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Updated: 2 hours 20 min ago

Funded Project: HAMA Reaching Haitian Communities with Health Information

Thu, 2019-03-14 09:35

The following blog post was written by Brenda Lormil, a recent recipient of NNLM NER grant funding. Brenda shares the work she and her team are doing to connect Haitian community members across Massachusetts to primary care and health resources in Haitian Creole.

Group of teens who completed the HAMA training

Teens who attended the HAMA training to learn about the importance of primary care.

From May to October of 2018, Haitian American Medical Association (HAMA) had the rewarding opportunity to serve and present health education to members of the Haitian community in the greater Boston area. The forums were predominantly held in Haitian Creole, the native language of the people, in order to facilitate comprehension of the presented material. In total, 17 sessions were completed that targeted teenagers, adults, and senior citizens in the Haitian community. The importance of primary care was one of the prioritized focus points of our educational forums. 


When we began our project, it was our understanding that the Haitian community lacked primary care providers. We quickly learned that they do in fact have established care, however accessing the healthcare system is where the real problem resides. Language barriers, fear, suboptimal prior experiences, misunderstanding of the different levels of care (primary care vs. urgent care vs. ER) contributed to the lack of access to healthcare.


Many of the businesses, faith-based communities and schools had planned their summers in early spring. For this reason, we had to remain flexible and reschedule accordingly – an unexpected barrier during this project. This in turn caused us to extend our tour into October to accommodate certain locations (originally planned to end in August 2018).


We are most proud of the data collection we were able to obtain on our health education tour. We surveyed our audience after each session, and this allowed us to measure our impact and gain a better understanding of our communities needs. This information has now become a guide for HAMA in selecting topics of education for our 2019 health education tour. Yes, it was that good and we are doing it again! We thank our sponsor: National Network of Libraries of Medicine – New England Region (NNLM-NER) – for without their support this project would not be possible!

Group of Haitian seniors who completed the HAMA training

Haitian seniors who attended the HAMA training to learn about the importance of primary care.

Visit HAMA’s website, to learn more about the Health Tour and their other projects.

Categories: RML Blogs

Protected: Librarians Supporting Nurses: Treadwell Library at Massachusetts General Hospital

Mon, 2019-03-11 10:58

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


Categories: RML Blogs

Preserving Long Term Institutional Memory

Wed, 2019-03-06 17:14

Does this sound familiar? Your institution’s records are relegated to boxes in a back room, basement or or simply tossed without review. Join us on Thursday, March 14th 2019, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM as we host Nadia Dixson, the Somerville City Archivist, as she presents, “How Did We Get Here: Maintaining Records for Long Term Institutional Memory.” Avoid costly mistakes, and even see a return on investment, by learning how to identify, preserve, and maintain appropriate historic records. This webinar introduces practical information and tools necessary to identify records of enduring value and start an archives program that will benefit your institution and preserve institutional memory.
Upon completing this webinar, you’ll be:
• Introduced to the essential elements of an archives/records management program
• Learn about appropriate goals for your institution’s archives program
• Learn about the value of including various types of records in an online archive
• Learn how one city solved the problem of making archival records available for easy access

This webinar is free and open to anyone interested, but advance registration is required. Please register at this link:

Categories: RML Blogs

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Thu, 2019-02-28 16:28

“Alexis, what is neurodiversity?” She answers me, “Neurodiversity is the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population (used especially in the context of autistic spectrum disorders).”

When I read last week’s press release from Worcester Polytecnic Institute, “WPI Researchers Urge High-Tech Firms to Leverage Talents of Neurodiverse Workers,” I realized we have come a long way. My perception was confirmed when I read additional data on this topic.  The following statistics were cited in a recent article from  about the public’s attitude regarding children with LD (learning disabilities).

  • 79% of Americans believe that children learn in different ways.
  • 96% of parents think that with proper teaching kids can make up for LD.
  • The most positive finding: 8 out of 10 people agree that “children with LD are just as smart as you and me.”

When my son was struggling in school 20 years ago, the term “neurodiversity” didn’t exist. I wish it did! It may have paved the rocky road we had in K-12 , college (and continue to have in adulthood), with a little grease, so when we hit the bumps associated with a significant learning disability we could have slid over them instead of tripping and falling.

Here is the Press Release about the WPI research on the value of neurodiversity in the workplace that gives me hope for the many young adults out there struggling to be valued, as well as gainfully employed, and financially independent.

The research focuses on 5 arguments to encourage high-tech companies to invest in a neurodiverse workforce:

  • Neurodiverse employees often have specialized skillsets not always found in neurotypical or “normal” employees, such as excellent concentration, logic, and visual thought.
  • A workforce with diverse perspectives can help companies create products for a varied consumer base.
  • A growing demographic of neurodiverse people allows companies to be attuned to workforce trends.
  • Neurodiverse workers think and problem solve in different ways, which can lead to greater innovation.
  • Companies that proactively employ neurodiverse people may avoid the need for external agencies to impose quotas.

Did you know that one of the National Library of Medicine’s partner organizations is the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) ?

NICHD was founded in 1962, with a mission to investigate human development throughout the entire life process, with a focus on understanding disabilities and important events that occur during pregnancy.

Since then, research conducted and funded by NICHD has helped save lives, improve wellbeing, and reduce societal costs associated with illness and disability.

On the NICHD website you can find research as well as information about many health topics related to their mission.

Eleanor Loiacono, researcher and professor in the WPI Foisie Business School says that she hopes her research will help companies that are struggling with making their staff more neurodiverse.

“Including those who are neurodiverse in the high-tech workforce can contribute not only to a company’s bottom line and society’s call for greater diversity and inclusion, it can help promote greater mental health within a society that is facing one of the greatest mental health crises it has ever seen.”

Categories: RML Blogs

The NNLM NER e-Science Forum

Thu, 2019-02-28 16:12

The NNLM NER e-Science Forum will be held Friday, March 29thth, 2019, from 9:30AM to 3:30PM at the Holiday Inn® and Suites Marlborough, 265 Lakeside Avenue, Marlborough, MA 01752 ( This forum is taking place in lieu of the e-Science Symposium.

The purpose of this event is to initiate and maintain a regional dialogue on e-Science, identify ways libraries can better support patrons and researchers, and ways that libraries can deliver relevant and effective research data management services at their institutions. The theme of this year’s Forum is Research Data Management 2020 and 2030.

Have you ever wondered about research support methods and considered a data lab at your library? This year’s keynote speakers are: Amy L. Nurnberger, the Program Head of Data Management Services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Daniel Sheehan, the Head of GIS & Statistical Software Services at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This will be followed by lightning talks. The afternoon will consist of group breakout sessions where participants can engage in hands on activities visualizing what research data management practices will look like in the future. This is a great opportunity to network, gain a few new skills, and learn about recent developments in e-science librarianship.

9:30 – 10:00 AM Arrival, networking, light snacks
10:00 – 12:00 PM RDM 2020 – Speaker and project sharing (lightning talks)
12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch & Networking
1:00 – 3:00 PM RDM 2030: Envisioning the Future: Challenges, Feasibility and Solutions: Hands on Workshop

This professional development event is free and open to anyone interested, but advance registration is required for all presenters and attendees, we have a limited capacity so please register now.

Register for the 2019 e-Science Forum at this link:

For any questions or any additional information please contact:
Karen Coghlan ( – 508.856.2223)
Martha Meacham ( – 508.856.1267)

We hope to see you there!

Have you implemented a Research Data Project and want to share what you know or learned about your projects with others? Consider presenting a lighting talk at the Forum. Please fill out a brief
Lightning Talk Proposal Form at:

Categories: RML Blogs

Fair Use Week

Mon, 2019-02-25 18:44

If you have ever published a paper in journal, digitized content for an online class,  created a physical or digital exhibition or are building an institutional repository, then you need to be aware of Copyright Law and the principle of Fair Use.  This week, Monday, February 25, through Friday, March 1, is the Association for Research Librarians,  Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week.  It is an annual, international celebration coordinated by the to promote the opportunities presented by fair use and fair dealing.  The U.S. Code 17 U.S. Code § 107.Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use describes the details of fair use.   

Libraries including the NLM regularly champion fair use because it enables librarians to fulfil their primary mission of providing and preserving information.  The NLM Digital Collections provides access to historical books, photographs, images and maps. If you have not checked out the Profiles in Science section featuring prominent 21st century scientists and their stories, it is amazing.  When setting up your own online exhibitions, the NLM has a patron guide to copyright and historical content.

So how does copyright and fair use play a role in the current technology rich and data driven future?  The NNLM’s Research Data Management class promotes and supports the FAIR Data Principles, which proclaims that research data and digital products be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR).  As described in the NLM Strategic Plan which aims to promote the environment of utilizing data to advance medical education, biomedical research, discovery and data powered health.  This data mining to promote new discoveries and precision medicine requires the use of search engines, accessible databases, computer software, algorithms, and various application programming interfaces (APIs).  In September 2018 the ARL published the Code of Best Practice in Fair Use for Software Preservation to help provide guidance on archiving legacy software to ensure continued access in the future to digital files. It provides librarians, archivists, curators, and others who work to preserve software with a tool to guide their reasoning about when and how to employ fair use.

In the meantime celebrate fair use,fair dealing week.  Celebrate and fight for your right to access information since it is a precarious balance between copyright holders who may or may not be the original creators.  Be educated on your rights when publishing so you can use your own work when needed in the future to spark new innovations.


Categories: RML Blogs

ALA Midwinter – NNLM NER Professional Development Recipient Post 1

Wed, 2019-02-20 08:34

This the first in a series of blog posts authored by individuals who professional development grants from NNLM NER to attend ALA Midwinter 2019 and the preconference event “Implicit Bias, Health Disparities, and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity“.


I received a Professional Development Award from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region, to attend the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, WA, January 25-29. Award recipients attended the preconference institute on Friday, January 25, entitled Implicit Bias, Health Disparities and Health Literacy: Intersections in Health Equity. This half-day workshop introduced me to many of the programs, resources, and tools available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and other agencies. I was particularly impressed by Dr Kimberley Reynolds’ presentation on implicit bias and health disparities. Dr Reynolds gave an extremely illuminating talk in which we really engaged in the difficult, valuable, and essential task of identifying our own individual implicit and explicit biases; understanding why these exist; and unpacking ways in which to reduce these biases. The work I undertook with my fellow institute participants will continue to inform the work I do at my library to bring consumer health information to my community. I am very grateful to NNLM (New England Region) for granting me the opportunity to attend this institute and the ALA 2019 Midwinter Conference. We were encouraged to “dream big, start small, act”, and that is what I intend to do!

~ Natane Halasz, Leverett Library, Leverett, MA

Categories: RML Blogs

Know Your Resources: Heart Health

Sun, 2019-02-17 09:00
Infographic from the CDC showing the five major signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women and men.

Five major signs and symptoms of heart attacks in women and men.

February is American Heart Month, and you might have seen heart health information from all kinds of sources on social media.  But once Heart Month has passed, where do you turn if you need to find information about keeping your heart healthy?  Or learn what it means if your doctor orders an EKG? Or learn the signs and symptoms of a heart attack?

It’s important to find trusted resources that you can refer to or share with your friends, family and community. Below are great places to start when looking for heart health information:


  • Did you know that MedlinePlus has information on medical tests, what they measure and why a doctor might order them? Learn about why a doctor might order an electrocardiogram (EKG) or a stress test and what they can tell us about how the heart is doing.


  • What’s the difference between a heart attack and heart failure? MedlinePlus’s medical encyclopedia can help explain complex health topics in everyday language.



And remember when you’re looking for health information online, start with trusted sources and continue to develop your critical thinking skills with the MedlinePlus Evaluating Health Information Online Tutorial.

Categories: RML Blogs

You’re Invited: New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon

Fri, 2019-02-15 11:22

Graphic for New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon being held at the UMass Medical School on April 10, 2019Are you interested in using Graphic Medicine as a health outreach tool, but don’t know where to start? Does your library have a Graphic Medicine collection, but you want ideas of how to expand and create outreach around these resources? Is your organization interested in creating Graphic Medicine to address a health need in your community?

NNLM-NER is excited to announce the New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon taking place at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, Massachusetts 01655) on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

For librarians and information specialists of all kinds, health education and outreach professionals, creators and others working with graphic medicine, this event is designed to provide you with concrete strategies to incorporate and expand the use of graphic medicine in your libraries, community organizations, and general health education outreach efforts.

Finishing touches are being put on the schedule, but here’s a preview:

Attendees will be encouraged to create comics during breaks and at lunch with supplies and support provided to help people learn by doing.  These comics can then be entered for a chance to win prizes.

Registration will open February 27, 2019.  Space is limited, so please register early.

For more announcements about the New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon, follow @nnlmner and #NEGraphicMedComicCon19.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Levin-Lederer at or 508-856-5910

Categories: RML Blogs

Visits to Eastern Maine Community College and Vose Public Library

Tue, 2019-02-12 08:34

Last week, I visited Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) in Bangor, Maine. I spent the morning speaking with library and Information Technology staff about mobile apps from the National Library of Medicine. EMCC received NER funds to purchase twelve tablets, expanding the library’s ability to teach NLM resources to nursing and allied health students. We focused on the resources available through TOXNET , MedlinePlus and PubMed.

We conducted sample searches in LactMed® , the database containing information about potential impacts of drugs and other chemicals on breast milk and infant blood. LactMed® suggests therapeutic alternatives, where appropriate. This database is updated monthly. TOXNET encompasses the Household Product Safety database, Haz-Map (Occupational Exposure to Chemicals) and Animal Testing Alternatives. WISER for First Responders, another TOXNET database, is relevant to EMCC’s Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science Technology programs.

We talked about adding MedlinePlus to the home screen of the tablets. This website is optimized for different devices, and is not available as an app. I directed library staff to several NNLM YouTube recordings for additional information, such as PNR’s “There’s an App for That!” and NNLM’s Resource Picks on LactMed® and LiverTox.

Library Director Janet Elvidge shared the frustrations of nursing students in using CINAHL, and we talked about usability issues with PubMed. Lastly, we looked at NLM apps HerbList and Turning the Pages.

Vose Library in Union, MaineExterior of library building

On my way back to Massachusetts, I took an exit off of Interstate 95 and headed down Route 131 to Union, Maine. The morning was gray and wet. I drove up and down hills, passing woodlands and farms. Incorporated in 1786, Union is home to 2200 residents. Motion Industries, distributor of mechanical parts, is located in this small town. Augusta (state capital of Maine) is a 40-minute drive to the west.

Like many rural towns in America, the center of Union has a post office and a general store. Vose Library is located just 0.2 miles down the hill. Director Sarah Masters greeted me warmly. She walked me through the collection of mystery novels and quilt displays. We talked about the value of displaying the work of local artists and craftspeople, and the popularity of Vose Library’s Armchair Adventure series. I was happy to meet Sarah. With luck, we will be co-presenting–along with Lisa Shaw (Maine State Library)– at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference in September 2019. Details to follow!

Categories: RML Blogs

Help for Keeping Your Healthy Eating Resolutions

Mon, 2019-02-04 15:23


With the first month of 2019 under our belts, how many of us are still motivated to continue with our New Year’s Resolutions we made just 4 weeks ago? According to an article by Inc. (, researchers say that more than 60 % of us make resolutions, but just 8% of us are successful at keeping them.

For 2019, the most common resolution made was linked to diet or eating healthy. Here in the northeast, the winter months may be a time when it can be more difficult to increase the servings of fruits and vegetables as they cost more and may not look as appealing. It also is more challenging to be active because of the cold, as well as the ice and snow can prevent us from being outdoors as much as we would like.

The following are a few free online resources and mobile apps from NLM and partner organizations that you may find helpful to motivate you to stay engaged or get back on track with your resolution to eat healthy and be active. The apps mentioned can be downloaded free and used on your iOS or android mobile device.

MyPlate and Healthy Eating,

MyPlate is the model or guide that the USDA created to help us eat a balanced and healthy diet. The model encourages us to fill half of our plate at each meal with fruits and vegetables.

Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. Online tools provided include information about eating on a budget, quizzes, and tip sheets. Information about how to eat well at various stages of your life (children, students, professionals) is also discussed.

Healthy Eating website offers more than 100 delicious heart healthy recipes including recipes from regional and multicultural cuisines. There are video resources about how to prepare favorite foods like eggrolls in a healthier manner. Also available are  family resources such as how to teach young children how to cook, and parent tips how much food children require at various ages.


Fooducate is a free app and website that evaluates foods based on how good they are for you. Using an algorithm to grade foods and giving a food one of 10 grades, from A to D. For example,

  • Food can earn an A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc.
  • The more natural, healthful, and less processed a food is, the higher grade it will receive.
  • Fooducate only uses publicly available information when evaluating a product.

This app can be helpful when shopping in the grocery store for foods as it uses a barcode scanner as part of the tool. Here are the instructions from the Fooducate website of how to use the app:

  • Scan an item’s barcode to find out key information about that food.
  • To scan a barcode, first find the barcode on the actual product. Then tap the “Scan” section of the app’s home screen. Hold the barcode up to the phone until you see it lined up inside the little box on the screen. The phone will automatically process the code and pop up the product information.
  • No barcode? Again, no problem! You can also look up foods by name in the “Browse” section of the app, or online.
  • Once you find your food, tap it to get all the information you need. Evaluate its grade, review the product details, etc.
  • If the food you scanned has a low grade, find a better option with the alternatives list. On the app’s overview page for that food, look at the bottom right corner. There, you’ll find a button labeled “alternatives.” Tap it, and you’ll find a list of 10 better foods that are similar to the one you originally entered.
  • Just want to browse? Tap the “Browse” section of the home screen and you’ll find a list of products divided into different food categories. Select a category and browse by “Top Graded,” “Popular,” or “Recent.”

Fooducate is a great reference tool, but it should not serve as a substitute for reading the Nutrition Facts label.

BAM (stands for Body and Mind) Dining Decisions,

BAM is a free app from the CDC created for kids ages 9 through 13 that teaches nutrition without using the words “bad” or “good”. BAM categorizes the food choices used in its interactive games as “Go”, “Slow” or “Whoa.” Kendra, the BAM food and nutrition expert helps kids learn what foods provide the right kinds and amounts of fuel.

Categories: RML Blogs

Healthiest Communities Data Challenge

Mon, 2019-01-28 00:14


Submit your BIG Idea by January 31

Submit your idea to demonstrate how to make data practical and useful so it can inform local health outcomes.

The Healthiest Communities Data Challenge, presented by the Aetna Foundation and AcademyHealth, provides a platform for you and your organization to offer ideas and/or inspiration on how to leverage available data in the Healthiest Communities rankings, to build and address health solutions and drive change in local communities. Your BIG idea can empower citizens, health care leaders and officials to make decisions about policies and practices that can improve health outcomes for all. Challenge finalists and prizewinners will be recognized at the 2019 Health Datapalooza, March 27-28 in Washington D.C.


Categories: RML Blogs

Health Improvement SBIR Grants

Sun, 2019-01-27 23:59

Calling all innovators! If you have ideas for improving minority health and eliminating health disparities or a novel approach on how to possibly extend the reach of primary care for treating substance use disorders here is your chance! There are two NIH R43/R44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants that may be of interest and the potential to utilize NLM resources

  1. Innovations for Healthy Living – Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (NIMHD)
  2. Mobile Technologies Extending Reach of Primary Care for Substance-Use-Disorders (NIDA)

The more ideas and people involved to find solutions to these challenges the better we all will be. More information can be found at Let the trailblazing begin!

Categories: RML Blogs

Library Carpentry – NNLM NER Scholarship Recipient Post 7

Sun, 2019-01-27 22:54

This is the seventh and final blog post in a series authored by seven individuals who received scholarships from the New England Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM NER) to attend the Library Carpentry Training held at Brown University on October 22-23, 2018. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Paige Scudder describes a Library Carpentry lesson on OpenRefine.  If you are interested in learning more please join us for a live webinar hosted on February 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST about Library Carpentry.


Prior to attending Library Carpentry, I was uneasy about the shell and unsure how to utilize OpenRefine and Github effectively. I often spent hours combing and fixing data by hand, frustrated with the knowledge that there was probably a better way and my lack of skills needed to employ the appropriate application.

Thanks to the patient teachers and welcoming atmosphere, I have walked away from Library Carpentry feeling confident both my understanding and skill set within each program. I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students, whether it be teaching or supporting, as they embark on their data driven journeys. Specifically, I look forward to using the lessons from the  OpenRefine session to clean up my data and the data of those around me.

Paige Scudder, MLIS
Research and Education Librarian, Biomedical Libraries
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755


For more about Library Carpentry or other upcoming events like the live webinar about Library Carpentry, please visit the NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

Invitation to RAC Meeting 3-7-2019

Tue, 2019-01-22 14:23

NNLM NER would like to invite you to join us and colleagues from around New England for our annual Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting. We have a wonderful day of learning and sharing planned. This meeting is an opportunity for us to express our appreciation for your support, as well as an opportunity for you to provide your feedback about how we can craft our programming to meet your needs in the coming year.

This in-person meeting will take place on Thursday, March 7, 2019 – 9:30am-3:30pm at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the Faculty Conference Room.

We are able to provide reimbursement for your travel and lodging for 1 night (if you are traveling from a distance), your parking will also be validated.

We have planned an exciting and informative day. A full schedule is in the works, but some general times are below. We will be sending out more details about the content and logistics to registered individuals as we get closer to the event.

  • 9:30-10am – Arrival, networking, light snacks
  • 10am-12pm – NER Update and Speaker
  • 12pm-1pm – Lunch (included) & Networking
  • 1pm-3pm – Feedback and idea sharing workshop

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone else who would be interested. We simply ask that every person from an organization register separately at the following registration link

We are limited to 75 attendees. Please register and let us know if you need to cancel a registration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Martha Meacham – OR 508-856-1267.

We hope to see you there!

Categories: RML Blogs

Stay Safe In Severe Winter Weather

Fri, 2019-01-18 14:47

CDC Be Ready! Winter Weather infographic.We’re already several months into winter here in New England, but it’s never too late to check your supplies or brush up on winter weather safety tips.

Cold weather can cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as cause unsafe driving conditions, power failures, and house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning from space heaters and fireplaces.  Visit MedlinePlus’s Winter Weather Emergencies page to learn more about these health and safety risks.

Here are some quick tips and resources to help you plan:

Stay safe if you go outside to work or play.

  • Dress warmly (in layers) and stay dry. Don’t forget a hat, scarf and mittens.
  • If you go hiking, camping or skiing, make sure friends and family know where you’ll be before you leave and when you plan to return.
  • Cold weather puts extra strain on your heart. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, consult your doctor and follow their advice.  And everyone should work slowly and remember to take breaks.
  • Visit the CDC’s Outdoor Safety During a Winter Storm page for more tips.

Stay safe inside if you have to shelter-in-place (stay inside for an extended amount of time) by making sure you have the supplies you need.

  • Don’t forget the needs of pets and service animals when stocking supplies for the possibility of being snowed in.
  • Don’t forget supplies for your car. Visit’s Car Safety page for creating an emergency kit for your car and strategies to prepare your vehicle for emergencies.
  • Visit’s Build a Kit page to learn about making shelter-in-place kits for your home.

Stay safe if the power goes off.

  • Candles and fireplaces can be fire risks. Make sure you have flashlights and batteries for light and plans to stay warm if the power goes out.
  • If you use a generator, make sure you pick the right one for your needs and make sure you place it away from doors, windows and vents. NEVER use a generator indoors.  Visit the Red Cross’s Safe Generator Use page for more information.
  • Listen to local radio for shelters that may be opened in your community during extended power outages.
  • Visit the Red Cross’s Power Outage Safety page for more tips.

And whenever possible, stay off the roads during winter storms to avoid dangerous driving conditions.

Categories: RML Blogs

Librarians Supporting Nurses: Concord Hospital in New Hampshire

Fri, 2019-01-11 12:33

Last fall, I asked several New England hospital librarians to share their stories about supporting nursing education and research. My first interview was with Mary Shah, MLS, AHIP. She is a Medical Librarian and Archivist at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. This interview is with Maureen Dunn, MLIS, AHIP. Maureen is the Library Director at Concord Hospital in New Hampshire.

library computers and shelves of booksTell us how your library supports nursing education and/or research.

When I first arrived at Concord Hospital in 2002, my library was a traditional “doctors’ library” and nurses were hesitant to set foot in the door. One of the first things I did was ask for 10 minutes at the Nurse Educator meeting, and told them the door was open, and I had chocolate on my desk – come on in! It didn’t take long for word to spread, and to this day, the nurse educators, and the unit-based practice committees they oversee, are among my best research customers.

I’ve also participated on nursing policy committees, patient education committees, the interdisciplinary Clinical Practice Council, the approval board for RN4s in our clinical ladder program and, most recently, the Evidence Based Practice committee. Along with those more formal groups, I’ve advertised the library as being a resource for nurses going back to school. We’ve had a big organizational push over the last 5 years to encourage nurses to achieve their BSNs, not to mention the many nurses who have decided to return to school for an MSN (and a handful of DNPs). The library intranet site has a page dedicated to students, and I participate in an unofficial Concord Hospital Facebook “back to school” support group, where I’ve been able to field research and database questions after hours.

Finally, in partnership with a nurse and our residency’s scholarly activity coordinator, we created a course called Scholarly Activity 101 that aims to help staff wanting to get involved with research or taking their existing QI projects to another level and presenting their activities at a conference or publishing. We’ve had great interest from nurses, who have a lot to say!

What resources, services and programs are most popular with nurses?

Nurses appreciate having input into the resources the library gets. We actually switched drug reference databases a number of years ago due in great part to the fact that nurses found the old one difficult to use at the bedside. It took a while, and buy-in from the pharmacy, but a switch to a database with a friendlier interface was achieved. We’ve just started a collaborative process of evaluating nursing-specific resources in the hope of making the job of the educators less labor intensive and giving bedside nurses more resources for quick reference. There’s a great deal of excitement around the possibilities there.

How do you align this work with the mission of patient safety and healthcare quality?

I find that the library and nursing have a very symbiotic relationship in this regard. The library’s impacts on patient care, safety, and quality are remote, while nursing’s are immediate, but nurses know they can rely on the library to get them the information they need to provide that quality care, and in return they are incredibly supportive of the library and provide a great deal of word of mouth advertising that reflects the positive impact of the library.

Any tips for librarians interested in supporting nurses?

If you’re looking to increase services to nursing, talk to nurse managers about staff going back to school. Many nurses who haven’t been in school for a while are overwhelmed by things like navigating databases and citing sources properly. Also, I can honestly say that no one has ever turned me down when I’ve offered to present at a meeting. Getting in front of nursing leadership and telling them you can save them time with their policy updates or clinical questions never fails to win friends. Nursing friends are among the best friends a library can have.

Contact for Maureen Dunn:

Upcoming Webinar for Hospital Librarians

On Thu, March 28, NNLM NER will host a webinar on Librarians Supporting Nursing Scholarship. This session will feature Alice Stokes (Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont), Lisa Marks and Diane Almader-Douglas (Mayo Clinic Libraries, Phoenix AZ). During this webinar, they will talk with us about their learned experiences in working with nurses.

Categories: RML Blogs

School-based Alternative Peer Group (APG): An Innovative Solution to Reach Disadvantaged Students, Advance Behavioral Health Equity and Reduce Stigma in the Prevention and Recovery of Adolescent Addiction

Fri, 2019-01-04 13:47

The following blog post was written by Stephanie Briody, co-founder of Behavior Health Innovators, Inc. in South Chatham, Massachusetts. Behaviorial Health Innovators is a recent recipient of NNLM NER grant funding. Stephanie shares the work of  her team, creating a program that provides in-school support and treatment for high school students with Substance Use Disorder.

Our mission at Behavioral Health Innovators, Inc. is to create innovative, broadly available solutions for individuals and loved ones who suffer from behavioral health challenges, initially focused on the prevention of, and recovery from, substance use disorder, anxiety and depression in teens.

Through our work with teens in recovery, we learned of an evidence-based model of teen recovery support called an Alternative Peer Group (APG) and launched a pilot of the APG model on Cape Cod in April 2018.  APGs are a comprehensive adolescent recovery support model that integrates recovering peers and prosocial activities into an evidence-based clinical practice. Overall, since APGs have been in existence, they have a recovery rate greater than 85% versus a nationwide recovery rate of around 30% (Basinger & Edens).

Informed by the lessons we learned during the planning stage for our stand-alone APG, we began the development of a School Based APG program. The School Based APG brings this evidence-based model of recovery support directly into the school setting to reach disadvantaged students, advance behavioral health equity and reduce stigma.  Thus far, three (3) large public schools on Cape Cod are working with the APG Counselor and staff to create specific programming and processes to bring APG services to their students -1) Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School is creating an APG program specific to the needs of their Alternative Learning  Program students; 2) Bourne Middle School Administrators and their Project Purple student group (Chris Herren’s Substance Use Prevention Program) are developing an APG program that integrates with the school’s new disciplinary policies regarding substance use and vaping; and 3) Nauset Middle School is bringing the APG Counselor directly into school to meet with specific students and their families.

In the following account, the APG Counselor describes the many pieces of the puzzle that need to come together to support teens with substance use challenges and how this program provides many of those pieces.

Recently, I received a call from the Assistant Principal of a local middle school.  A 13-year-old boy was caught smoking pot at school and admitted he had been smoking pot since he was seven (7) years old. They called me because word has started to spread about our program that provides support and a safe space for teens with substance use challenges. She asked if I could attend the meeting where this student would be discussing his reentry to school; he was serving in-school suspension due to being caught stoned at school. 

I drove to the middle school, met with the Assistant Principal and the Guidance Counselor, also the student’s teacher. I also met the young man and his mother. We discussed what we offer at the APG. The young man appeared excited, like his cries for help or someone to notice, were answered.  Mom shared that she too struggles with substance use, that their home life was less than desirable, and the family has faced many adversities over the last 15 years.

Throughout the next week, I initiated and participated in many, many phone calls of support for Mom, trying to get her into treatment, conversations with the Department of Children and Families and steady contact with the school administration and the young man. I was able to visit the young man at school to talk to him about the transitions that were happening for him, since he had just been removed from his home, and placed with other family members.

This week he was able to make it to the APG group for the first time; he appeared nervous, but relieved and relaxed the instant he connected with our APG Peer Mentor. Another member referred to us for a similar situation, joined us for his first night as well. This other member has family members who also struggle with substance use, particularly an older brother, which has strained their relationship.

It was nothing short of a miracle to watch these two young men show incredible kindness to one another while they were engaging in something as simple as a video game. They ate pizza, they played “Madden”, they teased each other, and laughed and joked. It was relaxed, it was age-appropriate, it was also something revolutionary: these two young men, who before coming to the APG had no place to find support and discuss their challenges and whose behaviors could have led them to be immediately caught up in the juvenile justice system, instead found commonality and an opportunity to simply “be”, for two hours. We talked about the next Tuesday’s activity, which will be bowling.  Friendly wagers were made. And I believe that both young men are looking forward to next week’s group. This is the power of the APG: peer to peer interaction, a place to simply be with others struggling with similar challenges. 

Working with teens and their families, people that would otherwise possibly be pushed through a system or whose issues would be taken care of through punitive measures, without careful, considerate, and compassionate support, has been one of the greatest honors of my life.  Amanda McGerigle MSW, LICSW, Counselor for RecoveryBUILD Alternative Peer Group (APG).

Categories: RML Blogs

Location Data Visualization and The GIS Challenge

Thu, 2018-12-27 15:42

If you are curious about data visualization and GIS, join us on January 17, 2019 at 1:00PM EST for a new webinar titled,  “Location: Knowing Where We Are – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).”  Bahare Sanaie-Movahed, the Geographic Information Systems Specialist from Northeastern University Libraries, will introduce geographic information systems (GIS). We will explore how and why we visualize data. She will help us demystify location data terms and geospatial vocabulary. There will be several examples of data mapping projects that have been used to improve health impacts and save money. By the end of the class you will be able to define data layers, be able to explain components of the data mapping workflow. You will be introduced to tools and resources to collect and map health data that can be used to empower communities and individuals such as Community Health Maps and various other GIS programs.

In addition, if you are interested in GIS, check out ESRI for several storyboard contests.  There is a contest called the Tribal Story Map Challenge, tell your tribe’s story, this contest begins Monday, February 4, 2019.  Specifically for students, check out the Student GIS Story Map Contest for middle school and high school students. In Massachusetts, the newly formed Mass GIS Educators Group, part of NEARC, the NorthEast ArcGIS Users Group , invites students to ask questions, explore, and analyze their team or individual data for a situation in the state, and then share their results in a Story Map. Here is the link to Massachusetts  ArcGIS Online School competition 2019.

Categories: RML Blogs

Library Carpentry – Scholarship Recipient Post 6

Thu, 2018-12-27 11:14

This is the sixth blog post in a series authored by 7 individuals who received scholarships  from the New England Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM NER)  to attend the Library Carpentry Training held at Brown University on October 22-23, 2018. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Sawyer Newman describes the Library Carpentry Training.  If you are interested in learning more please join us for a live webinar hosted on February 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST about Library Carpentry.


Sawyer Newman
Data Librarian for the Health Sciences
Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library/Yale

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a NEASIST hosted Library Carpentry Workshop at Brown University, where a room of information professionals learned skills in shell functions, git, and Open Refine. These skills are useful both in automating tasks librarians have, as well as skills librarians are well suited to teaching patrons in a cross-disciplinary environment.

As intimidating as the selection of topics might sound, the format of the workshop was such that the group of around 30 was kept up to speed throughout the hands-on demonstrations by the instructors and a team of helpers, who would go around the room addressing individual questions. Individual or workshop-wide, support could range anywhere from installation help, to questions about operating system compatibility, to understanding concepts behind programming, to new proposed uses for any of the given tools.

The instructors, which include two of my colleges at Yale, Joshua Dull and Kate Nyhan, and Kristin Lee from Tisch Library at Tufts, rotated between teaching and support rolls throughout the sessions. While teaching, they worked together through hands-on demonstrations through live coding and live troubleshooting, which is not an easy task. In doing this though, they lead with the mentality that programming skills are approachable, and that you should feel comfortable answering questions you might have through trial and error.

As someone who attended this workshop in order to learn, as well as to become a Carpentries instructor, I thought this was such a constructive learning environment and one I would like to model in my own instruction sessions to our library users.


For more about Library Carpentry or other upcoming events like the live webinar about Library Carpentry, please visit the NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.


Categories: RML Blogs