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Updated: 5 hours 17 min ago

Graphic Medicine and Emergency Preparedness

Mon, 2020-09-21 13:54

 Zombie Pandemic, Coping After a Disaster, A Fire Story, Ready Freddie, Survivor Tales.

September is National Preparedness Month! How can graphic medicine help with emergency preparedness, response and recovery?

Graphic Medicine is comic books and graphic novels that cover topics of health and wellness.  The visual format makes the information easier to understand and digest.  By reading a personal, non-fiction story, we can learn about issues we may not have experienced ourselves.  These stories can also help us feel less alone in our own lives.

So how can graphic medicine help with emergency preparedness, response and recovery? Here are graphic medicine resources for getting started with graphic medicine and emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Mental Rehearsal-Comics about emergency preparedness, response and recovery can help people mentally practice what they would do in an emergency which can help overcome the initial feelings of being overwhelmed that can have people freezing.

Dealing with trauma-Seeing other people’s responses to emergency and disaster related trauma can help people feel less alone and build empathy.

Comics can help people understand social and political issues that affect personal and community emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Learn more about emergency preparedness, response and recovery with resources from

To learn more about Graphic Medicine visit the NLM’s website for the traveling exhibit Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived, Well-Drawn.  Or request information about the Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits (due to COVID, kits are not currently ciruclating), including the Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery kit that uses Drowned City by Don Brown.

The post Graphic Medicine and Emergency Preparedness first appeared on NER Update.

Categories: RML Blogs

Dr. Choo’s McGovern Lecture: Article Links

Mon, 2020-09-14 09:38

The Medical Library Association invited Esther Choo, MD, to give the McGovern Lecture in 2020. Dr. Choo is a Portland-area emergency room physician. After the Portland conference was postponed, Dr. Choo made the shift to the vConference with ease. If you have access, this lecture is well worth your time!

In 2017, Dr. Choo was featured in a column in The Oregonian, “Portland Doctor Esther Choo Responds to Racism in the Emergency Room”. Reporter Samantha Swindler tells us that Dr. Choo’s tweets about prejudice in the emergency room receive thousands of retweets.

“Choo’s posts about being refused by patients resonated with physicians of color who shared their own experiences with her in public and private messages.”

Healthcare Inequities Exacerbated by COVID-19

For the McGovern Lecture, Dr. Choo lay open the racial disparities in exposure, treatment and clinical outcomes for COVID-19. Her excellent lecture included references to these articles. A huge shout-out to Maggie Ansell, Nursing and Consumer Health Liaison Librarian at the University of Florida, Gainesville  (@meansell) for live tweeting the links.

Dr. Choo urged us to move beyond research that, as a mentor said to her, “admires the problem.” We need to move toward action if we hope to take corrective measures in disease prevention and management.


Categories: RML Blogs

Project Showcase: Educating Healthcare Professionals and the Sighted Community on the Health Disparities

Tue, 2020-09-08 13:59

Caregivers and researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at UMass Memorial Health Care and the University of Massachusetts Medical School are dedicated to preserving and improving the vision of our community members. They’ve had years of training, they’re experts in their field, and they know a great deal about the structure and functions of the eyes. But what they may not understand first-hand, is what it’s like to be a visually impaired person in society.

“We care for visually impaired people in our clinics and work to develop treatments in our labs each and every day,” said Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, MHCM, Chair of the department. “But most of us don’t know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a patient who is blind or has restricted sight. This event allowed us to do just that; and it was very eye opening.”

Educating Healthcare Professionals and the Sighted Community of Worcester County on the Health Disparities

Partnering with VISIONS Consulting L3C, the eye team participated in a “Blind Date” . Each team member was partnered with a sighted guide, blindfolded and given a white cane. They then walked through a simulated trip to the UMass Memorial Eye Center, following every step of a visit from registering and signing paperwork, to undergoing an eye exam and surgical procedure, and finally taking a walk around the beautiful gardens, which they were taught to appreciate differently by accessing their other senses of touch, smell and hearing.

Participants were observed during their visits and received feedback at the end of the simulation that detailed their behaviors: “She had difficulty signing her form.” “She awkwardly found and sat in her chair.” “He hesitated to walk through the doorway without his guide.” Caregivers shared how difficult it can be to depend on someone else to guide them, and how disconnected some felt without the use of their eyes to inform them.

“I think a experience like this makes us all more compassionate and better caregivers,” noted Dr. Schaal. “It’s easy to get caught up in our busy days and rush. But a simulation like this teaches us to slow down and consider how our patients are feeling and what hurdles they may be experiencing during a visit. Taking the time to be sure they’re comfortable, that we’re not moving along too quickly – these are important mental notes we have to make to ensure we’re delivering the best possible care and a positive patient experience.”

Categories: RML Blogs

International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month

Fri, 2020-09-04 11:44




Structure and community connection are two key elements that most individuals challenged with substance use disorder rely on to maintain their recovery. COVID-19 and the physical distancing and quarantine measures required to prevent the virus from spreading, has contributed to a spike in the number of overdoses from opioids during the last 6 months.

Recent data from around the U.S. confirms that drug overdoses are rising by roughly 18% during the coronavirus pandemic. ODMAP – the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program (, located at the University of Baltimore, is also reporting a significant spike in the number of fatal overdoses.  The ODMAP tool provides near real-time suspected overdose surveillance data across jurisdictions to support public safety and public health efforts to mobilize an immediate response to a sudden increase, or spike in overdose events. ODAP compared reported overdoses, both fatal and nonfatal in the weeks right before quarantine measures were implemented and in the weeks after. More than 60% of counties participating in the information-gathering project reported increases in drug overdoses.

There is also another factor besides COVID-19 contributing to the increase in overdoses, street drugs are even more dangerous now because more dealers are lacing their drugs with the synthetic opioid, fentanyl.

“The nation needs to confront the fact that the nation’s drug overdose epidemic is now being driven predominantly by highly potent illicit fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, although mortality involving prescription opioids remains a top concern,” said AMA Opioid Task Force Chair Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., who also is the AMA’s immediate past president. “If it weren’t for naloxone, there likely would be tens of thousands additional deaths. It is past time for policymakers, health insurers, pharmacy chains and pharmacy benefit managers to remove barriers to evidence-based care for patients with pain and those with a substance use disorder.”

August 31st was International Overdose Awareness Day — IOAD. This global campaign began in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Last year 874 events took place in 39 countries. This year was the 20th anniversary year. IOAD aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. It is also an opportunity to stimulate discussion around evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy. IOAD acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends whose loved ones have died or suffered permanent injury from a drug overdose. It spreads the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death and that drug overdose is preventable.

The goals of International Overdose Awareness Day are:

  • To provide an opportunity for people to publicly mourn loved ones in a safe environment, some for the first time without feeling guilt or shame
  • To include the greatest number of people in International Overdose Awareness Day events, and encourage non-denominational involvement
  • To give community members information about the issue of fatal and non-fatal overdose
  • To send a strong message to current and former people who use drugs that they are valued
  • To stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy
  • To provide basic information on the range of support services that are available
  • To inform people around the world about the risk for overdose

Even though we are in difficult and uncertain times, there is good news. Many people do recover from substance disorder.  The American Medical Association’s Opioid Task Force report released in July of 2020 did contain information about positive changes in the prescribing of opioids and in the care those with substance use disorder are receiving.  The following are some key points from the report.

  • Opioid prescribing decreases for a sixth year in a row. Between 2013 and 2019, the number of opioid prescriptions decreased by more than 90 million—a 37.1 percent decrease nationally.1
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) registrations and use continue to increase. In 2019, health care professionals nationwide accessed state PDMPs more than 739 million times—a 64.4 percent increase from 2018 and more than an 1,100 percent increase from 2014. More than 1.8 million physicians and other health care professionals are registered to use state PDMPs.2
  • More physicians are certified to treat opioid use disorder. More than 85,000 physicians(as well as a growing number of nurse practitioners and physician assistants) now are certified to treat patients in-office with buprenorphine—an increase of more than 50,000 from 2017.3
  • Access to naloxone increasing. More than 1 million naloxone prescriptionswere dispensed in 2019—nearly double the amount in 2018, and a 649 percent increase from 2017.4

September has been recognized as National Recovery Month every year for past 31 years, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and other organizations involved with the prevention and treatment of substance use disorder take part in celebrating the gains made by those living in recovery through the national observance of National Recovery Month. Educating Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorder to live healthy and rewarding lives.  SAMHSA has a series of webinars related to recovery that you can attend throughout the month of September. For more information see the SAMHSA recovery month webpage

The following websites, articles and resources are related to substance use disorder and may be of interest:

  • NLM’s Environmental Health & Toxicology website –
  • Support After Death by Overdose (SADOD) provides resources, information, and assistance to people throughout Massachusetts who have been affected by the death of someone they care about from a substance-use-related cause. Our focus is on increasing the capacity and effectiveness of peer grief support for bereaved people, frontline care providers, and people in recovery or struggling with drug use.
  • Strategies and Resources to Maintain Sobriety During COVID-19, Network of the National Library of Medicine hour-long webinar presented in April 2020.Webinar recording link, presentation materials and resource list
  • Donated Mobile RV to Offer Care and Outreach to High-Risk Populations – University of Massachusetts Medical School & Massachusetts Department of Public Health


Categories: RML Blogs

Request for Proposals (RFPs) Re-Opened

Mon, 2020-08-31 07:35

hand holding coinsThe NNLM NER is delighted to announce that Request for Proposals (RFPs) for funding in 2020-2021 has been re-posted and we are accepting applications. Awarded projects will start on November 1, 2020 and run through April 30, 2021.

Please review the information found on our Funding Opportunities page ( You will find the specific RFPs under each award type. Applications will be due September 30th, 2020. Applications must be submitted through the online application system. Notifications of awards will be on or before October 14, 2020.

Let us know if you have any concerns about the award categories, your application, the submission process, or the deadline. We are happy to review any drafts or answer questions related to your project or applications.

Thank you, and we look forward to your projects!

Categories: RML Blogs

Request for Information (RFI): Information and Data Resources Needed by the Health Services Research Community for Research and Practice

Tue, 2020-08-25 07:41

Request for Information (RFI): Information and Data Resources Needed by the Health Services Research Community for Research and Practice

Notice Number: NOT-LM-20-017

Key Dates

Release Date:   August 24, 2020

Response Date:   November 06, 2020

Related Announcements: None

Issued by: National Library of Medicine (NLM)


This Request for Information is to solicit public input on future resource and program directions for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) support of information related to health services research, practice guidelines and health technology, including technology assessment.


NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library, established to “assist with the advancement of medical and related sciences and to aid in the dissemination and exchange of scientific and other information important to the progress of medicine and the public health.”

Since the early 1990s and the establishment of the National Information Center for Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR), NLM has taken steps to ensure that its general activities and its core collections of journals, journal articles, books and manuscripts reflect the current state of health services research (HSR), including practice guidelines and health technology and technology assessment. Additionally, NLM has developed specialized products targeted toward the HSR community. These resources were designed to address challenges in accessing certain information understood to be needed by the health services research community: the academicians, clinicians and other health professionals engaged in conducting, disseminating, or implementing health services research, including the public health workforce.

Information Requested

NLM seeks input from all participants and disciplines of the health services research community, regardless of previous engagement with our products.

We invite your comments in the following areas:

  1. Products that NLM currently offers in the areas of health services delivery or health services research.
  2. Information types necessary for your organization to successfully support health services research or public health.
  3. Tools, resources, or health services literature that are the most critical for NLM to collect or support.
  4. Any other comments that would enable NLM to support future work related to the delivery of health services, or health services research.

How to Submit a Response

To respond to this RFI, please go to the submission survey. To ensure consideration, responses must be submitted by November 6, 2020. We do not require you to provide your name with the response. Responses are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously.

This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health, or individual NIH Institutes or Centers. The NIH does not intend to make any type of award based on responses to this RFI or to pay for either the preparation of information submitted or the Government’s use of such information.

NLM will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder’s submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in future funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed and may be shared publicly or appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).


Please direct all inquiries to:

Doug Joubert

National Library of Medicine


Categories: RML Blogs

Spotlight on the ACRL New England Research Data Special Interest Group

Thu, 2020-08-20 13:16

NER staff recently spoke to Patti Condon from the University of New Hampshire, and Melanie Radik from UMass Amherst, the co-chairs of the ACRLNE RDSIG. Those are a lot of letters, which stand for Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) New England Chapter  – Research Data Special Interest Group. The group has recently reorganized their leadership, so we thought this would be a good time to let the group introduce themselves and how they support research data services in New England. Our interview is below.

What is the RDSIG and when was it founded?  

The Research Data Services Interest Group (RDSIG) became part of ACRL-NEC in 2018. RDSIG supports communities of library professionals with research data responsibilities (Community of Practice) and library professionals with an interest in research data (Community of Interest). We strive to accomplish this by hosting low-cost/no-cost events that cater to discussion with peers about current topics, trends, and issues, and that deliver education and training on a variety of topics, including good data management practices, current funding agency and publisher standards, and tools to streamline data manipulation or analysis. We support our communities by being responsive to the evolving needs of data professionals and endeavor to work collaboratively with other ACRL-NEC SIGs and regional partners towards shared goals and initiatives.

RDSIG began life as the New England Research Data Management Event & Roundtable, known colloquially as “the Roundtables.” In 2015, Carolyn Mills (University of Connecticut), Thea Atwood (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Tom Hohenstein (currently of U.S. Army Cyber Command), Donna Kafel (currently of Northborough Free Library), and Sally Wyman (Boston College) organized the first roundtable event, which was a morning tour of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center and afternoon roundtable discussions. With support from the Network of the National Library of Medicine, New England Region (NNLM/NER) eScience Program, the Roundtables continued to provide low-cost/no-cost events for data professionals in the region. In 2018, the planning group successfully petitioned to become an ACRL-NEC special interest group. Since 2015 there have been twelve roundtable events.

At the heart of this group is dedication to low-cost/no-cost professional development and networking opportunities. RDSIG is founded on the ground rules of the Roundtables:

  1.     Expect to both give and get information – contribute in both ways
  2.     Allow all to talk; do not dominate the conversation
  3.     Bring materials that you are willing to share, related to the topics
  4.     Ask permission to use materials provided at the event by others
  5.     Keep sensitive information divulged at the event confidential

To learn more about the Roundtables, read Grassroots Professional Development via the New England Research Data Management Roundtables.

Who runs the SIG? How can others get involved?  

Longevity and sustainability of RDSIG depends on the involvement of the community. Volunteering for a leadership role is a great service opportunity and a great way to get involved with ACRL-NEC. If you are interested in becoming more involved with RDSIG or volunteering to host or help plan an event, please reach out to the co-chairs.

RDSIG current leadership includes:

  •         Co-chair: Patti Condon (University of New Hampshire)
  •         Co-chair: Melanie Radik (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
  •         Communications: James Burke (Mount Holyoke College)
  •         Secretary: Jennifer Chaput (University of Connecticut)

Vacant leadership positions are filled by invitation of the other members of the leadership team, though announcements of open positions and calls for interested volunteers are sent to relevant listservs such as datalibs and the ACRL-NEC list.

What does the SIG do?

RDSIG is best known for the Roundtables. We pair a professional development event – such as a panel discussion, presentation/talk, training in tools or instruction, or tour of a regional facility – with roundtable discussions that all participants take part in. The atmosphere is casual and networking/peer-to-peer learning is encouraged!

At the end of each event we have participants fill out evaluation forms, in which we ask for topics of interest for future events. The planning group reviews those topics and selects one or two as the topic of the next event. Some of our most recent events have been about research data in institutional repositories, data ethics, and data visualization.

While we will be hosting the Roundtables online for now, we are always looking for places to hold the events and help with local arrangements. In-person events are usually capped at about 30-40 participants and we like to highlight expertise or facilities at our host’s institution, if possible.

How is the SIG connected to ACRL NE?

RDSIG is one of the 9 special interest groups that are supported by ACRL-NEC. The SIGs carry our specialized programming to accommodate the numerous professional areas of librarianship and help support the mission of ACRL-NEC.

In turn, the activities of the SIG are supported with funding, access to an executive board that is invested in our success, and assistance with promotion of events and SIG membership.

If the SIG could do anything, what would it be?

In July, RDSIG just wrapped up our first collaborative Roundtable with the Scholarly Communication Interest Group (SCIG) – which was also our first online event – and it was a great success. We would like to collaborate more with SCIG as well as other ACRL-NEC SIGs and regional partners to highlight common goals and areas of interest. Also, we have been effective at building our Community of Practice and would love to begin building our Community of Interest – and collaborating is a great way to do this.

The current shift to online events presents challenges for fostering the networking that is a key part of the roundtable, but also presents opportunities for colleagues who might otherwise have been unable to travel to participate.

We want to build our community, and our connections to each other, to a place where when a data professional encounters a dilemma they don’t know how to solve on their own, they know who to contact or where to turn for advice.  To do this, we try to involve all members of our communities – both the Community of Practice and the Community of Interest – and bring them together with relevant and informative programming and opportunities to learn about each other’s roles and strengths.

Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM’s Public Health Webinar Series: September Preview

Tue, 2020-08-18 15:40

45 pm (ET)"

Public health professionals mark your calendar for the second Wednesday of every other month from 2:00-2:45 PM ET (September, November, January, etc.). We hope you’ll join us to learn about topics such as data in community health assessment and finding emergency preparedness health information and more.

Every webinar in this series will offer .75 CECH for Certified Health Education Specialists!

This webinar series aims to fulfill NNLM’s mission through regular training on a range of health information topics relevant to the public health workforce.  This series will also address the 2014 Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals related to the need for a public health workforce that is competent in locating health information and using data resources.

Recap from July:

Introduction to Community Needs Assessment: Finding the Data, on July 8, with Dr. Robert Martiniano covered health information and data related to community health assessment, reasons for conducting a community health assessment, stakeholders, identifying data, locating primary and secondary sources, how to define a target community, and prioritizing and contextualizing your findings.

Learn more by watching the webinar recording and checking out these resources:

Coming up in September:

NER is happy to support the NNLM’s new Public Health Webinar series by hosting Grey Literature Resources to Support Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery on September 9 from 2-2:45 pm (ET).

September is National Preparedness Month. Join us to learn about Grey Literature and how it can be helpful during evolving situations.

What is Grey Literature? How do you find it? And how can it help during emergency preparedness, response and recovery? This session will introduce participants to the concept of Grey Literature, its uses and resources for finding it. This session will also include a live demonstration of one resource for finding Grey Literature related to emergency preparedness, response and recovery.


  • Define grey literature and list three examples.
  • List an example of a non-traditional source for grey literature.
  • Identify resources to search for grey literature.
  • Describe how grey literature can help during emergency preparedness, response and recovery phases.
Categories: RML Blogs

Seeking Input: RFI Strategic Opportunities and Challenges for the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Tue, 2020-08-18 10:57

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) invites you to help guide the continuing implementation of our strategic plan through 2027 by responding to our Request for Information, and encouraging others to respond as well.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and leads, conducts, and supports research and research training in biomedical information science, informatics, and data science.  NLM is also the world’s largest biomedical library, advancing open science and scholarship by making biomedical information more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable and helping create a more diverse and data-skilled workforce. Our work enables researchers, clinicians, and the public to translate a vast wealth of biomedical information into better health.

In the years since NLM’s current strategic plan was released, there have been dozens of initiatives, projects, and other NLM activities in pursuit of its goals. To assure that implementation of the Plan remains current, NLM seeks comment on major opportunities or challenges relevant to the NLM mission that have arisen or become significantly more important in the last five years through responses to a recently issued Request for Information.

We hope you will take the time to share your perspectives of recent opportunities and challenges as they relate to the role of NLM.

The RFI can be found at this link ( Responses must be received by October 19, 2020.

Categories: RML Blogs

RDM Snippets – Stable File Formats

Tue, 2020-08-11 10:52

In this installment of RDM Snippets, let’s look at stable file formats. These formats will ensure that your data is (hopefully) preserved as long as possible, and your files are open and accessible to people with various types of software and operating systems. Once you’re done working on your project and preparing your data for long-term storage, you’ll want to convert your files to one of these formats for future accessibility.

Technology changes quickly, and while some programs such as Word or Excel are currently standard, it’s possible they will someday be replaced with another program. Many people also use open-source programs such as LibreOffice or Google, so saving your work in a format that can be used with multiple programs is a great idea.

Most software, and many lab instruments, have their own proprietary file formats for saving outputs. Those formats can only be opened using that original software or instrument. The good news is that those can usually be converted to the most generic, open format for the types of files you have.

Spreadsheets can be saved as comma-separated values (.csv), and word processing documents can be saved as .txt files. This will ensure that the document can be opened by the widest amount of software possible.

Examples of Proprietary Formats  Open Format Equivalents Excel (.xls, .xlsx) Comma Separated Value (.csv) Word (.doc, .docx) Plain Text (.txt) PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) PDF/A (.pdf) Photoshop (.psd) TIFF (.tif, .tiff) or PNG (.png) Quicktime (.mov) MPEG-4 (.mp4) MPEG 4 Protected Audio (.m4p) MP3 (.mp3)


Some of these open formats also help preserve documents for the long term. A PDF file is an open format that is readable by many software programs, and is also a way to preserve the contents of the document so they are locked and uneditable. This is something to consider based on the potential future use of the document.

Saving image files in TIFF or PNG format prevents the loss of image quality that comes with editing and reuse of JPG files. If you have high-quality image outputs from microscopes or other equipment, this is important to consider.

Now that you’ve got your data saved in an open format, next month we’ll talk about best practices for long-term storage and preservation.


Categories: RML Blogs

Hello NER!

Mon, 2020-08-10 14:24

Hello NER!

I am excited to join the NNLM NER team as the Interim Associate Director and recognize the incredible leadership of Martha Meacham. As I transition into the role, I am eager to learn about the region, connect with our partners at various institutions and organizations, and continue the conversations on how NER can support the unique health information needs of our region.

The NER team have shared the programs and outreach activities that they have been working on and it is incredible to see the impact and success that they have had! Going forward, we have a full calendar of webinars and programs and I invite you all to participate ( and just a reminder – we are here for you.

Please reach out to say hello and to connect.  I can be reached at

Categories: RML Blogs

Health Sciences Libraries Webinar Series 2020-2021

Thu, 2020-08-06 11:20

The Health Sciences Libraries Webinar Series is a collaborative series intended to explore products and services provided by the National Library of Medicine through case studies. This series aims to support the work of health sciences and hospital librarians as they serve their institutional communities. The webinars will explore National Library of Medicine resources through real world examples provided by experienced librarians.

  • Identify National Library of Medicine products and services.
  • Integrate National Library of Medicine products and services into workflows.
  • Assist institutional community members in the selection and use of National Library of Medicine products and services.

The series launched in June with Searching LactMed and LiverTox for Drug Effects. Due to the audio issues, the instructor (me!) re-recorded this webinar.

When viewing the recording, I recommend that you enable the captions during the search demonstration. Sharing the screen is a big task for my home laptop and rural internet connection. The sound is a little garbled but much better than the live class! The captions will help. During the webinar, we used these search terms: LactMed; methadone; buprenorphine; buprenorphine and naloxone; LiverTox; acetaminophen; buprenorphine lactation; acetaminophen liver.

I mention two NNLM Resource Picks webinars. Here are the links to those recordings:

Bookshelf (Feb 2020)
LactMed and LiverTox (Nov 2018)

Slides to Searching LactMed and LiverTox for Drug Effects are available upon request. Please email me (link below). If you watch the recording, you are eligible for MLA CE. Here is the evaluation link. You must fill out the evaluation to receive the code for CE.

Upcoming Webinar on Resources for Images

The series continues on Tuesday, August 18th at 1:00pm ET. Join Kelsey Cowles for NLM Resources for Images. The National Library of Medicine offers several unique resources for locating various types of images related to medical and health topics. This one-hour webinar tailored to health sciences librarians will cover how to use several of these resources. Practical and creative ideas for utilizing these resources and introducing them to faculty, staff, and students will also be provided.

Register at this link.

Categories: RML Blogs

My “Externship” Experience with the UMass Medical School Library and the NNLM NER

Fri, 2020-07-31 15:32

The following blog post was written by Regina Agyemang, a rising junior from the Abbey Kelly Foster Charter Public School in Worcester, Massachusetts. Regina is also member of the Girls Inc. of Worcester Eureka program. Regina spent the month of July working with the staff of the UMass Medical School Library and the NNLM NER.




This summer I was given the opportunity to work with the University of Massachusetts Medical School Library and the NNLM NER as an “extern” through the Girls Inc organization. Because of COVID this opportunity was conducted completely remotely. During the past fourweeks of my externship, I was able to meet some of the amazing library staff and also learn about the NNLM organization. When I first found out about this externship, I had no idea what Iwas getting myself into. I had never heard of the NNLM before. However, I decided to take the opportunity to be an extern and I’m glad I did.

Over the course of the four weeks, I met Vivian Okyere from the Library Operations team as well as the members of the Library Research and Scholarly Communications team, and the Education and Clinical Services team. These meetings helped me learn about the medical school library and services the librarians provide for the medical school students. The UMass Medical School Library is a partner of the New England Region of the NNLM.

Several times each week, I met with staff from the NNLM NER. Martha Meacham, Associate Director and Susan Halpin, Education and Outreach Coordinator taught me about the NNLM organization as a whole. I was also able to help with work specifically related to the NER. I provided a young person’s perspective with my input about relevant health and medical information for an educational webinar Susan created and is currently updating for young adults. I also helped with checking links and providing additional descriptions for the resource list that will be part of this webinar.

While working with Susan, I learned about other types of outreach programs the NNLM offers. From providing grants to organizations to presenting webinars on health topics and NLM resources, the NNLM actively works with the community to provide health information and trustworthy online resources. My time with Susan allowed me to learn about so many different resources that can benefit my family, friends, church, and myself. Two of my uncles are pharmacists and one is an orthopedic surgeon. The NNLM has online resources that my uncles could use for research regarding their professions. I discovered a printable promotional flyer that lists websites that are specifically geared toward pharmacists that can be printed from the NER website. My church could also use resources from the NNLM to educate themselves. My church is big on living a healthy life spiritually and physically. With the NNLM’s resources such as MedlinePlus, training classes and grants, my church may be able to work with the NER to organize a program to provide information on many different health topics from mental health to healthy eating.

During my meetings with Susan, we talked a lot about mental health. As a high school student, mental health is an important topic to me. Some people fail to realize the amount of stress high school students go through due to grades, college, standardized tests, social media, and many other things. I have seen first-hand the effects of all these things on the mental health of students especially in a time like this. As a result, two of my friends and I decided to start a club on mental health to provide support and resources to other students. However, due to the current pandemic, the club won’t be able to start running this fall. When the club does start, I have a plethora of resources to fall back on thanks to the NNLM. I now know of many different websites and organizations that I can bring back to school. My school, the Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School in Worcester, Mass received an NER grant to pay for a speaker on mental health. Thanks to the resources at the NNLM, my school will be able to receive the mental health programming that we need.

If you asked me about the NNLM a month ago, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything. I now know that the NNLM is a network that helps improve public health by providing the public access to online health information, resources, and data you can trust. This information is all online and is used and promoted through libraries and other members of its network. Even though my externship this year wasn’t conventional, I’m still glad I was able to get to know the staff and learn about their jobs. I now have many people to turn to that are willing to help me with whatever I need. This by far has been my favorite externship.

Categories: RML Blogs

RDM Snippets – File Naming Conventions and Dates

Fri, 2020-07-31 13:19

This is the first post in a monthly series that will share tips, tricks, and resources that help you simplify the process of organizing your data. It’s always good to refresh your skills and think about different ways to manage data, as well as learn ways that librarians and others can communicate this information while teaching or working.

This month let’s look at file naming conventions, including date formatting. Having a file naming convention can save you both time and energy, especially when you’re managing large amounts of data. A good file naming system makes it easy to find specific files, sort by date or time, and to organize different parts of a workflow.

File naming isn’t just for research, it can also help organize your personal or work files.

As you begin a research project or plan to start organizing your files, think about the types of files you have. Determine a simple but descriptive structure. Be sure to share this with anyone you may be collaborating with, and make a file with notes for yourself to keep track of the convention.

Important things to remember when creating with a file naming convention:

  • Be descriptive. Don’t worry about trying to abbreviate or keep the file name short. Descriptive is better than inscrutable. You won’t remember what that made-up abbreviation is next time you go to look at the file, and the people you work with won’t understand it either. If you need to use any abbreviations or shortened terms, make a note of these in your documentation.
  • Make the file name human and machine readable. Use_underscores_ or-use-dashes. Don’t use spaces between terms in the file name. Many software programs no longer allow spaces. Spaces can also cause errors in coding languages if you are using them for analysis.

Bad: stdntsrvjan20

Good: student_survey_january_2020

  • Make your file names extensibile. This means ordering numbers in the file names so that the computer can sort them in the correct order and you can easily read them. You can see in the example below that adding additional digit spaces makes the numbers sort nicely into order.
Bad Good sample_1 sample_001 sample_10 sample_002 sample_2 sample_003 sample_3 sample_004 sample_4 sample_005 sample_5 sample_006 sample_6 sample_007 sample_7 sample_008 sample_8 sample_009 sample_9 sample_010 sample_11 sample_011
  • Avoid special characters such as $ % ^ & # | :,. They can cause errors if you are working with programming or scripting languages, and many software programs won’t accept them.


Dates can be an important part of your file name. Formatting dates the same way each time and in a universal standard format such as ISO 8601 will make them easier to read and avoid confusion over different international formats for writing dates.

The ISO8601 date format is YYYY-MM-DD.




If needed, you can make the date more granular by adding the time including hours, minutes, and seconds for observations that need to have a time stamp.



The full ISO8601 standard has much more information about breaking down dates and times even further.

(insert below comic here, to download image or hotlink)

Link to source for posting in the blog:

Further resources on dates and file names:

Data Librarian Kristin Briney has written a great blog post about naming conventions, and has a worksheet  you can use to determine a naming convention for your project.

The ISO8601 standard

DataOne Best Practices for Date and Time

The next RDM Snippets post in August will look at stable file formats for open and/or long term access and preservation.

Categories: RML Blogs

What is Geroscience?

Tue, 2020-07-28 10:43

A term keeps popping up around the NIH and NLM; Geroscience.

The meaning may be obvious if you understand the parts of the word; gero- in medicine is a prefex indicating the association with old age or aging, and science – the study of something. But that doesn’t really get to the heart of what Geroscience is.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has been tackling this topic. In an article, Geroscience: The intersection of basic aging biology, chronic disease, and health, the question is raised, “How does the aging process affect the disease process and susceptibility—and vice versa?” In detail answering, ”Geroscience… seek[s] to understand the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms that make aging a major risk factor and driver of common chronic conditions and diseases of older people.”

Geroscience is a NIH-wide initiative. The Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) was formed in 2012 with the goal of stimulating interest and involvement in the basic science of aging across Institutes, Centers, and Offices at NIH. Summits have been held, working groups formed, and much more collaborative work has demonstrated the impact of studying aging in this new way. In an article in Cell they call for geroscience to merge with ongoing research on human chronic disease states, compare and contrast inflammation in aging and disease, and develop new animal models of aging, among other recommendations.

The American Federation for Aging Research advocates that, “By treating aging – not just age related disease – we can stay healthy longer.” Their hypothesis is, ” since aging physiology plays a major role in many — if not all — chronic diseases, therapeutically addressing aging physiology directly will prevent the onset or mitigate the severity of multiple chronic diseases.” With the goal of, “develop[ing] feasible, practical, and safe interventions to delay the appearance of multiple chronic diseases and conditions. Interventions that slow the aging processes would dramatically lower health care costs, perhaps more than the cure of any single disease, while significantly improving quality of life.”

So what is next? By 2050, approximately one-quarter of the world’s population will be over 60 years of age. Growing acknowledgement of the issue and growing research around the topic are successfully introducing new fields to the concept. Geroscience is moving beyond the traditional aliments of old age like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease. There are areas of musculoskeletal diseases and oral health that have arisen as issues in aging. As the NIA puts it, “The ultimate goal of geroscience is to accelerate research into the basic mechanisms driving aging, which could lead to improved clinical interventions. Toward that goal, the GSIG remains focused on discovering the basic biology at the intersection among aging, chronic disease, frailty, and resilience. Basic biology renders the process of aging the major risk factor for the age-related decline in health, threatening an increasingly older population.”


Links and Resources

American Federation for Aging Research – What is Geroscience? Connecting the Biology of Aging and the Biology of Disease

Cell – Geroscience: Linking Aging to Chronic Disease

National Institute on Aging: Geroscience: The intersection of basic aging biology, chronic disease, and health

Penn Medicine News: Geroscience? Much More Than a Reaction to the “Silver Tsunami”


Categories: RML Blogs

Librarians Keep Learning

Tue, 2020-07-28 09:39

Improving one’s self and continuing to learn should be explicitly incorporated into our jobs. It benefits our work, those we work with, and the organization as a whole. Working from home presents an opportunity to learn new things. Obviously, keep doing the work expected of you, but you might find that you have some time that can be used for your own edification.

Below are a few resources that might be of interest. It might be helpful to take classes outside of librarianship. There are so many topics that may not seem to be connected, but all different types of information can be helpful and applicable to librarianship. Knowledge grows at the intersections of topics and disciplines, so why not take advantage of these unique circumstances to broaden your horizons.

Library Specific

This amazing collaborative resource has been put together It has a lot of different library topics and formats. And if you know any that should be included, you can add them.

Of course it is important to include the NNLM’s recorded webinars available on YouTube. There are also on demand classes from the NNLM

Some other library focused trainings include:

There are many other resources specifically for libraries or librarians, but this is a good time to explore new areas. with an open mind, almost everyone can learn something new, from any topic, that is applicable to librarianship. Why not also take a course on Cognitive Fitness or rhetoric or the Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature. Learning for learning sake is a legitimate use of time. You never know when it might be useful or pertinent. While there are lots of services and products out there, many have a cost associated.This post is focused on free resources, but we make no guarantees on content, cost, or availability.

Other topics or just for fun

There are probably many, many other resources out there. We encourage you to explore and share. The point is, take some time to learn something new and Have Fun!

Categories: RML Blogs

Black Mothers at Increased Risk of Pregnancy-Related Death

Tue, 2020-07-14 08:26

Image from

As I am writing this blog post, I saw a news headline that British YouTube star Nicole Thea died at the age of 24. The article stated that she was eight months pregnant. We do not know the cause of her death. We do know that, as a Black woman, Nicole Thea was at risk for maternal death.

In May 2020, I attended a virtual conference on Pregnancy and Maternal Conditions that Increase Risk of Morbidity and Mortality. This NIH VideoCast was sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Office of Disease Prevention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Maternal mortality is an important health indicator, and correctly identifying and reporting maternal deaths has been a longstanding challenge. A maternal death is defined as, “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy,” but excludes those from accidental or incidental causes. The national maternal mortality rate (MMR) in 2018 was 17.4. The rate for non-Hispanic black persons in 2018 was more than twice that for non-Hispanic white persons, 37.1 compared with 14.7. Rates also increased substantially by age, with rates for women aged 40 and over roughly eight times the rate for women under 25 (81.9 and 10.6, respectively).

Please see the CDC for details.

The US data shows us that Black women are at higher risk of maternal death. Weathering, a term given to us by public health researcher Arline Geronimus, is increasingly evident as a major stressor for Black women, leading to increased allostatic load. Allostatic load refers to wear and tear on the body due to chronic stress.

The responsibility for reducing maternal death falls largely to the health care system, according to this Report from Nine Maternal Mortality Review Committees.  In about one-third of the cases, patients lacked awareness of the warning signs. Raising awareness among Black women is not enough. Even when patients are aware, this report offers ample evidence that health care providers fail to diagnose or effectively treat Black women. Patients encounter a health care system with inadequately trained personnel, inadequate policies and procedures, and inadequate communication between providers who are caring for Black women.

Causes of Maternal Death

The two-day virtual conference, available for viewing through the NIH VideoCast website, covered multiple causes of maternal death. Black women are at increased risk for all of these conditions. As stated by many of the researchers, we need to understand how racism is impacting the health of Black women and girls throughout their lifespans.

  • Postpartum Hemorrhage
  • Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia
  • Amniotic Fluid Embolism
  • Maternal Sepsis
  • Venous Thromboembolic Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
  • Maternal Stroke
  • Chronic Hypertension
  • Sleep Disordered Breathing
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Kidney Disease and Kidney Injury
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Psychopathy
  • Psychiatric Medications
  • Substance Abuse, Self-Harm and Violence
Risk of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

Two years ago, singer-songwriter and actress Beyoncé revealed that she suffered from preeclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a multi-systemic syndrome–a cardiovascular disease that potentially involves liver or kidney damage. Many people associate preeclampsia with hypertension, yet researchers are considering that this condition could possibly exist without hypertension. Most deaths due to preeclampsia and eclampsia happen during postpartum, disputing the belief that birth will “cure” these pregnancy-related conditions.

Risk of Venous Thromboembolic Disorders

Tennis superstar Serena Williams experienced a pulmonary embolism during postpartum. Pulmonary embolism is a Venous Thromboembolic Disorder.  The 2019 review, Venous thromboembolism as a cause of severe maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States. found that deaths due to pulmonary embolism account for 9.2% of all pregnancy-related deaths. The article states that maternal deaths are more common among women who deliver by Cesarean section. Black women, as well as older mothers and women with co-morbidities, are at higher risk of Venous Thromboembolic Disorders. Despite her physical fitness, Serena Williams was at risk.

Learn More with the Network

Check out these resources from the Network of the National Library of Medicine.

Black Maternal Health Suggested Readings

Anti-Racism in Graphic Medicine

Black/African American Health Resources



Categories: RML Blogs

Food Literacy at the Worcester Public Library Through Nutrition Education & Healthy Cooking Classes

Wed, 2020-07-01 13:18

The following blog post was written by Dot Sachs, Public Services Librarian at the Worcester, Massachusetts Public Library. The Worcester Public Library is one of the NER’s Year 5 funded grant awardees. 

The Worcester Public Library was awarded an Outreach grant in April 2020 from the NNLM/NER to provide patrons with tools to learn how to plan, manage, select and prepare healthy food through nutrition education and healthy cooking classes.

Over the past several years, WPL has offered free nutrition and healthy cooking classes to its patrons by partnering with a local certified nutritionist and local chefs.  The grant will allow the library to expand and develop new programming.

The library was able to continue to provide patrons these classes in a virtual environment during the COVID 19 quarantine.  Participants register online on the library’s website, via social media sites, or by calling the library’s information line during operational hours at 508-799-1655 option 3.  Classes are recorded and uploaded to the library’s YouTube channel for later access.

WPL Nutrition & Healthy Cooking Virtual Classes


Classes this summer include:

July 11 – Nutrition Mythology
August 1- The Art of Vegetables
June 27 – Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Kim: Cooking Myths
July 25 – Virtual Cooking Class with Colin: Healthy and Amazing Sauces
August 22 – Virtual Cooking Class with Colin: Fiction in the Kitchen

Chef Kim Youkstetter, a culinary instructor at Worcester Technical High School has taught at WPL and other local libraries for several years.  Her classes have included:  Cheese Making, Pasta Making and Knife Skills.  In WPL’s first virtual cooking class, she gave a glimpse of her own kitchen with a Zoom class on Pantry Cooking.  Chef Kim showed how to make the most of the ingredients already on hand and discussed food handling, food safety, and when you really need to let those leftovers go.  Below are the photos from class where she made stuffed peppers and two other recipes.

Below are some photos of her Pasta Making class.

Registered Dietitian Judy Palken of @CrystalClearNutrition has taught several classes at WPL such as:  Great Whole Grains, How to Read Food Labels, Stress Eating, and recently held The Art of Fruit via Zoom.  Attendees learned how different types and colors of fruit can help lower the risk of getting certain cancers, and also help with brain and heart health. They learned that some favorite vegetables are really fruits, and shared tips and tricks on how to add more fruit into our day.  Judy adds a nice visual touch by incorporating images of artwork in her classes that represent the topic she is teaching.


Colin McCullough, a well-known, local vegan cooking instructor and author of The Healthy Vegan, has taught at WPL for several years.  Some of his classes include:  Smoothies that Taste Like Dessert, Vegan Sushi, Healthy Amazing Sauces and Thai Curries from Scratch.  Below are some photos of his recent Smoothie and Sushi Making classes.

Due to the popularity of the healthy cooking classes, a Virtual Cookbook Club was added to the events calendar this year.

Author, Jessica Tyler Lee, joined WPL’s first virtual cookbook club discussion which featured her book Half the Sugar, All the Love.   Jessica highlighted some of her favorite recipes and substitutions, shared her inspiration for the book, and answered questions.  Participants got a chance to share the recipes they cooked for the discussion.

Worcester Public Library is partnering with the Worcester Senior Center for this grant in order to outreach to the city’s senior residents.  WPL’s Nutrition and Healthy Cooking classes and some other WPL events are included in the Worcester Senior Center Newsletter.  They also are sharing the library’s  Nutrition and Healthy Cooking classes social media posts on their sites and will air recorded classes on the local government channel.

The Worcester Public Library also offers other nutrition & healthy cooking resources:

Gale Culinary Arts Collection  offers articles from more than 250 major cooking and nutrition magazines.



The Health & Wellness Resource Center, also from Gale, offers reference materials, journal and magazine articles, news, images and video about a variety of health and wellness topics.



Food Literacy & Healthy Living this webpage was compiled by WPL librarians and lists COVID-19 free activities, resources and virtual classes. Some of these resources are free for a limited time.

WPL’s Healthy Living Resources Blog
Topics include:  Nutrition and Healthy Cooking Resources from MedlinePlus, Nutrition & Cooking Classes, Healthy Benefits of Humor, Horticultural Therapy, Health Reference Resources

Categories: RML Blogs

New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians Goes Virtual

Thu, 2020-06-25 09:31

Guest post from Jennifer Chaput about the Virtual New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians that took place on June 11, 2020. Find more information and a link to all the recordings 

New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians, now in its 12th year, went virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures. The traditional format for the conference is two and-a-half days of in-person sessions and activities held at a college or university campus in the region. After campuses were closed in the spring of 2020, the planning committee regrouped and decided to host a virtual one-day conference.

The topics chosen for the virtual bootcamp reflect the current moment in time and included speakers on Virology, Vaccine Development, Libraries Making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Institutional Review Boards. Our speakers came from around New England and allowed attendees to get a variety of perspectives on science and research in this challenging time.

Dr. Bob Rawle of Williams College began the day by speaking about viruses and the mechanisms of viral infection. While he doesn’t work specifically with coronaviruses, he provided a great overview of what a virus is and what it’s made of, and how viruses infect the body. This talk was engaging and gave background that would be useful for the next speaker.

Dr. Wilmore Webley of UMass Amherst then spoke about vaccine development. Again, while his work does not focus on coronaviruses, he was able to explain the process of how researchers determine what will stop a virus from reproducing in the body, and what needs to be added to a vaccine to make it successful. A takeaway that I found useful to think about is that vaccines do not protect you from getting infected, they protect you from the pathology of the virus and from the illness it causes. Dr. Webley ended with a summary of what the current state of vaccine development for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID19. There’s a lot of work still to be done, but researchers are working hard and constantly collaborating and learning from each other as part of this effort.

The Makers Making PPE panel had speakers giving a perspective on how the community stepped in and began helping healthcare workers and the public get needed PPE. Dennis Spencer of the UMass Amherst Maker Lab, Rebecca Meehan and John Walsh of the Woburn Massachusetts Public Library, and Nancy Maier of Knockout Designs all spoke about their process and what PPE they produced. Nancy Maier spoke about being a hardware fabrication business in a small community and sharing finished items around town and getting to know her community. Woburn Public Library is known for having a maker space and for their 3D printing capabilities, and were happy to produce face shields and other items for nurses and healthcare workers. UMass Amherst was able to leverage their connections, and share patterns and finished items with national networks of makers.

The last speaker panel was on Institutional Review Boards (IRB) and how the pandemic has affected their work. IRBs review and approve any research with human subjects. Dr. Allison Blodgett spoke about UMass Medical School and UMass Medical Center, and Dr. Julie Simpson spoke about the University of New Hampshire (UNH). It was informative to have perspectives from a large medical school and medical center, and also from a smaller state university working with mostly psychological research. Research shutdowns during the pandemic stopped a lot of research, but not all of it. At UMass, the hospital participated in both Remdesivir and convalescent plasma trials for COVID-19 patients. While working remotely was a challenge for their group, they were still able to approve these studies very quickly so that patients could get treatments.. Dr. Simpson from UNH spoke about changes to in-person research they conduct, such as psychology students who volunteer for studies having left campus causing that  research to shut down. Other studies, such as with elderly patients, will have to be reconsidered in the future to look at personal risk and safety requirements such as social distancing and PPE.

In between speaker sessions, short recorded interviews called “Tales from the Frontlines” were played. These interviews included perspectives from healthcare and emergency workers, restaurant owners, grocery store workers, and others who continued to work during the pandemic shutdowns. These stories were moving and impactful and showed a different side of life during the pandemic.

The virtual Boot Camp reached a much bigger audience than the traditional in-person conference. A typical Boot Camp has 60-70 attendees from the New England region. Over the course of virtual boot camp we had 581 unique attendees, from all over the world, who watched all or some of the sessions! It was great to reach such a wide audience and provide a free professional development opportunity while people are working remotely.

The 2021 New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians will be hosted by the University of Connecticut Library from June 2-4, 2021. Stay tuned for more information!

Science Boot Camp logo

Categories: RML Blogs

African-American/Black Experiences and Anti-Racism in Graphic Medicine

Tue, 2020-06-23 11:51

In light of recent events including police brutality and ensuing protests, the staff at NNLM NER stand with the Black and African American community. My colleagues in other NNLM regions curated lists highlighting Black/African-American Health and Anti-Racist resources:

  • Pacific Southwest Region with links to African American mental health, anti-racist reading materials, cultural competency, NLM African American and race history, racism in science, and PubMed Central articles about police brutality and African American health.
  • Middle Atlantic Region with links to resources related to mental health, funded projects, cultural competency, racism in science and more.
  • Greater Midwest Region with links to resources related to mental health, anti-racist reading, NLM African American and race history and more.

In the interest of sharing different resources and with NER’s special initiative focused on graphic medicine, I felt it was important to share graphic medicine by and about Black/African-American health, as well as anti-racist graphic medicine resources.

Graphic Medicine is comic books and graphic novels that cover topics of health and wellness.  The visual format makes the information easier to understand and digest.  By reading a personal, non-fiction story, we can learn about issues we may not have experienced ourselves.  These stories can also help us feel less alone in our own lives.

From traditionally published graphic novels to webcomics and self-published works, below are some examples of graphic medicine works and resources that address Black/African-American health and race or racism.

Whit Taylor is a cartoonist and public health professional who has graphic medicine works that often include historical and scientific context for public health and healthcare concepts.

Using statistics, historical records and stakeholder interviews, We Are Wynadotte (Kansas City, KS) created two comics on redlining and how the practice continues to affect the health of their community.

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the Graphic Novel Round Table curated a reading list of graphic novels that highlight Black experiences.  Here are three examples of graphic medicine works on the list:

Looking to make your graphic medicine collections and programming more inclusive? My PSR colleagues hosted a webinar on Inclusive Graphic Medicine in August, 2019.

Categories: RML Blogs