Updated: 4 hours 1 min ago

MEDLINE/PubMed Year-End Processing Activities for 2020 MeSH!

Wed, 2019-09-11 18:37

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.

Important Dates

  • 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.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Joyce Backus, NLM Associate Director for Library Operations, Announces Retirement!

Thu, 2019-09-05 16:11

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

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NLM Announces Future Plans of 2018-2019 Associate Fellows

Wed, 2019-08-21 18:27

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.

woman with arm crossed posing for the camera

Stacy Brody

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.

woman in a printed shirt with a dark business coat smiling at the camera

Sarah Clarke

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.

woman with eyeglasses wearing a burgundy blouse with a grey sweater

Amelia Llorens

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.

woman with shoulder length haircut wearing business attire smiling at camera

Cecelia Vetter

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.

blonde woman with eyeglasses wearing a white shirt smiling at the camera

Paije Wilson

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.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NIH All of Us Research Program Plans Genome Sequencing and Genetic Counseling for Participants

Wed, 2019-08-21 18:03

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.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NLM Mourns the loss of former Director Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D.

Tue, 2019-08-20 13:38

Donald Lindberg

Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D.

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; 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.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

New NNLM PSR Office Manager: Keisha Williams!

Mon, 2019-08-12 16:14

Hello Everyone! I’m Keisha Williams, the new Office Manager for the NNLM PSR. I’ll be coordinating the office workflow for the region.

Keisha Williams

My background is in the fast-paced travel healthcare industry where I worked in the housing capacity as a team lead and in credentialing as a specialist. In my housing role I oversaw the daily functions of the housing specialist team, ensuring that our travel healthcare professionals had housing established in various and often remote locations all over the country. We serviced all of their travel and housing needs so the only concern for the travelers was to pack a suitcase, travel and arrive at work without the daunting tasks of relocating. After working in housing for several years, I moved into the credentialing side of travel healthcare. I worked very closely with the travel healthcare professionals to ensure all the facility and state credential requirements were met prior to their start.

More recently I worked within the entertainment industry for a talent agency in the contract administration department. I performed client data management and contract administration ensuring that buyers were meeting their contractual obligations to the clients. Working in this capacity I participated in several volunteer outreach opportunities and realized I wanted to do work that was more in service to the public and meaningful to me personally, as healthcare education very much is.

I’m very excited for my new role as Office Manager with NNLM Pacific Southwest Region. As I am new to the UC system my main focuses are to master the various systems, learn the UCLA policies and procedures, support the training and outreach team, and take care of the office’s accounting and operational needs. Additional fun tidbits about me include a BA in Cinema and Television Arts. I love the art of storytelling, visually and written. I’m currently all in to The Handmaids Tale; that’s my must-watch TV! My creative outlet is writing. I’m a mom to two daughters whom I adore. I’m originally from San Diego so authentic Mexican food is my vice and fills my soul with comfort.

I look forward to working with you all and learning even more about the NNLM and how I can support the organization. Please feel free to reach out and give me a shout!

Ciao for now!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Highlights of One-Day Workshop: “Libraries as Partners in Health: an NNLM Seminar on Consumer Health”

Thu, 2019-07-25 15:51

NNLM PSR recently awarded professional development funds to six public librarians from the Pacific Southwest region to attend a special one-day event called Libraries are Partners in Health: an NNLM Consumer Health Seminar. The event took place on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Md. Attendees from PSR included Marta Brandes-Miesner (San Diego Public Library), Cathy Crosthwaite (Sacramento Public Library),  Guadalupe Gonzales (Anaheim Public Library), Jen Lemberger (Santa Barbara Public Library), Lisa Lewis (Show Low Public Library, Show Low, AZ), and Robin Salthouse (Southeast Regional Library, Gilbert, AZ).

The morning began with an overview of NNLM, its public library initiatives, NNLM’s partnership with the NIH All of Us Research Program and the NNLM Community Engagement Network. Attendees then met with their regional representatives for a group discussion; the PSR librarians learned more about NNLM resources and services, and each one shared details about their unique programs and their library’s approach to health information services. Just before lunch, attendees took a brief tour of the National Library of Medicine.

The afternoon provided an opportunity for attendees to help develop program-in-a-box outlines based on selected National Health Observances (NHOs). Librarians chose their topic of interest and participated in a fast-paced brainstorming activity; the program ideas that were generated will be developed into actual program kits for use by any interested library.

Nearly 50 librarians attended the event from around the country, and the feedback was very positive. The following recaps from three PSR librarians provide a glimpse of the overall experience and the value received.

Marta Brandes-Miesner from San Diego Public Library provided this summary:

As the Program Development Coordinator for the San Diego Public Library, I develop systemwide programming for a diverse population, of all ages and backgrounds. Having been in this position for only six months, I have mainly focused on existing tween, teen and some elementary level STEM and STEAM collaborations. The partnerships I have been nurturing are those that provide such programs as college Prep-Test courses, computer programming and teen entrepreneurship classes. Thus, when I was approached by NNLM and the All of Us Research Program, I was not quite sure how it tied in with my work. Although the demographic I work with fluctuates between youth and some adult interests, I felt somewhat hard pressed to see a way to combine my work with some of these other initiatives.

However, when I was given the opportunity to attend the Libraries as Partners in Health: an NNLM Seminar on Consumer Health, I welcomed the chance to make more connections. Trusting my instincts that there was much more to this than I was seeing, led me on a path to the NNLM Seminar. I am so glad I received NNLM PSR professional development funding to support my attendance at this opportunity! Between the exposure to possible funding opportunities and grants for libraries, opportunities for both children and adult programming and the vast scope of what is offered within the realm of health literacy, I now have a much better view of the possibilities. Healthy cooking, homeopathy, memory care and outreach, and health literacy for new parents are among the many ideas that I hadn’t thought about incorporating into the arena of health literacy. I have discovered that I may want to program differently for different branches depending upon the health needs of their communities, information that has already been gathered through other resources, i.e. illnesses, conditions or health needs being more prevalent in certain areas of the city. I also feel as though I was made more aware of the fact that NNLM is not expecting us to act as recruiters for the All of Us Research Program and that they are great supporters of literacy and of providing access to health literacy information.

Moving forward, I have a few ideas in mind that I would like to try to tackle. I would like to try to encourage managers who are interested but may be hesitant for various reasons (such as our laborious grant writing policies) to apply for small grants to get more resources for their underserved communities. Secondly, I would like to approach a few branches with large new parent populations to host one of the What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick Story Times. Finally, I would really like to try to start a systemwide citizen science program, where families can check out Citizen Science Kits. I have a few other ideas for this citizen science theme that could tie in with monthly programming and I feel that there are many ways that health literacy and the All of Us Research Program could be a part of this. I am excited to bring these to the table and move forward with these new ideas. I am truly enthusiastic and excited about where these new ideas might take us and about the exciting knowledge and resources that we can bring to our communities!

Lisa Lewis from Show Low Public Library shared these insights:

I was very excited to receive this invitation to attend the Libraries as Partners in Health: an NNLM Seminar on Consumer Health.  I am the library manager for Show Low Public Library in Show Low, AZ, but I am also the President of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries. I was looking forward to not only making connections and gaining inspiration for my public library, but also gain information that I could share with the over 1200 rural and small libraries across the country that are members of ARSL. I was not disappointed!

This seminar was full of wonderful, useful, and relevant information that I could take right back to my library and put into action. This is exactly why so many rural and small libraries love ARSL, because the ideas that are shared are extremely doable no matter how small of a library you have.

My brain was going 100 miles an hour as I tried to write down all of the wonderful programs that were being offered at libraries all over and new ideas that kept popping up in my mind as discussions were unfolding. Looking at health literacy in a whole new light and realizing the scope led me to see how libraries can contribute so much to the health and wellness of our communities.

I would love to see more extensive training on this. One day was not enough! I would love to be able to attend a 2- or 3-day workshop that would involve so much more. More networking, more program ideas, more resources, how to navigate the NNLM website which is overflowing with great resources, grant opportunities, presentations, sharing of successful programs, etc., etc., etc.

Thank you for this opportunity. I hope there will be more!!

Robin Salthouse from the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, Arizona offered these takeaways:

I left my day after the June NNLM Seminar on Consumer Health with a better understanding of the amazing resources we have available to us as public librarians. As an Adult Services Supervisor, I have worked with my staff to strengthen our health literacy skills over the last two years. Seeing the NIH Campus, and working with the Regional NNLM staff during the day brought into focus how this organization works to support and strengthen our understanding of the many services available to us. Our large suburban community in Gilbert, AZ, has a large population under 20 years old, but we still see many other visitors from a variety of cultures, and ages. We especially see a large upsurge in our over-55 population during the winter and into early spring as “snowbirds” enjoy our mild weather. Library staff need to know how to access reliable and valid health information both in and outside the library walls to meet the needs of a varied population.

Learning more about the All of Us Research Program strengthened my understanding of what NIH is trying to achieve by gathering biologic samples from underrepresented populations for biomedical research. The goal to engage with diverse communities, and examine environment and lifestyle to develop precision medicine and improve health literacy is important. I look forward to working with my staff, our community and NNLM to help get the word out about this vital project.

Meeting our counterparts during the regional breakout session was a great way to share ideas and understand the challenges facing our specific communities, and possibly applying their experiences to our own community. I heard how one library is using the NNLM Book Club discussions to make their community feel more comfortable asking for health resources. Our staff has selected a title from the NNLM Book Club, and plans to use the meeting as an opportunity to share the many .gov health resources. I also heard how NNLM funding has provided one of our Arizona rural libraries with the ability to loan cooking equipment like an air fryer so residents can prepare healthier meals.

The NLM tour provided some valuable information about the changes coming to the Exhibitions Connect program where NLM makes, free of charge, banner exhibitions that “explore the intersection of science, medicine, and history.” Our library has been fortunate to have three of these exhibitions in our library. We would like to continue bringing them in to educate our customers on a variety of topics. It is a great way to start a conversation about both library materials as well as online resources. I have already notified our administrator who coordinates hosting the exhibits, to join the Making Exhibition Connections listserv.

The final activity I participated in was designing a consumer health program for Healthy Aging Month. Our group, with several NNLM regional coordinators brainstormed ideas that would appeal to this demographic. Many of us felt that having one or a series of events that addressed end of life issues would serve our older adult customers. Our topics are not discussions that people typically enjoy discussing. Knowing how to arrange for long-term care, working with care providers, creating a Medical Power of Attorney or arranging burial arrangements are important. Having frank and unbiased support could prevent future devastating or costly problems.

We have found having a book display with passive activities engage our customers, and through the support of NNLM webinars and the National Health Observances, our staff has solid resources to provide library materials and resources that help start conversations about healthcare. Getting together with all the NNLM staff and seeing the NIH campus was invaluable to better understanding the government resources available to promote health literacy in our communities.

Nora Franco attended the event as well, and shared her perspective as the NNLM PSR Consumer Health Librarian:

I was very excited to participate in the Libraries as Partners in Health event and meet with librarians from across our region to discuss their engagement with the NNLM. The group shared their personal experiences and backgrounds, from holding a Master’s in Public Health, to serving as the President of the Association of Small and Rural Libraries, to advocating for their LatinX community. The intimate setting allowed each of us to learn about ways to incorporate health information into services and programs and how the PSR can support them.

The second half of the seminar found participants separated into new groups for a brainstorming session titled “Designing Your Consumer Health Programs with the NNLM.” The group I worked with focused on creating self-care kits, which brought up several questions and ideas for the table to consider. Group members proposed ideas for LGBTQIA+ teens and healthy relationships, older adults, and language resources for healthcare professionals about gender, pronouns, and LGBTQIA+ sexual health. Perhaps the most significant piece of this activity was the acknowledgment of how some of our privileges allow us to define self-care, such as being cis-gendered, being white, and living in a financially stable household. Considering how our communities survive in order to live safe and healthy lives is an important piece to providing access to health information, and I was glad we were able to start this conversation.

In summary, this event provided NNLM PSR a great opportunity to meet and connect with creative, dedicated librarians who are passionate about improving health literacy in their communities. For more information about this topic or any of our other programs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to supporting public libraries in our region with resources, training, and assistance for health-related programs.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

University of Arizona Health Sciences Library Hosts “Against All Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health” NLM Traveling Exhibit!

Tue, 2019-07-23 13:21

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

man standing in front of a row of exhibit banners

NLM’s traveling exhibition, Against All Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health on display at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library

The National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit, Against All Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health, is on display at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library in Tucson July 1 – August 10, 2019. The six-banner traveling exhibition features the work communities did to improve health at home and in other destinations around the world. The banners are photographic narratives representing the collaborations between families, scientists, health advocates, governments, and international organizations working to prevent disease and improve medical care. They show the collaborations that were formed to examine the relationship between inequity and illness, and they outline the work that enabled communities to actively participate in planning for a healthy future.

The exhibition showcases health education programs such as Oral Rehydration Therapy, which teaches mothers how to treat childhood diarrhea. Also shown is the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra or Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil, a program that empowers poor citizens to begin subsistence farming on land left idle by agricultural corporations. The exhibition also looks at historic public health campaigns that have changed today’s attitudes. For example, the role of the AIDS activist significantly raised awareness about health inequities associated with HIV and AIDS. This motivated public health stakeholders to identify problems that put some individuals at higher risk for the disease, and to work towards solutions for lifesaving policies and practices.

This exhibition is produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. You can visit the online exhibit to locate additional digital content.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

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