National Network of Libraries of Medicine
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

NER News

Subscribe to NER News feed
Updated: 3 hours 46 min ago

Resources You Can Use: Youth Emergency Preparedness

Tue, 2019-09-17 09:02

Prepared Not Scared 2019 National Preparedness Month logo with each week's theme.

September is National Preparedness Month and there’s still time to save for an emergency, make and practice your plan, and get involved in community preparedness.

This year, Week Three of Preparedness Month (September 15-21) is focused on Youth Preparedness.  Kids can be great ambassadors for preparedness and involving them in the planning process can improve their resilience during and after an emergency.

FEMA, the Red Cross, the Department of Education and supports disaster planning for and with youth through the Youth Preparedness National Strategy.  This strategy encourages including and engaging youth in preparedness through planning and programming to build youth resiliency and preparedness leaders.

Here are some more resources designed to teach kids about preparedness:

  • Ready Kids: From, Ready Kids provides preparedness information for kids, teens, families and educators including games and developmentally appropriate handouts.
  • Owlie: From the National Weather service, Owlie is developmentally appropriate weather science and preparedness information with handouts, games and information for kids, teens, parents and teachers.
  • Ready Wrigley: From the CDC, Ready Wrigley is preparedness information designed for kids from 2-11 with coloring books, activities, posters and a mobile app.

It’s also important to help kids learn about how to evaluate information online for accuracy and trustworthiness.  Teach kids critical thinking strategies for finding and using preparedness information with these resources:

And always make sure you’re following trusted sources on social media to avoid scams and hoaxes before, during and after emergencies.  On twitter, follow @nnlmner, @fema, @femaregion1 (New England), @nws (and your local NWS weather station), local news outlets, and local and state government accounts.

To learn more about trusted, online emergency preparedness resources, view the recording of the webinar Are You Ready? Essential Disaster Health Information Resources for Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe taught on August 28, 2019.

Categories: RML Blogs

Being Mindful About Data

Wed, 2019-08-28 10:54

If you have ever taught a class, hosted an event, or counted foot traffic in your library you have probably collected data.  I recently had the opportunity to attend the Research Data Management Roundtable hosted up at the University of Vermont where library data collection was discussed. The morning presentation focused on the library’s use of data obtained from digital learning objectives. The afternoon session had a broader theme of data ethics and the use of consent. It was a very enlightening discussion. 

My take away from that discussion reinforced my belief that information is power. What you perceive as a challenge, might not be a problem to those outside your group or community until you can back up your issue with hard facts or data. Data can tell a story when there are patterns of evidence such as repetition or grouping of facts. Having the right data will help you make your case and prove your points to the people that matter.  I know data is collected by apps and various companies, and that way more is known than I can control. On the flip side, to see if my instruction is working or the program being hosted is valuable, I collect limited data. This information is used to continue the program or figure out how to improve instruction.  

I came away being more mindful in how and why the data that is collected.  Now when I am about to get the new “free” app or solicit feedback on my latest endeavor, I pause before just blindly clicking.  I stop to ask, “Why does the data need to be collected – what is the purpose? and “How will the data be used?” There is a battle waging for control over your information, as a consumer there is a need to be conscious and fight for the right to control your information. 

Presently, there it is an uneven balance between those who collect data and the “free” apps you need to use.  Be educated on your rights when getting new technology so you can limit data collection. Even if you knowingly or unknowingly consented, once that data is out there it is hard to get control over it or get it back.  In the meantime, do your part and be conscious of what data you collect and how it is used.

Categories: RML Blogs

Favorite Experiences at the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians

Mon, 2019-08-19 17:09

This is the final blog post in a series authored by several individuals who received scholarships to attend the and the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Anne Marie Engelsen, the Science Reference Librarian at Fogler Library at the University of Maine, describes her favorite parts of the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians.  For more information about the New England Science Boot Camp presentations including videos please see the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians website.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to attend the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians for the second year in a row. Thank you to the Scholarship Committee and NNLM for the opportunity! This year was another success, and I was so glad to visit the University of New Hampshire’s gorgeous campus. Here are my 5 favorite parts of Science Boot Camp this year (in no particular order).


  1. Citizen Science

For the capstone talk Wednesday night, Malin Clyde (Community Volunteer State Specialist at the University of New Hampshire Extension) spoke about citizen science and her initiative, Nature Groupie, which lists citizen science volunteer opportunities in New England. We also learned about other citizen science initiatives like Zooniverse, a website that links people to small computer-based tasks for an active research project, Aurorasaurus, an app that lets people report active aurora borealis sightings around the world, and SciStarter, a larger scale list of active citizen science projects. For those who enjoy being outdoors and want to contribute to conservation or research projects, citizen science is a great opportunity! If you’d like more information about how you can link citizen science into the library, check out The Librarian’s Guide to Citizen Science from Arizona State University and SciStarter.


  1. Social Justice in Science

The second theme of Boot Camp (the others being Remote Sensing and Assistive Technologies) was my favorite by far. The first presenter was Sofia Lemons, a Lecturer in Computer Science from the College of Engineering & Physical Sciences, who explored the way bias is built into computing systems. When so much of our society and lives rely on computing systems, it’s important to remember that computers are not inherently without bias because computers are made by people, and no person is without bias. This is seen when researchers find that facial recognition is only accurate for white male users. The second presenter was Dr. Elena Long, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics. Dr. Long’s talk was equal parts workshop and call to action, highlighting the issue of deadnames in academic publications. Changing names on past publications is significant for trans academics because not doing it can out the academic as trans, which may result in discrimination. The choice becomes either outing themselves or losing some publications in a CV. In a nice change of pace, Dr. Long had the librarians workshop to discuss the barriers, systematic or otherwise, that might prohibit a name changing process from publishers. So what can we do? As librarians, we have a specific role that bisects the academic and publishing spheres and could help support this type of change. If we can connect, organize, and spread the message, we can create some ripples that can help combat the bad ripples that come from the issue itself.


  1. UNH Brewing Science Lab

One of the tours I went on Wednesday Morning was the Brewing Science Lab (complete with samples!!). UNH is the country’s only university that has a distribution license for the beer produced from its brewing science lab, rather than partnering with local breweries. The lab supports a Brewing Science minor and performs analytical testing for New Hampshire Breweries. While we were there, we got to see all of the equipment and science that goes into making beers and ciders, then taste some of the beers made by students! They had a gose that used an invasive seaweed for its salty kick and an IPA with a basil-y finish. It was interesting to see the (admittedly tiny) lab that created some tasty brews and see the passion that Cheryl Parker, Brewery Manager, had for the program and teaching students.


  1. Science Librarians

One of the main draws of Science Boot Camp for me is the community of science librarians that I get to see when I’m there. I was fortunate enough to have two fantastic mentors both years I attended Boot Camp- Sue O’Dell from Bowdoin College and Liz Fowler from the University of New Hampshire. Being from a fairly remote institution (UMaine is so far from anything), I love having this chance to spend time with librarians from around New England for some outside perspective and networking. The intentionally casual atmosphere of the conference allows for relationship building and general collegiality without too much of the pressure that other conferences have. I look forward to this part of the conference the most!


  1. Snacks

Conference snacks can be hit or miss, but my snack experience at Science Boot Camp has been overwhelmingly positive both years. This year, UNH catering provided homemade chocolate pudding (!!!), chocolate-covered strawberries (!!!), snack mix, and more delectable delicacies. I was pleasantly surprised, and I now want nothing less than scratch-made pudding at every conference I go to. Well done.



Anne Marie Engelsen

Science Reference Librarian

Fogler Library | University of Maine


For more information about science librarianship, other upcoming events, or scholarships or funding please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

Reaching Around the World: Grantees’ Big Summer

Mon, 2019-08-19 09:45

Brittany Netherton and Brenda Lormil two NNLM NER grantees had big summers presenting the work they’re doing at events in San Diego and Sweden!

Brittany from the Darien Library had the opportunity present on graphic novels in the library at the San Diego Comic-Con and her work with Graphic Medicine.

From Brittany:

“On Thursday, July 18 I delivered a lightning round presentation during San Diego Comic-Con’s Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians. The audience included librarians and educators from across North America. My presentation defined Graphic Medicine broadly, and then I spoke about Darien Library’s intentional Graphic Medicine collection development and marketing over the past year. As I was discussing the importance of other libraries creating similar collections, and sharing different resources they could use to get started, I saw people throughout the room snapping pictures of the slides and taking notes. I ended my presentation with an announcement of our NNLM NER grant, which drew excited applause from the audience. After the presentation, an NNLM representative from the San Diego area introduced herself to me, and said that Graphic Medicine is something they’re working on right now, and that she was happy to see me presenting on it.

A few weeks after the presentation, I received a text message from one of the librarians who helped plan the conference. He wanted me to know that in their recap of the event, one of the event organizers said that my Graphic Medicine presentation was particularly well-received and had attendees talking. They see Graphic Medicine as an area they want to intentionally highlight next year, and asked if I might be interested in joining the planning committee.”


Brenda and partners from Northeastern University School Health Academy (NEUSHA) took HAMA and NEUSHA’s great work developing a model for supporting a quality continuing nursing education (CNE) program that addresses culturally competent services, advocating for health and safety needs of students and strengthening global health for Haitian American students and their families.  HAMA and NEUSHA presented the CNE program they created to participants at the 2019 School Nurses International Conference in Stockholm, Sweden on July 25.  Read the full abstract of the project that Brenda presented on.


Congratulations to Brittany and Brenda on their great accomplishments this summer!  NNLM NER is proud to support the work they’re doing in their communities and look forward to reporting on more of the great work of our grantees soon.

Categories: RML Blogs

Musings of an Aspiring Science Librarian By Amanda Doughty

Mon, 2019-08-12 17:38

This is the third blog post in a series authored by several individuals who received scholarships to attend the and the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Amanda Doughty, a library student describes the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians.  For more information about upcoming research data management classes, webinars and events please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website.


Musings of an Aspiring Science Librarian

By Amanda Doughty

          The 11th Annual Science Boot Camp for Librarians initially seemed like a chance to learn some new information, network a bit and enjoy the beautiful host campus of the University of New Hampshire. The fact that I also was honored to receive a scholarship to attend was an unexpected bonus! I never would have imagined though, the value and immense amount of knowledge, insight and connections I would gain from those few days in Durham, NH.

         I should preface this by stating that I am not (officially) a librarian. I just completed my 1st year as an MLIS student at Simmons University. Truth be told, I think I may have been the only library student attending boot camp this year! However, from the moment I walked on campus and joined the Ocean Engineering Lab tour with other boot campers, I felt a sense of belonging. In fact, that is one of many things that I quickly realized about this profession: Science Librarians are INCLUSIVE. Making others feel safe and comfortable, both in a library or information setting, and in daily living, is at the heart of these librarians and what they do. And this was echoed again and again starting with when I arrived to check-in, my name badge had a space for preferred pronouns. When the first session began, the Librarians Code of Conduct was reviewed. This code included laying out of expected behaviors by attendees, bystander intervention, the reporting process and support information. Additionally, those on the planning committee with blue “Code of Conduct” pins were always open and available to discuss concerns or incidents one might have witnessed or experienced. The topics on Social Justice also echoed the Science Librarians’ obligation and responsibility for inclusion on all fronts. Sofia Lemons demonstrated that social justice is critical in promoting equity, empowering those who have been historically excluded, and dismantling and replacing systems of privilege and oppression. Sofia also specified the means in which artificial intelligence and computers can, in fact, be biased and what one can do to combat this. One of the resources discussed was the Algorithmic Justice League (, which aims to advocate for a world with more inclusive and ethical AI. As Science Librarians, Sofia encouraged all of us to start making changes in our own lives, personally and professionally, and to push for accountability when social justice is lost. Creating and enforcing codes of conduct (such as the one outlined at Boot Camp) are helpful tools for fostering inclusion and change.

         Science Librarians are also immensely SUPPORTIVE. The quantity and variety of patrons in which those in the profession assist is incredible! From students to scholars to communities and more. I was hopeful that this Boot Camp would help pinpoint and shed more light on the everyday tasks of a Science Librarian, but what I quickly learned is that this list would probably be too long to even measure! During the Remote Sensing session, Michael Palace defined remote sensing as the act of looking at things without touching them. Some examples of this would be drones (AKA unpersonned aerial systems) or satellites. With the amount of information created from one of these remote sensing tools, the data flow can be overwhelming. The scientists have a goal for the use of this information, and the science librarian can assist with data storage and sharing (creative commons), as well as DOI (Digital Object Identification). Librarians also aid in finding data sources and help with metadata for the project. In this same Remote Sensing session, Philip Browne and Barry Rock described their trickle-down concept in which data is collected and analyzed using science, which is peer-reviewed to produce information, which is shared with the public (cue the Science Librarian!) to ensure survival, ultimately leading to a sustainable human civilization in a natural world. In addition, this session gave me a bunch of interesting, inspiring and free tools and websites for future use, such as Google Earth Pro (, Journeys In Film (, the Wayback Machine ( and the Trillion Trees campaign (

         One of my favorite parts of the boot camp was the second Social Justice session presented by Elena Long. This session was very hands on and proved to me another characteristic of science librarians: They are INGENIOUS! The very definition of such a person is to be clever, original, and inventive, and that is exactly what was challenged of us. Elena was needing our help addressing the publication name change dilemma. As it stands now, there is no great answer to update a person’s name once something has been published. There is no way to easily change an author’s published name without referencing a past one. The issue is particularly challenging for transgender people who have transitioned, because linking to a previous name may leave that person at risk for exclusion by others. As a group, we did come up with some ideas. The first of which involves using ORCID ( to publish everything in the future, in which case the author is assigned a unique number and not a name at all. The second really involves establishing a culture change – connecting, organizing and advocating for change. The hope is if we, as science librarians, can be accepting and inclusive of everyone, this will have a ripple effect and impact others around us. When that day comes, the publication name change will not even be an issue!

         At the end of my few days of the Boot Camp, I was exhausted mentally and emotionally from all I had learned and everyone I met in such a short period of time. Now that I have had the chance to reflect on my experience, I am even more inspired to become an inclusive, supportive, and ingenious Science Librarian myself! I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and look forward to becoming a part of this amazing community.


For more about data science or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.


Categories: RML Blogs

World Breastfeeding Week

Mon, 2019-08-05 13:21


The World Health Organization has named the first week of August as World Breastfeeding Week! You can read lots of important health information about breastfeeding on Twitter using #WorldBreastfeedingWeek.

Most of us know that health professionals recommend that babies be breastfed for the first 6 months, if possible. Initially, breastfeeding may require a little time and energy to get the hang of, but usually after a short time, both mother and baby settle into a routine that becomes very convenient.

One of the most important benefits of breastfeeding is the bonding that occurs between mom and baby. According to NLM’s MedlinePlus website ( the following bullet points provide other health benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Breast milk naturally has all the nutrients babies need to grow and develop.
  • Breast milk has antibodies that can help prevent your baby from getting sick.
  • Breastfeeding can help prevent health problems in your baby, such as allergies, eczema, ear infections, and stomach problems.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be hospitalized with breathing infections.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to become obese or have diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding may help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mothers who breastfeed find it easier to lose weight after pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding may help lower the risk for breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, and certain other diseases in mothers.
  • You can breastfeed almost anywhere and anytime your baby is hungry. You do not need to make formula before feeding, worry about clean water, or carry it with you when you go out or travel. And you save money on formula, which can cost $1,000 or more a year.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA provides current info about using medical marijuana and other drugs during and pregnancy and breastfeeding. The website also has many helpful materials you can share .

Another useful tool for breastfeeding mothers is NLM’s LactMed database ( that contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed.

LactMed includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. All data are derived from the scientific literature and are fully referenced. A peer review panel reviews the data to assure scientific validity and currency.

Categories: RML Blogs

Protected: Library Closure at Copley Hospital, Morrisville VT

Mon, 2019-08-05 09:16

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


Categories: RML Blogs

Views of Science Librarianship from the New England Science Boot Camp

Mon, 2019-07-29 13:29

This is the second blog post in a series authored by several individuals who received scholarships to attend the and the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Jodi Coalter, describes her opportunity to attend the New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians.  For more information about upcoming research data management classes, webinars and events please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website.

As an early career librarian, I’m still learning what it means to be a liaison to the sciences. Finding my way through my new job and my new institution has been, if I’m honest, a bit daunting; there are so many aspects to the job that I need to learn, which makes it fun, but also confusing. Thanks to the generosity of the NLM and the New England Science Boot Camp organizers, I was able to attend the 2019 Boot Camp. While there I met with and talked to people who have walked the same road before – people who are excited about science, but also understand (academic) librarianship.

One of the greatest aspects of Boot Camp is the ability to explore how science is studied by researchers in various institutions, and the discussions between librarians about how we can support that research. Librarians get to see into the past, explore what researchers have done before, and help our colleagues push science into the future. We stand with researchers on the bleeding edge of science. This dual perspective means that we are invaluable to our researchers (even if they don’t know it!), and it’s one of the greatest parts of my job. Unique challenges and problems arise from this threshold position between past and present, which makes talking with colleagues in the field even more important.

For example, one of the greatest segments of this year’s Boot Camp was the exploration of social justice in science. This was my first Boot Camp, but from what I understand, the themes that we explored this year was a new feature. And it was one of the best features. Coordinators of the Camp brought together speakers who addressed a specific theme in science and research, which made each segment a deep dive into a topic. The social justice segment explored how LGBTQ folks are coping with a very homogenous science field, the challenges and discrimination they face, and how librarians can help faculty cope with those challenges. It was an amazing glimpse at a unique perspective, and I walked out of that segment with a deeper awareness and a better understanding of the problems LGBTQ folks face. In talking with the presenters and my fellow attendees, we were even able to achieve some basic ideas of how libraries can help our LGBTQ faculty achieve success in academia.

It is so exciting to be a science librarian right now. Scientific discoveries in all fields are being made at breakneck speeds, and science librarianship is moving just as fast. To be a science librarian now means being flexible and creative, almost changing the job description from year to year. To be the most effective librarians, I’m finding that it’s easier to keep up with all these changes if I lean on the knowledge of my colleagues, listen to their problems and solutions, and continue to educate myself on best librarianship practices. Attending Science Boot Camp for Librarians was a vital aspect of that discussion for me – and I look forward to next year’s Camp!

Jodi Coalter
STEM Librarian
University of Maryland, College Park


For more about data science or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

Oh, the work I could do on a day without email.

Mon, 2019-07-22 14:37
The story behind the NNLM/NER & MCPHS University Instruction Retreat for Health Sciences Librarians  by Shanti Freundlich

Inevitably I leave professional development events with brilliant new ideas. Hand-scribbled notes, a new understanding of learning theory, worksheets, new active learning techniques to try, meaningful quotes, starred tweets, and/or new articles and books to read. The next day I go into my office and I put those new-to-me brilliant ideas onto my (literally) pile of brilliant ideas on the back corner of my desk. Then, I swivel around and begin triaging the questions that came in while I was out, and working through the absolutely necessary, everyday tasks of librarianship.

My pile of new-to-me brilliant ideas stays just out of reach.

This spring, I came back from ACRL 2019 and realized I didn’t need another professional development opportunity to learn; I needed time and space to start using my pile of new-to-me brilliant ideas. I needed permission to not answer my email for a day, to instead focus on my list of “important projects that I’m excited about, but since they don’t technically have deadlines, they’ll have to wait until later.”

I realized I also wanted the empowering connections and community of librarian gatherings like The Library Collective. I wanted to work near those amazing folks I only see a few times a year and be encouraged to bounce ideas around and get excited about our projects together.

That’s where the idea of a retreat emerged. Dedicated time to work on instruction-related projects is really hard to find in a regular workday, so this is that time.

. The day is organized around the following principles:

  • Having goals helps us get more out of whatever we’re doing.
    We’ll start with some quick goal-setting for the day.
  • Breaks are important.
    There will be breaks scheduled throughout the day for everyone to pause and look up from their work for a few minutes.
  • Variety is good for the brain.
    The day is divided into four blocks to encourage you to switch between projects and stumble upon connections.
  • Use the resources.
    Talk to your colleagues and explore the literature: know that you’ve got people and you don’t have to create a new wheel rubric alone.
  • Practice is key.
    The first time you use new classroom activity is when you really learn if your brilliant idea is going to work. So we have a classroom booked for folks to try out new learning activities on fellow librarians and figure out what’s working.
  • Sometimes choices are overwhelming.
    We’ll have a list of project suggestions and questions to help focus your brilliant ideas. We’ll also have articles and books (suggested by you!) in case you just want to catch up on some IL-focused reading for a little while.


My hope for the day is that everyone will bring their pile of new-to-you brilliant ideas and their list of “important projects that I’m excited about, but since they don’t technically have deadlines, they’ll have to wait until later” and that by being in a different place, surrounded by encouraging colleagues we’ll individually and collectively turn some brilliant ideas into meaningful practice.

About the NNLM/NER & MCPHS University Instruction Retreat for Health Sciences Librarians

  • Date: Tuesday, July 23rd 2019
  • Time: 9am – 4:45pm
  • Location: 6th Floor Griffin Building, 670 Huntington Ave, MCPHS University, Boston MA 02115
  • Transportation: Accessible by public transportation (MBTA “E” Green Line or 39 bus)
  • Cost: This retreat is funded by an NNLM/NER grant.

To register:

Please note, there are a limited number of spaces available.

Got questions? Please contact Shanti Freundlich: or 617-735-1088.


Categories: RML Blogs

Getting the Most from NNLM: Classes

Mon, 2019-07-22 14:30

Picture with fake computer code background and the words "Professional Development"

If you’re reading this blog, than you’re probably familiar with what NNLM and NNLM NER do.  And one of the big things that we do is plan, host and teach classes.  Whether we’re teaching a webinar or through Moodle, we’re working to fulfill the NNLM’s mission to “advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.”

Where do our classes come from?

Classes are planned and hosted for free by NNLM staff and are taught either by staff or subject matter experts.  Class topics come from the needs of the people we serve (that’s you!).

Who is the target audience?

Classes are open to anyone who is interested and cover a wide array of health information and education topics.  Classes teach everything from NLM resources to highlighting innovative interventions from partners and funded projects.  Stay up to date on upcoming classes by following @nnlmnto on twitter or sign-up for the NER weekly newsletter.

Can I get continuing education (CE) with that?

Good news! Most NNLM webinars have some CE available.

Some NNLM classes are designed to fulfill requirements for certificate and specialization programs.  You can search the course catalogue to find classes that offer these specialization credits.

What’s coming up in August from NNLM NER?

Search the class catalogue to find your next NNLM class and check back often as classes are added regularly.  Looking to brush up on resources and information, but don’t see what you’re looking for in the course listings?  Check out recordings of past webinars and events on the NNLM YouTube Channel.

Categories: RML Blogs

Discovering Rutland County Libraries through #VTPassport

Tue, 2019-07-16 10:48
Someone holding a passbook.

#VTPassport program, Summer 2019

This June, I took a drive up to Vermont to set the groundwork for this year’s Focused Outreach work. NNLM NER is looking for ways to support health information dissemination in Rutland County. My first appointment was to speak with Jason Broughton, Vermont State Librarian. I was curious to hear his impressions of the health information needs of Rutland County. NNLM NER is funding the Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) to support Vermont public libraries in addressing health literacy issues. I proposed that NNLM NER might work with library staff at Rutland Regional Medical Center and Castleton University to support nursing scholarship and research. Jason was enthusiastic about that idea, and introduced me to Vincent Livoti, Consultant for Special Populations at VTLIB. Vincent works to reach those who are underserved and underrepresented.

Jason talked to me about the lack of state funding for public libraries, as well as the struggle to fund continuing education for public library staff. We talked about the shifting demographics of Vermont and the resulting tensions among Vermonters. He told me about a joint program with the Vermont Historical Society. From July-September, public libraries will host community conversations with Paul Searls, author of Repeopling Vermont: The Paradox of Development in the Twentieth Century.

Following Searls’s presentation, attendees will be invited to share their own perspectives on their communities. How can we use the lessons of history to frame our planning going forward? What is important to preserve, and when is it important to move forward? How can we balance different interests and create a Vermont that works for everyone?~Vermont Historical Society

On my way out, I grabbed an orange Vermont Passport to join in this fun summer program designed by the Vermont Library Association. Vermont residents are encouraged to visit public, school and academic libraries to get stamped. At the end of the summer, participants bring passports into their home libraries to have stamps counted. Staff sends this information to the Passport Committee, and participants are eligible for a prize.

As a librarian who visits libraries whenever I travel, I love this idea!

I decided to focus on Rutland County libraries. My first stop was Sherburne Memorial Library in Killington. Director Jane Ramos recently returned from presenting at ALA on the Vermont Fairy Tale Festival.

Next up: Rutland Free Library, featured in this news article to raise awareness of the #VTPassport program.

Outside of clapboard building with red mailbox labeled book drop.

Bailey Memorial Library, North Clarendon VT

I had an afternoon appointment at the Rutland Regional Medical Center, but I had just enough time to stop into Bailey Memorial Library in North Clarendon (photo). Library Director Barbara Smith was very gracious, and interested to hear about the work NNLM NER is doing with Vermont libraries.

The next day, I drove up to visit two hospital libraries in northern Vermont (more on that in a future blog post). On my return to Rutland County, I stopped into the Roger Clark Memorial Library in Pittsfield. My visit was captured for their Facebook page.

From Pittsfield, I took a ride up to Chittenden Free Library. At first, I could not get into the library. I thought the door was locked. I double-checked the operating hours as many rural libraries have minimal hours. I gave the sticky door another try, and it opened. I got in to have my passbook stamped.

I drove down to Proctor Free Library for my last stop of the day. I discovered a lovely library nearby a marble bridge crossing Otter Creek.

During my last day in Rutland County, I headed to the Fair Haven Free Library. This was one of the few libraries that open at 8:30am, and is the only Carnegie library in Rutland County.

I got my last #VTPassport stamp at Castleton Free Library. Castleton is home to Vermont’s first institution of higher education. I look forward to work with librarians at Castleton University, Rutland Regional Medical Center and Vermont Department of Libraries in the coming months.


Categories: RML Blogs

Sunscreen 101

Mon, 2019-07-08 19:11


New England’s rainy spring has finally turned into summer. This past July 4th brought a string of sunny and hot days with lots of time spent outside. As I took out my sunscreen and looked at the SPF rating of 55 I thought to myself that if anyone asked me to explain what SPF 55 means I would have a hard time providing a clear explanation. It turns out I am not alone in admitting I find sunscreen lingo confusing!”

What’s in Your Closet?

I found the sunscreen products pictured in this post in my closet. I even found one product that had an expiration date of 2016! Who knew that sunscreens have expiration dates? As I looked at all of these products, I became a little confused.

I hope to give you some useful  information about sunscreen. The information in this post was very easy to find as I used the NLM consumer health website I typed “sunscreen” into the search box and found the information for this article from the American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.

 According to a JAMA Dermatology study, less than half of the patients at a dermatology clinic could explain the meanings of “Broad Spectrum” and “SPF.

Broad Spectrum and SPF

Terms like Broad Spectrum and SPF have official meanings from the FDA. Broad Spectrum means that sunscreen can protect you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. This important to prevent skin cancer, early aging i.e. wrinkles, premature age spots and sagging.

SPF describes how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. An easy way to remember the meaning of  “SPF” is to think about it as “sunburn protection factor.” It is important to remember that no sunscreen can filter out 100% of the UVB (ultra violet burning) rays. The number after SPF describes how much of the UVB light the sunscreen filters out. For example SPF 15 filters out 30%, SPF 30 filters out 95%.

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

No sunscreen is waterproof because sweat and water wash sunscreen away from our skin. Therefore, the FDA no longer allows the term “waterproof” on labels. The term “Water Resistant” is permitted, as some sunsreens have been tested and earn their ability to post the info on their product. Below are the FDA definitions and how often sunscreen must be applied to the skin to be effective.

Water resistant:The sunscreen stays effective for 40 minutes in the water. At that time, you’ll need to reapply.

Very water resistant:The sunscreen stays effective for 80 minutes in the water. Yes, after 80 minutes, you’ll need to reapply.

If sunscreen is not water resistant, to continue protecting our skin from the sun when outdoors, we must reapply sunscreen, every 2 hours, after toweling off, when sweating.Even if your skin remains dry sunscreen re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours to remain effective.

Difference Between Chemical Sunscreen or Physical Sunscreeen?

Each of these protects your skin differently and contains different active ingredients. Here’s a summary of the basic differences:

Chemical sunscreen:Protects you by absorbing the sun’s rays. May contain one or more of many possible active ingredients, including oxybenzone or avobenzene. The Neutrogena brand (the back of the tube) pictured here sunscreen lists Oxybenzone and Avobenzene as active ingredients.

Physical sunscreen: Protects you by deflecting the sun’s rays. Contains the active ingredients titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. Some sunscreens use both types of active ingredients, so they contain one or more active ingredient found in physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.

What does the word “sports” mean on sunscreen?
The FDA has NOT defined this term for sunscreen.

When you see the word “sports” on sunscreen, it usually means that the sunscreen will stay on wet skin for either 40 or 80 minutes. To be sure, check the label. You may also see the words “water resistant” or “very water resistant.”  To protect your skin, you’ll need to reapply sports sunscreen when you’re sweating (every 40 or 80 minutes), after toweling off, after getting out of the water.


What do the words “Kids” or Baby” mean on sunscreen?
Like the word “sports,” the FDA has not defined these terms for sunscreen. The AAD recommends the following when using sunscreen on babies and toddlers.

Children younger than 6 months – Protect babies or kids from the sun by keeping them in the shade and dressing them in clothing that covers their skin. It is important to cover skin, but not so much that they overheat. If possible, avoid using sunscreen on these children.

Children 6 months  and older – Choose a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as sunscreen with these ingredients are most appropriate for the sensitive skin of infants and toddlers. Keep children in the shade and dress them in clothing that will protect their skin from the sun even when using sunscreen.

There is more information about sunscreen I could tell you, but you may it more beneficial to read the information yourself from the American Academy of Dermatology in the link provided.  Also take a look at the infographic provided in the link. Enjoy your summer and remember to use sunscreen!








Categories: RML Blogs

2019 Science Boot Camp for Librarians Highlights

Tue, 2019-06-25 11:53

This is the first blog post in a series authored by four individuals who received scholarships to attend the 2019 Science Boot Camp held at the University of New Hampshire on June 5-7, 2019. In this installment, the author highlights resources and presentations that occurred at science boot camp.  Please watch for more posts from this event and views from scholarship recipients in the upcoming weeks.


New England Science Boot Camp for Librarians 2019 Blog Post

Jenna Riley – Library Services Specialist, UNH Dimond Library

I had heard wonderful things about the Science Boot Camp from colleagues and was very excited to attend this year! I work at the UNH Dimond Library in Durham, New Hampshire where the conference was held. This experience offered me the opportunity to explore the campus I work at in a whole new way! It also allowed me the chance to hear from many faculty members from the UNH community and learn more about their specialized fields of study. I found the conference a perfect way to immerse myself in a variety of themes including remote sensing, social justice in science, and assistive technology.

I found the atmosphere at the Science Boot Camp very inviting. I could tell immediately that it was a passionate crowd that thrived on learning, just like me! It was great to be surrounded by so many people from different libraries in one setting! It gave me the opportunity to hear about initiatives being implemented at other colleges and universities. I also related to some of the challenges they were facing. Overall, I found the communication between peers in this type of setting to be very helpful.  

One thing that really drew me to this conference was the theme of Assistive Technology. I’m very passionate about this topic and was really interested in hearing more about the pairing of Libraries and Assistive Technology. I also currently lead an Accessibility Project Team at the Dimond Library and am always looking for new ideas and information that may lend itself to our library. I really enjoyed both speakers who discussed AT at the Boot Camp. Sajay Arthanat was very thorough in his presentation and gave an educational breakdown of Assistive Technology. He explained the many ways AT can improve the lives of people with disabilities, including daily activities, transportation, computer access and environmental access. Speaker Therese Willkomm’s enthusiasm for assistive technology was contagious and really got my brain thinking of ways to create solutions by repurposing materials. Her inventions are simple yet very effective and can help so many people! Her creation of a portable book holder really caught my eye, so much so that I’ve been in contact with her to see if we can collaborate and introduce them to patrons in the Dimond Library this fall!

Malin Clyde’s evening talk on Citizen Science also sparked my interest! Finding out more about Nature Groupie and the different ways to volunteer and help advance science and education was enlightening. Hearing how crowdsourcing is helping the environment and research initiatives locally and globally was impressive! It’s great to know that volunteering can have such a positive impact, at times even extending the longevity of research projects! Social Justice in Science speakers Sophia Lemons and Elena Long also offered a lot of food for thought. I found the discussion on coded bias interesting and a bit scary! I was unaware of Algorithmic Bias and was surprised computer coding could produce results in this way. The lecture was very informative, especially the ways to improve accountability and inclusion.

The capstone presentation on patents by Paulina Borrego offered an interactive element to the conference that I really enjoyed. The full text and image databases were so much fun to peruse! Who knew some of the patent images could be such beautiful works of art!? I’m looking forward to seeing the final product of the patent coloring book that everyone contributed to.

Below are some of my favorite online resources from the conference:


I also signed up for tours to see the Chase Ocean Engineering Lab and Fairchild Dairy and Research Center. These activities were a huge highlight of my Science Boot Camp experience. Getting to see these places in person was a real treat! I learned so much by being in the setting and seeing everything firsthand. I’ve enclosed a couple photos from my tour of the Fairchild Dairy and Research Center. One picture shows a calf that was only one day old! Getting to witness this was priceless

Thank you so much to the scholarship committee for allowing me the opportunity to attend this conference and further my library and science knowledge. Also, a big thank you to everyone for making the Science Boot Camp such a success! I enjoyed meeting new people and learning new things. It’s not every day you walk away from a conference with such a wide array of new interests. This was a great professional development opportunity and I urge others to participate next year!

Jenna Riley
Library Services Specialist
UNH Dimond Library


I hope you enjoy the first installment of the 2019 Science Boot Camp for librarians. For more about this year’s Science Boot Camp resources or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs

Graphic Medicine and the Immigrant Experience

Fri, 2019-06-14 10:31

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 personally.  These stories can also help us feel less alone in our own lives.

Immigrants and refugees are a diverse group of people with a variety of experiences both in their countries of origin and their new homes.  Graphic novels that explore the experiences of immigrants and refugees provide glimpses into people’s lives allowing the reader to connect to and learn about individuals that make up the larger communities.

In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month, here is a selection of graphic novels to learn more about the varied experiences of immigrants and refugees:

  • Escaping Wars and Waves: Encounters with Syrian Refugees drawn and recorded by Olivier Kugler. Kugler interviewed and photographed Syrian refugees  in camps and along the road on their journeys, turning these records into a graphic novel that recounts stories of survival. From the publisher, “What emerges is a complicated and intense narrative of loss, sadness, fear, and hope and an indelible impression of the refugees as individual humans with their own stories, rather than a faceless mass.”


  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Satrapi recounts her experience of coming of age in Tehran, Iran during the Islamic Revolution and her high school years in Vienna, Austria facing adolescence while also dealing with home sickness, loneliness, and navigating a new culture.


  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Yang tells intersecting stories that illustrate the expectations placed on people by family and society as a new arrival and being first generation, how stereotypes and racism influence immigrants’ lives, and the importance of metaphor and stories for understanding lived experiences.


  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. Bui discusses her search to connect with her mother through her own experiences as a first-time parent. To find that connection, she has to better understand the families escape from Vietnam in the 1970’s and the difficulties of building new lives in the United States including sacrifices and hardships, but also love and support.


Immigration status, race and ethnicity can all be factors in health disparities.  To learn more about health disparities, visit the MedlinePlus Health Disparities Topic Page or the National Institute of Minority Health and Health DisparitiesFind more information on how immigration status can impact health and healthcare access with research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

And to learn more about Graphic Medicine visit the NLM’s website for the traveling exhibit Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived, Well-Drawn.  Or request a Graphic Medicine Book Club Kit for your library, school or community group to try.

Categories: RML Blogs

Marketing Library Research Data Management (RDM) Services

Mon, 2019-06-10 11:35

Are you having trouble figuring out how to connect with your current and potential library users and getting them to utilize to all the great programs and services available at your library? Join us as we host Jill Stover Heinz, the Director of User Experience at the University of Virginia, in a webinar to explore strategies to market Research Data Management (RDM) services and other services in your library.  She is the author of the book, “Library Marketing: From Passion to Practice.”  Like you, she’s a librarian who wants her work to connect with users, so they can benefit from all of the amazing resources and services libraries offer.  Marketing offers us an effective way to connect with our users and to support data sharing and open science.  For more information please refer to the website: NNLM RD3: Resources for Data-Driven Discovery ( I hope you will join us for the presentation and a valuable question and answer session.

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

Categories: RML Blogs

One-Day Summer Session for New England Region Hospital Librarians

Mon, 2019-06-10 07:03

StrawberriesPlease join us! We are hosting an in-person summer session for hospital librarians in the New England Region.

9:30 am until 2:30 pm

UMass Medical School
Worcester MA 01655



1. Discuss National Library of Medicine changes to DOCLINE, LinkOut, PubMed and the elimination of LoansomeDoc, and how this will impact your document delivery services.

2. Construct document delivery workflow charts to understand how you are providing access to library collections for clinicians, researchers, nurses and administrators at your hospital.

3. Hear from Michelle Bass, PhD, MSI, AHIP, about Impostor Syndrome among health sciences librarians, and explore ways to cope with this phenomenon.

Fill out this registration form for our in-person summer session.

Registration is LIMITED to 25 participants. Preference given to librarians working in New England hospitals.


Please contact Margot Malachowski ( or Martha Meacham (

Did you miss the Hospital Libraries Advisory Group meeting?

We met online on Tue, May 14, 2019.

Check this recording to learn about our annual survey results and our plans for 2019-2020.

Categories: RML Blogs

Eating with the Ecosystem: Citizen Science Project

Mon, 2019-06-03 16:36

What New England foods do you associate with summertime in New England?   I bet “Lobstah” and “Fried Clams” are in your top ten answers. Being a “Foodie” who has lived in New England my whole life, I am very in tune with using local ingredients choosing recipes that celebrate New England’s local species and seasonal harvest. So when WGBH (my favorite local NPR station) aired a story with the title, “Just 5 Types of Fish Dominate Our Seafood Counters, It Doesn’t Have to be This Way,” they had me at Hello!

The story was about a citizen science project called “Eat Like a Fish,” that was coordinated by Eating with the Ecosystem, a small nonprofit whose mission is to promote a place-based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood, through healthy habitats, flourishing food webs, and short, adaptive supply chains (

This citizen science project was a bit different than a typical citizen science project that studies wildlife in their natural habitat. The “Eat Like a Fish” project studied wildlife in a human habitat, specifically in New England markets, kitchens, and tables linking ocean to plate.

The project enlisted the help of 86 seafood-eating, citizen scientists who gathered data from weekly shopping expeditions, home cooking experiments, and dinner-table taste tests. For 26 weeks these scientists searched seafood markets, supermarkets, farmers’ markets and seaside fishing piers looking for 52 New England seafood species. Every week, each participant was randomly-assigned 4 seafood species to search for. The first goal of the project was to understand how well the New England retail marketplace reflected the diversity of the wild seafood from their nearby ocean ecosystems. When the participants searched for and/or located their weekly assigned seafood species, they noted where they found it and where they didn’t. When they found a species they were assigned, they took it home and made it for dinner. The second project goal was to use their lived experiences to help explain why they found the seafood where they did, and did not, and why a species may be difficult to find and what can be done to create a greater diversity in the number of species found.

The following species of seafood led the pack in the availability in the marketplace:

  • Lobster (found 80% of the time)
  • Sea Scallops (found 69% of the time)
  • Soft shell Clams (found 64% of the time)
  • Cod (found 57 % of the time)
  • Haddock (found 52% of the time)

In contrast, 32 species were found 10% or less of the time

There is lots more information about this project in the article. Of particular interest were the participants stories of cooking with a new seafood species, as well as important lessons for diversifying market demand for local seafood.  Link to the article:

For the Eat Like a Fish, Diversifying New England’s Seafood Marketplace, Citizen Science Project Executive Summary,

Did you know that Citizen Science is an important NLM initiative? Here is a link the a new NLM flyer that has many Citizen Science resources that will help you explore your inner Scientist – .

Categories: RML Blogs

Scholarship Recipient’s Observation of the Research Data Alliance Plenary Meeting

Mon, 2019-06-03 12:23

This is the second blog post in a series authored by several individuals who received professional development scholarships for completing the Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians. In this installment, a scholarship recipient, Alyssa Grimshaw, describes her professional development opportunity to attend the Research Data Alliance.  For more information about upcoming research data management classes, webinars and events please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website.

Alyssa Grimshaw, Access Services/Clinical Librarian – Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University

I had the pleasure of being part of the 1st cohort of the “Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians” offered by the National Library of Medicine and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office. To further our knowledge about research data, the cohort was given the opportunity to attend additional trainings.

With this professional development award, I was able to attend the 13th plenary meeting of the Research Data Alliance in Philadelphia, PA on April 2-4th, 2019. The theme of plenary session was “With Data Comes Responsibility”. The Research Data Alliance sessions are considered working sessions, so it’s much more hands-on interaction then typical conferences with lecture style talks. Research Data Alliance is an international group and it was interesting to see how other countries handle their data and the policies that their countries have initiated. The theme of the session was brought out in several discussions with a strong message of advocating for countries to realize the importance of data that their countries are outputting and making them realize that their data are an asset, rather than a burden.

The most interesting data concept that I learned about during the sessions was synthetic data. Synthetic data are datasets that are generated programmatically and have been around since 1992. Synthetic data did not originate in the medical field but could change the way medical professionals use and share data. The advantage of synthetic datasets is that the data are generated from original research data and have added noise in the dataset to ensure privacy and randomization of patient information in medical data. Synthetic data can also reduce costs by making biomedical data available at scale and support real world application and AI development. This allows researchers to be more comfortable sharing their research with small population sizes without having to be concerned with patient information being identifiable. One example of synthetic data that was shared was a health care research project where researchers used the technology to generate slightly different views of the original radiology images. Something I would never have thought was possible!

I think a valuable lesson learned at this conference was that all data is not created equal. There are vast amounts of low-quality data and significantly fewer good quality datasets. I think that libraries are in a perfect place in institutions to help educate health care professionals how to assess the quality of the datasets, which will result in better quality research for the entire medical community. This conference was vital to my better understanding of not only research data management, but how data scientists view and use data. I encourage any librarian that would like to become data-savvy to attend the NLM/NNLM RDM workshops and courses.


For more about data science or other upcoming events, please visit the NNLM Data Driven Discovery Website and the  NNLM NER website, or contact anyone in the NNLM NER office.

Categories: RML Blogs